AP NEWS

Baraboo lender joins Guild Mortgage

March 19, 2019

Guild Mortgage is one of America’s oldest mortgage lenders, but its Baraboo office is brand new. Guild also is one of the nation’s largest mortgage firms, yet local lender Josey Cabaj said it delivers a personal touch.

“I’ve been super impressed with Guild,” Cabaj said. “They’re big, but I still feel like I don’t get lost.”

Baraboo and Madison offices previously affiliated with Waterstone Mortgage have become Guild offices. Cabaj will continue to work from her second-floor office above Oak Street.

Her colleagues in Madison, Dave Grauwels and Ryan Smith, were looking for a larger company to affiliate with. A top 10 national firm in terms of purchase loan volume, Guild set a new high in 2018, reaching overall loan volume of $16.52 billion for the year. With headquarters in San Diego, Guild Mortgage has nearly 4,000 employees with 205 retail branches in 33 states. Since 2010 Guild has grown four-fold, expanding across the nation, most recently into the Midwest. The Baraboo and Madison offices are Guild’s first in Wisconsin.

Despite the company’s size, Cabaj said Guild offers personalized service to customers and to lenders learning to navigate a new system. “They really are focused on the customer experience,” she said.

“Guild’s commitment to customer service and dedication to improving the mortgage experience is what separates them in the industry,” Smith said.

Founded in 1960, when the U.S. mortgage industry was just forming, Guild now specializes in developing pilot programs and offering niche products that help customers secure home loans. Often using government programs, its lenders work to serve veterans and low-income buyers.

Cabaj said Guild’s vast array of products helps her serve customers. “There’s just more options,” she said.

Plus, its streamlined closing procedure makes that process less cumbersome. Guild services its own loans, making refinancing simpler.

“In joining Guild Mortgage, we will be able to offer more unique product options and enhanced technology to make the mortgage process more efficient,” Smith said.

Cabaj has served local homebuyers for many years, the last four with Waterstone. While her new company only recently established roots in Wisconsin, she said Guild’s products and service will make it a trusted name. “You’ll hear and see all good things,” she said. “We’re laying the groundwork for Wisconsin.”

While she had to get up to speed on her new company’s products and its computer system, Cabaj has found that most of her job duties — meeting with customers, working with real estate agents — haven’t changed. “It’s new, but it’s the same,” she said. “It has been exciting.”