Standards & Ethics

Best Practices

By signing an application for membership in the California Association of Mortgage Brokers, every applicant signals his or her commitment to uphold CAMP’s values as follows:

“I pledge to conduct my business in accordance with the laws, rules, and regulations of the state of California, the federal government, and in accordance with the Code of Ethics, Standards of Practice, Bylaws, and Board policies of the California Association of Mortgage Brokers, and the National Association of Mortgage Brokers, as applicable. I understand that failure to do so may result in the termination of my membership without refund.”

Code of Ethics

The members of the California Association of Mortgage Brokers, believing that the interest of the public and private sectors are best served through the voluntary observance of ethical standards of practice, hereby suscribe to the following Code of Ethics.

Honesty and Integrity
CAMP members shall conduct business in a manner reflecting honesty, honor, and integrity.

Professional Conduct
CAMP members shall conduct their business activities in a professional manner.

Honesty in Advertising
CAMP members shall endeavor to be accurate in all advertisements and solicitations.

Confidentiality
CAMP members shall avoid unauthorized disclosure of confidential information.

Compliance With Law
CAMP members shall conduct their business in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.

Disclosure of Financial Interests
CAMP members shall disclose any financial interest they may have in a loan transaction.


CAMP Standards of Professional Practice

A Guide to Ethical and Professional Practices in Mortgage Brokerage
Housing is one of the most basic of all human needs. Home ownership is an integral part of the fulfillment of the American Dream. Members of the California Association of Mortgage Brokers (CAMP) act as consumer advocates while obtaining the finest financing that is available for the achievement of this dream. The role of the CAMP member is an honor as well as a social responsibility. CAMP members adhere to the highest standards of ethical and professional conduct while fulfilling this responsibility.The following Standards of Professional Practice are a model by which CAMP members can measure their performance. No Standards of Practice can prescribe actions covering all situations. Common sense and good moral judgment are required in applying ethical principles to the complex realities of the mortgage broker’s duties. Adherence to these Standards will enhance professionalism in the Mortgage Brokerage industry and foster goodwill among those who do business with CAMP members.

arrow ARTICLE I—HONESTY AND INTEGRITY

  • CAMP members, whether by law or by professional commitment, have a fiduciary duty to their clients, and strive to maintain absolute fidelity to their borrower’s best interest.
  • CAMP members support consumers’ right to be treated fairly and honestly, to be given equal access and full disclosure, and to be subject to an objective evaluation of their creditworthiness.
  • CAMP members encourage borrower loan requests only when there will be a clear benefit to the borrower upon closing, such as realization of property ownership, improved financial situation, or achievement of one or more of borrower’s stated financial goals.
  • CAMP members will never knowingly arrange a loan beyond the ability of the borrower to repay per the terms of the applicable promissory note, or which will place the borrower’s ownership interest at such risk that its loss may be reasonably foreseen, based on the borrower’s circumstances at the time the loan is made.
  • CAMP members make full disclosure of all pertinent facts to parties to a transaction, neither withholding relevant information nor being a party in any way to false representations.
  • CAMP members neither condone, nor engage in, nor allow themselves to be parties to unscrupulous appraisal practices.
  • CAMP members offer only those interest rates and other loan terms to prospective borrowers that are reasonably likely to be realized at closing.
  • CAMP members provide timely and accurate estimates of closing costs, and inform borrowers promptly if expenses change significantly, so that borrowers may look forward with confidence to closing without unanticipated surprises.
  • CAMP members will decline participation in transactions in which other parties, principals, agents, or service providers, are engaged in dishonest or fraudulent conduct.
  • CAMP members will never ask borrowers or employees to sign a document in blank.

arrow ARTICLE II—PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT

  • CAMP members refrain from any practices that are contrary to the best interest of the public or that are not in keeping with the dignity and integrity of the Mortgage Brokerage profession.
  • CAMP members charge for services only such fees that are fair and reasonable and in accordance with general practice in the mortgage broker’s market area.
  • CAMP members strive to stay in close communication with borrowers and lenders to ensure that questions are promptly answered and all significant events or problems is a loan transaction are conveyed in a timely manner.
  • CAMP members adopt policies and procedures that enable the broker to avoid errors, fulfill compliance requirements, and meet transaction deadlines.
  • CAMP members ensure that they and their employees are knowledgeable in the areas of Mortgage Brokerage in which they participate and are acting in accordance with sound industry practices.
  • CAMP members are committed to continuing education regarding industry principles and practices in order to bring the highest level of knowledge and expertise to their clients.
  • CAMP members stand for harmonious relations, founded on mutual respect among mortgage professionals, within the competitive brokerage industry. CAMP members refrain, therefore, from publicly criticizing colleagues or their business practices; however, if the opinion of the CAMP member is sought, it is rendered with integrity and a careful regard for the reputation of the industry.
  • CAMP members refrain from soliciting borrowers who have signed an application with another reputable broker, and whose loan is already in process, unless the borrower initiates the contact and clearly expresses dissatisfaction with the terms or service of the original broker.
  • CAMP members, for the protection of all parties, ensure that all agreements are in writing, accurately reflecting the agreement of the parties, and that each party, at the time of signing or initialing, receives a copy.
  • CAMP members provide the same high level of quality mortgage loan services to all borrowers regardless of education, level of sophistication, race, color, gender, marital status, religion, age, physical challenge, ancestry, or national origin.
arrow ARTICLE III—HONESTY IN ADVERTISING

  • CAMP members advertise only to those loan terms and conditions available to qualified borrowers at the time of advertising, and likely to be available at closing.
  • CAMP members state clearly in advertising and solicitations that rates and terms are subject to change and include the date quoted rates were available.
  • CAMP members decline opportunities to participate in multi-broker charts for advertising purposes which require projection of rates and fees that may or may not be available to borrowers when the chart is published. If participation in such a chart is necessitated by business considerations, CAMP brokers will request consumers to call for rates, rather than advertise rates which may not materialize.
  • CAMP members are knowledgeable regarding laws and regulations affecting advertising of mortgage rates, terms, and conditions, and scrupulously strive to comply to the spirit, as well as the letter, of the law.
  • CAMP members who purchase loan leads from third parties take all necessary steps to ensure that the leads were originally obtained through advertising which meets CAMP standards for honesty and full disclosure, and complies with Federal, State, and local laws and regulations.
  • CAMP members disclose their membership in CAMP in oral and print advertising and include the CAMP logo, whenever possible, on stationery and business cards.
arrow ARTICLE IV—CONFIDENTIALITY

  • CAMP members recognize that the information provided by the borrowers in the course of applying for a home loan is deeply personal and private and hold the information int he utmost confidentiality, releasing only what is required for the purposes of arranging the mortgage, and to comply with lawful requests of law enforcement agencies.
  • CAMP members refrain from divulging non-public borrower information in conversation with persons not directly involved in processing or funding a client’s loan request, even with other professionals in the mortgage industry.
  • CAMP members ensure that borrower files, borrower lists, processing charts, and other materials containing private confidential information are maintained in locations and under conditions which protect that information from unauthorized view.
  • CAMP members are careful to dispose of daily waste material and trash featuring client information, generated int he course of loan processing, by shredding or an alternative destructive process, in order to prevent identity thieves or other unauthorized persons from obtaining client data from trash receptacles, or waste disposal sites.
  • CAMP members dispose of loan files, after the regulatory term for file retention has expired, by shredding or alternative destructive process, either by authorized staff or by hiring a professional document destruction firm whose integrity has been reviewed and assured.
  • CAMP members take all necessary steps to safeguard client conï¬�dential data stored on magnetic disks or tapes, and that, when such disks or tapes are to be discarded, they are electronically scrubbed or physically destroyed to eliminate any chance data may be recovered by unscrupulous persons.
arrow ARTICLE V—COMPLIANCE WITH LAW

  • CAMP members are knowledgeable regarding rules, regulations, and laws pertaining to the mortgage industry, and maintain reference materials where such rules, regulations, and laws may be researched and conï¬�rmed.
  • CAMP member recognize the constantly changing regulatory environment in which the mortgage industry exists, and keep their knowledge current by being attentive to industry publication, and by participating in seminars, workshops, and classes created to assist them in maintaining compliance expertise.
  • CAMP members monitor the actions and policies of their employees and associates to ensure compliance with local, state, and federal laws pertaining to the industry.
  • CAMP members maintain strict quality control procedures to track compliance and prevent fraud by any of the parties involved in the loan process.
  • CAMP members refrain from engaging in activities beyond the scope of their expertise. If their clients require additional expertise, CAMP members may refer them to a professional who specializes in that ï¬�eld.
arrow ARTICLE VI—DISCLOSURE OF FINANCIAL INTERESTS

  • CAMP members, when recommending or suggesting the use of services of other professionals or entities, disclose any direct interest they have in the professional’s or entity’s enterprise, or compensation they may realize from the recommendation or referral.
  • CAMP members, whenever they are principals in a transaction involving the purchase or refinance of property, scrupulously inform other parties in the transaction of their professional status, and whether they will be receiving financial gain.
  • CAMP members are fully knowledgeable regarding DRE regulations concerning trust accounts, advance fees, and collection of unearned compensation.

CAMP’s Stand

CAMB’s Stand on Predatory Lending
Equal access, full disclosure and objective evaluationThe California Association of Mortgage Brokers supports consumers’ right to be treated fairly and honestly, and to be given equal access, full disclosure, and be subject to an objective evaluation of their creditworthiness.

Ethical mortgage brokers utilize recognized standards including work history, creditworthiness, down payment capacity and debt-to-income ratios to evaluate and process loan applications. They strive to provide consumers with a variety of options based on each consumer’s individual financial situation and long-term goals. Professional loan originators explain all relevant loan information and give consumers the time necessary to make informed and considered decisions regarding their home financing choices. By contrast, predatory lending practices are based on fraud, deception, coercion and greed. The Association unconditionally denounces predatory lending practices.

PREDATORY LENDING is intentionally placing consumers in mortgage loans with significantly worse terms and higher costs than loans offered to similarly qualified consumers, by the majority of mortgage brokers or lenders in the region, for the primary purpose of enriching the loan originator and with little or no regard to the costs to the consumer.

Predatory lending is not only unethical, predatory lending practices are often violations of State and Federal law! Examples include:

  • Fraud: Forged loan documents, falsified tax returns or other documents, overstating income or assets to qualify borrowers for loans they cannot afford, inflated appraisals.
  • Discrimination: Charging higher rates and fees, with less favorable terms, to borrowers based on their race, national origin, age, marital status or neighborhood, than would be charged according to traditional factors such as employment history, credit record, and sufficient income to make required mortgage payments.
  • Misrepresentation: The costs or loan terms at closing are not as advertised, or as presented at the time of application, and which are not properly disclosed prior to closing as mandated by law.
  • Bait and Switch: Qualified borrowers are steered away from affordable options for the express purpose of increasing fee income to the unethical loan originator.
  • Non-Disclosure: Key costs, fees, and terms are not disclosed, or inaccurately or only partially disclosed in violation of law and State and Federal lending regulations.
To protect consumers from falling victim to predatory lending practices, the California Association of Mortgage Brokers encourages its members to advise borrowers to:

  • Never sign a blank document.
  • Read all documents carefully and ask questions. Do not be hurried into signing anything you do not clearly understand. Stop the entire transaction if you feel you are not getting clear answers.
  • Be wary of telephone, mail or e-mail solicitations, especially promises that seem “too good to be true.”  Experience shows they probably are.
  • Do not be pressured into applying for more money than you can reasonably be expected to pay back according to the terms of your loan.
  • Get copies of all loan documents, especially anything you have signed.
  • Whenever possible, seek recommendations from friends, associates, and other trusted advisors, to assist in selecting a broker or lender.

Consumer complaints may be directed to CAMP, where CAMP staff and the Best Practices and Professional Standards Committee will attempt to resolve the issue, or refer the consumer to the regulatory agency with responsibility for, and authority over, the area of dispute.

 

Best Practices
Downloads
Download English HandbookDownload Spanish Handbook

Regulating Agencies

California Department of Real Estate
2201 Broadway
P.O. Box 187000
Sacramento, CA 95818-7000Mortgage Loan Activities:
(916) 227-0770
Consumer Information:
(916) 227-0864
CA DRE License information:
916-227-0931
www.dre.ca.gov

DRE DISTRICT OFFICES:
2550 Mariposa Mall, Suite 3070
Fresno, CA 93721-2273
(559) 445-5009

1515 Clay Street, Suite 702
Oakland, CA 94612-1462
(510) 622-2552

2201 Broadway,
P.O. Box 187000
Sacramento, CA 95818-7000
(916) 227-0864

320 W. 4th Street, Suite 350
Los Angeles, CA 90013-1105
(213) 620-2072

1350 Front Street, Suite 3064
San Diego, CA 92101-3687
(619) 525-4192

Calif. Dept. of Corporations
Financial Services Division
1390 Market Street
San Francisco, CA 94102-5303
415-557-3787

Calif. Dept. of Corporations
Financial Services Division
320 West 4th Street, Suite 750
Los Angeles, CA 90013-2344
800-347-6995

Federal Trade Commission
Pennsylvania & 6th St. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20580
(202) 326-2222
www.ftc.gov
FTC Consumer Response Line:
877-FTC-HELP (382-4357)Office of Thrift Supervision
Pacific Plaza
2001 Junipero Serra Blvd.,Ste 650
Daly City, CA 94014-1976
(650) 746-7000

Office of Thrift Supervision
Bentall Executive Center
1551 No. Tustin Ave., Suite 1050
Santa Ana, CA 92705-8635
(714) 796-4700

U.S. Dept. of Housing & Urban
Development (HUD)
451 7th Street SW
Washington, DC 20410
(202) 708-1112
www.hud.gov

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