Mortgage Daily

Published On: March 11, 2003
Broker Earns $10 Million in 2002Refi wave pushes average originator salary to $120k

March 11, 2003

By SAM GARCIA

Bad luck for the U.S. economy spells big bucks for some mortgage originators. At least one star broker is taking home a Hollywood-size salary.Leif Thomsen, owner of Mortgage Master, Inc. in Massachusetts, earned $10 million last year, according to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal’s online edition. The company reportedly produced 11,000 loans for $3 billion in 2002.

On its website, the company attributes its results to the founding principles established by Thomsen. First, apply the Golden Rule to “the loan process and your reputation will spread.” Next, “make less money per loan and you will ultimately do more loans.” Finally, keep operating costs low and better deals will be available.

Five brokers at Mortgage Master earned more than $1 million last year, the Journal reported, with one earning $1.7 million.

Driven by the record low interest rates, last year was the best ever in U.S. mortgage production. The Mortgage Bankers Association of America reported that 2002 residential mortgage production reached nearly $2.5 trillion.

So much production has pushed employment in the mortgage industry to 421,000, an 18% increase from a year ago. Brokerages took up a big chunk of that number, with about 240,000 people working for 30,000 mortgage brokerages in 2000, according to Wholesale Access Mortgage Research & Consulting Inc.

The average mortgage broker made $120,000 in 2002 — with at least 5% (about 6,000 brokers) having earned $1 million or more, the Journal went on to report, while owners of brokerage firms took home an average of $400,000.


Sam Garcia has been in mortgage lending since 1980, and is publisher of MortgageDaily.com. He also owns and operates CloseNow.com, a real estate portal site.

email: SamGarcia@MortgageDaily.com

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