In my new job, everyday I see stories that are shocking or sad or crazy: A father making less than $30,000/year somehow qualifying for a $150,000 mortgage; a senior citizen with perfect credit talked into emptying his retirement account to buy four investment properties in two weeks.
And of course, by the time I see these files - stuffed with all the personal information of the borrower or co-borrower - the borrower is well on their way to losing their house.
I see these train wrecks everyday. And the stories are fascinating. Sadly fascinating.
And that' s the problem. In my old job, as a newspaper reporter, I' d spend days and days and days researching a story, chasing down every single lead, uncovering every stone, before writing the story.
But now, now? The veterans at my new job call that falling down the rabbit hole.
See, the key to this job is speed and efficiency.
Sure, we want to get the complete story of who "misrepresented" the facts on a mortgage loan application and we want to find out why the borrower all the sudden stopped making payments on his/her $400,000 home that they somehow got after they said they made $10,000/month as a gardener.
But you can spend too much time reading the collection notes or perusing fabricated bank statements - chasing rabbits down the rabbit hole. Next thing you know, your unfocused curiosity has cost you half a day and you are wayyyy behind.