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Wednesday, August 02, 2006


How can you speed up the Mortgage Process?

The mortgage process can be a daunting and painstaking task given certain circumstances. The fault could be pointed at the Loan Officer, Processor, Underwriter, as well as many people behind the scenes. The truth, however, is that the Applicant is truly to blame a good majority of the time.

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The speed of the mortgage process is directly proportionate to the quality of communication by all parties. A good Loan Officer will explain the process to their borrower in detail. The applicant should know exactly what is going to happen in the next 2-4 weeks and what their role will be. Without cooperation from the borrower there's nothing a Loan Officer can do but twiddle his thumbs.

The following is a sample of some of the responsibilities that the borrower has to the completion of their loan.

1. Provide complete and truthful information on the initial application

The Loan Officer's obligation is to ask all the questions to completely fill in the application but also get a strong idea of the overall situation. They should know why you are buying a home at this time. They should know what circumstances surround your decision. They should aslo know of any potential obstacles to your loan approval.

Most issues that suddenly turn an approval into a denial during the process could have been avoided on day #1 simply because: the Loan Officer didn't ask the correct questions to get the full story or the borrower was not completely truthful in their answers.

2. Sign the application documents and return them quickly

Hopefully you've chosen a local broker and have signed the documents in his presence. If you haven't, the papers will be sent to your home with a return envelope to send them back. This is a window where the Loan Officer is unable to do almost anything for you. They have not fully disclosed to you until you have signed so they may not work for you without your written permission. If they do, they may open themselves to legal liabilities. Can you hear the twiddling?

3. Provide all additional documentation required for the loan

You've disclosed on the application that you make "x" dollars. The Loan Officer has to prove that to their investing lender by showing W2's to show that you made about that much last year. He'll also have to show paystubs that show your year-to-date figure to prove that you're on your way to making that much this year.

I could go on but just remember this: there is a logical reason for each piece of paper he asks from you. He should be able to explain to you fully the reason for each one.

4. Stay in touch and Make yourself available

It is understandable that you may work a 9-5 shift and have no time for phone calls. However, it is extremely helpful if you are able to be interupted briefly if the situation calls for it. If you absolutely can't talk during normal work hours, set appointments for late hours ahead of time to talk to your Loan Officer about the mortgage process and get updates.

5. Be flexible with scheduling the closing

As the mortgage process winds down, we are trying to coordinate all parties to meet at one place. We need to make sure the title attorney is available. We need to make sure the seller and his representation can be there at the given time. We need to make sure you and your Realtor are available and we'll need to make sure our schedule is clear as well. We'll also need to make sure the lender is available to disperse the funds. The choice of closing date and time by the Loan Officer is hardly a selfish decision. Do all you can to work with everyone's schedule, including asking for a half-day at work. We're only asking for an hour usually.

The bottom line is that you are mostly in control of the speed of your mortgage process based on your cooperation. There are other things that are out of your control that can speed up or slow down the process. In my next post I'll explain how you can recognize these things and bring them back under your control so you can keep things moving.

Please feel free to email me with any questions, concerns, or comments at


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