Career Food Executive Finds New Employment in Reverse Mortgages

Friday, February 22, 2008, Vol. 123, No. 37

" (Reverse mortgages are) very interesting because I get to deal with a very diversified group of people because everybody's case and challenges are
so different."

Name: David Sorin
Position: Reverse Mortgage Specialist
Company: Residential Loan Centers of America
Basics: Sorin, who has spent more than 30 years in the food industry - including a stint as owner of The Public Eye restaurant - has found a new career in the reverse mortgage field.

For more than 30 years, David Sorin owned and operated barbecue restaurants. Also during that time, he worked as a consultant, helping other people get their businesses up and running.

Most recently, the 65-year-old was a consultant to the owners of Old Venice Pizza Co. and the owners of Atlanta Bread Co.

But as Sorin has gotten older, his career interests have shifted from barbecue to reverse mortgages. He's now a reverse mortgage specialist with Residential Loan Centers of America, Memphis headquarters.

"It's very interesting because I get to deal with a very diversified group of people because everybody's case and challenges are so different," Sorin said. "Some people are trying to pay off a mortgage, some people are trying to get money for their parents or themselves to get in home care, some people use the money to travel with.

"(There are) some people who use the money just because they want to have the money because they feel like they're qualified for it and their children don't need the money."

Someone to relate to

Reverse mortgages are granted through a federally insured program for senior citizens 62 and older. They obtain the mortgages by recapturing some of the equity stored in their home.

Sorin said he has developed an interest in the mortgages because being close in age to many of his clients, he can relate to some of the problems and challenges they face.

"Most people don't know a whole lot about reverse mortgages unless they've reached the point in life where it's important or they're dealing with parents that they're trying to take care of," he said.

After working for years alongside his son Scott, Sorin joined him a few years ago at Residential Loan Centers of America. Scott had merged his own small mortgage business, Secure Mortgage, with the Chicago-based group in 2002.

Throughout his youth and even during some of his adult years, Scott worked with his father in the restaurant business.

Career in food

A Chattanooga native, Sorin moved to Memphis in 1975 when the opportunity arose to own a restaurant that had been open just a couple of years. Sorin bought The Public Eye restaurant, which opened in 1973 in Overton Square. He and his family owned the barbecue restaurant for 20 years before selling.

"I'd been in the food service industry all my life," he said. "I mean, I grew up in the grocery business with my parents. And when I got out of college I went to work for my wife's family's business in Chattanooga, which was also the food service industry. Then at 32 years old, I had the opportunity to buy this restaurant in Overton Square."

After selling The Public Eye, Sorin became president of Memphis Bar-B-Q Co., opening locations in Washington D.C. and Florida.

"We opened, over a six- to eight-year period, over eight barbecue restaurants in northern Virginia and Maryland," he said. "In 2002, I sold my interest in that business and retired."

That was two years after Scott made the move to the mortgage business that ultimately would find Sorin in the career he is today.

"In about 2000, my youngest son, who'd been with me in the restaurant business from the time he graduated from college, or actually his whole life, got married and he decided he wanted to go into the mortgage business," Sorin said.

In his free time, Sorin said he likes to spend time with his wife of 45 years, Jane, and his four grandchildren. In addition to Scott, the Sorins have two sons who are both attorneys, Marc and Richard.