Eliminating Middleman Allows Broker To Provide Better Loans, Faster

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Loan simplification is the aim of Mission Hills Mortgage Bankers consultant Bret daCosta.

As a mortgage banker, direct access to the loan underwriters is what daCosta has to offer to eliminate the middleman and, in turn, eliminate fees. His access can cut the usual 30-day processing time in half.

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Bret daCosta was selling boats in the Bay Area of California when a buyer told him he should be selling mortgages

"I call directly to my underwriter and I have an instant answer on a mortgage in a few minutes," daCosta said. "That's a big benefit to the consumer. Another is, I can close a loan in about 14 days."

A consumer buying a house can choose their broker. The broker does not have to be the one affiliated with the customer's real estate agent.

"My personal philosophy is, I don't just write loans, I take a look at my client's total financial situation," daCosta said.

He said he reviews credit with his clients, at times helps them consider debt consolidation, lowers their overall monthly payments, and generally (in the case of refinancing) reduce the term of their loan.

"I like to help people," he said. "It excites me to be able to lower people's payments and put them into the best type of loan product. There's nothing complicated about this business if you know what you are doing."

An associate's degree in business administration and marketing from the University of California laid the foundation for what would eventually become daCosta's career.

The Arizona native, born under the heat of the Phoenix sun, was selling boats in the Bay Area of California when he said a buyer told him he should be selling mortgages.

"The (mortgage) career found me, I didn't find it," daCosta said.

The career change was a perfect fit. DaCosta has a fascination with numbers, which is part of what finding the right mortgage for his clients is all about.

He said he has been building relationships between borrowers and lenders ever since he made the shift.

His two-decade career as a mortgage consultant kept him traveling until, "I finally got smart and moved back to (Prescott) Arizona."

Prescott got too big so he relocated a year ago to the Rim Country. The next year brought the opportunity for a partnership with MHMB, which he describes as "serendipitous."

MHMB was founded in 1969.

"We are one of the top privately (family) owned mortgage firms in the country," he said. "Our reputation in the financial industry is through real estate agent contacts, but 50 percent of the business is refinance."

The MHMB satellite office is in Star Valley in the basement suite of the Old SRJ Homes building at 3655 E. Highway 260.

Personal service is something daCosta said he has always prided himself in. Technological advances over the last two decades and Mission Hills' proprietary software creates speed in processing.

"Your loan is in process within five minutes of walking out of my office," daCosta said.

He is able to originate and process loans nationwide.

Keeping the public informed about new loan programs and the benefits of refinancing keeps his interest piqued and is a challenge.

In the last few months, "conforming" or "conventional" loan limits have been raised from $389,000 to $416,000.

"A lot of people don't realize they can refinance to a fixed rate mortgage and lower their payments," he said.

He has access to over 700 residential loan programs.

Among them are loans for new construction, refinancing, FHA and VA, convention, adjustable and fixed rate mortgage with terms from 15 to 40 years.

He has loan programs for people with credit scores as low as 580. Interest rates may be higher but the borrower may be able to refinance to a better rate in a year.

He can do 100 percent loans.

He can do loans where construction and permanent financing are in one transaction.

What this means to a builder of speculation houses, according to daCosta, is that those builders do not need to use their own credit line.

"Mission Hills services a majority of our loans, over $2 billion worth," he said. "That means we sell off very few of our loans and that builds a better relationship for the borrower and the lender."

The corporate Web site is www.mhmconline.com and daCosta can be reached at (928) 474-2137 or via e-mail at bdacosta@mhmb.com.

When daCosta is not matching consumers to mortgage loan products, he spends his time with his children, his art -- he draws -- or hiking and exploring Indian ruins.

You might also find him behind the microphone at Pine Verde Mexican restaurant. "I'm the Karaoke host every other weekend," he said.

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