Shopping Locally

It’s trendy – when you have a chance, shop locally.  Typically you’ll get the freshest ingredients, you’ll support local businesses and you’ll be part of a trend to reduce our carbon footprint.  For the most part, most of us “get it” – especially as it pertains to food.  Why not support the local farmers and have more input into what we are feeding our families?  Why not give patronage to restaurants that are socially responsible and give back to our communities?  Unbeknownst to me until recently, the same can be said for that industry dear to my own heart (and yours too I am sure) – residential mortgage lending.

Just yesterday I found out that a large national lender is going to outsource their processing of mortgage loans to the Philippines.  We’ve certainly heard this story a few times and I know that it always rubs me the wrong way – especially when so many talented people in our own backyard are looking for work.  Those of us that question the strategy of outsourcing jobs realize that we are in a global community.  We have nothing against the other countries that benefit from jobs being sent their way; however, it just feels wrong in a very fundamental way. 

Another Loan Officer I deeply respect wrote the following this AM:  “Centralized processing on this level has never worked and will never work.  The major mortgage investors, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, along with the big banks, require “i’s” to be dotted four or five times and I don’t even want to talk about how many times the “t’s” need to be checked.  The level of responsiveness needed for a purchase transaction just cannot exist in another country and another culture.” 

I’ve spoken with a great many friends, Realtors and colleagues over the last couple years about the changes in our industry and the challenges that these represent to those of us that are working directly with consumers.  Imagine what will happen when a language barrier is added on top of all the new laws, new disclosures and more rigid qualifying standards.  We’ve all seen those commercials for credit cards where “Peggy” answers the phone from some unknown location.  The caller inevitably ends up confused and frustrated.  Now substitute a home loan purchase for air mile inquiries and I think we have the recipe for a real disaster on our hands.

We’ve all gotten accustomed to the idea of shopping locally for our groceries.  Is it that big of a stretch to do the same for the biggest purchase that most people make in their lifetime? 

If you know of anyone looking to purchase or refinance a home please feel free to call me – my number is local and so is my company.


2 thoughts on “Shopping Locally

  1. I totally agree, Mark! My worst mortgage loan experiences (lived through my client’s experiences) have been with “long-distance”/”internet” lenders. It always sounds good on paper (or online), but without some local influence you run the risk of no one caring how the process really ends….jj

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