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Michael Lubell

VP of Mortgage Lending
264 Riverside Ave, 2nd Floor, Westport, CT 06880
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NMLS: 16450
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Michael interview Q&A

How long have you been in the mortgage business and what inspired you to get into it?
15 years. A good friend who was a huge producer and a tremendous salesperson saw me struggling at the crossroads of a Marketing career, and offered to teach me the business. I had my doubts for a few months but got hooked when I closed my first few deals- as much for the earned income as for the feeling that I was helping people in the most important purchase of their lives.
Who is your typical customer and what questions do they typically have?
As I live in a fairly upscale area, I am exposed to more Jumbo business than Govt or Conforming loans. It’s a challenging area since the No Income verification days, as a high percentage of borrowers are self-employed with high tax deduction.
What specific steps do you use to help your customers find the best home loan for them?
In this environment, we have to get out all the skeleton as soon as possible. Uncover the bottlenecks that will drag down the loan process. I also look at borrowers the way Financial Planners look at their clients- “Are they risk-averse or risk-takers?” so I know their comfort levels on product and all decisions related to doing the loan.
How long have you been in the mortgage business? What awards have you won?
President’s Club at Bank of America, Fairfield County’s Best for Loan Origination last three years.
Tell us about a mortgage product that consumers may not be aware of?
I’m here a week but I love the “lock ‘n roll” we offer here. Being able to lock a rate in what we expect to be a rising rate environment is something I have not had elsewhere. I like 80-10-10 as well because many lenders don’t go to 90 percent with no MI.
How has the mortgage industry changed since you started, and what would you expect in the future?
There is a simple answer to this question: No more B.S.! 15 years ago I worked for a company that told me “there is a way to figure out how to do every loan”. It lasted until the credit crisis, and now we have tilted very far in the other direction. Qualification and service are keys to success, not rate and creativity with the files.
What are the top 3 misconceptions people have about the home loan process?
I love this one! 1) That there is a lot of “subjectivity” involved- Basically, people don’t qualify or not qualify for loans based on how much a lender likes them or “believes them” about qualifying factors. It’s not a “popularity contest”; 2) That there is a wide discrepancy in rate (don’t feel there is, generally speaking, anymore); 3) That ARM’s are “evil”, particularly as indemnified in the Credit Crisis. ARM’s still have a place for a certain borrower, but a large group of prospective buyers won’t even discuss an ARM. Prior to the crisis, obviously, this was all moving in the opposite direction.
What can borrowers do to insure a smooth mortgage underwriting process?
Sorry- but a predictable answer here- “all documents, all pages” as well as contact information regarding seller, lawyer, condo company, etc. are the only way to go. The only thing I’d throw in that can be overlooked is an assessment of the present and near-term future. Borrowers may know they are about to leave a job or buy a boat, etc, and that is critical to the process, as well.
Summary of where you grew up: family, affiliations, college, high school, etc.
I honestly and truthfully grew up and graduated from Beverly Hills High School. Wound up graduated from Northwestern University and spent two years full-time business school at NYU. Not sure how any of this prepared me to be a loan officer, but it certainly didn’t hurt!
Tell us something that makes you unique or something wacky, yet interesting about you?
I am in the Mortgage Business. That is wacky enough, right? OK. I once dated Carrie Fisher and was best friend’s with Buddy Hackett’s son. What else would I be if I wasn’t a Mortgage Broker? I would like to write comedy or satire and publish something Memoir-like before I leave this earth. I have led a very atypical, interesting life and have an ability to reflect with amusement and depth.

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