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USA Cares Mortgage Heroes: Vicki White-Sklark and Byron Webb of SunTrust Mortgage

Nov 04, 2011

Sometimes, one mortgage hero begets others. Such is the case with Vicki White-Sklark, whose 30-year career in mortgage lending has given her experience in processing, credit underwriting, servicing, quality control, originations and marketing. In February 2006, her role with SunTrust Mortgage focused on FHA and VA lending opportunities. “This made for a fantastic career experience!” Vicki said. “This was my dream position, a role of training and business development for the south Florida region. I was able to laser focus to support and develop an exceptional originations and operations team. Last summer, we redirected all of our energies and focus on supporting veteran homebuyers. Being in a market that does not have an active military base, it was apparent that our military veterans and active duty service members did not have a local lending institution experienced at serving their homebuying needs. We recognized that to create an experienced and willing market, we had to start with our Realtor partners. They are often the first to encounter military/veteran homebuyers. We knew if they understood the VA lending and appraisal process they’d be less likely to turn away an opportunity to work with a VA-eligible candidate or encourage an alternative financing option with less favorable terms. From this was born the ‘Realtor VA Train for Gain Program,’ and we’ve trained over 300 Realtors throughout our region since it launched. Familiar with the Certified Military Housing Specialist course, Vicki recognized it as the perfect foundation for the quality training SunTrust wanted to provide their team. “We’ve trained and certified our team to ensure we’re providing the best, most qualified service available for our veterans,” she said. “We’re pleased to work with various Veterans Service Organizations and support our veterans on many levels.” One particularly grateful client, Mr. Sanchez, praises his positive experience with Loan Consultant Byron Webb. “My situation was unique,” said Sanchez. “I had a short sale a few years ago following a tumultuous divorce and child custody battle. My goal was to provide a home that my kids and I could call ours. The big banks all gave me the same answer about a VA loan: The time between my short sale and a new purchase was too close. A mortgage broker told me about the VA ‘extenuating circumstances provision’ that would allow me to get a VA loan if I met the criteria, which I did. But his salesman-like tactics soon became obvious; empty promises and a failed attempt to procure the loan finally resulted. I nearly lost hope, but then I found Byron Webb of SunTrust Mortgage through a friend who said, ‘if anyone can help, it’s Byron.’ He gave me straight, honest answers. Whether I liked them or not, they were the truth and I respected that.” After providing some documents, there was hope. “The team (Andrea Webb and Renee Riley) that helped facilitate my loan was amazing,” said Sanchez. “They all helped this family’s dream come true in March 2011. I closed and moved into my new home, and it wouldn’t have happened without Byron Webb and his skilled team. He has gained my respect as a person. His service was exemplary and I’m now a loyal customer of SunTrust.” As skilled trainers like Vicki and loan consultants like Byron increase in numbers around the country, our military service personnel will enjoy more affordable and sustainable homeownership and neighborhoods everywhere will benefit. Be a Mortgage Hero! This recognition is free to Certified Military Housing Specialists. Take the FREE Certified Military Housing Specialist course offered online by USA Cares and tell us how you are “Helping those who defend our homes, preserve their own.” Please contact Program Manager Beverly Frase at [email protected] to join our national team and be our next Mortgage Hero. We want to recognize you! Are you a “Mortgage Hero” or know of anyone who might be? This monthly spotlight is FREE to anyone who has made the commitment to provide skilled mortgage services to our military servicemen and women. We want to hear from you if you’ve completed the FREE Military Housing Specialist Course, as “Mortgage Heroes” deserve to be recognized for their outstanding service to our military personnel. Please send a short bio to MHE Program Manager Beverly Frase at [email protected].
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