A few weeks ago, I received a call from a Realtor in Florida who got my name from a local banker with whom he was working. Referrals from “competing” lenders are admittedly not a traditional way to receive new clients. In this particular situation, the Realtor was looking for alternative financing for one of his clients – and the local banker was actually a former client of mine who has seen us do many mortgage marvels over the past few years.
This pending home buyer was trying to buy a new construction home in South Florida, but was encountering many challenges. The client was going to spend a few months in America, but his primary residence was overseas. The local bank who specializes in Foreign National clientele was having some issues with the verification of the foreign income amongst several other facets of the loan application.
The real estate agent went through all of the parameters of the loan scenario, and I confirmed that it was a loan that we would be able to do. In fact, I went even further and set up several conference calls with the bank and the Realtor on best practices to get the loan approved with the original bank where it began. My attitude is that not every piece of advice that I give needs to end up with a new mortgage client for Approved Funding. If there is a way for the client to get a better “deal” or to meet their objectives in a faster way elsewhere, I will be the first to make that recommendation and facilitate that.
In fact, one of my most meaningful referral sources is someone whose mortgage I never ended up doing. He came to me over a decade ago looking for a specific jumbo construction mortgage, and after several conversations, I pointed him to a bank in southern Jersey that specializes in his situation. He was so thankful and impressed with my honesty and guidance that he designated me his “lender for life” and encourages all of his friends and relatives to utilize our services.
My objective here was not “get the business,” but to first and foremost offer the best advice to all the interested parties on this transaction. I encouraged them to resubmit the loan as a second home or investment property, instead of a primary residence, and suggested the easiest way to document income to everyone’s satisfaction and ease. The approach was agreed upon by everyone, and they continued the processing of the loan. I cautioned everyone to be mindful of the timing of the home being completed, and to make sure the bank would be ok without specific sign-offs for closing.
It wasn’t until I received a call from the Realtor with ten days left to closing that I thought everything might not go as planned. The house was not going to be fully completed in time for the bank’s appraiser to sign off on the appraisal report. The loan approval would be subject to management exception. The moment I heard that I quickly began a mortgage application on our end and issued all of the necessary paperwork and disclosures “just in case.”
As it turned out, the bank ended up rejecting the loan, and we had to step in to get the loan closed before the deadline. We took over most of the documentation from the first bank and only needed one or two other items to satisfy our requirements - but by day number eight, the loan was cleared for closing. If it were to have actually closed on the eighth day that would have made for a great Chanukah story - and a real miracle, but the fact was that we were ready to close subject to everyone’s schedule. A few days later, the loan closed to everyone’s satisfaction.
The lesson here is that sometimes unconventional methods, and sincere advice, are the best direction one should pursue. Not every situation will end so blissfully and not every scenario is salvageable, but the right information from the get-go can undoubtedly prevent a great deal of frustration and unnecessary delay. Happy Chanukah to all!
A special shout out and happy birthday to Alex Kaye, Jacqui Moskowitz, Jordan Silvestri and Marc Stein.
By Shmuel Shayowitz
Shmuel Shayowitz (NMLS#19871) is president and chief lending officer at Approved Funding, a privately held local mortgage banker and direct lender. Approved Funding is a mortgage company offering competitive interest rates as well as specialty niche programs on all types of residential and commercial properties. Shmuel has over 20 years of industry experience including licenses and certifications as certified mortgage underwriter, residential review appraiser, licensed real estate agent, and direct FHA specialized underwriter. He can be reached via email at [email protected]