CU Mortgage Officer Takes Top Spot In Rankings By Closing 729 Loans In 1 Year

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Wendy Hewitt, financial mortgage loan officer at Dearborn Federal Credit Union, closed a record number of loans last year, making her the only credit union representative nationwide to earn a top spot on Mortgage Originator Magazine's list of leading producers.

Hewitt closed 729 mortgage loans amounting to $107.5 million for the $1.6-billion DFCU, ranking her forty-first nationwide among hundreds of loan originators who report their sales to the national mortgage trade magazine. Her total was nearly four and a half times more than the average dollar volume generated by the top 200 mortgage processors who participated.

"I was pretty proud of myself," Hewitt said. "Especially since there are no other credit unions on the whole list. It was just an awesome feeling."

More humbly, she said, her personal accomplishment is a result of record low interest rates and DFCU Financial's great reputation as a mortgage lender.

"Members keep coming back," she said. "And I get a lot of calls from people who have been referred by a friend or family member who belongs to DFCU and is happy with the loan they got from us."

DFCU Financial President and CEO Mark Shobe said it's employees like Hewitt who have helped establish such a reputation. "Our members trust her," he said.

There is one other factor, Hewitt admitted. "I thrive on being busy," she said, admitting that she could be considered a workaholic. "I have been working six days a week since I started at Dearborn Federal three years ago. And I don't take lunch any day."

That means 10-hour days Monday through Friday and four-and-a-half-hours on Saturday during the credit union's regular business hours.

She said it's part of the sacrifice to "make hay while you can," and, at the same time, accommodate the member. "Whenever they need an appointment, I am available."

Hewitt said she has stuck to her guns on one issue: "I don't answer the phone at home anymore." And, when she and her husband, who recently retired as a Ford engineer, take vacations, the cell phone is not allowed.

Hewitt, who has worked in mortgage lending for 20 years with banks, mortgage companies and one other credit union, said she prefers the latter because of the more personable environment and good feelings she gets from members.

She admitted that her record didn't please one member of her family. "My brother owns a mortgage company in Wisconsin," she said, chuckling.

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