Each year, Mortgage Investors Group helps thousands of homebuyers select the home loan program best suited to their needs. Yet, few people outside of the mortgage lending industry understand the hard work happening behind the scenes that leads up to the memorable day when the borrower receives the keys to his or her new home. To commemorate National Mortgage Professionals Month this September, we’re sharing insights into the important roles each department plays in ensuring our borrowers are able to finance the home of their dreams. This week, we focus on the Processing Department.
Working Hard for You
Our Underwriters are tasked with making sure borrowers can afford the houses they want to buy.
“It’s the underwriter’s job to protect the company, but in addition, to protect the client as well.” said Underwriting Manager, Stephen Gassert. “Reviewing an application to assure that the client’s income, assets, credit profile and collateral all create a scenario where the client can expect to enjoy a long term relationship is the main goal. If we are able to do that effectively, we can be assured that our investors will have an asset that performs as expected.”
The Underwriters also evaluate a borrower’s credit history and determine whether their income can cover the housing payment and any current debt they may have.
“We look to see whether there is enough income for the borrower to make a new mortgage payment and meet their monthly obligation and have sufficient funds left over to pay for other things that life requires,” Rymer said.
In addition, our Underwriting staff makes sure the property being purchased is safe and habitable. They also review the home’s appraisal to make sure it’s appropriately valued for similar homes in the area.
The Underwriters also certify that the loan meets Fannie, Freddie, FHA, VA, Rural Development and Jumbo guidelines.
“The subject property is one of the keys to the transaction. We have to make sure that the property value supports the loan request, but we also have to assure the property is safe.” Gassert said. “There are a number of business partners we rely on to provide the information, but the underwriter’s name is on the decision.”
Why We’re Industry Leaders
Most of the 22 people who comprise our Underwriting Department started out as loan Processors, gaining experience that informs the work they do today as Underwriters.
“Over half of our Underwriters have 20-plus years of experience in underwriting, and MIG allows us to grow our knowledge by supporting us in taking additional courses,” Gassert said.
One Underwriter on our staff is also a Certified Residential Underwriter, the highest professional designation available within the industry.
Thanks to technology, our Underwriters also have the ability to serve clients wherever they’re located, even if it’s outside the state of Tennessee.
Like everyone else at MIG, they’re also team players who keep the borrower at the heart of everything they do.
“For most of us here in the MIG Underwriting department, we’ve been doing this for a long time. We take our responsibility seriously.” Gassert said. “It takes a lot of ongoing training to assure that we are on top of an ever-changing industry. Everyone on the team is a risk specialist. This is the client’s home, we need to get it right.”
They also don’t lose sight of the fact that the decisions they make affect real people, like the veteran with young children they helped to close on a house in time for Santa to deliver presents to the new home by Christmas morning.
“MIG is a special place. Everyone is working with the same goal, to get our client into their first home, or their next home or their retirement home or to refinance them so their finances get to a better place.” Gassert said. “Regardless of the reason for coming to MIG, it is our job to make sure every client is treated with timely respect. I know this team does that. That’s what makes it special.”