Norcom Mortgage’s core reverse team elects not to join CMG Financial

John Luddy and his core team of reverse mortgage professionals will not move to CMG following that company’s announced acquisition of Norcom

Earlier this month, California-based multichannel mortgage lender CMG Financial announced that it had acquired Norcom Mortgage’s retail assets to expand its operations in the Northeast.

The deal, however, will not include core members of Norcom’s well-known team of reverse mortgage professionals, including John Luddy, Norcom’s senior vice president of reverse lending.

In interviews with RMD, Luddy and other core members of his team — including vice presidents and branch managers Garrett Duffy and Robert Filippone — explained that they will aim to find a more optimal fit for their continuing efforts in the reverse mortgage business.

Seeking a new home

“Norcom’s owner, Phil DeFronzo, who I’ve worked for for 10 years, has sold the company to CMG,” Luddy said. “And I was offered a wonderful opportunity at CMG. They were very gracious to me and generous in their offer. But at this time, it just didn’t feel like the right mix, the right fit for me and my team.”

John Luddy, SVP of reverse mortgage lending at Norcom Mortgage.
John Luddy

Luddy praised DeFronzo for their decade-long collaboration, saying that he has “never had a bad day at work” while with Norcom. But he reiterated that CMG did not seem to be the right fit.

“So, I chose not to take that offer,” he said.

Luddy and the core members at Norcom will stay aboard long enough to close out their current loan pipeline, he explained. After that, they will depart for a new home, which hasn’t been solidified yet.

“Phil has been very generous to let me clean up our pipeline,” Luddy said. “I don’t want to leave any seniors hanging, so we’re going to get those loans cleaned up before we move. We’ll be moving some portion of the group all at once, and then others will come along afterward.”

Luddy is now having conversations with potential companies and is confident he and the team will zero in on a good fit.

“I’ve got to find that there is a good spot for us,” he said. “And I’m out there and talking with people from early in the morning to late at night, and we’ll find a good home.”

Product need and leadership

Duffy credits Luddy’s mentorship and leadership with his ability to hit the ground running on becoming more involved in the reverse mortgage business.

“I’ve followed John Luddy’s game plan for three years now,” Duffy said. “I’ve followed what he’s taught me to a tee, and now I’ve earned the trust of over 150 referral partners in Rhode Island, Connecticut and Massachusetts. I’m receiving calls every day with new loan opportunities.” 

Duffy said this also helps demonstrate the need for the reverse mortgage product.

“Reverse mortgages provide the solution that so many of our seniors need,“ he said. “And there are benefits in high interest rate or low interest rate environments. So, regardless of what rates do, we have mortgage solutions for our borrowers, and we are so excited to land in a new company and help them grow.”

Duffy was similarly complimentary to DeFronzo and said that the acquisition is “the right move” for Norcom. Duffy was also complimentary of CMG.

“CMG is an amazing company and they’ve got great leadership,” he said. “We’ve just decided that they’re not the perfect fit for us right now. So, we’re going to look elsewhere and let John lead the charge and see where the best fit is for us.”

Not ‘another mortgage product’

Filippone, who transitioned into reverse mortgages after working on the forward lending side — and who has been involved in the mortgage business for close to 30 years — credits Luddy and the transition into reverse as illuminating.

“The minute I got involved in the reverse space, I saw the tremendous opportunity because I saw the need,” he said. “So, I transitioned my business, followed the strategy that was laid out here organizationally, and I’ve got to tell you that my numbers are increasing exponentially.”

As they seek a new home, Filippone said that the team is seeking to make as much of an impact as possible.

“We approach this business in the proper way,” he said. “We understand it’s not like the forward business and not just another mortgage product. This requires a special skill set and a thoughtful approach to overcome the objections that are out there, so we want to be very thoughtful and really help the maximum amount of borrowers.”

RMD reached out to a listed representative of CMG Financial but did not immediately receive a response.

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