CAUGHT IN THE “Thick Of Thin Of Things”?
Almost every aspect of loan origination and processing can be controlled. However; are you constantly doing “catch up”, crunching past deadlines and promised delivery dates? You are caught up in the thick of thin of things.
The majority of brokers and lenders have the business backwards in propriety. Overcoming obstacles, getting things accomplished fast, and staying ahead of target dates, are a never ending battle.
The majority of the industry focuses on getting loans funded first. These files take top priority because people are waiting with moving vans and the seller’s house to fund so that they can close on their newly acquired property. Agents, home inspectors, appraisers, title companies, and every one wants paid.
The deal is on fire, heating up all around, and long term relationships are on the line. The originator is no longer a loan officer. They need to place another badge on their belt. They are fire fighters running around stomping on the hot spots that flare up.
Next; are the loans that are receiving their documents to be signed before making it to the funding stage. Due to the role being a fire fighter the originator may neglect the documentation request and precious time is lost.
However; more time is lost on the loans being submitted to underwriting, and being processed from the login stage, due to every one focusing on the wrong end of the loan process. Of course; this means that loans being originated are given the least amount of attention.
Now we have developed a thick of thin of things scenario and we have no control over the latter stages of the loan journey. The reason is that we did not place propriety at the correct end of the loan process.
The inverse of the above scenario is the solution to the problematic concept of backward prioritizing. If it was truly this simple every one would be doing it. There is a light at the tunnel’s end and it is in the originator’s control to get out of the thick of thin of things.
Most of the time, nearly every terrible experience, is due to an originator wanting to do only the minimum. Originators want to sell, sell, and sell. They love the pitch, the adrenaline surge, and making attempts to avoid what they deem as “office work”.
They say to the staff; “call the borrowers and get their age and years in school”. I want to go get more loans so stop bothering me about zip codes, interest rate, type of loan and listed assets on the application.”
Management and staff are afraid to anger a volume producing loan originator so they accept partially completed loan applications and the vicious cycle of lost time at the application submission stage continues.
When I was a C.O.O., one great experience was firing the top producing originator. This originator was indeed the top loan volume producer but chaos was present with every loan file and it always thickened up thin things.
I came into the office, after hours, and a processor was there crying at the desk. When I inquired on what was the matter, the processor told me that the originator had come in, yelled at the staff on items missing from the loan files, and then left. The dedicated processor was working late to complete the loan files.
While the originator was out having dinner the processor made calls to locate addresses, age of borrowers, account data, etc., that should have been part of the loan application at the submitting stage. I instructed the processor to go home and I reviewed a very revealing problem. All of the originator’s loan files were incomplete, inaccurate, and illegible, with handwritten loan applications.
The entire processing system, within the office, changed the very next day. I created a new processing scrub sheet to align itself with each section of the loan application. The top of the form indicated that the process could not be initiated due to four main reasons. The first reason: APPLICATION.
I developed an “open trough” type of processing. No active loan file would be placed in a closed file drawer. All files would routinely be run through the open trough system even if the originator did not place the file in the system. No loan was “slipping through the cracks”.
The system made the originator responsible for making sure that the file was ready to go into processing. The originator screamed some more at staff and this top producer of the company was in jeopardy of their job.
I performed the termination at a recognition sales luncheon the next day. Every one dropped their jaws when I handed the top producer the volume bonus in a pink envelope. I invited the originator to leave the meeting, the office, and a nice sweet position.
I announced the new system, along with the new processing scrub sheet, trained the sales staff, and expressed that there is now room available to be a top producer. The benefit to such a move was astronomical.
The sales staff out produced any prior month and the loan files were processed in half of the time experienced previously. Every one was happier to be doing their jobs correctly.
The emphasis in placing priority at the application stage and is the true remedy from getting caught up in the thick of thin of things. By taking complete, accurate, and legible applications, the entire team works better and faster.
I have found that the majority of originators, experienced and new, do not comprehend what a complete application is. Training is needed in understanding and completing the URLA application, (1003) and we have a new revised one to learn about.
If the originators are not trained to take complete, accurate, and legible applications, you are going to always be caught in the thick of thin of things. Professional training is a must for the originator. More so; than any marketing training, because all you get is more thicker thin things as a result of better marketing.
The elimination of the waiting moving vans, hotel stays for borrowers, angry real estate agents, is in taking complete, accurate, and legible applications. It will expedite the entire loan process and greatly thin out delays.