Trading MCA for Mortgages | deBanked

Trading MCA for Mortgages | deBanked

“I like multiple ways of getting business,” said Julio Sencion, Principal at Alta Financial. “If I did one thing and one thing only and that slows down, it affects my bottom line, so I like to keep my doors open for more opportunity and I think the ISOs should as well.”

Sencion’s not funding MCAs today, he’s doing mortgages, a business he had been in for years prior to the Great Recession. In the early 2000s, he said that everyone wanted to be a mortgage broker, himself included when he got into it. Like many in that business at the time, the fallout of it all pushed him to seek out a new revenue stream and a product that was still in demand. By 2011 he and a partner were running a large MCA brokerage shop in New York with nearly 70 sales reps on the floor. Sencion liked the business but not necessarily the conversion rates on the leads he was buying. By his count only 2-3% of the leads would become a funded deal, a metric deemed too low in the industry era of yesteryear. Old habits die hard, however, because he couldn’t help but continue to think like a mortgage guy.

“We realized that we had a couple of different questions on our application, one of them was ‘Do you own real estate? Commercial, residential?’ 40 to 50% of our clients owned real estate, so because of that we spun off a division for commercial lending.”

By 2016 Sencion exited MCA and went back into traditional finance. He’s now a principal at Alta Financial, which not only does mortgages but has also found a unique niche to source borrowers from, MCA brokers.

“So let’s say for example you’re an ISO and the client says ‘yes, I own real estate’ I’ll be interested in looking at that product,” Sencion said. “Then you will click a link that we will give you, that link will open up the questionnaire and you will fill out that questionnaire and then my agent will receive that lead from that questionnaire with all the data in it.”

Referrals of this nature in the biz are not new, but perhaps the circumstances are. One of Sencion’s account managers, Jamie Schiff, is also a former MCA rep himself, and he’s found this business to be better.

“I think over the past a year and a half, from my perspective, I think the MCA space is just a bit saturated,” said Schiff. “There’s a million and one funders out there.”

The challenge with this different product, according to Schiff, is getting an MCA broker to wrap their mind around a deal that could take a month to close when they might be used to 2-3 days. But on the upside Alta Financial does all the work and they really just want a broker to qualify a lead and submit the details. If a loan closes the broker gets paid. Quite a number of MCA broker shops are already doing this with them, the company said. Once these files are in hand, they underwrite various factors including credit score of the borrower. While just about any kind of property could qualify except for gas stations, they said that multifamily properties are the most common they get.

“People will be surprised how many clients have real estate, not just a [primary home], but they own just a small multifamily down the road that they never touched or tapped into,” said Sencion. “So I think it’s important nowadays to have the ISOs ask the question because if they didn’t do the cash advance they could always flip this into a mortgage.”

While all of Alta’s loans are secured by real estate, they can look beyond the value of the asset by evaluating an applicant on the rental income they generate or look at the average revenue from their business bank statements and base a loan amount off of that. Naturally, the rates and terms are much more attractive than what’s available in the unsecured market. There’s also the added benefit of these products being able to work alongside an MCA or to buy out existing ones. It’s a commission a broker might not have gotten otherwise.

“I’m actually excited, it’s something different but it’s kind of the same,” said Schiff. “And it’s such a smaller space that I don’t have to worry about every other month 10 other new funders popping up…”

As for Sencion, he said that the barriers to entry are higher than the MCA business, between the education, state licensing, how to process the files, etc.

“It takes years to get to the level of where we’re at, to be able to underwrite, fund deals, sell to a secondary market,” said Sencion. “And I think that’s where the edge comes in, you can’t get a cash advance guy, no matter how big they are, to get into my space unless they team up with a mortgage company. No one’s out there trying to become a mortgage company anymore like it was back then.”

Last modified: June 5, 2024

Originally Appeared Here

About Caroline Vega 228 Articles
Caroline Vega combines over a decade of digital strategy expertise with a deep passion for journalism, originating from her academic roots at Louisiana State University. As an editor based in New Orleans, she directs the editorial narrative at Commercial Lending News, where she crafts compelling content on commercial lending. Her unique approach weaves her background in finance and digital marketing into stories that not only inform but also drive industry conversations forward.