Every week, we ask a real estate professional for their thoughts on some of housing’s most pressing issues. This week, we talked with Chip Poli, President of Poli Mortgage Group.
Boston Agent (BA): Regarding the forthcoming RESPA-TILA changes, what effect do you expect the consolidation of documentation to have? Do you see it as a good change or bad?
Chip Poli (CP): There’s a couple of things you need to understand. When they made the change when Dodd-Frank was first passed, they took something that was really easy to read and made it difficult. The new forms are a response to the complaints about the forms being too complicated. The new LE and CD doesn’t change the information too much, it simply combines the documents into something a little bit more manageable, which I think is going to be helpful. For clients, the forms are going to be great in helping them understand what the charges are and how much they’re going to pay. Tolerances are essentially the same; changes of circumstances are all generally the same. It’s just a lot less paper work.
Some people have voice concern over the new rule requiring the CD to be delivered three days prior to closing, but at Poli, we already did that two days in advance, so another day isn’t going to make too much of a difference.
BA: Since the new Fannie and Freddie mortgage rules came into effect, have you notice any new trends in lending?
CP: Since the recession, we’ve developed a little saying: rules over risk. It doesn’t matter how good a loan is, it matters if it meets the rule. When the crash first came in 2008, lending became so strict and you had qualified buyers who couldn’t get a loan, which brought on the rules over risk mentality. That’s not to say I don’t like it. It’s a good rule so long as it makes sense.
Since then they have loosened some of the requirements, but it is still a strict process and it doesn’t always make sense. I think the ability to lend has become more realistic; I think they’re doing a better job. Of course, they’ve missed the boat in some respects, but it is better than the mirror test era, when if you breathed on a mirror and they could prove you were alive you got a mortgage. We need to get to a point where people who deserve a mortgage, get a mortgage.
BA: How important is technology to the Poli Mortgage group?
CP: It’s everything for us. In 2014, we changed our model from a loan officer, multiple branch model to a Internet-based model, and got rid of all my branches. During the transition, we’ve leveraged new technologies – some of which come out daily – and our platform is now our technology-based; it’s where our leads come from, how we deal with our clients, how we transfer files. I’d say it’s pretty important for us. All of our operations happen through technology.
We still interact with customers face-to-face, and we use mailers, as well, but so much of our business is done through technology.
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