Most mortgage-loan officers agree that the borrower’s best ally is the loan processor. Making friends with the person processing your loan documents will make the experience of financing your home far easier.

The mortgage process has become overloaded with paperwork and regulations in the last decade. The government agencies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and overzealous national investors have expanded the procedures of financing. How can borrowers avoid being confused and frustrated by the loan process?

The loan processor can greatly help. Most of the loan procedures are communicated through email. This can be very difficult for some borrowers. The loan processor can greatly facilitate this communication process, even with borrowers who do not use email.

Will this confused method of processing a loan application continue? We think so — for quite some time. The mortgage world will some day reverse the process and simplify the loan approvals, but don’t hold your breath.

The processor is the glue that holds any mortgage company together. Processors are responsible for most of the interaction and struggle with the underwriters. Because they are such an integral part of the transaction, they are often placed in the position of whipping post by all sides. Because they deal directly with all parties to the transaction, they are often blamed for surprise requirements, increased paperwork, stalling incidents, and low appraisals. In truth, they are only the messengers who work diligently and hate calling you with any problems.

Loan officers are busy, too. They are required to take good care of your loan by locking your rate at the optimal moment and working directly with the borrower to initiate the process and collect all necessary paperwork. But, in all honesty, besides managing your loan, the officer is responsible for business development and has to be out of the office to do this well. So, as I said before, when the loan originator is tending to business, it is the processor who takes and makes those sometimes difficult phone calls asking for more documentation or bringing less than good news. It can be a lonely and thankless job.

So why would anyone want to work in an environment that is so stressful on the consumer? The simple answer is that they like helping people realize their dream of home ownership. I should also tell you that for every talented, educated, smart, caring processor working today, there are 20 out there who possess none of these qualities.

Great processors are hard to find and when you work with one, you will know it. Because I am the author of this tribute to loan processors, I am taking the liberty to say that I have the best. My success, over the last 25 years, is closely linked to my processor’s outstanding handling of my clients’ loans.

So, the next time you have an opportunity to work with a processor who is going the distance to get your loan closed with the least amount of irritation, say “Thank you “ and “Good job!” He or she deserves it.

Jim Gay was a real-estate broker for 20 years and has been a consultant to Fortune 500 companies. He is currently a broker/owner at The Mortgage Place, Inc. and can be reached at

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