This program was more meaningful to me because it was union affiliated. It told me there was another layer of benefit and protection to being a union member

As an Able Seaman for the Seafarers International Union (SIU), Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Peter Plathan does just about everything – from serving as a mechanic, handling the ship’s lines to docking, undocking, and even steering the ship.

Plathan’s road to the American dream began easily enough. He applied for a loan and was immediately pre-approved, enabling him to move on the house. However, as his paperwork moved through the underwriting process, Plathan faced a challenge that so many other union members confront: the nature of his work – a constant cycle of hiring and layoff tied to specific voyage-based assignments – disqualified him from ultimate approval for a conventional loan.

“I saw the Union Plus Mortgage Company (UPMC) ad online and got lucky, I called them immediately and was approved within two weeks. The thing of it is, UPMC understood my situation and my job. It was no problem.” said Plathan. “That made the process really smooth. I would definitely recommend anyone trying to buy a home to call them. Union Plus really showed me that they have the backs of union members. I’m so grateful.”

As a litigation support specialist in the antitrust division of the U.S. Department of Justice, Melody Smith assists attorneys and their staff in preparing complex civil and criminal litigation. Her penchant for efficiency is just one reason why she’s so good at her job; it’s also one reason why she was so disappointed by a prominent direct lender that gave her the runaround when she tried to refinance her home mortgage.

“This summer, my husband and I approached this lender and we had said, ‘We need a no-cost refinance.’ And they said, ‘OK.’ But, then when the closing date came, they wanted almost $5,000!”

After their summer re-fi attempt went south, a timely email from Union Plus caught Smith’s eye.

“The email was talking about the Union Plus Mortgage program. I thought, ‘Well, what have I got to lose?’” Smith said. “I filled out an inquiry form online and spoke to a representative. I liked the way he was speaking to me and he was very forthcoming. There was a little bit of back-and-forth over a short period. Then, he tells us, ‘OK, you’re all set.’ The closing even took place at our house. It was so incredibly convenient. It was one of the most pleasant experiences dealing with a lender we’ve ever had.”

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