From there he would go to Lending Tree, where he worked from 2004-09. By then married – to a physician no less – his wife accepted a medical residency in Ann Arbor, Mich. “And I’m here dealing with a financial crisis,” he said, referring to the Great Recession then well underway. “I had bought a house in California and was about $300,000 to $400,000 upside down on and had a wife moving to Michigan.”

He opted to follow his wife off to Michigan, where he continued to excel. “I decided to move to Michigan after being a California guy my whole life,” he said. There, he would take a job at as a retail loan officer at Lending Tree. “I ended up being on the top team,” he recalled.

Once his wife ended her residency, the couple would move back to California where their families were. He would find work at Green Light, which later became Nationstar Mortgage. “I ran a team for 18 months and then moved to loanDepot where I ran a specialized division – redistribution and retention, a top-producing team, for 14 months, and I got promoted to vice president of sales in direct lending.”

But then things took take a turn.

“2018 happened, and we lost about 25% of our sales staff and our top producers,” Iskander recalled. “We had three cost cuts and things really changed. loanDepot was challenged and the environment became very difficult for loan officers – the hours, the expectations. It just became a very strict, militant-type environment that I didn’t really appreciate. So I spoke up a little too much in meetings, and it didn’t really work out too well for me – they ended up demoting me. I believe I called it like I saw it, but that doesn’t work too well at loanDepot, where it’s ‘our way or the highway.’”