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Top 11 Foreclosure Specialist Certifications

This article provides an overview of the top certifications for foreclosure specialists, outlining their benefits and requirements.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 16 min read

Certifications for a foreclosure specialist are important in the job market because they demonstrate a level of expertise and knowledge in the field. Certifications can provide employers confidence that the specialist is adequately trained and experienced to handle complex foreclosure cases. In addition, certifications may give potential candidates an advantage over those without certifications when applying for jobs. Finally, certifications may enable specialists to access additional resources and networking opportunities that can help them stay up to date on industry trends and developments.

The purpose of this article is to review the most beneficial certifications for Foreclosure Specialists and explain how they can help advance one's career.

What are Foreclosure Specialist Certifications?

Foreclosure specialist certification is a professional designation that recognizes individuals who have completed specialized training in foreclosure prevention, mortgage restructuring, and post-foreclosure services. It is designed to ensure that those providing these services are knowledgeable about all aspects of the foreclosure process. This certification can help individuals who are looking to enter the field of foreclosure prevention and mortgage restructuring by providing them with the necessary knowledge and skills needed to do their job effectively and ethically. The certification also demonstrates industry knowledge to potential employers, giving those with this certification an edge in the job market. In addition to being recognized as an expert in the field, certified foreclosure specialists may also be eligible for higher salaries than non-certified professionals.

Pro Tip: If you are considering becoming a foreclosure specialist, make sure to research the various certification programs available. Look for a program that offers comprehensive training in the areas of foreclosure law, financial analysis and loan servicing. Additionally, look for a program that has an established track record of success and is accredited by a respected organization within the industry.

Related: What does a Foreclosure Specialist do?

Top 11 Foreclosure Specialist Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Foreclosure Specialists today.

1. Certified Foreclosure Professional (CFP)

A Certified Foreclosure Professional (CFP) is a designation given to individuals who have completed specialized training and passed an exam in the field of foreclosure. This certification is designed to recognize professionals with expertise in foreclosure prevention, resolution, and management.

The CFP designation requires completion of a comprehensive course that covers topics such as foreclosure laws, regulations, procedures, and strategies; loan workouts; short sales; deed-in-lieu transactions; bankruptcy; and loss mitigation techniques. The program also includes an examination that tests the candidate’s knowledge of foreclosure law and procedures.

It usually takes about two months to complete the course and pass the exam. The cost of the CFP program varies by provider but typically ranges from $500-$1,000. In order to become certified, you must be sponsored by a state or national mortgage industry organization or association. You can find more information on becoming a CFP at www.certifiedforeclosureprofessional.org.

2. Certified Mortgage Banker (CMB)

Certified Mortgage Banker (CMB) is a professional designation awarded by the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). The CMB designation is a mark of distinction that recognizes mortgage professionals who have demonstrated the highest level of knowledge, experience, and ethical standards in the mortgage industry.

To earn the CMB designation, applicants must meet certain prerequisites, pass an exam, and agree to abide by a code of ethics. Prerequisites include having at least five years of experience in the mortgage industry and having completed at least 25 closed loans in the past two years.

The CMB exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions covering topics such as loan origination, secondary market activities, regulatory compliance, and financial analysis. The exam is offered twice a year and typically takes four hours to complete.

The cost to take the CMB exam is $495 for MBA members and $695 for non-members. Once you have passed the exam and met all other requirements, you will receive your official Certified Mortgage Banker certificate from the MBA.

3. Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE)

A Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) is a real estate professional who has received specialized training in the area of short sales, foreclosures and other distressed property transactions. This certification is offered through the Distressed Property Institute (DPI), which provides comprehensive training, resources and support to real estate agents and brokers.

The CDPE certification requires completion of an online course that consists of 8 modules covering topics such as short sales, foreclosure avoidance strategies, legal issues, negotiation tactics and more. The course typically takes about 40 hours to complete. Once the course is finished, students must pass a two-hour proctored exam with a score of 80% or higher in order to receive their certification.

In order to become certified as a CDPE, you must first be an active real estate agent or broker in good standing with your local licensing board. You will also need to pay a fee for the course and exam which varies depending on the state you are located in but typically ranges from $350 - $600 USD.

Once you have successfully completed the course and passed the exam, you will receive your CDPE certification which is valid for two years before needing to be renewed.

4. Certified Default Resolution Specialist (CDRS)

A Certified Default Resolution Specialist (CDRS) is a professional who specializes in helping individuals and businesses resolve defaulted debt. The CDRS helps the borrower negotiate with creditors to restructure their debt, reduce interest rates, and create an affordable payment plan. This process can take several months or even years depending on the complexity of the situation.

The CDRS certification is offered by the National Association of Credit Management (NACM). To become certified, applicants must pass an exam that covers topics such as credit law, consumer protection, bankruptcy law, and debt collection laws. Applicants must also have at least two years of experience in credit and collections management. The cost for the exam is $250 plus any applicable taxes or fees.

Once certified, CDRSs are required to complete continuing education courses every two years to maintain their certification status. They are also required to adhere to a code of ethics set forth by NACM. The goal of these requirements is to ensure that CDRSs remain knowledgeable about current laws and regulations related to default resolution so they can provide quality service to their clients.

5. Certified Loan Modification Specialist (CLMS)

Certified Loan Modification Specialist (CLMS) is a professional designation that recognizes individuals who have the knowledge and expertise to help homeowners modify their loans to make them more affordable. The CLMS designation is awarded by the National Association of Certified Loan Modification Specialists (NACLMS).

To become a Certified Loan Modification Specialist, an individual must complete a course of study and pass an examination administered by NACLMS. The course covers topics such as loan modification strategies, understanding mortgage documents, foreclosure prevention, and working with clients. The exam tests the applicant's knowledge of these topics.

The process typically takes approximately three months from start to finish. To get started, applicants must submit an application form along with payment for the course and exam fees. Once accepted into the program, applicants must complete the online coursework within 90 days in order to be eligible to take the exam. After passing the exam, applicants will receive their CLMS designation.

The cost of becoming a Certified Loan Modification Specialist varies depending on the provider but typically ranges from $500-$1,000 USD.

6. Certified Loss Mitigation Professional (CLMP)

Certified Loss Mitigation Professional (CLMP) is a professional certification program that provides individuals with the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively manage loss mitigation activities. The CLMP program is designed to equip professionals with the skills and knowledge needed to help homeowners facing financial hardship avoid foreclosure, negotiate loan modifications, and access other available resources.

The CLMP program consists of an online course and an exam. The course covers topics such as mortgage servicing, loss mitigation strategies, consumer protection laws, and more. Participants must complete the course within six months in order to receive their certification.

To get certified as a CLMP, individuals must first register for the program on the National Association of Mortgage Processors (NAMP) website. Once registered, participants can begin taking the online course at any time. After completing all required modules in the course, participants will take a proctored exam at a testing center near them. Upon passing the exam with a score of 75% or higher, participants will be awarded their CLMP certification.

The cost of becoming a Certified Loss Mitigation Professional is $295 USD for NAMP members and $395 USD for non-members. This fee includes access to the online course materials and one attempt at the proctored exam.

7. Certified Real Estate Negotiator (CREN)

Certified Real Estate Negotiator (CREN) is an industry-recognized certification awarded to real estate professionals who have completed a comprehensive course of study in the area of real estate negotiations. The CREN designation is designed to help agents develop their negotiation skills and strategies, as well as increase their knowledge base in the areas of marketing, finance, and legal aspects of real estate transactions.

The CREN program consists of an online course that covers topics such as: negotiation techniques, legal considerations, transaction structures, risk management, market analysis and trends, and financial analysis. The course also includes a final exam that tests the student’s understanding of the material covered. Upon successful completion of the course and passing the final exam with a minimum score of 80%, students are awarded the CREN designation.

The CREN program can be completed within one to two months depending on how quickly you complete the online course material. To get started with getting your CREN designation you must first register for the program which costs $299 USD. This fee includes access to all course materials and practice exams needed to prepare for your final exam. Once you have successfully passed your final exam you will receive your official CREN certificate from National Association Of Realtors (NAR).

8. Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR)

Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR) is a designation given by the Real Estate Buyer's Agent Council (REBAC) to real estate agents who have completed specialized training in representing buyers in real estate transactions. The ABR designation is designed to recognize agents who demonstrate expertise in working with buyers and providing excellent customer service.

In order to obtain the ABR designation, an agent must complete a two-day course that covers topics such as buyer representation, negotiation techniques, legal issues, and working with special needs clients. After completing the course, agents must pass an exam administered by REBAC. Upon passing the exam, agents will receive their ABR designation and be able to use it on their business cards and other marketing materials.

The cost of obtaining an ABR designation varies depending on where you take the course. Generally speaking, courses range from $250-$500 plus any applicable taxes or fees. The time it takes to get the ABR designation depends on when you are able to take the class and how quickly you can pass the exam after completing it.

9. Real Estate Owned Property Manager (REOPM)

Real Estate Owned Property Manager (REOPM) is a type of property management service that helps lenders manage and liquidate their non-performing real estate assets. REOPM services include asset management, loan servicing, title processing, marketing and sales, and other related services.

It typically takes about 30 to 60 days to get a REOPM in place. To get a REOPM, lenders must first identify an experienced property manager who can provide the necessary services and has experience working with lenders on similar projects. Once the lender has identified a qualified candidate, they will need to negotiate terms of the contract with the property manager. This includes agreeing on fees and other conditions of service.

The cost of hiring a REOPM varies depending on the size of the project and the scope of work required by the lender. Generally speaking, fees for this type of service range from 1% to 3% of the value of the real estate asset being managed.

10. Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource Certification (SFR)

Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource Certification (SFR) is a designation offered by the National Association of Realtors® that provides real estate professionals with specialized knowledge and experience in helping homeowners who are facing foreclosure or short sale. The SFR certification requires agents to complete an 8-hour course, pass a test, and adhere to a strict code of ethics.

The 8-hour course covers topics such as foreclosure avoidance options, loss mitigation techniques, legal issues related to foreclosures and short sales, and how to help sellers avoid foreclosure. It also includes an overview of the various government programs available to assist homeowners in distress.

It typically takes about two weeks to complete the SFR certification process after registering for the course. To get certified, you must register for the course on the National Association of Realtors® website and pay the associated fee ($99). Once registered, you will receive access to an online learning portal where you can take the 8-hour course at your own pace. After completion of the course, you will be required to take a proctored exam at an approved testing center in order to receive your certification.

The cost for SFR certification is $99. This fee covers all materials needed for the course including textbooks, online resources, and access to practice exams.

11. National Association of Realtors® Green Designation

The National Association of Realtors® Green Designation is a professional designation that recognizes real estate professionals who have completed advanced training in green building and sustainable business practices. The program was designed to help real estate professionals gain the knowledge and skills necessary to understand, promote, and facilitate green building initiatives in their communities.

It typically takes between 12-18 months to complete the coursework required for the designation. To get the Green Designation, you must first become a member of the National Association of Realtors® (NAR). Then you must complete three core courses: “Green Building Principles”, “Green Home Financing and Incentives”, and “Green Home Marketing Strategies”. After completing these courses, you must also take two elective courses from a list of approved topics.

The cost to obtain the Green Designation varies depending on your NAR membership status. For members of NAR, the total cost is $495; for non-members it is $695.

Do You Really Need a Foreclosure Specialist Certificate?

The answer to this question depends on a few factors, such as the type of foreclosure specialist you are hoping to become and the state in which you live. In some states, such as California, a foreclosure specialist certificate is not required in order to practice as a foreclosure specialist. However, obtaining a certificate can be beneficial in several ways.

For one, it demonstrates your commitment to the field and provides potential clients with an additional layer of assurance that you are knowledgeable and experienced in handling their legal matters. Additionally, having a certificate may also increase your chances of getting hired by larger firms or being considered for higher-level positions. Finally, having a certification may help you stand out from other specialists who do not have one and make it easier for potential clients to identify and contact you.

Ultimately, whether or not you need a foreclosure specialist certificate will depend on your individual circumstances and goals. If becoming certified would give you an advantage over your competition or help you land more lucrative jobs, then it is certainly worth considering. However, if obtaining certification does not seem necessary for achieving your career objectives or providing excellent service to clients, then it may not be necessary for you to pursue one at this time.

Related: Foreclosure Specialist Resume Examples

FAQs About Foreclosure Specialist Certifications

Q1: What is a foreclosure specialist certification?

A1: A foreclosure specialist certification is an accreditation that recognizes individuals who have demonstrated expertise in the field of foreclosure and real estate. It is typically awarded by a professional organization or industry association after completion of a specific training program or course.

Q2: Who can benefit from becoming certified as a foreclosure specialist?

A2: Professionals working in the mortgage and real estate fields, such as loan officers, attorneys, title agents, real estate brokers, appraisers and other related professionals can benefit from obtaining a foreclosure specialist certification. This certification demonstrates to clients and employers that they have the necessary knowledge and skills to effectively handle foreclosures.

Q3: What are the requirements for obtaining a foreclosure specialist certification?

A3: Requirements vary depending on the certifying organization or association but typically include completion of an approved training program or course, passing an exam, and meeting certain work experience criteria.

Q4: How long does it take to become certified as a foreclosure specialist?

A4: Generally speaking, it takes between one to two years to complete all requirements for becoming certified as a foreclosure specialist depending on the certifying organization or association.

Q5: Is there any ongoing continuing education required for maintaining my foreclosure specialist certification?

A5: Yes, most certifying organizations require ongoing continuing education in order to maintain your certification status. The amount of continuing education hours required may vary depending on the certifying organization.