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When taking an application, does it make sense to ask borrowers for the legal description of the property they are buying? Maybe your experience is different, but I've never seen borrowers clear their throats and recite a legal description. It wouldn't fit in the space provided, anyway.
I'm willing to bet that the most common legal description listed in this space is, "See attached."
One borrower answered "2145 Fifth Ave. and all appurtenances attached thereto." Nice try.
Here's another curious thing: When you apply for a mortgage, why do you suppose you must describe "other income"? You don't have to describe regular income. To an accountant, income is income. But to an investor, income is income, unless it's other income, in which case you need a complete explanation that will fit on three lines.
We're suspicious of anyone who has more than one source of income. You may not have a broken work pattern, but you could have a broken income pattern -- you don't look like our guidelines say you should.
I think it's time we question the need for the government-monitoring section, too. It's bigger than it has to be. I'd replace all those boxes with the question, "Were you treated fairly?"
After all, that's what the government really wants to know. So why not just come right out and ask? If customers answer "No," let someone from the government call them to talk about it.
I thought this was a good idea until someone pointed out that all the government workers who tabulate those boxes might lose their jobs.
I don't want anybody to lose their job. Forget it.
Gordon Schlicke is a Seattle mortgage trainer. His after-dinner speech, "The Lighter Side of Lending," is designed for meetings and conventions. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (206) 782-6839.
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