What Is The Mortgage Underwriters Role In Mortgage Process

What Is The Mortgage Underwriters Role In Mortgage Process

This BLOG On What Is The Mortgage Underwriters Role In Mortgage Process Was UPDATED On December 15th, 2017

A mortgage underwriters role in mortgage process is to be the devils advocate.

  • Mortgage Underwriters are the professionals that approve and/or deny loans
  • The mortgage loan applicants file goes through opening, processing, and then it goes to underwriting
  • Most loan officers will qualify borrowers prior to taking their loan application
  • Once borrowers meet all guidelines, then the loan officer will review mortgage docs and prep it for the loan opener
  • Loan Opener will register the file and make sure all docs are in order prior to submitting it to an assigned loan processor
  • The Loan Processor’s role is to process the mortgage file and make sure all documents are complete
  • Mortgage Processor does the following:
    • Order Verification Of Employment
    • Verification Of Deposit
    • Verification Of Rent (if applicable)
    • Request IRS 4506T
    • Order appraisal

A good experienced mortgage processor will have the file in complete order prior to submitting to the mortgage underwriter.

  • Underwriters job is to scrutinize and analyze every single mortgage document a mortgage loan borrower has submitted and check for validity
  • If the mortgage loan defaults or the loan cannot be sold in the secondary market due to not meeting federal and/or Fannie/Freddie Guidelines, a mortgage underwriter can lose their job
  • The underwriter will look for reasons to deny a mortgage loan

Their job is to make sure that the odds are that the mortgage loan borrower will be able to repay their mortgage payments on time as well as have the ability to repay their mortgage loan.

Risks Of Mortgage Underwriters

Banks and Mortgage Companies rely on mortgage underwriters to determine risk when approving a loan. Many times, especially on manual underwriting files, mortgage underwriters have a great deal of discretion on approving a home loan.

  • Mortgage Underwriters is the person that issues a conditional loan approval
  • Underwriters are the mortgage professionals who signs off on clear to close (CTC)
  • It is the underwriters stamp and signature that lenders depend on whether or not to fund a home loan
  • Underwriters will review all the conditions after the conditional loan approval and if satisfied, will issue the clear to close

What Mortgage Underwriters Look For

Mortgage Underwriters will look for whether or not borrowers meet the minimum mortgage guidelines.

  • Lenders who have lender overlays, underwriters will not just make sure that borrowers meet federal lending guidelines, but also see if borrowers meet the company’s lender overlays
  • Lender Overlays are guidelines that are above and beyond those of minimum mortgage guidelines by FHA, VA, USDA, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac
  • Borrowers can qualify for mortgage loans with prior bad credit and not having to pay outstanding collections and/or charge off accounts
  • However, underwriters want to see that borrowers have been timely in the past 12 months

Credit Scores Versus Credit Payment History

Reason lenders want to see overall payment history is because past payment patterns of borrowers is a good indicator of future payment behavior. Just meeting the minimum credit score requirements is not sufficient in getting a loan approval. People can have had extenuating circumstances in the past due to the following:

  • Unemployment
  • Illness and medical reasons
  • Loss of business
  • Death in Family
  • Victim of crime and/or fraud (example, ex partner embezzled)
  • Due to Great Recession of 2008
  • Divorce

However, underwriters want to see borrowers back on their feet and see re-established credit and on time payment for the past 12 months.

Ability To Repay Mortgage: Quality Mortgage (QM)

One of the main concerns that underwriters will have is whether or not the borrower has the ability to repay their mortgage loan once the loan is funded (QM:Quality Mortgage).

  • It is the mortgage underwriters role to approve a mortgage loan borrower who will not be late on future mortgage loan payments and avoid a default on a mortgage loan thus avoiding foreclosure
  • Mortgage underwriters role is also to make sure that the mortgage loan borrower is not committing any acts of fraud
  • In the event if the mortgage underwriter does make a mistake and approves a mortgage loan borrower who is not qualified and does not meet federal lending guidelines the mortgage loan cannot be sold
  • If the loan is sold and an audit reveals that the underwriter made a mistake, the mortgage company will be required to purchase the mortgage loan back and hold the loan in-house or take a loss and sell it as a scratch and dent

Mortgage Underwriters Role Is To Analize Risk

A mortgage underwriters role is to look at late payments from the mortgage loan borrower and to see whether the mortgage loan borrower has had a history of late payments and the circumstances why they had late payments.

  • Previous payment history
  • History is a good indicator of future payment behavior
  • Has borrower been late after a prior bankruptcy and/or foreclosure?
  • Has borrower been timely on all payments the past 12 months?
  • Does borrower have reserves and history of saving money?
  • Does borrower have compensating factors?
  • How much is payment shock?

Mortgage Underwriters Role Is To Make Sure Borrower Has Ability To Repay The Mortgage

Although there are late payment fees assessed with future mortgage payment lates, that is not what the mortgage company wants.

  • They want a mortgage loan borrower who has the ability to repay the mortgage loan
  • Not just be able to pay their mortgage payments but the ability to pay their mortgage payments on time
  • A mortgage underwriter will understand prior late payments but they will want to know the extenuating circumstances why mortgage applicant was late
  • Examples are such as a job loss, divorce, or medical situation or items listed above
  • However, if mortgage applicants have good credit scores but a history of being a late payment payer for the last ten years, it will be hard to prove that borrower will be paying new mortgage payments on time and it will be hard to prove that they will be timely on future payments
  • A habitual late payer is considered to be a financially irresponsible person and the chances to get a mortgage loan approval will be difficult

Letter Of Explanation Is What Can Make You Or Break You

Home Buyers who had a prior bankruptcy or foreclosure, a mortgage underwriter will want to know the circumstances surrounding the economic event and the reason why the borrower initiated the bankruptcy or foreclosure.

  • Mortgage underwriters will frown on mortgage loan borrowers who are late on any payments after a bankruptcy or foreclosure but it will not be a deal killer
  • Late Payments after bankruptcy and/or housing event is considered very bad:
    • Many lenders will not approve a borrower who had any late payments after bankruptcy and/or foreclosure because they label them as a second offender
  • Many banks have mortgage lender overlays that will not accept anyone who was late after a bankruptcy or foreclosure
  • However, many mortgage bankers and mortgage brokers will have lenders or investors who will allow a few late payments after a bankruptcy or foreclosure
  • The Gustan Cho Team at USA Mortgage will approve borrowers with late payments after bankruptcy and foreclosure as long as they get an approve/eligible per Automated Underwriting System
  • Mortgage loan borrower can provide a good letter of explanation and provide facts attached to the letter of explanation

Mortgage Loan Borrowers With Lates After Bankruptcy Or Foreclosure

Mortgage Borrowers who are looking to get qualify for a mortgage with a five star star national direct lender with no lender overlays on government and/or conventional loans, please contact The Gustan Cho Team at USA Mortgage at 262-716-8151 or email us at gcho@usa-mortgage.com. Please visit us at www.gustancho.com and subscribe to our Newsletter.  We are available 7 days a week, evenings, weekends, and holidays.

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