Scott Olson: Standing Up For Independent Mortgage Bankers In 2022 And Beyond


The executive director of Community Home Lenders Association is working to educate policymakers in Washington, D.C., while articulating the perspective of members in a growing portion of the market: Independent Mortgage Bankers.

Scott Olson has over 20 years of experience on Capitol Hill. For 15 years, he served on the House Financial Services Committee, according to his biography.

On Thursday, Olson told The Mortgage Note they focus on articulating the perspective of IMBs, which don’t have a huge loan volume.

“But collectively, we are pretty mighty because there’s a lot of us,” Olson said.

Olson said banks can shift gears to make money on different types of loans as they look to make the most profit out of their customers. He pointed to an announcement by leaders at Santander Bank that they will no longer accept any new mortgage or home equity line of credit applications after February 11.

Santander’s announcement said that their commercial mortgage business is not impacted by this decision and people who have an existing loan will not be impacted by this change at this time.

Olson explained how IMBs are different than banks.

“We’re not there to sell our bank product that we’re trying to push that week,” Olson said. “If a FHA loan is the best for you, then we’re going to put you into that. If a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac is, if a VA loan works, we use our expertise to fit you into the best product for you, and then you can keep us honest by negotiating with two or three of us to find the most qualified person and the best rate.”

Olson said the business relationship is different when people work with IMBs because all they do is mortgage loans and they are not looking for a wealthy customer who they can tempt with other products.

“We don’t care if you are wealthy or poor. We just care whether you are someone that’s qualified to get a loan. And if you’re qualified to get a loan, you’re as good a customer to us as the wealthiest customer on the market because that’s all we do, we’re going to get a loan,” Olson.

Olson said he thinks that is one of the reasons IMBs are becoming a larger part of the market share.

In their 2021 report, Community Home Lenders Association shared findings from the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEF) 2020 HMDA Data.

The share of mortgages originated by non-depository, independent mortgage companies accounted for 60.7% of first-lien, 1-4 family, site-built, owner-occupied home-purchase loans, according to the data.

That was up from 56.4% in 2019.

According to their website, members of the Community Home Lenders Association have an impact in Washington, D.C.

The group is a national association that exclusively represents IMBs. Members are small and mid-sized community-based companies.

Community Home Lenders Association sent a letter to Rohit Chopra, Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, on Wednesday. They were calling attention to the Dodd/Frank requirement to tier CFPB supervision based on a lender’s size and volume, as well as the extent of state regulation.

Last month, the organization sent a letter to Federal Housing Finance Agency Acting Director Sandra Thompson asking for adjustments to upcoming Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac fee increases. CHLA’s letter commended FHFA’s desire to focus on core loans and underserved borrowers but says adjustments are necessary to protect middle-income homebuyers and middle-income communities.

Email story ideas to Editor Kimberley Haas: [email protected]