The perception among the general public is that mortgage salespeople were sleazy, greedy and immoral. This was partly true. I worked with some people who would have sold their own mother to make a buck. I literally knew of drug dealers who had gone into mortgages because it was less risky and more profitable than selling cocaine. But there were plenty of decent people in the industry as well. The problems mostly came down from the top. Regional managers had a no-holds barred mentality. You had to do anything to make the sale, no excuses. This meant working late, lying to people, and committing fraud. I once walked into the copy room and saw someone cutting out a signature and copying it onto another document. Stories circulated about other branches staying up late and manufacturing fake asset documents to qualify borrowers for loans. On one of my loans, a regional manager turned a 2/28 year adjustable loan into a 6 month adjustable because it made $500 more for the company. I had to explain to the borrower that it was the best we could do. She signed on the loan because the needed the 15k cash out in equity for accumulating bills.
There are few things that I regret in my life. Among those regrets are a handful of loans that I should never have agreed to make. I would have lost my job, but it wasn’t worth the money I made from them. I never committed fraud, but that’s only because most of it was legal at the time. I don’t regret the experience. It taught me about what kind of a person I didn’t want to be, and what money can make you do. I helped cause the financial collapse, and I’m sorry. No one has apologized to you, and we all should. We hurt people who were much more honest and hardworking than we ever will be, only for money. I am truly sorry, and I will never hurt people for money again.
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