First Quarter 2013
It seems at long last, the winter weather has finally left us. In reviewing these last few months and preparing for the next quarter, I wanted to bring you up to date on what your Association has been doing to enhance the value of your membership:
We’ve held a training seminar on Underwriting the Self-Employed Borrower, given by Radian. You’ll be receiving information about classes for new CFPB regulations. We’re also locking in dates for your Continuing Education training. Once again, we’ll have CE courses throughout the year, and for those who wish to do it all in a day, we’ll have a session in December.
The Legislative Committee has had several meetings to review legislation. So far, almost 150 bills have been reviewed that impact the mortgage, title, appraisal, real estate agency and financial services industries. The General Assembly is in high gear right now, with hearings being held on many proposed bills. Although we didn’t take a position on calamari as the state appetizer, we’ve identified several bills that we strongly oppose. Our lobbyists and some Board members have spent lots of hours at the State House testifying on our behalf. Thank you for all your time and efforts!
Also, as your President, I was invited to sit on the Senate Special Legislative Commission to Study Eviction Protection for Tenants and Homeowners Post-Foreclosure. The Commission has held four meetings, with a fifth anticipated to propose wording for a bill that both the lenders/servicers and consumer advocates can support.
I also represent RIMBA on MBA’s national State Legislative and Regulatory Committee. Using those contacts with MBA, I have enlisted assistance from them on information needed for some of our legislative efforts.
I and some members of our Board of Directors attended the RI Housing Works 20th anniversary celebration and annual meeting in Providence. They were also celebrating the passage of a $25 million housing bond to finance the planning, development, and construction of long-term affordable homes for Rhode Islanders struggling to make ends meet.
Doug Gablinske and I met with Amy Rainone, Director of Intergovernmental Relations, at RI Housing to find areas of common ground to assist in bringing about homeownership in RI.
The Board has approved an alignment with Empower Rhode Island. If you remember our General Treasurer Gina Raimondo’s speech at our Annual Dinner in November, she challenged us to become part of the trained volunteers group who meet with adults to bring about personal financial responsibility, one person at a time. Look for an announcement soon on how you can become involved!
We’ve added some new members, and most existing members have renewed. If you haven’t yet, please contact Carolyn Dion-Motta to pay your dues. Also, please encourage all your business partners to become part of RIMBA!
We had 77 registrants for our Legislative Update night. It was good to see people and communicate with each other face to face--not via texting or e-mailing! Watch for other networking events to be held this year. As Doug Gablinske so aptly stated -“We need your PAC dollars in order to make a difference”. Please meet his challenge of a $50 per person contribution (cannot be a corporate donation). For those who can do more, great, but a small donation from everyone helps out tremendously. We’re all making a living from this industry, and it’s important that we use our PAC money in order to be heard and prevent legislation that further slows our ability to provide mortgages in an efficient, understandable, and reasonable process.
RIMBA had a booth at the New England Mortgage Expo at the MGM Grand in January. Thanks to Carolyn and all those who worked the booth. We added members as a result of our efforts and received exposure from the hundreds in attendance.
Carolyn and Tom Fleming attended the planning session for the 26th Annual New England Mortgage Bankers Conference to be held in Newport September 18-20. Mark your calendars!
Value Added Partners
The Board has approved UPS as a provider of discounted mail courier services-watch for a formal announcement.
With rates still low and the RI Association of Realtors reporting February sales activity up 2%, supply down 18%, and a new median sales price of 12% to $189,500, activity is expected to be stronger.
Our Annual Golf Outing, honoring our former President, the late Patti Slepkow, will be held May 13 at the Alpine Country Club (new location this year)! Watch for mailings-and sponsorships are available by contacting Carolyn.
On a local level, we’re looking to add members to our committees-make your membership count for more than a line on your resume!
On a national level, we want you to be aware of the issues, and to make your voice heard. If you haven’t already, please take a minute to sign up for the MBA’s Mortgage Action Alliance. http://www.mortgagebankers.org/Advocacy/MortgageActionAlliance
Happy Spring, everyone!
Deborah A. Imondi, RIMBA President