A Day in the Life of a Ross Mortgage Underwriter
As part of our “A Day in the Life” employee profile series, we’d like to introduce you to Wendy Inman, an underwriter based at our headquarters in Royal Oak, MI. Find out how she got started in the mortgage industry and why she loves going to work every day.
What is your title at Ross Mortgage and how many years of experience do you have in the mortgage industry?
I grew up in the real estate industry. My mom was a real estate agent for 54 years and it was her passion—she loved being an agent. My dad was a builder for 27 years before he retired. As a teenager, I worked the phones in my mom’s real estate office scheduling appointments. Two weeks after I graduated from high school, I started as a receptionist at a mortgage company in Plymouth. After a year, I began processing the files.
Over the 32 years I have been in this industry, I have worked in closings, foreclosures, escrow, secondary marketing and underwriting. After holding my real estate license for about 18 years and attempting to sell real estate, I realized that I enjoyed the financing end of the business better than selling. I guess you could say the mortgage industry is in my blood.
What were some of the major influences that led to your decision of becoming an underwriter?
I was asked to interview for an opening in the underwriting department and realized it was an area that I had never worked in before, so I decided to try it.
What does your typical day look like and what are your key responsibilities?
Every morning, I review my Conditions Queue to see what files have been submitted for me to review. What I do next depends on the closing date and how many files are in the queue. One of the job requirements for an underwriter at Ross Mortgage Corporation is to complete at least two new files, or decisions, per day. Sometimes it can be a balancing act, depending on the time frame for the files that need conditions cleared and underwriting new files.
There are also weeks that we have scheduled meetings, so that also needs to be taken into consideration when scheduling or planning my day. Underwriters always have to be ready to be interrupted either by a rush file, issues that may arise in closing or general questions. I continually check my emails throughout the day since that is the main form of communication within our organization.
What is your favorite part of your job?
I love approving a file—regardless if it is a first-time homeowner, second or third-time homeowner or a refinance. These people are making a financial decision and I am happy to be a part of that.
How do you stay current and up-to-date on trends within the mortgage industry?
AllRegs sends out emails with updated information and changes to the market. Our investors always update their websites, and I check the government websites weekly just to see if there have been any changes posted. Our underwriting manager is very good about letting us know if he reads or hears about any changes that we need to be aware of.
Where do you see the mortgage industry heading in the next five years?
I am already seeing the property values recovering, and I am hopeful that they will continue to elevate. I am seeing stability in the industry. The lower interest rates and higher values are helping more people purchase a home. This creates more homeownership for Michigan residents.
What attributes and personality traits must one have to be an underwriter?
Flexibility—an underwriter needs to be able to refocus quickly when interrupted. Change is a constant in the mortgage industry. As new products and guidelines come through, an underwriter needs to be able to remember the various changes that take place in the industry as well as changes investors make. Products, programs and guidelines that were allowed three years ago may not be allowed in today’s market.
What advice would you give to someone who is considering a career in underwriting?
It can be a challenging but very fulfilling career. Someone in this career needs to be able to adapt.
What makes Ross Mortgage a great company to work for?
I have never liked working for a large corporation, and I wanted to work for a company that had an excellent reputation in the industry. When I was looking for potential employers, Ross Mortgage Corporation was among the top ones I wanted to interview with. I like the family-owned part of the business and its fantastic reputation in the mortgage industry.
Do you enjoy analyzing financial data? We’d love to have you on our underwriting team. If you’re interested in learning more about the careers available at Ross Mortgage, please visit our career opportunities page, or leave a comment below.