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   ARTICLE   |   From Scotsman Guide Residential Edition   |   July 2007

Follow-Up Builds Repeat Business

Know how lenders treat your clients post-closing

Caring for and protecting your clients results in repeat business and referrals. By looking beyond the commission you make on each mortgage loan, you can find greater profit.

As mortgage brokers, we have nurtured our clients through the loan process and qualified them for their loans. Yet we have no control over how a lender treats customers after the loan is funded. Unless you follow up, clients may never communicate any problems they have with the lender that funded their mortgage.

If you do not know how your lender treats your borrowers after the loan is funded, you may be hurting your own business by alienating potential repeat clientele.

For instance, lenders may misplace your borrower’s payment. This simple oversight can be common, and it can hurt borrowers’ credit. Homeowners sometimes have to deal with nightmarish red tape just to prove they made their mortgage payment on time.

Although a canceled check can prove the payment was made on time, some lenders still are not motivated to fix the problem. A lender may use the “it’s not my job” response to wear people down until they just give up. As a result, the borrowers eventually accept that the error is impossible to fix. Then they are stuck with a bad mark on their credit record.

We have a duty to our clients and to our businesses to investigate the treatment clients endure after closing. Take the time to follow up with all your borrowers. It can help to prepare a short questionnaire for them to fill out with their feedback about the lender’s post-funding performance.

Also, when working with your borrowers, tell them upfront that:

  • Your goal is to find them a good loan and to have a long and happy relationship with them.

  • You will conduct your due diligence to ensure you are submitting their loan to a lender that is reputable and borrower-friendly.

  • Although you are recommending a lender in good faith, you can’t discover bad lenders without feedback from them.

  • If borrowers experience problems, they should know that you will contact the lender to complain about how they are being treated.

Further, recommend that they take proactive measures to avoid situations such as lost checks. Tell them that setting up a separate account for their mortgage payment from which no other bills are paid could be beneficial. This account should be a savings account without an ATM connected to it to avoid the temptation to take money out of it. It helps if they deposit an amount equal to at least three months of mortgage payments into this account.

They can then set up an automatic payment from the mortgage-savings account immediately so their payment is received on time. This will help ensure that nothing questionable will happen with their payment and that the payment does not get lost in transit. To facilitate this, they may want to set up the automatic payment to be paid at least four to five days before the payment due date.

As a group, brokers have the power to protect borrowers from careless or unscrupulous lending practices. We can demand quality service and treatment for our borrowers from the lenders with which we work.

We must realize the importance of following up on loan transactions. In so doing, we can weed out the bad lenders either by refusing to do business with them or by convincing them to improve the way they handle our clients. Further, this lets your clients know that you are willing to help protect them and their credit. Your satisfied clientele will return and look to you as a trusted representative.


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