The private banker was in a panic when Frances Hinojosa received the call: “Frances, if you don’t get my client approved for $10 million, I’m going to lose one of the largest accounts we have on the books and will probably get sued.”

Wait! Did this private banker just refer me a $10 million deal? Why!?

It’s no secret that private bankers would prefer to have mortgages done through the institutions they work for. But, with the new mortgage rules, this has become increasingly difficult, especially for clients who are self-employed and do not have traditional verifiable income sources.

2018 estimate: Private bankers will decline 1 in 5 high-net-worth business-for-self clients

Frances is a seasoned and well-regarded leader in the mortgage industry with over 10 years of notable success, including the following accolades: the Top 75 Mortgage Brokers in Canada Award for 2014 and 2015, the Women of Influence Award in 2015, and the Top 75 Mortgage Brokerages in Canada.

So, when the private banker called Frances in a panic, she took a step back and started to ask questions: “Who is your client? Did you have his home appraised? Where does he work? What’s his reportable income?”

Turns out, the client was a luxury home builder with very little verifiable income. All of his income was kept in the business to finance future projects and grow the company. The panic was a result of the private banker’s repeatedly assuring his client that his overall net worth would get him a mortgage approval without an issue. Turns out he was wrong—the adjudicator declined the deal.

Structuring the $10M deal to avoid red flags & decline

Timing was critical, as the builder had already made commitments and was counting on the financing to go through without any issue. To avoid delay, Frances knew she had to consider risk management from the viewpoint of an underwriter. How risky was this deal going to be to the bank?

In her notes, Frances compiled a detailed risk analysis based on the appraisal. She projected days-on-market, future home appreciation, historical home appreciation, and LTV and placed these in her notes before submitting the deal. Frances tried to think of every possible question the underwriter would have from a risk-mitigation standpoint and tried to answer those questions in detail to minimize the back-and-forth and maximize the comfort level to secure an approval.

The $10 million deal was approved, and both the private banker and the client were ecstatic! It is important to note that Frances has spent many years building relationships with private bankers and financial advisors. In fact, Frances brands herself as someone who “specializes in helping people who have highly complex financial needs.”

She takes a holistic approach to finding solutions that consider both the current and the desired future lifestyle of clients. For Frances, every customer experience is a great experience. As she says, “To help people is what fuels my passion. It is about taking the stress out of the process of obtaining a mortgage and having the client smile at the end.”

Personal branding, delivering an outstanding client experience, and building a network of top-tier professionals, like the private bankers Frances works with, are all covered extensively in the Luxury Home Mortgage Advisor course. For the full curriculum, please visit