If you are looking for a mortgage company you can trust, especially in the wake of the current financial crisis, you could turn to one I trust: Community Lending Group.

I trust them because I have investigated their background, business practices, and the way they treat their clients. In fact, I can find no official or unofficial complaints whatsoever. As a result, I am proud to endorse Community Lending Group, and declare this company Gephardt Approved.

Community Lending Group co-founder Jeremy Smith tells me his career in the mortgage industry started in 2002. “This is not just a job to me, or my business partners. The look on someone’s face when they close on a loan is priceless, whether it’s their first home, or their fifth. We helped make that happen. There is a deep sense of satisfaction in that.”

Finding that he enjoyed the work and the profession, Jeremy and 3 co-workers decided to start their own company, and in 2004 Community Lending Group was formed. “The company we worked for was constantly changing policies, for both the customers and the employees,” he explained. “It was every man for himself, and that was not a work environment that we enjoyed. It’s interesting to note that company is no longer in business. That is why we treat our employees the way we want to be treated.”

Jeremy tells me he wants every person who works in their office to love to come to work. “We know that happy employees make happy customers, and because we play as a team, none of our employees want to leave Community Lending Group.”

Dedication and teamwork: that’s what Jeremy says his business is built on. “Starting internally, with respect and a positive attitude is the foundation of what we are about,” he explains. “It’s easy to be a mortgage company when you can approve nearly anyone who seeks a loan, with little regard for the consequences. However, doing it the right way, especially in the new economy, takes integrity, experience, and determination. These are all qualities we know we have in our team.”

“Let a Qualified Team Qualify You”

Community Lending Group rode out the real estate storm and Jeremy says experience and integrity are what allowed them to do that. “The writing was on the wall with those programs that looked like they would save money in the short term, but would put people upside down in their home, or lead to bankruptcy down the road. Even though the mortgage company would make more money on those programs, our policy is to always protect the customer – always! For that reason, we only use reliable programs that benefit our customers.”

In our interview, the company stressed their commitment to education, and staying current with all the new programs. “We have bi-weekly training sessions with all our loan officers to keep everyone sharp,” Jeremy says. “Every person in our office is an expert, and can find a program for each and every one of our customers, explaining all available options.” By law, they are required to attend 12 hours a year of continuing education, Jeremy tells me. “We go above and beyond that, attending every seminar offered about new programs. We stay on top of changes in the industry for our customers, and if a program becomes available that is better for our customers than the one they have, or if interest rates drop, we contact them to let them know, to see if we can improve on their mortgage.”

At Community Lending Group, Jeremy says that closing a loan is just the beginning of the relationship. “One of our biggest sources of new business is customer referrals. We build friendships with our customers and create lasting relationships. We have helped customers get into their first home, second home, and helped parents, siblings, neighbors, and children buy their homes,” explains Jeremy. He says the one-on-one relationships is what Community Lending Group is all about. “We are not just about closing a loan. This is a major decision for many people, and we want to help in every way we possibly can. “By the time we are finished, our goal is to have made a new friend and improved our customers’ quality of life. Whatever your need is, we have an expert for you.”

One last thing: I also found that Community Lending Group is not just committed to their clients, but are dedicated to helping real estate agents they work with as well. “People ask us all the time if we know a good agent. We love to work with agents and getting to know them helps us make personal recommendations to our customers,” he says. “Selling a home can be difficult, so we will create a website with property tour info, specifics of the home, a text code, and a phone number capture feature for a home that an agent would like to list at no charge to the agent. Then we will advertise this home on 30 different real estate sites to help the agent focus on the customer.” Jeremy says that this is all part of working together as a team.

The company serves both Spanish and Korean speaking customers as well.

So, there you go: Community Lending Group. Now you know why I trust this company, and you know the philosophy of the founders. My independent investigation into this company found no complaints, and no unresolved issues. That is why I am proud to endorse Community Lending Group, and declare them Gephardt Approved.

~ Bill Gephardt

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