1st Nations Mortgage Corporation was founded in Charlotteville, VA in 1999 by Robert Lee. The company grew to be one of the largest mortgage companies on the Eastern Seaboard servicing 24 states with over 300 loan officers. During the start of the Internet boom 1st Nations was the leader in mortgage related advertising on the Internet. In 2003 1st Nations was housed in 3 different office buildings in Charlottesville, VA creating jobs for 170 loan officers, processors, underwriters and technical people. Since it’s founding 1st Nations has closed over a billion dollars in loans and has over 10,000 happy customers.
In 2004 Robert Lee moved to Colorado and opened a Western operations office at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains located outside Boulder. In 2008, during the housing crisis 1st Nations was virtually legislated out of business by all the state and federal laws which promalgated all loan officers who didn’t work for a bank to get individual licensing to include 40hrs Continuing Ed in EACH state as well as fingerprinting, bonding, licensing and many other requirements that bank loan officers do not have to follow. As a result mortgage brokerage in the US has dropped from around 60% of originations down to around 15% with banks gaining in the transition.
Unfortunately in America, mortgage competition has been severely reduced as a result of the federal Dodd-Frank law and the American public spends considerably more for a mortgage today than they did in 2006. Additionally, the country is left with bond rating agency practices (Standard & Poors, Moody’s, Fitch, etc) which helped to bring down the country virtually unchanged. Further subprime loans have been eliminated, but now FHA loans are on the rise. FHA mortgages only require a 3.5% down payment by the borrower and the loan amount starts out greater than the value of the home, so there are many that think FHA mortgages are the new subprime loans directly guaranteed by the US government; another disaster waiting to happen.
1st Nations has an A+ rating with the BBB as of January 2016. Today the company runs much smaller with only an handful of loan officers closing loans for great customers!