INTERVIEW: Nicole Knuckles of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage
1. Give us the background story on Wells Fargo Home Mortgage (WFHM)?
Wells Fargo Home Mortgage is the nation’s leading originator and servicer of residential mortgages. With 164 years of home lending experience, we get how emotional the connection to a home is for our customers. For two-thirds of Americans it is also their most important asset. We take a longer-term view of this business, growing it one customer at a time by making home loans achievable and sustainable. And if a customer encounters financial challenges along the way, we are there to help him or her explore the options available to keep the home.
Diversity and inclusion is a business imperative that helps us meet the changing needs of our customers, team members and communities we serve—around the world. Wells Fargo has a mission of turning houses into homes for customers in all communities. The Home Lending Diverse Segments team plays an important role focusing on four areas to help these groups achieve homeownership:
• Increases diversity of Wells Fargo team members, including Home Mortgage Consultants
• Increases the company’s presence in diverse communities
• Provides products, processes and programs that support diverse homeownership
• Works with referral sources like real estate agents and nonprofit credit counseling agencies
2. Nicole, what is your role at WFHM?
I am the Regional Diverse Segments Manager and Charitable Giving Manager. I am responsible for developing strategic plans to help the home lending organization provide financing opportunities for ethnic minority, low-to-moderate income households, and first-time homebuyer customers. I primarily work with a sales team made up of three hundred home mortgage consultants in my region. Connecting my team to the amazing network of nonprofit providers is critical because providing homebuyers with education opportunities helps people prepare for homeownership. As Charitable Giving Manager, I manage the Homeownership Grant Program for nonprofit organizations, which provides financial resources to local nonprofit housing organizations to create sustainable homeownership opportunities for low-to moderate-income people.
3. What new programs is WFHM offering?
My FirstHomeTM, a free, interactive online tool to help first time and ready-again, homebuyers learn and prepare for the process.
My Home Roadmap, a service that offers participants up to two hours of free, phone-based financial coaching from an accredited credit-counseling agency, paid for by Wells Fargo.
Hands on Banking, an interactive tool that helps individuals learn about the basics of finances and money management.
Community Development Mortgage Program, the prospective homebuyer is in a low-to-moderate income bracket and is not required to be a first-time homebuyer. The minimum down payment is 2%. Mortgage insurance is not required. The income is restricted to 80% or below area median income limits.
Home Opportunities Loan Program, may help first-time homebuyers and low-or moderate-income
homebuyers who don’t have a large down payment to purchase a home.
4. How has MAAR and WFHM partnered in the past?
WFHM has been a longtime supporter of MAAR. We have been a premier sponsor and I have collaborated with Donnie Brown MAAR Community Affairs Director on a number of community efforts. We are both passionate about the racial disparity gap. I’ve also worked with David Arbit, MAAR Research Director, who is a great resource in terms of housing affordability. A few times a year, we review the market reports so I can share them with my team.
5. Can you tell us about the TPT Documentary, “Make Money Work” that WFHM is sponsoring?
The project is designed to build bridges between various cultural communities and the banking/finance world. We hope this website will help with complex processes like purchasing a home, securing mortgages and making sound decisions and transactions. | WATCH VIDEOS
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