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Ten Things a Mortgage Processor Must Know to be Effective

From time to time, we hear a story about a processor gone bad. A processor that seemed so knowledgeable early on but now isn't keeping pace and can't seem to get along with anyone. Many unhappy customers, unhappy loan officers, and denied files later, Mr. Broker is forced to seek out a resolution.

Replacement or continuing education will be required to address the immediate issue. Additionally, Mr. Broker will need to conduct a more in-depth preliminary interview to determine if the next processing candidate can really meet his expectations.

An experienced processor should know:

1. How to analyze a loan file - Knowing the elements that make or break a deal is essential. It is critical that a processor has the ability to take a look at a loan application with its supporting documentation and quickly determine the likelihood of that file closing. If challenges are identified, the processor should have some idea of what has to happen (and in what time frame) for the loan to be approved.

2. How to review title and appraisal reports - Title and appraisal documents should be reviewed for issues or inconsistencies upon receipt. Title liens and appraisal issues often take a considerable amount of time to resolve. The underwriting process is expedited when those things are identified and addressed early rather than left for discovery by the lender.

3. How to calculate income - The income noted on the 1003 should always be based on calculations made using actual file documentation rather than the borrower's rough estimate. If the income consists of more than regular wages or salary, the processor should know how the lender views and calculates that particular source of income rather than assume it will be acceptable.

4. How to analyze credit - A processor should have the ability to analyze a credit report regardless of what credit bureau or repository provided it. In addition to understanding the content of the report, the processor should know what documentation is required to address that credit profile.

5. How to shop a loan - Long gone are the days of shipping a loan to a lender just to find out that it won't fly as submitted. Take advantage of the lender's quick qualification and automated underwriting system to close more loans. Underwriting guidelines, program matrixes, rate sheets, and more may be available on the lender's website.

6. How to verify employment - Don't waste time making repeated phone calls only to find that the verification has to be submitted in writing or is available instantly via an automated system. Ask the borrower upfront. You may find that they already have a PIN or direct contact to expedite the process.

7. How and when to request file documentation - In order for a loan to close in a timely fashion, file documentation must be available when needed. Find out the turn around time for all of the documents required for your file and request them far enough in advance.

8. Know alternative ways to meet document requirements and underwriting conditions - An experienced processor knows that although the condition sheet says that the lender wants one thing, they will actually accept another. Knowing how to ask the right person the right questions can save a lot of time and trouble.

9. How to avoid closing delays - You'd be surprised how many times someone forgot about that "at closing" condition. Pay special attention to those conditions and get as many as possible cleared beforehand. Additionally, make certain that you are aware of the lender's deadline for closing document requests.

10. How to avoid funding delays - Funding delays can kill your referral business. Don't assume that all is well during the rescission period. Confirm with the lender that all prior to funding request have been met and that they have the correct wiring instructions for the title company.

Stephanie Graham is a mortgage professional with more than two decades of experience in both retail and wholesale lending. Stephanie has excelled in a number of mortgage industry positions including CRA officer,corporate trainer, and consultant. Stephanie is currently a part of the executive team of Complete Mortgage Processing. More tips and techniques for mortgage processing and origination can be found at http:


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