GuaranteedRate - Mortgage Company

Michael J. Fontana

Branch Manager
50 W. Big Beaver Road, Suite 320, Troy, MI 48084
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NMLS: 139649
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Mike Fontana does an amazing job of keeping you informed with how things are going, and explains everything to you in a way you can understand. Mike is amazing!!!!!

Kevin B. – 9/25/2015

Mike Fontana's years of experience and his knowledge of the industry make him my only source for REM financing.

Thomas C. – Huntington Wood, MI | Mar. 2015

About Michael

I have been in the residential mortgage lending business for 20+ years. I have a wealth of knowledge in mortgage sales, management and operations. I have been an active member of the Michigan Mortgage Lenders Assn (MMLA) and served on just about every committee, including President of the SE Michigan Chapter and President of the State association. I have both an undergraduate degree and MBA from Wayne State University. I currently live in Shelby Twp, MI and am very active in my church and a number of non-profit groups and associations.

Michael 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 20+ years and have enjoyed all of my duties and responsibilities over the years.
Who is your typical customer and what questions do they typically have?
There really is no typical customer. Each customer brings their own income, assets and credit profile that makes them unique. With that said, each loan program offered is customized based on the profile of each buyer, regardless if the transaction is a purchase or refinance of a primary, secondary or investment property.
What specific steps do you use to help your customers find the best home loan for them?
The key to any sales transaction is asking the right questions upfront and then customizing the right program for each customer. I also believe that it is important to provide options so that the customer understands the pros and cons of each loan product, program or investor.
How long have you been in the mortgage business? What awards have you won?
I am the first member of MMLA and only one of two members who has won all 3 MMLA awards * Mortgage Banker of the Year * Ambassador of the Year * Lifetime Achievement
What advice would you give new or first time home buyers?
Whenever someone is looking to purchase their first home, I do what I can to meet with them as soon as possible before they begin the process of looking for their new home. I typically will spend an hour or two going over some of the basics of mortgage financing with the intention of educating them and making sure that they will have a normal life and not have to scrap and save for their monthly mortgage payment. I do not want them to become house rich but cash poor. I also spend time discussing all of their options, covering different loan programs and pricing options so that they can make an intelligent decision prior to signing any type of purchase agreement. Finally, I typically give them a list of items to consider adding to their purchase agreement to ensure that they get as much as possible from the seller while saving as much money as possible. I believe education is one of key points to having a happy homeowner
What part of the home loan process do customers find most difficult and how do you help them through it?
In my opinion, the closing is the most difficult part of the process from a customer perspective. There are close to 100 pages of legal documents that needs to be signed, initialed and notarized and most of them are perceived to be confusing and cumbersome. I make every effort to attend all of my purchase and refinance closings to ensure the customer understands exactly what and why they are signing each document. My presence will usually relieve a lot of stress to both the customer and title company and usually ensures a smooth closing.
What can borrowers do to insure a smooth mortgage underwriting process?
To ensure a smooth transaction, the borrower must be willing to provide all of their documentation in a timely manner. In addition, it is of utmost importance that the borrower comes clean with any credit, income or asset issues upfront so that we have enough time to address each one. It can become very frustrating for all interested parties if any surprises should arise anytime during the loan process
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?
I have been very active in the mortgage industry with the Michigan Mortgage Lenders Assn. (MMLA) holding most of the leadership positions available and chairing most of the Committees. I was selected as the first commissioned loan officer in the history of the MMLA to become President of the MMLA in 2003. In addition to serving in various capacities with the MMLA, I have also been very active with St. Isidore Catholic Church. I am currently serving as a Eucharistic Minister and I have chaired the annual Strawberry Festival, chaired the annual Harvestfest, chaired the Strategic Planning initiative, co-chaired the Changing Lives Together capital campaign, served on the Hospitality Committee, Fellowship Committee, Stewardship Commission, Parish Council and was recently selected to join the newly formed Parish Finance Council. The church festival sales and profits have continued to grow annually since taking over the event. I am also an active member of the Knights of Columbus Council #2700 having helped with our periodic pancake breakfasts, pasta dinners, fish fry dinners during Lent and our annual Tootsie Roll drive for the mentally impaired. Recently, I was involved in the startup of a new non-profit called Run the Plank: 3 Miles of Faith which was a 5K Run/Walk in 2012. This event raised over $20,000 in net profit for a local charity and we collected over 9,200 shoes for a non-profit called Soles4Souls. Finally, I am currently Chairman of the Board of Guest House Inc, which assists both men and women religious of the Catholic faith from all around the world who have experienced alcohol or chemical dependency problems.
What do you enjoy doing most in your spare time when you are not helping people with their home loans?
I am a firm believer in giving back to the community and those who are less fortunate. With that said, I am involved with a number of various charitable organizations in some capacity * Guest House Board of Trustees * Holy Cross Children Services Board of Directors * Trinity Community Care Board of Directors * Friends of Macomb Twp - A Community Foundation - Board of Directors * Southeast MMLA - Board of Governors * Run the Plank: 3 Miles of Faith 5K Run/Walk - Chairman * Detroit Archdiocesan Vocations League - Chairman * Run Macomb - Chairman
Tell us something that makes you unique or something wacky, yet interesting about you?
I am a very hard working individual who willingly gives of my time, talent and treasures when asked. I have a hard time saying NO to anyone

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