Page 60 - November 2021
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Spotlighting a Lodge 7 Magazine sponsor
Loaning Success
Wintrust Mortgage offers a number of unique services to Chicago Police Officers
If the product is available, Wintrust Mortgage has it.
From a product program standpoint, the mortgage group of- fers veteran lending, VA lending, FHA, conventional, jumbo and more.
“We have a full menu of everything that’s out there,” con- firmed Connie Modell, the vice president and regional sales manager of consumer-direct lending at Wintrust Mortgage. “One of the niches that we have is we can access up to 90 per- cent of equity for someone that already owns. The home equi- ty is at an all-time high, values are going through the roof. The rates are really good, so we can ... do things like home improve- ments, debt consolidation trip around the world, whatever they want to do.”
With more than 65 lending offices across the U.S. and more than 175 bank branch locations, Wintrust Mortgage is commit- ted to competitive pricing and a wide variety of mortgage prod- ucts for both first-time homebuyers and seasoned veterans. But there’s a reason Chicago Police Officers should think about Win- trust other than that billboard off the Kennedy they can’t help but notice.
“We’re Chicago’s bank — we are a born-and-raised Chicago company. The founders of our company are Chicago people, all of us are Chicago people,” Modell confirmed. “We get the needs of our local people with the big strength we have. I truly believe that we’re large enough to have it all, but we’re small enough to care. So we have everything we need, and we customize it.”
Part of that customization comes in the hours that Wintrust is available to clients. Overtime and unconventional working hours obviously pose many challenges for law enforcement of- ficers — and particularly Chicago Police Officers — but Modell shared that loan officers are not working a standard 9-to-5 job.
Elongated hours through staggered shifts ensure that as soon as an officer needs to speak to someone, they will be able to get someone on the line.
“It’s not really a job, it’s kind of a lifestyle,” Modell explained about her line of work. “If a customer’s calling you at 8 at night, you’re picking up that call and it’s important. You’re going to know that, ‘Hey, this was the time of day that client wants to communicate.’ So we work through that.”
While Wintrust offers great value for veteran homebuyers, it’s also there to support young Chicago Police Officers who are re- cently coming off probation and looking to buy a home for the first time, raise a family and develop a life plan.
Much of the loan industry is phasing into a consumer-direct style, giving clients more access to get a lender. With state pro- grams available to help with down-payment assistance, Modell said that her department at Wintrust specializes in first-time home buyers.
“When you map it all out with interest rates, especially where they’re at today, you’re really looking at a mortgage payment being less than a rent payment to put down roots and promote home ownership,” Modell explained. “We have one of my loan originators take the lead there and really spell out what are the
details of it. What do you do, who do you call, what’s your next step? I would recommend any first-time home buyer to really talk to a mortgage person first — hopefully one of my people — to really understand their affordability.”
An added bonus is that the conventional loan limit has re- cently increased. When Modell began in the industry in 1993, the limit was $208,000. Currently, that limit has increased to $625,000 for a single unit and $850,000 for a multifamily home.
This change allows homebuyers to invest in income-produc- ing properties, particularly in the city. Modell said that she has never seen the limits this high before, which is great for officers currently looking to invest.
“They went up very quickly,” she relayed. “The No. 1 thing [Wintrust] is going to do is we’re going to get you to the finish line. Our money’s always there when there’s a closing of fund- ing, and we’re all here local. So we really understand the needs of our local people.”
And after every interaction, Wintrust commits to future cus- tomer satisfaction. Every single client receives a survey after re- ceiving a loan from the company.
Wintrust then uses those insights to tailor services for the future. That process is how they have been able to provide re- sources and fix issues for specific demographics, like Chicago Police Officers needing a variety of times and avenues for com- munication.
Modell loves being able to support local law enforcement and veterans. She will always make sure that Wintrust’s loan services are accessible, efficient and affordable for the clients’ needs.
“I would love to be of any service to people that help protect us. I think that is so admirable — that’s something we believe in, whether it’s military or VA or [law enforcement],” Modell expressed. “There’s just a lot out there that it’s really about the education for people to understand what they can and cannot do, and that’s one of our big strengths. We have all kinds of edu- cational tools, happy to come out and do face-to-face meetings. We can do Zoom. We can do webinars that are recorded. What- ever the need is, there’s many different ways for us to commu- nicate.”

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