Rhonda Porter Receives the Jim Fitzgerald Service Award from WAMP

Today, during the Washington Association of Mortgage Professional’s State “Connect” Convention, Raincityguide author Rhonda Porter was presented with the Jim Fitzgerald Distinguished Service Award for her outstanding contribution to the mortgage broker and lender community.  Presenting the award was Rhonda’s brother-in-law John Porter who received the same award from his father, Bob Porter, who ALSO received the award.  Yes, mortgage lending does have a way of running in the family.

Jim Fitzgerald passed away in April of 1999 at the young age of 48.  He was President of the Washington Association of Mortgage Brokers in 1994 and an active member of WAMB,* working tirelessly on behalf of the membership. “Jim worked hard to bring the Association up to a new level.”  John Porter said, “People knew Jim all over the country even before social networking started. This is the most honorable award I ever received and I am so proud to present this to my sister-in-law.”

This year Rhonda volunteered to be the WAMP Social Media Chairman. She created a facebook page for the Association and helped organize two Social Media RE Bar camps during these last few months and has volunteered her time to help mortgage professionals here in Washington State and in other states learn how to effectively and professionally participate in social media.

Rhonda, we are all proud to know you.

*WAMB is now WAMP
Wash Assoc of Mortgage Brokers changed their name in 2008 to the Wash Association of Mortgage Professionals

Below, WAMP President Jason Bloom with Rhonda Porter.


It may not be your business…but it is all mine!

Two years ago, our company switched our loan operating system to Encompass, so I have data available for the past two years (closed transactions from March 2005 – March 2007).   I’m pretty surprised at the results after analyzing my purchase transactions and so thought I would share this with you.

Mid Credit Scores

3% had credit scores between 600-619

17% had credit scores between 620-679

25% had credit scores between 680-719

47% had credit scores between 720-799

8% had credit scores above 800

25 % of clients purchased with 100% LTV Financing (80/20 or 100% LPMI)

Average zero down mid credit score = 723

7% FHA Financing

  • Mid credit scores ranging from 644 – 744
  • Average FHA mid credit score = 720

39% had 20% or more for down payment.

The most popular loan programs for my clients:

  • 47% opted for a 30 year fixed conventional
  • 26% have 5 year fixed period ARMs

So what do I make of this?   The consumers with scores under 620 will have a much tougher time, if they’re able to purchase at all.   Especially without a down payment of 5% or better.   Depending on credit history (1-2 years of no late payments), they may be able to go FHA or VA for financing.   The 3% (credit scores of 600 – 619) of my clients who I helped with financing over the past two years, would probably need to go back to drawing board and work on their improving credit scores (and, more importantly, work on changing their credit/spending habits) before being able to obtain financing for a home.   With that said, out of the 3% who were able to buy, I’m only worried about two buyers who may not have followed my advice of working on their credit and revamping their budget (and one of them has a 5 year fixed period ARM).

The 17% (credit scores between 620-679) would probably fit into FHA financing.   Over the past two years, most of my clients would opt for 80/20 or 100% (LPMI) financing over FHA for the following reasons:

  • The upfront PMI (1.5% of the loan amount) is no longer refundable on new loans.
  • Monthly PMI was not tax deductible (VA does not have PMI) for loans originated before 2007.
  • The payment with 80/20s was lower than FHA.
  • Borrowers could keep the 3% down (required with FHA) in reserves instead of draining their savings.  

This information is just a reflection of my purchase business from March of 2005 to my closed transactions as of today.   Historically, I have served more south King County families.   Just over the past year, with my move to Seattle, my business is beginning to expand to Seattle and Bellevue areas.

Before reviewing this data, I was certain that a larger percentage of my business was zero down or subprime.  Now I can see that I’ve done many zero down/subprime “prequalications or preapprovals” and they just didn’t pan out…but the effort that goes into a preapproval almost feels like you completed a transaction…especially for a subprime buyer. 

Again, I don’t represent every lender…just little ol’ me!  😉