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How to close your mortgage faster

By JEFF LAZERSON / CONTRIBUTING COLUMNIST

11/11/15

No matter what, the new mortgage settlement rules add at least three business days to close your purchase. Refinancing is even scarier. It now takes a minimum of seven business days to close an owner-occupied refinance.

Surely, you want to close your loan on-time for all of the right reasons; first and foremost, you want to keep your word to all the stakeholders involved in your transaction. On top of that, delays can be stress you and your family, necessary rate lock extensions that you might need are expensive, and you don’t want the seller to have you over a (specific performance penalty) barrel.

Read the tips below. Memorize them. For extra credit, call your loan processor explaining your awareness and readiness. Guaranteed, your loan will be first in line for the underwriter.

1) As soon as possible, acknowledge the intent-to-proceed document either electronically or in-person. Your lender can’t get a move on your loan without it.

2) Lock your rate upfront. If you don’t lock in and the rate moves more than 0.125 percent, your lender will have to re-disclose the Loan Estimate, which will cause a delay.

3) On a purchase, find and coordinate an early inspection as soon as you go into escrow. Make sure to attend. Remember to make nice with the inspector because his detailed, accurate report is what you must rely on so that you don’t borrow trouble.

4) Hound your lender to get the appraiser out there within a few days after the inspection, but not the same day. If there are major property problems, that gives your agent time to negotiate repairs with the sellers agent or, if need be, cancel and avoid the appraisal charge.

5) Purchase or refinance, make sure the carbon monoxide and smoke detectors are installed along with the water heater earthquake safety setup. Having the appraiser go out for re-inspection is an unnecessary cost and a big time waster.

6) With your loan officers’ help, remove disputed credit items early from your credit report. Lenders cannot use credit scores that have disputed accounts.

7) Your lender monitors your credit after application until funding. Do not get happy, going on buying sprees that involve new accounts or extraordinary charges. You’ll get called on the carpet for this and it could cause delays or worse. If you want to get happy, by all means do it after closing.

8) If there are any credits coming to you from the realty agents or the seller, notify escrow and the lender early to avoid delays in closing.

9) Be sure that anyone going on title with you, even if not going on the loan, will be present to sign the Closing Disclosure as required.

10) Upon consummation and closing, congratulate yourself for a job well done!

If you have questions or comments, please contact Jeff Lazerson by clicking here.

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