November 3, 2010

Do Lenders Even Want to Close Deals?

I can't tell you how many emails and phone calls I receive asking me why I need so much more information than the last time they purchased or refinanced their home.

The answer is two-fold, It is not only the credit crisis which has tightened guidelines considerably but also Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are sitting on mountains of bad loans and losses. So what are they doing? They are requiring lenders to buy back loans with any flaw they can find.

So what do the lenders do? Well, they make sure there are no flaws, period. You are just at the end of the chain here. I recently spoke to an underwriter who works for a major national lender and he said he can now only underwrite two loans per day compared to ten loans per day just a short time ago because of all the checks and balances now required by the lenders. The time and cost of properly underwriting is increasing the cost of the entire process.

Will this get better? The pendulum swings both ways but I do not think it will swing all the way back to where it was. Let's hope it doesn't because we all know the damage it can do to our nation as a whole when we don't require strict enough guidelines. We will all suffer for some time to come and improvements will come gradually, just like the housing and employment markets. In the meantime, we must document your loans accordingly. It is important that all originators have a thorough understanding of what documentation will be required from the lender so they can properly advise their clients on what to expect during the underwriting process.