Who does what in the mortgage process?

There are a lot of people involved in processing a closing a mortgage transaction at a mortgage company. With recent regulations, newer positions have been created adding to the hands that are involved in the process. Here’s a list of some of the positions involved in the mortgage process – please keep in mind that this varies from company to company and often times, titles may vary as well.

Loan Officer (may also be called mortgage consultant, loan originator, mortgage loan originator, etc.). The Loan Officer (LO) is the person who “originates” the mortgage. He or she will communicate with the borrower and real estate agent throughout the mortgage process. Some are licensed and some are just registered. As a Licensed Loan Officer, I help borrowers determine what loan program suits their financial needs, provide rate quote scenarios, review credit and income, prepare and complete their loan application. I am involved with the transaction from start to finish essentially managing the progress of the transaction.

Loan Officer Assistant and/or Production Partners. Some Loan Officers may have a team to help them manage their transactions that are in process. What their assistants can or can’t do depends on if they have a license and what their specific duties are from that loan officer. I currently have two on my team. I have one who is a Production Partner who works with my clients in making sure we have everything we need from my clients in order to have a complete loan application (this is very important to have upfront in order to assure a smooth transaction). She is also in the process of getting her LO license renewed. I also have a “Marketing Assistant” who helps me with things like managing my Home Buyers Education Classes, training for real estate agents and other events I’m involved with, like Seattle RE BarCamp.

Processor. The loan processor will receive the loan application file from the loan officer once we have a complete application, a bona fide transaction or perhaps, if we’re submitting the loan to underwriting for an approval (or preapproval). The processor will review the application and what the borrower has provided and may request additional information if they see something they feel an underwriter may call for. The processor may or may not be in contact with the borrower throughout the process.

Compliance Officer and/or Compliance Department. Loan applications are also reviewed by a compliance department. This is done to make sure we have properly disclosed what is required in a specific amount of time.  Certain things can trigger when the disclosures (such as the Good Faith Estimate) or compliance review takes place. The compliance review may take place several times during the transaction.

Underwriter. The underwriter reviews everything that has been provided to make sure the borrower meets the guidelines of the lender. Where the processor may have used a fine tooth comb to go over a file, the underwriter is using a magnifying glass! Once an underwriter has reviewed a file, he or she will issue “conditions” which are typically additional items or explanations needed from the borrower (this is why I like to put together a strong file in the beginning of the process – so we can avoid or reduce the amount of conditions).

Appraiser or Appraisal Desk. With ever changing regulations regarding appraisals, Loan Officers and those involved with the “production” side of the transaction, are not permitted to communicate with an appraiser. I think this is pretty pathetic…but it’s what we have to live with in this current climate. At our company, appraisals are ordered and any communication is routed through an appraisal desk.

Document Department. At Mortgage Master, we prepare loan documents on site at our document department. Once we have a “clear to close” from underwriting (this means that there are no more outstanding conditions), our processors will request “docs” to be drawn. After docs have been drafted and approved, they are delivered to the designated escrow company.

Funder. The funding department will review and approve the estimated HUD-1 Settlement Statement that is provided by the escrow company. As the Loan Officer, I will also review the HUD as will the Processor. The HUD is reviewed and approved prior to the borrower’s signing appointment so that any corrections can be made. After you have signed your loan documents from Mortgage Master, escrow returns them to the funding department where the documents are reviewed to make sure they were signed correctly (no missing signatures, etc.). The funder provides the escrow company instructions as to when the loan can “record” and releases funds for closing.

Management. Management may get involved if we have a unique situation or if an issue arises… knock on wood, I don’t seem to need management often! 🙂 But when I do… it’s typically for good reasons because we are reviewing an application that may have been rejected from a competitor or perhaps I want to make sure we can do an expedited closing.

There are other people involved in the transaction as well, including escrow officers, title officers, home inspectors and let’s not forget your real estate broker… this post is just to share who a few of the folks are who are involved with the transactions at our company.

 If you’re considering buying a home or refinancing your home located anywhere in Washington state, my team and I are happy to help you!

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