The Ideal File Flow and Job Descriptions

How to take a loan from A to Z without missing anything and spending less time on each file.

Setting clear roles and having the same process Every time

The only way to grown in our business is to actually run a business.  We build TEAMS not mortgage branches or do transactions.  When you watch any sports team each person has a specific job to do on every single play.  It’s pre-determined, consistent, clearly defined and everyone trusts the other person to do it. 

Think about it.. Peyton Manning didn’t all of a sudden decide he was going to block a linebacker.  When someone screwed up he got the heck out the way and they lost on that play.  He didn’t all of a sudden decide to take over someone else’s job and try to get it done.  But too often in the mortgage industry we have an “all hands on deck” mentality where originator start processing, or assistants start using the loan officer as a crutch.  It will work sometimes but it will stop growth and turn into a one man band. 

There is an old saying that couldn’t be more true in our industry.  “Frank Sinatra didn’t move the pianos.”


The Blueprint

  • New Phone Call Comes In: (Loan officer)
    • The loan officer should have the first call with the borrower.  Talk about all the great things and start planting the seeds as to why they need to work with us.  Then the loan officer directs them to complete the application in 1 of 3 ways and provide the documents required to determine qualifying.  THE LOAN OFFICER SHOULD NEVER TAKE THE APPLICATION OVER THE PHONE OR DATA ENTER THE LOAN APPLICATION!!!!
    • See attached email for what we should send to every client that wants to refinance or purchase a new home
    • The loan officer then enters the borrowers name, contact info and make the notes on the entire conversation into lead mail box.  This allows you to always pick the conversation up where you left off and also gives your team a line of site in case they take a call or when they start working on the loan.  This is also how you know who to follow up with and when to follow up with them.
  • The Application and Documents Come Back: (Assistant)
    • Once the loan application comes back the loan officer assistant should input the application into encompass.  The loan officer assistant should build the encompass file as if they were preparing it for loan disclosures to go out.
    • The loan officer assistant should take all of the documents that the client provided and put them in the appropriate place in the efolder. 
    • The loan officer assistant should email the loan officer the list of questions that they have, missing data from the application and a list of documents that were provided.
  • Once the file is in encompass and dialed in:  (Processor/Underwriter)
    • The processor should go into the file, calculate income, and provide an pre-underwriting checklist of any and all documents needed in order to obtain a final loan approval.  Not just an overview we’re talking about a full on conditions list as if they were underwriting the file themselves.  It should have LOE’s on address, deposits sourced etc… The real deal checklist so once you get everything on that list you could turn straight into underwriting and have no conditions.  Or as close to no conditions as humanly possible.  We all know underwriters will always find some bullshit to give us.
  • Once the file is dialed in and underwritten: (Loan Officer)
    • The loan officer should never get into a file until every single item on the prior page has been completed.  If you do then you are not an originator you are a processor.
    • Now that you have a file that is dialed in, documents received, income calculated the loan officer should go back into the file.  The loan officer should start working up the scenarios from the initial conversation and create the presentation that should be used on all new pitches. 
    • The loan officer should do a quick double check on the income documents such as paystubs, taxes etc..  But trust your team and that they did it correctly.  This is mostly to get yourself acquainted with the file and make sure you know if it’s a tight deal or an easy deal.
    • Then the loan officer sends out an email to the borrowers with the presentation and documents that are still needed for a full loan approval.
    • Once the email has been set out the loan officer needs to call and schedule a conference call with all borrowers or a meeting in their office to go over the options and create a blueprint for the clients transaction.
    • The loan officer then puts them into the appropriate category in lead mail box and starts with the standard follow up process we have already went over. 
    • The loan officer does not get back in the file again until they are making an offer or the client wants to look at some new scenarios.
  • Documents come back after initial review: (Assistant)
    • The loan officer assistant now takes the documents from the list that was provided by the processor and puts them in encompass. 
    • The loan officer assistant now emails the loan officer what is still missing with any explanation.  If you have great confidence in your assistant you can have the assistant email the borrower directly. But again the loan officer does not get back into the file!
    • The assistant makes updated notes in lead mail box the loan will be either tagged as “application taken” or “fully completed loan file.” 
  • Once a loan is in contract or a refinance is moving forward:  (processor/assistant)
    • The processor or the assistant goes back into the file and refreshes any conditions that need updating such as paystubs, bank statements etc… and emails the list of documents to the loan officer.
  • Once loan is in contract and processors/assistants have updated everything:  (Loan Officer)
    • The loan officer then goes over the final terms, prices the loans, locks the loans and confirms everything with the borrower so the borrower knows every aspect of their loan.
    • The loan officer then sends them an email with any missing documents that will be needed and explains the next steps in the process and that his team will be sending loan disclosures shortly.
    • The loan officer dials in the program in the encompass file so it is final.
  • Loan Disclosures:  (processor/assistant)
    • The processor then prepares the initial loan disclosures, has them reviewed and then sends the electronic disclosures to the client. 
    • The processor then sends the live signature disclosures to the loan officer assistant.
    • The loan officer assistant then sends the borrower the live signature loan disclosures along with the-consent and the electronic signature example document.
  • Documents back for approval: (assistant/loan officer)
    • The loan officer assistant or in some cases the loan officer should follow up to make sure they send the items back needed for approval as well as signs the initial loan disclsoures.
    • Once the documents come back the assistant reviews them to confirm they meet the list that was provided by the processor.  Keep in mind the assistant is putting everything in the efolder for the processor.  The assistant should be an efolder ninja!
    • The assistant then tells the processor that everything is good to submit to underwriting for approval.
  • Submission and appraisal order: (processor/assistant)
    • The processor then submits the loan for approval and orders all of her standard documents such as updated insurance, SSA validation, credit supps etc..that a processor will need to order on every file.
    • The processor or the assistant will then order the appraisal report
  • Approval and Appraisal: (processor/assistant)
    • The processor/assistant will follow up on the approval and get an eta.  They will also confirm every day whether or not the appraisal inspection has been set.  Once the appraisal has been set they will then follow up after inspection to make sure the report comes back in a timely manner.
  • Loan is approved: (processor/loan officer/assistant)
    • Now that the loan is approved the team should rally together and review the conditions list. From the approval you should put an initial next to each condition signifying who is responsible for obtaining that condition. 
    • The loan officer then contacts the borrower with the great news that everything is approved and provides the borrower with any additional items that are needed for closing.
  • Getting a clear to close: (processor/assistant)
    • The loan officer assistant will follow up with the borrowers on the documents that are required for the clear to close. The loan officer assistant will also obtain any items on the approval that has their initial next to it. Always place them in the correct place in the efolder.
    • The processor will obtain any PTD condition that has their name next to it and always place them in the efolder in the correct place.
    • As part of the morning meetings you will review each file every day and update the progress that has been made.  Once everyone has said they have their PTD conditions in the efolder then the processor submits for the clear to close.
  • Getting the CD completed: (processor/assistant/loan officer)
    • We need the loan approval, appraisal report, an estimated closing statement with all credits, payoffs and the final loan amount established.  Once you have these items it’s time to turn in for CD.
    • We want to send the CD as soon as possible to start our 3 day waiting period so the loan officer assistant should have each one of these items on their morning meeting hit list and once these are in they should instruct the processor to submit for CD.
    • The loan officer then reviews the estimated closing statement and verifies that the program is correct in encompass and gives everyone the thumbs up.
    • The processor then submits the loan for CD and informs everyone that it is going out.
    • The loan officer assistant then notifies the borrower that the CD is going out and they need to sign it asap and call with any questions.
    • The processor then informs the assistant and loan officer once the CD has been sent.
    • The loan officer assistant then calls the borrower to tell them to sign it.
    • The CD comes back and the loan officer assistant or the processor retrieves it from the efolder.
  • The clear to close and closing prep: (processor/loan officer/assistant)
    • Now that you have a clear to close the loan officer should call the borrower, the realtor and deliver the great news.  This is the best chance to get a referral and a meeting with a new realtor i.e. the listing agent.
    • The loan officer then asks for the best time to sign loan documents accounting for the calendar, rate lock etc…
    • The loan officer then relays this information to the assistant who then coordinates the loan signing time with the borrowers and escrow.
    • The processor then prepares the doc order and sends the loan in for docs.
    • The processor coordinates with Mike G on when docs will go out.
    • Once loan documents are out the loan officer assistant obtains a copy of the note and the closing statement from escrow.  The loan officer assistant then “marks up” meaning put notes next to the important things on each document and explains sections of each document. They then send to the borrower to review prior to the signing.
  • Once docs are out: (processor and assistant)
    • The processor starts to gather all of her funding conditions and place them in the funding folder in encompass. the conditions will be the same everytime so this can be done as soon as docs are out.
    • The loan officer assistant then calls the borrower to make sure they received a copy of the documents and find out if they have any questions.  If they have any questions they pass the borrowers over to the loan officer.
    • The loan officer assistant then follows up with escrow or the borrower once the docs are signed to ensure the client has wired their final funds for closing. (purchase only)
    • The processor then follows up with escrow to ensure when loan documents will be back at corporate for funding.
  • Once documents are back for funding: (processor)
    • The processor coordinates with Irene and Mike G on when we’ll have conditions
    • The processor then obtains the funding conditions and gets them cleared with Irene.
  • Funding:  (processor)
    • The loan funds and the processor notifies the loan officer and the loan officer assistant.

Here is some perspective:

There are 20 steps in the process I’ve outlined to take a loan from initial phone call to closing and below is how many steps each person is involved in.  This gives you an idea who DOES the loan and why an originator should originate and sell NOT DO loans.

  • Origination: 6 out of 20
  • Processor: 12 out of 20
  • Assistant: 12 out of 20
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