In losing it all, I learned an important lesson.
We had just finished unpacking and gotten settled when I found a curious note in the mail. It was a notice of foreclosure. Only a couple months into our new two-year lease, our chance to get back on our feet, and suddenly we had to scramble to figure out what to do next.
In the 2008 market crash, I lost everything. Our home, savings, all of it went up in smoke within months and we had to find somewhere else to live. No sooner had we moved than I found a foreclosure notice and realized our landlord had not been forthcoming with us.
I got right to work. My family has always been my inspiration and I have always wanted to give them the best life I could. Growing up with a single mother, I watched her go above and beyond working and putting herself through school to support me and my sister. When I graduated high school, my father paid for my college. Something he said not long before everything fell apart stuck with me. He asked that I pay for my children’s college like he did mine and do just a little bit more. He said that if every generation did just a little bit more for the next one, it could lead to huge success. So, I worked as hard as I could. I lived at my office, running my mortgage company at the time (I had been a mortgage lender since 1996), and was not only responsible for my own family, but also for those of my employees.
Those years spent building ourselves back up to start again, those were the dark days. They were tough, but all of us fought it out together. My wife, Karrie, was unbelievably supportive and never doubted me for a moment. She has also been a wonderful mother. Times were tight, and there were nights we got excited about eating hot dog buns with peanut butter for dinner. She gave our family a sense of normalcy during those trying times and I am forever grateful to her.
Through it all, we did everything we could for our children. We made sports and education a priority no matter what happened and I am happy to say that I have lived up to the promise I made my father. It started out as honoring his wishes and has become so much more as I realized it was a chance for my children to begin their lives on their own terms. We climbed out of the hole we fell into and have grown our lives all over again. I closed my company in 2015 after all my employees found jobs elsewhere and I went back to basics working on my own. It has been a wild ride, but I am thankful for where it has taken me and that now I can do the parts of my job that I enjoy the most, working directly with my clients.
What I realized was that you never know someone else’s story; every one of us has a situation and you will never know unless you ask. We pulled ourselves back up, but it was hard. There are a lot of people out there that need help and I enjoy helping others begin on their best financial footing as their lender.
I have been a mortgage lender since 1996. Whenever I am not working, I enjoy running, hiking, golfing, and spending time with my wife. My favorite part of being a lender is putting in the work to help my clients reach their dreams.
When you are looking for a lender, you need someone you can trust. I get to know my clients and provide not only financial analysis and options, but also education and counseling along the way. There are a lot of different paths to get where you are going, and I will help you sort through the noise to find the best one to benefit you long term. I know what it is like to have to start over financially, and if you are there, it is time to stop looking back and start looking forward together. I will work side by side with you as your partner to help you have the most comfortable, smooth experience to help you reach your dreams. Once this transaction is over, I will continue to be there whenever you need me as your lifelong lender.
Michael Lemons, Mortgage Lender