End of tough times? Mortgage banker believes housing has 'turned corner' in Southeastern Michigan

By Paul Janczewski

Legal News

In the mid 1970s, Harry J. Glanz was a credit analyst for a local banking company. But he wanted greater involvement in the housing business so he left to pursue direct sales across the country.

"But in 1988 somebody told me they thought I'd be good in the mortgage business," he said.

Glanz honed his skills for a short time at a Birmingham mortgage company, but in 1992 he and Dan Burke co-founded the independent mortgage banking company of Capital Mortgage Funding.

Now, the company, which bills itself as "the best mortgage banker," has grown to include 75 employees at three offices in Southfield, Taylor and Farmington. It also has been recognized as one of the fastest growing companies around while closing billions of dollars in residential loan transactions and has been consistently ranked as one of the largest independent mortgage bankers in the state.

"It's been a great 20 years," Glanz, 54, said during a recent interview.

And it only looks to keep getting better. About 18 months ago, the company joined forces with United Shore Financial Services.

"The industry was consolidating, and we were looking to grow, but we needed a partner in which to attach our company to, so we could grow exponentially," Glanz said. "And it's been a great merger."

Although United Shore Financial Services has three divisions -- Shore Mortgage, United Wholesale Mortgage, and a capital mortgage division, which Glanz's company is attached to -- Glanz said making that division work will be accomplished "the old-fashioned way," by meeting clients face to face, providing Internet capabilities, and telephone communications.

"But we meet directly with the consumers," he said.

At Capital Mortgage Funding, Glanz said there are many creative ways available now to get people in the homes they've always dreamed about. And with interest rates at now at "historic lows," and government programs aiding in refinancing, Glanz said "our business is up substantially over the last year."

The ambitious goal within all three divisions of Shore is to achieve $10 billion in the next three years, "and our division will account for a nice percentage of that," he said, placing the company among the top 10 lenders in the country.

Glanz said Capital Mortgage Funding is a mortgage bank, not a broker, which gives it a flexibility that brokers lack. The company can save consumers money on fees associated with mortgages, and works with FNMA and other programs which allows it to process, underwrite, close, fund and service their own accounts. They also are endorsed by HUD for FHA/VA transactions.

"We have the whole myriad of mortgage products," Glanz said.

So what makes this company better than other mortgage funding businesses?

"We are in contact with our clients on a proactive basis," Glanz said. "When we see interest rates go down, we call our clients. We're out in the community. We give home buying seminars. We still go to real estate offices. We do e-mail consumer direct mass mail pieces. We advertise on television and radio. We don't hide behind a desk or a phone, we're out on the road in our actively seeking business and taking care of our clients."

For the past decade and more, Glanz has had a consumer advocacy show called "Hardcore Mortgage and Real Estate" on every Saturday from 9-10 a.m. 97.1 FM, The Ticket, an all-sports radio station. Glanz said he chose that station because "sports is king" in the metro-Detroit area and that "gives us nice visibility."

People call in with questions, and Glanz and other professionals give advice and solid answers, often inviting them to the office to discuss concerns and help them.

"We fix their problems, and it's a great way to be part of the community," he said.

The company also is involved with charitable work in southeastern Michigan, such as cancer walks and a family foundation for colon cancer. Glanz is co-founder of the Michael Yendick Foundation for Children, which is in conjunction with the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America.

His goal is to make Capital Mortgage Funding not only the biggest mortgage lender, but also the "best in quality" in serving clients. He hopes to open offices in Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, and up north.

"We want to grow cautiously and serve the needs of the community," Glanz said. "We're here to stay."

Glanz said he believes the housing market is coming back. Foreclosures are down, market values in certain areas are going up, and some areas are becoming a buyers' market, with bidding wars going on.

"It's just an exciting time to be living in southeastern Michigan," Glanz said. "We've been through some bad times, as everybody has, but we're coming out of it and we're seeing the fruit that bears that out. The housing market has turned the corner. I see it everyday across my desk."

Published: Fri, Jun 29, 2012