How Much Info can my Mortgage Orignator Share with my Real Estate Agent?


Secretmortgageporter I received this question a while ago from one of my subscribers:

As a lender, is it ethical to deny someone for a loan and then turn around and share not only that the loan was denied, but the EXACT reason the loan was denied (for example: too many NSFs, large deposit in checking account, hours cut back at work, etc.) with the applicant’s realtor as well as the listing agent who in turn shares it with the sellers?

It’s flat out wrong for a mortgage originator to share someones personal and private information.  Sometimes mortgage originators may feel pressured to provide extra details by a real estate agent wanting the nitty gritty and the mortgage originator must decline, or perhaps they’re trying to score some brownie points.  Even with “perfect” clients, agents may want to know details that a mortgage originator cannot and should not provide due to strict laws protecting the borrowers privacy.  This is a perfect example of why I have an issue with mortgage originators also acting as a home buyers real estate agent.

I encourage borrowers I’m working with to discuss their situation with their agent and vice versa.  There is nothing preventing a home buyer and real estate agent from having a conversation and it’s up to the borrower/home buyer to decide how much information they want to share.  However, Dear Agents, please keep in mind that the home buyer may be embarrassed about their situation or may not want you to know their privates.

A mortgage originator can share with an agent that the borrower does have verified funds to close and is approved for the mortgage based on their credit, income and employment.  These items may be addressed in a preapproval letter.

Real estate gents will often call me to ask about a potential home buyer who has an offer pending.  A majority of the time, it’s really a “sniff test” to make sure that I answer my phone, return calls quickly and to verify that the borrower is actually preapproved.  They may try to find out if the buyer can qualify for more and I have to decline answering.  Many times the buyer may qualify for more BUT the buyer wants to offer or buy less.  Without instruction and permission from the borrower/buyer to reveal any of their personal information – mum is the word.

Stay tuned for Part 2; I have asked Jillayne Schlike of CE Forward to chime in on this subject.


  1. stephen kielty says:

    I have three questions to ask. 1- Is a Mortgage broker allowed to discuss personal information to my realtor 2- is a Mortgage broker allowed to pull my credit anytime they want with out my approval 3- is it normal procedure for a Mortgage Broker to keep changing purchase sale agreement figures on the house payment

    • Stephen, thanks for your questions.
      1. Loan Officers need to be very careful with what type of information they share with your realtor or anyone. We have strict privacy rules we have to abide by. I cannot share my clients private information without their permission. It can sometimes put lenders in a challenging position when a real estate agent wants more details about the borrower. In those cases, I will often talk to the borrower to let them know their agent wants that info and the borrower can decide whether or not they want to share it. For example, I have had circumstances where agents want to know what the highest amount is a borrower can qualify for or how money does the borrower have in the bank for down payment – it’s not for me to share with the realtor if the buyer only wants to be approved for a certain amount.
      2. You may have signed an authorization for your lender to pull your credit. If your credit report has expired (90 days since the last pull) the lender may need to re-pull it. Check with your lender to see if you signed an authorization.
      3. I’m not sure that it’s normal for a lender to change anything on the purchase and sales agreement. That would be between the buyer, seller and the real estate agents involved. It sounds like the lender is trying to help you qualify for the property you have an offer on.

      Good luck!

  2. the mortgage or loan person in my case gave information to my realtor . I was never notified by him, however, my real estate agent, emailed me to tell me she was very sorry, but she knew I was resourceful and would figure something out. I’ve contacted both for an answer and received nothing. Can I sue the loan person for breaking confidentiality and speaking to my real estate person and not me? What recourse do I have?

    • Nancy,
      Did your loan officer share private information detailing why you were not approved for the mortgage? For example, did he tell the agent something along the lines of “your credit scores are xyz and your income is $$$ and she had a recent late payment and we can’t document a $10,000 deposit to her checking account…” or did he contact the agent before telling you that your loan was denied?

      The loan officer should have informed you first before telling the real estate agent, that they were not able to provide you with a mortgage. In my opinion, if that’s the limit to what he did, it’s not worth suing over. It was thoughtless and not very professional.

      I’m not an attorney and cannot give legal advice. If you want to sue somebody – it’s a free country.

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