Wednesday, March 12, 2008

I sat and listened to a customer cry in exasperation yesterday

and as she said these words, I thought, "Wow, we are healing indeed." What words do you think she uttered? Well, old mortgage lenders will smile when I say.....

"What more do they want, my burial plot?"

It's in the same vein as "What more do they want, my underwear?"

You see, in the old days, the pre-subprime days of mortgage underwriting for sale in the secondary mortgage market, we heard these exasperated pleas everyday.....

...every damn day, but I never knew how much I might miss those simple words.

With some joy, I comforted my customer by explaining that she was not alone. She had not been singled out for some sort of devious, tortuous, mortgage underwriting fiasco. She was experiencing the normal good old fashioned vetting of an underwriter, who I might add, smelled a rat.

This rat, unfortunately was the unknowing mortgage originator, who hoping to help, had proffered counsel that clouded the circumstances just enough to raise the hackles of the underwriter.

What is so crazy is that mortgage originators of say, 15 years ago might have known to not even try to lie. They knew the fear of quality control audits, but the current crop is still finding it's normal underwriting footing and still the first instinct was to lie.

This kills me but I understand it. These young mortgage processors and originators have grown up as unsupervised children who are now having to pay attention in class and somehow find table manners. It's not an easy task but they are the transition generation. Those that come after will be trained - or replaced by robots. I hope for training and humans who think and care and get paid.

So, for the benefit of the mortgage loan originator reading this post, embrace the truth and document it. The truth, as explained by my tearful customer, was not so bad and could have been documented so much more easily than the trail of gift lies you are now building. I counseled my tearful customer to write a letter and lay out the truth and provide specific documentation and let it rest with the underwriter to decide. As an old style underwriter, even a strict underwriter, I would find the truth of this case understandable and so much more easy to sign off on than the simple and unnecessary lies being coached by the originator.

Managers, take the hands of your charges and lead them to honesty, please.

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