Mortgages for veterans – how one vet helped another

LO's efforts secured him a spot on a brokers' field trip to Wall Street

Mortgages for veterans – how one vet helped another

Emilio Belisle (pictured) is proof positive that one’s world experience can come into play in one’s work life.

A loan officer at Florida-based Lincoln Lending Group, he recently wrapped up one of his regular homebuying seminars for prospective clients in Tampa. As a military veteran himself, Belisle said he places a premium on helping others who have served their country.

As it happens, he would come across 63-year-old Barry Hill, a veteran of the US Marines who was looking to become a first-time homebuyer. “He made our job easier,” Belisle recalled, noting that Hill had saved up for a deposit and had spent a year repairing his credit. “He saved money he had gotten from the VA [Veterans Administration] and took care of his credit.”

Borrower’s urgent need for a home unfolds

It wasn’t until getting into the nitty-gritty of his application that Hill’s background became clear. The military veteran was essentially homeless, having bounced around from one veterans’ shelter to another for about a year and a half, Belisle said. “It really became urgent to us that we get him out of there and into a home,” Belisle told Mortgage Professional America in a previous interview.

As it happens, United Wholesale Mortgage to which he’s tied was seeking submissions on brokers’ most impactful transactions to date. Belisle suggested his submission would be a no-brainer, sending the story of his company’s efforts in helping Hill find a home.

“The timing couldn’t have been better,” Belisle said.

Timed with National Mortgage Broker’s Day last week, UWM selected the top 100 entries as a ticket to join executives in ringing the closing bell on the New York Stock Exchange – including Belisle’s story. As exciting as it was to be selected, the opportunity to help Hill was truly an honor, he said.

“It was a great sense of accomplishment for us,” he told MPA. “He now has the opportunity to set down roots and have some stability.”

Brokers had a chance to ring the bell

Sarah DeCiantis, UWM’s chief marketing officer, told MPA of her own trip to Wall Street to ring the closing bell when the company went public in 2021, noting UWM has observed the day set aside to honor mortgage brokers for the past three years.

There were some 2,000 submissions to join UWM’s CEO, Mat Ishbia, and other executives on the trading floor last week, DeCiantis said in a previous interview. From there, judges had to whittle down the submissions to the best 100. Submissions were real-life stories that illustrated the impact brokers have on clients.

“They’ve submitted these phenomenal stories on how they’ve impacted borrowers’ lives,” DeCiantis said. “It’s really a representation of not only recognizing them for what they do but also the impact that makes on their borrowers and on the American Dream.”

For Belisle, it was a double honor – being chosen to travel to Wall Street with colleagues, but also having secured the honor by helping a fellow veteran.

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