How A Document Checklist Can Change Your Lending Life
Posted by Alison Barksdale, AVP of Mktg, CU Members Mortgage on 8/15/2017

Did you know that a document checklist provided to a home loan borrower is proven to raise borrower satisfaction from 51% to 90%?  At the last CU Members Mortgage National Mortgage Lending Conference guest speaker Garth Graham, Senior Partner with the STRATMOR Group, shared their poling research recognizing the importance of the document checklist in the home loan process.

While the absence of a document checklist is rare at only 3.6%, it should be considered as a standard operating procedure and an overall strategy of improving borrower communications and managing borrower expectations, explained Graham.  Further, borrowers do not want to be asked for more documents that were not included in the original checklist. When a borrower is asked for more information outside of the checklist the overall satisfaction of the member sinks from 94% to 84%.  This shows that it is not only necessary to provide a checklist, but it needs to be accurate too.  This should also be included to manage quality control to balance the underwriters asking for too many conditions as well as too few conditions.

If you have a checklist in place, review it frequently to ensure that changes in the industry haven’t affected new document needs.  If you haven’t developed a comprehensive, accurate checklist, here are the five elements to build an effective lender checklist.

  1. Clearly communicate with the borrower the required documents and information and who it needs to come from. Too many checklists are a catch all and confuse accountability. Make sure the borrower always knows exactly what they are responsible to provide and the deadline as to when it is needed.

  2. Discuss with the borrower in easily understood language what is needed and have the staff continuously reinforce the information.Hire a marketing firm if necessary to ensure it’s conversational in your marketing collateral.

  3. Determine a timeline of when the information should be received to reach to optimal closing date and emphasize to the member that missing those delivery dates will impact the timeline.Remember TRID means lead time is necessary.

  4. Offer options to deliver documents such as fax, digital upload and email.Digital is a must in this day and age to make things easy.

  5. Be prepared to explain why something is needed, show empathy, and check for understanding throughout the process.Treat every conversation as a trade of information they give you documents you need and you provide them an update on where things are.

Garth Graham is a senior partner with The STRATMOR Group and he regularly columns in National Mortgage News and American Banker.  The STRATMOR Group is a data-driven mortgage advisory that works for lenders to help make smart strategic decisions, solve complex challenges, streamline operations, improve profitability, and accelerate growth.  For more information and to contact Garth Graham email garth.graham@stramorgroup.com.

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