by Denise Rolark Barnes

In her first media interview, Cerita Battles, senior vice president, head of Diverse Segments for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, sat down with The Washington Informer Publisher Denise Rolark Barnes last month to answer questions about the national homeownership crisis. With foreclosures slowing down, interest rates falling and home purchases on the increase, The Washington Informer wanted to know how Battles, through her role at Wells Fargo, is helping low-income residents and minorities acquire new homes.

Describe what lenders learned as a result of the recent homeownership crisis?

First, Wells Fargo learned that it needed to always put customers first — we need to make sure we are educating them and preparing them for sustainable homeownership. Second, as lenders, we have a responsibility to be responsible; to remember that quality is important; making sure we’re doing all the right things, asking all the right questions, meeting the customers’ needs and providing the right solutions that cater to those needs. Third, we need to create an infrastructure that supports the commitment. The organization has to be a responsible lender. When hiring we must be dedicated to making sure we are hiring the right people; folks committed to doing their job with integrity to the lending practices, and making sure we’re out there representing the community and Wells Fargo, well. We [Wells Fargo] are doing those things well from a lending standpoint.

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