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Top Originators 2013: #1 Top Dollar Volume


Mark Cohen, Cohen Financial Group
#1 Top Dollar Volume
Closed-Loans Rank: #11
Purchase-Volume Rank: #1


Mark Cohen closed plenty of refinances this past year, but the purchase market will always be the apple of his eye.

“My premise has always been to focus on the sales market, even though people sort of abandoned it in the last couple of years,” he says. “The sales market is solid, but it’s very competitive at the same time.”

Considering Cohen’s origination volume this past year, it seems as though that competition has been bested. Cohen closed more than $603 million worth of loans in 2013, a staggering volume that earned him the No. 1 spot on Scotsman Guide’s Top Dollar Volume list for the second year in a row. With 675 total closed loans, Cohen’s volume is split into nearly $315 million worth of refinances and more than $288 million in purchases, placing him first on both the purchase-volume and refinance-volume rankings.

In 2012, Cohen closed more than $609 million worth of loans, according to his revised data.

Cohen explains that his lofty production is partly a result of his company’s flexibility and quick turn times, qualities that allow him to capture deals even in the face of stiff competition from larger, money-center banks.

“The thing with those banks is that, a lot of the time, they’ll say they’ll do the loan, but for some reason the appraisal doesn’t come in or the underwriting is 43.1 [percent debt-to-income ratio] or they just can’t do the deal,” Cohen says. “So, I get a lot of deals that are fallouts.”

Cohen also points to his location and his tenure in the mortgage industry as two major factors of his success. In almost three decades in the business, he’s come to specialize in jumbo loans and the Los Angeles-area housing market.

“I’ve always done large loans,” Cohen says. “I have a presence here on the west side of town, where the market is always one of the most expensive in the country. With my clientele — entertainers, CPAs [certified public accountants], business managers — those are the types of loans that I’ve tended to attract in the last 30 years of business.”

— Raymond Fleischmann 

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