Mortgage Agent and Broker
Begin Your Mortgage Underwriter Career
Aug 14, 2005, 20:26

Underwriters can be an individual or a company undertaking the responsibility for issuing a mortgage. The job of the underwriter is to compare the loan application with the credit profile and supporting documents provided by the borrower with the requirements of the loan program offered by the lender. The underwriter issues a formal loan approval on behalf of the lender and also takes on the responsibility of understanding and communicating investor guidelines in conjunction with each transaction. The underwriter will make thorough investigation based on all the documents and in the event that the borrower has made any claim without providing supporting documents, it is the responsibility of the underwriter to ask for clarification documents. He or she will also check to see if there are any inconsistencies in the application or information provided. Also, it is their job to see whether the borrower will be able to make timely payments based on the supporting documents and other information. The underwriters often set the desirable loan amount and determine the conditions under which the transaction can close.

The underwriter makes sound decisions and ensures that all the decisions meet the appropriate legal, secondary market and bank policy requirements. The underwriting job requires a lot of interaction with the customer through various communication methods including personal interaction, telephonic conversations or via email and fax. The underwriter must clearly explain the underwriting policies and the procedures and techniques used for analysis to the lender.

The underwriter must perform all duties in accordance with the company’s, state and federal regulations. Also, they must audit functions of loan origination, loan processing and loan administration.

Most mortgage companies require underwriters with the following qualifications:

  • College degree or equivalent is preferred
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills as well as interpersonal skills
  • Thorough understanding of secondary market guidelines (Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac)
  • Proficient in the mortgage flow process
  • Expertise in underwriting and superior mathematical and analytical skills
  • Skilled computer user, proficient in word processing and spreadsheets
  • Can work on Automated Underwriting Systems and other related computer software
  • Previous experience in mortgage lending industry is preferred

Nowadays, a number of lenders use Automated Underwriting System (AUS). The advantage of AUS is that there is a lot lesser paperwork and time involved. The process of approving or declining a loan application is made by the AUS and the reviewing of supporting documentation and appraisal is done by the underwriter. If there are discrepancies in the loan application or a document is missing or inconsistent, then the application will be kicked out by the system immediately until the requirements are met or the application is resubmitted.

Mortgage Underwriting is the process of getting an approval for a mortgage application based on verification of borrower's financial information such as credit history and scores. There are a number of rules pertaining to each mortgage program such as the eligibility of borrower, the type of property involved, the credit history and so on. It is also the process of determining and controlling the risk of loss.

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