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Residential Department: Featured Top Originator: Mike Osorio, Farmers and Merchants Bank: March 2017


Featured Top Originator: Mike Osorio, Farmers and Merchants Bank

No.2 Top HELOC Volume (2015)

Mike Osorio works in a city of nearly 500,000 people, for a bank that operates in two of America’s six most-populous counties. It just doesn’t feel that way.

Osorio, one of the nation’s top originators for home equity lines of credit (HELOCs), has been with Farmers and Merchants Bank for nearly nine years. The bank operates two dozen offices throughout Southern California’s Los Angeles County (with an estimated population of 10.2 million) and Orange County (population 3.2 million). Osorio services three of the bank’s Long Beach offices, and lives only two miles or so from each of them.

“Long Beach is a big city, but it makes it small when you live and work in a two-mile radius,” Osorio says. “You see people you know in the store and the coffee shop. Your customers and clients own businesses nearby, and you see them pretty much every day.”

A 14-year veteran of the mortgage industry, Osorio started out as a mortgage originator in the early part of this century. When the housing market collapsed in 2008, however, his fortunes changed.

“I had a few good wholesale lenders — at the time, we considered good to be IndyMac and Washington Mutual — and overnight those companies shut down wholesale,” he says. “It got real tough as a small broker to make it. I knew Farmers and Merchants Bank as a community bank, and I knew folks over here, so it was a good time to transition to the banking side.”

The move has certainly worked for Osorio, now a vice president and senior loan officer with the bank. In 2015, he originated more than $111 million in loans, including just over $16 million in HELOCs. He ranked second nationally on Scotsman Guide’s Top Originators 2015 list for Top HELOC Volume.

Osorio says HELOCs can be more complicated to explain to customers than some loans, but spending that additional time is worthwhile.

“It’s taking the time, asking the right questions and giving them the information to know that if they need the funds, they’re available,” Osorio says. “It’s more about education and giving them that option, because they may not know if it’s the right fit.”

With home values skyrocketing nationwide, HELOCs have been one of the hottest items in the mortgage market over the past few years. HELOC originations increased on a year-over-year basis for 17 straight quarters — from second-quarter 2012 through second-quarter 2016, according to Attom Data Solutions. Osorio has seen similar growth in that market.

“The [HELOC] volume over the last three years has increased as we’ve seen values go up,” he says. “If clients have first mortgages, they’ve already refinanced on really good rates and terms, but they still want access to their funds.”

For the seventh year in a row, we compiled the industry’s most comprehensive list of the nation’s top mortgage originators. The rankings include not only the originators who are closing the most dollar volume and the most loans, but also the leaders in niche areas, like Federal Housing Administration, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and U.S. Department of Agriculture loans as well as home equity lines of credit.

View Scotsman Guide’s Top Originators 2015 at


Rob Crow was online content editor for Scotsman Guide Media. For questions regarding this article, e-mail

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