An Interview with Jim Zielinski

 JZ Mortgage NMLS# 1353198
James Zelinski NMLS# 972677
Jim is the founder and CEO of JZ Mortgage. He is an expert in mortgage financing and he has personally helped over 1000 clients get their mortgage loans approved and closed. Jim works with over 100 different lenders and specializes in helping people get the best mortgage possible to fit their needs. He also has put together some great training programs to help realtors and mortgage professionals build their business.

How can you help people and why should they work with you?

Thanks Chris. I have been helping people with mortgages and finance for over 12 years. I am a fully licensed Loan Officer. As you mentioned I’ve closed over 1000 loans so I have a lot of experience in the mortgage process. That’s important because it’s very common for issues to come up during the loan process and you will want a seasoned professional working for you to address and overcome these things. Buying a home is the single biggest investment most people will make in their entire life. And unless you are paying cash, you will need to obtain a mortgage. I strongly recommend seeking the expertise of a licensed and experienced professional who works with multiple lenders so they can find the best lender for you.It’s not a quick easy process to get a mortgage. Even if you have got a mortgage in the past, it’s changed a lot in recent years. They will not think twice to turn you down for a loan if you don’t meet every single requirement. There’s a lot of paperwork , people, and processes involved, every deal is unique, and challenges come up all the time. You will want to have someone on your side that can answer your questions clearly and help you get thru all of the hurdles to get your loan approved and closed. Issues come up all of the time in the loan process, could be with your documentation, debt to income ratio, credit, the property, or title, so don’t be surprised when things come up that we need to discuss and resolve, and that’s where I can really help you. Any of these items can be a possible deal breaker, and if it’s not addressed properly, the loan gets turned down, the deal falls thru, and you lose the house.I’ve dealt with thousands of these issues and my job is to find you the best lender and loan to fit your needs and unique application, find solutions to issues, answer your questions and work with you, and get your loan closed. It’s a stressful process even if everything goes right, buying a house, getting a loan, moving or relocating, you will be happy to have a professional that cares about you and your family, and is there to help you.

Why is a client better off going to you for a mortgage then a bank?

That’s a great question, Chris. I don’t work for a bank, I work for my clients. I am a licensed mortgage loan officer. Banks are in business to make a profit for the bank. I’m approved with over 100 lenders, and we have the best programs, service, and rates available anywhere. Most banks charge 300-500$ for an application fee, and they keep that whether you close or not. We don’t charge any upfront fees, no application fees, no pre-approval fees, and most of our loan programs have no lender fees or underwriting fees either. We just have a small processing fee that gets paid at closing and that’s it!Banks are in business to make profits and for the benefit of the bank. Your bank might do mortgage loans, but for most banks, it’s not their primary business. They have limited loan programs available and they have OVERLAYS which are their own additional guidelines, in addition to the loan guidelines from Fannie Mae, FHA, VA, or whatever type of loan. They are not going to explain this to you at the branch. Most likely the person you talk with will not be a Licensed Loan Officer, they don’t have to be because they are “employees of the bank”. You will pay $300-500 for an application fee and they keep that whether you get approved or not. They will just send your application to their mortgage processing center, and they work it from there. Most banks will turn you down if your credit score is under 640, or your debt ratio is over 43%. I can get loans done with scores in 500’s and debt ratios up to 55% or more.It will not matter that you have banked with them for 20 years, or you know the branch manager well. The mortgage must stand on its own. The bank is not going to advise you that you might be a better fit at a different bank or another lender, they will only run you thru their system and either you get approved or declined. They aren’t going to shop lenders for you, they will just see if you fit THEIR box. They work for the bank, they don’t work for you. I work for my clients.

I have over 100 banks and lenders so I have access to the whole marketplace of loan programs, and I can find the best loan and lender to fit you and your goals. I actually get a lot of referrals from bank turn downs. For example, I recently closed a loan for a nice couple that was working with their bank for 6 months to get a loan and getting nowhere. I got them approved and we’re closing, in less than 30 days.

How did you do that?

I took them to a more aggressive lender that fit the needs of the deal, has lower score requirements and no overlays, so we got them approved. They even had some old collections that their bank was going to make them pay off, and my lender is not making them be paid. I ONLY do mortgages so I know the rules and what to look for and what to watch out for and how to make sure your deal closes.

How does a new client get pre-approved and what is the cost?

Most banks charge 300-500$ for an application fee. They keep that money even if they decline your loan. We don’t charge any application fee or preapproval fee, no upfront fees! We will take your application, pull your credit, and review it and issue a preapproval letter for you as a free service. You will need that preapproval letter to put in an offer on a house. I will be looking for all of the 100s of things that could be a problem for your loan. This is critical because if we find these things out up front, we can address them, and we might go with a different lender because of such issues. A preapproval letter does not guarantee your loan will close, it’s preliminary.I can tell you about different loan options for you and help you structure your deal. How much down payment should you do or do you need? What’s the closing costs? How much money will you need to bring to closing? What if I’m getting gift funds for the purchase? And we can do things like lender credit to help you with closing costs. Lender credit is a credit back from the lender based on the rate for your loan, so you can take a slightly higher rate and get money back at closing so it’s less out of pocket for you. I can help you improve your credit if needed, and if there are errors on your report we can get them removed and cleared up. I can do these in 24-48 hours, otherwise, it could take you months or years to improve or fix your credit.

How do you get paid?

We all want to get the best rate and the lowest closing costs naturally. It’s a common misconception to shop for the best rate and people can be mislead. You have options for higher or lower rates, so you can pay for a better rate or get lender credit for taking a higher rate to help you with closing costs. What you really want to look for is “what is the total cost of this loan with this rate”. You want to add in any application fees, underwriting fees, processing fees, and all cost associated with the loan. I don’t say closing costs, because there are other closing costs like title, taxes, and closing services that are mostly standard and will come from the title company. We don’t have any fees other than a small processing fee. Many of our lenders don’t have any lender fees. And I work with the best wholesale lenders in the industry, so we are hard to beat.If you have another bank or lender that you are speaking with, ask them for a good faith estimate and fee worksheet. We can use these to compare. I can go thru these with you they have a lot of numbers and can be confusing. We just want to look at the cost of the loan and rate. But these are always estimates at this point in the deal, nothing is set in stone yet, rates change every day until your loan is locked.I recommend you go with whoever you feel most comfortable working with that will be straight with you and get your deal closed. Some lenders don’t have the very best rates, but are more flexible with things like credit issues, higher debt ratios, and lower credit scores, so what’s most important is making sure your loan will close. Saving 1/8 of a point on your rate means nothing if the deal doesn’t close.

What do people need to get their loan closed and what should they expect in the loan process?

After I take your application I will email you a list of documents needed for your loan package. The standard documentation is 2 years of tax returns, 2 months of bank statements, 2 recent paystubs, drivers’ license and social security card and the purchase contract. Please make sure to include ALL PAGES.From there we will have about 50 pages of disclosures to go thru and sign. They are all preliminary, and we disclose the loan and closing costs higher then we think it will be in the end. Because if we under disclose then we have to re-disclose again prior to closing. And it’s just better if you are prepared for a little higher payment and a little higher closing costs, so in the end, if you are expecting to need 7k at close and 1000 per month payment, if it works out to be 6k at close and 950 per month, that’s all good. You wouldn’t want it to go the other way and be more then you planned on. At the beginning stage of the loan, I don’t know exactly what your taxes and homeowners ins will be, and I don’t know exactly to the dollar how much the closing costs will be. We have to estimate, and we estimate a little high to be cautious and make sure you’re not surprised at closing.From there we have to submit the loan to underwriting, order your appraisal, get homeowners insurance, get title work, and gather any other items the lender asks for in the conditional approval. When all of the items are in, the loan will go back to underwriting. This process is called final review and several people and departments at the lender need to review and approve the FULL file. If anything is missing or not acceptable, they will ask us for it prior to clearing the file.

When the lender approves the loan, we have a clear to close, and we can schedule your closing.

How can people reach you, Jim?

The best way to reach me is by email But feel free to call me at the office number or cell phone.