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Friday, October 21, 2011

John Walsh

President, Total Mortgage Services

John WalshWhile other mortgage lenders have foundered over the past several years, Total Mortgage Services has thrived.

The reason, according to John Walsh, president of the Milford, Conn.-based company, is simple: “We’ve always done good business. We didn’t put people in homes they couldn’t afford. We didn’t do sub-primes or option ARMs. We didn’t have a lot of confidence in borrowers to repay those types of loans.”

Total Mortgage Services was founded by Walsh in 1997 with a consumer-centric approach and a mission of responsible lending. The company offers a range of mortgage solutions, from FHA to jumbo loans. It recently launched TMS Funding, a wholesale lending business, to complement its retail lending platform.

‘Strong Company’

Walsh graduated in 1988 from the University of Connecticut, and then worked as a loan originator and mortgage broker before founding Total Mortgage Services in 1997.

“Everything we’ve done so far has been organic,” Walsh remarked. “We haven’t done any acquisitions. But we’re a pretty strong company, and we’re looking to leverage that.”

The company has about 100 employees and is licensed in 23 states and the District of Columbia. Approvals are pending in five states, and Walsh’s goal is to go nationwide within the next 24 months.

The company says acquisitions are not part of its growth strategy at this time. It intends to continue hiring more loan officers in the retail channel and account executives in the wholesale Total Mortgage also plans to enter new origination channels, and is currently exploring entering the correspondent loan business.

‘No Sense Complaining’

Like other mortgage lenders, Walsh has had to deal with a flurry of new regulations.

“It’s a never-ending battle, but you’ve got to figure it out,” he commented. “There’s no sense complaining about it.”

Besides, he added, the stepped-up governmental scrutiny has “taken a lot of the people that should not have been in the industry.”

In contrast, Total Mortgage Services has never had to buy back a loan, according to Walsh.

“We have always tried to do the right thing for the borrower, and provide a good product and good service,” he commented. “Our goal is to have the best operation in the industry.

“With all that’s happened in the industry, we’ve been able to get a lot of experienced people, and they have put the right processes in place – moving a loan quickly through the process, servicing the clients and making sure we deliver what we say we’re going to deliver,” he said.

“That’s very important to me,” Walsh added. “That’s going to make us strong whether the rates are 2 percent or 20 percent.”

Total Mortgage Services was recently named to the 2011 Inc. 5000 list of America’s Fastest Growing Companies.

“I’m pretty excited for the future,” Walsh said.


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