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
When Woodrow Roberts first entered the financing
industry as a branch manager at a bank, he found
success originating home equity loans and lines of
credit because he understood how those products
“I could present it to anybody and say, ‘This is why
it’s a viable product for you,’” he says.
It’s been several years since that first job, but this
past year Roberts’ expertise in closing second mortgages has paid off, earning him the No. 1 spot on
the Scotsman Guide Top Originators 2016 HELOC
Volume rankings and the No. 2 spot on the Most
Loans Closed rankings.
Roberts is executive vice president and chief retail
officer at Justice Federal Credit Union in Virginia, although his 2016 rankings are based on production
in his previous position at Fairfax County Credit Union, also in Virginia. At Fairfax, closing HELOCs, or
home equity lines of credit, was part of a concerted
strategy to find a niche where he could compete effectively against larger banks, Roberts says.
“Definitely, it was a strategy of ours to really concentrate on the overall production and the pricing and
the process of home equity lines of credit,” he says.
Roberts credits his team for helping him keep up
with the loan volume and says collaborating with
lenders also is key to success.
“If you build a strong alliance with your community of lenders, you’re going to get a ton of business,”
Steven Wyble is online content editor for Scotsman Guide Media.
Reach him at (800) 297-6061 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many originators who have closed first mortgages,
for example, receive calls a few years later from those
same clients asking about second mortgages, such
“Usually, a lot of [originators] aren’t really into the
second-trust market,” Roberts says. In that instance,
they can either shrug their shoulders, or say, “Well,
I have a guy. He does a great job, he turns deals
really fast, and I can go ahead and send him to you.”
Although Roberts says it’s not news to most originators, it’s also important to build relationships with
borrowers that will pay dividends down the road.
“You want to be able to cultivate the relationship
and earn the trust of those individuals for years
down the road,” he says. His HELOC clients, for example, will come to him looking to take out a new
mortgage down the road when they’re ready to refinance, he says.
“A lot of lenders, what they do is they just do the
loan [and they] hand it over to the processors or
the loan assistants, and it’s done,” Roberts says.
“They’re moving on to the next client. That’s how
they make their money. That’s how we all make
“But the fact is that I’m not going to sell you a loan,”
he adds. “I’m going to cultivate that relationship,
and I’m going to make sure that I get that deal the
next time that it comes around.”
Woodrow Roberts, Fairfax County Credit Union
No. 1 HELOC volume (2016)