Are you or someone you know getting ready to buy a home or refinance a home? I will slip you the answers to any pop quizzes that come your way on your road to getting your financing. Real Estate attorneys Rob Draughon and Shelley Rothman of Griffin, Clift, Everton and Maschmeyer will give you some great advice to take you to the head of the class.

What do YOU want to accomplish with YOUR mortgage? Let’s stay connected! Subscribe to get Real Estate Mortgage Shoppe weekly podcast with show notes at Call and let’s explore some ways to get you from where you are to where you want to be.

To Your Success,

Jo Garner, Mortgage Loan Officer NMLS# 757308 (901) 482-0354


Good morning, Memphis! Welcome to our internet listeners and podcast listeners across the 50 states! You’re on Real Estate Mortgage Shoppe. I’m your host, Jo Garner, Mortgage Loan Officer. You can connect with me at Our general topic is ABC’s For A Trouble-Free Mortgage & Real Estate Closing. Subscribe to get Real Estate Mortgage Shoppe podcasts with show notes at Call us while we’re live today August 22nd, 2020 at (901) 535-9732.

Back in the Real Estate Mortgage Shoppe studio we have attorneys Rob Draughon and Shelley Rothman of Griffin, Clift, Everton and Maschmeyer Law Firm. Rob and Shelley have been working almost around the clock making sure their clients close on time, while enjoying a smooth closing. Rob Draughon, please take a moment and tell our listeners a little bit about yourself and what you do for your clients. (Rob introduces himself and talks about the services he offers his clients)

(Jo) Also, gracing our studio this morning is real estate attorney Shelley Rothman. Shelley you have been serving your real estate closing clients for many years. I have heard a great number of your past real estate clients talk about what a great job you did with their real estate closing. Please take a moment and tell our listeners a little bit about yourself and what you do for your closing clients. (Shelley intros herself and describes some of the services she offers.. )

(Jo) When we talk about ABC’s, I think about building blocks and the letter “C.” Let’s talk about the 4 C’s of getting home loan approved.

1st Capital –Cash is king. The more money you have to put down on your home and the more money showing left over after the closing in case of emergencies, the better lenders like you. Don’t make the mistake of running out and paying off a bunch of debt before talking with your loan officer. Lenders put a higher priority on showing money available in the bank.

2nd Character-your credit reputation. The higher your credit scores, the lower interest rates you get to enjoy. The lower your credit scores, the higher price you pay for credit. 780 is a great credit score. But scores in the 600’s can cost you a lot more for credit. I have seen some mortgage clients take 1 or 2 simple, inexpensive moves to make some quick improvements for the credit scores

3rd. Collateral- The house needs to appraise for enough value to do what you want to do with your mortgage. Unless you are doing a renovation repair loan, the home has to be in good condition too.

4th Capacity- You need to make sure you can verify enough stable income to quality for the loan terms you need.

Cheryl Schaffer’s story–Cheryl enjoyed working as a graphic designer in her own business. She had tried to refinance her home for a lower interest rate a few years ago and her own bank turned her down because she did not show enough income on her taxes. “I just accepted the fact that I couldn’t get a loan,” she told me.

A year ago, when Cheryl least expected it, two family tragedies force Cheryl to split her time between her business and taking care of her mother. Cheryl needed a bigger house closer to town to properly care for her elderly mother. She pushed herself outside her comfort level and went again to apply for a mortgage. Instead of trying to get all her bills paid first, she consulted with her mortgage officer first.

When she came to see me, I suggested to her, “Let’s start at the back of your tax return and see what expense amounts can be added to qualifying income.” Some of the expenses could be added back to Cheryl’s income, but only with certain documentation. Cheryl was quick and thorough in providing just what was needed, so now her qualified income was higher. Instead of trying to pay off a bunch of debt, instead, she showed extra money available in savings in case of emergencies. Her loan was approved!

Are you self-employed like Cheryl? Do you have good credit, and want to buy a home or refinance one but flunked the income test from your bank because they said, “You just don’t show enough income here on the front page of your tax return.” MAKE YOUR PLAN. LET’S WORK YOUR PLAN. IF THE DEAL WORKS FOR YOU TODAY, LET’S DO IT TODAY. Connect with me at or just call me at (901) 482-0354.

(Jo) Real Estate attorneys, Rob Draughon and Shelley Rothman, can you jump in and give us some ABC’s for a trouble-free real estate closing? (Rob and Shelley start into their content until 9:15 break)

You’re on Real Estate Mortgage Shoppe. I’m your host, Jo Garner, Mortgage Loan Officer. What do YOU want to accomplish with your mortgage? Make your plan. Let’s work your plan if the deal works for you today, let’s do it today. When we come back real estate attorneys Rob Draughon and Shelley Rothman will be sharing some great advice. See you back in just a moment.


2nd segment after 9:15 break: Our Look Back Memphis Trivia Contest is brought to you by notable Memphis historian, Jimmy Ogle. Twelve of his Memphis History lectures entitled Making Memphis – Storytelling by Jimmy Ogle may be viewed by Googling “JIMMY OGLE PINK PALACE”. View at . The Look Back Memphis Trivia Contest is sponsored by John and Jennifer Lawhon of Lawhon Landscape (901) 754-7474 the Lawhon’s can help you plan your landscaping if you have a BIG, BIG project or a smaller project or you can do the big project in phases . The Lawhons are giving away a $25 gift card to the first person with the correct trivia answer. If you know the answer to our trivia question, call us at 901 535 WREC 901 535-9732.

Garner # 184 * 08/15/20

Bobby Blue Bland

Question: I have a statue on the campus of Memphis Light, Gas & Water in Downtown Memphis. Who am I?

Hint: No . . . I am not Elvis Presley – but Happy Elvis Tribute Week anyway this week at Graceland!

Hint: I was born in Barretville, Tennessee in northeast Shelby County.

Hint: As a teenager at the Barret Cotton Gin, I sang for tips from the drivers bringing in the cotton.

Final Hint: I was one of the originals in rhythm & blues on Beale Street in the early 1950s.

Answer: Bobby Blue Bland. Robert Calvin Bland (known professionally as Bobby “Blue” Bland), was an American blues singer that developed a sound that mixed gospel with the blues and R&B.  
Bland grew up in Barretville in northeast Shelby County. As a youngster in the 1940s, Bland sang country songs for cotton wagon drivers at the Barret Company Gin in exchange for spare change. His career took off after he focused on the blues, going on to perform throughout the world and make highly-acclaimed recordings.

He was described as “among the great storytellers of blues and soul music… [who] created tempestuous arias of love, betrayal and resignation, set against roiling, dramatic orchestrations, and left the listener drained but awed.” He was sometimes referred to as the “Lion of the Blues” and as the “Sinatra of the Blues”. His music was also influenced by Nat King Cole.

Bland’s first chart success came in 1957 with “Farther Up the Road“, which reached number 1 on the R&B chart and number 43 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was followed by a series of hits on the R&B chart, including “Little Boy Blue” (1958). He also recorded an album with Parker, Blues Consolidated, in 1958. Bland’s craft was most clearly heard on a series of early-1960s releases, including “Cry Cry Cry”, “I Pity the Fool” (number 1 on the R&B chart in 1961) and “Turn On Your Love Light“, which became a much-covered standard by many bands. His last record to reach

Bland was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1981, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992, and the Memphis Music Hall of Fame in 2012. He received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame described him as “second in stature only to B.B. King as a product of Memphis‘s Beale Street blues scene”.

Bonus: Jimmy Ogle’s four distinct tours of Elmwood Cemetery that were scheduled for Saturday, April 25 are postponed until Autumn. For more information, call 901-774-3212 or go to

Jimmy Ogle has retired from walking tours in Memphis. Twelve of his Memphis History lectures from the Pink Palace entitled Making Memphis – Storytelling by Jimmy Ogle, and now more than ten hours Downtown Walking Tours are FREE on the internet at . . . You Tube Jimmy Ogle.

View for more info!



6489 Quail Hollow Rd Memphis, TN 38120

(901) 752-1133

ABC’s of Trouble Free Mortgage Approval and loan closings

In order to ensure a smooth loan closing:

  1. If a refinance, be sure to know who all holds title to the property (husband and wife, individually, or maybe with a family member etc.) any one is title is going to have to close and if a purchase make sure that you know who all will be going on the title because all on the title will need to attend closing and sign at least some documents even if they are not a borrower on the loan.
  2. Be sure to check your calendar before you sign a contract with a set closing date to make sure that you are going to be able to attend the closing. We are able to handle a closing for someone out of town, so if that is going to be the case, be sure to let your closing attorney know several weeks ahead of time so that they can be prepared.
  3. Good funds law – if you are going to have to bring money to closing whether its for the downpayment or if you are refinancing and have to bring money, you will be required to bring “Good Funds” which means either a cashier’s check or a wire transfer directly from your bank to your closing attorney’s escrow account. We have run into many situations where a client called their bank only to find out that they must go to a branch to get these done, and then realize that they do not have a branch in town. If you find this out the day before closing, it can delay the closing. So, even before you know the final figure, go ahead and reach out to your bank well ahead of closing to make sure that you know their procedures for obtaining a cashier’s check or a wire transfer. This can prevent you from possibly having to drive several hours away to find a branch in time for closing. It is also a good idea to talk to your closing attorney about their requirements for funds. Some will require a wire if the amount needed is over a certain amount like $5,000. You also want to discuss their procedures for sending out wiring instructions to make sure your funds are safe.
  4. Several days prior to closing, you should receive a closing disclosure from your lender or your closing attorney which gives you a pretty accurate figure for what you will need to bring to closing. This document also includes your payment amount and many terms of your loan. Be sure to review this when you receive it, this allows you a few days to ask any questions to your lender about the terms.
  5. What to expect at the closing – Whether you are purchasing a new property or obtaining a refinance, you should expect the closing to last about an hour that way you have plenty of time to ask any questions about the closing or the documents you are signing. Be sure to bring 2 forms of valid and current ID with you to closing.
  6. After closing – After the docs are signed, there is still a lot of work that has to be done prior to disbursing funds and more importantly giving possession to the property. In many cases we have to obtain funding approval from your lender and we will also swap with the sellers attorney. This means that after we have your funds and your lenders funds, we will verify that the sellers have signed and once that happens we will coordinate with the sellers attorney and they will deliver the deed to us and we will deliver the funds to them. Only at this point does the buyer become the owner and have the ability to take possession of the property. So, it is very important to schedule the movers accordingly. It is not a good idea to schedule closing for late on a Friday afternoon if you expect to move in over the weekend. We always suggest if possible to close early in the day and even before the end of the week to allow for plenty of time to finish everything to allow for funding and possession.



  1. Let’s talk about the 4 Crucial C’s to getting you’re your mortgage approved. (shared in the first segment of the show with Cheryl Schaffer’s story)
  1. Talk about some of the Do’s and Don’ts Tips For A Smooth Closing that you cover with your clients?
  1. Make sure you electronically sign the e-consent forms sent to you at the beginning of the loan process. This allows the lender to use your email to send time sensitive information instead of having to wait on snail mail through the postal service. Within 3 days of an official loan request, you should get your official Loan Estimate through your email address. It is important to e-sign this right away so that your loan process can get into full swing. When your loan is approved, you will receive an official Closing Disclosure to electronically sign which will start the government mandated 3-day delay to give you time to review your numbers before closing on your loan.
  2. Be prepared to give your lender copies of W2s, 1099s and latest paystub. Sometimes all pages of your tax return is required, but be ready to produce both of them. Be prepared to send over all pages of your last 2 months bank statements. If there are large deposits appearing on the bank statements, be prepared to have your bank send over an image deposit of the amount that was deposited into your account. You can write the reason for the deposit and send to your lender. Funds that are borrowed unsecured cannot be used in the real estate transaction.
  3. Please do not make any changes to your income or manner of payment from income from your business or employment. Even if your income is increasing, under current loan guidelines some methods of income payment are not allowed to be counted as qualifying income so it is important to let your loan officer know of upcoming changes right away to make sure the type payment of income is acceptable for loan qualification purposes. If you own 25% or more of a business, please send all pages of the business tax returns for the past 2 years also. Watch out for side businesses showing a loss on the tax return In some cases the amount of these losses could be subtracted from your regular income.
  1. If you are legally married, and buying or refinancing a primary residence, even if your spouse is not on the loan nor on the title, your spouse will be required to sign a few key documents to keep your title clean under the state law. Change in marital status could cause problems on title.
  2. Do not open any new credit accounts (and especially not a 12-months-same-as-cash account.) Do not add balances to any existing credit accounts. Do not apply for any new credit during the loan process. Do not make any changes on your credit status.

Don’t be like one of my nightmare clients a few years ago who promised us he would have the money to close even though it was not in his bank account. All the parties to the contract knew we could not verify any funds from the borrower, but everyone chose to hang in there and see if his income would truly cover what was needed at the end of the month as the borrower promised. It was the first week of the following month-only a few days away from closing and his old credit report had expired. We pulled an updated credit report and discovered the source of his extra funds—he just didn’t make the payments on any of his bills and assumed he could use this money to pay down on his new home. Don’t do this. By letting his bills go over 30 days late that last month, it dropped his credit scores by over 100 points and he no longer qualified for the mortgage to purchase his home. Make sure you pay your bills on time every month.

  1. If there will be a full appraisal on the property you are financing, please inspect the subject property for repairs that may be required prior to closing by the appraiser. Some common required repairs are leaky roof, rotted wood, peeling paint, torn flooring, broken tile, non-functional plumbing, electrical or HVAC systems, drainage problems, holes in sheetrock, broken windows, foundational problems, termite damage, hazardous waste on property, etc.

If the property is in a flood zone, flood insurance will be required. Appraisal values are determined by the assigned appraiser. Comparable property sales over the last 6 months to a year on houses like the subject property in the subject property neighborhood are used to determine the official value used by the mortgage company. Government guidelines require the mortgage company to order an appraisal and have the appraiser to be assigned to the property by a third-party, government approved order agency separate from the mortgage company.

The mortgage company must order the appraisal from the approved agency. Appraisals from other mortgage companies and appraisals ordered by anyone else, are not qualified to be used under current loan regulations.

  1. Use funds for closing DIRECTLY from the account where we have verified your funds. If funds come from a different account, it can delay or jeopardize your closing . Also do not move money from the account where funds were verified to another account to access for closing. Funds must come DIRECTLY from the account where funds were verified and not moved to a different account for any reason. Earnest money must come from the account that you will be fully documenting.

REMEMBER, AT CLOSING THE FUNDS WILL NEED TO BE IN THE FORM OF A CASHIER’S CHECK AND/OR WIRE PAYABLE TO THE CLOSING AGENT. You will need 2 forms of ID at closing including drivers license. All borrowers and interested parties will need this documentation at closing.

Due to a rising number of incidences of hackers redirecting wired closing funds, please do NOT have any funds wired before verifying the wiring information with your loan officer and the attorney’s office. There may be additional steps to take to ensure your money is wired to the correct account.

4th segment (after 9:45Am break) REAL ESTATE TIP OF THE WEEK (Rob and Shelley, real estate attorneys, share a real estate tip.) If you are thinking about refinancing your house, reach out to Jo as soon as possible. She will explain all of your options, keep her eyes on the rates for you and save you as much money as possible.

(Jo’s tip—take advantage of the lowest rates in history on a refinance or home purchase. Competition is high when you are trying to buy a home, but we have some clever winning plays that will make the house hunt fun)


Talk Shoppe offers free networking & education to anyone interested in real estate or in business. Go to and click on Upcoming Events Tab for virtual meeting location website address. Talk Shoppe meets every Wednesday 9A-10A CT This Wednesday August 26, 2020 9A join us for “The Mastermind Principle-based on the book Think And Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.”

Thank you to Mary Lou Nowak, owner of Mid-South Home Helpers, for financially supporting Talk Shoppe’s free education and networking for our local community. Do you or a family member need good quality non-medical assistance in your home? Mary Lou knows what to do when it comes to helping your handicapped or aging loved one remain safely and comfortably in their own home. (901) 414-9696.

Did you know that 91% of consumers listen to radio? Let’s explore some affordable radio packages through Talk Shoppe to help get YOU and YOUR business message out to your target market. Call me and let’s explore the right stations and time of day to reach your audience. (901) 482-0354

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4. Subscribe at and you can get our weekly blog posts with podcasts conveniently in your inbox.




Pinterest “Those blocks on your life journey can either be road blocks or building blocks. Its up to you to choose.”



  1. Don Hutson,  National Speaker and Author
  2. Rejoinder   Bernice Ross, Inman News Austin, TEXAS
  3. Terri Murphy, Real Estate and Mortgage Coach   

Transitional Music: “Schools Days” Chuck Berry; ““ABC” The Jackson Five; “Back To School” from Grease soundtrack; “Memphis” by Johnny Rivers for the Look Back Memphis Trivia Contest.




WHAT DO YOU WANT TO ACCOMPLISH WITH YOUR MORTGAGE? (901) 482 0354 twitter @jogarner NMLS# 757308 (currently working with Sierra Pacific Mortgage, Inc)

“Whatever YOUR personal priorities are, my job is to help you get the mortgage terms that will give you bragging rights when you talk about it and help you score on hitting your goals .”

As a mortgage loan officer, my job is to help you get to the benefits you want from your financing terms. What is most important to you? I can help you find the financing terms that will help you get to what you want. What is your comfort level on a house payment? How much are you comfortable paying down,? What type of financing do you need to get the house you want to buy or refinance?

Different clients have different priorities in life—some are buying their first home with very little down payment funds. Some are recovering from medical challenges, divorces or preparing to send children to college and some are embarking on a long term goal of buying properties to build rental income.”

Jo Garner is a mortgage officer with extensive knowledge in tailoring mortgages to her customers who are refinancing or purchasing homes all over the country. She offers conventional, FHA, VA or other loan programs for refinancing and purchases.

Jo can help you look at rent vs buy, when it makes sense to refinance, how to get the best deal on your home purchase financing.

Jo Garner has been in the real estate/financing business for over 25 years.  She got her start in Portland, Maine where she first began her real estate career. She received her real estate education from the University of Southern Maine  and was personally mentored in San Diego, California  by Robert G. Allen, author of Nothing Down, Creating Wealth and The Challenge. 

On moving back to West Tennessee in 1987, she went into business buying and selling discounted owner-financed notes secured on real estate.  In 1990 Jo went to work for a residential mortgage company and has been a mortgage loan officer for over 25 years.  Her goal is to offer excellent, affordable service to her customers, tailoring the loan programs to the specific needs of her clients.  

In addition to her work in the mortgage field, Jo Garner  is the primary sponsor and founder of Talk Shoppe in Memphis. Jo Garner also host the radio show Real Estate Mortgage Shoppe airing on News Radio AM 600 WREC and iHeart Radio with podcasts and show notes published on