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Top Originators 2010: Most Years in Business


Kevin Budde, Bank of America Home Loans
#1: 2010 Most years in Business
Purchase-Volume Rank: #3
FHA-Volume Rank: #7


With 36 years in the mortgage industry, Kevin Budde ranks as the most tenured member of this year’s Top Originators list. But in 2000, while taking a year off, the California-based Bank of America regional vice president had a chance to choose another path.

He chilled a while. He took the family to Europe. Then he sent his résumé around.

“I never felt more kicked in the teeth — being ignored, no one wanted to talk to me,” says Budde, who entered the mortgage industry as a “broke” 20-year-old, sorting credit reports on the floor of his neighbor’s apartment.

So he disappointed his wife, his father and anyone else with an idea of what a former brokerage-owner and bankers-association president should do. He started over, as a loan officer.

“Everyone thought I was going through a midlife crisis,” says Budde, who now is the preferred lender for 12 real estate companies. “But when I looked at everything, my happiest days were in origination.”

He hasn’t looked back, posting a loan volume of $136.8 million in 2010. His advice?

“Realize you’re not selling a device or a widget,” he says. “You’re selling a service.”

— Tony Stasiek


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