Elizabeth Washburn
After graduating from Agnes Scott College (Decatur, Georgia) with an Astrophysics major, I went house shopping with my sister to find her first home.  I loved seeing the homes, with all their individual features, but I had no desire to show them or repair them.  The Realtor introduced me to my first loan officer manager and an informational interview turned into a job.  I was hooked on housing.

I had just graduated from college, and had the ability to earn very little and get by financially in a career that was 100% commission.  I never imagined mortgages would be my lifetime career
, but 20+ years later, my work always stays interesting,  and it allows me to help inform and protect people in the largest purchase transaction of their life.

Mortgage Industry History

Over the last two decades, I’ve witnessed the entire overhaul of the mortgage industry. 
When I started in this industry at the age of twenty-two, no licensing was required for either the company or the loan officer.  There was NO continuing education, absolutely NO knowledge-based testing and NO requirements to even be registered or licensed as a loan officer.

After the overhaul started in 2009, Georgia went from having over 2500 mortgage broker companies listed with the Department of Banking and Finance to slightly under 600, and Georgia went from being #2 in the country in mortgage fraud to nearly zero. This transition is a great example of how adding licensing  to an industry, an industry so crucial to the health of our economy, is a catalyst to a higher level of knowledge and professionalism.  We still have a long way to go, but it is a start.

The government continues to be involved with further legislation designed to give a layer of protection to primary residence purchasers.  This legislation, known as TRID, began in October 2015.  The most basic changes are two documents, the Loan Estimate (LE) and the Closing Disclosure (CD), be forwarded to the borrower three days after application and three days before closing.  It does not allow lenders to collect any fees until the disclosures are acknowledged by the borrowers.  Without your timely acknowledgement,  the loan can be delayed.  Be sure to stay aware of what is in your email when applying for a mortgage.

Licensing Information

As a Mortgage Broker, I am subject to state and national licensing laws.  My license to originate means I can operate independently of a bank.  Georgia has no required training for a bank
loan officer. They submit their name to the state for a bank registration number.

I have a mortgage brokering license.  This was obtained by passing a knowledge-based test about the mortgage industry and continually obtaining a minimum of 8 hours of continuing education every year. I am required to have a college education and report any foreclosures that occur in my name.  I also am reviewed by the FBI and must submit my credit history to obtain a license.

The mortgage industry is not uniform in its requirements.  So fair warning, if you decide to seek your loan at a bank, you may end up telling all your private information to a processing center employee who gathers information and your encounter with the loan officer will likely be brief.

Access to Online License Search  

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