How long have you been in the mortgage business and what inspired you to get into it?
20 years in financial services as a mortgage advisor, financial planner and certified retirement planning counselor with Fortune 500 Companies such as GMAC, Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley.
Who is your typical customer and what questions do they typically have?
Typical clients range from everyday consumers to high net worth clients.
What specific steps do you use to help your customers find the best home loan for them?
I use a comprehensive financial analysis to establish wants and needs and then deliver best in class products and a streamlined process to ensure ease in a daunting process. I also understand the reality of where my customers are and what challenges they have, as I have been through most of them myself.
How long have you been in the mortgage business? What awards have you won?
I was in the Chairman's Club for 10 years at GMAC. I was in the top 3% of all financial advisors nationwide with Merrill Lynch and have managed over 1 billion dollars in assets and credit facilities.
What are the pros and cons of a fixed rate mortgage versus an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM)?
Fixed rate mortgages are for clients who tend to be more conservative. These clients typically are retired, who will be in their homes for 10 years+, either because they have young children who they won’t want to take out of their current school system or have customized their home to enjoy throughout their lifetime.
Adjustable rate mortgages are for clients who can endure more risk, either because they will be moving within 3-10 years or because they have sufficient assets to pay the loan down significantly or pay it off completely. Adjustable rate mortgages require a proactive approach and a complete financial analysis to determine the risk reward of the savings and where it can be better invested. Typically, clients who are using their home as a starter home, plan to move or downsize, want to capture monthly savings to pay off other high interest debts are ideal candidates.
Tell us about a specific challenging borrowing situation and how you got the mortgage closed and funded.
I had a client who had credit issues and I was able to help them raise their credit score to obtain a loan. After they obtained the loan, taking cash to pay other debt, it further increased their credit score to get them the lowest rates in the market. Ultimately, this resulted in a $550 a month savings.
I had a client who was self employed and didn’t qualify. I was able to use their assets to calculate income and qualify them for the loan which saved them $1,500 a month.
What advice would you give new or first time home buyers?
Get a complete financial analysis and use future objectives to guide them in their loan decision. Also, a slow approach in understanding all the ins and outs of a mortgage and the process is important, ultimately all but guaranteeing an approval. The worst thing to do is jump in, pack your U-Haul and not have an approval on a loan.
Tell us about a mortgage product that consumers may not be aware of?
Asset based loan products for retired people needing a lower payment but fall short on income because of being on a fixed income.
1-1 buydowns which allow clients to refinance at a full percentage point or lower for 1 year which typically will cut 2 years off the loan if the same payment is made.
How has the mortgage industry changed since you started, and what would you expect in the future?
The mortgage process has become extremely daunting because of regulations enacted since the financial collapse of 2008. In the future, automation should relieve clients of the burdens of obtaining a mortgage and technology will be increasingly available, ultimately making mortgages more affordable as companies spend less money on manpower.
What part of the home loan process do customers find most difficult and how do you help them through it?
Understanding the process flow and setting expectations. Communication is the key to a seamless process.
What are the top 3 misconceptions people have about the home loan process?
What can borrowers do to insure a smooth mortgage underwriting process?
Understand what documents they need and have them in immediately. Files with all documentation are a favorite of operations staff.
Are you active in any local associations or community groups, and at what level? What goals and/or success have you helped these groups achieve?
St. Jude – Fighting Children's Cancer – Donate 10% of all profits to this group.
Summary of where you grew up: family, affiliations, college, high school, etc.
Grew up outside NYC. Went to school outside of Philadelphia at Rowan University. I’ve been certified as a divorce financial analyst, retirement planning counselor, commodities and futures broker and in private equity offerings.
What do you enjoy doing most in your spare time when you are not helping people with their home loans?
Skiing, golfing, fishing, taking the kids on weekend trips and of course, relaxing.
Tell us something that makes you unique or something wacky, yet interesting about you?
I designed and wrote artificial intelligence software for financial service companies similar to that of Watson from IBM.