In 1926, practicing attorney John F. Coble formed The Northern Ohio Investment Company (NOIC). With its offices on the 6th floor of Toledo, Ohio’s Gardner Building, the company’s primarily purpose was to originate real estate mortgages and sell them to out-of-town investors. Mortgage securitization, as the practice became known, was attractive because an independent insurance company insured the loans.
When the Great Depression hit in early 1929, Toledo’s financial institutions were left in a weakened condition. In fact, only two banks and a few savings and loans survived the “bank holiday.” By 1933, all the other banks had been liquidated. Coble began buying up passbooks and assets from the closed institutions at discounts and marketing the securities through a municipal bond company to surviving banks throughout Ohio and Pennsylvania.
In 1935, Congress established the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). NOIC began partnering with Edgerton State Bank, who had become an FHA mortgage broker, to act as their agent for FHA loans in Toledo. Legend has it that NOIC, through its Edgerton State Bank relationship, issued the “first FHA mortgage loan in Lucas County.”
World War II reduced the volume of FHA mortgages, but when fighting ended, pent-up demand for home loans existed throughout the country. In addition to FHA financing, the Serviceman’s Readjustment Act of 1944 provided housing benefits to returning veterans. Once again, NOIC was on the forefront, making the ”first VA loan in Lucas County.” Working closely with the Veterans Administration Loan Guaranty Office in Washington DC, Coble developed a legal note secured by a first mortgage and guaranteed by the VA.
With the advent of FHA Title I financing in the 1950s, NOIC began offering home improvement mortgage loans. Through an arrangement with Irving Trust Company of New York to purchase the notes, NOIC maintained the servicing. NOIC expanded its operations into loans insured by the Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corporation, which launched the company into the conventional loan market.
NOIC’s other corporate interests and business ventures were also related to the housing markets. One such interest was Great Lakes Housing, Inc., the franchisee for building and selling Lustron homes in the greater Toledo area. Other interests included an insurance company, a business brokerage, and numerous land development projects. NOIC was instrumental in procuring funds for developing subdivisions throughout Toledo, Maumee, and Washington Township, where building sites exceeded 1,500 homes.
Over time, NOIC divested itself of non-mortgage banking interests. In 1994, NOIC’s ownership expanded to include brothers Ralph D. and Mark J. Vinciguerra, along with John S. Wilson. The team’s combined financial, legal, marketing, and underwriting experience positioned NOIC as the premiere mortgage banker in the area, characterized by its “a loan for every borrower” philosophy. But the industry was experiencing a complete standardization of mortgage products, with all lenders offering a handful of products at virtually the same interest rates.
Around 1995, the market witnessed a dramatic divergence from this “cookie cutter” approach. With countless new mortgage products available, NOIC’s challenge became educating borrowers about its substantially wider range of products. As before, NOIC’s purpose was to provide tangible benefits to real estate professionals and a wide range of mortgage products to a growing group of qualified borrowers.
Also around that time, NOIC was on the cutting edge of technological advancements, leading the local markets in automated underwriting systems. In March 1996, NOIC implemented a computer system to provide instantaneous loan approval for qualified individuals. Accessible at NOIC’s office or in the field, the system provide a streamlined approval process. Automated underwriting, educational marketing programs, and a wide range of mortgage products ensured NOIC’s continued success.
Serving as a “beta site” for Fannie Mae, NOIC has assisted in developing numerous products, and we’ve delivered those products first to our service area communities. These products include: Community Living Products for Group Homes, The Working Mortgage, Reverse Mortgage (the Homekeeper Mortgage for seniors), the Special Living Product for special needs families, and more. Our employees take pride knowing that NOIC was the first in the country to deliver these products to Fannie Mae.
In 1999, NOIC was chosen as the “Master Servicer” for The City of Toledo’s Down Payment Assistance Program, “Your Home Toledo.” The first local bond issue to successfully meet the needs of our community, Your Home Toledo succeeded due to the enormous efforts of Fannie Mae, the City of Toledo, and NOIC. By the end of 2000, the program had assisted over 160 financially strapped Toledo families to obtain homes.
Because of Your Home Toledo’s success, Lucas County approached NOIC to perform a similar mortgage program. The Lucas County 2000+ Down payment Assistance program ran through 2001 and assisted over 125 Lucas County families.
Today, NOIC conducts business in ways that fulfill our responsibilities to four groups: our employees, our customers, our investors, and our community. Employees are treated honestly and with consideration. Our success depends on performance, so we show appreciation for every employee’s contribution. We encourage employees to grow, expand, and feel ownership in NOIC and its products.
Customers are dealt with fairly and honestly, in an environment of mutual trust and benefit. NOIC strives to provide superior service and added value to all its products. We continue to be creative and flexible in designing products that meet the changing needs of the marketplace.
Investors expect a return on their investment, so NOIC exercises caution in our stewardship of their funds – avoiding any actions that could threaten the viability of the company. We are proactive in identifying and pursuing suitable opportunities that will enhance the investors’ position.
Community service plays a key role in the activities of NOIC. We give back to our community in the form of employee involvement, product development, and financial support.
Today, NOIC is owned and operated by four brothers: Mark and Ralph Vinciguerra, and Jeff and Scott Brader. Together, they carry on founder John Coble’s commitment to bringing the American dream of home ownership within every person’s reach.