Some of the bigger banks and financial institutions are currently facing backlogs of as much as 90 days. This situation is being created by several factors including all of the current refinances due to low rates as well as some government sponsored programs. The low rates are driving many homeowners to refinance into what are viewed by many as “rates we won’t see gain for a long time”. The smart money is positioning to have a lower cost of ownership in their homes as many shore up their finances. The Obama Administrations Making Home Affordable program has an option they call Home Affordable Refinance Program or HARP that was designed to assist home owners who are in financial distress keep their homes by refinancing them into a more affordable rate as opposed to foreclosure. The net effect of all of this activity is the institutions that service these types of programs are seeing a big backlog that can affect those trying to get a loan for a regular purchase. This in turn is causing some to turn to Mortgage Brokerages of smaller community or regional banks that aren’t currently servicing these programs. As a buyer you can always ask your REALTOR® for a list of local lender or brokers they have worked with who provide great service. Many of these local and regional banks have more streamlined decision making and underwriting processes that can get you answers quick.