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Old 01-05-2010, 10:31 AM
 
1,340 posts, read 3,564,826 times
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I am in the middle of attorney review and need to shop who I want to use to get a mortgage. Tough to shop around comparing GFE's or verbal GFE's and rates.

How many companies should I talk to compare?
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Old 01-05-2010, 11:07 AM
 
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It is not so much "how many" companies as much as "what type" of companies.

In live the Chicago suburbs and we have a nice mix of "mega banks" "super regional banks" "local banks" "credit unions" "direct lending specialty firms" and "mortgage brokers".

Basically there is VERY LITTLE price difference in fees / rates between lenders in the same category, If I call two "mega banks" or twenty odds are they are all with an 1/8 th of point on rate and fees are within a hundred bucks. The same is true for banks that are active in multiple parts of the region when compared to each other. Same is true for little guy local banks.

There are tricks that some credit unions that are "big enough to matter, small enough to care" will offer to attract / service certain member loans, but even then comparing more than a couple of credit unions is overkill.

The folks that are either brokers or "specialty direct lenders" are much less common than a few years ago, as HUGE percentage of these types have closed due to the "big guys" closing down their wholesale operations due to concerns about underwriting standards and too much competition for their in-house origination people.

I completely sympathize that it is tough to trust the folks out with verbal GFE's, but really you need to ask the RIGHT QUESTIONS and need to be "pre-armed" with the correct info about your own finances (how much you make, how long you hve had your job, what your credit is like, who you owe money to, how much cash you have for down payment). Believe me if you can fire that off with confidence you can talk to about a dozen lenders in one morning and depending on the way the answers come back you will know before dinner which lender is going to be responsive and professional and get you the loan you need.

Ask the originator what sort of turn around they have for new purchases of owner occupied homes. Make sure you are comparing apples to apples, if you are able to bring the kind of down payment needed to avoid PMI make sure that you get the best rate for your FICO and with the kind of points that make sense for your finanical picture AND likely lenght of ownership.

Good Luck!
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Old 01-05-2010, 11:28 AM
 
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I have my finances, debt, cash, basics down. Not worried about that aspect at all.

I guess is if I am comparing 2 lenders and am getting the same rate offered and only differences seem to be a few dollars in fees (all estimated to some degree until a HUD1) not sure how to pick between them at that point.
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Old 01-05-2010, 11:46 AM
 
28,460 posts, read 80,799,966 times
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Professional /responsiveness, and to a less degree, your overall relationship to them.

If you have a whole bunch of accounts for checking, savings, credit card, CD, money market / long term emergency funds all at different banks you sorta have to think about simplifying and MOST banking type places will dangle some actual cash or at least give you "prefered rates" for consolidating at least some of that.

More importantly if the lenders you have contacted have NOT impressed you with their attention to detail, speedy answers to questions, and generally being "on top of their game" these are big RED FLAGS that something could get screwed up. If lenders have any "slick operators" trying to hoodwink you into a unsuitable loan I would run for my life.

If your top two lenders are thisclose and all good I would go with the one LESS likely to grab headlines for some "bad news" which these days is STILL a possibility.
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Old 01-06-2010, 08:04 PM
 
Location: Omaha, NE
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My husband and I are also shopping for a mortgage right now. It is complicated by the fact that we are moving halfway across the country, and we are unfamiliar with the finance companies in our soon-to-be new digs. Other than checking with the Better Business Bureau, what can we do to make sure we are dealing with a good company? Our last mortgage ended up getting sold to Washington Mutual before the ink was dry, and we had huge fraud issues with them holding onto our checks until after the due date had passed and then socking us for late charges (they were dumb enough to stamp the actual date received on our checks - must not have realized we got our checks back every month). Anyway, what's the best way to prevent a repeat of this situation? Thanks so much for any input!!!
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Old 01-07-2010, 08:41 AM
 
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Loan origination and loan servicing are two separate issues. The folks that originate loans mostly do sell them off, sometimes they stick with a good servicer other times the servicer is crummy. I think it is important to realize that failing to post payments is NOT generally considered "mortgage fraud" -- I would think any servicer doing such sloppy work would be easily reported to the State mortgage and banking regulators, if not the State's Attorney and even Federal authorities.
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Old 01-07-2010, 10:37 AM
 
Location: I'm gettin' there
2,666 posts, read 6,995,855 times
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There is nothing more valuable than excellent references from friends as far as loan officers/brokers go.
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Old 01-07-2010, 09:52 PM
 
51 posts, read 291,736 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NatasNJ View Post
I have my finances, debt, cash, basics down. Not worried about that aspect at all.

I guess is if I am comparing 2 lenders and am getting the same rate offered and only differences seem to be a few dollars in fees (all estimated to some degree until a HUD1) not sure how to pick between them at that point.
As someone who just went through this, 1) pick the one that feels least like a car salesman 2) pick the one that gives you the pros AND cons, not just the
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Old 01-07-2010, 11:38 PM
 
231 posts, read 710,807 times
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you're asking the wrong questions
loan officer ≠ loan
have a list of questions to ask, this is true of anything you plan to purchase (especially something that requires the amount of money that a mortgage or car does).

are you familiar with the phrase "caveat emptor"?
what about "if it's too good to be true, it probably is?"

it's not the establishment's duty to inform you of (all) dangers, it's your due diligence to prepare for the worst. education is your best asset, get more of it by asking questions and not just accepting the first answer or even the first answer that you want to hear. know the facts, read magazines, pamphlets, company web-pages, independent research articles, etc. how are the rich people rich? they don't spend more than they have to, learn to do that and you will be a leap ahead of the rest of the destitute americans.
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