A Conversation with Vicki Davis

Davis chosen as president-elect of Iowa Mortgage Association.

Vicki Davis will be the next to take the helm of the Iowa Mortgage Association, with her term beginning in October 2016. The statewide organization is made up of 139 individual, corporate, and associate members working within the mortgage industry. The IMA strives to provide its membership with quality, professional education, keeping them apprised of the most current changes impacting mortgage lending in Iowa. Davis, who has worked in the industry for 30 years, recently joined Guaranteed Rate, serving as a regional manager out of the Urbandale office.

How did you get started in the mortgage industry?

I accidentally fell into the industry, but it’s been my life career. I graduated from high school and had no idea what I wanted to do. College was not discussed as an option in my family, but I also didn’t want to go to school and rack up student loan debt. I eventually took a job working as a bank teller.

While it was a fun job, I needed something that could offer me more, financially. I found out there was an opening in the mortgage department, and even though I had no clue what a mortgage was, I applied anyway.

I came up through the ranks, first as a processor, then a closer. Through that experience, I learned the nuts and bolts of the mortgage process, which I think made me a better loan officer. From there I became an originator, and spent 10½ years at the Principal Financial Group as sales manager for the state of Iowa. I also helped establish a bank.

I’ve been in the business long enough that I’ve seen a mind-boggling number of changes take place.

Speaking of changes, can you explain the new mortgage rules and how they affect consumers?

The purpose of the new TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule (TRID) is to make it easier for borrowers to comprehend, comparison shop, and understand all the costs of their transaction, and to give consumers adequate time before closing to review the information. The rule, which went into effect October 3, consolidates four existing disclosures into two, easier to understand documents.

The impetus for the changes made by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was to crack down on lenders who are charging borrowers additional fees at closing that had not been previously disclosed to them. TRID is an effort to more closely monitor the mortgage industry and help ensure that the costs disclosed to consumers up front are the same costs at closing.

The IMA, with the help of the Iowa Bankers Association, has been putting TRID into layman’s terms so that mortgage professionals can better understand it. But these additional disclosures and documents have made the process more confusing for buyers and lenders. In some instances, it can delay closing. So it’s critical that consumers not only shop for the best rate but also a mortgage lender well-versed in TRID. At the end of the day, this is for the protection of the consumer.

What’s your prediction for mortgage rates?

Economists are predicting mortgage rates to trend upward into 2016. Some may think the sky is falling with rates of 4 or 5 percent. But we have a short-lived memory. When I first started in the business, I was refinancing mortgages at 18 percent interest. Rates can’t stay low forever. At some point in time, they are going to go up, but I don’t think it will be a drastic increase.

What are your goals for the Iowa Mortgage association?

Not only do we want to carry on the amazing educational role of the IMA, but also grow our membership, which involves focusing on the next generation of mortgage lenders. Last year at the IMA’s fall conference, we invited young mortgage professionals to attend as “conference crashers.” These were individuals who had been in the mortgage business less than three years.

We made it a fun and engaging experience with special T-shirts, a scavenger hunt, and a luncheon where they could ask veterans in the business for their advice. There was great feedback to the “conference crashers” idea, and I think we need to continue to do things that reach out to newcomers and make mentoring them a priority.

Any upcoming changes for the IMA?

I think what we want to continue to do is bring value to our members. A major aspect of that is providing them with meaningful training opportunities, which the IMA does an excellent job of. It’s particularly useful for people who work for smaller institutions that do not have training departments. After each of our spring and fall conferences, we ask for feedback from our members about what things they would like to see in the upcoming year, to ensure that our educational opportunities are truly helpful to them.

What’s been the most significant change you’ve seen in the industry?

I think it’s regulatory changes, in general. I know the government always sets out with good intentions, even though they may not always think through the logistics of how changes will be implemented. But I think at the end of the day, no one wants another mortgage meltdown situation.

Describe your community work.

I’ve been involved with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Iowa for the last five years. I’ve really enjoyed it, and plan to stay involved in the organization because it’s a wonderful thing. There are many kids who can go astray, and this is something that can really help young people focus.

In the past, I have been very involved in the Clive Chamber and was also president. I think it’s important to give back. It’s a good way to meet people and to use your time constructively.

Tell us more about yourself.

I live in Clive with my husband, Darrell. In my spare time, I like to exercise. I’m at the gym at 4:30 a.m., and love to cycle. It just sets the tone of my day.