NMP - February 2018 - 78

MBA's
Mortgage
Action
Alliance
A Message From MAA Chairman Gene M. Lugat
his April, hundreds of members from the Mortgage
Bankers Association from across the country will
come to Washington, D.C. for the MBA's National
Advocacy Conference (NAC). It's an annual
tradition that enables MBA members to speak
directly to their elected officials as advocates for
our industry-and their own businesses and customers.
With midterm elections approaching, there is no better time
to come to NAC and make your voice heard. MBA effectively
represents the housing finance industry, but nobody can
illustrate how policy changes can impact local businesses
across the country-for better or worse-like actual practitioners.
NAC attendees add a name, face and personal story to the
challenges we often face in best serving our customers, which
helps make these complex and highly technical issues relatable
for policymakers.

T

FEBRUARY 2018 n National Mortgage Professional Magazine n

NationalMortgageProfessional.com

78

MBA is pleased to announce that Senate Banking Committee
Chairman Mike Crapo (R-ID) will be addressing NAC attendees
this year. Chairman Crapo will discuss the Senate Banking
Committee's 2018 legislative priorities such as housing finance
reform and regulatory relief. Additional details regarding other
speakers will be announced as they are confirmed. To register
for the NAC, please visit MBA.org/NAC18.
Even if you cannot make it to NAC, there are easy ways for
you and your company to get involved with the Mortgage
Action Alliance (MAA) and advocate for our industry year round.
Last year, we launched our MAA mobile app. You can
download the app at MBA.org/MAAapp, or search the App
Store or Google Play for "Mortgage Action Alliance." The app
allows users to join MAA, take action, contact their elected
officials, learn about MORPAC (MBA's Political Action
Committee), and track bills that MBA's legislative staff are
monitoring, offering a one-stop-shop for all of MBA's advocacy
programs on your Apple or Android devices.
MBA staff has also produced a MAA campaign toolkit, which
has all the tools that you need to run a free MAA enrollment
campaign at your company or within your professional network.
We have also produced an animated advocacy video, which
outlines MBA's advocacy programs and the importance of
getting involved that you can share with your colleagues in your
promotional efforts internally or on social media.
I hope to see many of you here in Washington, D.C. at NAC,
Tuesday-Wednesday, April 24-25. The larger the group, the
louder the voice and greater the impact we can have for our
industry and on behalf of our customers.
Gene M. Lugat is chairman of the Mortgage Bankers
Association's Mortgage Action Alliance. Gene is
executive vice president, national industry and political
relations for PrimeLending Inc.

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continued from page 77

receive a portion of the loan
commissions, of course, but you
could develop a bonus system
that is based on profitability of
your office, which is not directly
related to commissions.
Additionally, at the beginning,
you might consider sharing an
assistant with another originator.
They work for you in the morning,
and the other originator in the
afternoon perhaps.
Training
Training an assistant is harder
than it looks. They key, of course,
is they need to have a very clear
list of duties, deadlines, job aides
(a job aid is basically a video on
the computer showing them how
to do a certain task). Hiring an
assistant without those things in
place is futile. The assistant will
get frustrated and leave. Even
worse, they'll become frustrated
and stay, and create a toxic
environment in your office
complaining about how things are
disorganized. The majority of your
time preparing to hire an
assistant should be spent putting
together job duties and job-aides.
Dealing with
employees and payroll
First, it must be determined if the
assistant should be paid 1099 or
W-2. If you 'misclassify' an
employee as 1099 when they
should have been W-2, it can
cause a lot of issues, fines, etc. If
the person is in your office, under
your direction, only works for
you, etc., it's definitely W-2
status. If the person woks
remotely, works when they want,
uses their own equipment and
has clients other than you, they
are probably classified as a 1099.
Ultimately, check with a labor
law attorney if there are any
doubts. You can Google "IRS
Test W-2 vs. 1099" and read
some articles to get some more
sense of this topic.
Clearly, 1099 is easier from an
administrative standpoint. They
invoice you for the work they
have done and you basically just
cut a check from your business
checking account to them.
But even if it is a W-2 situation,
setting up payroll isn't too hard.
You can easily set up payroll for

an employee using online
systems with ADP, PAYCHEX,
etc. They can help with all the
withholding issues and generate
the W-4 at the end of the year.
They can also help you with a
contract that can be used with
the employee. Most employee
contracts are pretty standard.
You could also purchase one
from a service like
LegalZoom.com.
There are lots of laws and
regulations that surround W-2
employees. They must have 10minute breaks every few hours,
and a required 30-minute lunch,
etc. Before they are fired, they
generally should be given two
written warnings. As long as you
follow the basics, you should be
fine.
Home office
If you have a home office, it
definitely makes hiring an
assistant harder. It's not
impossible, but it can be a little
bit awkward or uncomfortable for
someone to show up at your
home to be your assistant.
If that is the case, consider
looking into inexpensive office
space as sub-lease somewhere.
Some real estate offices might
consider leasing an office and a
cubicle to you on a temporary
basis, just so you can take a
"test drive." It is completely legal
to rent office space from a
Realtor, but you'll need to pay
"market rent" and register that
location as a branch. What you
cannot do, of course, is pay a
referral fee to the Realtor for
sending you business. Ask
around your company to see if
any other branches have
commercial space that you may
be able to sub-lease or share
with you.. Or you can look into an
executive suite, but that can be
pricier. Another idea is to simply
drive around a commercial office
area in which you're interested in
renting a small office, get the
landlord's contact information
and reach out directly to the
landlord. Warning: If you're not
accustomed to reviewing
commercial leases, ask your
company if they will review the
lease for you. We do that for our
originators.

Brian Kent is General Manager of C2 Financial
Corporation, an award-winning Mortgage Broker/Banker
with 400 originators strong, based in in San Diego.


http://www.LegalZoom.com http://www.MBA.org/NAC18 http://www.MBA.org/MAAapp

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