OK, gentlemen. The pressure is on! What to buy your special woman this Valentine’s Day? Flowers die in a week. Chocolates are eaten up in a day or two. Jewelry can only be worn occasionally. This year, why not buy her the HOUSE you both have wanted for years! Great interest rates and new $0 down or low down-payment programs are available for almost any home buyer. Contact me and let me help you know your home financing options. I’m local, licensed, certified and have 17 years of lending experience – Ready to go to work for you or those you know.
-> Appraised value
-> Loan amount
-> Borrower’s employment status and history
-> Credit scores and payment history
-> Amount and source of down-payment
-> Date of closing
-> Immigration or citizenship status of the borrower
-> The housing type and location (Single family dwelling, Duplex, Condo, Townhouse, PUD, suburban, rural, urban, etc.)
-> The county where the home is located
-> Mortgage Interest Rate
-> The Term (length) of the Loan
-> The Title Company being used to close the loan
I have worked for several mortgage companies during my mortgage career and even owned my own company for 5 years. I know that some “loan guys” will “low-ball” the initial estimate, only to pull out the “surprise” at the closing table when your options for making any changes are very limited. Of the 21 separate line-item fees on the “Good Faith Estimate” I give to my borrowers when they sign their loan application forms and disclosures, only one of those fees is the same for every loan and is not dependent on any of the variables listed above.
Mortgage interest rates change daily (sometime, even more often!). I could simply print off a “Good Faith Estimate” with made up numbers as some customers request (as other “loan guys” may do) but it will not be accurate because of all of these variables I have mentioned. That process of collecting “Good Faith Estimates” prior to having all of the above variables identified will very time-consuming and wasted effort by the borrower and “loan guys” passing out worthless forms with inaccurate numbers.
My goal is to take the worry and uncertainty out of the process of originating, processing, underwriting and closing the loan. I help guide my borrowers through their negotiations with their seller by providing honest numbers as they become available rather than simply making up numbers to get “my hook set”.
I have been in the business for over 11 years and nearly 100% of my business comes from referral and repeat business. A businessman can not build that kind of business by being a con-man, cheating others or participating in the bait-and-switch tactics that have riddled this industry for years.
This helps my my borrowers understand how I have built my business and how I provide a level of confidence and professionalism which will make my borrower’s Real Estate purchase a very smooth and cost effective transaction over the next.
So, you ask, how should I select the Mortgage Professional to close my loan for me? I’m glad you asked. Allow me to give you a few guidelines for starters:
1. Choose a Mortgage Professional who is EXPERIENCED. Was he selling shoes or washing cars last week and then some buddy of his talked him into “trying out the mortgage business”? Does he really know what he’s doing? Has he been originating mortgage for 5-10 years? Does he do this full-time or this just a hobby or part-time gig?
2. Choose a Mortgage Professional who is CERTIFIED. Has proven to anyone that he knows the laws, the process, the programs and theory and mechanics behind the mortgage industry. Has he taken courses and exams to measure his competency? Is his certification a national designation? Is his certification from a professional association who can objectively measure and monitor his expertise or from some mail-order outfit looking to make few bucks?
3. Choose a Mortgage Professional with a GOOD REPUTATION. Is your selection a true professional who is respected and well-known in his industry. Who knows him and what kind of work he does? Who has ever closed a loan with him? Who can speak for his level of trustworthiness, honesty and attention to detail? What do you know of his character and personality?
4. Choose a Mortgage Professional who is a PROFESSIONAL. Does your choice know the market, the industry, the community, the history, the trends and your desires? Is he a member of his professional association? Has he been awarded and recognized by his peers and fellow business associates for his contribution to the industry and community?
During the month that your loan is supposed to close it is the most important transaction in your Mortgage Professional’s office. “Getting it cheap” doesn’t mean much when your “loan guy” drops the ball and makes a mess of the whole deal simply because he has “never seen anything like this before.” That stack of bogus “Good Faith Estimates” collected 30-60 days prior to your closing will mean very little when you find out that returning phone calls, diligently following up on underwriting conditions, and working long hours to insure that all of the bases are covered on your deal are not his priority or part of his work ethic.
Paper is cheap, and ink toner to print fictitious loan estimates is even cheaper. Experience, Certification, a Good Reputation and Professionalism are priceless life-long attributes and qualities you want in your Mortgage Professional. Leave the spreading of such worthless papers to those lying, low-balling, bait-n-switching, short-termers who do not deserve to work with someone like you who, understandably, expect it to get done right the first time.
The new laws will also require that any mortgage professional working in any state across the country will be required to register in a National Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS) database to prevent a law breaking loan originator from simply moving across state lines to keep from being found-out and shut down as he or she cheats others, gets caught and then hopes to slip away to set-up these illegal practices in another part of the country without being found out.
Most of these new laws were being proposed and debated around the country long before our recent financial crisis and I’m not certain that any of these laws would have prevented the financial melt-down we have experienced over the past 2 years. The “exotic” mortgage loans which have proved to be disastrously risky for many who have now experienced foreclosure were not the “brain child” of mortgage originators. These programs came from the imiginations those sitting in the back offices of New York investment houses who were looking for creative ways to sell more mortgages to borrowers who were not qualified to buy home under the original guidelines.
Did government agencies and politicians pressure these investment houses and banks to offer these loans to give the appearance that certain socio-economic groups within our society were making headway or that lenders were not “discriminating” against minority groups or protected classes across the country? I guess the “investigation” to be launched by many of those same politicians might actually discover some truth but it is highly unlikely that the real fault will be publicized for the sake of preserving the political future of those doing the “investigation” in the coming months.
The good news, however, in Tennessee, is that all mortgage professionals will now be held to a higher standard in the coming months and years. Each of these standards, this author has proudly far surpassed by aquiring and maintaining the nation’s highest level of certification in the mortgage industry for the past seven years. Many Tennesseans have already experienced the benefits of working with a highly qualified and ethical mortgage professional who has taken (and taught) the classes, passed the tests and remains on the cutting edge of what is happening in the mortgage industry. It has been my pleasure to work for those borrowers who desire and deserve that caliber of mortgage professional.
The author, Brian Short, is the nation’s only thrice certified mortgage professional. (Certified Mortgage Consultant, Certified Residential Mortgage Specialist, General Mortgage Associate)