Mortgage 911: A Financial First Responder Takes You on Call

Mortgage and Lending with Guaranteed Rate, Marin County, CA NMLS: 22343

Mortgage 911:  A Financial First Responder Takes You on Call


It must have been around 6:30pm when the call crackled in.  By the tone of the voice on the other end of the line  I could tell "the crash" had happened some time prior, but now panic and shock had officially set in and the victim/borrower was not able to speak any longer.  From the scene, the Good Samaritan/Realtor dialed the equivalent of Mortgage 911.  The breath on the other end of the line was heavy and rushed.


Realtor John:  "Rob, we haven't worked together before but you were referred by my broker...I just had a really important deal go south...the other lender told us he can't do the hit us like a bolt out of the blue...  What am I gonna do, Rob?  The buyer is my wife's close friend so it's not only my commission check on the's my reputation too....I was the one who gave her the name of the other lender..."


Rob"John....tell me about the deal."


John"It's supposed to close in ten days....we have to remove financing tomorrow.  Why me, Rob?  Why now?"


Rob"OK, John...I understand the timing is tight, but let's stick with the deal for now.  What can you tell me about the specifics?"


When you get down to home loan emergencies, it's fundamentally always a question of  income, assets or credit.  That's the simple part.  The complex part is the devil that dwells in those details and, trust me, it will always come in a different flavor.  Like first responders, we've seen just about everything.  But here's what we always do when we arrive on scene:


  1. We stabilize the patient(s).  The first thing we do is make sure that no immediate or rash action by any party to the transaction creates additional harm.  You'd be surprised at the degree to which panic can further complicate matters.  No, the escrow officer does not need to know we're in hot water...yet.
  2. We gather all the information we can.  What contributed to accident?  Are there any witnesses (previous lender, for example) who are willing to cooperate with us?  Are any important documents available to be shared right away, such as the appraisal, a credit report and maybe even the original loan application?
  3. We reconstruct the situation, then determine a program and solution that has a very high likelihood of success within a short period of time.  At this step we don't want to let the perfect be the enemy of the good.  We need a fast, robust alternative.  Perhaps at a later date, we can work to make things better but everyone at this stage needs to prioritze close of escrow over trying to resurrect terms for which the buyer may never have been eligible.  In other words, there can't be crying over spilled milk.
  4. We communicate the plan to all parties, reset expectations, if necessary, and get about saving the deal.


For most of my career I have worked for an independent mortgage bank, and one of the key reasons for doing so is the wide array of loan programs we can offer with competitive pricing.  This makes us ideally suited to the role of rescuing fallout from other lenders --- especially single-entity large banks that have one set of guidelines.  When those institutions can no longer approve a loan, there is often no Plan B.  Even on the jumbo loan side of things, and depending on the characteristics of the scenario, I may have a dozen investor options that come into play.  And maybe more importantly, I know their guidelines inside and out.


None of us want to be involved in an accident, ever.  But accidents happen and when they do, we'll be on the scene in no time to help save the deal.


Do you copy?



Robert J. Spinosa

Vice President of Mortgage Lending

Guaranteed Rate
NMLS: 22343

Marin Office:  324 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., San Anselmo, CA  94960

Berkeley Office:  1400 Shattuck Ave., Suite 1, Berkeley, CA  94709

*The views and opinions expressed on this site about work-related matters are my own, have not been reviewed or approved by Guaranteed Rate and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Guaranteed Rate.  In no way do I commit Guaranteed Rate to any position on any matter or issue without the express prior written consent of Guaranteed Rate's Human Resources Department.


Guaranteed Rate. Illinois Residential Mortgage Licensee NMLS License #2611 3940 N. Ravenswood Chicago, IL 60613 - (866) 934-7283


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Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Hi Rob- love it and yes, I copy!  We can forget that emergencies can happen outside of the medical/personal safety vector. It's comforting to know that an agent or buyer can turn to you for some help!!! Well done!

Aug 08, 2018 08:38 AM #1
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224


                      Congratulations, Rob! You've Been featured in the 

                                              group Bananatude!

Aug 08, 2018 08:47 AM #2
Lee Potts
Aloha Group Maui - Lahaina, HI
The smarter we work, the luckier you get.

Roger That!

Aug 08, 2018 10:27 AM #3
John Meussner
Mason-McDuffie Mortgage, Conventional Loans, Jumbo Loans, FHA, 203(k), USDA, VA, - Walnut Creek, CA
#MortgageMadeEasy Walnut Creek, CA 484-680-4852

Great analogy, Rob!  Nothing better than saving the day, and I'll 2nd your opinion that working as an independent banker is the way to go.  I don't know how the brokers (lack of control) or banks (lack of product, service, etc) do it!  

Aug 08, 2018 06:38 PM #4
Bob Jakowinicz
National Realty Centers Livonia--Bob Jakowinicz - Livonia, MI
Michigan Real Estate Agent-- MI RE Adventures

I'm willing to bet many lenders could write some pretty interesting stories on these types of situations.  The pre approval process being as thourough as possible really helps but of course saying that does no good when the emergency call comes in, lol.  

Aug 09, 2018 05:18 AM #5
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

10-4 Rob

Aug 09, 2018 06:42 AM #6
Mike Frazier
Carousel Realty of Dyer County - Dyersburg, TN
Northwest Tennessee Realtor

Was this an actual deal that you were called on? if so what happened?

Aug 09, 2018 11:04 AM #7
Kevin Mackessy
Blue Olive Properties, LLC - Highlands Ranch, CO
Dedicated. Qualified. Local.

I had to switch lenders once as a deal fell apart two days before closing.  The lender that swooped in grabbed the file and salvaged everything, closing the property in two weeks from that point.  We have used that lender exclusively ever since.  A good lender is truly an asset.  

Aug 10, 2018 10:07 AM #8
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224


                         Thank you, Rob!

Aug 11, 2018 06:19 PM #9
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good afternoon Ron - Oh yes.  Those situations tend to come up from larger or online lenders.  Having someone dissect and go step by step helps isolate the problem and determine if it can be fixed.

Aug 12, 2018 02:18 PM #10
Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell

You get extra points for creativity, Rob. Not every lender can save a loan when there's a crash. Thank goodness you were able to resuscitate the deal for this client.

Aug 13, 2018 09:02 AM #11
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

I love it! Your creative mind extends to both your duties as a lender and your writing abilities.

Aug 13, 2018 09:54 PM #12
Cheryl Hale
Envoy Mortgage. LTD - Plymouth, MI
Mortgage Loan Originator NMLS#276668

Very creative post!  I too have been in this situation and it's great when you can perform a "rescue".

Aug 14, 2018 02:51 PM #13
Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

Very creative way to provide this information. If there are emergencies, it's great to deal with someone who not only knows what they are doing, but can provide the stability and calmness that is needed!

Aug 15, 2018 04:13 AM #14
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Rob Spinosa

Vice President of Mortgage Lending, Marin County
Can I Get a Jumbo Loan with 10% Down?
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