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Vetting your Mortgage Loan Officer

Vetting your Mortgage Loan Officer

September 5th, 2017

Did you know that as a consumer you have access to check up on your mortgage loan officer?  There is no need to go blindly into the loan process and it is my hope that I can educate unsuspecting borrowers with a rarely used but handy tip! By going to http://www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org/ you can search the name, company or NMLS # (Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System) of the Loan Officer you are considering working with.

After locating the desired record, you can click to determine several important pieces of information; the company they are authorized to represent, how long they have been licensed and whether they have any regulatory actions against them. It is vital that you choose a well-seasoned loan officer because the LO knowledge is vital to your overall experience.

Just last month we closed a loan that a BIG BANK had been working on for 6+months, the borrower had finally started shopping around after being told “we can close next week” for over a month. He was hesitant that we could outperform where a major bank could not and had wasted his money on an appraisal that was now expired.

After sending our early disclosures he was still a bit on the fence but about a week later the borrower reluctantly gave us full control of the reins. Ascension completed this difficult loan in 24 days from start to finish. 

After working in the mortgage industry for the past 2 decades, it is my humble opinion that a loan officer with less than 3-5 years’ experience would more than likely lack critical depth in program and product knowledge to truly be an effective loan partner.  Firsthand knowledge and experience of a seasoned loan officer will help circumvent any potential trip ups and critical issues that might darken the path of your home loan experience. I hear the horror stories far too often and it breaks my heart that unsuspecting borrowers go with a loan partner that talks the talk but can’t walk the walk.

5 Warning Signs

  • High Pressure Sales with a lot of excitement only be turned over to someone else to handle the transaction. National Call Centers and larger mortgage companies tend to have much longer turn times, higher rates and costs to go with their higher overhead and profit margins.
  • You didn’t receive a Loan Estimate within a timely (3 day) window of completing a full loan application and no one has attempted to contact you.
  • Sluggish response to phone, email or texts? Make sure your loan officer is a Full-Time loan officer. This is not the time to work with someone who dabbles or moonlights in mortgage financing.
  • Suddenly the terms of the have changed!  Unless your loan officer has a good explanation that is acceptable to you (appraisal value or credit score change) do NOT sign. You are not obligated to close a loan that you started if you don’t agree to the terms.  Note:  Appraisals can often be transferred from lender to lender.
  • They can’t answer your question without “getting back to you”. This one seems like a no brainer.