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There were 23 members present. Guests were Tom Welch, a visiting Rotarian from Colorado, and Scott Birkenstein (son of Eric and grandson of David).  It was announced that Holy Family Ministries, one of our grantees, thanked our Club for the donation of 150 coats that their organization recently distributed to needy kids.
Our speaker was Mark Stec, VP Community Bank Sales Manager at Wintrust Mortgage at North Shore Community Bank & Trust in Winnetka. He described the “mortgage madness” taking place since late 1990’s. Early on, the regulators encouraged banks to loan money for home purchases to the point that almost anyone could get a mortgage. Then in 2013 Dodd Frank changed the rules by demanding that applicants meet certain stringent requirements pertaining to income (attached is list of 8 factors provided by Mark). Assets no longer are important. Self- employed individuals need to prepare for a mortgage application by showing more income on their tax returns for the  2 years before application and less expense write-offs. The documentation required for mortgages is now far more complicated and consumers can now sue lenders for incomplete or incorrect documents. The Credit Bureaus collect more information now and some applicants have discovered that even unpaid parking tickets can adversely affect one’s credit rating and mortgage rate. He said that the bubble burst in the last decade can be blamed 1/3 each on the government, banks and the consumers. The one thing that needs to be changed is more weight given to an applicant’s net worth as opposed to their annual income.