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As part of Fahe’s ongoing commitment to strengthening our Members’ resilience and providing Appalachia with quality resources, we recently hosted a two day Mortgage Broker Bootcamp. The Bootcamp was a collaboration between Fahe, Members, and partner organizations to provide education and resources to those interested in bringing quality mortgage products to rural and underserved areas.

Among those participating in the Bootcamp were Fahe Members Clinch-Powell Resource Conversation and Development Council, Inc. (TN), Eastern Eight Community Development Corporation (TN), Frontier Housing (KY), Helping Overcome Poverty’s Existence, Inc. (HOPE) (VA), Homeownership Center (WV), Housing Development Alliance (HDA) (KY), People Inc (VA), Southeast Rural Community Assistance Project (SERCAP) (VA), and Fahe Network partner Pathfinder Inc. (IN).

lauraThe Mortgage Broker Bootcamp identified the benefits of becoming a broker (both for the organization and the community), provided the steps needed to be taken, and then provided proven skills and resources that would allow them to become successful.  “The information provided at the Bootcamp was great,” stated Chris Doll, from HDA. “The knowledge gained will allow groups to decide if they can balance being a broker with their current strategies and not risk sacrificing what they’re already really good at.  And that’s really important to know.”

Participants went through discussions and lectures on important topics such as marketing strategies, compliance, underwriting from an underwriter’s perspective, and loan packaging.  “The bootcamp has been a great learning experience,” said Rose Decker from Pathfinder. “I have packaged loans for 14 years, I have my full MSL licensing and I was exposed to new things. I wish I had these resources when I started out.  The checklist, for example, is invaluable; I’ve never seen someone use it before.”

By becoming brokers with Fahe’s mortgage division, JustChoice Lending, participants increase the access of quality mortgage products to underserved areas.  Many of these locations are either not serviced by traditional banking institutions or these institutions don’t provide specific loans designed to serve the people of those areas, such as the USDA 502 Direct loan.  Brokers will be able to provide loans at competitive rates and offer service to low- and very low-income people as well as to people of every income level.

tinaBy becoming a mortgage broker these organizations also gain an extra source of revenue, which allows them to better serve people in additional ways, including hiring staff and offering new, essential services. “The information presented at the bootcamp is highly useful,” said Jamie Gross of People, Inc. “We plan on going forward as a broker. The bootcamp answered a lot of our questions and the information provided will help us during our preparation.  Becoming a broker will generate additional revenue and allow us to provide much needed services like foreclosure counseling.”

Quality housing has been directly proven to be tied to better health, educational attainment, and overall success in life.  The bootcamp has provided knowledge and networking benefits to empower the participants in their missions to serve their communities.

“I came to the bootcamp knowing nothing,” said Amanda Romans, of HOPE.”  “I’ve encountered lots of good information that has already allowed me to see how HOPE needs to prepare.  It’s is highly useful to meet the presenters and the other participants so that we know who to contact when we need questions and support, just like we do with other services from Fahe.”

The Mortgage Broker Bootcamp was made possible in part thanks to generous support from the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, NeighborWorks America, and Chase.





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