Shmuel Shayowitz (NMLS#19871) is President and Chief Lending Officer at Approved Funding, a privately held local mortgage banker and direct lender. Shmuel has over two decades of industry experience, including licenses and certifications as a certified mortgage underwriter, residential review appraiser, licensed real estate agent, and direct FHA specialized underwriter. Shmuel provides a uniquely holistic approach to comprehensive real estate and financial matters that goes well beyond any single transaction. Shmuel is an award-winning financier recognized for maximizing the short-term and long-term objectives of his client. As a contributing writer to many local and regional newspapers and publications, his insights have been featured in the media for many topics, including mortgages, personal finance, appraisals, and real estate trends.
No, my succah has not been taken down. Thankfully, aside from perhaps one succah on my block which always seems to vanish with the blink of an eye right after Yom Tov ends, (and you know who you are!) the others are still lingering as of this writing. Despite this being one of a very short list of holidays where men actually have some minor “work” to do, Succos continues to be my favorite holiday of the year. For me, the efforts to enjoy and appreciate Succos is compounded by the actions that I take before the holiday even begins. Let me explain…
In the mortgage business – the clock never stops. It is hard for the typical consumer to fathom the myriad of moving parts that are required to get a loan set-up, processed, approved, and closed in a timely and efficient manner. To run a company that is completely shut for all Shabbosim and Yomim Tovim, and yet manages a delicate closing calendar for clients who are looking to refinance or buy a home within a pre-defined timeline takes tremendous effort.
There are many examples of proactive measures that we take, but I will highlight some of the more common ones. A few months ago, new regulations were implemented that now require a 3 day closing disclosure notice that must be delivered prior to the closing of many loan requests. When applicable, these notices now need to be issued earlier than otherwise obligatory in order to adhere to our closing deadlines. This is something that plagues all mortgage companies – let alone those with a hectic holiday calendar.
Appraisal, credit and financial document expirations are also another extremely common item that we factor into our “pre-holiday preparations.” Most of the documentation provided to a bank or mortgage lender are only valid for a limited amount of time. After these documents ‘expire’, updated paperwork – which is cumbersome both to the bank and the client are required. For the applications where the documents will expire during our holiday, we work extra hard to close prior to these deadlines, or request the minimal documents needed to preserve our file.
Other factors of consideration include managing the “Lock-in” periods of those mortgage applications that are currently “locked.” Loans that are locked have rate expiration dates that need to be adhered-to as not to cause delays or additional fees. Conversely, for those loans that have not yet been able, or willing to lock-in the interest rate, we need to look ahead at the economic and market calendar to anticipate any volatility that we would warn our clients about while out of office. The preparation list can go on and on, but the clean-up list is certainly more numerous and costly.
Perhaps a recent testimonial that I received from Annekee Brahver-Keely, a veteran Real Estate Broker Associate from Russo Real Estate best describes this in practice. “I have worked with Shmuel multiple times in the past, and am surely looking forward to the next transaction. He and his staff are awesome; they follow through constantly, keep not only the client happy but also myself as a listing or selling broker. Rather than at times having to push to get an answer or update from other mortgage brokers, I never have to prompt them at all. It is obviously part of their MO to be proactive and bring everyone involved to a smooth closing all around.”
In my opinion, proactive thinking and forecasting is the cornerstone of any successful mortgage transaction. A uniform mortgage loan application has over one hundred fields of data that needs to be completed on each standard loan request. That is a lot of information – and provides plenty of ways to complicate or mess-up a mortgage file. By anticipating and preventing some of the common mishaps that seem to be the tradition elsewhere, we are able to have a more peaceful and enjoyable holiday. I choose to make my Succos tradition spending more time with my family, and enjoying the holiday to the fullest. I will surely miss that.
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