Before I attempt to answer that question, interested readers should know something. I am a loan officer by trade. That's what they call us. I don't particularly like that title, but what's in a name?
I don't get paid an hourly wage or a salary. If I don't close loans, I don't make a dime. If I don't make a dime, that means I can't eat, drink, or even sleep if I can't afford to make my mortgage payments. That's not a sales pitch, that's a reality. It's in my best interests to close every loan that comes under my wing. While there are ethics involved to ensure you are doing your client right, if I can offer and do a loan for you that puts you in a better financial situation, I want to close your loan as fast as possible. It's not only in your best interest, but mine as well.
So why is it taking so freaking long? Good question. Here's a few observations on my behalf:
- More volume with less 'able and willing' people to deal with it. Let's be honest here (I love that line:), the mortgage industry isn't exactly the most attractive line of work to get into now. To boot, a whole lot have left it. I'm still here because I'm stubborn and good at what I do. Plus, I believe you have to go through hell to get to heaven. Call me selfish, but I think my time here will work out very well in the end. Even if it doesn't, Economics 101 has us dishing out the phrase, "Too much demand and little in the way of Supply."
- Front-end incompetence. If you are searching for a pre-approval from a lender, get the appropriate documents in order before you ever even fill out an application. If they don't ask you for such documents, they may have more ties than me. Either that, or the final result won't be what they promised. Do yourself a favor, get your W-2's, pay-stubs, bank statements, etc, in order. If your loan officer doesn't ask for it immediately, ask them why they don't need them. That will put a spark up their ass.
- Changes. This is a tough one. It's hard to tell someone who is a completely competent borrower, why the area they are in or the house they chose isn't on the "I love to lend in" realm. The only real advice I have on this one is if you are dealing with someone you trust, they will get you through the current bullshit that is going on.
- They just don't like you. Well, we live in a society where that is not acceptable. Folks actually look at your loan, but you aren't nearly as personal to them as you would like. I work for a relatively small company and see that. I can only imagine what working for a large one would entail. Work with an individual that you trust, that you can reach out to and at least communicate with. There is a common thing with that, you both share the same self-interests. He/She gets paid only if your loan closes. You only get what you desired after paying for an appraisal, maybe an inspection or two, and actually being able to be comfortable within the confines of a few walls that aren't labeled as "Prison".
- The Government. Now, I really don't want to wax political or get involved in any sort of debate about policy, parties, or general ideology. But I already have since mentioning this. We don't need the Government in this Private Sector. We didn't need them back then; we don't need them now. Those of us (I include myself because frankly, this is my business) who know the Real Estate Industry also know how it is to be corrected. Let's demonstrate how we will make sure such an extreme reaction to market won't happen again. It's a cycle, learn to ride.
We'll reach those Golden Years, but it takes work and patience. Why is it taking so long for your loan to close? Because this ain't a pay-day loan, this is a roof over your head. Maybe this is the opposite extreme of giving everyone with a pulse a mortgage, yet you know what they I say about extremes... "They are to be avoided."