For the ninth 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 2017 at
By Steven Wyble
Mike Roberts worked as a builder for a couple years
after graduating from college, and he didn’t like the
way mortgage companies treated his clients.
“I noticed the process our clients were going through
in trying to get a mortgage, and I could tell that it
was super-frustrating,” he recalled. “I didn’t trust the
people that they were working with. I saw that they
were charging them huge fees. They were making
a tremendous amount of money off of every one of
my clients, and I just felt like we could do better.”
In 1997, Roberts left the building industry and became a mortgage originator. After a year working
with a national mortgage company, he started his
own company — City Creek Mortgage Corp., based
in Draper, Utah, about 20 miles south of Salt Lake
City — which he operates to this day.
“I just knew that people couldn’t afford to pay the
crazy fees that these mortgage companies were
charging, so we set out from day one to have a different kind of model,” he says. “My business model
was built on trying to attract the average family —
the people who I can tell struggle paycheck to paycheck. The average family doesn’t have a lot of extra
money. They can use any kind of help they can get.”
Roberts’ model appears to be working: With 892
loans closed in 2017, Roberts ranked No. 5 for Most
Loans Closed in Scotsman Guide’s most recent annual Top Originator rankings. He also ranked No. 12
for Top Dollar Volume, with a total volume of nearly
$239 million in 2017.
Steven Wyble is online content editor for Scotsman Guide Media.
Reach him at (800) 297-6061 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Roberts says he’s always thinking about how to make
the mortgage-application process easier. Today, it
takes about 30 days to close a loan, just as it did five
years ago. In the next five years that number is sure
to shrink as technological solutions are applied to the
industry, he says.
“I think technology’s going to be a huge factor [in
the mortgage industry],” he says. “I think it’s going
to minimize the staff that we need. I think it’s
going to take away from a lot of the need to have as
many processors and support staff as we currently
The technology will benefit consumers as well, allowing for immediate approvals and automated verification of income, assets and valuations, he says.
“I see everything becoming automated and that’s really my focus, is … (on) where the future is taking us,”
Roberts also keeps his finger on the pulse of the housing market, and notes that with rising interest rates,
purchases will become an increasingly important part
of his business. To keep in line with the latest trends,
he tries to keep his ratio of purchases to refinances
aligned with what’s happening nationally, he says.
“If the national trend is a 50 percent refi, 50 percent
purchase market, I try to make sure that that’s
where I’m running as well,” he says. Roberts’ actual
mortgage numbers for 2017? Fifty percent home
purchases and 50 percent refinances.
Mike Roberts, City Creek Mortgage Corp.
No. 5 Most Loans Closed (2017)