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Rick Martino

Vice President of Mortgage Lending
2374-2380 Ralph Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11234
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NMLS: 129176
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Rick was an asset throughout this journey. He simplified the underwriter's requests, was always accessible, easy and skillful to work with. I will recommend him to others, for sure!

Francesca C - Brooklyn, NY | Feb. 2016

About Rick

I have been in the mortgage arena for over 20 years beginning in mortgage clearance on Wall Street through mortgage trading and operations at Solomon Brothers. I began originating loans approximately 7 years ago and have been a Brooklyn based branch and Branch Manager from the get-go. My extensive Wall Street back round in mortgage servicing, secondary marketing, securitizations and mortgage operations give me a much boarder and detailed perspective and understanding of the mortgage as a whole, and what and why underwriters ask for certain items that seem irrelevant. That deeper understanding gives my client an advantage because we can structure deals more comprehensively and avoid pit falls down the road by addressing and resolving them from the start. That leaves the underwriter a lot more at ease because they see we are aware of what is needed to clear a file. I attended Pace University in the downtown Manhattan area and graduated with a Bachelors in Finance. While attending Pace University I met my wife of now 23 years and we have three precious daughters. My eldest is a junior at Marist College in Poughkeepsie studying International Business. My middle daughter is a junior at Fontbonne Hall Academy where my youngest also attends as a freshman. We are all Brooklyn born and raised and proud to call Brooklyn our home. My office is located on Ralph Avenue in what is considered Old Mill Basin. I live in Mill Basin so the location is extremely convenient for me and it allows me to make myself available for office visits just about anytime. I believe that technology is a great tool that enhances the mortgage process but there is something to be said about meeting your client face to face and discussing their goals, needs, objectives and fears. That meeting almost always determines the nature of the relationship and how the loan progresses. I can honestly say the mortgage business in general is intense and can be stressful but there is nothing better than sitting across the closing table from a satisfied client. Knowing that you were responsible for getting them into their dream home or refinancing their home to help better their financial future is something that never gets old. Referrals from satisfied clients are where the vast majority of my new business comes from. I attend every closing to ensure all my clients leave that table happy and with all your questions answered.

Rick interview Q&A

Who is your typical customer and what questions do they typically have?
I have the pleasure of working with many first time home buyers and they have a lot of questions. What's interesting is that even though I have been doing originations for many years, I learn just as much from these fist time home buyers as they do from me. I make it a point to educate them because the more they know, the less fearful and overwhelmed they feel. I try to make them see the big picture first and then explain the steps we will take together to get from application to close. The what, where, why and how much that comes with a contract, application, commitment, appraisal, title and closing. It is great to see the trust built as you educate them and they begin to understand and accept the process.
What specific steps do you use to help your customers find the best home loan for them?
Rate, rate, rate....everyone is so rate conscience and that is all the fault of the mortgage lenders and their commercials about having the lowest rate. I try to explain to every client that rate is a factor but not "THE" factor in determining a loan program or lender. I discuss what they are comfortable with paying every month. How much do they have to put down, credit score, earnings now and in the future? If they are a couple, are they planning on having a family soon? Then we look at various programs and review the monthly payment with taxes and insurance and/or MI or PMI. Once we agree on what type of program works, then we can talk rate. Rate is something we can always agree upon because the bulk of the monthly payment has been determined by the loan size and down payment. The rate only changes the payment slightly in comparison to the other factors. I explain that as a banker it is in my best interest to obtain the best rate I can for their loan as there is no benefit to me to do otherwise.
How long have you been in the mortgage business? What awards have you won?
I began my career as a new graduate in the mortgage business over 24 years ago. I worked in what is considered the "Wall Street" area for about 20 years and always in the mortgage arena. I worked with servicing, operations, clearance, structuring securitizations to Asset Management for a mortgage backed hedge fund. Then after a brief hiatus, I became an originator and have been steadily growing my footprint as a professional and reliable originator in the 5 boroughs for the past 7 years.
What advice would you give new or first time home buyers?
For the first time home buyers my advice is try to work with some one that is experienced and works as an established lender. There are no short cuts in getting a mortgage. It is about credit, ability to pay and ratios based on your dents and income. If someone tries to tell you they can do something no one else can, they are lying. The key to a good loan is good preparation. Addressing all and every item upfront no matter how tough it may be. Trying to sweep items under the rug or hoping it won't be discovered is a plan to fail. It will get discovered and that may be after you signed your contract, put down your deposit and pay for your appraisal. It is definitely best to meet with a qualified mortgage banker before you start house shopping. Get pre-approved and be fully transparent with the banker. The more he/she knows the more likely the loan is going to get approved. Surprises are not good for commitments.
What part of the home loan process do customers find most difficult and how do you help them through it?
I feel that customers get most frustrated toward the end of the process when the Loan Closer is putting the final touches on a loan and preparing it for final review. In most instances additional requests are made for new documentation or a new credit line item appears and the clients fear doomsday. I explain to them that this is PAR for the course and they are not to worry. My team and I have already anticipated many of the new requests and we will ensure that all goes smoothly. They have been following our guidance from the initial application until now so there is nothing to fear. Providing the documentation is always easier than requesting an exception. That creates doubt in the underwriters mind and that is never good.
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 am active member in a newly created Knights of Columbus Council in Mill Basin. I am one of the original 8-10 members that started the councils which now has close to 300 members and continues to grow year over year. We do a great many charitable events and works through the council for the community, local school and the church. I am also working to become a board member of the Italian American Federation. I am very proud of my heritage and I want to preserve the Italian language, beliefs, culture and of course the food. I have my eye on a number of other organizations like the Lions Club.
Tell us something that makes you unique or something wacky, yet interesting about you?
My children tell me my taste in music in wacky. I am a big opera listener. Not so much the full operas but the arias. I always play it in the office after hours when everyone has gone home. It keeps me focused and relaxes me when I work.

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