Summer News
August 2014

Welcome to our Summer Newsletter. We are hoping to expand our newsletter in the coming months and welcome your ideas and articles. Please submit to for consideration.
In This Issue
Welcome New Board of Directors




Jay Ralstin

  Envoy Mortgage, LTD


Sandy Garcia

  Sierra Pacific Mortgage


Kevin W. Strickland

  SunTrust Mortgage Inc


Pat Gaver

  Capital City Bank


Matthew Goldman, CLO, CRO


Alex Castellanos



Bill Daniels

  Raymond James Bank


Brenda Thomas


Latisha Moore


Eric Prutsman

  Prutsman & Associates, P.A.


2014/2016 Directors


● Dana Cummins


Ben Fant

     Affiliated Mortgage Companies

Dustin Owen

     Waterstone Mortgage Corp.

● Michael Azzarello, CMB

Randi Gocinski


Cammie Aucoin

   Sierra Pacific

Brett Bosarge



● Dena Howrigan

     United Guaranty


Margie Fletcher (elected 2005)

Chuck Ivy (elected 2006)

   EverBank (elected 2010)

Georges Lussier



Local Chapter Presidents


Patti Spaniol

  United Guaranty


Mary Lou Bear



Mick Dolan

  Mason Title & Escrow Company


Robert Villalon

  Mortgage Information Services, Inc.


Teresa Walker

  Habitat for Humanity of Lee

  and Hendry Counties, Inc.


Laura Hewitt

  Prime Meridian Bank


Bill Daniels

  Raymond James Bank


Board contact information available on our web site at 

Happy Birthday
Michael Culbertson
MBAF Past President and our good friend celebrates with some long time industry friends in Tallahassee including a delicious Italian spread, homemade cake, great conversations and a warm toast. Here's to you Michael!
President's Message
Jay Ralstin

It is true that you get what you give. I continue to reap rewards from the time that I've invested in this association. This year's convention was no exception. Thank you to everyone that made the 61st Annual Convention a huge success. The sponsorship was amazing and the committee, volunteers, speakers and attendees all contributed to that success. The event was capped by recognizing Patti Spaniol, a very deserving recipient of the Brown L. Whatley award. She has given so much of her time and passion to our association.

Thank you Patti!


This was a great opportunity to reconnect with old friends and make new ones. Our association's membership reflects what is happening in our industry as well. Over the past few years we've seen companies leave and welcomed new ones. Lenders are facing the challenge of delivering perfectly documented loans in an imperfect world while still maintaining a standard of customer service. This challenge has opened the door for new technology, and approaches to serve mortgage customers in the confines of today's regulation.   The way we used to originate, deliver and service loans doesn't work for today's borrowers and regulations. We've had to adapt in order to achieve.  


We've also seen people moving companies in search of a seat on the ever-evolving mortgage lending bus that best fits them. Finding the right fit is critical as we are now constantly connected to our work via smart phones and tablets. Finding a fit that makes work fun can also be found in opportunities within the MBA of Florida.  


Ask yourself what you enjoy about your membership with MBAF. Is it the satisfaction that comes from helping others? If so, organize a fund raising event for charity or volunteer to feed or help the homeless. If it's the friendships and networking, then bring a friend to the next meeting so that they can experience that as well. If it's the educational piece, participate on the committees for either the Secondary Conference of Convention so that you can have a voice in the programs or speaker selection. If you appreciate the legislative support we offer our industry on the state or national level, join the legislative committee, come to Tallahassee for the legislative day or at least participate in the Mortgage Action Alliance. If it's a little bit of each of these things, then definitely participate in with the membership committee. Tell your story to others. Remember that person that invited you to your first MBA event?   Well today is the opportunity for you to give that same gift to someone else. Don't keep our association a secret and always remember that you have unlimited potential to reap emotional and physical rewards from this association, you only need to find a way to give that will open these doors. 

Join a Committee
Please review our committees (link above.) All committees meet via conference calls. Typically the convention, membership and the secondary conference are the busiest committees but not for the entire year as most committee work is usually about a six-month commitment. We are already beginning the organizational work for the secondary conference and membership. Please join us and make some friends and connections and at the same time working to move your association forward.
Local Chapter News
There are seven local chapters in Florida. Below are the links to each chapter's web site. With so much going within each chapter it pays to get involved in your local area. 


Chapter Web Links below:


Gulf Coast MBA 

MBA of Central Florida 

MBA of Jacksonville 

MBA of Tallahassee 

MBA of Tampa Bay 

MBA of South Florida 

MBA of SW Florida 


Many of the chapters are in the planning stages for the upcoming year getting their education calendars ready for you. We have a master calendar online you can access to view all the activities in one spot. As the chapters complete their planning session more events will be posted.


Online Calendar of Chapter Events


MBA of South Florida News

The MBA of South Florida is excited about kicking off our new year with Ritch Workman on September 11, 2014. We are working through finding a new location and hope to have it finalized by middle of August. Broward and Palm beach members, we are committed to hosting some events in your area throughout the year, if you have ideas for events and venues, please send feedback to Sylvia Gutierrez at


Chapter membership renewals are due. If you haven't already renewed your membership, the time is now. Visit our website under the membership tab to register online (


Committees for our Holiday Bowling bash, Jackson's Children's Hospital toy drive and our Annual Golf Tournament are being formed. If you have any interest, please visit our website to contact the committee chairs and also get up to date information about membership and other upcoming events like our first two luncheons. Save these dates!


We hope everyone is enjoying their summer and we look forward to seeing everyone at our first event on September 11.

More info on our Web site   


61st Annual Convention
Click-Here to view all 289 photos from the convention

This year's 61st convention was one to remember. From the analogies with nature and the lessons that work teams can learn from animals that live in packs, herds and prides presented by 

Andre van Rensburg

to the economic outlook by Doug Duncan and the Wednesday evening party where we got a sneak peek at some of our talented members. We are still disappointed in the technical issue that prevented MBA of Central Florida to perform. Hopefully  one day we will get another chance. Our sponsors stepped up this year and broke records for support going back many years. Thank you, we needed that! Congratulations to the outgoing Board for a great job last year. We are looking forward to another stellar year. 


Membership Committee Update
by Dena Howrigan & Pat Gaver, Co-Chairs
It is hard to believe that we already in August and reviewing our Membership List for the 2014/2015 year of the MBA of Florida!  Have you sent in your renewal?  If so, THANK YOU! If the fast pace of summer has kept you busy, we certainly understand and would appreciate your follow-up to send in your Membership Fees at your earliest convenience.
Our Membership has grown over the past couple of years and we are planning to reach a new high in 2014/2015!  We would like to remind you about an important benefit of being a Member....networking.  The MBA of Florida Conferences are well known for meeting contacts within all aspects of our industry.  If you are a lender and looking for an associate to support your company, please consider doing business with a Member of the MBA of Florida!  By doing business with a Member you are also supporting your Association!
We hope that you are excited about the growth and opportunity within your Association! Should you have any questions about your membership renewal or want to refer a potential new Member, please do not hesitate to reach out to the following:
Brenda Thomas, Executive Director
Phone:  (407) 855-6155
Dena Howrigan, Committee Co-Chair
Phone:   (727) 460-3356
Pat Gaver, Committee Co-Chair
Phone:  (850) 402-8038
Membership Listing as of 8/1
(If you are not on the list please contact us to pay your dues at

Eastern Secondary Market Conference with Exhibits
February 11-13, 2015

  • Hyatt Regency Orlando - 9801 International Drive, Orlando, FL 32819 - 407-284-1234 Reservations 1-888-421-1442
We got a great deal for you in 2015 begin able to negotiate a room rate that $30 lower than 2014 with an abundance of concessions included in the resort fee.
$219 Single/Double

$15 Resort Fee Includes:
1. Wifi access up to 6 devices -retail value is $9.95.
2. 2 I-Ride Trolley tickets daily to the international drive area - retail value is $5.00/ per person/day.
3. Local phone calls
4. Bike rentals - retail value of $5.00/ per hour.
5. Pool activities floatees, rafts, noodles, pool basketball, pool volleyball) offered in both pools
6. Fitness classes (Zumba, boot camp, spin classes, water aerobics) - retail value of $12.00/ per person/class.
7. Spa access with fitness center access -retail value of $30.00/ per person/day.
8. Fitness center without spa access - retail value of $9.95/ per person/day.
We know how busy you are at these conferences so we hope you are able to enjoy some fitness activities and fresh air when you get a break.

The conference committee is beginning their work for the speakers/sessions/exhibit times and the announcement on these details are coming soon. Mark your calendars now and plan to join us in making this a spectacular industry event for you!                                   
62nd Annual Convention
June 24-25, 2015
Marriott Delray Beach

You spoke, we listened. We are going back to the Marriott Delray Beach for our 62nd Annual Convention in 2015. The committee will start planning soon to make this a new and exciting experience for you!

$159 single or double occupancy
$169/$179 availability for ocean/partial ocean balcony views

Need Education/Instructions/Refreshers/CMB Classes?
We Offer it All Through our Partnership with MBA Washington
Visit our online store Click Here

MBA's Mortgage Action Alliance: 
MAA Members Carry the Torch on State Advocacy
by Amy Swaney on behalf of MBA Washington

The real estate finance industry is in the midst of an exceptionally busy time considering the breadth of legislative activity in our realm this year. As we continue to implement and adjust to the regulations mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act, Congress has also started to debate government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) reform, and earlier this month, the Senate Banking Committee finished the mark-up of a bill that would reauthorize Terrorism Risk Insurance.


While we continue to fight battles on the national stage, issues that are important to the mortgage business are being discussed at the state level too. As advocates for the mortgage industry, we often seek national solutions to national problems, but we cannot forget that the battles we fight locally are just as vital to our industry.

In 2014, Mortgage Action Alliance members have already sent more than 2,000 communications to elected officials in response to seven Calls to Action (CTA). While we have asked our members to weigh in on housing finance reform, flood insurance and points and fees with our federal officials, this year, MAA members have been just as active in state capitals.


In my home state of Arizona, several hundred Arizona-based MAA members rallied to solicit support for legislation that would positively impact our state-regulated loan originator licensing requirements. 

Also this year, our colleagues in Rhode Island have been fighting to convince legislators to push the "pause" button on legislation that would change the definition of "mortgagee" and result in added costs and title concerns for Rhode Island homeowners. Our members in California have been working to defeat a tax bill that would increase the cost of doing business within their state.  


Most recently, our New York MAA members continue to fight for support of legislation that would codify emergency regulations that have been necessary to ensure access to Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans in New York.


MAA is a crucial portion of the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) advocacy efforts as it connects real estate finance professionals with their representatives in a collective voice. Our ability to unite and organize on both the state and local level is what makes the Mortgage Action Alliance such an effective tool for individual members of our industry and state MBAs as well.  


Our battles are far from over and active participation is needed from everyone, from chief executive officers to receptionists, to underwriters and originators. I encourage you to continue to engage with MAA on the federal and local level to help move the needle and amplify your voice with others in our industry.


Are you speaking up? Are you making your voice heard? Don't wait for someone else to advocate for you. Join the Mortgage Action Alliance today and unite with mortgage professionals all around the country.

Enrollment in MAA is easy ... simply fill out an online form at Your membership is always free and lasts for one calendar year. We need you. Your voice matters and it is critical that you use it. Together, we can make a difference on Capitol Hill and in state capitals across the country. The larger the group, the louder the voice ... add yours today.


Amy Swaney, CMB is governmental relations officer and branch manager with Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Citywide Home Loans. Amy is also chair of the Mortgage Action Alliance (MAA), a voluntary, non-partisan and free nationwide grassroots lobbying network of real estate finance industry professionals, affiliated with the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). Amy may be reached by phone at (480) 822-6262, ext. 2164, e-mail or visit 

Why Mortgage Servicers Need Proactive Communication with Borrowers - NOW!

by Tim Allen, CMB                        
For many of us the Internet is our primary source of information and communication. So it should be no surprise to hear that borrowers are increasingly using online mortgage lead generators as their primary source of mortgage "facts". Online mortgage lead generatorsdo a fantastic job of generating mortgages, but the only purpose of the online mortgage lead generators message is to generate leads, period. The online mortgage lead business has changed dramatically in the past several years and with the arrival of phone apps and online navigation these companies are now even better at delivering their message.

Online mortgage lead generators typically sell each lead to multiple loan originators who then compete with each other to get the mortgage application. Some of these loan originators are terrific, some are not no so terrific, and some are good sales people who are desperate for business and will tell borrowers anything to win a mortgage application. The Mortgage Bankers Association forecasts annual origination volume for 2014 will be $1.1 trillion, down from $1.75 trillion in 2013," the lowest overall annual total since 2000. Mortgage interest rates have been stable since the start of the second half of 2012 so borrowers have less of an incentive to refinance, and this is creating many desperate loan originators. Yet, there is almost no data available regarding the risk of online mortgage lead generators on borrower early payoff behavior, their attitudes towards their lenders and servicers, and a detailed study is needed. is the parent of LendingTree and several businesses that connect borrowers to lenders, focusing on Internet marketing and developing mortgage leads. In the 4th quarter of 2013's revenue totaled $36.4 million, up from $23.9 million in the prior year's fourth quarter. About 84 percent of its revenue for the fourth quarter of 2013 came from mortgage products.'s Chairman and CEO Doug Lebda said, in the company's news release concerning its financial results, "In an environment in which mortgage originations continue to decline significantly, we believe the role of our performance-based marketing services takes on greater importance for lenders, as indicated by the activity on our exchange." And Mr. Lebda proved himself correct - continuing the divergence from overall market trends, revenue at

from mortgage products was up 35% in the first quarter of 2014 over the same period last year, while total mortgage market originations fell by 50%

during same this time.


In the news: May 8, 2014 - Mortgage Lead Generator will pay $225,000 to Settle FTC Charges That It Deceptively Advertised Mortgage Rates. The FTC charged that, a Houston, Texas-based lead generator that operates several websites that advertise mortgages, advertised low interest-rate loans as fixed-rate mortgages, when in fact they were adjustable-rate mortgages that could become more expensive for borrowers over time. The company also allegedly failed to include important disclosures, such as the annual percentage rate, amount of down payment, and repayment terms that figure into the advertised payment amounts and interest rate. According to the FTC's complaint the ad below was on the company's website:


A link to the full FTC press release is below: 


It is clearly time for mortgage servicers to proactively employ the Internet as a strategic borrower customer retention and communication tool. 

Did you happen to read the CFPB Consumer Response Annual Report for 2013 that was released this March? It reported that 37% of all consumer complaints received by the CFPB were mortgage related and a full 85% of all the mortgage complaints received were servicing related. It made pretty big news. A much lesser reported fact was that consumers did not dispute the company's initial response in 66% of all CFPB mortgage complaints filed and that just 2% the servicing claims closed with actual monetary relief. There is a solution that can change the polarity of the public's now negative opinion of mortgage servicers and how servicers can retain borrowers who are otherwise going to refinance.


It is clearly time for mortgage servicers to proactively employ the Internet as a strategic borrower customer retention and communication tool. Bank and nonbank mortgage servicers need to get ahead of the risk from online mortgage lead generators on borrower early payoff behavior. And they need to get ahead of the new regulatory scrutiny as the CFPB's onslaught on mortgage servicers' operations increases the pressure to improve processes and communications with borrowers.


Today there are numerous online mortgage lead generators convincing borrowers to refinance with different lenders to get the best interest rate. Some of these companies have revenues in the hundreds of millions of dollars and combined they have generated hundreds of billions of dollars in refinances for mortgage lenders and brokers by convincing borrowers it's time to refinance. Many of these borrowers would not have refinanced if they truly understood the loan they already had. But what can be done to reverse this trend?


Enter a newly patented "Method for Mortgage Customer Retention"! Patent law specifies that inventions must be "useful", which means have a useful purpose and must be sufficiently different from what has been used or described before that it may be said to be nonobvious to a person having ordinary skill in the area of technology related to the invention. The idea that led to the "Method for Mortgage Customer Retention" patent - and in de facto deemed useful and nonobvious by the United States Patent Office is: Borrowers who are online considering refinancing should have easy access to discuss all options with their present mortgage servicer first. The "Method for Mortgage Customer Retention" patent provides a proactive mechanism for improving loan servicing borrower communication and retention by capturing borrowers who are about to refinance, via web capture, directing them to a free Internet portal that links them via a database to their mortgage servicer, and provides them with a valuable link to a customer care agent to advisethem of all options and tools they have available to them. When implemented properly this process will increase customer retention, increase customer satisfaction and decrease the miscommunication complaints to the CFPB. (See white paper link at the end of this article.)


For example: Anne went online looking to refinance. She saw a website that said: Want to find out what your mortgage servicer will do to keep your business? Anne went there and spoke with a customer care agent who, in reviewing Anne's current mortgage, saw that the Anne is already 4 years into a 15 year mortgage. She showed Anne her mortgage's amortization schedule and Anne saw that a larger percentage of her monthly payment was now being applied to principal reduction then when her mortgage first began. Anne then used a refinance calculator, provided by the customer care agent, which took into account, interest rate, closing costs, and loan terms of the new mortgage and compared them to her existing mortgage. Armed with all the facts - Anne determined that keeping her present mortgage was her best option.


For additional information you can contact the author:

Tim D. Allen, CMB

Email: LLC - Patent No. US 8,660,939 "Method for Mortgage Customer Retention"


To see the entire CFPP Consumer Response Annual Report for 2013 go to: 


The link below is to a detailed white paper on the "Method for Mortgage Customer Retention" patent:

Thank You 2014 Sponsors!
You Made Our Year a Success

Since 1952, the Mortgage Bankers Association of Florida (MBAF) has integrated the state's diverse real estate finance industry into a unified service organization. The MBAF is committed to promoting sound and ethical business practices in the mortgage banking industry; providing a powerful and responsible presence in Florida's legislative arena; educating its members in the most up-to-date practices and methods, so members can grow and mature in their careers; serving as a forum for communication and social interaction among peers; and adapting to change in a mercurial business environment, in order to help mortgage bankers succeed in that environment.
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