Head of Fulfillment Operations and Post Closing
After 26 years in the mortgage industry, what differentiates Erica Acie as a leader is her ability to preempt the cyclical fluctuations, plan for a blend of technology as well as human capital-related changes to ensure that when the downturn happens, she’s able to preserve the morale of her team.
Erica embodies that role with this advice she shares for people new to the mortgage industry.
“Accept change and grow while being comfortable in the uncomfortable. Although it is more challenging in this climate to predict what is coming next, focus on what you can control and remain in proactive mode to remain in the best position. If you stay ready, you do not need to get ready,” she says, adding, “Remember all that we have survived and trust we will survive this too.”
An issue the industry needs to tackle is racial disparity. Erica says, “Technology today can still carry bias based on machine learning which would require the approach to be different.
Our country is diverse within all socioeconomic levels and our financial services should mirror that of the communities as a whole.”
Technology is also important. “Education is foundational to shapeshifting the mortgage industry.”
Senior Vice President, Retail
John Cady got into the mortgage business at the age of 18, escaping a long commute and managing a retail store.
It’s a transition he’s glad he made. “I thought I was just cutting down my commute, but little did I know when I started two days later that it would be a major turning point that would take my career where it is today. That gave me my start, and from there, I’ve never looked back!” he said.
Cady is proud to say his career has been based on helping others, not the blind pursuit of big paydays. “My values were put to the test from 2003-2007 during the boom of the subprime mortgages and negative amortizations that offered profit at the expense of homebuyers’ livelihoods.
“I’m very proud to say that I left a lot of money on the table to prevent people from taking on loans they couldn’t afford. I just wouldn’t have been able to sleep at night knowing disaster was ahead for those families, and I continue to take pride in my integrity and dedication to doing what is right. I’ll sacrifice the payday before I sacrifice my values.”
Founder and CEO
Fifteen years ago, the house-buying process so frustrated Brent Chandler he was inspired to launch FormFree, which makes it easier and more secure for borrowers to share direct-source financial information with lenders electronically.
“My career in the mortgage industry started after a frustrating home-buying experience in 2007. I was struck by how archaic the process lenders used to verify information was, and I knew there had to be a better way. The next year, I founded FormFree.”
Chandler has invested his talents into making home ownership open to more people.
He says, “High-FICO white males represent only a fraction of the population, yet they dominate the lending landscape. A mortgage market that is poorly diversified and is built to serve only a relatively shallow pool of relatively similar homebuyers will always be subject to huge swings in demand. With transparent, alternative credit algorithms … , we can greatly expand the credit box to include credit invisibles and lower-income borrowers.
“It’s time to empower ALL people, regardless of race, gender or socioeconomic background, with access to credit. Creating homeownership for all would create a better world for children to grow up in and more wealth for parents to grow old with.”
Founder & CEO
Down Payment Resource
Sometimes others see your potential before you do. As Rob Chrane recalls, “When I was a managing broker more than a decade deep into a real estate career, a friend in the mortgage industry recognized that I was ready for a change even before I did. He encouraged me to explore mortgage career opportunities, and since then, I haven’t looked back. Guided by a passion for helping families gain the well-being and financial benefits of homeownership, over the next two decades, I flourished as a top-producing loan officer, branch manager, and senior leader at a large mortgage lender.
“Over the years, I became a proponent of homebuyer assistance programs because of their ability to help qualified families overcome common hurdles, such as down payment and closing costs. Even as an affordability program enthusiast, I found it challenging to keep up with all of the programs and their changing requirements. I also noticed that the programs were being underutilized because most borrowers and housing professionals were not aware of the programs available in their area.
“Seeing an opportunity to help housing professionals connect homebuyers with homebuyer assistance programs, I made a second career pivot with the founding of Down Payment Resource.”