Getting Files Closed

Written By: Bonnie Wilt-Hild

Ok, so I have been in the mortgage industry for 25 years and I have to say, this end of the month has been the worst ever. Well maybe not the worst but it ran a very close second. More frightening is the fact that we didn’t close near the volume that we have closed in past months. My assessment as to why it all seemed so difficult has everything to do with a complete lack of organization, from origination on and of course a fair amount of procrastination. Let me explain.

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Ideally, when a loan is originated, a loan officer will first determine if the case is even approvable. Once this occurs and the origination of the application takes place the originator should complete all pertinent information on the loan application as well as the disclosures, not just the borrowers name and phone number. Additionally, the originator should collect all necessary documentation to initiate processing because things like paystubs, W-2’s, a contract of sale and bank statements to determine evidence of sufficient funds to close are going to be required. Disclosure is also key, it is never good to just forget about HMDA information, complete GFE’s and TIL’s incorrectly or forgets half of the disclosures, this just waste the processors time and requires 2 or 3 hours for set up instead of one.

This brings me to the processors who in a perfect world would set up all cases within 48 hours of receipt, not order a flood cert and appraisal and through the loan in your drawer until you receive the appraisal assuming the case is squeaky clean. Worst still is picking the file up two days before it closes to process it because you now have the appraisal, just to realize the loan officer didn’t collect a thing and you need now need everything, including personal and corporate tax returns to get the loan into underwriting. Trust me, as an underwriter it only makes me angry when I get a file that I have to suspend because I can’t even calculate income, there are not asset account statements, the borrower is collecting child support that has not been documented as so forth which results in my conditioning for two pages of items needed to complete the underwrite. I think any underwriter will tell clearing these kinds of conditions is nothing short of re-underwriting the loan. Complicate further by bringing the case back six times because your conditions are coming in two at a time and the loan is scheduled to close at 3PM that same day and you could actually see your underwriter go postal, particularly if there are more than two processors in your office.

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So what do you do to avoid the above scenario? Quite simply put, loan officers, if there is a blank on the application, then FILL IT IN! If it wasn’t important it wouldn’t be on there. Complete your disclosures correctly so your processors don’t spend three hours cleaning up your mistakes. Nobody will have professional respect for a prima donna who thinks he or she doesn’t have to do their jobs because they bring in business, really we still talk behind your back about what a lousy originator you are. Next, Processors, don’t let files sit around for 2
weeks before you review them. If you set the file up the right was from the start it will almost process itself. Don’t believe for one minute it is your underwriters job to pick up a giant mess and straighten it out for you because your busy. Remember you are processing for 5 loan officers but your underwriter is underwriting for 25 of them and 5 processors as well. Staff wise, he or she is dealing with 25 more people then you are and quite frankly, shouldn’t have to do your job because you didn’t do it right in the first place.

About The Author

Bonnie Wilt-Hild - As an NAMP® staff writer, Bonnie currently serves as a senior instructor for FHA Online University ( as well maintains a full-time mortgage underwriting position as the Senior FHA DE Underwriter for a major lending institution. With over 25+ years of senior-level FHA/VA Government underwriting experience, Bonnie is considered the "Queen of FHA Loans". If you're interested in becoming a writer for NAMP®, please email us at:


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