Can Mortgage Brokers Do Good And Do Good? These three hope to do so
A second-floor suite of offices above Nanobrew in Cleveland’s Ohio City neighborhood isn’t where you might expect to find a startup mortgage broker. However, this suits the owners of Social Mortgage well, both for lunch and for public contact.
Gusty Molnar, a real estate developer who had his real estate experience as a mortgage lender with today’s Rocket Mortgage and co-founded Social Mortgage, said, “If you want to ride a bike to get a mortgage, this is the perfect place.”
Molnar and co-founders Brian Lewis and Michael Hudson say the minority-owned company on its behalf emphasizes the social to show a focus on community and the goal of helping younger buyers and underrepresented minorities jump into the crowded supply Real estate market.
“During COVID-19, we decided that this was a way to repay it, help people get mortgages, and help the community, just as Dan Gilbert did with Rocket Mortgage,” Molnar said.
What is certain is that Social Mortgage is part of a resurgence in the mortgage brokerage business.
The less regulated mortgage brokers bore some blame for contributing to bad mortgages, waves of foreclosures, and the 2007-2008 financial collapse. Federal and state laws have been tightened drastically for mortgage brokers who borrow and apply for loans for applicants who fund other lenders, as well as for internal bank loan officers.
The booming housing market and loan refinancing in a low interest rate environment have stimulated the lending business since the Great Recession.
Kevin Allard, superintendent of the Ohio Division of Financial Institutions, wrote in an email that new loans from non-state-licensed mortgage lenders now exceed bank-borne mortgages.
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So social mortgage needs a story and strategy to stand out and differentiate in an industry that is driven by relationships and dedication to customer service.
To achieve its goals, Social Mortgage plans to work with major employers to help employees buy their first home, coach potential clients in improving their creditworthiness, and educate clients about down payment assistance programs and other programs sponsored by local development agencies. and neighborhood businesses.
The three, all Cleveland State University graduates, worked together in the Cleveland office of Quicken Loans, now known as Rocket Mortgage, in 2008, where they became a group of friends.
Hudson returned to Cleveland from a position in Detroit as Regional Vice President at Rocket last spring to become managing partner of the startup brokerage. He recalled being a beginner in mortgage banking with Molnar and Lewis, who taught him the basics, in 2008, when the real estate collapse dampened lending prospects.
“That experience,” said Hudson, “showed me the value of the company you are keeping. It showed me that I can get through. That gave me, a person who, as the son of a minister, is focused on helping others , the belief that funding is the building block of fulfilling lives. Starting a business in our own backyard is one way we, as Clevelanders, can help other Clevelanders, not just with a loan but also by hiring and providing jobs when the company grows.
Lewis, who is Black and the majority owner of the company, said he felt like he grew up in Cleveland, Euclid, and Cleveland Heights, like an outsider looking at banking.
Today he operates from a conclusion and mission from his extensive banking background.
“Financial literacy is something we can do better in the African American community and we want to help as many underserved people as possible,” said Lewis.
Aside from Rocket, Lewis has risen among several local banks, working as a cashier, bank manager and asset manager.
Hudson said potential home buyers in Cleveland are facing an especially challenging market as they are being beaten to close by hordes of foreign and local investors making cash offers.
“But there are programs out there that help people with low down payments buy homes,” Hudson said. “Millennials are an underrepresented generation of homeowners as factors such as student debt prevent you from building equity.”
Molnar said he and his partners plan to go the extra mile to help potential customers.