When the average person applies for a mortgage loan, the butterflies take hold and palms grow sweaty. And the long and often silent wait begins to know whether the file will be approved and the loan will be given; or denied for some unforeseen reason.
This article’s goal is to take some of the mystery out of the loan process, by defining who touches that loan file, and when, in the process of getting you to the closing table.
The Loan Originator is the first line of contact, and often the principle point of contact in getting a mortgage loan. By internet, phone or in person a loan application is filled out. That originator will pull a credit report on you and normally verify a certain number of critical elements to approve your loan, such as your income, assets in the bank and the amount of time on the job. Other items certainly come into play, but these are the regulars. The loan originator should then present loan options that you qualify for, and educate you as to the positives and potential pitfalls of each option, helping you select the right loan for your short and long-term goals.
The Loan Processor then gets the file when all the critical data has been collected, and she will tighten up that file, verifying employment, tax information, income, etc; as well as ordering and reviewing the property information such as looking for clear title to the property and a satisfactory appraisal. The loan processor is also a ‘second’ set of eyes after the loan originator to check credit, income and assets to make sure they fit the loan guidelines that the originator and the borrower have opted for.
The Appraiser is the professional who travels to the property, measures the square footage and makes an informed opinion of the value of the property, based on the property condition as compared to comparable property sales in the near term in the surrounding area.
The Underwriter then receives the file, to offer an final review, and issue either an approval, suspension or denial. Now, if the loan originator and the loan processor have done their jobs satisfactorily, then loan denials should be exceedingly rare. The underwriter’s job is really two-fold: both to verify the information presented and approve a loan for the borrower, and to play defense for the company, looking for anything that the company making the loan could suffer from, and therefore reasons not to make that loan that might hurt the company. Think of the loan originator and processor as the offensive line; and the underwriter as the defensive back.
The Closer then receives the approved loan and prepares and sends the closing docs to the title company (or the real estate attorney, in the state of Georgia).
The Closing Attorney then receives the loan documents from the lender, and prepares the final Settlement Statement, with the finalized numbers and amounts from all parties involved in making the loan. It is the closing attorney that the borrower then sees and meets around the conference table in their office, normally. The attorney explains all the loan documents to the borrower and collects signatures, funds to close, etc.
So, there you have it. All the people who have a hand in the approval of the mortgage loan. Granted, it is a rather technical analysis of the process you may know only as the nerve-racking necessity that you have to subject yourself to in order to purchase your dream home.
And therein lies our greatest balancing act – performing all the technicals to a high level, while remembering with you that this is your dream home and you have entrusted us with the esteemed role of helping you achieve your dreams.
Humbly, we thank your for your confidence.