USA Cares Mortgage Hero: Mary Jo Traversone of Homestead Funding Corporation
When Mary Jo Traversone agrees to work a world away to help a veteran, she means it! “I have to say,” said Mary Jo, ”I find it very thrilling to have a troop return from overseas and call me, as my information was posted overseas. I do consider myself an advocate for veterans.” What a relief for a serviceperson to know that, even from a war zone, someone is working to help them secure appropriate housing upon their return. Mary Jo has been originating U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) loans for more than 25 years as a loan officer. As a loan originator, she has worked with small and large corporations, providing VA loans for purchase and refinance transactions. She’s pleased with her recent move to Homestead Funding Corporation. “They process and underwrite locally in my Albany office,” she said. “I feel they use ‘common sense’ underwriting. Homestead Funding is a mortgage banker dedicated to working with veterans, while many other agencies are eliminating VA programs.” She keeps current with military affairs by attending veterans’ functions and participating in outreach programs. “I’ve been able to help borrowers who have been declined by other institutions,” she continued, “just because they don't take the time to know the benefits of the VA loan.” When she helped a 100 percent service-connected disabled veteran with prior credit issues to purchase a home, it was her most memorable moment. “Due to his disability, he was unable to work and had lost a home to foreclosure. When he attained his 100 percent disability rating, I was able to guide him through the loan process. The extensive documentation required to substantiate the reason for the foreclosure was a bit difficult, but we managed to get his loan done.” Continually telling the borrower to have faith and that soon he would be a homeowner again, she was able to have contracts drawn with a seller contribution to cover closing fees. The borrower actually received a small refund at closing. “This borrower was declined by another institution, and his Veterans Counselor suggested he contact me,” said Mary Jo. “I was thrilled to help him own a home again. I enjoy working with veterans. They’ve given so much of themselves to protect our country, whether it be life, limb or sanity. I am proud to ‘serve those who have honorably served our nation.’” We all know not every transaction ends in a closed loan. Mary Jo tells all of her borrowers that they are a work in progress. “If they aren’t ready today due to credit or employment, I advise what’s required to meet guidelines and set a time in the future to follow up,” she said. Mary Jo is building military homeowners, one home at a time and that’s a hero in any book. “I work closely with borrowers to ensure successful closings. I have been able to help borrowers who have been declined by other institutions—just because they don’t take the time to know the benefits of the VA loan.” 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!