By Tony Florence
This spring I had an opportunity to attend the NMLS 2023 Annual Conference and Training in Phoenix. As many people know, NMLS stands for the Nationwide Multi-State Licensing System which is the system or record for non-depository, financial services licensing or registration in participating state agencies and U.S. Territories. Through mandatory participation and licensing by state regulators, lenders are held to a standard that also ensures open, transparent communication with consumers.
The successful conference was attended by lenders and state regulators, and other law firms like ours. I was honored to represent BMG at the event, the first in-person NMLS conference since 2019. Here are five takeaways from the gathering:
First, the conference allowed me to reconnect with regulators and lenders I hadn’t seen in several years – and to network with new contacts, too. Because four years have passed since the last event, many new regulators have been appointed. I enjoyed meeting them, telling them about my professional experience and our firm’s expertise.
Second, there were many interesting breakout sessions – with topics ranging from crypto to cyber security and student loan servicing. These sessions allowed me and other participants to learn about industry developments, which were presented by experts.
Third, I understand and appreciate the work of state regulators. I spent 18 years as a state mortgage regulator in Texas and enjoy speaking to them about their work, challenges, and successes. Because we share this professional experience, I can relate to their work, especially when it comes to compliance.
Fourth, many out-of-state regulators and lenders have questions about doing business in Texas. The conference was a timely opportunity to meet them, and hopefully, cultivate new business.
Fifth, it’s always great to know the name and face of a regulator in another state. We may have a client doing business there, so there’s value in meeting them, which paves the way to a great follow-up conversation and an even better relationship.
I am looking forward to attending the 33rd annual American Association of Residential Mortgage Regulators (AARMR) conference being held in Baltimore, MD August 8-11. It is a great opportunity to hear directly from the state regulators on current issues and regulatory changes. As a former President of the organization, it is always good to catch up with former colleagues and forge new relationships.
As always, I’m happy to share more about my experience, and the importance of building and maintaining relationships with industry regulators and lenders.