Mortgage – Steps

First, congrats on working with a trustable and professional loan officer (LO)! The loan process might take 30 to 60 days. Here are the steps. Please feel free to contact your LO if you have any questions.

  • 1. Prepare documents:LO will send the document list to your email address. Normally you can get all the docs ready by spending a couple of hours of focus time although it may take a couple of days.
  • 2. Build your loan file and lock rate:LO will pull your credit and use your docs to build a loan file. LO may ask you additional questions or docs.
    1. Once the loan file is done, LO will send it to the lender with the best rates for your case. Then the rate can be locked. Once the rate is locked, it can not be changed. There might be a little penalty for some lenders if the rate is locked and you decide to back out.
    2. To improve the efficiency and customer experience, LO will pay for the credit report fee instead of asking for your credit card info. The fee will be paid at closing by you or you can paypal/zelle the fee to LO outside closing.
    3. Please do not open new credit lines (e.g open a new credit card, buy a new car), avoid large deposits, keep your account clean and maintain enough balance.
  • 3. Sign initial docs:Lender will send you some docs for e-sign。Most the docs are disclosures . The most important doc is the Loan Estimate(LE) and there are many numbers in it. Your LO will explain every number to you if you like. Lender may mail the hard copy of the docs to your home and you can ignore it. If the lender is Provident Funding, please read Provident Funding
  • 4.1 File Review: Lender will review your file and may ask for additional docs
    1. if appraisal can not be waived, an appraisal will be required and the fee will need to be paid before closing. To improve efficiency and customer experience, , LO will pay for the appraisal fee instead of asking for your credit card info. The fee will be paid by you at closing or you can paypal/zelle the fee to LO outside closing.
    2. If it is a condo(some townhouses are condos legally), you need to get the signed HOA questionnaire and the master insurance policy from your HOA. To avoid a delay, please contact your HOA company ASAP. There might be a charge of $100 to $400.
  • 4.2. Title and Escrow: Chicago Title will be your title and escrow company. The contacts are Lachmi Murjani (Lachmi.Murjani@ctt.com, Escrow Assistant) or Jun Lu (Jun.Lu@ctt.com, Escrow Officer). Escrow will send you an email which contains a few files. One of them is the prelim title and the sender is Chicago Title Eastside Title Unit via smartview – svo@smartviewonline.net. You can disregard the email. Escrow will send another email and the sender is noreply@inhere.com asking filling out a questionnaire. The email might go into the spam folder. Here is some reference for filling out the form.
    • Power of attorney: Normally select NO unless you can’t sign yourself.
    • Lender Name and Loan Account Number: use the info of your current mortgage. Pay Off Loan As Part of Closing: YES. since the new loan will replace the old loan. Have your entered into a forbearance…? Normally NO. It is not a common case.
  • 5. Underwriting and CTC:
    1. The underwriter may ask for additional docs like new paystubs, new bank statements and new mortgage statement. LOE for credit inquiries;LOE for large deposits. Once all the conditions are satisfied, your loan will be CTC (Cleared to Close)。
    2. Lender will send you Initial Closing Disclosure(CD) before or after CTC. This doc is very similar as Loan Estimate. Please let your LO know if any number is not correct. If your spouse is not the co-borrower, she/he needs to hand-sign the CD. Note that some numbers like prepaid interests and payoff may change depending on which day the loan will be closed.
  • 6. Signing
    1. Escrow will call you to schedule a signing appointment. You can go to the escrow company’s office OR ask for a mobile notary so you can sign the docs at home. The person who calls you might tell you that the mobile signing has a charge of $95. The fee is already included. Going to the office would not save your money. The escrow company will send an email to confirm the appointment. Please feel free to reply to the email if you have any questions.
    2. If signing at home, please prepare blue ink pens and a table. You can sign at your garage or the backyard or any place you are comfortable with. Please follow the COVID protocol.
    3. If married, both husband and wife need to be present to sign.
    4. Get your driver’s license ready. If the lender is Provident Funding and you are not a citizen, get your green card or I-797 with current visa ready.
    5. You can provide your bank account info for automatic payment at the signing.
    6. If there is cash to close from borrower in the closing disclosure, please do a wire transfer ASAP after the signing or get a cashier’s check beforehand and give it to the notary. Note that the cashier’s check needs to be from one of the bank accounts you submitted to avoid unnecessary trouble.
    7. Repeat step 5.2: if you haven’t, make sure that you understand the numbers on the Closing Disclosure to avoid questions at the signing. The notary does not know the details.
    8. You can cancel the automatic payment of the next month with your old lender.
      If the lender is Provident Funding, please read Provident Funding
  • 7. Funding
    • Lender will do funding review. There might be new conditions. Once the funding review passes, Escrow will disburse funds and record it at the county. Then your loan process is complete.
    • The balance on your old lender’s account might not go to zero immediately. It may take some time for the old lender to process the payoff demand.
    • The old lender will refund all the money in the old escrow account if you have one. If you don’t get a check within a month, please feel free to call your old lender.
    • In case the old lender gets more than the payoff amount, it will refund. Some banks like First Tech will refund it to your savings account directly.
    • Note that you can’t do another refinance or sell your house within 6 months. Otherwise there will be penalty (sometime it is as high as $10k) because if you do that, the lender will have monetary loss. Ask your LO if any questions.
  • 8. New Lender
    • In general, there is no payment for the month after your loan is closed. e.g. if your loan is closed in Feb, there will be no payment in March. Your first payment would be on 4/1.
    • Lender may sell your loan Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. This is almost by design. The loan servicing company will be probably a different company.
    • Note that you can’t do another refinance or sell your house within 6 months. Otherwise there will be penalty (sometime it is as high as $10k) because if you do that, the lender will have monetary loss. Ask your LO if any questions.