Tag Archives: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

‘Tis the Shopping Season! Is Your Mortgage Loan on Your List?

mortgage loan

The holiday season is upon us full force. Actually, it’s been coming on for a while, hasn’t it? When you start seeing Christmas decorations in the stores before Halloween has passed, you know that retailers are competing in vying for your dollars by offering one great deal after another. Which is great! Because with all the Before Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Shop Small Saturday, Cyber Monday, and Christmas sales going on, you can make darn sure that you’re finding the best deal you can for all the gifts on your shopping list.

Oh – if we just had one wish this holiday season, it would be that people who need a mortgage loan would follow that same logic! Because when it comes to getting a mortgage – it should be just like anything else you buy: Shopping for the best deal.

“Everyone at Premier Mortgage has been sharing that news for quite some time – but we know there are still plenty out there who don’t know that you can get a deal on a mortgage loan,” explains Rick Piette, owner of Premier Mortgage Lending in Las Vegas.

“How do we know? Because we still surprise new customers when they discover our true “No Fee” loans really do cost thousands of dollars less than the lender their Realtor or home builder sent them to. Yes, there is a difference between mortgage lenders – and it’s not that difficult to sniff out the best mortgage loan deal. In fact, we’ve created a website that explains just how to do it,” adds Piette.

The website Rick Piette is referring to is http://www.KnowBeforeYouOweNevada.com. Created for local Nevadans here in Las Vegas, it’s based on the premise of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) website about educating consumers about the rights of borrowers when it comes to getting a mortgage loan. But Piette expanded on that idea by providing a collection of short, easy-to-understand videos that explain things such as:

• Understanding the actual cost of getting a home loan
• How to compare Loan Estimates, what to ask and what information to look for
• Seller Incentives and how they can affect the cost of your loan
• The differences between lenders
• “Visible” and “Invisible” loan charges (we told you not all lenders are the same!)
• What’s a Marketing Service Agreement, and how it can cost you money
• How your Real Estate Agent’s lending referrals can save you – or cost you – money

According to Piette, “This collection of videos altogether add up to only about 15 minutes of time – but the information contained in them is priceless. It gives home buyers an enormous advantage when it comes to not only getting the best loan for their circumstances – but saving an incredible amount of money while doing it.

“Truly, it’s not uncommon for us to save our clients anywhere from $4,000 to $10,000 – or even more. And the icing on the cake: They’ll get the same loan for less – with the best, friendliest, and most personalized service around.”

Since so many Premier Mortgage customers return over and over again for their future mortgage loan needs, and waste no time referring their family and friends to do the same – it’s a pretty safe bet there are good reasons for that.

“At Premier, we pride ourselves on providing savings, service, and long-term industry expertise,” Piette adds. “So far, we’ve found those to be our clients’ favorite reasons for coming back.”

Find out more about Premier Mortgage Lending’s true “No Fee” mortgage loans, as well as their many other products and services by calling (702) 485-6600. Their experienced loan officers are there to help with your questions and can assist you in navigating from signed purchase agreement – to getting the keys to your new home.

Premier Mortgage Lending, NMLS #393282, is located at 701 N. Green Valley Pkwy., Suite 125, Henderson, 89074. The full-service lender is a member of the Las Vegas, Henderson, and Boulder City Chamber of Commerce, Better Business Bureau and Southern Nevada Home Builders Association, as well as an affiliate member of the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors.

How to Discover What You Don’t Know About Getting a Mortgage

Things I know

Let’s face it: The intricacies of finance and economics are just second nature for some people. You’ve met them before – they’re the ones who can calculate interest rates, debt ratios, and payment structures all in their head within seconds. In the meantime, you’re staring at them in awe and wondering how they get their brains to work that way.

But that’s how it is with most things – we all have our strengths and weaknesses. And while they may be an auto-calculating whiz-kid, you know you could build a home around them while they try to figure out the difference between a hammer and a hacksaw. (Well, you get the point!)

“A lot of mortgage companies rely on that ‘confusion factor,’” reveals Rick Piette, owner of Las Vegas-based Premier Mortgage Lending. “In fact, for years most of the mortgage industry has gone to a lot of trouble to make getting a mortgage loan as confusing as possible for their customers. Why? Because it’s an effective strategy – one that’s allowed lenders to make a lot of money off their borrowers. And in many cases, the customer doesn’t even know that they’ve ended up paying more for their mortgage loan – a lot more – than they should have.

“The fact is,” Piette continues, “that the rules of mortgage lending have changed since The Great Recession. The passage of the Dodd-Frank Act put new regulations in place for how mortgage loans are made, and many consumers aren’t aware of these changes.

“That’s one reason the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) developed a “Know Before You Owe” website where borrowers can learn about those changes. But Premier Mortgage Lending took that idea even further to help demonstrate exactly how to shop for a mortgage loan, what to look for, which questions to ask – and more importantly, to be able to compare “apples-to-apples” when you compare mortgage Loan Estimates. It’s at www.KnowBeforeYouOweNevada.com.”

“As a Mortgage Broker, Premier Mortgage is required by law to be completely transparent in what your loan will cost you. So when we say we offer a “No Fee” loan – that’s exactly what you get. Unfortunately, the same thing isn’t true for Banks and Mortgage Bankers – but that’s just the beginning of the differences between lenders. (You can learn more about those differences in our previous articles here, here, and here).

“We want to let borrowers know this very important information: Mortgage loans are a lot less confusing than you think. Don’t let a lender confuse you with fancy terms and play a virtual “shell game” with your money. Take a look at our quick educational videos to get up-to-speed about mortgage loans in just 15 minutes. And if you have more questions after that, we’re always here to answer them!” concludes Piette.

For more information about how to shop wisely for your next mortgage loan – and potentially to save literally thousands of dollars – visit Premier’s “Know Before You Owe Nevada” website to be informed about how you can be in charge of the cost of your next mortgage loan.

Premier Mortgage Lending, NMLS #393282, is located at 701 N. Green Valley Pkwy., Suite 125, Henderson, 89074. The full-service lender is a member of the Las Vegas, Henderson, and Boulder City Chamber of Commerce, Better Business Bureau and Southern Nevada Home Builders Association, as well as an affiliate member of the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors.


Logo0_@2Going back to that “which side of the political aisle you’re on” issue that we’ve talk about before, if you’re not actually working IN the financial services industry, there’s a good chance that you just skim the headlines that talk about the effects on consumers since the CFPB (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau) was created.

So just in case that might describe your experience with how the new laws are affecting the public, we thought it might be a good time to point out some of the real benefits that have come out of the Dodd-Frank Act. Things that are helping real mortgage borrowers – people who are just like you.

Information Resources

Prior to the creation of the CFPB, the road to getting a mortgage loan was a difficult one to navigate. Basically, each mortgage company pretty much made their own rules (within certain legal guidelines) – but there wasn’t much of a way that borrowers could easily compare “apples-to-apples” per se as far as they information they were given.

Now, the CFPB not only offers excellent resources on their website that explain where to start when it’s time to search for a loan, but easy-to-understand explanations on the differences between types of loans, and even between types of lenders. For first-time buyers and others who aren’t that familiar with the mortgage loan process, the CFPB’s “Know Before You Owe” website has helped take the mystery out of the mix, and also helped people learn how to avoid shady lending practices and overcharging. Score one for the consumer!

Consistency in Disclosures, Policies and Procedures

If the only plus out of the CFPB’s creation were the two forms now used – the Loan Estimate and the Closing Disclosure – it would be a solid win for consumers all by itself. These two forms are now far easier to understand, easier to use, and required to be used by every lender so comparisons are easily made.

But there are also other benefits that came about – including the rule that borrowers get three business days to review their Closing Disclosure and ask questions before they close on their mortgage loan. (In other words, the days of “closing surprises” are gone – when the pressure was on to close or lose a deal and emotions were running high.)

“Know Before You Owe” Program Provides Borrowers with the “Big Picture” of Buying a Home

Mortgage loan officers who are more concerned with getting customers to closing and picking up their paycheck – rather than ensuring their borrowers are actually getting the right loan for their needs – have a new foe: The CFPB’s “Know Before You Owe” site, mentioned above.

But, of course, consumers need to know this information exists to allow it to help them in making the big decision of buying a home. (That’s one reason Premier Mortgage also created their KnowBeforeYouOweNevada.com website – because we agree that customers should be fully informed about the decisions they’re making.)

At the CFPB’s site, several resources are provided to help people consider all the costs and expenses involved with making a decision to buy a home. With budgets and worksheets, checklists and conversation starters, it is designed to provide borrowers an “eyes wide open” approach to home buying.

Those three things are just the tip of the iceberg about how everyday consumers are gaining benefits from the rules and requirements put in place on the financial industry following The Great Recession. If you pay closer attention to what comes underneath those ‘complaining headlines’ about the CFPB in the future, you may notice one striking similarity: Most of the grumbling is coming from the financial institutions affected by these changes . . . not from the consuming public. A little something to worth remembering!

Premier Mortgage Lending, NMLS #393282, is located at 701 N. Green Valley Pkwy., Suite 125, Henderson, 89074. The full-service lender is a member of the Las Vegas, Henderson, and Boulder City Chamber of Commerce, Better Business Bureau and Southern Nevada Home Builders Association, as well as an affiliate member of the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors.

Las Vegas Bounces Back Big – Again


There are headlines – and then there are straight-up statistics. Most of us know that the source of the news articles we read anymore is generally serving self-serving on any given position. (And if ever there is a time when this is blatantly obvious, it’s during Presidential Election season!)

But real data – facts driven by numbers and tangible, physical changes – is a much more reliable indicator of the truth. And here in Las Vegas, we can share numbers that represent a lot of great news about our town already taking place, and coming up in the very near future.

When a city is hit as hard as Las Vegas was during the economic crisis a few years back, there are only two options: Let it beat you, or use it to rise up from the proverbial ashes. Anyone who has spent any time around Las Vegans should never have doubted that we’d choose the latter. And in these past few years, we have slowly but surely continued to make gains month after month, year after year.

This is important – because as the status of our economy stabilizes and grows, so too does employment, housing, and our job market. In Las Vegas, since hitting the high watermark of unemployment in mid-2011 of 14.5%, to our current 6.1%, remarkable results are being seen.

Perhaps the most well known at the moment is the newly opened Las Vegas Arena. This $375 Million project is bringing not only major artistic talent to the city – but will quite possibly be the home to the first NHL expansion team ever to come to Las Vegas. (An announcement due to be made on June 22, 2016.) And that is BIG news.

But that’s only one of the mind-boggling new entertainment, resort, residential, and public works projects currently under way in Las Vegas or scheduled to begin soon. Overall, an estimated more than $5 billion of development and investment activity has either already begun or is on the boards to launch. After all – Las Vegas now has an IKEA of its own. Do we really need more proof than that? <wink!>

Seriously though, this return of economic growth to our valley has also prompted a rise in our previously recession-led diminishing population. And it’s at a good, consistent pace – 2% growth now, down from the more than 4% growth prior to the crash. In fact, Las Vegas is now the 28th most populous U.S. city, just ahead of Baltimore; and Henderson jumped from 71st place to 67th place in 2015.

People are rebuilding their lives in Las Vegas, where the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well. And that means new places to live, jobs in construction, hospitality, and new industry – and as they say, a rising tide lifts all boats.

We’re a cautious people now, learning from past mistakes and working hard to keep from repeating them. That includes the state of our real estate and lending markets. The rose-colored glasses have been cast aside, new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau oversight is working on the side of consumers to ensure fairness and transparency – and Las Vegas is well on its way to rising to new heights of economically smart growth.

Premier Mortgage Lending is on the same path, helping those in search of affordable mortgages with no curtains, no sleight-of-hand – just fair, honest dealings that save consumers money. Find out more about our true “No Fee Mortgage” at www.premiermortgagelending.com.

Visit our website at www.PremierMortgageLending.com for more information about our true “No Fee Mortgage” loans. And to learn which are the most important questions to ask your mortgage lender, visit our www.KnowBeforeYouOweNevada.com website – where you’ll find quick informational videos that take the mystery out of getting the best mortgage loan for your needs.

Premier Mortgage Lending, NMLS #393282, is located at 701 N. Green Valley Pkwy., Suite 125, Henderson, 89074. The full-service lender is a member of the Las Vegas, Henderson, and Boulder City Chamber of Commerce, Better Business Bureau and Southern Nevada Home Builders Association, as well as an affiliate member of the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors.

You Chose The Home. You Should Get To Choose The Mortgage Loan, Too.


Shopping for a home? That’s the easy part. Well, what we mean is that when it comes to choosing the right home to buy – that’s one decision that’s all up to you. It’s all your taste, your preference, your favorite floorplan, and the neighborhood where you want to live.

But if you’ve bought a home before, you might have felt that getting to choose the house was the only decision you got to make. Because after you made the offer and it got accepted, it seemed as if there was one hoop after another that you had to jump through to get to the finish line.

“The truth is, before someone actually hands you the keys and the “Congratulations and welcome to your new home!” – you have to deal with Realtors, inspectors, repair crews, escrow and title companies, insurance agents, credit bureaus, and mortgage lenders,” reveal Rick Piette, owner of Premier Mortgage Lending in Las Vegas. “And if it seems they’re all spending the next several weeks telling you what to do – well, they probably are. That’s okay, though, because you rely on their guidance and expertise to ensure a smooth, worry-free real estate transaction. They are, after all, getting paid to do that.”

However, when one of those parties decides to put their interests ahead of yours, you may find that your trust has been misplaced. What’s worse, you may not even be aware of it – either during escrow or after your closing takes place.

How can that happen?

Piette goes on to explain, “You may receive a referral from your agent to a particular service provider to help you complete one of the necessary steps in your purchase process. But the truth is, you might have been steered to them because your agent (or their broker) received a financial incentive to do so. Sometimes, that referral and the end result both go in your favor. Then again, sometimes they don’t. Unfortunately, when they don’t, it usually means that it’s unnecessarily costing you money.”

Nowhere is that more true – or costly – than in your choice of mortgage lender. While a shoddy repair or paying a bit too much for an insurance policy is an unfortunate occurrence, not knowing your mortgage loan options can literally end up costing you thousands of dollars.

Seriously. Thousands of dollars. (We just want to let that sink in.)

The fact is, choosing a mortgage lender should be as much your choice as your home selection. As a home buyer, you should conduct your own due diligence with several lenders to ensure you are getting the most favorable terms, best interest rate, and the lowest fees.

In previous articles, we’ve shared at length about which questions you should ask your lender, to be sure you shop with more than one lender so you can compare prices, and how to discover if a lender is hiding loan charges (that you ultimately end up paying for without realizing it).

We’ve also explained the difference between mortgage brokers and mortgage bankers (they’re not the same) – and Premier Mortgage has developed a series of Home Loan 101 videos to help familiarize borrowers with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CPFB) “Know Before You Owe” program that was specifically designed to protect mortgage borrowers. And we strongly recommend that anyone who is now (or soon will be) seeking a mortgage loan to click on those links and review that information. If will provide you with what you need to know to make the best decision for your needs.

“If your real estate professional doesn’t encourage you to shop around, or if they tell you that you only need to go to the lender they recommend – well, you may as well just hand over your checkbook to them,” continues Rick Piette. “Because without taking those steps, you can end up paying $4,000-$8,000 or even more for a mortgage loan than you should. And that will really hit you where it hurts – in your bank account.”

Premier Mortgage Lending, NMLS #393282, is located at 701 N. Green Valley Pkwy., Suite 125, Henderson, 89074. The full-service lender is a member of the Las Vegas and Boulder City Chamber of Commerce, Better Business Bureau and Southern Nevada Home Builders Association, as well as an affiliate member of the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors.

A Quick Review of Home Loans 101

Or, How I Learned To Shop Around For A Loan And Saved Thousands of Dollars

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Over the past several weeks, our articles have focused on many of the “consumer education” resources that are available to borrowers – both through the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) website and our own KnowBeforeYouOweNevada.com website.

As the CFPB prepares to roll out one of the most important recent changes to the mortgage loan process soon (TILA-RESPA on October 3, 2015), it seemed like a good time to review what we believe are the positive effects of new legislation and the role of the CFPB in the mortgage industry. Ready for a little Q&A? Great – let’s get started!

1. “Is the Dodd-Frank Act really a good thing for consumers?”

Definitely good. As we explained in greater detail in a previous article, one positive result for consumers is that it places a ‘cap’ on how much a Mortgage Broker can earn on your loan. It’s a fee that cannot be inflated – it is paid by the lender directly to the Mortgage Broker – and most importantly – it must be disclosed to the borrower. Basically, it places the control over the cost of the loan into the consumer’s hands (A good thing, right?). It’s important to note, however, that these same restrictions don’t apply to banks or mortgage bankers , who have no limits on the amount they can earn from your loan. So beware of those ‘invisible fees’ that they don’t have to tell you about – but end up costing you more in the long run.

2. “One mortgage lender is the same as another, right?”

Wrong! We mentioned above just one of the differences between types of lenders (banks, mortgage bankers, and mortgage brokers), and in a recent article we clarified those differences in detail. The short version is that a mortgage broker offers better value to consumers because:

• You only fill out one loan application – and they can shop numerous lenders on your behalf to find the lower rate and best loan program.

• There’s a limit to how much a mortgage broker can earn – not so with bank or mortgage bankers.

• Mortgage brokers are typically small, local companies with low operating overhead. That means less cost to you.

3. “Does every lender have to disclose how much they’re earning on my loan?”

Nope. Once again, the rules are different for mortgage brokers vs. banks and mortgage bankers. (Are you noticing a trend here?) Just like they say in the movies, “Follow the money.” One way to discover if a lender has ‘invisible charges’ in your loan is to compare the Loan Estimate sheet. (The CFPB has many helpful resources for consumers, including a form to help you compare your loan estimates in an apples-to-apples format, here.) Pay particular attention to the interest rate, the Loan Origination Fee, the Document Prep Fee, and the Document Fee. It can mean a savings to the consumer of literally thousands of dollars. (Not all lenders are the same!)

4. “How can I tell if a Builder or Seller incentive is a good deal?”

Compare the numbers. Often, those “credits towards closing costs” offers come with strings attached, as we explained in a recent post. And those strings can end up costing you more than you expect. You “have” to use their lender or title company to get that credit? Then you’re probably going to end up paying for it in higher interest rates or unnecessary fees. The best way to protect yourself financially is to contact more than one mortgage lender – then run the numbers.

5. “What should I do if my Realtor is encouraging me to contact only their lender?”

At the very least, question their allegiance. By law, it’s supposed to be to you – their client. But as we explain in our recent video about Marketing Services Agreements (MSAs), there’s usually a reason that a Real Estate Broker will strongly encourage you to use their lender – and it can often end up being at your expense. While even the CFPB is encouraging mortgage lenders to end the practice of MSAs, they’re still prevalent in the industry. Yet one more reason every consumer should shop with more than one lender to get the best mortgage.

To learn more about any of these topics, we encourage you to visit KnowBeforeYouOweNevada.com to find out which questions you should be asking your real estate professional and your mortgage lender. If they can’t compare – dollar-for-dollar – to Premier Mortgage Lending’s “No Fee Mortgage,” then we should talk about how we can save you money. Oodles of it.

Premier Mortgage Lending, NMLS #393282, is located at 701 N. Green Valley Pkwy., Suite 125, Henderson, 89074. The full-service lender is a member of the Las Vegas and Boulder City Chamber of Commerce, Better Business Bureau and Southern Nevada Home Builders Association, as well as an affiliate member of the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors.


Understanding Service Release Premiums and Loan Servicing Costs


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Knowing the vast differences between the types of mortgage lenders you have to choose from is a topic we discussed in an earlier post (see “The Difference Between Mortgage Brokers and Mortgage Bankers”). In essence, regulations recently put in place by the Dodd-Frank Act put a cap on the amount of money that a mortgage broker can earn on a loan, making Mortgage Brokers your best source for home loan financing.

However, as Rick Piette, owner of Premier Mortgage Lending explains, “We discuss “Visible vs. Invisible Loan Charges” in our Home Loans 101 video at our KnowBeforeYouOweNevada.com site. Yet even when armed with that particular knowledge about limits, it’s still possible that as a borrower – you can receive Loan Estimates from banks or mortgage bankers that don’t clearly define how much money they will make off of your loan.

“So we’d like to help shed a little light on how that happens. To Premier Mortgage Lending, it’s a matter of transparency. We simply believe people should know what they’re paying for – regardless what the product is – and mortgage loans should be no different.”

That is one of the reasons that Premier Mortgage Lending fully supports the goals of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), specifically as they pertain to mortgage lending. The CFPB’s national “Know Before You Owe” program inspired the local Las Vegas mortgage broker to carry their message even further through the creation of its KnowBeforeYouOweNevada.com site.

How Lenders Earn Money On Your Loan

Lenders aren’t obligated to disclose this, but the fact is most banks and mortgage bankers make money in two ways:

1) First, they make money up front by charging fees.

2) Second, they make money when they sell your loan.

With #1, that’s the “visible” part – the fees that are shown right on your Loan Estimate form. This includes line items for Loan Origination Fee, Underwriting Fees, Document Prep Fees, and so on. It can be the source of literally thousands of dollars of income for a mortgage lender. But these costs can also vary widely from one lender to another, and it’s one of the potentially expensive reasons you should always shop around for the best mortgage loan. Premier Mortgage Lending, by the way, charges none of these fees in our No Fee traditional loans. (See? You just saved money already!)

But with #2, this is where the “invisible” charges enter – and the key terms to remember for these charges are “Mortgage Lender,” “Loan Servicer,” and “Service Release Premium” (SRP). To clarify:

1) Your mortgage lender is the financial institution that loaned you the money;

2) The loan servicer handles the day-to-day tasks of managing your loan (such as processing payments, managing your escrow account, etc.)

3) The Service Release Premium is so called because the lender who wrote the loan releases the right to “service” the loan. These “servicing sales” can generate millions of dollars of additional income to banks and mortgage bankers.

How Does This Puzzle of Confusing Terms Affect You?

“Here’s how it works,” Piette explains.

“A loan servicer buys your loan from a mortgage lender through a Service Release Premium (SRP). Why? Because the servicer will receive future income from the mortgage interest. The higher the interest rate is on the loan, the more they will earn – and the more they are willing to pay the lender for the SRP. The bottom line is, the lender makes more money in Service Release Premiums on loans with higher interest rates, and less money on loans with lower interest rates.”

That is why some lenders want you to pay a higher interest rate for your mortgage loan than you may actually qualify for. Because the higher rate the lender can sell you, the more they receive in SRPs when they sell your loan. “Other than having to compete with other lenders for your business, the lender doesn’t have any incentive to offer you the lowest interest rate,” explains Rick Piette.

Additionally, these lenders will often ‘double-dip’: Charging high fees up front (Loan Origination, etc.) and also collect Service Release Premiums on the back end.

Still with us so far? Because there’s still one more very important thing that every borrower should know:

Mortgage brokers can only receive income that is fully disclosed – complete transparency. They cannot earn additional income by collecting Service Release Premiums. In short, a mortgage broker cannot receive compensation based on the interest rate of a loan.

“These are all key things for you to keep in mind the next time you’re comparing mortgage loan offers,” adds Piette, “because they can all affect the amount of money you pay for your loan. And if we’re not mistaken, there are probably many other things that you’d rather spend your money on – rather than putting it into a lender’s pocket.

Whew. That’s a lot to follow, and we hope we’ve helped to make sense of it all.

“But if you still have questions or would like help comparing apples-to-apples with your mortgage loan offers, give us a call,” states Piette. “We’ll be happy to help – because our only goal is that you get the best deal possible. Even if it’s not with Premier Mortgage, we’ll tell you that, too.”

Premier Mortgage Lending, NMLS #393282, is located at 701 N. Green Valley Pkwy., Suite 125, Henderson, 89074. The full-service lender is a member of the Las Vegas and Boulder City Chamber of Commerce, Better Business Bureau and Southern Nevada Home Builders Association, as well as an affiliate member of the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors.