Enforcement network (FinCEn) has
made this clear. Financial institutions
filed 29,558 Sars in the second quarter of 2011, up from 15,727 in second
quarter of the previous year.
although a large majority of the reports involved mortgages closed in the
height of the real estate bubble, there
are enough new cases being filed to
indicate that mortgage-fraud activities
have not subsided. It’s not a surprise
that the top categories for suspicious
activities were misrepresenting income
and fraudulent use of Social Security
numbers. Income verification will become more and more important as the
new ability-to-pay rules work their way
into the industry. Consequently, lenders
are protecting themselves by requesting income tax records directly from the
Internal revenue Service (IrS).
This information can be obtained by
using Form 4506-T to order a transcript
of an applicant’s tax return. It’s important that all of the information on the
form is correct and legible. Otherwise,
the IrS may reject the request, resulting in delays and frustration.
Services are available to expedite the process and summarize the
results in an easy-to-understand report. Typically, these services confirm the applicant’s income and also
verify that the Social Security number
provided by the applicant matches
the number on file with the IrS.
Line-by-line income figures provided
by the applicant can be compared
to those on file with the IrS to show
where discrepancies exist.
Closing as many loans as possible
this year will require diligence and
persistence. Following up on credit
scores and making sure that applicants receive every point they deserve is critical. Be sure to look at
all of the tools and technology available to the industry today. just a few
points can make a difference.
The plethora of new rules and regulations recently enacted are changing
the home mortgage industry. They
may seem onerous right now, but
many may be good for the industry in
the long run. Hopefully, they will prevent a future recurrence of the train
wreck of defaults and foreclosures
Start now to build a strong plan
for your business this year and stick
with it. Put the tools and safeguards
in place to help you stay on track.
Everyone doing their best in the coming year could potentially lead to
greater market confidence and a housing recovery in 2013 and beyond. •
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asked for referrals once a year ago
3. Be referable
doesn’t mean they still remember. It’s
your job to remind them regularly.
« REFERRALS continued from page 52
Why would someone refer you? What
do you do that is so special and memorable that would compel people to
tell others about you? are you someone who is referable?
Some loan originators do the bare
minimum to get by. Getting a mortgage loan through them is nothing
more than a paper process. They do
what they should do within the time
frame they should do it, and that’s
about it. and that is the main reason
they don’t get many referrals; they
just aren’t referable.
If you want referrals, you must be referable. you have to deliver above and
beyond what people expect — even
wow them with your service and the
experience of doing business with you.
For example, some loan originators:
• give their borrowers a small appli-
cation gift upfront.
• deliver weekly loan-status updates
by phone every monday.
• send a handwritten thank-you
card immediately after the loan
• copy and share interesting maga-
zine and newspaper articles about
local home sales with their real es-
• mail birthday cards to all their
• attend their closing settlements to
make sure things go smoothly.
• send a thank-you letter directly
after the closing.
• telephone their past clients once
a year for an annual mortgage-
Do these extra steps take extra
time? yep. Do some of them cost
money? you bet. But loan originators
who are serious about getting a lot of
referrals are willing to do the things it
takes to earn those referrals. People
appreciate and remember little extras and added perks they didn’t expect from their originator and from the
mortgage experience. When you make
yourself more referable, you will land
• • •
The best thing about doing business
by referral is that people who are sent
your way are already presold on you.
Someone — whether their real estate
agent, certified public accountant, best
friend at work, etc. — has told them
about you, raved about your service
and encouraged them to contact you.