Fundloans – the bespoke approach to non-QM lending

CEO and co-founder on why his company has the special touch

Fundloans – the bespoke approach to non-QM lending

If anything defines Fundloans’ non-QM business model, it is its bespoke approach to lending, according to CEO and co-founder Jon Maddux (pictured).

When he started the company back in 2016, Maddux saw there was a gap in the market for a wholesale lender that could offer a far closer relationship with their broker clients.

“I felt there wasn’t anyone doing what I would call the ‘Nordstrom touch’ out there, where they walk around the counter and hand you your bags,” he said.

Having worked as a mortgage broker on and off for some 20 years, Maddux realized he was attracted to loans that were “a little more complicated,” but he had enough industry experience to know what he was looking for in a lender and was convinced there was “something missing.”

He said: “Most of the time, lenders think of your loan as just another loan on their conveyor belt. There was a need for a lender who cared more about these types of loans and would provide that extra level of service. So, when we launched, we focused on these more complicated jumbo loans.”

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Maddux said he felt entrepreneurs and business owners required more of a “hands-on approach,” because they did not fit the profile of a typical borrower.

“There needed to be someone that would say, ‘yes, this is a decent risk, but this is a good credit risk, this is not what it appears to be based on what I’m seeing in this automation’,” he said.

He admitted there were difficulties in the beginning, all part of a steep but necessary learning curve. “The challenge I think, for me, was trying to figure out how we could do exceptions and look at each loan individually, rather than, ‘Oh you fit in this category, or you fit in that category’,” he recalled.

Five years on and the Encinitas-based company that specializes in jumbo non-QM programs averages about $50 million plus a month in loan volume.

“Today, we’re able to take more of a holistic view [that’s] closer to my dream of what a lender should be and what we’ve wanted to be in this space,” he added.

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According to Maddux, the average client profile is someone affluent – often an entrepreneur without a traditional income - with a luxury or jumbo home, a credit score rating above 720 and whose average loan size is about $1 million.

Fundloans has also nurtured a close relationship with its more than 500-strong broker team, showing that the company is living up to its core values.

“The message that we get from our brokers is that we cared about their loans. We gave it that special attention; that we did what we said we were going to do,” he said.

His holistic approach includes imparting knowledge of the industry for free on Fundloans’ own YouTube channel to help educate the broker community. And his podcast, the Million Dollar Mortgage Experience, explores a wide variety of topics with some of the biggest names in the mortgage industry, as well as successful entrepreneurs and business leaders.

“My mission is to make sure that our brokers are happy and to demonstrate that we care about their business as much as they do. We want to make sure that they look good to their borrowers and that they fulfil their promises to their borrowers,” he concluded.