Vice President of Multicultural Lending with New American Funding Frank Fuentes is in the studio for today’s episode of Atlanta Real Estate Forum Radio. Joined by co-hosts Carol Morgan and Todd Schnick, the group discusses Fuentes’ journey with New American Funding, multicultural efforts within the organization, 2020 successes, plans for the remainder of the year and more on this All About Real Estate Segment of Radio!
Frank Fuentes started with New American Funding 20 years ago. Born and raised in California, Fuentes was born to two hard-working immigrants who moved to the United States in the 1960s. For work, they picked strawberries in Orange County. Fuentes’ mom always told her children that her dream was to provide for her kids so they could work with their brains and not their backs. This saying planted the seed in Fuentes’ head to work within the real estate industry.
As young as ten years old, Fuentes was inspired by finding information through reading, research and discovery. In addition to working several odd jobs over the years, he would read bank and stock information to his family. When Fuentes entered college, he started to focus his learning on real estate. This included economics, finance, legal appraisals and other aspects within the industry.
When Fuentes turned 25, he found New American Funding. CEO and Co-Founder of New American Funding Rick Arvielo put an advertisement in a lesser-known newspaper for a position at the company. The only requirement for the job was the candidate must speak Spanish. Fuentes called Arvielo and accepted the job at New American Funding. He has been with the company ever since!
New American Funding is a privately owned, national direct lender that has a presence in 49 states. The company is a direct seller servicer to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, meaning it works directly with the agencies and has little to no overlinks. The professionals at New American Funding also service a majority of the loans it originates and offers a “make sense” approach to underwriting.
“One of the things we are proud of at New American Funding is that we manually underwrite a high percentage of the loans we originate,” said Fuentes.
As the first bilingual Latino loan officer with New American Funding, Fuentes helped lead a revolution in the mortgage industry. When he started, there was a tremendous need for Spanish-speaking loan officers. Fuentes was one of the trailblazers who joined the industry to better serve his community and others like it.
“The reason Rick Arvielo hired me is because he had the great idea of adding ‘Se habla español’ into a marketing piece that he was mailing out 2,000 – 3,000 of a week,” said Fuentes. “Because of that little blurb he added to the marketing piece, the phones started lighting up and they didn’t know what to do with all those calls. So, here comes Frank Fuentes to handle all the leads!”
While there was a huge need for bilingual loan officers in 2000 to bring in Spanish speaking clients, the necessity is still present in 2021. Especially in areas like Atlanta that are considered immerging markets, a bilingual team is essential to providing homeownership to everyone.
In addition to programs and initiatives inside the company, New American Funding also supports the Hispanic market in metro Atlanta by aligning with impactful organizations, including the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals® (NAHREP). Marietta Branch Manager Jose Placesncia, a past president of NAHREP, and Loan Consultant Marco Sanchez, a current member on the Board of Directors of NAHREP, both work with New American Funding to provide homeownership to the Latino community. Learn more about how Plascencia creates homeownership for the underserved community in a previous Atlanta Real Estate Forum Radio interview here.
“It’s actually very simple, the main reason we align with them [NAHREP] is because their mission is right in line with ours which is increasing the Hispanic homeownership rate,” said Fuentes.
NAHREP is one of the most influential and largest minority trade organizations of its type. With close to 30,000 members and 150 chapters nationwide, aligning with this organization is very important for New American Funding’s mission because of the incredible collaboration that exists within the community. Whether it is lobbying in Washington D.C. for Hispanic lending or round table discussions with various agencies, NAHREP always has a seat at the table to discuss important needs for the Hispanic community.
2020 was a big success for New American Funding and the local Hispanic communities it serves. A big advocate for mirroring the communities it serves, New American Funding entrenches itself within the areas it is trying to help. From partnering with organizations like NAHREP to working to lead by example, the loan officers and leadership team members do whatever it takes to ensure their potential clients are comfortable, informed and receiving the best opportunities possible.
To learn more about what Frank Fuentes and New American Funding have planned for the remainder of 2021, listen to the full interview above. You can also visit www.branch.newamericanfunding.com/Atlanta for more information.
Georgia Residential Mortgage Licensee, License #22564. NMLS ID #6606. Subject to borrower and property qualifications. Not all applicants will qualify. Click here to view the terms and conditions of products mentioned during the show. Corporate office 14511 Myford Rd., Suite 100, Tustin, CA 92780. Phone: (800) 450-2010. (February/2021)
New American Funding is a family-owned mortgage lender with a servicing portfolio of over 123,000 loans for $30.4 billion, 198 branches, and about 3,100 employees. The company offers several niche loan products and has made Inc. 5000’s list of Fastest-Growing Companies in America six times. It has a state-of-the-art career training facility and develops innovative technology, including the GoGo LO mobile application. For more information, visit www.branch.newamericanfunding.com/Atlanta.
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