What do you mean "why is it taking so long?" You're lucky it's closing!

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(Warning: Not for babies or whiners :) [Unless you read it as it was written: the vent, the whole vent and nothing but the vent] If you plant your tongue firmly in your cheek while you are reading and go ahead and hit a great big old Cheshire Cat smile right now you will probably make it through this ... erm ... post.

Last week I closed an FHA purchase in 8 days from application to the closing table. It was a miracle. It happens. Last month I closed an FHA streamline refinance in 5 days. No joke. 5 days. It happens. Yesterday I had a call from a client wanting to know if we could close a Fannie Mae purchase by the end of this month - it's the 22nd. Uhm, no. 

First of all it's the end of the month and the 11,000 people who had their application, appraisal and documents in underwriting last week also want to close "by the end of this month". So the agent called me. Why? No idea - boy did he ever tell me a few things about my business and what a tool I am if I can't get a loan closed in 7 business days because HIS lender certainly could do it.

Why, then were they wasting time on the phone with me?

Ah, the buyer is self employed, has two other streams of income, owns 16 homes, is moving from a bigger house to a smaller one and the old one isn't sold and it's just down the street. Hmmmm ....

Let me state this for the record: Loan officers ocassionally lie. One of the things they lie about is their turn times. They like to say, "Our turn times are 48 hours". That may well be true - with absolutely no hiccups and a perfectly clean file submitted and an acceptable HVCC appraisal which will take a MINIMUM of 10 days to get back. Then there's the issue of middle lenders are sitting on files for days AFTER the approval because the secondary market won't purchase loans fast enough BECAUSE THERE IS A MONEY SHORTAGE. There, I said it.

There is a money shortage even with all the TARP money that went mostly to big banks. Guess what they did with it? THEY SAT ON IT AND GAVE EACH OTHER BONE BONE BONUSES. Okay, I know, I'm typing a lot in caps. You'll get that with people who have a long fuse when it gets down to the nib. And if I hear that snivelling weenie Barney Frank say one more time this is not his fault I'll fax him a picture of my bootie. No wait, better not.

One problem is with people, like Bozo the Barfly agent who obviously called me from the local watering hole, thinking they know how to qualify a borrower. "Man, Ken, I've known this guy for umpteen-eleven years. He took my baby sister to the prom back in 1988. He's a big time developer with a bazigillion jillion dollars. In 2006 he sent my whole family to Hawaii for a week. He owns a 36' SeaRay up on the lake. What's the problem?"

Pretty much everything you have told me is the problem. At best this is going to take 30 days because, believe it or not, people who can fog a mirror and have nothing more than a good story can no longer borrower money BECAUSE THEY DON'T PAY IT BACK! As I have written at least once before during the last 4 years just here on AR - the stupid loans for stupid people are going, going, GONE! Now it is an across the board requirement to PROVE everything. Regardless of what "your lender" says. (Especially that lender - rhymes with GunRust.)

Then there's this little thing called "buy and bail". Haven't heard of it? It's where people buy a smaller house they can afford, move out of their bigger house they cannot afford and let the bigger house go or file bankruptcy! Then there is the very high likelhood that Mr. Country Club the mega-developer took about the same amount of a paycut over the last 24 months as yours truly - making us both suitable for the soup line.

So STOP GIVING ME CRAP about how long it takes to close a loan and for PETE'S SAKE SHUTUP ABOUT "YOUR LENDER"!!!! I know you called me last even though I can do things that make Countrywide, Ditech, Wells Fargo and Chase spit burning nails. I even do it faster and less costly - always could, still do.

If you have any issues with my comment please see my manager, Lenn Harley. Thanks, bye.

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I started writing on Active Rain in 2006 when I was representing the mortgage industry. I am no longer in that industry and many of the older posts contain outdated information. Please do not contact me for LENDING or MORTGAGE questions but rather contact a licensed mortgage professional from your area. I have always been in marketing and branding and that is still what I do. Thanks for reading!


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  1. Joseph Metzler 07/24/2009 01:46 AM

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Darin Osenberg
Funky Quail Vintage - Nashville, TN

Nicejob Ken..

Some of these comments are even funny...

I think everyone in the State of Washington must just be in "happy world".  Or, on Lithium!

D mo

Jul 24, 2009 02:59 AM #56
Joetta Fort
The DiGiorgio Group - Arvada, CO
Independent Broker, Homes Denver to Boulder

After waiting 5 months for approval on a short sale, we were told by Countrywide to close in 2-1/2 weeks. So, Countrywide doesn't know how long it takes to get these things done!  If you have any contacts there - please forward your post to them!

Jul 24, 2009 03:08 AM #57
Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

And another thing.  Agents need to be on top of the loan processing too.  In most cases, at least in my market area, the buyer must "cooperate with the mortgage process" or they can lose their earnest money.

A loan rejection because the borrower hasn't cooperated with the lender is grounds for the seller to void the contract.  However, it is also grounds for the seller to refuse to release the buyers earnest money.

Agents need to explain these conditions of the Contract of Sale to the buyers and the lenders will get much better cooperation.

If we work as a team, we sell more real estate and collect more commission checks, or am I allowed to mention that?

Jul 24, 2009 03:40 AM #58
Darin Osenberg
Funky Quail Vintage - Nashville, TN

Good point Lenn.  I believe it is called due dilligence!  - Darin

Jul 24, 2009 04:24 AM #59
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

I hate people that over promise and under deliver.  Just tell me the truth up front and I will live with it. I would rather tell a client one time it is going to take another month, than tell him 10 times it is going to take 3 more days.

Jul 24, 2009 04:34 AM #60
Sef Robinson
MC Financial Inc. - Bethesda, MD

Ken, Awesome article sir! I needed that laugh... I can certainly understand where you're coming from!!

Jul 24, 2009 05:04 AM #61
Ken Anderson
Century 21 Princeton Properties - East Hampton, NY

I've been getting a lot of good information from these blogs as I'm just getting into the realestat field.  It helps me to prepare for what is to come.  I never knew what "active rain" meant still dont but I don't care.  There is a lot of information from seasoned professionals for use babe in the woods newbies.  Thanks.

Jul 24, 2009 05:55 AM #62
Kerry Jenkins
Prime Properties - Crestline, CA

I have a closing delayed now by 7 days becuse the lender(Citibank) is having a technical glitch and loan docs can't be drawn up.  I'm sorry, a week, really?  You can't have this glitch worked out quicker than that?  Other than that, i tell people no longer expect a 30 day closing unless you're paying cash. 

Jul 24, 2009 06:08 AM #63
Joel Weihe
Realty World Wichita - Wichita, KS

Don't hold your breath on the good Government and I love the Barney Frank reference. Not that I love barney Frank, I mean, I don't, uh what I meant to say w..., uh, oh never-mind.

Jul 24, 2009 06:54 AM #64
John Jones
Briggs Freeman Sotheby's International Realty - Dallas, TX


YOU ARE MY HERO!  Thanks for the good read and the laugh. 

Jul 24, 2009 06:54 AM #65
Amanda Evans
DFW Living - Fort Worth, TX
Real Estate Broker - Fort Worth Texas

That's hysterical, Ken.  I am faxing a coy of my bootie to Barney Frank just for the hell of it.

In all seriousness, does anyone else remember last year when lending froze up?  Remember how we prayed to God and said we would do anything if he'd just help the FED figure out where to find more ink to print money so the banks could loan again? 

Okay, so it wasn't exactly like that. 

Still, if there were NO loans at all, we'd be happy with 30-day delayed closings is my point. 

Whether I am right or wrong to think that way, it makes me feel better.

Jul 24, 2009 07:19 AM #66
Kathy Jackson
RE/MAX Midwest Real Estate Group - Henderson, KY
CDPE, Your Tri-State Real Estate Expert

Here we are waiting 45-90 (yes 90 days) to close.  Conventional is the only thing that seems to be going through in a timely manner.  I've had 3 lenders tell me to not to expect to close for at least 6-8 weeks on any new contracts I may write in the near future.  Crazy-now if I can find a good lender here that will be honest and respond to emails with something other than-"hey babe, it's under control!"

Jul 24, 2009 10:35 AM #67
Janna Scharf
Keller Williams Realty Coeur d'Alene - Coeur d'Alene, ID
Coeur d'Alene Idaho Real Estate Expert

They been TOLD!  Isn't it wonderful to be able to not cringe when you look at yourself in the mirror, and to sleep well at night.... 

Jul 24, 2009 03:26 PM #68
Esko Kiuru
Bethesda, MD


That's the way it is nowadays. There are more variables now than probably ever before to get a loan closed. You got those FHAs done mighty quick.

Jul 24, 2009 04:55 PM #69
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
your real estate writer

I don't know how even the best lender can promise anything in this climate...

The new appraisal rules / system on top of underwriting taking their sweet time make it impossible for you to give a time estimate. You can do your part quickly, but then... You can wait.

I applaud you for coming right out and saying that money is in short supply. The big banks were happy to take it "in order to keep the country running" but then laid off thousands of employees and paid huge bonuses to key people - all while making it tough for even the most credit-worthy buyers to own a home.

I don't travel in the right circles, so don't know anyone who benefited from the bail outs - just a lot of people who got hurt.

Jul 24, 2009 05:38 PM #70
Todd & Devona Garrigus
Garrigus Real Estate - Beaumont, CA

Laughing my bootie off!!!! I think Barney Frank should still get that fax!!

Jul 24, 2009 06:15 PM #71
Jeff Belonger
Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc - Cherry Hill, NJ
The FHA Expert - FHA Loans - FHA mortgages - USDA loans - VA Loans

Ken... I can close a loan in 1 day... that's right...  90% down and fico scores of 700...  lol   I am so tired of hearing this, even from loan officers that I work with. So many can say what they want, but I want to see the proof... end of story. I closed a loan in Florida, an investment property with the buyer being in NYC...  and it was a short sale... from start to finish... 12 days...  but as you stated and I have said this 1000's of times, each borrower and each loan is different, period... end of story.  And yes, some loan officers do lie.

jeff belonger

Jul 25, 2009 04:20 AM #72
Mark Warner
RealEspace - Plano, TX


Your post points out what reality is in the mortgage business currently, for those who are left! It also presents opportunity for ethical and honest loan officers to hook up with real estate agents looking for this kind of service.

Great job!

Jul 25, 2009 06:00 AM #73
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg IL Area Real Estate

Isn't a photcopy of your bumm considered 'porno' over the internet if you send it to good old Barney? I think you should print is fax # just so that we all can! Good rant post.  7 days on that loan to close is sure a miracle!  Wow, who wooda' thought that the bailout money went for bonuses?????

Jul 27, 2009 04:48 AM #74
Erika Rogers
Red Rock Real Estate ~ Southern Utah's Largest Independent Brokerage - Saint George, UT
St George Utah Real Estate & Relocation Specialist

I appreciate your sense of humor, great post.  I'm also impressed with your ability to close loans in less than a week, that's unheard of where I come from.

Aug 11, 2009 05:35 AM #75
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