I started in the loan business in 1981. I have been a loan officer for a Savings & Loan, a wholesale representative doing “B” & “C” loans (before they were called subprime loans), a wholesale representative doing conventional lending, managed a group of wholesale originators and was a partner in a company doing retail originations.
I started my own company in December of 1995. I wanted to create a company that focused on customer service. Our philosophy centered on taking care of our employees. We believed that the relationship between how are employees were treated would be reflected in how they took care of our customers. It worked. We started with three people and built the company to the point of doing 5773 loans in 1997. We accomplished this by closing loans in 14 calendar days while our competitors were taking 30 days or more. We made good loans with an extremely low default rate. I sold that company to First Franklin Financial Corporation in January of 1998. First Franklin was a well-respected company with great leadership.
The next five years were spent travelling, surfing, playing beach volleyball and golf. I was subject to a non-compete agreement from the sale of my last company and could not open a mortgage company during this time.
In 2003, I started another mortgage company using the same employee based philosophy. The concept still worked. We grew to include 106 employees and funded 3903 loans in 2006. Again, we prided ourselves on moving loans quickly through the process and the quality of our loans. We averaged a 13 to 14 calendar day processing time while the industry average was over 30 days. The mortgage market was changing in late 2006. Many programs were eliminated due to poor loan performance. The cost of originating loans (direct mail) was eating up all the profit. The decision was made to shut the company down at the end of 2006. The timing was good because the mortgage tsunami was coming and would wipe out the majority of the mortgage companies in 2007 & 2008.
Commercial Loan Corporation was started in 2007. Most of our activity was funding fix and flip loans until 2017. In June of 2017, my nephew referred me a loan for a family that was trying to preserve their parents’ Proposition 13 tax rate. I didn’t know anything about this type of lending. After doing my research and working with our attorney, we funded that loan. We realized that this was an underserved market and shifted our focus to these types of loans. I put together what I consider an “all-star” team to provide the best service in the business.
Autumn Skerritt – Operations Manager – This is an amazing young lady that knows the business and has great customer service skills. Anyone that has done a loan with us will give her 5 stars.
Mike Riggs – Account Executive – Mike was my Vice-President of Production at the company I started in 2003. He managed a department with 40+ loan producers and trained all of them. He understands my customer service philosophy and we are lucky to have him.
Joe Minton – Partner – Joe has worked for the last two companies I started and handles all of our marketing and IT. He is one of the brightest men I have ever worked with and has been a big part of the success of my past companies.