Hawkins rebounds from mortgage debacle

Nearly two months ago, Todd Hawkins found out that his employer could no longer fund mortgages and was belly up, leaving him and his wife– and eight other local employees– out of jobs. This week, he reports he's back in the mortgage biz and will be opening a local branch for IndyMac Bank.

"I'm looking for office space and the people I want," says an upbeat Hawkins, who shot to fame in the 1990s as a sportscaster for NBC29.
Unlike his previous lending employer, American Home Mortgage, a former national powerhouse that laid off thousands and declared bankruptcy August 6, the new company is not totally dependent on mortgages. IndyMac is a savings and loan.

"Charlottesville is one of the places they wanted a footprint," says Hawkins, noting that IndyMac previously didn't do retail loans. "They're the leading provider of reverse mortgages. With all the baby boomers retiring," he explains, "it's tailored to people who have their houses paid for or have a lot of equity in them."

Less successful in recovering from the mortgage morass are homeowners caught in the squeeze that's made mortgage money hard to find– and buyers sometimes rarer still. For instance, Charlottesvillian Maurie Sutton found out about the time of the American Home collapse that the buyers for her condo backed out of their deal two weeks before closing. That prevented Sutton from closing on a new house she had under construction, and she still doesn't have a contract on her condo.

"They don't tell you in loan officer school how to tell a client, 'Sorry, we're no longer funding,'" says Hawkins.

1 comment

Move over Keynes, Adam Smith is in charge (and always has been weather people knew it or not).