Department Highlight: Underwriting

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 Underwriting Department.

Working Hard for You

Our Underwriters are tasked with making sure borrowers can afford the houses they want to buy.

“As underwriters, we assist in providing the best financial solution for our borrowers,” said Vice President Dianne Rymer, MIG’s Underwriting manager. “We review the loans to determine if income is stable, make sure the assets available for down payment, closing costs and prepaids are coming from the borrower’s own funds, and if these funds are a gift, that the gift is coming from an acceptable source. Basically, we put all the pieces of the puzzle together to insure the loan meets agency guidelines.”

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.

“If there is an issue with income, assets, credit or collateral, a file may not be acceptable to these agencies,” Rymer said. “We are the gatekeepers, so to speak. We make sure the file will have a home once it closes.”

Related Read: Department Highlight: Processing

Why We’re A Leader in our Industry

Most of the 19 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,” Rymer 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.

“Every decision we make affects the borrowers one way or the other,” Rymer said. “We can’t always say yes, but we can give the borrower an idea of the steps they need to take in order to achieve their dream of owning a home.”

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.

“This is when you feel pride in your job – you are working with top-notch individuals from the application through closing who want to help make dreams come true for the applicants,” Rymer said. “We are moms/dads and daughter/sons, and we are here to help make the process easy. We want to see someone achieve the goal of purchasing a home, and we go home knowing our jobs help people give their families a place to call home.”

Related Read: Department Highlight: Compliance