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You think the economy is bad now for the mortgage industry? Try coming up like Michael Borodinsky (pictured) did back in the 80s.

“I graduated from the University of Delaware in 1983,” he told Mortgage Professional America during a telephone interview. “At the time we were coming out of a pretty bad recession. In ’82, when I was looking for work as an upcoming graduating senior, the job prospects weren’t very good.

“I did have a degree in finance,” he added. “I did take a real estate finance course as part of my major and it did give me a basic introduction to mortgage finance. I took a chance with what was available for job opportunities. Believe it or not it was to go to work for a local community bank in New Jersey hiring loan officers.”


Yet even with degree in hand as a freshly minted graduate, the path wasn’t smooth.

“At the time, I had no idea what the parameters were about how to be a loan officer,” he recalled. “I didn’t realize that it was a critical sales-commissioned component to the job. You’d think you would be given a salary and an opportunity to take orders but basically I was thrown into the wolves from the beginning. With the lack of better opportunities, I embraced it despite the obstacle of not knowing that much. My background in terms of my education did give me a running head start, so I was completely ignorant of what was going on around me. But we were in a recovering environment by 1983, and interest rates at the time were over 15%. I was selling in a market where mortgages weren’t exactly a lovely name – it almost was a dirty word.”

Yet in retrospect, Borodinsky views the backdrop of his career trajectory as beneficial in the long run: “Timing is everything,” he reflected. “When you look at what happened in 1983, ’84 through today we basically went through one of the greatest bond market rallies in the history of our economy. What really happened – despite some cyclical changes – is we saw a trend through the entire course of my career of interest rates going down. That was critical to the success of any loan officer because lower rates basically stimulate more demand.”

Today, he’s happily ensconced at Caliber Home Loans in New Jersey where he’s worked for nine years as producing branch manager. In 2021, he posted just under $350 million in volume before posting $200 million last year – a drop attributable to the market softening that’s afflicted the entire industry.