mortgageI was reading Banker & Tradesman and came across an interesting article. It has to do with the professionalism and knowledge of mortgage loan originators. As you might imagine, this affects my business, so it piqued my interest.

It seems that something called the Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act of 2008 (SAFE Act) was passed by Congress in July 2008 and required states to pass legislation requiring the licensure of mortgage loan originators. Testing began in summer 2009 (last date to take the test July 2010). Now that results are starting to trickle in, it appears a substantial number of mortgage brokers have a lot more homework to do to meet standards. Some 10,000 people have taken the tests and more than 30% failed the federal portion. The number of failures on the state portions was slightly less – 27%. All in all, I would say, that’s a pretty sad state of affairs.

The national test covers general mortgage knowledge, loan origination, federal law, and ethics. The Massachusetts state section of the test is similar, but with a focus on Massachusetts laws, and requires an additional three hours of training.

There have been many complaints (from those taking the test) which seem to center on the regulation portions of the test. It’s not enough to know whether something’s ethical or unethical, and what information must be given to clients, and in what form; many of the questions, mind you, ask test-takers to pick out the particular statutes which describe these responsibilities. (Oh my, that sounds very difficult).

As stated, Banker & Tradesman wrote an article on the new testing reqirements for our local mortgage originators. Here’s an excerpt:

With twenty hours of classes required in addition to the test, and a 30-day lag time before it can be re-taken if the broker fails on the first go-round, many are gearing up early to get the exam under their belts – and they’re finding it a struggle.

Bill Poliquan, a 16-year mortgage industry veteran with Norton’s Bay State Mortgage Corp., just took the test last week – for the second time.

“First time I failed by one point,” Poliquan said. “Got a 74, you need a 75. It’s definitely a challenge.”

File Under: “Got a 74 need a 75…” Yep, that pretty much sums it up.

Author Profile

John Ford
John Ford

Over the course of 20 years in the Boston downtown real estate market, John represented and sold numerous, condominiums, investment and development properties in Greater Boston and in the surrounding suburbs

In addition to representing Boston condo buyers and sellers, John is currently one of the most recognized Boston condo blog writers regarding Boston condominiums and residential real estate markets. John's insights and observations about the Boston condo market have been seen in a wide variety of the most established local & national media outlets including; Banker and Tradesman, Boston Magazine The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald and NewsWeek and Fortune magazine, among others.


For over 24 years, John Ford, of Ford Realty Inc., has been actively involved in the real estate industry. He started his career in commercial real estate with a national firm Spaulding & Slye and quickly realized that he had a passion for residential properties. In 1999, John entered the residential real estate market, and in 2000 John Started his own firm Ford Realty Inc. As a broker, his clients have come to love his fun, vivacious, and friendly attitude. He prides himself on bringing honesty and integrity to the entire home buying and selling process. In addition to helping buyers and sellers, he also works with rental clients. Whether you’re looking to purchase a new Boston condo or rent an apartment, you’ll quickly learn why John has a 97% closing rate.


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John Ford and his staff can be reached at 617-595-3712 or 617-720-5454. Please feel free to stop by John's Boston Beacon Hill office located at 137 Charles Street.

John Ford
Ford Realty Inc
137 Charles Street
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