Got gripes about the loan closing process? The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) wants to hear what kind of problems you experience at closing, including:

    • what aspects of closing are confusing or most helpful to homebuyers;
    • what stages are most memorable to homebuyers;

  • how long it takes to close and how long you feel it ought to take;
  • how prepared homebuyers are for the closing process;
  • what are some common closing errors;
  • what common surprises turn up at closing;
  • what type of advice do homebuyers seek during closing and who do they turn to;
  • what are the most important questions homebuyers ask during closing; and
  • what are the most important steps homebuyers take during closing?

In a recent first tuesday poll, 72% of respondents cited the lender as the main cause of problems turning up at closing.

Along these lines, comments received by the CFPB thus far have claimed lenders commonly:

  • provide loan documents with very little time left before the end of the escrow period, leaving homebuyers with little time to review the documents prior to signing; and
  • fail to review potential title conditions until just before closing, causing delays in the closing process.

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Other common last-minute lender hang-ups come from sources like a change in the homebuyer’s credit score, employment or available funds to close.

The best way to ward off potential surprises is to educate your homebuyer.  Give them a list of dos and don’ts, such as:

  • Do let your employer know you’re applying for a mortgage. Every lender does a verification of employment prior to funding, and the employment information (salary, continued employment prospects, hours) represented on the mortgage application has to match what your employer says.
  • Don’t take on any new debt or make any large purchases after applying for your mortgage until you’ve closed, which has potential to adversely affect your credit score.
  • Do keep track of any large deposits or withdrawals from bank accounts, to confirm closing funds are present and sourced.
  • Do review the good faith estimate (GFE) and question the lender about fees up-front, before closing.
  • Do review loan docs at signing.  Don’t let the lender’s rush cause you to sign blindly.
  • Do review the preliminary title report with your agent as soon as practicable.  The lender’s not the only one who’s able to catch inconsistencies!
  • Don’t expect to be able to pull a fast one on a lender. Title companies also check a homebuyer’s history to reveal tax liens, child support or other obligations which do not appear on a credit report.

Want to be a part of making the closing process better for your clients? You have until February 7, 2014 to weigh in. Responses can be submitted at the Federal Register.