The Mortgage Business: Where What You Know is Everything

What YOU know is EVERYTHING in the Mortgage Business


The mortgage business is one of those more exclusive industries where there seems to be so many people who work in the business having no idea how they ended up there. There are just as many people in the business that are totally clueless and only know how to do what THEY do. For example, ask a loan officer how to “close a loan,” he is going to start talking about closing the sale, getting the person to give him an application fee, give him some documents so he can get the loan submitted to underwriting for approval. In other words, he doesn’t have a clue about the loan “closer,” the person who takes completed packages to the attorney’s office or to the title company, the person who approves the HUD-1 Settlement statement, the person who reviews all of the signed documentation after the borrower goes to the “closing.” This is so typical. Loan officers usually only know about selling loans to borrower, processors only know about processing loans that they get from loan officers, underwriters only know about underwriting loans that processors submit to them, closers only know about closing and so on and so on. The mortgage business is very specialized and you can know just a little bit about a certain thing (like processing or closing) or a specific a loan program (like Conventional or Government) and make an entire career out of just that knowledge.

The mortgage business employs nearly 500,000 people and is an essential part of the housing economy- and they are still one of the most necessary and dynamic groups working within our economy; therefore it is almost expected they would know a lot …but the surprise is that they know very little about other parts of the puzzle they work in. Here are some of the common roles for the mortgage lending process (does not include Management positions):

Mortgage Underwriter: the person responsible for reviewing a loan application package, which is received through a loan officer or mortgage broker. This person will also look at the property appraisal and may request additional documents to validate employment and credit history. The mortgage underwriter is the person who ultimately decides if the loan will be approved or declined. Typically, loans are approved within one working week. It is not necessary to have a college degree to become a loan underwriter. A working knowledge of mortgage lending, credit risk and decision-making are extremely important. Those in the underwriting field can expect to be continually updating their knowledge and skills through continuing education, often paid for by the employer.

Mortgage Processor: the person has to ensure the timely and accurate packaging of all loans originated by loan officers. Responsibilities include: Gather information and take each file from pre-approval to closing. Input proper loan information into the system for processing. Responsible for ensuring that all loan documentation is complete accurate verified and complies with company policy. Verify loan documents including income credit appraisal and title insurance ultimately preparing application for submittal to underwriting. Review file documentation and make sure all items needed are requested. Order and coordinate loan documents. Meet crucial deadlines requested. Perform any additional duties/activities assigned


Mortgage Loan Officer/Sales: the person acts as the liaison between lending institutions and borrowers. They solicit loans, represent creditors to borrowers, and represent borrowers to creditors. Loan officers review credit reports and income documents, explain loan program options to borrowers and often make suggestions as to what the best loan might be for a borrower. In the United States, loan officers that originate residential loans must obtain NMLS credentials.

Mortgage Closer: A mortgage loan closer completes all the closing paperwork on behalf of the lender to send to the title insurance company or the real estate attorney to complete the closing, ensures that the mortgage as a whole meets all the mortgage compliance regulations, and funds the loan and completes the file for sale to a third party entity. In addition to creating the closing paperwork, the closer also ensures that all required documentation is in the mortgage file.

Mortgage Broker: A mortgage broker will connect borrowers with the right lenders by assessing the needs of the borrower and matching those needs with the lender that has the most advantageous loan program. The broker performs a credit check on the borrower before matching them with the right program and orders an appraisal of the property value. They may also need to negotiate special deals with the borrower and lender in order to close a loan.

Mortgage Post-Closer/Funder: this person is responsible for continuously coordinating the warehousing and shipping of consumer residential mortgage loans in compliance with the Investor lending policies and procedures. In doing so, the post-closer ensures all files are recordable and salable by checking documents for appropriate signatures/notarizations and ensuring documents are compliant with state, lender and investor requirements.  Additional responsibilities include contacting customers to confirm receipt of package and obtaining any corrections/additions needed to complete the mortgage loan package.

Mortgage Servicing and Default Mortgage Servicing: Service representatives are also in high demand. These are the individuals who collect and process monthly payments, field customer questions, and pass payments along to loan underwriters. They also handle escrow accounts, ensuring that taxes and insurance are paid when due. These workers may also pitch related financial products to consumers, such as equity lines of credit. This is an excellent part of the mortgage industry for getting your foot in the door and gaining valuable mortgage experience. You can use this experience to move up to mortgage brokering or into more advanced careers in loan servicing such as hedging strategies and quality control. Default servicing are the loans the lender/servicing company has that are currently in default (meaning the borrower is behind on their mortgage payments). Default servicing includes reviewing borrowers for modifications, repayment plans, short sales, foreclosures and other options.




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