Scotsman Guide > Rankings > Top Originators 2011 > Q&A: Christopher Vincent Hussa

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Q&A: Christopher Vincent Hussain, WeFit2U Inc.

 

After placing sixth on Scotsman Guide’s 2010 Top Originators list, Christopher Vincent Hussain now has claimed the top spot. Hussain closed more than $253 million in loans this past year, and he did so across a wide variety of niches. His purchase volume was equally impressive; in another year largely characterized by refinances, Hussain closed more than $190 million in purchases, about 75 percent of his business. Based in Napa, Calif., he talked with us about this past year and about the industry as a whole.

Your total volume increased by more than $58 million between 2010 and 2011. How do you succeed in spite of the market’s recent troubles?

I’m a one-man show. I do everything, so I have control over everything. I don’t have anybody else to worry about. A long time ago, I had 50 people working for me, and I found that I got a little bit less done. I was dealing with a lot of the more dramatic parts of having employees. It’s not always a good idea to get people underneath you. There’s actually more work that needs to be done, and you may actually make less money.

The bulk of your volume in 2011 and 2010 came from purchases as opposed to refinances. Why?

I made a big change [around 2007] from doing a lot of refinances, which was what I knew and what I was used to doing. I found that, with the people who are trying to refinance, you’re adding in another factor: How much is the house worth? Whereas with purchases, I find that I don’t have to deal with that. If the house appraises, the house appraises. The house is selling for how much it’s worth, its market value. Therefore, I don’t really have to worry as much about the selling point. I don’t really consider myself a salesperson. I just do my job, and I’m honest with people.

What does the shape of the market look like this year?

I think purchases are a big deal right now. I think that housing has hit a little bump. Right now, the prices are so low on houses, it’s cheaper to buy a house than to rent. With 3.5 percent down, USDA [U.S. Department of Agriculture] programs, VA [U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs] programs, downpayment-assistance programs, a person doesn’t have to have perfect credit to go through and buy a house.

What regulatory changes would you like to see?

Maybe putting in a minimum requirement, [for instance], you have to have so many transactions completed every single year or every single quarter. The banking world doesn’t need to regulate us more, but they do need to try to weed out the people who don’t belong — people who only do one or two deals a month or have other businesses that they’re running on the side.

Is there a secret to success in the origination industry?

It’s really being a chameleon. You have to blend in with your environment. I do multimillion-dollar loans, and I also do $50,000 loans. You have to be that 99 percent, while still being able to give the impression that you can do everything for the 1 percent. 

- Raymond Fleischmann


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