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Casey Fleming

Book Interview: The Loan Guide: How to Get the Best Possible Mortgage

Author: Casey Fleming Book: The Loan Guide
Author: Casey Fleming Book: The Loan Guide

Getting To Know Author: Casey Fleming

Isaac:

For our interview today I’d like to welcome Casey Fleming, author of The Loan Guide: How to Get the Best Possible Mortgage. Casey, how are you doing today?

Casey Fleming:

I’m doing great, thank you.

 Isaac:

Your book is clearly about mortgages, which are an integral part of the average person’s life, what made you want to write this book? Was there a specific motivation behind it?

Casey Fleming:

I was managing a large region for a nationwide broker right before the financial meltdown. We saw how crazy the lending was getting, and couldn’t believe it. We came to believe that a crash was inevitable. When it happened we only had a handful of bad loans, out of 300+ loan officers.

The company went under and I was laid off, so I had time, and quite frankly I was really ticked that the industry went so crazy and hurt so many people. (Including a lot of good loan officers.) So I wrote the book to educate consumers so that – if the industry goes crazy again – they can protect themselves by making informed choices.

Isaac:

Wow, it really must have been crazy to be on the inside during the financial meltdown. As you mentioned you were a loan officer, do you think that gave you a unique view or opinion on the mortgage industry? Did you write the book from the view of a former loan officer, or in a more educational role?

Casey Fleming:

I definitely bring a lot of my experience as a loan officer and mentor into the book, and use a lot of case studies to illustrate principles. So the answer is “both.” I wrote it as an industry insider who watched 300 good loan officers under me be told that the company was going out of business because of bad loans in other regions, even though we had all practiced with high integrity.

And then to help prevent it from happening again, I wrote the book to educate consumers using my experience in advising them for years to make the best choices for their families.

Getting To Know More About The Book: The Loan Guide

Isaac:

Thats a great way to make the best of a bad situation. With your book, is there a particular demographic that it’s aimed at?

Casey Fleming:

No, it’s aimed at anyone who is looking for real estate financing of any kind. The book covers an inside look at how the industry works, and what you need to think about if you want to buy, refinance, pull cash out of your home, or do a reverse mortgage.

Isaac:

Thats good to know. While researching for your book, was there anything that particularly stood out or even may have surprised you?

Casey Fleming:

While researching, no. I was very surprised to learn that the Wall Street investment firms that were creating the toxic loan products actually knew what they were doing, but didn’t care.

As the crazier and crazier loan products were being introduced it was easier for me to believe they were short-sighted, but in fact they knew those products would fail. They just saw an opportunity for an enormous and quick profit. And folks all down the line went along with it because they could make a quick buck too. It was very disheartening.

Isaac:

Its a fact not lost on many people, as can be seen with the growing discontent with Wall Street. As a former loan officer, what would you say consumers most overlook when going through the loan process? Does your book bring this up?

Casey Fleming:

Consumers get too invested in getting the “right” product that they’ve been convinced by slick advertising that they need. (e.g fixed rate, or no-cost, or no MI loan.) In fact, considering all of the options with each family’s financial condition and concerns if really important. A typical family may be able to save thousands (if not tens of thousands) of dollars by selecting the product that best fits their plans. The book covers this in several areas, but particularly in the chapter called Money-Saving Strategies where I discuss how to tailor the solution to the borrower.

Isaac:

Without a doubt that is key, especially for families who need a fairly priced mortgage most. I’d like to take it back to our discussion of the financial meltdown – Its been almost a decade since the sub-prime crisis, what is your view on the mortgage industry today? Do you think it’s moved in the right direction or are there still problems in the system?

Casey Fleming:

The CFPB (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau) has done a great job with new regulations. (My colleagues would mug me for saying that.) But many of the regulations were written by folks brought in from big banks, and ended up hurting small brokers, community banks and credit unions by making it much harder for them to do business, while the big banks get a pass.

The CFPB and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have been trying to correct that in the last two years, but we still have a way to go. consumers should have a choice as to where they get their loan.

Isaac:

I couldn’t agree more, the loan industry is so huge that changing it is akin to steering an oil tanker – slow and steady. To wind things down, lets finish off with a few questions about the book. If you had to give readers one reason why they must read your book, what would it be?

Casey Fleming:

Let’s first point out that most people spend more money on their financing then they do on their actual home. Let that sink in. Consumers should read my book to save money and be able to make well-informed decisions about home financing with confidence.

Isaac:

And as you said before, this can be because of dubious advertising and lack of education.

Casey Fleming:

Precisely. Clever advertising pushes lots of folks into thinking one thing is best, when in fact it could cost them thousands more over their lifetime.

Isaac:

Thats certainly a very important fact people should keep in mind. I’d like to thank Casey Fleming for this great interview where we discussed his book The Loan Guide: How to Get the Best Possible Mortgage, the loan industry and the financial meltdown and i’m sure our readers will love to know more about how they can get the best bang for their buck when it comes to a mortgage.

I hope you have a great afternoon Casey and we look forward to hearing back from you with any new publications!

Casey Fleming:

Thank you so much, Isaac! I enjoyed our conversation.

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