Do you know your mortgage team’s starting lineup?
Sure, there’s no spotlight-shining introduction to the players involved in your mortgage, like there is at a ball game, but considering how crucial each role is in ensuring that borrowers secure the lending they need to realize their homeownership dreams, perhaps a fanfare-laden introduction is long overdue.
“The mortgage lending world has changed considerably over the last several years. Today, it takes a team of lending professionals to get your loan approved and to closing,” says Brook Benton, a mortgage banker with PrivatePlus Mortgage in Atlanta.
As a borrower, it’s helpful to understand how each person contributes to the process, says Casey Fleming, a mortgage adviser with C2 Financial Corp. in San Diego. “The borrower will have contact with many of them, and it could be useful in their communication with the team member to know exactly what they are looking for,” Fleming says.
While many professionals can be a part of the loan process, here are some of the prime players:
The Loan Officer
The loan officer advises the client in a professional manner, evaluates potential lenders and/or loan programs, helps the client choose the best loan for their needs, assembles the file and gives it to the processor. The officer serves as the intermediary between the borrower and the lender and is tasked with arranging for a loan that works in the best interest of both the lender and the borrower. Because you’ll likely work closest with the loan officer, it’s especially important for this professional “to set good expectations about the process, time it takes, and provide an understanding of who they rely on to get your loan to closing,” Benton says. “In knowing the process, it will help you appreciate the multiple layers involved and the effort that takes to make a loan from start to finish.”
The Loan Coordinator
The loan coordinator works closely with the loan officer and loan origination sources to collect and prepare all documentation necessary to fulfill underwriting requirements. The borrower may hear from the loan coordinator if this person requests any additional information needed by the lender and other parties involved in the transaction, and when it’s time to update the borrower as to the loan application status. Additionally, this professional distributes verification requests and coordinates the closing schedule.
The Loan Processor
The loan processor gathers documentation and assembles a file that must comply with a lender’s specific underwriting guidelines. This expert needs to “pre-underwrite” the file, anticipate what the underwriter will need, and send out all necessary disclosures to comply with applicable laws. He or she needs to input important loan data into the system for processing, make sure all loan documentation is accurate, complete and verified.
While the borrower generally will work with the loan officer or loan coordinator, they also may interact with the processor says Amy Tierce, regional vice president of Wintrust Mortgage in Needham, Massachusetts. “[The processor] acts as the go-between for all the data and the underwriter – a person who usually does not have any contact with the consumer,” she says.
The Closing Coordinator
The closing coordinator checks that all the paperwork is in place and that local, state and federal requirements are satisfied so that the loan transaction can close. This person gathers, manages and files the important legal documents involving the loan, escrow and title, ensures that the title search was properly completed, and confirms that all necessary insurance coverage is in effect. The borrower will communicate with the closing coordinator prior to and during closing, particularly to confirm closing dates and details and if either party have questions about the closing.
As important as these pros are to the loan process, Tierce says it’s important to realize that the players and their roles may vary from lender to lender.
“I recommend asking your loan officer, ‘Who is on my team, who will I be hearing from, why and when?’” she suggests.
© CTW Features