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I got a call this morning from David Maiolo, a mortgage broker I spoke to earlier this year for a bunch of stories on the mortgage meltdown, including the impact of subprime loan defaults on San Diego.

Maiolo often voiced the opinion that a slowdown in real estate would thin the ranks of mortgage brokers and loan officers — for the better. He started the Fair Lending Alliance this year in hopes of connecting consumers with honest mortgage professionals.

(He also appeared with me and Mark Goldman, of Windsor Capital, on an episode of KPBS’s These Days show.)

But now, Maiolo said, times are too tough for even him.

“I am indeed no longer in the mortgage business,” he said this morning. “I am another casualty. It’s just hit us so hard.”

Tightened lending has restricted the kinds of loans available to consumers and has increased the workload for individual loan applications; agents have had to spend more time on fewer applications. And a general uncertainty among would-be buyers has pulled the rug out from under the mortgage pros used to the frenetic pace of a few years ago.

“I had predicted that the industry would weed out the dead weight, and I never considered myself a dead weight, but it’s definitely weeded me out,” Maiolo said.

Maiolo announced his new gig: he’s working for the campaign for Mike Lumpkin, a Democratic candidate in the 52nd Congressional District, where presidential hopeful Duncan Hunter currently serves.

Maiolo has a degree in political science and said he “kind of always liked politics better anyway.” He said Lumpkin is “just a real nice guy” and that they consider themselves underdogs in the district where Hunter’s son, also Duncan Hunter, is running as a Republican.

KELLY BENNETT

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