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.

One would be hard-pressed to find many that don’t enjoy this time of year. With family gatherings increasing and the calendar year winding down, life starts to slow down a bit during these short winter days. With the diminishing daylight hours, I thought I would “shed some light” on some mortgage hacks to help anyone considering financing.

These days, it seems like one truly needs a miracle to get a mortgage approved swiftly and efficiently. Between mortgage employees working remotely, record origination volume, pipeline loan backlogs, delays from appraisers and title companies – the myriad of setbacks that might come up in getting a mortgage closed in a rapid manner is limited. That’s not to say it can’t get done – a few essential items “come to light” (pun intended). In this article, I would like to address some ways to help fast-track a loan application and swiftly ensure a miracle mortgage.

It is said that when you want to be able to move quickly from place to place, one should travel “light.” The same might be true in mortgage lending. When in doubt, do without. Keep your loan application light and lean. If there are multiple owners to a home, that does not mean that numerous applicants need to be on a mortgage loan. If one of the applicants qualifies for a mortgage request without the need of their spouse, it is my recommendation to leave them off of the application.

For most applications, appraisals are one of the biggest logjams in a loan process. When it comes to the need for an appraisal, many applicants don’t realize that you can get an appraisal waiver in many instances. Again, I would encourage taking the ‘light’ route. Speak to your loan officer and see if a waiver would work in your situation and what the parameters might be. At the same time, I would encourage you to make sure that the loan officer is aware of pricing differences, if any, depending on if you choose to go the way of no appraisal.

Speaking of “keeping it light” – I have talked with way too many applicants who have had horrific experiences when it comes to documenting their funds via bank statements. Again, I will remind you, when in doubt – do without. There is no value in providing an overload of bank statements in an effort to impress the loan officer or underwriter with how much money or how many accounts you have. In fact, too many problems occur when there are large deposits within account statements that either need to be explained or cannot be documented at all. Find out the minimum amount of funds you need to verify and provide the required accounts to satisfy that requirement.

Another daunting task in the loan process has to do with secondary liens or title issues. Often, homeowners obtain a credit line and like to have that “insurance” in case of a rainy day. Keeping that line of credit open when trying to refinance requires permission from the bank that holds the line of credit. That means they need to review all of your income, credit, assets, appraisal, etc, to then issue a “subordination,” which permits the refinance of the first lien. There are many cases where the line of credit isn’t even in use, and the requirements to obtain this subordination takes weeks to months until received. This is often ill-advised.

In a year full of so much darkness and despair, I wanted to wish all of you a holiday full of illumination, where you see open miracles in every aspect of your life. Happy Chanukah.

To learn more about Shmuel Shayowitz, click here or complete this form to be connected with Shmuel:

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