A Feel-Good Mortgage Story

Given the media hype over the recent prisoner swap, I thought that I would remind all of our readers that everyone makes mistakes in life, nobody is perfect, and we all need help at one point or another. Our men and women serving abroad are no exception to that rule, in fact I believe that we should help them even more given the sacrifice that they are making for all of us. Freeing one of our own being held in captivity shouldn’t be a political talking point, it should be something that we do instinctively when our people are in trouble. I’m grateful that someone in the mortgage industry agrees with me. Here’s what I mean:

Fairway Independent Mortgage will train more than four hundred Realtors and mortgage professionals at an intensive “Boot Camp” event next week. As the nation struggles to provide housing opportunities for veterans, the mortgage company will conduct Military Mortgage Specialist (MMS) training for mortgage professionals and Certified Military Residential Specialist (CMRS) training for real estate agents, which also earns each Realtor® three hours of continuing education.

Veterans face unique challenges when seeking housing, and Fairway’s training program is designed to equip mortgage professionals and real estate agents with the special skills and knowledge to help meet active military and Veterans’ specific needs.

In addition to the training, Fairway has joined forces with Military Warriors Support Foundation, a non-profit organization supporting returning American military troops, to present a “mortgage-free” home to a wounded military veteran.  Retired Army Private Joshua Vlach will be presented the keys to a mortgage-free home located in Colorado Springs, CO.   Vlach served in the U.S. Army for more than six years, from March, 2006 through June, 2012, and received numerous awards and commendations, including a Combat Action Badge and a Global War on Terrorism Service Medal. Private Vlach served in Afghanistan, where he sustained multiple injuries following exposure to an IED blast in June of 2009, which resulted in a back injury.  Vlach continues to suffer from degenerative arthritis.

“I joined [the Army] to do my part in serving my county and to help make a better place for my family,” said Vlach, who joined the Army in March of 2006, based out of Phillips, Wisconsin.

“Fairway is thankful to Private Vlach and all military veterans who have served our country,” said Louise Thaxton, director of Fairway’s Military Mortgage Division.

Due to the nature of their work, active duty and veteran service members often face an uphill battle when trying to buy a home, explained Fairway CEO Steve Jacobson. Finding employment can be a challenge, and research shows that veterans are more likely than the general population to face poverty and homelessness.

The objective of Fairway’s MMS and CMRS certification programs is to train and equip real estate and mortgage professionals to handle with care the home purchase needs of active duty and former military clients, Jacobson said. Since launching its Boot Camp military training two years ago, Fairway has trained nearly 2,000 mortgage and real estate professionals while sponsoring 19 mortgage-free homes to deserving military veterans.

“There remains a tremendous need in our industry for real solutions to the housing challenges our military men and women face,” Thaxton said. “Time and time again, we’re learning that education is key. Our veterans face unique hurdles to homeownership, and we know the training we provide helps housing professionals become better equipped to help our military heroes.”

Joining Fairway for the event is Sean Parnell, author of the NY Times best-selling book Outlaw Platoon, which details Parnell’s experiences serving the U.S. military in Afghanistan. Parnell, a retired Army Ranger and Purple Heart recipient, is an advocate for Fairway’s programs and plays an integral role in the Boot Camps and home-giveaway presentations.

By the end of 2014, Fairway will have trained more than 600 mortgage professionals and 3,000 real estate agents, and will have sponsored a total of more than 25 home mortgage-free home giveaways.

Fairway Independent Mortgage is a proud supporter of the American military and has helped thousands of active military personnel and veterans nationwide with their home mortgage needs. Fairway employees have personally pledged several hundred thousand dollars in donations to help provide mortgage-free homes to veterans through their partnership with the non-profit, Military Warriors Support Foundation’s Homes 4 Wounded Heroes program.

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