May 5th, 2020 9:25 AM by Jackie A. Graves, President
Now that the government has determined, sort of anyway, who is
essential and who isn’t, many who are buying a home or refinancing an existing
mortgage might be wondering how and where to get financing. The fact is that
little has changed, at least as it relates to getting a home loan.
Over the years, the mortgage business has become digitized. Yes,
most loan officers still like to meet their clients in person, either at the
loan officer’s place or at the client’s. Yet there are those who meet with
their loan officers “virtually” and communicate by phone, text, email or video
conference. Loan officers really don’t have a “9 to 5” job but rather work
around their client’s schedules. You can contact your loan officer on a Sunday
afternoon with questions. Wednesday evening. Pretty much anytime, within reason
of course. Loan officers know this because many borrowers can’t take off work
during the day in order to meet with a loan officer.
The mortgage industry is not dependent upon face to face
transactions. More and more clients apply directly online at the loan officer’s
web page. The loan application is electronically submitted then subsequently
reviewed at the mortgage office. This review prepares the loan application to
be submitted to an online automated underwriting system, or AUS. Once this
submission takes place, a response from the AUS is provided, listing all the
items needed for a final approval.
Loan officers get their rates online. They order third party
services online. Credit reports or appraisals, for example among many others. This
is the world loan officers have lived in for years so the question of whether
or not a loan officer needs to be in the office in order to complete your loan
application has been answered long ago. And the other question of whether or
not a mortgage company is essential or non-essential is moot. It doesn’t matter
because the loan officer doesn’t have to be in the office but can really be
anywhere as long as there’s an online connection.
This is important to note in light of today’s economic activity.
Rates are at or near historic lows on a daily basis. Mortgage companies are
extremely busy right now and loan officers are taking loan applications every
single day. When a loan officer has a question or needs more documentation, the
request can be made via email or text. In turn, the applicant provides the
requested documentation via email. This back and forth has been the norm for
If for example, you’re thinking of refinancing, just pick up the
phone and make a call. Your loan officer can provide you with current rates,
terms and estimated closing costs over the phone. If you want to meet your loan
officer, you can do so via a video conference. And with apps the way they are
today, you can schedule a meeting with your loan officer and have your entire
family and friends Zoom in at the same time.
For those currently in the market for a mortgage, there’s no
need to wait. In fact, it might be the best time ever. The mortgage industry is
alive and well. And online.
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