For the eighth year in a row, we compiled the industry’s most comprehensive list of the nation’s top mortgage
originators. The rankings include
not only the originators who are
closing the most dollar volume and
the most loans, but also the leaders
in niche areas, like Federal Housing
Administration, U.S. Department of
Veterans Affairs and U.S. Department
of Agriculture loans as well as home
equity lines of credit.
View Scotsman Guide’s
Top Originators 2016 at
By Steven Wyble
Mark Cohen has done it again. He tops Scotsman
Guide’s Top Dollar Volume list for the fifth straight
For 2016, Cohen had a total mortgage-origination
dollar volume of $631.6 million. He closed 366 purchase loans and 272 refinances, for a total of 638
How does Cohen keep his place at the top? It certainly helps that he works around the affluent city
of Beverly Hills, as well as in star-studded Los Angeles. Cohen says he regularly closes loans that exceed
$1 million, although he never turns away smaller
loans — and closes many that are around $200,000.
But it’s people that make the difference, Cohen says.
He praises his staff at Cohen Financial Group and
points out that his experience and connections also
“By being in the business 20, 25 years, you get a lot
of repeat business,” he says. “You know, ‘I’m buying
a house for my kid,’ the whole thing. [Also], in Los
Angeles, people tend to move around a lot.”
Of course, there are always factors beyond a broker’s
control. The real estate market nationwide faces a
certain amount of uncertainty in the coming year,
with a new, regulation-averse presidential administration, and a Federal Reserve that has already raised
interest rates once this year and expects to raise
them two more times before the end of the year.
Steven Wyble is online content editor for Scotsman Guide Media.
Reach him at (800) 297-6061 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cohen says even though interest rates might have
some impact on his business, the sales market in
Los Angeles is strong. Although rising interest rates
will likely have a noticeable impact on home refinances, home purchases should remain a safe bet
for originators who have the contacts and prowess
to make deals happen, he says.
“You’ve got to be able to have a large amount of real
estate brokers who you do work with, who refer you
business,” Cohen says. “That’s how you overcome that.
“Because, let’s face it … the opportunities for refinancing are much more limited now with where the
rates are and so forth. … There’s always opportunities out there and you just have to be a specialist or
know how to get these people in the door.”
With President Donald Trump’s administration
generally expressing a desire to roll back housing
industry regulations, Cohen says he expects some
regulatory burdens to ease in the coming years,
although not significantly.
Aspects of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and
Consumer Protection Act were helpful, such as providing minimum guidelines for banks to adhere to,
Cohen says. “But I think some of the time constraints
and things that are a waste of time, like [the] TRID
[consumer-protection rules] … [are] very inefficient,”
he says. “So I think it’s going to lighten up a little bit,
but I don’t think to a huge extent, to where there’s
going to be a huge, noticeable difference.”
Mark Cohen, Cohen Financial Group
No. 1 Top Dollar Volume (2016)