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Indian scripts success story in Illinois

In just four years, Anil Loomba has turned his firm into the fastest growing Indian owned mortgage brokerage in Illinois.

india Updated: Jan 02, 2006 12:09 IST

An Indian American who migrated to the US from Chandigarh has scripted a success story by turning his firm in four years into the fastest growing Indian owned mortgage brokerage in Illinois state.

Anil Loomba set up his company, Home Mortgage Solutions Inc, in 2001. Fuelled by Indian American home purchases, his company recorded a dramatic expansion in 2003 when mortgage rates were at historically low levels.

Most of Loomba's clients are South Asians, a majority of them Indian Americans.

An excellent financial standing makes South Asians ideal clients, said Loomba.

"The average South Asian has a high credit score. Most of them are also well placed professionals and it is easy to deal with them," said Loomba, a chartered accountant who completed his MBA here, the largest city in Illinois,

A good credit history ensures the client gets good interest rates. "But we have also helped recent immigrants with no credit history get home loans."

Most Indian Americans are eager to buy homes as quickly as possible, the more affluent choosing expensive suburbs.

"We have got our clients homes for a monthly mortgage which is almost equal to the rent they were paying. Home ownership gives them a better lifestyle," Loomba said.

The average size of a residential loan is about $250,000. "But about 10 percent of Indian Americans come for loans of a million dollars or more," said Loomba.

Not very far from his office is Oak Brook, one of the most expensive suburbs in the US, where more than 10 percent of owners of million-dollar-plus homes are Indian Americans.

Unlike many of the fly by night 'home loan consultants' who sprouted in Chicago during the housing boom, Loomba does not pressure his clients to close in on a loan.

Naveed Badey, a client, readily agreed. "He never put any pressure on me. All he did was put all my options on the table," said Badey.

"He found me the right options with no surprises," said Ali Raza, another buyer.

Loomba said he owed his success to flexible loan packages and close supervision. "I like to review every file myself before the loan closes," he said.

Given rapidly changing interest rates and finicky loan underwriters, the business is notoriously stressful.

Loomba puts in a 90-hour workweek. "I have no choice," he said, "You have to meet deadlines when you are racing to lock the (interest) rate."

One of Loomba's two managers, Usha Khanna, said: "There are a lot of headaches and sleepless nights. But at the end of the day you are helping a family move into its own home. Nothing can beat that satisfaction."

First Published: Jan 02, 2006 12:07 IST