When a new order comes in, I’m usually very curious to see the story inside the file. The most basic question to ask about a file is, “Cash or financing?” I’m usually hoping for a cut and dry cash closing, but lenders are more common when purchasing a home or commercial property.
Let’s face it, lenders can be the most difficult part of processing a file. Whether you’re the title processor, buyer, seller, or realtor, lenders can be the be-all-end-all for your closing. When buyers decide to choose a lender to purchase a property, it’s usually checked on the contract. This binds the transaction to be funded by a mortgagee. The mortgage can come from a large bank like Wells Fargo to a private lender, sometimes an individual person who loans the money to the buyer.
A rule of thumb that I’ve learned being a processor: The bigger the bank, the bigger the problems. The issues with larger lenders like Wells Fargo and Bank of America are the endless amounts of “team members” that work on any one file. At Title Security, no more than three people work on each file at different stages of the transaction. Now, think of the same file going through three teams of five, at least! There seems to be a different person doing every individual task on one file. This is where the communication breaks down.
One department says a file is clear to close, while another department (possibly in another state) is still clearing conditions. See where this can get messy? Lenders have grown so big that I have experienced a team member working on a file in California and didn’t know the title laws or procedures in Florida. I actually had to explain to her what I needed! Now, the specific lenders that I shudder to when I work with them will remain nameless, but you can rest assured that I’ve had more than a few issues with all of the big names in banking.
Now I’m not trying to scare anyone away from working with a mortgage company. Lenders can be your greatest ally when you’re working to close a deal. The best lender processors are well organized and send weekly updated about files. Knowing where your lender is with a file is key in reaching the contract closing date. Lenders who pick up the phone to give you a call are even better! Technology is heavily relied on in the title industry. Emails are sent more often than the phone calls are made, so it’s nice to see someone who is committed to getting to know me, since I’m their primary point of contact for closing the file.
Regardless of how the lender decided to cooperate (or not), I’m still responsible for keeping the file together. Even if a lender cancels a buyer’s application or doesn’t make the contract closing date, I need to gather all the necessary paperwork to ensure we are compliant with the contract. So even if your lender can’t get it’s chicks in a row, I’ve got everything under control.