My mortgage is in “processing”. What Does a Mortgage Processor Do?
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The mortgage processor is the link between you, your loan officer and your underwriter. And he or she is arguably the most important member of the team.
- Many processors take your request so you don’t have to fill out any forms
- Processors bring all the pieces together – they can order open escrow, appraisals and inspections, pull credit reports, verify your income and document your assets
- Processors submit your application package and follow up on subscriber requests
Of course, each lender has its own process and rules for processors.
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Mortgage Processor Roles
The National Association of Mortgage Processors states, “The primary function of the loan processor is to ensure the timely and accurate packaging of all loans issued by loan officers.” It is therefore primarily an administrative role.
How do I know that I will be approved for a mortgage loan?
Generally, mortgage loan processors:
- Gather and collate all necessary information to approve a loan and make informed decisions about an application
- Enter this information into the lender’s computer systems
- Verify the information through the documents you provide
- Perform third-party checks with credit bureaus, employers, accountants, and more.
- Order a home estimate
- Obtain title insurance and flood insurance (if required)
- Ensure compliance of your file with regulatory requirements and internal policies
- Order final loan documents
- Make sure the loan stays on track to close on time
- Make an appointment for closing
You can usually expect a mortgage processor to be involved throughout the application process: from pre-approval to closing.
Work with your loan processor
Some lenders view loan processing as an entirely “back-office” function. You may never even meet your processor and your only contact may be your loan officer.
However, other lenders encourage direct contact between processors and applicants. So what should you expect if you get a call or email from you?
Related: What Happens During Your Mortgage Document Signing Appointment?
What you should be hoping for is someone who is an expert administrator who is focused on getting your mortgage application through the system in a timely manner. In this sense, your processor’s goals overlap perfectly with yours.
See it from your processor’s perspective
However, you may come into conflict over the details of your case. You can’t understand why she insists so much on getting January’s bank statement and last month’s pay stub (you know they’re somewhere) if urgent. And she can’t understand why you don’t just send them.
The thing is, your CPU is responsible for making sure your app complies with a whole host of external regulations and internal policies. And it’s highly unlikely that she personally has the discretion to ignore compliance requirements.
Benefits of a good relationship
That said, a processor often has workarounds. He might suggest an alternative that might get you out of a hole. For example, it can be difficult to prove that you receive child support if you don’t file it separately or keep copies of checks. And who wants to have to ask their ex for canceled checks?
A processor can find a way around this problem, by ordering copies of actual deposits from your bank. So you need him by your side. The last thing you want is to be deliberately unhelpful or grossly rude.
In fact, establishing a good working relationship with her can help. You want her to think of you as a person rather than a case number each time she retrieves your case. Even the most objective professionals work harder for those they love.
Self-help for mortgage applicants
Of course, the easiest way to make your mortgage processor like you is to cause them as little headache as possible. You can do this by providing all the documents he needs in advance and anticipating any questions that may arise.
How to rush your mortgage to the closing table
No matter what type of mortgage you apply for, your lender will want to satisfy six areas of your life. They will need documents to back up the claims you make about your:
- Identity — Photo ID, social security number, former residential addresses
- Work history and income stability
- Credit and debt management capacity
- Expenses, payments and account balances
- Assets including cash, retirement and investment accounts
- The source of funds for your down payment, if you are buying
Your lender will obtain your credit reports and credit scores themselves. But you will have to provide him with the documents he needs to verify the other information.
You can do yourself a big favor by gathering all the documents you’ll need before applying for your mortgage or pre-approval. It’s one less thing to worry about later when you’re under pressure. And it will give you a chance to get copies of whatever was lost in your filing system.
The Documentation Required for Today’s Best Mortgage Rates
The extent to which lenders will crawl over your personal finances can seem intrusive. And their checkbox systems can seem too rigid and bureaucratic. But remember:
- You are asking to borrow a huge sum of money, so it is reasonable that they want to know everything about you
- They may not be asking themselves. They often have to comply with third party rules from regulators or loan guarantors, such as Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, VA, FHA, etc.
- Their main goal is to ensure that you can comfortably afford your new mortgage payments and that you won’t have any financial problems later on.
Your best way to get through this stressful time is with Zen-like calm. Airing out your irritation, resentment, or frustration with your mortgage processor probably won’t help.
Check your new rate (January 21, 2022)