Business

Legacy Group loan officer is 'mortgage detective'

Loan Officer Patti Wible tailors clients to available loan products.  - Courtesy photo
Loan Officer Patti Wible tailors clients to available loan products.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

By general agreement, questionable lending practices caused the economy to tank, so changing these habits is a necessary part of a return to prosperity.

With this in mind, a local businesswoman has positioned herself as way for consumers to gain access to the most favorable mortgage options.

“I see myself as a mortgage detective,” said Patti Wible, a loan officer with the Legacy Group. “I see what’s available that is most appropriate for a particular client. I then create a package that takes all the details into account and will satisfy the bank’s lending requirements.”

Wible travels to Legacy’s Silverdale office several days a week, but works out of her home much of the time and has concentrated on serving South Kitsap accounts.

She has recently increased her local visibility, joining the Port Orchard Chamber of Commerce as well as other local committees.

“I used to get most of my business through referrals from past clients,” she said. “But in this market, I need to expand and find as many new referral sources as possible.”

Wible said Kitsap County is more stable than a lot of other locations due to the military and the steady employment stream that results from its presence.

Wible joined Legacy in 2007, when it opened its Kitsap office.

Prior to that, she had about 15 years experience in the mortgage business.

“When I moved to Port Orchard in 1990, I had difficulty getting a loan on my house,” she said. “I had good credit, but wasn’t making much in my job. It was an awful, degrading experience. I had to approach all of these different lenders separately. I looked at the process and felt that I could do this, and could do a better job.”

Much of her success has to do with knowledge, ability and the desire to save others from the same degrading experience but technology plays a part.

Wible uses a software program that takes the amount of the loan, the client’s credit rating and other data and then outputs the best available rates from all local lending institutions.

“If you go to one of the large banks, you can only choose from the products they’re offering at the time,” she said. “I provide access to everything, and present it in a way that is easy to compare.”

Wible said that most borrowers with a credit score of 620 are able to secure a loan, although some lenders now require 640.

Wible said she performs the same job as a mortgage broker but works under different regulations.

Brokers connect the borrower with the lender and then moves on to the next deal. As a correspondent lender, Wible’s company is liable for the loan if the borrower defaults in the first year.

“We have a lot more responsibility than a mortgage broker,” she said, “so we’re more careful about who we lend money to. If our client commits mortgage fraud or defaults, we need to buy back the loan.”

In the past, a borrower could take out a loan with one lender and watch ownership change hands several times during the life of the loan (even though the terms of the loan cannot change).

This still happens, but not as frequently.

While the economy evolves, some advice stays the same. Wible said that a 30-year loan is still a more comfortable option than a 15-year option, in case the borrower hits a rough patch.

Even so, the best option is to make extra mortgage payments whenever possible.

“If you can make two extra payments a year, one on principal and one on interest, you can take nine years off of the life of the loan and save a tremendous amount,” she said.

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