Employers often improperly and illegally pay mortgage loan officers, underwriters, and loan processors. These illegal pay practices generally happen in one of two ways (1) the employer misclassifies loan officers as exempt employees and fails to pay them any overtime (loan officers may be commission only or paid a salary, both of which are likely illegal) and/or (2) the employer pays loan officers as non-exempt, hourly employees, but does not allow loan officers to claim all hours worked over 40 hours per week and/or does not include commissions into te overtime rate. These illegal pay practices violate the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and state wage laws.
Many loan officers and other mortgage employees are not receiving all pay which they have earned. Mortgage activity and work remains strong. One reason for this is because mortgage interest rates have further decreased in 2020. The mortgage industry is thus seeing a continued large volume of new mortgage and refinance applications which requires overtime work. Mortgage customers often work during regular business hours so mortgage employees must communicate with customers after hours which leads to overtime work. Mortgage employers are well aware of this.
Mortgage loan officers are required to work long hours, and they are entitled to overtime pay. In March 2010, the Department of Labor issued interpretative guidance that mortgage loan officers are non-exempt, hourly employees. This means a loan officer is likely entitled to overtime pay.
Here is a quick further explanation of how mortgage banks and other like employers commonly violate the law in paying loan officers and other mortgage employees.
Many employers pay loan officers on a commission-only basis without paying any salary, hourly rate, or overtime This likely violates federal and state overtime laws. Loan officers should seek their additional wages if their employer is paying them on a commission-only basis.
Exempt from Overtime
Another strategy employers use to avoid paying overtime to loan officers is to designate them as “exempt” employees who are not entitled to any overtime. The mortgage employer usually illegally does this by paying loan officers a salary which is a draw against commissions. The salary is not paid based upon hours worked or loan production. Again, this employer strategy often violates federal and state overtime laws.
Many mortgage employers now pay loan officers on an hourly basis. This hourly pay may or may not be a draw against commissions. The employers though do not allow loan officers and other employees to record all their overtime hours to avoid paying overtime. This violates federal and state overtime laws. The employer cannot require you to work off the clock and not record all of your work time. This includes phone calls, emails, and texts when you are not in the office.
Also, some states prohibit employers from paying you hourly pay which is a draw against commission. Further, it can be illegal for employers to offset any paid overtime hours from your commissions.
What To Do if You Are Not Getting Paid
You should contact an employment lawyer if you are a mortgage employee who is not receiving all pay earned. The lawyer can tell you what you should do regarding your unpaid wages.
It is also a good idea to find out if this is happening to other people where you work, as well, and not just an isolated incident. Employers often pay loan officers the same. The employer will take your case more seriously if other mortgage employees are involved.
You should keep any loan officer agreement, compensation plan, and paychecks if you believe your employer is not paying you all of your wages. You should also track the hours you worked.
Call A Lawyer
If you are a loan officer with unpaid wages, talking to an employment lawyer at Rowdy Meeks Legal Group LLC will give you the information and insight you need to get the money that is owed to you. We have represented tens of thousands of loan officers and other mortgage employees in wage cases.
It is illegal not to compensate people for the time they worked. Do not let your employer take advantage of you. Contact us today.