How long have you been in the mortgage business and what inspired you to get into it?
I have been in the mortgage business since 1989. The reason I got into this business was that I noticed that everyone is proud about their homes. To own a home is a dream that everyone has but some think it is too hard to obtain. I know the mortgage process can be confusing and I have had customers who would rather go to the dentist than go through this process. My goal is to make this process easy for them.
Tell us about a specific challenging borrowing situation and how you got the mortgage closed and funded.
I love helping families that tell me upfront they want to buy a home but know they could never afford one. In the summer of 2015 I received a call from such a family. They were renting a home where the landlord was not keeping up with the normal repairs. They lacked heating, the roof leaked, plumbing had problems and electrical kept having issues. The borrower had tried to get preapproved with other lenders but was denied. The sad part about their situation is none of the lenders they went too took any time to explain to them why they are not approved. The borrower wanted to buy a house so they would own the home and could maintain it as needed instead of sinking their own funds into a home that was not theirs.
The 1st challenge was that it was a family of 6 that needed to purchase a home they could all live in and it had to be under $100,000 in California. The 2nd challenge was that they had some minor credit issues that needed to be resolved. The 3rd challenge was that they had very limited fixed income. They had to keep the loan payment under $650.00 a month. They also had very little cash on hand for down payment and for closing costs. This is not your normal situation to be in to purchase a home. But I was able to help the borrower with their credit report so they could qualify for the mortgage. This process took about 10 months from when I first spoke with them. Many who live in California know that it is very hard to find a home that is valued for under $100,000. But after an extensive search they found some.
I had them approved for USDA program. This is where I donýt take no for an answer. I want all my customers to leave with either being approved for their mortgage or an action plan on what needs to be done so that they will be approved soon. I follow up with all my borrowers to see how they are doing the loan process or for some how they are doing on taking care of business so they can be approved for a new mortgage. At the end of the day, I never want my customers to feel that they wished they never called me. I want them to feel that even if they didnýt get the news they wanted that there is still a light at the end of the tunnel and we both see it and will reach it together.
What part of the home loan process do customers find most difficult and how do you help them through it?
Documentation seems to be the biggest hurdle for many customers. I do my best upfront to let them know what key documents are needed within 24 hours. I try my best to emphasize to my customers that if we need any documentation, it is in their best interest to send it in right away. The faster the borrower sends in the documents, the faster we can close. I also explain what is needed in the documents, such as Bank statements. We need all of them and it must show the borrower's name, address and account number and the same for the account holder and not to black out anything. I also make sure my borrowers always have all my contact information, including cell phone number.
What provides you with the most satisfaction in your job as a Loan Officer?
My Customers provide me the most satisfaction in my job. I enjoy it when my customers are happy with their mortgage decision by choosing me and extremely happy that they refer their friends to me. That is the biggest compliment anyone could give me. My customers are just an extension of my family because during the process we both learn so much about each other.
Tell us something that makes you unique or something wacky, yet interesting about you?
I love old vehicles, I have a 1941 Plymouth Special Deluxe, 1965 Ford Mustang, 3 vintage Vespa's and a 1978 Yamaha Rd400 Motorcycle. I enjoy working on and driving my older vehicles. Nothing makes me happier than knowing that I can fix my own vehicles when they break down. I love going to car shows and just taking a Sunday afternoon ride.