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AHFA Names Single-Family Lender of the Year

December 21, 2022

loanDepot’s Harris Baker of Montgomery Earns Top Recognition

AHFA has recognized Sales Manager Harris Baker of loanDepot as its Leading Lender of the Year.

In the 2021-2022 fiscal year, Alabama lenders turned 717 families from 48 counties into homeowners with AHFA’s Step Up program. Step Up provides competitive 30-year fixed mortgage interest rates and up to $10,000 in down payment assistance for households who earn less than $130,600 annually.

Baker closed the most mortgage loans for these families and was instrumental in leading loanDepot to become AHFA’s top-producing mortgage lending company for the year as well.

“At AHFA we know the mission of helping low- to moderate-income Alabamians achieve their goal of homeownership is not something we do alone,” said AHFA Single-Family Administrator Carrie Hamaker. “We value and appreciate the hard work of our fellow Alabama loan officers, builders and realtors who utilize our programs and make them available in the markets they serve.”

In the last year with the Step Up program, Harris helped two teachers, a sheriff’s deputy, a nurse, a member of the military, a truck driver, several auto and building materials manufacturers, retail workers and a restaurant manager seize the dream of homeownership.

“The success you see today did not start this year,” said Baker. “Because I refused to accept the word ‘no’ when starting this career path, I’ve been able to say ‘yes’ to hundreds of families. I’d like to thank my loan assistant, processor, underwriter, closers and leadership at loanDepot, as well as the team at AHFA for the resources they provide.”

Hear Baker share his reaction to being named AHFA’s 2022 Lender of the Year, his plans for space exploration, and his greatest strength and weakness as a loan officer.

Watch Baker answer hard-hitting questions about a typical day, his love for the Step Up program, and the two items he’d like most if stranded on a deserted island.

See Baker outline his plans for a repeat win and advice for potential homebuyers.

Since the year 2000, AHFA’s Step Up program has helped more than 20,000 Alabama homebuyers who can afford a monthly mortgage but need assistance with the down payment and closing costs. These funds can be combined with an Affordable Income Subsidy Grant and a Mortgage Credit Certificate to further boost their purchasing power. For more information, visit

“These families and the communities they live in will be better for the commitment and guidance of Harris Baker,” said Hamaker. “By giving these families a little extra time and attention to ensure their unique needs are met, Harris has helped ensure that they can build equity in homes that they can afford.”