I've used hard money once. It was a simply process. They focus more on the property than the borrower.
My lender charged 14% interest only for one year with 5 points. I paid approximately $7k in fees for a $65k loan. Fairly expensive, but a realtively easy / quick way to nail down a great property.
I would ask individuals at your local REIA or post in the "Ohio" forum. You can also call real estate professionals in your area (e.g., realtors, brokers, contractors, property managers" and ask for recommendations.
Get you a good loan broker that can offer you some competitive options
@Chester Straley Conventional banks will generally only do an appraisal and title search. Hard money lenders focus a lot more on the property itself as far as current condition, rehab estimate, after repair value (ARV), etc. So yes, he was probably using hard money or private money (e.g., family or friends).
REIA stands for Real Estate Investment Association. It's basically real estate meetups in your local area.