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    Posted August 1, 2008 by
    Elicott City, Maryland
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Obama's debt cutting plan

    Life after a career as a mortgage lender


    In January of 2000 everything seemed to be heading in the right

    direction. At age 30, after a decade in the restaurant industry, I took

    a job as loan officer with a prominent local lender in the suburbs of

    Washington, DC. Within two years, my hard work and honest lending

    practices had moved me up the company ladder and given me a loyal base

    of clients; I was a senior sales manager earning a good commissioned

    income. In January of 2003 I married my wife, we purchased our first

    home, and had our first child in early of 2004.


    After the shock to the economy on 9/11, and subsequent recovery,lending institutions began to loosen the guidelines for home purchasing

    and refinancing. Unprecedented overinflation of home values created a

    frenzy in the housing market over the next few years. Some, but not

    nearly enough people in positions to have the appropriate foresight,

    saw this as a house of cards.


    Many thousands of mortgage brokers and lenders were placing a

    newly created pool of credit worthy home buyers into mortgage loans.

    The term "credit worthy" took on a whole new meaning to these

    predators; the theory being to get them in the home with a payment they

    can afford right now, regardless of their ability to pay that note when

    the ARM adjusted.










    In 2006 as the mortgage crisis began to permiate the economy, tens of

    thousands of homeowners began to find themselves with rate and payment

    adjustments they could not afford. The predators who placed these

    unsuspecting homeowners in their predicaments were either nowhere to

    be found or preparing to pounce again, providing short lived relief

    that would come with long term and devastating consequences.





















    As a mortgage lender who has always prided myself on my honesty and

    integrity, I was appalled by what was happening in my industry. Never

    having placed a single client in a sub prime loan, I continued to do my

    best to educate my clients and provide the most sensible loan products

    and sound finacial solutions the industry had to offer.





















    Alas, in 2007 when the crisis was full blown and investors began to

    pull out and tighten lending guidelines, my niche of financially savy

    home buyers and home owners stood pat. My client pool, and referral

    pool of business began to dry up and my income drastically declined.





















    Early this year I was forced to sell my home in order to downsize my

    life and provide for my family. Several months ago I made the decision

    to leave the industry I loved. The future of my family was at stake and

    I had to make a change.





















    Ironically, the years of honesty and integrity as a proven producer and

    manager have turned out to be more of a curse than a blessing. I have

    been lumped in with the predators that largley created this crisis; a

    pariah, a scoundrel, and thief. A resume that I worked eight long years

    to build is barely worth the paper it's printed on; tossed aside

    hundreds of times by company after company.















    As I search for employement to provide for my family, I can't help but

    ask myself if there was something that I did wrong or that I could have

    done differently. the conclusion I have reached is that I, like most

    american's out of work in this difficult time, did nothing wrong. I was

    just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Thankfully, most of us can

    hold our heads high in the face of this tumultuous time. My integrity

    is fully intact, I can only hope that an employer out there will see

    beyond the stigma of my mortgage lender resume and see the man I truly











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