This BLOG On Mortgage Compliance And Changes In Mortgage Industry Was UPDATED And PUBLISHED On March 25th, 2020
So, mortgage interest rates are increasing and have been the highest since 2008. Mortgage lending guidelines and mortgage compliance have tightened up to the point where prime borrowers are the norm. Mortgage default rates have dropped to record lows as the quality of borrowers has risen.
- Then we have automation, which makes submitting loans easier and more efficient
- The professionalism of realtors, attorneys, and mortgage professionals are all at better standards
- This holds true especially since part-timer loan officers are out of the business
In this article, we will discuss and cover the Mortgage Compliance And Changes In Mortgage Industry.
Increased Mortgage Programs And Increased Mortgage Compliance
With more and more mortgage loan programs available and more simplified to understand, learning the lending guidelines associated with those programs should make competency that much more easy for a mortgage professional to say to a borrower:
- If you have x ad y, then you get you Z
- Finally, we have access to information that has made potential clients themselves more educated
This makes the ability of a loan professional to obtain the necessary documents that much easier.
Average National Credit Scores
The average credit score nationally is 681,
- This would allow the average person who wanted to purchase eligible with most lenders wanting a 640 or above
So with the tides pointed in the right direction for volume to be back at 2005 levels, why is this not the case?
Issues With Mortgage Compliance
- First, the average mortgage loan gets touched by 3-4 more people
- Before a mortgage loan used to have a loan officer, a processor, an underwriter, and an appraiser, with a closer/funder at the end
Now we have the following:
- intake person or opener
- loan officer assistant who handles a lot of the duties once performed, so he/she can focus on generating new business
If the loan officer does enough business, they may even have a junior loan officer to assist the process:
- Then there is an intake person who will open the file once it is received by the lender
- This individual will ensure the minimum necessary documents are in the file
- Will have to properly register it
Documents Required To Process Loan
Since the mortgage meltdown and the real estate market crash, the amount of necessary documents has gone up, as have the required disclosures sent out tot he borrower:
- This can add a day or two to the turn time
- Every file reviewed will take that much longer to look at prior to submission to the underwriter
- At this point, the intake individual will submit the file to the processor, who may order a 4506T
- What is this you ask?
- It is the order of the tax transcripts of a borrower on the loan
- This form goes to the IRS
- They will send out the last two years records of income reported to them by the client
- This is to ensure the borrower’s ability to pay is certified
- The info matches what he/she put on the 1003/application
Since the IRS has had massive cutbacks, this process, which used to take 1-3 days, can now take up to 3 weeks, further delaying the process.
Mortgage Underwriting Process And Mortgage Compliance
- Gone are the days of common sense underwriting
- Now a mortgage underwriter has to pull multiple fraud detection software scans
Looking at various items such as:
- to see if the buyer and seller know each other
- are they on title/vested on another home they did not disclose
- or is the home they are buying multiple flips?
With each fraud detection, any little item deemed questionable can delay, suspend, or be cause for denial of the file:
- The loan officer or realtor will then have to go back to the borrower and ask for necessary documents or explanation to make the underwriter feels better about the transaction’s legitimacy
Income Qualification And Debt To Income Ratios
- More and more people get paid bonuses and have unreimbursed expenses on their paycheck stubs
- More work side jobs
- This will all require extra documentation and support from the employer to make the file look stronger and to verify the information submitted
- This only adds to the turn times of a file that may only be locked for 30-45 days
- Then you have assets
- Deposits in the form of cash from a wedding or a birthday are common
- If that cash is more than $150 for some lenders, they want to know where that money is coming from
- If that money is needed to help qualify the client for the loan, then you must be ready to validate and source where that money came from
- If borrowers cannot source this money, then it might not be allowed to be used in the asset count
- This presents an ever-growing rift in the realities of life some people get cash all the time from family or from side jobs and money owed and cannot source the money, hence making the process more tedious and time-consuming
- Underwritten loans used to be contracted out to Mortgage insurance companies and could do 8-12 underwrites in a day
- Now because of mortgage compliance, they are all done inhouse
- The number of completed underwrites have been cut in half
- If it is a retirement account, you have to verify where it is
Source a withdrawal paper trail, and if it is life insurance, get a paper saying it is not a loan against the insurance.
Mortgage Compliance On Appraisal And Appraisal Review Process
- With the advent of the AMC or Appraisal Management company, appraisers now are required to write so much more info in their addendum
- They are doing this will getting paid less money at the same time
- Less and less appraisers are doing more work
- They are driving further distances and being required to do more legwork with no contact with the realtor or loan officer as stipulated by Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac
- The reviewer, who is basically making 25-40% of the total fee charged to the borrower, for sitting at a desk to review someone else’s work, has to overlook and sign off on the value and comps used
- This adds another day and another fee to the transaction, but does not compensate the person who is still taking the risk(appraiser)
More work again in the industry for less margin.
Quality Control And Clear To Close
- These last second processes can catch something, because no one is perfect, and people need to move and lie their lives
- Someone might take on a car loan at 0% when they should not because they need a new car and the terms are favorable
Forget the fact they now hurt their chances to qualify even after the loan is approved, and won’t know this will be caught on a re-credit check prior to closing.
Mortgage Compliance On Agency Guidelines Versus Lender Overlays
- Well Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac has a set of rules and standards on lending that we all abide by when we(banks) lend on houses that they will insure and guarantee
- Banks, for their own compliance(the subject of the article), feel the need to add or remove their own set of rules, and it is always on the side of caution
- Fannie Mae says: you can do this, bank A: no we still want this in order to do that
- This grey area of lending and interpretation rather than following it by the book makes lenders conservative on programs that would otherwise assist in taking inventory off the market
Fannie Mae chooses not to mandate the change, but rather allow for discretion than it is almost a guarantee that discretion will air on the side of caution.
Title In The Mortgage Process
- The average FHA number of pages for closing a refinance is between 120-150
That is a book’s worth of repetitive documents like 7 escrow agreements for taxes, 7-10 for notification they have an FHA mortgage and have to pay it back, and 7-10 HUD addendum stating they signed a HUD with the fees associated.
About The Author: Ron Granado
Like to offer a special thanks to Mr. Ron Granado of Plymouth Title Guaranty Corporation. Ron Granado is the author of this article and a guest writer for Gustan Cho Associates. Ron Granado always goes out of his way to help not only the public but also real estate professionals such as attorneys, real estate brokers, mortgage loan officers, and other title companies answer questions they may have. Ron Granado also takes valuable time off his schedule to write financial articles such as this blog on Mortgage Compliance to help professionals in the real estate and mortgage industries hear his opinions and the latest market news.
Account Executive | Plymouth Title Guaranty Corp
1301 W. 22nd Street | Ste 505 | Oak Brook, IL 60523
March 25, 2020 - 6 min read