Pace of mortgage applications steady in at-risk communities, ShoreBank exec says

Despite recent concerns about an avalanche of foreclosures expected to hit such areas as Englewood, Roseland, Back of the Yards and Auburn Gresham, Michelle Collins, managing director of mortgage lending at ShoreBank Corporation, says applications continue at the usual pace in the low-to-moderate income Chicago communities her institution serves.

“The number of people coming in for mortgages is about the same,” she said. “What I’ve seen is that it has not shut down the market in any way. It is a slower market; negotiations are going on longer than they would’ve a year ago. So I’m not seeing a panic at all, or folks saying, ‘Oh, I don’t know if I’m going to be able to sell my house.’ “

Collins says ShoreBank’s loan officers are told to give potential clients “tough love” if necessary, a practice that lets people know they’ll get the best information.

“Sometimes it’s a hard message when someone says, ‘This is what you can afford, this is a good deal for you. No, this is not a good deal.’ But customers that really care about being successful and want to do this the right way – they want someone to advise them like that. Don’t just give me what I want. That’s like going to a doctor who lets you prescribe the medicine.”

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