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Oct 24

Mortgage Helpful Hint #7

Clear-to-Close

The mortgage part of the transaction CAN NOT CLOSE until the underwriter has signed off on everything and changed the status from processing to Clear-to-Close!

Here is How it Works

Step 1.  Prequal Application.

Step 2.  Flips to a real deal once a property is under contract and we have the support documents.

Step 3.  Loan officer and processor gather and package all of the needed support documents, title report and appraisal then submit to underwriting.

Step 4.  The underwriter reviews everything in the file and approves the loan subject to clearing ALL of the conditions.

Step 5.  All loan applications approved by an underwriter have conditions that must be cleared before closing, get a new pay stub, fix the typo, have the borrower explain the deposit, etc.  An endless list!!!  They take time to address…

Step 6.  Gather all the conditions from Step 5 and submit to the underwriter.

Step 7.  Underwriter reviews the conditions and changes the status to Clear-to-Close.

Step 8.  A closing date is set and a closing package is sent to the closing attorney.

Step 9.   The closing attorney prepares all of the documents needed at closing, including the closing statement which contains the final number you will need at closing.

Step 10. CLOSING!!!!

 It is easy to see that all of these steps take time to complete.  And Steps 5, 6 & 7 might be repeated a couple of times.  For example, if the underwriter asks for a new bank statement and the one we receive contains cash deposits then something else is needed, source the deposits.     

 

The single biggest glitch is getting support documents from the borrower.  Once it is known that a document is required and requested from the borrower, every day that we do not get the necessary form is one day the timeline is pushed back. 

 

Every document in the file must be the most recent version prior to the closing date.  If you get paid every Friday and on Monday we request last Friday’s pay stub and you do not send it over until the following Friday then a week is added to the timeline and we’ll need another pay stub in addition to the one you sent.  If you think this drives you crazy, try sitting in my chair for a week.  If you don’t send it then we don’t have it!

We get outdated bank statements with pages missing, or tax returns with missing schedules.  I’ve had people fax me blank pages, guess what, I can’t tell who sent them if they are blank.  Take your time and help me help you.  I know your job and family are important, so is buying a home.   

Important!

Home Buyers Back Themselves Into Corners!!

If you set a closing date prior to the status being changed to Clear-to-Close then you are backing yourself into a corner.  We will do everything we can to deliver on time but EVERY STEP must be completed BEFORE we can close.  A Target Date is not set in concrete until we are Clear-to-Close.

 

The best strategy is to give yourself plenty of time, get everything finished then set a closing after it is Clear-to-Close.  No one does this but it is the only path that won’t raise your level of stress.

Please forward this email to any of your friends and family that may be planning to buy or refinance a home.  They’ll be glad you did.

 

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