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Matt O'Connor

Vice President of Mortgage Lending
809 De La Vina St , Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Contact Matt
NMLS: 263725
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Matt interview Q&A

How long have you been in the mortgage business and what inspired you to get into it?
I have been in the mortgage business for over 25 years.
Who is your typical customer and what questions do they typically have?
There are no typical customers because every borrower's needs are different
What specific steps do you use to help your customers find the best home loan for them?
I think it is important to listen to the customer tell their story about what they want and try to help them take the steps to achieve their dream.
How long have you been in the mortgage business? What awards have you won?
Of my 25+ years in the business, I spent 15 of them with Chase and have many Leader's Club Awards for production but probably the best award I received at Chase was an award as the employee that best displayed the "Chase Values" which are teamwork, leadership and customer service based values.
What are the pros and cons of a fixed rate mortgage versus an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM)?
One person's pros are another person's cons, everyone's needs are different.
Tell us about a specific challenging borrowing situation and how you got the mortgage closed and funded.
I had a borrower going through a divorce and trying to buy a home so that his kids could have rooms when they came to stay with him. In the middle of the transaction the borrower hit a very bad point and checked into the Betty Ford Center. I pleaded with him to put the purchase on hold until he was feeling better, but he wanted to have this home for his kids so we signed loan docs in Betty Ford with a notary on Christmas Eve and closed before New Year's.
What advice would you give new or first time home buyers?
Keep an open mind, use your imagination on what you can do to the home to make it more to your taste and this home is not forever, it is a first step to your dream home
Tell us about a mortgage product that consumers may not be aware of?
Most borrowers don't fully understand Hybrid ARMs or Interest Only products.
How has the mortgage industry changed since you started, and what would you expect in the future?
Some bad seeds changed, got greedy and took advantage of people and sold them programs they didn't need or understand, they looked at a client as a one time customer. I look at a customers as a clients for life.
What can borrowers do to insure a smooth mortgage underwriting process?
A good experienced loan officer will have your loan all put together before it even gets near an underwriter and be able to tell you right upfront if there will be any issues that might occur and already be working on the remedy for that issue if it should arise. Plus a good loan officer will write a strong cover letter to the underwriter, explaining the whole transaction so the underwriter know exactly how you qualified the borrower.
What do you enjoy doing most in your spare time when you are not helping people with their home loans?
I enjoy playing basketball with my friends and going to the beach with my family outside of work. But when you are on commission, you are always working even on the court and on the beach.
Tell us something that makes you unique or something wacky, yet interesting about you?
As a kid growing up in NY and Long Island, I used to drive a cab, lots of good stories

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