Jim Duffy - Mortgage Expert

Jim Duffy Expert Interview

It was my great pleasure to sit down with Mortgage Expert Jim Duffy the other day to talk about the mortgage business.

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Jim is a trusted expert in the Find My Way Home Network, and if you have ever contacted us for an introduction in Florida, South Carolina or Georgia, you've probably met Jim.

Pattern of Excellence

Our primary goal with the Expert Interview series is to shine a light on professional problem solvers that have chosen the mortgage industry as their career.

If you have ever had the unfortunate experience of getting tricked into working with a call center mortgage lender, you will notice a night and day difference when talking to a professional loan officer like Jim Duffy.

We believe that once you are introduced to experts like Jim, you would never choose to work with anyone less than a professional mortgage expert in the future.

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What I Learned About Jim

My biggest take away from this interview was probably how common Jim's story is.  Not that Jim is like every other loan officer, quite the contrary actually.

Jim's path to becoming a professional loan officer is very similar to how I learned the business almost 20 years ago.  You see, Jim is a guideline geek.

Jim's passion for helping people found him more often than not buried in underwriting guidelines looking for opportunities to help his clients achieve their long and short term goals.

Years and years of staying up to date with underwriting guidelines and changes in the mortgage industry has resulted in Jim being an industry leader in terms of problem solving and overcoming unforeseen challenges during the mortgage approval process.

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From the very first contact, Jim provides professional guidance and expert advice to new clients to help them make educated and informed decisions about their next mortgage.

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If you are like most people that visit this website, you’ve got a mortgage problem or an unanswered question and you’re having trouble getting answers.

We are here to help you get the right answer, the first time, and connect you with an experienced loan officer that can help if necessary.

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Read Transcript of Jim Duffy Expert Interview

Scott Schang:                        Thank you for joining us here today. I'm Scott Schang from the founder of Find My Way Home. This is part of my mortgage expert interview series, and really, the goal of our website here is, when consumers go down the path of home ownership, it's very, very easy to get lost and to get confused, especially if they see a commercial or something, and they dial a phone number, get stuck in a call center, and then get treated like a number through the process.

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My goal here is to introduce you to people that I know across the country that I consider experts. Now, expert is not necessarily how long somebody's been in the industry, but it's really the way that you approach your business. Today, I want to introduce you to a friend of mine. His name is Jim Duffy. Jim, how are you today?

Jim Duffy:                                Great, Scott. Good to be on with you. I love what you're doing here with Find My Way Home. It really is connecting people around the whole country with people who have been in the business a long time, do the right business the right way, and I commend you for your vision in creating this.

Scott Schang:                        It's interesting because we didn't set off to do this. We started the site just to try to help ... Well, I did it to help people in my backyard in California. I had no idea that there was the amount of misinformation and inexperience out there. I had no idea the tens of thousands of people a month come to our website, asking questions because somebody told them the wrong answer, and it just floored me. It really blew my mind.

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You and I have been working together for a few years, now. I started reaching out to you when I started getting people contacting me from outside of California, and I'm like, "Hey, Jim. I know how you work. You're good people where you located." Let's jump right into this. You are a mortgage professional. This is your career. This is what you do for a living. How the heck did you get here? What does that path look like?

Jim Duffy:                                It is funny that no one sets off out of college to say, "I'm going to be a mortgage professional." [crosstalk 00:02:25]. It's because I got married, and we were expecting our first child, and at the time I was a radio marketing manager for a group for north end South America, and I was on a plane all the time.

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I thought to myself, I said, "You know what? I don't want to miss this kid, and any subsequent kids growing up." I had a friend who owned a mortgage company, and I said, "Talk to me. What's the about?" He said, "Come on, I'll show you," and the rest is history, as they say.

It's funny because I was remembering, just the other day, that my very first loan closed was on Halloween day back in 2001. The interesting thing about that is that that home buyer has stuck with me. We've done a couple other loans form over the years, and we just did a preapproval last week for a second home that they're buying. I love the relationships that last, as well.

Scott Schang:                        It's so funny that you say that nobody sets off saying, "Hey, I'm going to be a loan officer," almost everybody I know that ended up here, but once you started getting into it, what was it that pulled you in? Because this is a brutal business. It's really a hard business, it can be. We're professional middlemen for the most part, but our level of experience and expertise makes it a much smoother process.

As you kind of went through it, what was it that just said, "You know what? This is it. This is what I'm going to do." Just because you had a friend in the business doesn't mean that you were like, "This is so much fun, I don't know what I'm going to do with myself."

Jim Duffy:                                It can be stressful at times, because there's moving trucks behind the scenes. There's people who need to move into a home, and I think that's part of the challenge. It's like putting a puzzle together, making sure all the different scenarios of people who come with their situation, that it fits the right loan for them, and that we can move along and actually hit their closing date.

That, to me, it creates a relationship that tends to last for years, so you get to know people of all types and walks of life, and genuinely help them, oftentimes. If someone comes and has a difficulty with credit, or an income piece that you can figure out, or a down payment you can figure out, or whatever the issue is sometimes, and you help them overcome and figure that out, it creates a relationship that lasts a long, long time. It gives a lot of joy at the end of the day.

Scott Schang:                        When anybody asks me about it, it always comes down to it's always worth it when you help people, and you're helping people accomplish one of the greatest goals of their entire life. Owning a home, owning a business, getting married, having kids, it's in the top five. It's in your top five.

You're an organized kind of person, because there's a lot of, like you said, there's a lot of moving parts, and there's moving trucks. There's people that have expectations and they're trusting you.

Jim Duffy:                                And we take that trust seriously, as you know, as you do. You're the professional as well, and that's key. One of the key things for me was, early on in my career, I dug into guidelines. I only wanted to know a few loan types really, really well, because I knew that I couldn't master everything all at once, so I would pull out the guidelines.

One time I printed off all of the VA guidelines, for example. It's about that big, printed, and I went through, and highlighted, and made notes and everything, so I got to know what you can do with a VA loan that a lot of my colleagues had never read, never knew, and didn't figure out, and you can do a lot. VA loans will do a lot of good for veterans. That was just one example of one load type, but digging in the guidelines, I think, is the key to knowing exactly what you can and can't do.

Scott Schang:                        That leads me to my next question, is almost everybody that I know ... Again, you don't always choose your path, but sometimes your path chooses you. Would you say that-

Jim Duffy:                                I think that's what happens to us when we're busy making other plans.

Scott Schang:                        That's right. Do you have any specific loan types or scenarios that you become an expert in? Is VA the path that you ended up going down where you really established most of expertise?

Jim Duffy:                                Yeah, there's really just a few. VAFHA is what I kind of dug my teeth into first, and then conventional. [inaudible 00:07:19] loans, and some jumbo loans. But, what that says is there's also things excluded, even today. Just a few years ago, I got into renovation loans. I steered clear of those for years, because I wasn't an expert, so I had a team behind me that said, "We know these," a team of underwriter and processor, and now, I do a lot of renovation loans, and I know the product very well.

What I don't do, and I never have, is commercial loans. I refer those out to an expert. Even reverse mortgages. As a company, we do them, but I don't, because I feel like you should do a lot, and really understand the product, or not touch it and refer it to the expert.

Scott Schang:                        That's really important, and I guess I didn't expect that answer, but I did expect that answer, is that you help people that you know you can help, that you're confident that you can help. We have another one of our experts on the screen right now, Steven Woloszyk. He says, "We're all underwriting guideline geeks." That's so true. That's funny that you say that.

Jim Duffy:                                We have to [crosstalk 00:08:32] job. We have to be, and so many loan officers around aren't, and then that always bothers me a little bit, because this is all we have to offer. People come to us knowing what a home loan is generically, but not specifically, by any means, and that's our job.

Scott Schang:                        What's interesting is people don't understand that your options are limited to your loan officer's experience.

Jim Duffy:                                That's true.

Scott Schang:                        And people don't know that, so when they call a call center, they don't realize that that call center's paired down their product offering to only what they can push button through the conveyor belt. They're not going to think outside the box, they're not going to allow one other telemarketers to go and download underwriting guidelines that are 2,000 pages.

OK, so that's great. Another thing that I think is different is the way that we communicate with our clients. When an expert communicates with a client, somebody who solves problems for a living, who just helps people for a living, that's a different initial conversation than I think people get when they call a call center, so why don't you kind of walk me through when you were introduced to a client that first time? What does that process kind of look like? How do you determine whether or not you can help them?

Jim Duffy:                                Well, that's a good question. What I typically do is we start off getting to know what's important to them. Is it the down payment, where it's coming from, is that monthly payment, et cetera? What's the important part? How long are you going to be in the house? It's amazing when you ask that question, some people aren't planning on being in that home for forever. They're short term, et cetera, so that determines.

And then, what their goals are in life. Is your goal to have the lowest payment, and save money elsewhere, and build up funds in your retirement account, for example? Or, is it to get this paid off quickly. I explore those things briefly with them initially, and then we take the initial loan application. Then, I hang up, do my homework, and then I meet people in person, or over the computer.

I'll do a screen share, oftentimes, if they can't come into the office, so they're looking at my screen. We're all looking at the same information, same numbers, and I'll present the best options for them and explain, "Here's your options. Option A might be the best, because these were the things that were important to you," and sometimes things change, there.

They say, "Well, I know I said that, but," and we go a different route. But, I always like to educate what the options are, and what the pros and cons of each one is, so they're making an educated decision, instead of, "Here's the box, fit it in." It's, "What's really important to you, and we'll tailor this around your goals."

Scott Schang:                        That's something that's really common that I see with real, true professionals, is you view yourself as the guide. You're sort of the Yoda in the thing, where they have these questions, they're sort of lost, you're really just there to help make sure that they're asking the right questions. Do you charge for that? Is there a cost for them to sit down with an expert, and go through their goals?

Jim Duffy:                                No, and there shouldn't be. I get that asked question quite often, actually, is, "Do you have an application fee?" Absolutely not, no.

Scott Schang:                        Does it shock you a little bit? It shocks me when I hear it. I'm like, "What do you mean, application fee? Who's charging application fees?" I know somebody that has to pay for rocket fuel that needs to charge application fees in order to get those things off the ground.

Jim Duffy:                                But we don't, no, because the whole goal is to educate enough so that they're very comfortable moving forward, and then we earn the business, not capture the business, if you will, or force someone to by paying a fee, and then they can't go elsewhere.

But, here's one other thing. You'll laugh at this, because I'm sure you do something very similar. I'll let everyone know what the max that they qualify for is, because everyone wants to know that. "How much loan can I afford?" Say it's, I don't know, pick a number. $400,000.

Scott Schang:                        And then they ask the payment.

Jim Duffy:                                Yes, and then the payment. I put it this way. I say, "Look, I can get you approved for whatever that number is, $400,000, but then you have to have a pass the pillow test, and the pillow test is, if that payment is such that you're lying awake at night going, "How in the world am I going to make this?" Don't do it.

Few go to bed at night and sleep going, "I got this. This is well within budget. I'm good." Then it's the right move, and that's different for everybody.

Scott Schang:                        Yeah, my kind of go-to line is there's two things we're going to look at. We're going to look at what you can afford on paper, and then we're going to look at what you can pay, or what you want to pay, and then the reality is really just this emotional bridge between, "This is the kind of home that I want to live in, and I can justify this payment," because a lot of people start off anchoring their expectations to what they pay in rent, and some of the final cost of home ownership is not necessarily that monthly check, but it's either tax deductions, or for savings and increased equity, and all of the other benefits that go along with home ownership. That's funny.

This is my favorite part, and let's try to keep this down under an hour. War stories. Tell me about maybe your proudest moment. What was one of the toughest deals that you almost surprised yourself that you were able to navigate through it?

Jim Duffy:                                This could go on for an hour.

Scott Schang:                        Only choose one, Jim. You only get one.

Jim Duffy:                                That's the thing, I've got three in my mind. It could go on for a long time, because almost every month we have one or two that are just hairy. But, here's one that we closed four or five months ago. It was a couple that was living in North Carolina, they wanted to move to South Carolina, but the husband was going to continue his job in North Carolina for an unforeseen future, and eventually transfer down here with the same company, but eventually, and the wife was going to move here.

She didn't have a job. She was a homemaker, so I was a little surprised at this. We got that when approved as primary residents, just five percent down payment conventional, because it was a non occupant co borrower, and then an occupant borrower, so Freddie Mac allows for that. We got [crosstalk 00:15:24] done, owner occupied rates, just five percent down, et cetera, and that one, I have to admit, surprised me a little bit.

Scott Schang:                        Oh, man. See, that is such a great story, but I don't think anybody's going to understand the gravity of how cool that solution is, because several years ago, Freddie Mac was the only one that would do the non-occupying co mortgages, by meeting conventional. FHA always allowed it. [crosstalk 00:15:52] does now, but they didn't back then. Again, that's awesome.

You knew that in a conventional load, you had this option of Freddie Mac. Freddie Mac is its own worst enemy. They make it hard for us to find their guidelines, their guidelines aren't easy to read for mortgage professionals, and their technology isn't as good as Fannie Mae's.

But, it's just a conventional loan. It's the same, safe, low-rate, 30 year fixed. Mortgage insurance is calculated the same way, they just have some special nuances.

Jim Duffy:                                They have some quirky things. They allow for some things that Fannie Mae does not, as well. Anyway, I won't get too nerdy on that.

Scott Schang:                        No, but that's great. That's a perfect example of, because you have this knowledge, because ... It's not easy reading guidelines, and that's really a sign of a professional. Doctors continuously are reading about the latest procedures, your CPA, your tax accountant, is always looking at the new tax laws. I think people underestimate that your financial health is, I think, important as your physical health.

You wouldn't call a telemarketer somewhere and say, "Hey, I've got a stomach ache. What do you think the problem is?" You wouldn't do that. You'd go to WebMD and find out that you self diagnose something completely ridiculous.

Jim Duffy:                                "I have some horrible disease," but then you go to the doctor and he founds out, "Nope, you just have the flu, and you'll be over it soon."

Scott Schang:                        "Yeah, you just have the flu." That ability, that part of you taking your job so seriously that you understand, and even if you don't, at least in my experience, I haven't read the guidelines from A to Z every single time there's an update, but I know where to find them, and I know whether or not, "Hey, that's probably an option. Let's dig around there for a while."

Jim Duffy:                                I have this conversation with my underwriter frequently. It is that both of us acknowledge that fact that we can't retain everything up here. We have to keep going back to guidelines, because there's so many nuances, that just like you say, we know where to find the answer, even if we don't have it present in our mind. We know where to go find it quickly, and that's the key.

Scott Schang:                        And they change all of the time.

Jim Duffy:                                All the time.

Scott Schang:                        OK, so now, this is pull back a little bit. This isn't specifically your client, but what would be the best advice that you would give a first time home buyer?

Jim Duffy:                                Best advice for a first time home buyer. I think the best advice ... OK, first time home buyers always come saying, "I can own a home for less than I pay in rent," at least in my market, and probably yours, too, and probably most of the country, actually. I'm licensed in three states. South Carolina, of course, Georgia, and Florida, and in all three of those, it holds true.

They say, "Yeah, I can own the same home with a mortgage for less than I pay in rent," and my advice is yes, you can, and you will build wealth more quickly. Every years there's a study done, and it says ... This is a tangent, I know, but the average homeowner in the United States has between a 34 to 41 times greater net worth than the average [crosstalk 00:19:34]. This is every year, so it's 34 to 41, somewhere in there, each year.

Scott Schang:                        I heard the same numbers.

Jim Duffy:                                What I tell first time buyers is, "Yes, you can, and you will build equity, and you'll build wealth more quickly, et cetera, but maintenance is all on you." A budget is key. You also have to budget every month, a little bit set aside for deferred maintenance, routine maintenance, et cetera, to keep that house is tip-top shape. Those who do that are very successful homeowners, and love owning their home.

The few who don't, really, they sell several years down the road, and they have all this different maintenance, et cetera, so I think that's the key, is a budget has to now change from renting, and include that upkeep and maintenance on the home, as well.

Scott Schang:                        You're kind of giving them a little bit of a vision, and you're helping them plan forward, and I guess this probably coincides with your initial interview, where you're identifying what their personal and their financial long and short term goals are for their family, so you're probably crafting it around that.

Where I'm at in California, you can get pretty close, but home prices are a little obnoxious out here, so by the time you add in taxes, and insurance, and things like that, it can be a little bit higher.

Jim Duffy:                                [crosstalk 00:21:00] and get a tax break, and all that good thing.

Scott Schang:                        Absolutely.

Jim Duffy:                                [crosstalk 00:21:05] what the government does with tax breaks.

Scott Schang:                        OK, now let's switch that up to a homeowner. What's the best advice you would give to somebody who owns a home currently? How should they be looking at or treating their home as a asset, as a investment tool? What kind of advice do you have for homeowners?

Jim Duffy:                                [crosstalk 00:21:32] than most. Admittedly, I view this a little differently than most. If someone owns an investment property, that's an asset, and should be treated as such, but the primary resident, yes, it helps you build wealth over time, et cetera, but I would say, primarily, the primary residents, your home is security, so treat it as such. Don't be borrowing against it to pay off other debts, et cetera, necessarily, but really just treat it as security.

And, I don't know if this is where you were going with this, but I say live. Enjoy life. This is where you will create the base of memories going forward that will last your entire life in this house that is now a home. Live and act like that.

If you're friendly and like to have people over, have parties a lot. This is especially for the women that I talk to. It doesn't matter if every aspect, every corner of that house is spotless all the time. Live life, enjoy the home. It's where you will create memories, and do that, create memories.

Scott Schang:                        Yeah, that's awesome. I'm glad you mentioned the maintenance, because maintenance is definitely important, but simply owning the home that you live in is an investment vehicle, and it's building longterm wealth, simply by driving up the driveway. You should be celebrating with house parties and barbecues every day, but average increase and average equity growth is, what, say five percent? Somewhere around there, maybe on the low side? Every year, you're getting a five percent return on sleeping in your own bed at night.

Jim Duffy:                                Sleeping, as opposed to five percent of return going to the landlord if you are renting, so that's the beauty of owning a home, and that's where, over time, that dichotomy exists of homeowners have roughly 40 times the net worth of renters.

Scott Schang:                        Do you ever find, when you're talking to homeowners ... Let's say they're not going to live in the home forever. Maybe this is a stepping stone. Maybe their dream home, they can't afford right now, so you help them get into their first home, and either give them guidance or information on either selling or retaining that property, and moving up, do you find yourself doing longterm financial planning like that with them, as well?

Jim Duffy:                                Yeah, I do, quite often. It is often, especially first time buyers, that they're used to living in their parent's home, that their parents worked, and moved up and up and up to over years, and they kind of have that vision, and then they look at their first time home, and say, "Well, that's not quite what I was looking for," so I do.

My advice to them, especially if they come and say, "Well, we're going to buy this, but we're only going to stay there three or four years, and then we're going to move on, so give me a 5/1 ARM." I will say, "Here's the difference in rate between a 5/1 ARM and a 30 year fixed rate. Let's really weigh the 30 year fixed rate, because that gives you the option that a 5/1 ARM doesn't."

If the home hasn't gone up, or the market tanks, or the market stagnates, or something, you then have the option to convert that to a rental, and rent the property, and wait for the market to come back, or whatever, whereas on a 5/1 ARM, you really don't, because that rate is going to be adjusting. That's one thing I have a conversation quite a bit with people.

Scott Schang:                        You had just mentioned that your very first loan that you closed was Halloween day, and since then, you've done quite a few loans for that person. I'm glad you said that, because you run into people, and they're like, "Well, I don't ever want to refinance again," and, "I want this to be my last loan that I ever do," and I get that, but I think a lot of that comes from the fact that they perceived that process as being complicated, or cumbersome, or they don't feel like they benefited as much as they should have from the process.

But, what I do find, in my own business, and with people like you, you become, again, a top three. You have your family's doctor, you have your family's accountant, and then you have your family's mortgage broker or mortgage planner. This is a relationship that you maintain for years, and years, and years.

Jim Duffy:                                Oh, yeah. Absolutely, as it should be. If we're doing our job correctly, and really caring about that client, that homeowner, then if a situation comes up where rate's lower ... I keep in touch with them. I just spoke with one this morning, who came into some money, and inheritance, they want to pay down their FHA loan, get rid of PMI, and as you know, PMI is permeative if you just put the minimum down.

We structured that, and also structured, said, "Let's now go to a 15 year fixed rate, and really get this paid off aggressively not that you've come into some assets, you got money [crosstalk 00:26:57], et cetera." That's just part of continuously planning, because life changes, so you want to be there and change with it.

Scott Schang:                        Do you find that your clients call you a lot for just advice, like if a question pops into their head? You're easily accessible, they're like, "Hey, Jim, I have this question. What if I did this," or, "What if I did that?"

Jim Duffy:                                I do, a lot. It's funny. I've got one other client that we've probably done five loans over the years, and he just, about twice a year, he just checks in and says, "Hey, I just want to know if I'm still in the best loan for our situation. Here's our situation down the way," whatever.

Scott Schang:                        I do that with my cable bill every few months. I call them up, "Do I still have the best program?" That's smart. The world wants to be automated and push button, and they don't ... Listen, I get it. People don't want to talk to sales people. I'm not a sales person, and you're not a sales person. You're a professional, and your expertise happens to be this mortgage business, but first and foremost, you're an advisor. You're a guide, you're a counselor, you're somebody that is going to have a valuable relationship with your client base over the long period of time.

Coming home is great, but that security, that longterm security of owning a home, and knowing somebody that you can talk to, that you can always get advice from, no matter what, because life happens. Like you said, life is what happens when you're busy making other plans. Stuff happens, and there's emergencies, and, "Hey, I need to access my equity," or, "I need to up size, or downsize, or right size," or whatever the case is."

Jim Duffy:                                That's what I do, is help educate. I view it as helping that homeowner at the point, make an educated decision, and weigh out their options, and sometimes they'll say, "You know what? We're good the way we are," and that's a good outcome, because they know, then. They're sure. "We're good where we are," and sometimes it makes sense to do something different. Either way is a great outcome.

Scott Schang:                        Yeah, I tell people all the time, "You're in a good loan." They'll say to you, "Hey, I saw something online that rates are lower." Yeah, I'm not going to get into commercials. What they're telling you, but sometimes you're just in the best spot, and I think that's invaluable, having a bat phone that they can call Jim Duffy, and ask any questions about mortgages, or finances.

Jim Duffy:                                I know that it's not going to be a hard sell. We got to do something now. It's just advice, and then they do what's best for them, and that's what I'm all about, because that's how we create relationships. From 2001 to 2017, we're still doing business together, because I have the best interest of that person, that homeowner, at heart, and that's what I try to do with my whole team, is the same way, because I make sure that we're all doing the same thing, and that's what creates the longterm relationship, not just transactional.

Scott Schang:                        That's interesting you said that. I didn't think about bringing that up, but that's another thing that I noticed with true experts, to professionals, is you surround yourself with people that will allow you to deliver the level of professionalism that you would expect from anybody else. The people you put around you, I think people get confused, and again, the advertising dollars are doing it.

People think they're choosing a lender. The lender is irrelevant as far as I'm concerned, because, we mentioned this earlier, your options and your success in this transaction are limited to the experience of your load officer. Your loan officer can make or break your deal by not presenting it right, not asking the right questions, not anticipating what could go wrong.

Most people don't know that we're also fortune tellers. We can see around corners, and see. You get good at anticipating what could potentially go wrong, and then trying to remove those hurdles.

Jim Duffy:                                I put it this way, that loan officers are really like the quarterback. We're calling the audibles on the field, et cetera, but then the whole team has to be coordinated, and in the same direction, if you will, but that's really what we are. If we're not calling the right play to begin with, it's not going to be successful, but if we are, there's a good chance of a touchdown.

Scott Schang:                        And a good quarterback, if something pops up that wasn't expected, you can scramble your way around it, and still make the touchdown. We do that a lot more than I would like to admit, but people don't understand how unpredictable the process of getting a loan is. The business world has done a fantastic job of making it easy to fill out an application, but they still can't replace what you do, and what the underwriters do, and your communication with the underwriters, and really putting that together. It's everything that happens after the application is why they need Jim Duffy.

Jim Duffy:                                Yeah, that's exactly right. And, I will say this, you helped me with a guideline just yesterday or the day before, and helped me communicate it well back to my underwriter. It's a collaboration all around, and I appreciate that.

Scott Schang:                        Yeah, that's why I love doing. After I met you, and we bounced stuff off of each other all the time, and that's really what all the networks on Find My Way Home are, is we are a community of experts that believe that individually, sitting in your office in South Carolina, unless somebody knows who Jim Duffy is, you're not ever going to meet somebody like Jim Duffy that knows what the hell he's doing, and then can get you to the finish line and build a longterm relationship with you.

Our goal here is if I can get enough people together to let consumers know that we are out here, and this is a place where you can find people that can ask questions, and it doesn't matter what state you're in. If you found this site, and you're watching this video, or another video, you can ask your questions. We're going to look up the guidelines, and we're going to figure out the right answer, and we're going to give it to you. If we can help you beyond that, we're absolutely available to do that, but first and foremost, it's Yoda power.

Jim Duffy:                                That's right. I like the vision. You said you didn't start off with this vision, but it's morphed into creating that network of experts who take this seriously. This is our profession, and helping homeowners is what we do.

Scott Schang:                        Yeah, and personally, it was really hard for me when everything crashed, and everything came out, but it was probably harder before that, because I saw people getting ripped off and I couldn't do anything about it, and as much as you try to warn people, "Stay away," I'm not as concerned about the subprime stuff, but I think I'm seeing the same behavior where consumers are just blindly trusting a TV commercial, and think that that's their best option, when they don't understand that they're never going to talk to you.

They're going to talk to a 20 year old kid and this is his first job, and he's just reading a computer screen, and if you don't fit into their box, there is no box for you. Jim Duffy owns a box factory. He will make a box for you.

Jim Duffy:                                We'll do it.

Scott Schang:                        We'll do it. You're going to need a box of these dimensions. Jim, I don't want to take up any more of your time. I absolutely appreciate you coming on here and sharing your stories, and having a conversation. Look forward to working with you more in the future.

Anybody watching this, all of Jim's contact information, I'll make it available if you need to reach out to him, or if you have any other questions about mortgages, you can just ask on the site, either myself or somebody like Jim. We'll get the answer for you, and we'll give it to you. I guess that's it. Jim, thanks so much. Enjoy your day. Congratulations on your Halloween anniversary of closing your first loan, 16 years later, now.

Jim Duffy:                                It's amazing.

Scott Schang:                        Yeah. Now, South Caroline, looks like you have beautiful weather today.

Jim Duffy:                                Oh, it is absolutely perfect right now. Of course it's always perfect in California, so there's nothing to say about that.

Scott Schang:                        It got down to 50 last week. It was unbearable. I was pulling out my snowmobile suit. I grew up in Michigan. I know what cold is. Yeah, that's kind of disgusting, but we have high taxes and a lot of crazies, too, so there's that.

Jim Duffy:                                It's fine. You've got the weather for it, and all the mountains, and the ocean, and everything in between.

Scott Schang:                        That's right. All right, buddy, I appreciate it. Thanks for coming on, and we'll see you next time.

Jim Duffy:                                OK. Thanks.

Scott Schang:                        Bye.

About Scott Schang

A 20 year veteran of the Mortgage and Real Estate industry, I am passionate about educating and empowering consumers. I have been writing about consumer protection issues, and making sense of complicated real estate and mortgage topics on this website since 2007

  • Dawn Caicedo says:

    I have a mortgage question. My husband and I will be applying for a mortgage. We both have student loans. I am on a 20-year repayment, but my husband is on an IBR repayment since he is a public employee. He will have loan forgiveness in about 8 years. What direction should we go in, where the lender will look at his IBR repayment, not his “regular” repayment rate?

    • Scott Schang says:

      Hi Dawn,

      Thank you for your question! As long as your husband is on an IBR repayment (even if the payment is $0), your best option is going to be Fannie Mae conventional underwriting guidelines.

      Freddie Mac conventional will allow IBR payment for now, but are changing that guideline on January 17th, 2018 to use .5% of the principal balance.

      If you try to use FHA or USDA financing, your husbands student loan payments will be calculated as 1% of his outstanding principal balance.

      Jim has a lot of experience with these guidelines. If you’re trying to buy in SC, GA or FL, he can definitely help.

      If you would like an introduction to someone that has experience with these guidelines, shoot me an email to scott@findmywayhome.com, let me know what State you’re in, and I can make an introduction.

      Hope this helps?