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 Victor Whitman
Georgia mortgage originator Shane Siniard once
worked as an electrical engineer for a string of
Fortune 500 companies, but discovered his true
calling only after a real estate deal went bad.
In the early 2000s, Siniard dabbled in rental-property
investments. After a few years in that business, he
was looking to sell all of them.
“I went through a highly recommended mortgage
broker that my brother recommended, and had a
buyer for four of my duplexes,” Siniard said. After
two months, the closings kept falling through.
“I drove an hour each way to go to closing — no
closing package there, no communication from
the lender,” Siniard recalls. “Eventually, my buyer
walked. He said, ‘Listen, I have got a 750 credit score.
I have got money in the bank. This should be a very
easy deal to do.’ He walked away.”
Siniard said this bad experience led him to a conclusion: He could do better.
Siniard obtained a mortgage broker’s license and
has never looked back. Now a senior loan officer
with San Antonio-based SWBC, Siniard placed No. 2
on Scotsman Guide’s most recent Top USDA Volume
list — with 2017 USDA loan originations totaling
$15.1 million. His 499 loan closings also placed him
at No. 47 on the 2017 Most Loans Closed list.
The USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture) program
is a natural fit for Siniard’s business. He lives and works
in Bartow County, Georgia, about 50 miles north of
Atlanta. The entire county is USDA-loan eligible.
Victor Whitman is chief reporter for Scotsman Guide Media.
Reach him at (800) 297-6061 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Siniard said most of his clients are low- to moderate-income first-time buyers, who require the 100 percent
financing that the USDA loan program offers. His
average loan size is about $175,000.
Siniard has been in the business long enough to
see the boom-bust cycle in the refinance market
twice, and has specialized in home-purchase loans
for several years. Just 10 percent of his loans were
refinances in 2017. So, he said, a lack of homes for
sale presents the biggest challenge in the market
for him now. Siniard added that many of his clients have been facing stiff competition from other
“We are on track to close about the same number of
loans as we did last year, which is great, considering many people [other originators] are down about
20 percent,” Siniard said. “With interest rates going
up, it really hasn’t affected us that much. What has
affected us more than anything is low inventory.
We have had people who have been looking for
months, or making multiple offers, and not getting
those properties under contract.”
Siniard said the secret of his success is forming
strong relationships with Realtors and other referral
partners. He said he has stayed in the business for
the same reason he got into it originally.
“I love helping people, and every day I sit down with
clients, and I meet about half my clients,” Siniard
said. “So, for me, it is not about the money at this
point in my life. It is about helping as many people
as I can. That passion goes with me every day.”
Shane Siniard, SWBC Mortgage Co.
No. 2 Top USDA Volume (2017)