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Ellie Mae acquires assets of Stewart Lenders Services Online Documents business

National Mortgage Professional
Oct 02, 2008

Using credit reporting tools to increase your FHA businessJeff MifsudFHA, credit reporting, government, Phil Cataldo, CDS Mortgage Credit Reports Whether or not the government continues to require credit scores for Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans, this much remains true: Most lenders currently require, and will continue to require, minimum credit scores for FHA loans. One item that the legislators and FHA seem to agree on (hopefully making this safe to commit to ink!) is the allowance of a credit score derived from alternative credit histories. The masses of potential buyers out there with no scores or low scores mean huge opportunities for loan originators to partner with real estate agents to tap into this market, to everyones benefit. I'd like to show you how. I recently did an interview with Phil Cataldo of Atlanta-based CDS Mortgage Credit Reports Inc. We spoke a lot about the FICO scores derived from alternative credit. The key point I took from the interview is the huge FHA marketing potential of this type of credit score product. Do you need more loans in the pipe? If you're looking for a way to establish relationships with real estate agents, then pay attention to the plan I'm about to present. But first, I must alert you to the fact that the loan officer who will successfully implement this plan requires these three skills: Knowledge of FHA loans; the ability to effectively communicate with people; and good follow up skills and systems. If you have these skills and create the focus, you can create a solid stream of FHA buyers. By way of example, a Michigan loan officer had so many leads that he created a credit division in his mortgage practice to assist potential homebuyers with their credit challenges. He was originally doing this for his sub-prime buyers, but when the market shifted, he turned to FHA. Now he is delivering even more value to his clients and more loans into his pipeline. The objective of this plan is to target homebuyers that have little or no traditional credit and need to have a sufficient score to buy a home. According to Community Financial Services Association of America, more than 50 million Americans lack traditional credit! As a result, many creditworthy Americans are unable to qualify for a home loan. Based on my experience, the average buyer agent comes across a lot of people with thin file credit reports, and this is one reason why agents are having a hard time selling homes. This is where you can step in and help all involved parties, including yourself! Are you ready to act and implement? • Get in touch with your credit reporting company and find out if they offer the FICO Expansion score. • Ask them if they have a product that produces a plan that can help your clients improve their score. • Create an internal follow-up system for keeping in touch with your clients that will enter into this credit score program. This system is essential for the success of your marketing efforts. • Create three consecutive, 10-min. presentations regarding: the use of this product, the system you have designed for converting these people into buyers, and how it can benefit real estate agents. You now have a three-part series about your program! (Note: I recommend using PowerPoint and printing the slides for the presentation.) • Create a series of six short e-mails (50 to 75 words) drawn from ideas in the presentations you created. • Practice speaking about the program (not in line at the bank) with co-workers, family, etc. until you've internalized the message and are scripted to talk about it at will with passion and enthusiasm. • If you have existing real estate agent relationships, call each office and offer to do a 15-min. presentation on your credit builder program, explaining how it can help each of their agents sell an extra two homes within the next six months. If you have to call offices cold, then be sure to get the manager/broker on the phone, introduce yourself and your program, and ask them this question: If I can present your agents with a proven tool that will help them close an extra two homes in the next six months, would you give me 15 minutes at your next meeting? If, after describing the program, they still don't get it, then move on to the next office. • You have a presentation scheduled! Your goal at the meeting is to: (1) generate excitement about this credit builder program; (2) get all the names, numbers and e-mail addresses of the agents; and (3) schedule part two in the series. If they schedule it, that means they liked what they heard. If they dont schedule part two, then the message was not compelling, and you need to get feedback to help determine what you need to change. • Once back at your office, enter the contact information for all the agents in the office into your database software, and create a schedule to send one of those abovementioned e-mails every other week over a 12-week period. In the weeks they dont receive an e-mail, follow up with a phone call or a visit and ask for the buyers that would be suited for this program. • Follow up, follow up and follow up. If you're feeling slightly overwhelmed by the thought of this plan, just remember, Rome wasnt built in a day, and neither was a successful marketing plan! Take a breath, step back and attack this project one action item at a time. It may take you a month to get you to the point of implementation. If you look at nearly every successful loan officer out there, or anyone successful at achieving any goal for that matter, they have a plan written down. Although I've written it for you, I suggest you write it out for yourself in order to internalize the plan and make it your own. It will help you with your focus and help you stay on the path to achieve your goal. And then do what Michael Jordan says: "Just play. Have fun. Enjoy the game." Jeff Mifsud founded Mortgage Seminars LLC in 2004, has been an FHA originator for 12 years, is a contributor to LoanToolbox.com and is a former FHA underwriter. Jeff may be reached at (877) 342-9100 or e-mail jeff@fhasuccessdesk.com.
Published
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