Dana Dudley might be the fastest speaking loan officer you’ll ever meet. That’s because when she’s not helping her clients purchase or refinance their homes, she’s working as a benefit auctioneer for various non-profits and auction houses around the Frederick County, Maryland area.
“My friend convinced me that I would be a great auctioneer because I talk so fast,” Dana said. “I decided to do it because I always enjoyed going to auctions, and there was only one other female auctioneer in Frederick County.”
So, in 2007, she enrolled herself in Auctioneer School to learn the tricks of the trade.
That same year, Dana volunteered as the auctioneer for 36 non-profit auctions in the area. She continues to support various non-profits through fundraising efforts by serving as their auctioneer.
Her unique set of skills doesn’t stop there. Also on Dana’s diverse resume is competitive tractor-pulling and she was also named female log sawing champion of Frederick County in 2010.
But when it comes to her mortgage customers, Dana makes sure her clients understand every word about the steps of the mortgage process. With over 30 years of experience in the industry, Dana has mastered the mortgage process from start to finish.
Dana joined the mortgage industry in 1986 as a loan processor, where she was responsible for prepping and organizing the loan file and turning it into the mortgage loan underwriter for approval. Processors collect and verify an applicant’s personal information and financial records for the loan, then pull together and prepare loan documents that are passed on for the closing of the loan.
From processing, Dana then worked as an underwriter, where she pulled potential borrowers’ credit reports, and analyzed their income and collateral to give their loan the final approval.
“I think that my experience processing and underwriting loans has helped my career as a loan officer tremendously,” Dana said. “I have a great understanding of what happens to the loan file after the loan officer and borrower have filled out the application, decided on a loan product and gathered all of the needed documents—so I know what guidelines need to be reached.”
She also believes that carrying out her job functions as a processor and underwriter before the days of computers helped her to gain a deeper knowledge of the loan process.
“Back in the day, I did it all by hand. I can still write a loan estimate by hand—that’s not something all loan officers know how to do,” she said.
To this day, Dana continues to gather and verify her borrower’s documents upfront so they don’t run into issues with the loan later down the road.
“That’s probably the reason that I haven’t had a loan denial in over 4 years,” she said.
In 2005, when Dana decided that she wanted to become a loan officer work directly with clients to help them achieve homeownership, she left her salaried job as a processor and opened her own mortgage brokerage.
“Owning my own brokerage went well for a few years,” she said. “But I got tired of all the paperwork I had to file as a business owner. I wanted to focus more of my time on my clients and helping them achieve their dreams, not file paperwork all day.”
Dana joined FitzGerald Financial Group as a loan officer in 2011. At FitzGerald, Dana spends less time filling out timely paperwork—yet keeps just as busy forging long-lasting relationships with her clients. This is especially true because the mortgage process can be long and complicated at times.
“Purchasing a home is a true accomplishment. I’ve spent years working with some clients, counseling them on their credit or waiting with them until they saved up enough money for a down payment,” Dana said. “That’s why sitting at the closing table with my clients when they receive the keys to their home is so rewarding.”
“I can definitely say that a good number of my clients have turned into friends, which is what makes this job even more special,” she said.
Dana Dudley (NMLS # 141404) is a Loan Officer in Frederick County for FitzGerald Financial Group (NMLS #512138). She can be reached via phone at 301-606-5818 or through email at [email protected].
The information contained herein (including but not limited to any description of FitzGerald Financial Group, its affiliates and its lending programs and products, eligibility criteria, interest rates, fees and all other loan terms) is subject to change without notice. This is not a commitment to lend.