Steve Stapleton, Senior Vice President, Mortgage Services III

Steve Stapleton

Senior Vice President, Mortgage Services III

What loans do you think will be most popular next year? How will FHA change in popularity? FHA will continue to be a viable option for many homebuyers and refinancers. Although rates will increase, I do believe a 30-year fixed rate mortgage will be the most popular option.

Do you think the government will help or hurt the lending process in 2012? In order for regulation to aid in the lending process, there must be a mutual respect for the customer. Blanket regulatory actions have provided hurdles for many qualified buyers, making an already challenging market more difficult to navigate for all parties. Customers are individuals with each variable in their financial equation critical in determining viability.

What should people in the lending industry be doing to stay ahead of the curve and better prepare for the market next year? Be well-versed in any new regulatory changes. Financial acumen of the interest rate environment will be extremely volatile. Finally, make a true commitment to the purchase market as refinances come and go, and they always go! Make a commitment to building and honoring the most valuable relationships in the Realtor community.

What should agents be doing to be prepared for changes in the lending market next year? Lending is changing on a daily basis. Strong relationships between agents and their lending officers are key. Communication in this shifting market ensures the best service for our clients.

What is MSI planning for 2012? What goals have you set personally in your business and what are your company’s goals? Our goal at MSI is to continue to grow the retail arm of our company by at least 10 to 15 percent. We believe we have the resources and relationships to do so. A first step towards this goal is our recent acquisition of a bank in the Fox Valley area — the momentum has begun. MSI is an actively growing company with phenomenal potential. We are very much looking forward to 2012!

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