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   ARTICLE   |   From Scotsman Guide Residential Edition   |   August 2005

Lighter Side of Lending: Ask Mort the Mortgage Man

You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers — well, kinda

For some time, we’ve needed an online therapist to help us understand our new, techno-lending world. The time has come for our own chat room, where lenders can communicate with others who make their living finding people who need money and putting them through hell.

As an experiment and a public service, I set up such a room on the Web. Not wanting to reveal my true identity, I became Mort the Mortgage Man, “for people in the business who need someone to listen and give advice.” Here is what I found.

•  •  •

Mort: As I sat down with my customer for an application, she took my scanner and threw it on the floor. “Let my dog play with this while we talk,” she said. I want to know how I should have responded.

— Dog Lover

Dear Dog Lover: You had two choices. The first depended on how big the dog was. The second was to open your customer’s refrigerator, remove a 5-pound ham and say, “Sure. Can I eat this while I take your application?”

•  •  •

Mort: I finished an application and snapped my laptop shut — only to discover that I had caught my applicant’s charm bracelet under the lid. It wouldn’t open. She began to scream. What would you have done?

— Screamer

Dear Screamer: First, there’s nothing unusual about screaming customers. The best way to handle a situation such as this is to offer a discount. A quarter-point is customary. Go to three-eighths if the screaming continues.

•  •  •

Mort: My customer was an attorney. He crossed out half of the application before signing it. My underwriter won’t accept this. What would you do?

— Frantic

Dear Frantic: Tell your customer he’s approved for half of the loan. 

•  •  •

Mort: I’m a little slow at data entry. My customer kept pulling my laptop away from me and keying in the information himself. So I said, “Here, take the laptop.” He took my laptop and droave away. I don’t have a laptop now. What should I do?

— Distressed

Dear Distressed: Sign up immediately for a course in communication.

•  •  •

Mort: My customer grabbed my laptop and shrieked: “What? You only have 32 megabytes of RAM? You only have a 25-megahertz processor? This will take forever!” I was so embarrassed. What would you have told this customer?

— Embarrassed

Dear Embarrassed: You say: “You’re right! But I have 100-megahertz fingers and the money you need.”

•  •  •

Mort: I submitted a loan to Fannie Mae’s Desktop Underwriter, and it was rejected. I submitted the same loan to Freddie Mac’s Loan Prospector, and it also was rejected. I think I have bandwidth problem. What do you think?

— Lonely

Dear Lonely: I don’t think you’ve got a bandwidth problem. I think you’ve got a band-aid problem.

•  •  •

Mort: I can’t believe that my customer’s FICO score is only 14. When I asked for a combined score, it came back as 8. How can this be?

— Bewildered

Dear Bewildered: Under a new law, all credit scores will be reviewed and corrected by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Congress felt that because so much credit is needed after a flood, why not let the Army look at all credit? Keep requesting your score. They’ll eventually get it right.

•  •  •

Mort: If I unplug our dryer and plug the laptop into a 220-volt outlet, will my loan be approved twice as fast?

— Dennis

Dear Dennis: OK, kid. Get out of our chat room. 


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