New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority unveils its 2023 Top Metro and Rural Mortgage Lenders who are fueling affordable housing


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority (MFA) announced its 2023 Top Mortgage Lender Award recipients as part of its annual lender recognition program. John Gabaldon with Waterstone Mortgage Corporation in Albuquerque received the first-ever Housing New Mexico Achievement Award, which is presented to mortgage originators that produce 100 or more MFA loans in a year. Tabitha Gallegos-Kahn with Directors Mortgage, Inc. in Albuquerque was named Top Metro Lender, and Nikki Sandoval-Belt with Cornerstone Home Lending in Farmington was named Top Rural Lender.

MFA is a self-supporting quasi-governmental entity that provides financing to make quality affordable housing and other related services available to low- and moderate-income New Mexicans. With a vision of all New Mexicans having quality affordable housing, MFA offers several mortgage programs, including loans, down payment assistance and closing cost assistance, and works closely with participating lenders who assist New Mexicans through the homebuying process.

In fiscal year 2023, MFA provided $388,294,000 in combined first mortgage and down payment assistance in the amount of 3,352 loans to 1,845 New Mexico families, which included $12,301,805 for down payment assistance in the form of 1,807 loans and grants.

“Research shows – what we know intuitively – that homeownership is one of the most impactful ways for people to build wealth,” said MFA Chief Lending Officer Jeff Payne.

Metro Lender Awards are granted to those operating within the Albuquerque Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), while Rural Lender Awards recognize lenders outside of the Albuquerque MSA. Awards are based on the number of loans originated throughout the year, with top lenders recognized in platinum, gold and silver tiers.

In addition to the Top Rural Lender Award, the 2023 Rural Lender Award recipients include:

Rural Platinum (lenders who originate 20 or more MFA loans)

  • Dani Alpers (Gateway First Bank)
  • Donice Barnes (PrimeLending, A Plains Capital Company)
  • Dustin Caroland (Primary Residential Mortgage)
  • *Jane DeRose-Bamman (AmCap Mortgage, Ltd. dba Gold Financial Services)
  • *Kerri K. Howlett (AmCap Mortgage, Ltd. dba Major Mortgage)
  • Patricia Lewis (Guild Mortgage Company)
  • Vicki Lucero (Waterstone Mortgage Corporation)
  • Eliot Rodriguez (loanDepot.com)
  • Lindsay Rollins (Bell Bank)
  • Martin Sanchez (Primary Residential Mortgage)
  • Brent L. Schreurs (Waterstone Mortgage Corporation)

Rural Gold (lenders who originate 15 or more MFA loans)

  • Ted Bishop (CMG Financial)
  • *Donna Cline (Academy Mortgage Corporation)
  • Chris Wood (Primary Residential Mortgage)

Rural Silver (lenders who originate 10 or more MFA loans)

  • Phil Chavez (Guild Mortgage Company)
  • *Kathi Giguere (AmCap Mortgage, Ltd. dba Major Mortgage)
  • Priscilla Gonzalez (First American Bank)
  • Davin Jacquez (Guild Mortgage Company)
  • *Priscilla Lara (Academy Mortgage Corporation)
  • Nancy Neel-Black (PrimeLending, A Plains Capital Company)
  • Tina Valdez (First American Bank)

*All the awards are based on 2023 numbers. The companies listed are the companies the lenders worked for in 2023.

In addition to the Top Metro Lender Award, the 2023 Metro Lender Award recipients include:

Metro Platinum (lenders who originate 25 or more MFA loans)

  • Mia Aguilar (Guild Mortgage Company)
  • Marty Padilla (Waterstone Mortgage Corporation)
  • Steven Sheldon (Guild Mortgage Company)

Metro Gold (lenders who originate 20 or more MFA loans)

  • Matthew Berg (PrimeLending, A Plains Capital Company)
  • Sarah Gmyr-Maez (One Trust Home Loans)
  • Iris Guzman (PrimeLending, A Plains Capital Company)
  • Renee Maestas (Guild Mortgage Company)

Metro Silver (lenders who originate 15 or more MFA loans)

  • Amber Bennett (Guild Mortgage Company)
  • Eleanor Hutt (Waterstone Mortgage Corporation)
  • Rosa Izzi (Guild Mortgage Company)
  • Oscar Medrano (Waterstone Mortgage Corporation)
  • Ammar Nesheiwat (Primary Residential Mortgage)
  • Paul Parsons (CMG Mortgage Inc.)
  • Jason Pike (Waterstone Mortgage Corporation)
  • Kristi Pofahl (Guild Mortgage Company)
  • Chris Russo (Waterstone Mortgage Corporation)
  • Lynette Turpen (Primary Residential Mortgage)

As part of the recognition, lenders receive a commemorative certificate and year-long recognition by having a digital badge on their listing on the MFA website.

MFA’s Executive Director/CEO Isidoro Hernandez said mortgage lenders are an integral part of MFA’s homeownership efforts.

“Our goal at MFA is to get New Mexicans into homes, and this would not be possible without the work of our participating lenders,” said Hernandez. “The lenders are the first step for homebuyers when learning about our mortgage assistance programs, and we are fortunate to have so many dedicated mortgage lenders around the state to help New Mexicans navigate the homebuying process. I congratulate all of the 2023 Top Lender Award recipients and thank them for what they do to help New Mexicans get into homes.”

To explore a comprehensive list of MFA-approved lenders, visit https://housingnm.org/homebuyers/mfa-participating-lenders. For more information about any of MFA’s Homeownership Programs, please visit housingnm.org/homebuyers.