If there was ever something I felt truly passionate about, it's list-making. I have numerous lists going at all times: “to-do’s at work”, “to-do’s at home”, a running grocery list, questions I want to remember to ask people, and long-term goal lists, just to name a few. Why do I love lists so much? In addition to my life feeling chaotic without them, I also feel such a sense of accomplishment when I cross things off. I even went through a phase of writing detailed lists such as: “wash laundry, fold laundry, put laundry away”…if marking one item off made me feel successful, imagine how great I felt when I checked off three?! While I keep my chore lists much simpler these days, my love affair with lists hasn't changed one bit.
I'm far from being a life coach, so while my love of lists is deep-rooted beyond work, far be it from me to give advice outside the office. I am however, someone that would love to make every single broker’s life easier. Check out my list about lists below:
- Use the Loan Submission Checklist - This can be a two-part tool: a visual of what you need and a way to hold yourself accountable for what is outstanding while gathering documents throughout the process. And, if you get a natural high from marking things off like I do, indulge in that feeling of productivity when you have gathered all items and marked them off!
- Get Income Right - Be honest with yourself: did you read your AUS findings? When the income is entered correctly, the AUS tells you exactly what will be needed. If DU findings show two years of personal 1040s and two years of business returns will be required, believe it or not, that's how it will be conditioned out. One of the many great things about working with UWM is the tools we have, right? If you have a self-employed borrower, consider inputting the figures from the business returns into our income calculator on the EASE website before submitting the loan. Doing this will ensure the income you have is the income we will use. With the exception of the business having to pass the business liquidity test, all of the figures on our income worksheet are the figures we will use in our income calculation. The majority of bumps in the road throughout the loan process come from the income not being finalized at the initial underwrite, which is generally a result of the Senior Underwriter not having all of the documents in the file at that time. Read the findings, upload accordingly, and mark it off your list when you do.
- Tailor the generic Loan Submission Checklist to your specific loan. While not uploading all of the income docs at initial submission can hold the loan up, the opposite can also be true: over-disclosing can cause just as much pain. The Loan Submission Checklist has “Bank Statements” on it, but if the borrower is getting back $100,000 from a cash-out refinance, and no reserves are needed, uploading assets might cause additional conditions. While you’re always welcome to upload anything you think will benefit the loan, run the AUS without the assets and if it works, leave them out of the initial submission. The Underwriter can always condition them later on if something comes up. Mark assets off the Loan Submission Checklist like it’s a free space on your Bingo card and move on!
As an underwriter, the most common request I get is for a file to be rushed. While having a sense of urgency in our business is beyond important, when things run flawless at the initial underwrite, rushing at the end is usually unnecessary. Applying the points above through using the Loan Submission Checklist will help deter rushing out of desperation later on in the process.
There is no shame in trying something new to figure out if what you’re doing is the best way, and using a Loan Submission Checklist is a just a guide that will maximize your time and efficiency. I challenge all of you to try using the Checklist, and if you don’t see the benefit, simply go back to your old process. It’s important to keep in mind that just because the current process works, doesn’t mean it couldn’t work better! But remember the most important part: holding yourself accountable. Like every tool, a list is only as useful as the way it’s used. After using the Loan Submission Checklist and your flawless upload is complete, allow yourself to bask in that sweet feeling of accomplishment as you cross off the last item! Then, before getting too comfortable, start working on your next list.