Who Owns Your Client Database?

I recently read an article about a company that is suing a loan originator who switched companies and allegedly took her database with her.

Digging into the entire article, it’s a little more complicated—

When she was working for Company A, she brought her database to Company B.  As she worked for Company B, she added contacts to her database.  Now that she has moved to Company C, Company B is suing Company C, claiming that they own the ENTIRE database, including the contacts from Company A.

The article does not really indicate if there was a written employment agreement between the loan officer and Company B as to the ownership of the database.

Whether you realize it or not, your database is your only REAL asset in the mortgage business. If you decide to retire or leave the business, your database could be sold to the highest bidder.  Or you could enter the Pearly Gates tomorrow, and your database is an asset that could be sold by your estate.

That’s how valuable it is to both you and your company, and other mortgage pros who have the ability to purchase a book of business!

I’ve talked to loan officers who have negotiated “joint” ownership.  Other companies specifically state that THEY own the contacts.  Still others allow LO’s to keep their own database and take it with them if they ever leave.  However, the worst is having no agreement at all.   That’s the stuff lawsuits  are made of.

I STRONGLY suggest that you determine who owns your database right now!

So here’s my question to for you If you ever decide to change companies, can you take your database with you?