Senior Mortgage Banker
Bank of Texas
In October 2016, Carol Desenberg retired from Wells Fargo, thinking she was retired for the rest of her life. Unexpectedly, Desenberg was solicited by Bank of Texas to return to work in its private bank setting. My biggest personal accomplishment in the past year is it that at retirement age, I was able to learn a new computer system and new underwriting rules at a new institution, when most people are at home happily retired!“ says Desenberg, who is now a senior mortgage banker at Bank of Texas. Desenberg’s former client base includes high-net-worth, self-employed clients, entrepreneurs, and celebrities.
Desenberg works in the Houston market, specializing mostly in Bellaire, River Oaks, Tanglewood, Memorial, West University and Southampton. “My clients to me are like family. I have helped them with as many as 10 to 12 home purchases in the past 35 years and have watched their families grow and mature,” she says.
“Purchasing a home is the largest expenditure most people make and they enjoy working with someone who ‘gets them’ and wants to know them,” she says.
Desenberg says her ability to listen to her clients has been instrumental to her success. “A client has a specific need and I feel it’s my responsibility to discern their reason for a loan. Why do they want to purchase a new home? Why are they seeking a cash-out loan? What are their goals with this purchase? All of these questions, lead us to the right plan of action. My goal is to help the borrower to obtain the correct product for their personal goals, not just the most popular loan of the day.”
Before entering the real estate finance industry 35 years ago, Desenberg was an educational diagnostician, helping diagnose children with learning disabilities at Houston Independent School District. “In the early ‘80s, women were entering the workforce in all professions,” she says. “I wanted a different challenge and the ability to earn a larger income.” So Desenberg moved into sales, selling specialty chemicals in the industrial world. But over time, though she was doing well, she wanted to work in a more professional atmosphere where she could use both her sales skills and her background in education – a bachelor’s degree in Elementary and special education from University of Texas (with Honors) and a master’s degree in education from University of Houston. “At the time, I was a single mother, and the earning capabilities were so strong in mortgage banking, I thought this might be a great place to move my sales background,” she says.
Desenberg excelled in the mortgage banking business: She began her career with Savings of America in the early ‘80s and rose to the top in production. According to Desenberg, she loved the freedom that mortgage banking allowed, learning new skills and working with families to obtain their dream home. “I had the greatest job ever: making people happy with their new home purchase,” she says.
After 10 years, Desenberg moved to North American Mortgage, again excelling in her role before transitioning into private mortgage banking at Wells Fargo. While working at Wells Fargo in the Private Bank, she consistently won the Upper 5% Sales Award as a top producer and attended conferences throughout her 14 years. “I was trained to specialize in the high-net-worth borrower and to understand complex tax returns and assisting self-employed clients,” she says.
Desenberg is a member of The Professional Women’s Group and is past president of BNI Galleria Group. She is also a former board member with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Child Builders, The Woman’s Home, president of Beth Israel Sisterhood and past member of the board of directors at Beth Israel “Most recently, I was involved in the Hurricane Harvey recovery in the Meyerland area, helping families by volunteering at the Jewish Community Center during Harvey,” she says. In her free time, Desenberg enjoys gardening, reading, travel and needlepoint.