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
Fourteen years ago, Stephanie Machado Barto, then
23, was in the process of getting her master’s degree
in business and was on the hunt for a job. She found
one as a loan officer, and it didn’t take her long to
find her place in the mortgage origination industry.
It turned out to be a tumultuous time to enter the
world of mortgage origination, as it was only a few
years before the real estate market crashed. But as
the market began to collapse, Machado saw not
chaos, but opportunity.
“Nobody really knew how to do [Federal Housing
Administration] FHA, [Department of Veterans
Affairs] VA and rural development [U.S. Department
of Agriculture, or USDA] loans because [of] … the
assumption that these loans were all harder,”
Machado says. “People were used to subprime or
just go-fast programs and easy ways to get loans,
versus just knowing the product.”
When she started her own mortgage company in
2008 at age 27, Machado’s knowledge of those loan
products helped her new venture take off.
“I learned those programs, especially the rural development program,” she says. “When other people decided to flee the business, I kind of thrived on learning
these products and being very knowledgeable in the
government products, not just conventional [loans].”
Since then, Machado has done well for herself, as
evidenced by Scotsman Guide’s 2016 Top Originator
rankings. Machado, who now works for GMFS LLC
Steven Wyble is online content editor for Scotsman Guide Media.
Reach him at (800) 297-6061 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
in Covington, Louisiana, ranked No. 1 for Top USDA
Volume. She also ranked No. 45 for Most Loans
Closed, and No. 114 for Top Dollar Volume.
One of the reasons Machado has been so successful
with USDA loans is because many people qualify for
them, even though they’re typically not aware that
it’s a viable option. And USDA loans can actually
be more affordable than FHA loans. The mortgage
insurance on a USDA loan is about 30 percent to
40 percent lower than on FHA loans, she says, which
results in lower monthly payments.
“We do a lot of FHA too, but just for the area, rural
development is a product that is not as recognized
as your VA and your FHA,” she says.
Machado says knowledge of the loan products she
offers has been key to her success, and sales expertise, although important, is a secondary skill.
“You have to be well-diversified to do this job,”
she says. “I think you have to have the knowledge
and the background of these products. In addition,
you have to have the sales capability to build your
“I think at the end of the day a lot of people overpromise and underdeliver,” she adds. “Our goal is to
set it straight in the beginning to make sure these
loans get closed. You’ve got to know your product in
order to sell it, and I think that’s the most important.”
Stephanie Machado Barto, GMFS LLC
No. 1 Top USDA Volume (2016)