IMA Prime Times: September 2019 Iowa Mortgage Association

September 2019


Our Legacy as Mortgage Professionals
As I stood before the IMA Fall Conference audience and accepted the role as president of the Iowa Mortgage Association, I could not have imagined all of the work and dedication that I would see happening this past year to support homeownership. Representing the IMA was a dream come true for me. I am a second generation mortgage professional, and there have been countless people and organizations that have supported me on my journey to serve. We have a fantastic board of directors and executive team to thank for their dedication to expanding homeownership in the state of Iowa. As we all stand before you again this fall to take on next year’s mission for the IMA, I would hope that you can also reflect on the many challenges, accomplishments and ideas we have faced as an organization. Scott Brekke will be taking on the role as president, and I know he will do a great job in taking our mission to the next level.

Speaking last fall, as I laid out my vision for the IMA, I reminded those in attendance of our legacy — both what we have achieved and where we are going. The average age of a first-time home buyer is 28, while the average age of a mortgage banker is in the mid to upper 50s. If not addressed, our population of experienced mortgage professionals will drastically decrease within the next five to 10 years. We have to look for ways to share our field with young people and continually look for the next generation of dynamic leaders to help us shape the vision for our industry. As I look around our organization, I see many mentors and friends that have helped me and are continually guiding others. Ask yourself: What have you done lately to continue your legacy? Because how you will be remembered is not for how many loans you have closed, but for how many people you have helped. 

I leave you in October with a great sense of gratitude for all that the IMA has given to me in my career and the friendships that I have formed. It has been my pleasure to be your president, and I know that the IMA will continue its lasting legacy for future generations of mortgage professionals to come. Together we will do great things for homeownership in Iowa.

Laura Kay Sheely
Arch Mortgage Insurance

Why Attend the IMA Fall Conference?
The 2019 Iowa Mortgage Association (IMA) Fall Conference will be Oct. 7-9, at the Prairie Meadows Event Center. Here are three reasons not to miss it.

  1. Outstanding speakersSessions cover topics such as how to increase sales with Ursula Mentjes, mortgage compliance from Ronette Schlatter, social media strategies from Drew Harden, and a closing session from Aaron Davis, sharing his infectious message about having the attitude of a champion.
  2. Networking with mortgage peers — Sessions and breaks are made for networking, and you’ll be able to get ideas and learn from those who know best — your peers in the mortgage industry.
  3. Fun — With a reception, prizes, engaging speakers and time for networking with exhibitors, the Fall Conference is a great opportunity to learn and have fun all at the same time. 

Learn more and register for the IMA Fall Conference.

Final Rule Increases Appraisal Exemption Threshold
The federal banking regulatory agencies (FDIC, OCC and FRB) have adopted a final rule amending their rules related to appraisal requirements. The rule changes:

  • Increases the threshold level at or below which appraisals are not required for residential real estate transactions from $250,000 to $400,000.
  • Defines a residential real estate transaction as a real estate-related financial transaction that is secured by a single 1-to-4 family residential property.
  • Adds to the list of exempt transactions, subject to some restrictions, certain residential properties located in “rural areas,” provided the transaction value is less than $400,000, the loan is retained in the institution’s loan portfolio, and not later than three days after the Closing Disclosure is delivered, the institution has contacted not fewer than three state certified or state licensed appraisers, and has documented that no such appraiser was available within five business days beyond customary and reasonable fee and timeliness standards for comparable appraisal assignments.
  • Requires institutions to obtain an evaluation of the real property when an appraisal exemption exists, including the “rural” exemption noted above, that is consistent with safe and sound banking practices.
  • Requires “appropriate review” of appraisals for federally related transactions for compliance with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice. The preamble to the final rule noted institutions may refer to the Interagency Appraisal and Evaluation Guidelines for additional information on appropriate review of appraisals and guidelines but clarified than an evaluation need not comply with USPAP standards, but is still subject to the review requirement. 

The effective date of the final rule is the first day after its publication in the Federal Register, which has not occurred to date, other than the evaluation requirement for transactions exempted by the rural residential appraisal exemption and the appraisal review provision, which will become effective Jan. 1, 2020.

Mandatory Use of URLA Postponed
At the direction of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced in June 2019 that the optional use period for the redesigned Uniform Residential Loan Application and automated underwriting system implementations would be postponed. FHFA has now directed the GSEs to make specific modifications to the URLA form. To allow industry participants time to make the necessary changes, FHFA and the GSEs will be extending the deadlines for implementation of the URLA and automated underwriting system datasets; the mandatory use of the redesigned form and data will no longer begin on Feb. 1, 2020. 
Among other things, the GSEs have been directed to remove several questions from the redesigned URLA, including the Language Preference question (Borrower Information, Section 1a.) as well as the Homeownership Education and Housing Counseling question (Lender Loan Information, Section L5.) 

The GSEs and FHFA will assess the impact of these changes to the timeline and will provide more information about the new implementation dates as soon as it is available. The GSEs have requested questions or concerns be sent to or The GSEs will then compile questions and other feedback for discussion with FHFA and will address questions as the project evolves.

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