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Visionary Lending Executive Takes New Position

A.W. Pickel, III, a current member of MBA’s IMB (Independent Mortgage Bankers) Executive Council and the Freddie Mac IMB Advisory Board, has joined Houston-based AmCap Mortgage as president of its newly-formed Midwestern Division. As of October 15th Pickel will be responsible for growing AmCap Mortgage’s retail brand and physical presence in the Midwestern states and beyond, through both acquisition and organic growth. Founded in 2002, AmCap Mortgage is currently licensed in 32 states, originates over $2 billion in retail government and conventional mortgages annually, has approximately 800 employees in over 75 branches and services its own loans.

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Pickel has almost 30 years of experience in the mortgage industry and joins AmCap from LeaderOne Financial, which he founded in 1992 and led to become a national company producing over $1 billion in mortgages per year. A longtime industry advocate and former president of the NAMB, he founded the Kansas Association of Mortgage Brokers and co-authored the state’s first mortgage broker-banker bill in 1995. He serves on several industry advisory boards and has testified numerous times before the U.S. Congress as a leading mortgage industry expert.

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Pickel is also keenly interested in fostering entrepreneurism and financial literacy among the nation’s younger generations, interests he will continue at AmCap Mortgage. “I am an entrepreneur and builder by nature,” Pickel said. “I enjoy building organizations and leading companies as they grow and prosper. I very much look forward to being a part of AmCap Mortgage’s success as the company expands its footprint across the nation.”

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Under Pickel’s leadership, LeaderOne Financial went from a local two-person mortgage brokerage to a mortgage banking company licensed in 38 states and servicing over $600 millionin residential loans. He also leveraged technology to make his firm one of the first mortgage companies to become paperless in virtually all aspects of the lending process, years ahead of the rest of the industry. An aviation enthusiast, Pickel is a major in the U.S. Air Force Auxiliary and a Civil Air Patrol search and rescue mission pilot.

AmCap CEO Garrett Clayton said, “It is a tremendous pleasure to have an executive of A.W.’s reputation and experience join the AmCap team. His record of achievement, innovation and industry leadership harmonizes perfectly with AmCap’s commitment to growth, organizational excellence and superior borrower experiences across our entire network. We are delighted to have him heading up the new Midwestern Division of our expanding company.”

Market Analysis: Some Final Thoughts

*Some Final Thoughts*
**By Tony Garritano**

***For the past two days now I’ve been talking to you about exactly how many people go into processing a loan. It’s been a good journey of discovery for me. Process improvement is critical to our industry so we need to really understand what we’re improving first. I hope after reading these past few days you have a better idea of how intricate the mortgage process really is. So, how do we really improve the process? Here are some ideas:

****“The loan process continues to be extremely complex. At Xerox Mortgage Services, we are seeing our BlitzDocs users hand-off loan files through electronic collaboration as many as 20 times during the origination process,” noted Nancy Alley, vice president and general manager, Xerox Mortgage Services. “This collaboration occurs both internally – with participants like LOs, processors and underwriters – and externally – to the borrower and trading partners such as verification companies, MIs, closing agents and investors. At each hand-off, specific loan documents need to be reviewed while other documents are being added.”

****How do lenders feel about this topic? LeaderOne Financial was founded in 1992 by its CEO, A.W. Pickel III, a past president of the National Association of Mortgage Brokers. In 2011, the company originated nearly $500 million in mortgages through its retail loan officers and was named one of the fastest-growing private companies by Inc. Magazine (#12 in the nation among financial services companies).

****Mr. Pickel shared, “We were among the first lenders to go paperless. I don’t think most lenders process a loan differently. As I said, we are paperless lender. So, we’re doing all of this electronically. I don’t see how I can use technology to make the process more automated. As it is for us, we don’t paper out until closing. All the steps are done electronically here and the e-file is handed off to these different individuals. We don’t paper out here until closing. An electronic closing would be ideal. That’s where we need to go. Right now technology allows me to have a few people that are really good at what they do. These are people I trust. They do a great job.”

****Rebecca Walzak, president at consulting firm rjb Walzak Consulting Inc., agreed, “The process itself hasn’t changed very much. I remember when we had runners that would collect all the documents and order credit. Once we got the credit report back we’d go through it manually. Now all the ordering of outside services is electronic and we get back data that can be electronically reviewed. However, the processor still pulls it all together, checks everything and moves it along. Hopefully going forward technology won’t just automate traditional processes, it’ll go further to actually improve the process.”