A Very Special Closing!

Mortgage and Lending with George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages NMLS #65149

This months contest/challenge "December Challenge: Your Craziest Transaction" is being hosted by  Carol Williams and Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS.  We are being asked to share our funniest, most unusual, or challenging transaction we have had.  I have had my share of of all three, but there is one which was not only the most challenging but most special as well for me.  It was a loan I did back in 2011, and this Borrower not only had me pulling for her, but everyone who was involved in the transaction as well. 

I try to give each and every one of my Loans 100% of my attention, but every once in a while a Borrower comes along whose situation is such that I need to go beyond the 100%.  This usually happens when it is a Borrower that is of a lower income, and desperately trying to create a better living environment for their family.  I tend to get emotionally attached to these situations because, that was the case when my mother and father purchased their first house.  I grew up in a neighborhood that there were fights, robberies, and shootings.  My parents saved every penny they could in order to be able to purchase a house, in a better neighborhood, to take us out of environment we were in, and into a safer one.

Such was the case with this transaction, only this Borrower's situation was even worse than my parents, because she was a single mom.  She lived in a very ruff section of Hartford, Connecticut, where she and her five kids had to deal with frequent shootings.  Too top it off her youngest child was beaten up regularly at school, and would miss school because of it.

Her loan was a challenge from day one, because of income.  She did not make much at her present job, and child support payments were hard to document.  She also did not have a lot of money in the bank, and I wanted her to be able to hang onto most of it in case an emergency arose after the loan closed.  This meant we had to try to do a Connecticut Housing Finance Authority (CHFA) Loan with Down Payment and Closing Costs assistance.  This meant we had to document the heck out of her file to be able to use, and justify every penny of her income.  The Debt-To-Income Ratios on CHFA Loans are lower than other loan programs, making this loan even more difficult.  This was not going to be easy, but she wanted her family out of the environment they were in, and was willing to run around and get us whatever we need to be able to document enough income to make this work.

The loan went into process, and it was not long before I was not the only one who was emotionally invested in this loan.  My Processor, and Underwriter became emotionally invested in it as well after talking to her on the phone, and becoming aware of her family's situation.  I had seen them work hard on a loan before, but not like on this one.  They were actually giving me a hard time, if they thought I was not getting them everything they needed quickly enough (it was usually the other way around).  They put a lot of time and energy documenting this file, so the strongest possible case could be made for approving the loan, and in the end we got approval from CHFA, and were able to approve the loan.

The smile on this Borrower’s face was from ear to ear, as was the smile on her children’s face when I told them the loan had been approved.  The closing was a pleasure to attend, and very gratifying to see her get the keys to her first house.  My closing words to her once she had the keys to the house in her hands was, “a lot of people went to bat for you to make this happen for you and your family, don’t let them down.  Show them all the work they put into this was worth every second of their time”.

After the closing sent me a card saying the following: 


Thanks so much for making it possible, you didn't give up on me.  People ask me "how in the world you own a home", I can't believe it myself.  My kids are so happy, I owe it to you.  God bless you and your family 

Forever grateful,

This made my day, and was worth far more than the commission on any loan.

The Loan was not about the loan size or commission, the sales price was less than $100,000.  But it was more satisfying than if it had been a $1,000,000 loan.  Christmas came early for this Borrower and her children that year, and in many ways it came early for me as well.

Two years later on the 1st day of the month, my office phone rang.  It was the receptionist, and she said a lady was in the lobby and wanted to speak to me.  As I approached the lobby there she stood with as big a smile as the day I told her the loan had been approved.  She asked to see me, because it was the two year anniversary of her loan, and she had not only not missed a payment during that time, she made everyone of them on the first of the month. She looked at me in the eye and said "thank you for believing in me when no one else would".  I don't choke up easily, some may even say if they cut my chest open they would not find a heart.  This is a tough business, and there are times we have to deliver tough news.  But when I heard those words, it took me a little while to reply.

My parting words to her were, "you have kept your word, and should be very proud of that.  You have made me proud of what you have been able to do for you and your children".  Some times we do have special successes, this one was right there at the top of the list.

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 Info about the author:

George Souto NMLS# 65149 is a Loan Originator who is licensed in #CT, #RI, #MA, #NH, & #FL and can assist you with all your #FHA, #Conventional, #VA, #USDA, and #State Bonded Progam #mortgage needs in #CT, #RI, #MA, #NH, & #FL. George resides in Middlesex County which includes #Middletown, #Old Saybrook, #Middlefield, #Durham, #Cromwell, #Portland, #Higganum, #Haddam, #East Haddam, #Moodus, #Chester, #Deep River, and #Essex. George can be contacted at (860) 573-1308 or souto@snet.net


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

George- I love this because it shows what a kind person you are. Thank you for believing in her!!!

Dec 28, 2019 07:12 PM #10
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

George what a great story and I am so glad you shared it with us. Clearly shows what I have known about you and when I met you would just confirm it, Endre

Dec 28, 2019 09:31 PM #11
Debra Leisek
Bay Realty,Inc Homer Alaska - Homer, AK

This is the kind of story we all like to have a hand in. Makes our jobs a little more worthwhile to help someone help themselves...  Heartwarming!

Dec 28, 2019 11:42 PM #12
James Dray
Fathom Realty - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

Morning George.

What a great story, loved it.  Thank you for sharing

Dec 29, 2019 01:22 AM #13
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

George - that was a very tough challenge. I liked the letter you received and it's great that you, the processor and underwriter never gave up. It's very humbling when you get someone in need a home that they really appreciate. 

Dec 29, 2019 03:03 AM #14
Carla Freund
Keller Williams Preferred Realty - Raleigh, NC
Carolina Life RealEstate & Relocation 919-602-8489

George, what a great story! I hope things are still well for this woman.

Dec 29, 2019 04:48 AM #15
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

I love this story, and teared up myself and I imagined the closing day and the meeting two years later. Great job.

Dec 29, 2019 06:53 AM #16
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Well done, George. And I totally get it... I feel the same when dealing with a buyer who is marginal in terms of being able to buy. But the satisfaction of making it happen and improving someone's life is way greater than the commission earned.

Dec 29, 2019 07:24 AM #17
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

I love the words in the card you received at closing, George.  Sometimes it is the tough transactions that give us feelings of most reward at the end.

Dec 29, 2019 08:45 AM #18
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

CONGRATULATIONS George, on having this blog FEATURED in the Old Farts Club group!  

Dec 29, 2019 08:47 AM #19
Cynthia Trapp
Cressy & Everett Real Estate - Dowagiac, MI
Seller Representative Specialist / Waterfront

What a moving story, George, and thank you for sharing it. It’s a good reminder that what we do isn’t just about numbers, it’s about people.

Dec 29, 2019 09:46 AM #20
Marney Kirk
Cummings & Co. Realtors - Towson, MD
Towson, Maryland Real Estate

I am so happy for her that she is able to provide a better situation for her family. Thank you for helping her through the process!

Dec 29, 2019 11:31 AM #21
Tom Bailey
Margaret Rudd & Associates Inc. - Oak Island, NC

Great story George! She was lucky to have you and your team. She was probably a better risk than people with a lot more income

Dec 30, 2019 03:53 AM #22
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi
NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656 - New Lenox, IL
708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience

You ... this story ... makes me proud to be a LO, George Souto.  It brilliantly highlights the fact that lenders can be heroes and do great good for their clients.  It describes you to a "T" ... well done, friend!


Dec 30, 2019 08:28 AM #23
Rosalind Nicholas
RE/MAX Condos Plus Corporation, Brokerage - Toronto, ON
Toronto Condo Real Estate Agent, Toronto ON

Thanks for sharing this story. It says a lot about the kind of person you are …… and the fact that she came to see you 2 years later says a lot about her; and that it was a worth while endeavor for all parties concerned.

Dec 31, 2019 08:39 AM #24
Beth Atalay
Cam Realty and Property Management - Clermont, FL
Cam Realty of Clermont FL

George Souto, what a beautiful story. She was lucky to have you and your team on her side. 

Dec 31, 2019 09:43 AM #25
Ed Silva
RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

What a great story George.  We always try a little harder when we see someone that really deserves a break

Jan 01, 2020 05:26 AM #26
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good morning George Souto - this entry actually deserves a double feature.  I can feel the emotion that you had and I hope that her children will grow up to remember this just as you did with your parents.  It was not enough to say you believe, you and your loan partners did everything to show it.

Jan 02, 2020 05:46 AM #27
Julie A. Black
KAUAI DREAMS REALTY Kauai Real Property Specialist - Kapaa, HI
CLHMS, CRS, GRI, Realtor, Broker

Congrats. Some of my favorite transactions too are the USDA 0% downpayments where I chipped in the earnest deposit.

Jan 03, 2020 03:30 PM #28
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi George:

HOW did I miss this when you shared it?! Such a wonderful, and emotional, story, and something you will always remember. These are the situations that make our business so rewarding.

Thank you for making my day!


Jan 16, 2020 02:24 PM #29
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