Meet the Contributors

We are proud to have some of the brightest minds in real estate and mortgage industry contribute to the Mortgage Reports on a regular basis. You can trust the information you read here is not only ultra-helpful, but accurate.

Editorial Staff

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Tim Lucas

Managing Editor

Tim Lucas spent 11 years in the mortgage industry before joining Full Beaker to head up its mortgage websites. He's helped thousands of families buy and refinance real estate at banks and mortgage companies, and now continues that mission as Managing Editor of The Mortgage Reports. Tim has been featured in national publications such as Time, U.S. News and World Report, MSN, Scotsman Guide, and more.

Contributing Writers

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Adam Lesner

Adam Lesner is a Michigan-area mortgage banker specializing in portfolio loan and unique-scenario lending. He has originated home loans since 2008 and has helped clients across the U.S.

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Aly J. Yale

Aly J. Yale is a mortgage and real estate writer based in Houston who has contributed to Forbes and worked for organizations such as The Dallas Morning News, PBS, NBC, and Radio Disney.

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Andrew Penner

Andrew Penner has worked in the real estate and mortgage industry for over three years. He is the Marketing Director at Total Mortgage Services, a nationwide lender based in Milford, Connecticut.

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Ashley Baskin

Ashley Baskin is a graduate of UCLA and has hands-on experience working in real estate. She uses her knowledge to pursue her passion for writing. She has a unique way of blending the hard facts and numbers with a personable touch.

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Barbara Ballinger

Barbara Ballinger is a freelance journalist and former senior editor for the National Association of REALTORS®. She has co-authored 15 books, interviewed Martha Stewart, and appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show as a home remodeling expert.

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Bridget McCrea

Bridget McCrea covers real estate and other topics for publications like Realtor Magazine, International Business Times and Logistics Management.

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Britt Scearce

Britt Scearce is a mortgage, credit and personal finance expert working with consumers and training mortgage professionals for over 18 years.

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Casey Morris

Casey Morris is a finance and tech journalist. She has written for Forbes Asia, The Washington Post, and a number of finance publications and institutions.

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Chaunie Brusie

Chaunie Brusie is a widely published writer. Her work has appeared everywhere from The New York Times and The Washington Post to SELF, Real Simple, and more.

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Chris Birk

Chris Birk is a former journalist and author of “The Book on VA Loans: An Essential Guide to Maximizing Your Home Loan Benefits.” He is also the content development director for Veterans United Home Loans.

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Craig Berry

With over 20 years in mortgage banking, Craig Berry has helped thousands achieve their homeownership goals.

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Dahna Chandler

Dahna Chandler is an award-winning business and finance journalist with 20 years of experience writing for major media outlets and top blogs. She is passionate about helping wealth-minded people thrive financially by reaching their wealth objectives.

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Dan Green

Dan Green is an expert on topics of money and mortgage. With over 15 years writing for a consumer audience on personal finance topics, Dan has been featured in The Washington Post, MarketWatch, Bloomberg, and others.

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Dan Rafter

Dan Rafter has written about mortgage topics for more than 20 years. His stories have appeared in the Washington Post, Wise Bread, the Motley Fool, Fox Business, and more.

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Dawn Papandrea

Dawn Papandrea is a writer specializing in personal finance. She writes for Family Circle,, and more.

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Deborah Kearns

Deborah Kearns is a Denver-based freelance writer whose work has appeared in the Associated Press, New York Times, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, MarketWatch, Huffington Post, and other top-tier outlets.

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Erik J. Martin

Erik J. Martin has written on real estate, business, tech and other topics for Reader's Digest, AARP The Magazine, and The Chicago Tribune.

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Erik Sherman

Erik Sherman has written about business, technology, and personal finance for the Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, New York Times Magazine,,, and many other publications.

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Francine L. Huff

Francine L. Huff is a freelance journalist, author and educator who covers financial topics for major media outlets. She has appeared on TV and radio shows, and is available for speaking engagements. Follow Francine on Twitter.

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Gustan Cho

Gustan Cho is a branch manager of USA MORTGAGE, creator of, and a leading professional on The Mortgage Reports' Q&A Platform. Gustan specializes in helping clients with less than perfect credit and has approved home buyers who were denied elsewhere.

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Gina Pogol

With more than 10 years in the mortgage industry, and another 10 years writing about it, Gina Pogol brings a wealth of knowledge to The Mortgage Reports as its Associate Editor. Gina works with a team of world-class real estate and finance writers to bring timely and helpful news and advice to the audience. Her specialty is helping consumers understand complex and intimidating topics.

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Joe Farr

Joe Farr is a 20-year veteran of the mortgage industry, providing mortgage professionals with real-time interest rate data via MBS Quoteline.

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Keith Flamer

Keith Flamer is a pop culture scribe who dabbles in celebrity real estate, travel, architecture and extraordinary design. He enjoys exploring attics, basements, exotic locales and history in search of provenance and treasures to share with curious readers. He’s been published in Forbes, Robb Report, Town & Country, Haute Living, Savoy, Veranda, Wristwatch, Art & Antiques, and Luxury Magazine. He’s also covered luxury brands such as Hermès, Chanel, Rolex, Cartier, Tiffany, Gucci, and Patek Philippe.

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Kyle Hiscock

Kyle Hiscock is a REALTOR® in Rochester, NY with Nothnagle Realtors. Kyle is very active on social media as well as on his blog, Rochester's Real Estate Blog.

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Larry Kirschner

Larry Kirschner is with the Compardo Team at Moneta Group. Larry lives in Naples, Florida.

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Larry Phillips

Larry is a mortgage and real estate writer with over 15 years of experience working in the mortgage industry as an underwriter. His work has appeared in publications such as LendingTree, Bankrate, Student Loan Hero and HeroPay.

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Lee Nelson

Lee Nelson is a Chicago-based writer whose work has appeared on, Yahoo! Homes,, and more.

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Lou Barnes

Lou Barnes is a credit and mortgage market expert with nearly 30 years of experience.

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Marcie Geffner

Marcie Geffner is an award-winning freelance reporter, book editor and blogger whose work has been published by Yahoo! Finance, Fox Business,, AOL Real Estate,, Inman News and dozens of major U.S. newspapers.

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Mark Greene

Mark is a 25-year veteran of the mortgage origination industry and now writes about the inner workings of the industry for Forbes.

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Mark Henricks

Mark Henricks writes about finance, business and other topics. His articles have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The New York Times and many other publications.

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Michele Lerner

Michele Lerner, author of New Home 101, is an award-winning freelance journalist with more than two decades of experience. Her work appears in The Washington Post, New Home Source, Fox Business, MSN, Yahoo,, and more.

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Mike Cox

Mike Cox (NMLS# 269700) is a loan officer and branch manager with GSF Mortgage, where he has been a 10-time Loan Officer Of The Year.

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Paula Pant

Paula Pant is a real estate investor and the founder of, a popular finance website.

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Pete Gerardo

Pete Gerardo is a business writer whose work has appeared in The New York Times and numerous trade magazines.

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Peter Miller

Peter G. Miller, author of The Common Sense Mortgage, is a real estate writer syndicated in more than ​50​ newspapers nationwide. Peter has been featured on Oprah, the Today Show, Money Magazine, CNN and more.

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Peter Warden

Peter Warden has been writing for a decade about mortgages, personal finance, credit cards, and insurance. His work has appeared across a wide range of media. He lives in a small town with his partner of 25 years.

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Rania Efthemes

Rania Efthemes is an award-winning journalist and content strategist with more than 20 years of experience in print and digital media.

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Rose McMackin

Rose McMackin is a culture writer and architecture nerd. She lives in Seattle with a dog who performs all his own stunts.

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Shashank Shekhar

Shashank Shekhar is a mortgage broker/lender with 10+ years experience, licensed in the states of CA, WA and TX. NMLS ID 8176.

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Thomas Bepko

Thomas is a loan officer at Total Mortgage Services LLC with over 10 years of experience in the mortgage industry, is licensed in 19 states, and is an expert on mortgage rates and trends.

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Tom Kelly

Tom is an author, talk-show host and newspaper columnist where he shares his expertise in real estate and reverse mortgages.

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Valencia Higuera

Valencia Higuera is a freelance writer from Chesapeake, Virginia. As a personal finance and health junkie, she enjoys all things related to budgeting, saving money, fitness, and healthy living.