Wintrust Announces New Branch Manager – William Reese

ROCHESTER, NY — September 14, 2016 — Wintrust Mortgage is excited to announce William Reese, NMLS# 595580, as a new branch manager in Rochester, NY.

Mr. Reese has been in the banking industry for 25 years. After graduating from the University of California at San Diego with a degree in sociology and economics, he began his finance career at JP Morgan Chase, where he was a mortgage officer for 12 years.

With his decades of experience, Mr. Reese will be an integral part of the new Rochester branch launch. The Wintrust Mortgage team believes his talent and experience position him well to grow a sales team that will be able to exceed the region’s mortgage needs. In addition, Mr. Reese serves a community of borrowers and real estate agents in southern California built during the time he lived out there.
“A testimony to the quality of his service is that Bill’s clients from out West remain loyal to him although he is across the country,” said Wintrust Mortgage Regional Vice President Amy Tierce, NMLS# 15695.

While working at Wells Fargo, Mr. Reese consistently ranked in the top one percent in mortgage volume for seven years. A highlight of that tenure came in 2002 and 2003, when he was awarded the High Volume Producer Award, originating more than $150 million in mortgages each year.

“We are excited to have Bill on our team, and have no doubt his leadership will be instrumental in the success of this new branch,” continued Ms. Tierce. “This area in upstate New York offers a great opportunity for us to provide the same quality service that our customers in Massachusetts have come to expect.”

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Wintrust Mortgage announces new area manager – Donald Tilkins

SARATOGA, NY — September 14, 2016 — Wintrust Mortgage has announced that Donald Tilkins, NMLS# 420542, is the new area manager in upstate New York.

Donald Tilkins has worked in the banking industry for more than 15 years. After graduating from Niagara University in 2000 with a degree in business and marketing, he started his career at Wells Fargo. While there, he worked his way up from sales to branch manager. In his previous experience, Mr. Tilkins has worked at Cole Taylor Bank and EverBank as a branch manager.

He will capitalize on this experience as he transitions into the area manager of New York, servicing the Buffalo to Albany region. In addition to his duties in that role, Donald will also be responsible for growing a strong area presence as the primary recruiter for Wintrust Mortgage’s new location in Saratoga.

“We are excited to bring Donald in as part of our leadership team,” said Wintrust Mortgage Regional Vice President Amy Tierce, NMLS# 15695. “Donald is the perfect fit to create a lasting and prolific footprint in upstate New York. We needed to employ an area manager who can rise to challenges of this region. We think Donald is uniquely qualified to develop these branches and lead them to continued success.”

Mr. Tilkins was awarded the Leaders Club National Sales Conference Management and Personal Production and Customer Service Rating 100% Award eight times. In 2013, he was one of the Top 5 Nationally ranked Producers.

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Who really wants to move in 30 Days?

Think about it. Four weekends total to pack and arrange all that is required to make a move. It’s hard, taxing, stressful and painful. Unless there is a reason that one has to move in 30 days, most people would prefer to have more time for this massive undertaking.

It is hard for mortgage lenders to close loans in 30 days too, painful, stressful and full of anxiety… mostly because so much of the process is out of the control of the lender. Among the greatest stressors in the mortgage industry today is the appraisal process. Today, much of New England expects a three-week period, or more, from the time the appraisal is ordered until the lender receives it. Once received, the appraisal has to go through an approval process, either with an underwriter or the lender’s appraisal review department. It is almost guaranteed that the report will need some type of correction. Appraisers are moving fast and can be overworked. They’re only human, they can make mistakes. However, today’s exacting mortgage process requires that all documents be absolutely perfect, to market specifications, prior to closing.

Getting corrections on an appraisal report can take several days. Appraisers are on the road daily and often spend their evenings at the computer, completing reports, or revising and correcting old ones. It can take time to connect with them to discuss the necessary changes to the report and to get the corrected report back.
The appraisal industry seems to be in crisis. Today there are fewer and fewer appraisers in the industry to meet the demands of this aggressive market. In the State of North Dakota alone, there are only 17 licensed appraisers. Thus in many areas of our country, appraisers are demanding $1000 to $2000 for a report, not including rush fees.

Think about this: in MA it takes at least 21 days to obtain an appraisal report, 2-5 days for approval, or revisions and final approval, then the loan needs to be clear to close prior to the closing date to meet the requirements of TRID regulations.
This situation makes 30-day closings near impossible, unless the stars align for all parties. The process might be easier for everyone if contracts were written with an, “On-or-Before,” closing date of 40 days out. This way, when there is a one-to-two-day minor delay in a closing, the need for extensions and back-and-forth goes away. The buyer and seller remain protected by the mortgage contingency and deposit check.

The knowledge that all are prepared to extend the closing date by a few days, due to unforeseen minor delays from third parties, helps all of those affected by the home buying process to sleep a little easier.

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Back to School, Back to Life

The dog days of summer are beginning to fade and fall is just around the corner. Our kids are headed back to school and the leisurely pace of summer is quickly becoming just a memory. We find ourselves shifting into high gear to get everything done. It occurred to me that this is quite a paradigm shift that we all experience this time of year. That being said, why do we make resolutions for New Years? Do our lives really change that drastically from December 31st to January 1st? Why not take advantage of the natural momentum that fall brings to make some real and lasting changes in our personal and professional lives? Even if you don’t have children, we are coming up on the end of the fiscal year and all the work that goes in wrapping the year up.

At this point, most of us are already in list-making mode, organizing everyone and everything. This is a great time to add personal goals to this list. You are rested and renewed from the summer and ready to charge ahead. Whether it be fitness goals, self-improvement and further learning, this is a great time to take stock of your goals and plans for accomplishing them.

“Renewal requires opening yourself up to new ways of thinking and feeling.” – Deborah Day, BE HAPPY NOW!

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Wintrust Mortgage announces plans for continued Northeast expansion

In two years, Wintrust Mortgage grew its New England location by 80 percent and has announced plans to continue expansion across the Northeast region. In addition to its Needham headquarters, Wintrust Mortgage recently opened a new office in Worcester and will be opening soon in North Attleboro, Massachusetts.

The company also announced a presence in New York with the addition of an experienced team in the Rochester area and the opening of an office in Saratoga. Area Manager Donald Tilkins, NMLS# 42052—an experienced mortgage leader who has had success growing mortgage sales teams—will manage the New York region.

“We are excited about the expansion of our Needham presence,” said Wintrust Mortgage Regional Vice President Amy Tierce. “It’s been amazing to oversee the build out of the New York offices and finish up the renovation details in North Attleboro and Worcester.”

Tilkins, who has worked in the banking industry for more than 15 years, will also be responsible for growing a strong presence in the region as the primary recruiter for Wintrust Mortgage’s Saratoga location. The group brought on William Reese, NMLS# 595580, who has 25 years of banking industry experience, as branch manager of the Rochester office. Wintrust Mortgage’s increased sales have also pushed the company to add additional operational support with recent hires in underwriting, processing and the additions of two loan originator assistants.

“We will continue with the growth strategy of hiring tremendous origination talent, supporting them more than any other company and building around them,” Tierce continued. “There is a lot that goes into an expansion, but we’re excited to say that we now cover the Northeast region versus the New England region.”

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The Mortgage Process – Managing Expectations with Multiple Vendors

We talk a lot about managing expectations for our business associates and our consumers. This is really challenging in the mortgage industry. People don’t want to hear about the complexity of the process and what can cause delays, they want their loan approved, clear to close and done… no matter what. It does not matter how we explain the process, in writing, verbally, face to face, with video or all of the above, everyone has internal expectations in this process that we cannot seem to influence.

In the mortgage approval process there are multiple entities that we have to work with in order to validate data and ensure that the loan meets all requirements, here is a list of companies and individuals we depend upon during the approval process:

Appraisal Management Companies
Condo Management Companies
Condo Boards of Trustees
Insurance Providers
HR departments/employers
Internal Revenue Service
Title companies
Home Inspectors
Building Inspectors
Fire Departments
Building Departments/Zoning Departments

Each individual or company on this list has a role to provide in the mortgage process on most files, if one entity is away or unavailable, or an individual makes a mistake on a required document that necessitates a correction days can be lost.

How do we properly manage expectations when we do not fully control the process?

Remember when you get a call that a commitment might be delayed, there are many moving parts and people engaged in the mortgage approval process. Our job is to work with the providers who get it done right from the start when we have a choice, however in many areas we have to work with communities and government agencies and we have no control over their response times.

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Mortgage Myth – Buyers need a 20% down payment in order to purchase a home…

Do you know all the different programs available with little or no money down?
Conventional 97% – (That’s 3% down) Fannie Mae has reinstated their 3% down loan program. One of the borrowers must be a first time homebuyer, which means that they cannot have had ownership interest in a home in the past three years. Also of the down payment can be a gift from a family member!

Home Possible/Home Ready – Like the Conventional 97% program, these Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac products are for lower income buyers and offer reduced mortgage insurance costs. Borrowers must complete a homebuyer education class. Set income limits are established by each county, which must be adhered to.

FHA Loans – The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) allows buyers to get into a home with a 3.5% down payment, which can be in the form of a gift from a family member. FHA makes allowances for lower credit scores and higher debt-to-income ratios.
203K Loans – There are FHA products that allow for some improvement or construction financing to be rolled into the purchase mortgage. The standard 203k provides up to a minimum of $5,000 to make some minor improvements to the property, a limited 203k can accommodate a complete renovation up to $35,000 in repairs. We have 203K specialists on staff that are experts in these programs.

VA Loans – These are first class zero down payment loan programs. Wintrust waives our processing and underwriting fees for our veterans. The seller can contribute up to 4% as a credit towards closing costs and Wintrust Mortgage can offer a lender credit to minimize closing costs as well. Always be sure to ask your prospects if they have served in the military.

USDA Loans – The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has a home loan division that allows 100% financing. The property must be in a rural zone and the borrower’s income must be within the USDA income limits. Give us a call if you want to learn more about USDA qualified communities in your area, there are more than you think. Many communities meet the USDA requirements even though we may not think of them as being particularly “rural.”

State Bond Programs – Most states offer a housing program of some type that allows for low to no down payment and other benefits for the state’s low to moderate income residents. For example, Massachusetts offers the Mass Housing program, which has income limitations and is available to first time buyers only (defined as not having ownership in a piece of real estate in the past three years). The program requires that the buyer attend a home buying education class.

Each of these programs offers different benefits and advantages depending upon the profile of the homebuyer. Let your mortgage professional at Wintrust Mortgage navigate this maze with your buyers. We will provide complete education on all programs and provide written comparisons on everything. Homebuyers will be better equipped to make an educated decision on how to structure their new home purchase in a way that meets their needs and dreams!

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That Pre-Approval Letter May Be A Fake

A mortgage approval is a loan application that has been reviewed and approved by an underwriter. Most of the pre-approvals that you see today are in fact a “Loan Originator Opinion Letter”. Loan Originators are not allowed to approve a loan, that is the job of the underwriter. In fact, for government loans, the underwriter needs the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Direct Endorsement Certification from HUD before they can underwrite those programs. Loan originators cannot obtain a Direct Endorsement Certification, so they cannot offer an approval on any HUD loans. Unless the lender you work with has their underwriting department underwrite all ‘pre-approvals’ they are not true pre-approvals, they are pre-qualifications. This is law, not semantics.

TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure Rule (TRID) regulations have changed the way consumers shop for a mortgage as well as the way lenders are required to manage the pre-approval process, how the letter is issued and what it’s called.
Today most lenders are really issuing pre-qualification letters.

No matter what it is called, the process the lender goes through is what is most important to the consumer and the real estate community.

For a quality pre-qualification, a borrower should have a thorough interview with a loan originator. The loan originator should pull and review the borrower’s credit. Although a loan originator cannot require a borrower to provide any back-up documentation prior to making an official mortgage application, most consumers are happy to provide all documentation required for that loan originator to make a sound conclusion. The loan details should be run through an automated underwriting system; either Fannie Mae’s Desktop Underwriter (DU), or Freddie Mac’s Loan Prospector (LP) for an automated approval. The Loan originator will review all the information presented to ensure that the documents support the details of the transaction and then provide the consumer with a Pre-Qualification Certificate to give to their real estate agent.

There are plenty of lenders who issue pre-approval letters without doing most of these steps. So, the name of the document has no bearing on the quality of the process or the likelihood of the loan actually becoming fully approved once the borrower has committed to a property.

Make sure you are working with a lender who does a thorough review with the borrower, and explains what is needed to issue the letter. Your lender should be an expert in their field, which is why you should work with a Wintrust Mortgage loan originator.
For more information on how to avoid pre-qualification/pre-approval pitfalls and to learn more about today’s more complex mortgage process call us today, we will happily come to your office for a Wintrust Lunch and Learn. We promise a lively and informative meeting. Book yours today!

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Open Your Month With Closings!

Open Your Month With Closings!

Schedule your closings for the first week of the month, not the last; you’ll receive better delivery, quality and service.

It’s conventional wisdom that it is better to close a mortgage loan at the end of the month, but why? Pre-paid interest is why. Pre-paid interest is the interest paid from the date of the closing until the last day of the month. This is due with the first mortgage payment at the first of the following month. If the closing is the last day of the month there is one day of pre-paid interest due. Each day earlier is one more day of pre-paid interest.

Because everyone wants to close at the end of the month, closing schedules can be fast and furious. There is often no ability to re-schedule or delay your closing, if needed, when busy attorneys and closing agents are conducting back to back closings for days at a time. The sheer volume at the end of the month can make for a poor customer experience no matter how qualified and dedicated the parties are.

The solution – schedule your closings for the first week of the month!

At Wintrust Mortgage, you can close within the first seven days of the month and receive a credit for the interest back to the first of the month. This means no pre-paid interest for your customers. Their first payment will be due on the first of the following month.
Five reasons to close your purchase loans the first week of the month:

• No pre-paid interest with an interest rate credit.
• More attention and customer service from all involved
• More time available to review documents, ask questions of the closing agent and get the job done
• You are not competing with multiple consumers who all want to close at the same time.
• Scheduling is easier, the process is easier and you will have more options.

Don’t compete with thousands of buyers and agents trying to schedule their transactions. With beginning of the month closings, you and your buyers will have the quality home closing experience that we all desire to deliver to our consumers.

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Capacity. Capital. Collateral. Credit. And…

Nothing has changed in mortgage qualification. It’s still about the FOUR C’s.

With a 5th C making an appearance, Character.

A potential homebuyer walked into our office and said, “I have a 798 credit score. What are you going to do for me?”

While this is an excellent starting point, we let the client know that we need to verify income, the ability to make a down payment and review the property they wish to purchase.

The mortgage process essentially has not changed. We look at the same things today that we did decades ago and that is the four C’s of mortgage lending!
Capacity: Is the client able to make the payment on the proposed transaction? We will review income, W2 forms, tax returns, pay stubs, current housing payments and debts to determine the buyer’s loan payment capacity.

Capital: Does the client have a down payment? We review bank statements to verify the borrower’s ability to make the down payment and demonstrate their ability to save. Even with low to no down payment programs or transactions, or if the buyer is receiving gift funds for the down payment, we will look at their saving and spending history to determine if they can manage the new payment.

Collateral: The lender will need an appraisal on the purchase property to determine if the collateral will support the mortgage loan. The market value and condition of the property are determined with the appraisal report.

Credit: Great credit and high credit scores have an impact on many transactions. This can include obtaining insurance, employment, and all financial transactions. Good credit comes with better rates and terms for consumers in most financial transactions. For mortgage lending, the best rates usually come with credit scores over 740. It can be challenging to obtain a mortgage with a credit score below 620, but credit isn’t the only component of the mortgage lending decision.

Character: When reviewing a mortgage application package, underwriters are looking at the consumer as a whole, not just at the individual four C’s. With a new approach to credit review called “Trending Credit,” underwriters are not just looking at a credit score, but a borrower’s approach to credit and debt management. Underwriters are looking at job stability, professional growth and money management. Although the “Four C’s” have been the base line for lending for decades, with the advent of the Internet, lenders have the ability to learn a lot about consumers, the properties they are buying and the nature of the transaction.

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