Dream Team: How the Arvielos are leading New American Funding to record growth

Q&A with Rick and Patty Arvielo

The first thing you notice about Rick and Patty Arvielo is how much they like each other. That might seem like a foregone conclusion when you meet a married couple, but when that couple also runs an incredibly successful business together, I imagine it could get complicated. Not so with the Arvielos, whose affection is evident throughout the morning we spend at the New American Funding office in Orange County.

They tease each other during the photoshoot and have to be told several times to stop smiling at each other. When we sit them in chairs that are about five feet apart, something seems off in the pictures. “I’m usually not this far away from him,” Patty says. Sure enough, moving the chairs closer brings the shots back into harmony.

Such domestic bliss is reflected in the way the two lead New American Funding, where they operate within their respective areas of expertise as a unified team — with phenomenal results.

Since starting the company in 2003, Rick and Patty have grown New American Funding into a lending and servicing powerhouse which now funds approximately $980 million a month in home loans and has a servicing portfolio of more than 100,000 loans for $26 billion. The company’s skyrocketing growth has landed the company on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing private companies an astonishing six times. New American Funding now has 165 branches and almost 3,000 employees, and it continues to expand.

The company’s success isn’t just measured in growth, however. New American Funding and the Arvielos have racked up awards from Ernst and Young, Best in Biz, Stevie American Business Awards and NerdWallet. HousingWire recognized Rick and Patty in its inaugural Vanguard Awards in 2015, and again in 2017. Patty has been recognized as a HousingWire Woman of Influence for the past two years.

What’s the company’s secret sauce? The complementary nature of the strengths of its two leaders. With a strong background in technology, Rick serves as CEO, while Patty, who has extensive sales and mortgage experience, is president. Together, they were able to bring all the mortgage and technology functions in-house, driving an efficient, innovative company culture focused on giving loan officers everything they need to succeed.Rick and PattyArvielo

Rick’s deep technical expertise gave the company an early advantage as it developed solutions to provide a complete back-office organization for loan officers. These assets include microsites, social outreach, co-branded marketing collateral, a mobile app suite, coaching help and more, fueling the 23-day average closing time for its loans.

Patty’s ability to build and motivate a passionate sales team is another critical factor. She sets the example through her own work, originating and booking millions in home loans each month while still managing the company’s operations and sales. 

The company continues to evolve alongside the ever-changing market. New American Funding was quick to recognize the shift in consumer behavior that drives borrowers to engage with lenders before they contact real estate agents. The company understood that it needed to capture those borrowers with excellent service at the very start of their loan process, so it leverages a massive volume of data to put accurate information at its loan officers’ fingertips, optimizing its call center to capitalize on those leads while still building relationships with Realtors.

New American Funding’s resounding success has inspired a whole class of competitors who want to disrupt the industry in the same way. But while other lenders can try and copy New American Funding’s technology or operations, the synergy between Rick and Patty presents the biggest challenge. In their case, the whole is much greater than the sum of its parts.


The elegant sophistication of Patty’s office at New American Funding provides a fitting backdrop for the roles and responsibilities she juggles as president. She works at a smooth marble-top desk with plenty of room to collaborate with Rick or other team members, with white leather chairs and a gorgeous chandelier transforming the office park setting. Photos of Patty and Rick with numerous celebrities and several former presidents share space with framed artwork from her children.

Patty’s 30 years of experience in the mortgage industry started when she was just 16, working at TransUnion in a clerical position. She was promoted to a sales position at 19 and never looked back, forging a career that includes leading the operations unit of an independent broker shop before starting New American Funding.

Looking at Patty’s long list of responsibilities today is daunting. She is a tireless advocate of expanding homeownership opportunities for Hispanic borrowers, serving as a member on the Corporate Board of Governors for the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals and spearheading the Latino Focus Committee within New American Funding. She also created the New American Dream initiative to increase homeownership in African-American communities and serves on the Diversity and Inclusion Committee and the Consumer Affairs Advisory Council for the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Her influence extends to Washington, D.C., where she frequently lobbies on behalf of the industry and homeowners. She is a former member of the Fannie Mae Affordable Housing Advisory Council and both Freddie Mac’s Community Lender Advisory Board and Affordable Housing Council. She has recently joined the Latino Donor Collaborative board.

In addition, Patty is highly involved in mentorship, providing a roadmap for women — especially minority women — to achieve more than they ever imagined.

Yet Patty doesn’t interact like someone who is stressed out. On the morning we meet, she and Rick are hosting their leadership team from around the country, but she has tamed the whirling tornado of obligations into a calm focus. She is serious, but also warm. She gets the most animated when she talks about the people involved in the loan process — from the loan officers behind the scenes to the borrowers they are helping. Her family, her employees and even those people she hasn’t met yet who could be her customers, these are her motivators. She is on a mission, and when you spend time with Patty, you know it’s a mission she will accomplish.


Rick’s office is sleek, straightforward and modern. He has an easy smile that extends to a grin when he looks at Patty. He is funny and accommodating during our photo session, which is squeezed in between meetings with the company’s senior leaders.

Rick ArvieloRick started his first company when he was 16 and he specialized in finding technical solutions for other industries before he founded Broker Solutions Inc. in the early 2000s. His passion to optimize every part of the loan process for more efficiency is contagious, and it’s easy to see why he is the 2017-2018 Chairman of MORPAC, the MBA’s Political Action Committee. He seems like the type of person you would be excited to vote for, but is too genuine to be labeled a politician.

His face lights up when he talks about the innovation behind many of the tech solutions he has spearheaded at New American Funding, from its robust CRM platform to its latest mobile app, GoGo LO. 

As individuals, Rick and Patty are overachievers who would thrive in any environment. Working together, they make a formidable team that is transforming not only their own company but the larger mortgage ecosystem.


Click to page two to read a Q&A with the Arvielos

Q&A with Rick and Patty:

Q: New American Funding had its beginnings as a call center. How did that influence how the company grew or what it does today?

Patty: New American Funding’s call center was created to facilitate Rick’s ability to market loans, which is how he started in the business.

At the time, I was running operations for New American Funding and the call center, though my background was in distributed retail. I told Rick if we really wanted to grow and not fear refinance cycles, we needed to open branches and hire outside loan officers. This was just six years ago. Patty Arvielo

In the beginning of this journey, many recruits would ask, “Why would I come work at New American Funding? You’re just a call center.” Every single time, my reply would be, “This call center will be your best asset in the near future.” Now we have our call center and outside sales force working as one team, at the speed in which the consumer wants to be served. They work hand-in-hand to enhance the customer experience. 

Q: Rick, your forte is applying innovative technical solutions to the mortgage process. What do you do personally to stoke your creativity? Is that something that you also encourage/facilitate in your team? 

Rick: It really is what I am passionate about. I love getting in the trenches with my team and working closely with our LOs in the field to help us determine what or how we can do things better. We discuss things in the most minute detail.

I truly enjoy the process and so does my team. We all collaborate and they have the authority to articulate their positions, which oftentimes are better than mine. I feel we get the best results that way and our LOs deserve it with the hard work they do.

Q: Patty, you’re renowned for creating a top-producing sales force. At what part of the interview or hiring process do you know you have a superstar in the making?

Patty: It’s when I know they are aligned with our culture and mission to serve. I think we do a really great job in recognizing talent. It’s similar to how we nurture a sixth sense about knowing who a client is and what they may be looking for in a home before they walk in the door.

Q: Increasing homeownership among Hispanic consumers is a critical part of New American Funding’s mission, prompting you to establish the Latino Focus Committee in 2013. Where do you still see major roadblocks in the industry in being able to effectively serve this market? Rick and Patty Arvielo

Patty: There are many roadblocks in serving this very important demographic: access to capital, education, lack of affordable housing, but the thing I feel we can change quickly is the lack of Latino loan originators. There is a lack of representation in this segment of the market, and we have put an emphasis on recruiting young Hispanic talent.

We put them in our STEP program so they are offered education and training in many areas of mortgage. We also have many successful Latino loan originators — it’s not hard to find a mentor where you can see yourself.

Q: What is something you do every day that helps with the stress of your demanding schedules? 

Rick: We work out, walk a lot and genuinely enjoy being together. When one needs a shoulder, the other is always there.  And, we always have plenty to talk about because we both run this incredible company and have amazing family and friends. 

Patty: When I feel like I can’t take anything more, I look forward to running home to my best friend, my husband.

Q: What is the one object/thing/tech gadget you absolutely can’t do without in your daily life?

Rick: Our smartphones. Patty and I have an amazing life filled with travel, philanthropy, family and business. We can enjoy all of these things because we really never disconnect. The automation we have developed through our tools allows us to stay engaged regardless of where we are in the world and we are intimately engaged with our teammates and love the comradery that comes from that. 

Q: In the 15 years since starting New American Funding, what have you learned about working together as a married couple who are also business partners? 

Rick: I think the most important thing is that we both know and respect each other’s strengths. And because our strengths are completely different, it balances out very well. We both know when to push our viewpoint and when to let the other lead. I think that is a crucial ingredient to a healthy marriage too. We are definitely better as a family and a business by our combined strength than we would ever be individually.

Patty: Our secret sauce is our mutual respect for one other. I admire my husband more than any other person in this world, and I don’t hide letting him know.

Q: Patty, you often get asked on your social media how you “do it all” as a successful businesswoman and mom. What is hardest to balance in this area?  

Patty: I don’t seek balance. It’s a lot of pressure on a working mother to constantly seek something that really doesn’t exist in my life. I cherish my time as a mother, wife and president of a thriving company. Sometimes I win in all areas, and sometimes I lose, but I have learned to rid myself of guilt and it’s been very liberating.

Q: NAF now has approximately 3,000 employees. How do you continue to inspire a passionate workforce as the company gets larger? 

Rick: I think being as engaged as we are engenders inspiration from our team. They see we are passionate and engaged and, because we nurture it in our culture, it compels others to want to engage with us. We are a family and who doesn’t love a great, big, passionate family?

Q: You had Snoop Dogg perform at your last Christmas party. How in the world do you top that? 

Patty: Snoop Dogg is my favorite hip-hop artist, so in my world, I won’t be able to top it! But I’m sure I will find a way to spoil our team members!

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