The independent mortgage broker industry in Australia is still young and should prosper again after the credit crunch. The profession still isnt accredited under a government program but it will be soon. Once the regulation is brought in similar regulation to the UK the industry will once again experience good times.
Mortgage Brokers in the USA
The USA has clearly bee hit hardest by the Global Financial Crisis. Entire communities have abandoned their houses in areas that were once mortgaged to the eyeballs. Rather than going through the stress of repossession, home owners who could no longer afford their monthly mortgage payments simply walked away from their properties, leaving them empty. Lenders would then be forced to repossess the derelict houses.
When entire neighbourhoods abandoned their homes the entire areas became worthless. This has left modern day ghost towns where thriving communities once stood. It is an event that has never happened before and can be squarely blamed on the credit crunch.
Before the credit crunch, mortgage brokers in the US were raking it in. Brokers were closing millions of home loans each year and enjoyed a large portion of the total number of loans approved nationwide. Surprisingly, given the magnitude of the intermediary industry and the importance of mortgage products to home owners, there was little regulation of the broking profession. Any regulation that did exist only covered certain areas as the regulatory model was state driven rather than federal.
It seemed as though the profession didnt need regulating, however, as the property market was booming. There is little point fixing something that isnt broken, so nobody did. What is apparent now with the benefit of hindsight is that the industry was actually broken and did need fixing.
Since the onset of the credit crunch many brokers in the US have been removed from the industry or put in jail. Massive frauds have been uncovered in the wake of the first wave of the credit crunch and it appears that some individual brokers have defrauded lenders and investors out of millions of dollars.
In addition to these headline-grabbing problems many brokers also face a new reality in which there are fewer products to sell to clients and therefore fewer deals being closed. This has led to many more brokers going out of business as their incomes dried up.
Those who have remained in the profession are struggling along, closing enough sales to stay afloat, and awaiting a time when the credit market will flow freely once again. But the average mortgage broker who has remained in business is not making anywhere near as much money as they made in boom times.