I began my career as a residential loan officer in 2007, when many would soon leave the business. That was the year the home loan industry imploded and home loans became extremely difficult to close. With home prices dropping and loan modification and foreclosures becoming part of the real estate landscape, the entire housing market was in chaos. Minority families were hit the hardest with sub-prime loans and predatory lending practices targeting many Hispanic communities. The benefit of beginning my career during this tumultuous time was having a clear understanding of the consequences of unethical lending practices, poorly communicated loan products, and personally losing a home due to a declining economy and creative financing. Although I may not have been lending during the heyday of easy money financing, I appreciated starting my career when tough loans, genuine compassion and honest practices made a difference in people’s lives.

Today I am honored to be helping the children of many of the clients I helped through the 2007 – 2009 housing crash. Why? Because families appreciated straight talk that focused on honesty, wisdom and kindness during those financially difficult times. Especially in the immigrant Hispanic communities experiencing the added layer of not having English as a first language.

Being a daughter of two immigrant parents, I understood the struggle first hand. My father was born in Havana Cuba and arrived to the U.S. by means of political asylum in 1969, and my mother immigrated from El Salvador by means of a work visa. They met within 24 hours of arriving to New York city, embracing an unknown future, without family connections or known friends. They soon married and had 2 children. I, being the oldest, was the primary translator for my parents. As young as 12 years old, I translated my first set of loan documents for my parents. I marvel at the thought that my parents had to place their trust in a 12 year old child to translate financial and legal documents. But that was our normal, and for many Hispanic immigrant families, this is not unusual.

Hispanic communities have always sought out ways to carve themselves into homeownership. Bravely and boldly moving towards a desire to own their home. Even after the housing market crash of 2007- 2009, they quickly rebounded and sought out ways to get back into the housing market. Known for living in multi-generational households, they made the necessary sacrifices to secure their dreams of home ownership.

It gives me great pride to be part of a Hispanic Heritage that represents 1st generational Latin American children, who are the product of immigrant parents. My father passed away in 2007 and he continues to be a beacon for resilience, commitment and faith. A man who left a legacy in real estate and business ownership, carried on by both my brother and I.

Today I have a beautiful family that consist of 3 children, and my amazing mother who is now in her 80’s – and the driving force for my commitment to reverse mortgages, and a wonderful younger brother and his extended family. The business is coined “The Mortgage Family”, centered on the principle that God and family come before career and financial ambition. Serving hundreds of Hispanic households since 2007 and proud of my Hispanic Heritage as a women and first generational Latin American.

Connect with Maria – www.linkedin.com/in/maria-cecilia-garcia-4b0aaa30