About those essential loan processors
While some inexperienced loan officers may disagree, those of us who have been in the mortgage-loan business forever know that the most important ally a borrower has in the loan-approval process is the loan processor. When applying for a home loan, make friends with the processor. It will pay dividends.
The loan officer is often away from the office soliciting new clients and while just a phone call away, it might occur to you to just ring up the underwriter, the last word in loan approval... or not. Well, you can’t. The actual underwriter for your loan will not talk directly with you. What do you do when your loan officer is unavailable and you can’t talk with the underwriter? You call the processor, who knows all there is to know about your loan: what you need to complete, the paperwork requirements, where you are in the process, and when you can expect to close.
Paperwork documentation has definitely increased in the mortgage world. In fact, that is a big fat understatement! Every borrower faces more disclosure than you ever thought you knew about your- self. Even verifications that seem totally unnecessary are being required. A good processor will help you by explaining why the extra paperwork is required and will strive to reason with the underwriter, sometimes resulting in a modification of required documentation.
Be aware that with the Truth in Lending Act, lenders are now requiring more disclosures and verifications than. Requirements that seem like a personal imposition come from the top, from federal law. The Dodd Frank Bill was put in place to address concerns that resulted from loan defaults as far back as 2008. The thinking is that fully documented loans protect against future default.
Fannie Mae continually changes its underwriting guidelines. When yet another change comes down, who do you think has to learn the details and incorporate every one into their system? Your loan processor. These people are the glue in a mortgage company or bank. They are responsible for most of the interaction with underwriters. Besides working with underwriters, they must deal with borrowers, who can become confused and frustrated. More often than not, it is the processor who calms nerves, answers questions, and holds hands.
Most mortgage companies require the loan officer to lock the interest rate for the loan, interpret the loan application, and accumulate all initial paperwork from the borrower. On top of this interaction with each borrower, the loan officer is also responsible for attracting new business.
If you want to know the status of your loan, call your processor. A polite call to your processor will always get you further down the road toward closing. “Processors are facilitators in the loan process,” said Shane Cronenweth from Sotheby’s International Realty. “They are essential to the process of closing the purchase of a home in a timely manner.” Shane has been a broker in Santa Fe for many years and knows the lending process.
The head processor at our business, The Mortgage Place, is Tammy Branch, who has beenworking with underwriters for over 20 years. I had a client who sent flowers to Tammy just to show how appreciated her intelligence, time and attention were during the approval process. Processors rock! They are the unsung heroes of the mortgage loan business. Be nice to them! Their jobs are hard, but with every courteous, cooperative client they celebrate the successful day their client goes from borrower to homeowner.
Jim Gay was a real-estate broker for 20 years and has been a financial consultant to Fortune 500 companies. He is currently a broker/owner ofThe Mortgage Place (986-9080) and can be reached at [email protected] jimgayhomemortgage.com.