Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation has launched its first ever Military Mortgage Boot Camp tour this week in Dallas. The “domestic USO-style” tour, will train thousands of housing professionals across the nation to better serve the home financing needs of American veterans.
Fairway kicked off the tour Tuesday, April 22 with its inaugural event at the Gaylord Texan hotel in Grapevine, Texas, where several hundred mortgage and real estate professionals have registered to attend. The mortgage company will conduct Military Mortgage Specialist (MMS) training for mortgage professionals and Certified Military Residential Specialist (CMRS) training for real estate agents, which also earns each Realtor four hours of continuing education. Attendees will learn about VA mortgage programs and acquire the unique skills needed to help active military and veterans in their quest for homeownership.
At the Grapevine, Texas event, Fairway will present military hero Sergeant James E. Saylor the key to a mortgage-free home in Fate, Texas. Sergeant Saylor served in the U.S. Army for four years, from 2009 to 2013, and received numerous awards, including a Purple Heart. He spent time in Iraq and Afghanistan, where Saylor was injured during combat in 2010. While prepping for a mission, Saylor and his team took incoming mortar fire and he was struck in the head by a piece of shrapnel. The blast twisted his knee and threw him to the ground. Saylor has undergone four surgeries since the incident: The first in 2010 to remove the shrapnel, second in 2010 to scope his left knee, the third in 2011 to insert a bone graph, plate and screws to keep his leg straight and the fourth in 2012 to implant a muscle in his face to give him partial movement of the right side of his mouth. The shrapnel injury paralyzed the right side of his face and resulted in vision loss.
“Sergeant Saylor is a true American hero,” said Louise Thaxton, director of Fairway's Military Mortgage Division. “Fairway is thankful to him and all military veterans who have served our country.”
Fairway's Steve Jacobson (second from left) and Louise Thaxton (far right) with Davis-Monthan AFB Airmen
Due to the nature of their work, active and veteran service members often face an uphill battle when trying to buy a home, explained Fairway CEO Steve Jacobson. Finding employment can be a challenge, and research shows that veterans are more likely than the general population to face poverty and homelessness.
The objective of Fairway’s MMS and CMRS certification programs is to train and equip real estate and mortgage professionals to handle with care the home purchase needs of active duty and former military clients, Jacobson said. Since launching its Boot Camp military training two years ago, Fairway has trained nearly 1,500 mortgage and real estate professionals while giving away 15 mortgage-free homes to deserving military veterans.
"There remains a tremendous need in our industry for real solutions to the housing challenges our military men and women face," Thaxton said. “Time and time again, we’re learning that education is key. Our veterans face unique hurdles to homeownership, and we know the training we provide helps housing professionals become better equipped to help our military heroes.”
Joining Fairway for the tour is Sean Parnell, author of the NY Times best-selling book Outlaw Platoon about his experiences servicing for the U.S. military in Afghanistan. Parnell, a retired Army Ranger and Purple Heart recipient, is an advocate for Fairway’s programs and plays an integral role in the Boot Camps and home-giveaway presentations.
After the event in Grapevine, Texas, Fairway's tour will take Fairway trainers to San Antonio, where additional training will take place and another mortgage-free home will be provided to a military veteran. The tour will continue throughout the country, taking Fairway’s core value, “Committed to Serve” to 10 additionally scheduled Boot Camps.
By the end of 2014, Fairway will have trained more than 600 mortgage professionals and 3,000 real estate agents, and will have sponsored a total of more than 20 home mortgage-free home giveaways.