That's right people, its time for another episode of the "Attack of the Phantom Guideline"! What's that you say, you're not familiar with that show? Me neither, but apparently it comes on whenever i am trying to close a cream puff of a loan. You know, it's the show where lenders make up underwriting guidelines that no one (me) has ever seen or heard of before, and then have no way of backing them up.
This week's episode: "The 20% Square footage guideline."
Our show begins with our mild mannered mortgage broker, Moe Jazzei, who we find has just received his conditional loan approval from his preferred lender, Nuntrust Mortgage, who has taken eight days to underwrite his loan. Eager to close his loan, Moe quickly reviews his approval. Loan to value: 46% -check. Credit score: 795-check. Loan term: 15 year - check. Interest rate: 4.375 - check.
Now, on to the underwriting conditions. Great Scott! There is only one. But what's this? OH NO!! It's the PHANTOM GUIDELINE!!! The underwriter is requesting two new comparable sales due to square footage being off by more than 20%!!! That's right, unbeknown to our intrepid mortgage broker, apparently the square footage of the comparable can not be 20% greater or less than that of the subject property!! To make matters worse, she is quoting guideline!!
This can't be, Moe says to himself. I have never heard of this. They must be mistaken. Trying to keep his composure, Moe decides to contact his appraiser, as he realizes even though he is a very knowledgeable broker, perhaps this is a section of the Fannie Mae underwriting guide he just plain missed. But much to his dismay, his appraiser of twenty years experience is also puzzled. "Never heard of that one", he quips.
Getting no satisfaction from his appraiser, Moe decides to contact the underwriter. After several phone calls and messages (shocker) to the lender, Moe finally reached the underwriter.
He asks, "Is this a Fannie Mae guideline or a Nuntrust guideline?" "Fannie Mae", she says. Moe quickly responds, " I cant find it in the guide, do you have a copy?" " No, I don't", she quickly replies." "How am i supposed to get it then?" "Check with Fannie Mae." " I did, and i could not find it." " Well, if you don't have it, and Fannie Mae doesn't have it, how am i supposed to know it exists?" "I will have to get back to you on that one".
Will the underwriter be able to obtain the Phantom Guideline in writing? Will our broker be able to get this loan closed before his locks expires? Tune in next week kids for the exciting conclusion of " Attack of the Phantom Guideline!"