When you lock in a mortgage interest rate, it is for a specific period of time, such as 30, 45 or 60 days. Your mortgage professional should make sure it is for an adequate amount of time to close the transaction. If it’s a purchase, the lock may be for a few days after the transaction and if it’s for a refinance, 30-45 days should be plenty of time in a “normal” market for the lock period. Purchases, depending on the type of transaction can be closed from two weeks or more (or more is preferred, less can happen too).
If you run out of time on your lock, it needs to be extended or the rate is no longer available (if rates have increased). Extensions, like locks, vary in price based on how long the extension period is. Sometimes, if rates have improved or are the same, the lender may offer a “no cost” extension-that always makes me happy. When rates have worsened, you can count on a cost for your extension. Every lender has different costs. As a Correspondent Lender, we work with many lenders and they all have different costs and policies for extensions. Some will allow us to extend for a specific amount of days; for example if we only need 3, we can have a 3 day lock at a prorated cost. Others bracket the days and so if we need 3 days, and they bracket extensions 1-10 days, we’ve paid for 10 days.
Here’s a few examples of extensions offered by a few of the lenders I work with. The cost referenced are in fee as a percentage to the loan amount. If your mortgage is $400,000 and we are working with Lender A below, your extension rate would be 400,000 x 0.015% = $60.00 per day.
Lender A offers a daily extension at a rate of 0.015% per day. They allow me to re-extend if I did not extend long enough the first time (most lenders do not allow this…you go directly to worse case pricing).
With Lender A, the difference between a 30 day and 45 day (original) lock period today is 0.165%; extending for 15 additional days (if you locked 30 days and needed up to 45) is an additional 0.225%.
Lender B offers extensions in brackets:
1-5 days = 0.063%
6-10 days = 0.125%
11-15 days = 0.188%
16-20 days = 0.25% up to 26-30 days = 0.375%
With Lender B, the difference between a 30 day and 45 day lock today is around 0.298%. Extending for 15 days with a 30 day lock is 0.188% based on locking today.
Lender C offers various options:
If your extension is within 10 days of your lock expiring and short term pricing has improved, they offer a 15 day lock at no cost.
If current pricing is worse than the locked rate, then you have the option of fee based pricing based on the expiration date:
5 days = 0.125%
10 days = 0.25%
15 days = 0.375%
30 days = 0.500% (purchase)
30 days = 0.500% (refi)
Lender C also offers market based pricing based on extending the lock from that date (instead of the expiration date of the lock) factoring in the current market.
When you extend on Lender C’s site, a LO has a couple of options they can select from based on how much time is needed and what is the lowest cost.
The difference between a 30 day and 45 day lock (currently) is 0.096% vs. having to extend after 30 days for 0.375% unless the market (rates) have improved.
Here are some possible reasons why a lock may require an extension:
~ Loan Originator did a short lock (less than 30 days or less than what was indicated for closing on the purchase and sale agreement).
~ Mortgage company did not perform in a timely manner.
~ Borrower did not provide documentation in a timely manner or caused delay in transaction.
~ Seller caused a delay in the transaction. (Especially possible when dealing with banks or short sales).
My personal opinion is that who ever caused the extension to be paid should be the party responsible for paying it. Often times, the delay may be unintentional but it happens. It’s crucial for borrowers to understand that once a loan is locked, a clock is counting down the days left for closing the new loan. On the occasion that I need to extend a loan, I review the transaction to determine why we ran out of time.
When I lock in a loan, I would rather have a few extra days than go short on the lock period. The cost of the next longer lock period is often less than what an extension may cost. The key is to make sure the loan is locked for the correct time frame to start with. Your Mortgage Professional should provide you with a Lock Confirmation that will disclose when your lock will expire. It’s important to confirm that your lender has allowed enough time for the transaction with the lock and to address the “what ifs” in the event the transaction does not close in time. With an extension, you are simply buying time.
August 2011 Update: Since the Fed has created the LO Comp rule last April, mortgage originators are forbidden to use their compensation in the transaction at all…one of the many unintended consequences of the recent rule-making. Other parties may be able to contribute to this additional closing cost. Contact your mortgage originator for more information.