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.

  3. Our mortgage broker is telling all our information to our real estate agent instead of coming to us. Then she tells us what to do. She knows how much money we have in the bank and everything about us. She gave us the mortgage company to use. Is this right that they tell her everything I feel this is not he business.

    • Hi Linda, I would instruct your Loan Officer not to share your personal information with the real estate agent if you do not want the agent knowing your information… this is especially critical if the real estate agent (or the company they work for) is the same as the listing broker. Good luck!

  4. Elizabeth says

    I specifically asked the lender to keep our information private. Our real estate agent wanted a closing disclosure, I didn’t see or read a reason why she needs the information. She said it was required by the commission but I find it hard to believe. I feel like the details of our loan is private information. Doesn’t she just need to know we are approved, the details are between lender, closing officer and us ? I am right in thinking this? Anyhow our agent went around us and ended up getting a loan estimate from our lender and we didn’t consent to either one to give/get this information…

    • Hi Elizabeth,
      We only send the Closing Disclosure to the borrower and the escrow company. It’s not unusual to have an agent ask for a copy of the loan estimate. I think in most cases, they are trying to be helpful. I don’t provide this unless I have permission from my client, the buyer. I do keep all parties (buyer, selling and listing agent) updated as to the progress of the transaction – example, “the appraisal has been ordered” or “loan documents have been delivered to escrow”.

  5. Anthony Greer says

    My wife and I applied for a VA loan for which we were pre approved. Our credit was pulled and we were told we were in great shape. We were told how much we would/could qualify for. We provided the earnest money. My wife was asked what our ethnicity was. We were then told to arrange for the inspections which we paid $570 for the house inspection and another $110 for the radon inspection. After the inspections we were told we would not be financed due to a federal tax lien. Didn’t the bank officer know that when he pulled our credit report. Now we are out the inspection monies we paid and the “vice president, bank loan officer became quite adversarial when we explained we had a 12 month faithful payment arrangement with the IRS. He claimed the bank would be fined for not being able to sell the loan after the closing on the house. Do we have any recourse at all?

    • Hi Anthony, Did you disclose that you have a Federal Tax Lien to your Loan Officer on the loan application? It’s possible that you may still be able to qualify since you’re making payments to the IRS. I recommend reaching out to LICENSED (typically non-bank) Loan Officer. If you’re buying a home in Washington state, I’m happy to help you.

      • Hi there! My husband and I are buying our first home it’s been a nightmare with our loan officer for multiple reasons but my question for you is, our loan officer apparently has been sharing our information with a relative of mine who’s also a loan officer for the same company in a different state.. we did not authorize anyone to know anything about our loan, and we’re very upset that this has been going on without our permission or knowledge. Is there anything we can do on our end legally?

        • Ugh, Cheri. I’m sorry to hear that. I’m not an attorney and cannot provide legal advise. You would need to reach out to an attorney to see what your options are.

  6. Hello,

    I feel like my loan originator is trying to force me to work with a certain realtor. He actually sent my info to an agent that he assumed was my realtor. When I asked him if so could use any realtor that I wanted, he acted as if it was an issue. Is it standard practice for the originator not to send the prequalification letter to the applicant?

    • Hi Sasha, I typically send the prequalification letter to the applicant. If I know a realtor and buyer are working together and that the buyer wants me to, then I may include both parties.

  7. Possibly, Bob. When I write a preapproval letter, it’s addressed to my client and includes their home address. Plus, most realtors want to see your photo ID and have your address before showing homes as a safety precaution.

  8. So we had realtor and she just wasn’t for us. So we decided to go with another realtor. We find the perfect house and as we do the appraisal it didn’t appraise for asking price. So the seller refused to sell it. Well our ex realtor texted my husband and I to congratulate us on the new townhouse. Keep in mind the evening we found out that we lost the townhouse that realtor texted the message because she was bitter. Her daughter works at our lenders office. So her daughter told her our personal information about what had happened. So I need to know what i can do legally.

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