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Written by
Noel Cookman

Why I Don’t Want You To Be So Considerate of my Time

Published On 
May 26, 2016

Why I Don’t Want You To Be So Considerate of my Time


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You can get a lot of lessons from the following true story. A man and his wife took their 5 children on a vacation to Europe. Each day, they would leave the hotel and spend the day touring, hiking, sightseeing and generally enjoying the sights. Each day the manager would wish them good morning as they left the hotel lobby. “Why don’t you have our breakfast buffet, you’ll really enjoy.” The father would politely decline and slip on out with his family only to return many hours later in the evening to the same waiting manager. Again he would ask “how about supper, we’d love for you to enjoy a nice, hot supper.” As he did in the morning and every morning that week, the dad would decline and say something like “We’re fine, thank you. I think we’ll just go on up to our room for the evening.”

On the last day of the vacation, the manager had to satisfy his curiosity. So he said to the father, “Each day and each evening, I asked you to eat in our restaurant. And each time you declined. May I ask why?”

“Well,” the dad replied, “we only had enough money to travel here and pay the hotel bill. That and a little more money to spend at a few tourist sites was all we had. We passed by your lovely dining room twice every day and the food smelled so good. We really wanted to eat here but we just couldn’t afford it. So, we packed sandwiches and a few snacks and ate on the byways while traveling about.”

“Oh my,” the manager exclaimed “if only you had known – the meals were all-inclusive, you paid for them in the price of the hotel charge.”

There may be many lessons in this story. But, there are lots of meals I don’t want you to miss.

It may seem strange…that I ask you not to be so considerate of my time. But, here’s what I mean.

I corresponded with an attorney the other day who had referred a client. After I communicated with the client for several days and met with her in person, I reported that she had decided to move out of state and wouldn’t need my services.

He replied, “I'm sorry. I didn't mean to make you do all that work drilling down a dry hole. I'll get you a better lead next go round.”

To which I replied, “PLEASE…do not EVER even think about things like that. I want your mind to be free to ALWAYS call me in on a case – totally irrespective of whether it turns into a deal or not. I have built my business model on this. My WHOLE modus operandi involves being “on call” more or less so that you can have a resource at your fingertips without even thinking about if/when/how I get a deal out of it.”

That’s the way I really feel about it. Trust me – I’m okay.

Seriously. I understand that you have to charge by the minute. Once a minute is gone, it’s irretrievable and if that minute was not billable, there’s hardly a way to recover its value in reverse.

And, I don’t have any more of those minutes than you do. But, my entire manner of doing business is different. In addition to investing money, I have to invest time in my “marketing.” Usually more time than money. But, the point is – every interaction I have is important and “goes in the bank” so to speak. I do not concern myself with each interaction and how it pays…or even IF it pays. I try to use my time wisely. I try to be present-to-the-moment and make the best out of every interaction. But, I generally leave the “pay back” to a higher power…and just trust. Oh yes. I work very hard too. As the satirical meme goes “Get a job. Show up for work. And within 30 days, money will magically come your way.”

After nearly 16 years of investing my time and energy in this specialty which I have dubbed “Divorce-Lending,” my business is growing and the number of family law attorneys and clients that we are helping is expanding exponentially.

In fact, I have just begun to train other mortgage professionals so that they can help the 150,000 Texans each year who divorce. It’s still in the infant stage. But, help is on the way.

So, the next time you wonder if you should call me, have your client call me or “bother me” with a question…please understand this – YOU NEVER HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT WHETHER OR NOT IT’S A DEAL FOR ME.

Here’s a “case study” that illustrates what I’m saying.

Just the other week, an attorney friend emailed a Deed of Trust to Secure Owelty of Partition with this note: “I asked my client to call you but she wanted to go with her own lender so this is not your deal; but, would you mind reviewing this deed and telling me if it’s okay for my client to sign it?”

I answered: “Thank you for doing exactly what I want all attorneys to do – keep me on “speed dial” so I can help solve your issues.”

Then I proceeded to review the deed, have my title guru review and give feedback; and, give some feedback of my own about the other deeds that are necessary or not, the process of actually getting the money for the buyout and the fact that I can only answer for my own mortgage bank and the title companies that I use.

Well, the client called me and wanted me to consider doing her loan.

But, even if she hadn’t, I will have provided a service to an attorney who knows she can count on me to provide answers and solutions.

Here’s the business secret – I have built this service into my “cost of doing business.” And, there are lots of professionals who have done just that and are happy to help you and me. In many cases, we’re paying them already.

TIP: Learn to take advantage of services you are already paying for or which can be offered to you for free simply because of the potential of the business that will be realized by this provider.

For example, I pay 3 groups of attorneys in my regular course of doing business. So why not use them to provide expertise, legal opinions, analysis, etc. as I provide it for you? These are not mere favors I am getting. This is work we are already paying for in the normal process of my transactions. So, why not take advantage of it?

Those three groups of attorneys are:

  1. The legal department of the mortgage bank I am with. For now, I am with Michigan Mutual (probably the best mortgage lender I have used to date). I use this group of attorneys the least of all. But, that is only because they use the other two groups of attorneys as well; so, most of the answers I need are found within those two other groups. Still, my own company’s legal department is already working for me; they are on speed dial.
  1. Doc Prep Attorneys. Texas law requires that a Texas attorney prepare or review the Note and Security Instrument (e.g. Deed of Trust). The Texas statute is 83.001. PROHIBITED ACTS. This means that we have to hire them….or somebody.


This means that we have to hire them….or somebody. The law firm which I just cited is the firm I use. They are awesome. And, Marty Green is one of the most respected attorney in terms of mortgage law in the country. When we signed on to Michigan Mutual (as my mortgage bank), we told them that having Polunsky Bietel Green was a condition of our coming aboard.

The firm of Polunsky Bietel Green has performed numerous tasks, answered many questions and resolved countless issues for my divorce scenarios. They are already being paid by us to review the documents. But, many lenders and originators are not aware that this battery of lawyers is, more or less, on retainer for no extra charge.


  1. Title Insuring Companies. This is a trick I learned many years ago. I was forced to learn more about title insurance mainly because of 1) the nuances of the Owelty agreement and 2) how marital status affects real estate transactions.

All title underwriters are attorneys. And, they have to help me resolve my files’ issues or else they don’t close transactions. What I didn’t know is that these attorneys will review divorce decrees for me and advise on whether or not a buyout has been properly styled as an Owelty agreement and lien. They have provided very valuable help through the years.

There they are – and you have them at your disposal. You effectively have three attorney firms at your disposal….for free.

That’s why I say “NEVER HESITATE TO ASK.”



So, you see, it's in my best interest to make sure you don't have to worry yourself with whether I'm being bothered. Just call. Don't even think about it...just call.

Noel Cookman...817-454-4555


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