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The Code: How the Mortgage Industry Could Self-Regulate

I often draw parallels between my passions. Two of the three things in life I cherish most (behind family/friends) are sports and my career in the mortgage business.

Last night, I was watching Sports Center on ESPN when the highlights of a fairly mundane baseball game between the Chicago Cubs and the San Diego Padres came on. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to find the video anywhere online, but here’s what happened.

1) In the bottom of the 1st inning, Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano (known as a hot-head) beans Padres batter David Eckstein when he turns to bunt a runner over to 3rd base. It was a pretty dangerous play, and Eckstein could have easily gotten hurt. I’ve seen full scale bench-clearing brawls erupt for less than this.

2) Fortunately, Eckstein’s okay. The Padres score a run to take a 1-0 lead into the top of the 2nd inning.

3) When the Cubs come to bat in the top of the 2nd, the lucky guy who gets to bat first is Bobby Scales. And with the first pitch of the inning, Padres pitcher Jake Peavy plunks Scales on the right thigh with a fast ball. Both teams are warned by the umpires.

4) The game goes on without any further drama – ultimately, in case you were wondering, the Padres win 4-0.

The retaliation beaning is widely known as a tenet of the unwritten “code” of baseball. Plunk one of our guys and you’ll be getting one high and tight next chance we get.

I think it’s high time The Code makes its way to the Mortgage Business

Over the past 12 months, all of us in the mortgage business have been pointing fingers at who caused the sub-prime meltdown. Ultimately, it’s all of our faults.

1) How many times as an originator did a client bring a competitive GFE to your attention that reeked of dishonesty?

I’d bet this happened A LOT. Well what did you do about it? Chances are that you (correctly) labeled the competitive LO as a thief, won the business, made the commission and moved on. But what did you do to help prevent that LO from ripping off the next guy?

Probably, not a lot. But that’s because we don’t have a code. We don’t currently have a mechanism to weed out thefraudsters- the LO’s who tarnished our industry’s good name.

2) Be honest with yourself – have you ever taken a client to a Credit Restoration company who unscrupulously challenged every negative item on the client’s credit report, knowing full well that said negative items were completely legitimate?

If the answer is yes, you were doing what most everyone else was doing. My argument is that you were defrauding your banking partners and thereby contributing to the problems that exist today. In your defense, you were likely acting in the “best interests” of your client and have a responsibility to put food on the table for your family. After all, there’s nothing illegal about credit restoration. But if we truly care about the well being of the mortgage industry, perhaps “The Code” should set guidelines and expectations around Ethical Credit Restoration practices?

I could go on, but let me get to the point.

At Mortgage Revolution, we ought to build Version 1.0 of “The Code” for our industry

You won’t find a lot of public information about Mortgage Revolution yet. But there’s a very strong grass-roots movement toward a “changing of the guard” in the mortgage business. And it’s all going to culminate in Atlanta GA from November 9-11, 2009. I’m asking that you mark your calendars today – this is an event you won’t want to miss.

In the meantime, I’m building the Mortgage Revolution Ground Crew that’s spreading the word on a granular, hyper-local level in their communities. If you’d like to be a part of this industry-changing event, please contact me. I sincerely can use all the help I can get putting this thing together! It’s going to be awesome.

May 23, 2009 by · 4 Comments

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About Mark

Mark is President of Top of Mind Networks, specializing in turn-key CRM solutions for mortgage professionals.


4 Responses to “The Code: How the Mortgage Industry Could Self-Regulate”
  1. Chris Brown says:


    You have nailed the ‘need’ in our business and it is unfortunate that leadership typically takes a second seat to the ledger. Our industry is thirsty for leadership and you have done well in being the brainchild behind the Revolution. If people are interested in getting m ore info, here are a few resources until the site itself is up.

    Interest List –


    Follow it on Twitter –


    Follow it on Facebook –


  2. Mark – the first part – about shooting down unscrupulous LO GFEs but not having a code or some other means of weeding them out – resonates with most of us who do right by our clients. I’m very interested in seeing where “The Mortgage Revolution” takes us. Keep us posted as things with that progress!

    And Chris – thanks for the links!

  3. Teri Lussier says:

    Well, If your including the entire real estate industry, I’m willing to help from my place on the food chain. I’d love to see the bums thrown out of the business as I’m weary of the damage done to the city I love.

    … Let God sort ’em out.

  4. Mark Green says:

    Hi Teri,

    I think we need to build “The Code” together – at Mortgage Revolution. How cool would it be if we all collaborated together to create a code that we’d live by. Sure, these things exist today on paper. But where’s the beef? Where’s the enforcement? Where’s the deterrent to do wrong? I’m with you, and I really hope you are able to make it to Atlanta in November. We have something pretty special in store that I think is going to change our industries forever. Nice to see you over here by the way! Thanks for reading my article 🙂

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