About Behind The Mortgage
I started Behind The Mortgage in October of 2004. Back when MySpace still mattered and I had to explain to others what a blog was (“No mom, my blog is not an online diary.”)
How far we have come.
After 7 years, the purpose and premise of BehindTheMortgage.com remains the same – To share timely, relevant information on the mortgage and real estate marketplace for anyone who cares to read it. The goal being to elevate the online conversation about mortgages to something better than the sleazy rate-quote driven cesspool that is still too often the result when anyone ventures into the googleplex looking for mortgage information.
My readers, now several thousand per month, are a mix of clients, interested observers, aspiring homeowners, seasoned real estate pro’s, members of the local and national press, real estate agents, and more. They are you.
And many of you have become clients.
To state the obvious: I love working with my readers, so the other purpose of this blog is to grow my business, so if you are looking for a mortgage, please do not hesitate to contact me, and do read on for more information about how I work and what you can expect if you become a client.
I’ve been an active mortgage banker/loan officer since 1998. I am a student of the game, and hold myself and each of my clients interests to the absolute highest standards of service, professionalism, ethics.
But those are just words. Really, the only thing you will ever need to know about how I do business is this:
If I say your loan will close, it will close. And it will close on time, at the promised terms. Period.
In twelve years in mortgage banking, I have never missed a closing date because of something we did (or did not do) or should have done. RMG as a company has never missed a closing date. Not once. Ever.
I take pride in this fact, in part because no other lender in our market can say this, but also because it is the only thing that really matters (who cares how great the rate is if the loan never closes?) and says a lot of other things about how we do business, like:
- Our clients get very, very good deals. Because we have access to a broad range of bank and investor outlets for home mortgages, and the loans we originate perform exceptionally well, we have preferential access to the absolute best selection of interest rates and products for nearly any situation.
- We are efficient. Our approved loan packages go to the closing location (usually a title company) an average of 6 days before closing. This means you have ample time to review your numbers prior to closing. Many lenders struggle to deliver documents 24 hours in advance.
- We control the process. Many lenders outsource things we see as essential parts of the process of approving and closing home loans – underwriting, processing, appraisal management, and even final funding. They do this to save money, but mostly this “savings” is visited on their clients as cost through a slower process, magnified opportunity for errors and delays, and ultimately, missed closings and unhappy customers. We do not use a warehouse lending facility, and our underwriters, processors, and closing department are in my office, right here in Minnetonka. It may seem like a quaint notion in the age of the internet and tele-commuting, but this is still a business of people, and the essential parties for your transaction are rarely more than 50 feet from my desk.
- We communicate, communicate, communicate. You will never be in the dark. 99% of problems encountered in any transaction are because of communication – lack of, not timely, unclear, etc.. While other lenders are in sales meetings, or looking for the next customer, we are communicating with our clients.
- Our clients are better educated. Whether you have a GED or an advanced degree, the most important thing about choosing the right home loan is understanding the options. That’s why we never push a particular program, or rate, or fee structure. We lay out the options, help you understand and interpret them, and empower you to make the best decision.
- We guarantee our work. When your loan is pre-approved, the letter comes with a $10,000 guarantee, payable to the property seller if the loan does not close. When you lock your interest rate, your closing costs are guaranteed, to the penny.
So sure, price and rate are important – and my clients who universally get below market average mortgage rates at a lower cost will tell you as much – but a smooth closing that happens on time is the most important thing.
If you scan the section above, you’ll understand that a lot more goes into this kind of performance than just saying “We close loans on time!”
This is real performance, with tangible benefits and results.
I get a lot of calls from the press for insight and opinion, so tend to be all over the place. You may have heard, read or seen me in the Wall Street Journal, Marketwatch.com, Reuters News Services, Investors Business Daily, Minnesota Public Radio, WCCO-AM830, WCCO-4, Fox 9, BBC, The Twin Cities Business Journal, and Finance and Commerce, The Star-Tribune, Pioneer press among others.
I am a Minnesota native, went to Southwest High School (Mpls) and later earned a Bachelors degree from Norwich University (VT) on an ROTC Scholarship. After 4 great years as a Naval Officer I resigned my commission and took up mortgage banking in August of 1998. I now live on the western fringe of the Twin Cities Metro with my wife, two boys, and two dogs.