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Mortgage

Spotlight: Becoming a CRMP

When the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association was formed 20 years ago, it set out to enhance the professionalism of the reverse mortgage business, serving as an educational resource, policy advocate and public affairs center for lenders and related groups.

Part of this mission involved the creation of a professional designation to help dedicated members of the industry stand apart, and so in 2009, it launched its Certified Reverse Mortgage Professional (CRMP) program. It took a committee of industry experts two years to establish the necessary education platform with a national testing firm for the CRMP designation, which now counts 149 reverse specialists in its ranks.

The goal, according to NRMLA spokesperson Jenny Werwa, was to create a program, “that reflects our commitment to ensuring industry participants are knowledgeable, responsible, and trustworthy.” CRMPs receive special recognition on NRMLA’s consumer website, reversemortgage.org, which lists them by state in its Lender Locator.

Werwa says the association hopes the number of certified professionals will continue to grow. “The Independent Certification Committee, which oversees the policies and procedures guiding the certification program, and NRMLA’s Education Committee are working diligently to offer more online courses to current and prospective CRMPs, an effort we expect to drive even more interest to the program,” she says.

To Qualify… 

Originators -Must have a minimum of three years experience OR they must have personally closed at least 50 loans

Non-originators -Must have spent at least five years in either reverse mortgage underwriting, processing, management and operations, title and closing services, appraisals, or loan servicing

All applicants must -Complete 12 hours of continuing education credits -Take a proctored exam -Undergo a background check -Uphold NRMLA’s Code of Ethics -Complete eight hours of CE credits annually for recertification

 

 I Am a CRMP Designated reverse mortgage specialists from around the country talk about the value of the program.

Neil Sweren, CRMP Southern Trust Mortgage Owings Mills, Maryland I take something useful away from almost every CE class. Professional athletes at the very top of their game still study and practice basic skills. Why should it be different for us? 

I receive referrals fairly regularly from industry or other related professionals who told me they chose me over someone else because of my CRMP designation.

The designation elevates the industry because it shows that we are not who the media sometimes makes us out to be. We are educated, knowledgeable and experienced professionals who take our work with seniors very seriously. 

 

Tim Linger, CRMP HECM Senior Home Financing Orlando, Florida  It demonstrates to my peers, the media, senior advisors, professionals and especially consumers that I am truly an industry expert and one of just a handful of HECM professionals who really know, and understand, the program. It puts me on the highest pedestal.

I would definitely encourage a peer to pursue the designation because we need our industry to show our professionalism to everyone—our peers, the media, complementary professionals like financial planners and consumers. This designation will elevate you in the eyes of the consumer. It is a must-have badge of knowledge, and even honor. These letters represent to your industry peers that you are serious about your career and the knowledge level you have obtained through hard work and study. 

My advice to someone considering it? Make a commitment and earn this designation—this year. Don’t wait.

 

Kent Kopen, CRMP United American Mortgage Orange County, California I became a CRMP because my primary referral partners are financial advisors, accountants, estate planning attorneys and insurance agents. Each of those professional categories have the following in common: they are highly regulated; they have various sub-specialties and credentials; their credentials are often challenging to acquire, which means they connote value and expertise; they have on-going continuing education requirements. So, these strategic partners understand, respect and at some level expect their lending partners to be as serious about their craft as they are. Having a meaningful credential also gives the referral partner something to promote when they’re referring their client to me as an allied professional.

The CE credits are an important and valuable part of the certification. Jim Rohn was famous for saying, “The major reason for setting a goal is for what it makes of you to accomplish it.” To me, the CE courses don’t make you an expert, but they do make you aware of issues you didn’t know were important, they make you aware of strategies that might help you, and they introduce you to people who might be resources in the future. Isn’t that pretty much the value proposition behind getting a college degree? It doesn’t make you an expert, but it deepens and broadens your vocabulary and understanding.

 

Alain Valles, CRMP Direct Finance Corporation Hanover, Massachusetts I view the role of a loan officer as an educator and not a salesperson. I believe that people can only make the best decision by having all the information. Studying for the CRMP provided me the opportunity to become more knowledgeable.

A necessary step to earning the designation is reading the mortgagee letters. It’s great if you enjoy history.

I would encourage colleagues to become a CRMP because it strengthens our industry to have like-minded, passionate professionals who investing in themselves to be the best.

My advice for someone pursing this designation? Embrace learning about HECMs at a deeper level and do treat it as a test. No matter your experience level, if you don’t study, you won’t pass. 

Learn more about the CRMP program at nrmlaonline.org/about/crmp-designation.

 

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