Underwriting is underwriting

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Joe in Laguna Niguel, California

84 months ago

Why is it so difficult to even get an interview for Surety Bond, Insurance & or Commercial underwriting?? I've been a residential underwriter for 8yrs with managament & lead time under my belt. Underwriting is just ratio's, mathematics & being able to make a sound business decision. The information may be different but the basic principals are the same. So why are these other sectors so willing to snub their noses to us in the mortgage industry?

And why are underwriting jobs that are available in the mortgage now all of a suddent requiring or preferring college degree's. I think that is ridiculous & hilarious at the same time!

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Jmar in Houston, Texas

83 months ago

Surety U/W is not even close to residential U/W. Good Luck!

Joe in Laguna Niguel, California said: Why is it so difficult to even get an interview for Surety Bond, Insurance & or Commercial underwriting?? I've been a residential underwriter for 8yrs with managament & lead time under my belt. Underwriting is just ratio's, mathematics & being able to make a sound business decision. The information may be different but the basic principals are the same. So why are these other sectors so willing to snub their noses to us in the mortgage industry?

And why are underwriting jobs that are available in the mortgage now all of a suddent requiring or preferring college degree's. I think that is ridiculous & hilarious at the same time!

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Joe in Laguna Niguel, California

83 months ago

Never said they were exactly alike. I eluded to the fact that underwriting in general is about making a sound business decision with the facts that are given, along with basic business math. Neither Surety nor Commercial lending is either harder of easier.

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Jmar in Houston, Texas

83 months ago

Joe in Laguna Niguel, California said: Never said they were exactly alike. I eluded to the fact that underwriting in general is about making a sound business decision with the facts that are given, along with basic business math. Neither Surety nor Commercial lending is either harder of easier.

Surety U/W along with marine U/W are probably the most difficult items to U/W and/or gain experience in. Surety is by far the hardest U/W industry to get into b/c it is such a fraternal group and the subjective and objective decisions involved are very extensive. Add in surety's mixture of economics, law, finance, accounting, banking, construction, and statistics, and you a an extremely large mountain to climb w/o experience (you need advanced finance or accounting experience). My recommendations if you have an interest in insurance U/W is to start taking some insurance/ U/W classes (www.aicpcu.org). Happy hunting and good luck.

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Jmar in Houston, Texas

83 months ago

Jmar in Houston, Texas said: Surety U/W along with marine U/W are probably the most difficult items to U/W and/or gain experience in. Surety is by far the hardest U/W industry to get into b/c it is such a fraternal group and the subjective and objective decisions involved are very extensive. Add in surety's mixture of economics, law, finance, accounting, banking, construction, and statistics, and you a an extremely large mountain to climb w/o experience (you need advanced finance or accounting experience). My recommendations if you have an interest in insurance U/W is to start taking some insurance/ U/W classes ( www.aicpcu.org ). Happy hunting and good luck.

FYI, HCC Surety and a few other companies are hiring near your area. Your commute might be a little excessive though.

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Joe in Laguna Niguel, California

83 months ago

Well thanks for all the informtaion Jmar I appreciate it! I do believe in the fraternal group part, that's obviously true. I have a few colleagues who transferred their mortgage u/w skills over about 2yrs ago with much less hassle, they didn't have any more training or education than myself but now with the influx of out of work mortgage professionals I believe both Commercial Lending & Surety is tightening their criteria of what & who they want. Once again I don't want to make it sound like I believe they're the same jobs but I do believe the skills are transferrable. I also believe that in order to "break in" you would most likely have to take an associate or Junior position. Once again thanks for the advise!

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jmar2226 in Houston, Texas

83 months ago

Joe in Laguna Niguel, California said: Well thanks for all the informtaion Jmar I appreciate it! I do believe in the fraternal group part, that's obviously true. I have a few colleagues who transferred their mortgage u/w skills over about 2yrs ago with much less hassle, they didn't have any more training or education than myself but now with the influx of out of work mortgage professionals I believe both Commercial Lending & Surety is tightening their criteria of what & who they want. Once again I don't want to make it sound like I believe they're the same jobs but I do believe the skills are transferrable. I also believe that in order to "break in" you would most likely have to take an associate or Junior position. Once again thanks for the advise!

Check out this link, I hope it helps.
www.latimes.com/classified/jobs/counselor/2004/la-counselor-081304,0,50691.htmlstory?coll=la-jobs-counselor-2004

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Lisa in Denver, Colorado

79 months ago

Joe in Laguna Niguel, California said: Why is it so difficult to even get an interview for Surety Bond, Insurance & or Commercial underwriting?? I've been a residential underwriter for 8yrs with managament & lead time under my belt. Underwriting is just ratio's, mathematics & being able to make a sound business decision. The information may be different but the basic principals are the same. So why are these other sectors so willing to snub their noses to us in the mortgage industry?

And why are underwriting jobs that are available in the mortgage now all of a suddent requiring or preferring college degree's. I think that is ridiculous & hilarious at the same time!

You are so right!! Not only are they picking people with college degrees, but they insist on excellent credit... some of us are "sole supporters" and if we don't work, guess what - our bills can't get paid. A handful of companies appear to be "profiling" (don't hire with bad credit). What's ironic, one of these companies requiring good credit happens to have hired one of the worst underwriters in town known for record breaking 'uninsured loans', in some cases, due to fraud! Serves them right!

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Shirley Mylers in Rancho Cucamonga, California

72 months ago

I have 28 years experience in the field of mortgage lending. I've been an underwriter since 1982.I am a DE Underwriter, am familiar with VA and Multifamily underwriting as well. In December 2006 my job (with a commercial bank) ended due to a buy-out. February 2007 - June 2007 I worked as a contractor. Since that time I've applied for what I believe every underwriting mortgage position posted on the web, but to no avail. No, I do not have my bachelors degree. Perhaps if I had not given so much of my self to the job I would have found time to complete my education. After having not been employed for the past 14 months my credit is reflective of the same. I am living in survival mode. How dare the mortgage field (which includes banking) discount any of us as candidates for jobs due to having adverse credit reports. Adverse credit is a direct result of them laying us off due to their inability to predict the disasterous outcome relative to the mortgage instruments and relaxed standards they undertook to inflate profits. I really think a law should be passed not to penalize former mortgage lending employees by allowing our credit report to be a factor of employment especially due to the mortgage crisis and the double impact on it's had on us. Loss of wages leads to the inability to pay bills.

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Carl in Tacoma, Washington

72 months ago

I agree with you 1000%!! Not only that but we're being "blacklisted" as well. If you have mortgage experience even in a legit department like Underwriting YOU are supposedly the cause for the mortgage crisis! And obviously us mortgage underwriters underwrite with a magic wand & just showed up to work & collected paychecks. Because we couldn't even be intelligent enough to trained to underwrite "gasp" commercial loans or FHA!! This industry is just killing itself!!

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Shirley Mylers in Rancho Cucamonga, California

72 months ago

Yiu know, this in and of itself is a form of discrimination. I refuse to discount 28 years of my life given to the industry. I am in the process of researching the Equal Employment Act to see if we have a leg to stand on. If not there, then I will pursue obtaining a petition of signatures to stop this type of discrimination in Lending and take it as high as it need to go in the government. This discrimination has been a total tragedy in my life. All due to following the mortgage underwriting guidelines, poliicies and procedures as set by banking and government regulations which as an underwriter we were required to adhere to.

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Carl in Murrieta, California

72 months ago

May I also add that the only banks or institutions hiring want a Phd. to sweep floors! I'll sign that petition when you get it done.

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Oceans11 in Aliso Viejo, California

72 months ago

In fact, here is a list of institutions(financial & or Insurance) who are the worst at providing any feedback or continuously have low tier positions open but never hire without a degree or won't hire mortgage professionals regardless of the experience or how similar the duties & functions are!

1. Zions Bancorp (is THE worst)
2. California Bank & Trust (same company as Zions)
3. AON (insurance/finance)
4. Union Bank of California
5. Assurant (insurance)
6. Liberty Mutual (insurance)
7. Word & Brown (insurance brokerage)
8. JPMorgan Chase

Zions Bancorp only wants Harvard PHd's with Actuarial math backgrounds to sweep floors & answer phones so I'd hate to see what they'd want for their Credit Analyst positions.

They remind me of old school institutions (Think of Duke & Duke on the movie Trading Places) where everyone wears a 3 piece suit, over 40, gray & balding.

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Oceans11 in Aliso Viejo, California

72 months ago

You know I agree Shirley but you'll get a lot of push back on that theory of discrimination. I've tried to use that on other forum boards, particularly mortgage banking ones & the majority state especially in California it's an at will employment & employers have every right to hire anyone they want as long as they don't discriminate towards the basics like sex, race, religion. If a company wants to hire all college professors for menial positions then it's their choice. It sucks I know but the fact is a person wet from college with a degree is more valuable than a 45 year old with 20 years of experience. Once again it sucks I know!! But companies always want to fall back on notion that the younger degree'd person is much easier to train & has less preconceived or even old bad habits to rectify & most importantly don't require the income as the older, established family laden employee!

Shirley Mylers in Rancho Cucamonga, California said: Yiu know, this in and of itself is a form of discrimination.

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J - Dallas

47 months ago

Joe in Laguna Niguel, California said: Why is it so difficult to even get an interview for Surety Bond, Insurance & or Commercial underwriting?? I've been a residential underwriter for 8yrs with managament & lead time under my belt. Underwriting is just ratio's, mathematics & being able to make a sound business decision. The information may be different but the basic principals are the same. So why are these other sectors so willing to snub their noses to us in the mortgage industry?

And why are underwriting jobs that are available in the mortgage now all of a suddent requiring or preferring college degree's. I think that is ridiculous & hilarious at the same time!

Sorry, your probably not even going to read this but have to respond... Surety Bond Underwriting is far more then ratios, mathematics and just a sound business decision. If that was the case, you could develope a complex algorithm and have a computer do our work. Contract surety bond underwriting is much more complex then you can imagine, but with time you can come close to mastering it. We our extending our balance sheet to the contractor and we do not expect a loss... what happens if we write a $10MM bond and the contractor bails,and before you know it with liquidated damages, fines and delays that project morphs into a $100MM behemoth? It happened, trust me. Plus, mortgage U/W were the main culprits in this horrendous economy that we have know. Maybe your having a hard time getting an interview because of your naivete and that you forgot your three C's... Character, Capital, Capacity. Good luck to you.

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bem179 in Denver, Colorado

47 months ago

To 'Joe in Laguna Niguel, Ca.
J - Dallas is partially right, we could no more underwrite Surety Bond files than he could underwrite or understand a mortgage loan file credit report, appraisal, legal documents,etc. It takes years of experience to have the ability to assess collateral and stick your neck out on government or non-conforming loans which could default a month after closing costing a lender up to millions in losses. Where he's wrong is stating that it was underwriters which caused the financial downfall. Underwriters are under close scrutiny and have to abide by investor rules and guidelines. The investors set the guidelines and we learn them and abide by them assuming these huge corporate hogs are doing the right thing. The programs/with these approved guidelines are put together by the greedy heads of these companies, we are trained to assess the borrower's ability to pay based on these guidelines as well as documentation supporting collateral, funds to close and reserves to support any future shock in payment. When these programs are negotiated as they were with investors like Lehmans, GIA, etc., one investor promises to the other to "insure" these mortgages at the back end. When that doesn't happen, lenders are stuck with lots of paper and no funds in return. If lenders would have listened to some of us seasoned underwriters who predicted the "no income/no asset" verified loans would bite us all in the behind, we would have been better off - but we're just drones in a large pool of greedy filthy rich corporate hogs who just want to get richer at the expense of low and middle class Americans. I've come to loath the mortgage industry even though I still love underwriting and helping well deserving borrowers get the home they worked hard for. But it's become a very nasty field. It's not about just underwriting, it's about how much an underwriter can overlook when underwring a deficient loan file, and some of us refuse to do that.

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Joe in Irvine, California

47 months ago

I won't bother responding directly to J. Dallas due to his own "naive" understanding of what brought the banking industry down. That's like saying the reason why 911 happened was because the twin towers were too tall & got in the way! Really?

However since my post wow 36mos ago, I've worked in other industries underwriting under different capacities such as Group Medical Underwriting. This was far more difficult "mathematically" than anything I've ever encountered. It dealt with as J. Dallas likes to say, "algorithmic" computations using spreadsheets & a lot of Excel. But it was also an industry that wasn't an exact science. The final values were always off, hundreds if not thousands of dollars off. Another thing this industry shared with J. Dallas was the "ego, egghead" syndrome. These guys loved to gloat about degree's, & how advanced they were in math and being Actuaries but even after 15 years at the same company they were still making less than what I make now. It may be a little vulgar to talk about salary or money but ehhh it's the truth. That's why we work.

Lastly, as bern179 correctly states, you can't build a software that can do exactly what we do in bank/mortgage underwriting. Sure it'll get the numbers right but an algorithm cannot determine credit worthiness, look how the credit industry had to revamp there own credit scoring models. Software cannot determine the varied risk of each collateral that it comes across. It can't see discrepancies in photo's. We're more detective than computer in the mortgage industry. Now that we've gone old school underwriting its even more so.

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Kris in Los Angeles, California

44 months ago

Shirley Mylers in Rancho Cucamonga, California said: I have 28 years experience in the field of mortgage lending. I've been an underwriter since 1982.I am a DE Underwriter, am familiar with VA and Multifamily underwriting as well. In December 2006 my job (with a commercial bank) ended due to a buy-out. February 2007 - June 2007 I worked as a contractor. Since that time I've applied for what I believe every underwriting mortgage position posted on the web, but to no avail. No, I do not have my bachelors degree. Perhaps if I had not given so much of my self to the job I would have found time to complete my education. After having not been employed for the past 14 months my credit is reflective of the same. I am living in survival mode. How dare the mortgage field (which includes banking) discount any of us as candidates for jobs due to having adverse credit reports. Adverse credit is a direct result of them laying us off due to their inability to predict the disasterous outcome relative to the mortgage instruments and relaxed standards they undertook to inflate profits. I really think a law should be passed not to penalize former mortgage lending employees by allowing our credit report to be a factor of employment especially due to the mortgage crisis and the double impact on it's had on us. Loss of wages leads to the inability to pay bills.

I have a opening in Santa Ana... Please send any interested parties to kgomez@clearfundings.com

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