Richardson-Based Guardian Mortgage Announces Banner Year

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Consumers Still Buying Homes in DFW Metroplex Despite Economic Hard Times.

A bright spot in an otherwise gloomy real estate finance landscape is 44-year-old Guardian Mortgage, a small local lender which said today that 2008 was a banner year for the company, proving that the housing market in Dallas-Fort Worth remains robust and that loans are still available to consumers with reasonable credit.

In 2008 the company grew 50 percent from the previous year, both in number of loans and overall dollar volume originated.

"Since we never participated in sub-prime lending, we did not suffer like some of our peers during this past year," said Mrs. Marcia Phillips, CEO, Guardian Mortgage. "Our troubled loan portfolio is less than 1 percent compared to the national average of 7.5 percent. In addition we service our own loans which means we stay close to our customers throughout the lifetime of their mortgages."

Because of the close relationships with its customers, Phillips explained, Guardian is often able to help clients if their financial circumstances change. Communication between borrower and lender are open and easy, so when signs of trouble appear they can be addressed before the loan becomes endangered.

"Beyond having a strong portfolio of existing loans, we added many new households in 2008," she added. "For the year, the number of loans we issued and the dollar volume of money loaned increased 50 percent over 2007."

Some interesting facts about the local mortgage marketplace from Guardian's portfolio:

  •     Average loan size for North Texas: $182,000

o    $200,000 average for Plano
o    $184,000 average for Richardson
o    $156,000 average for Arlington

  •     59 percent of last year's loans were for home purchases (vs. refinancing)
  •     Of refinance loans, 68 percent are from current Guardian customers, the rest are new
  •     FHA and VA loans have increased slightly, but only represent 15 percent of Guardian's portfolio.

"Our perspective on the local housing market is that it is a good time to buy as long as you do not need a 'jumbo' loan, which is for homes with mortgages greater than $417,000. Values for these high-end homes tend to fluctuate much more than typical homes and we've seen a steady decline in the number of new mortgages for houses worth $500,000 or more since August. In addition to traditional mortgages, some people don't realize there are still government programs to help homeowners. For example, FHA has the best program for modest homes with mortgages up to $271,050 since approval is less affected by credit score, and because FHA only requires a 3.5 percent down payment as of Jan. 1," said Phillips.

(Numbers do not reflect total value of house as down payments vary. FHA and VA programs can reduce down payments.)

About Guardian Mortgage

Headquartered in Richardson, Texas, Guardian Mortgage Company, Inc. has been in the mortgage lending and servicing business since 1965. It is an independently owned and managed company that specializes in origination and servicing residential mortgages. Guardian has almost $2 billion dollars in its servicing portfolio - which translates to over 17,000 current satisfied customers. In addition to offices in Plano, Richardson and Arlington, Texas, it also has offices in Grand Blanc, Mich. More information can be found at: http://www.guardianmortgageonline.com.

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Craig McDaniel
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