An Overview of the Mortgage Process

House hunting can be an exhilarating process as you try to pick that perfect property. Applying for a mortgage isn’t nearly as much fun. Following is an overview of how the mortgage industry works.

An Overview of the Mortgage Process

You have a nice chunk of money saved away for a down payment. You have started shopping for a home or have found the perfect property. It is time to enter the world of financing, better known as getting a mortgage. Before entering the labyrinth, it might help to get an overview of how the mortgage process works.

A mortgage simply is a debt instrument that acts to secure a cash loan to you on a home. In exchange for giving you the money, the lender puts a first lien on the prospective home for loan amount. If you default, the lender can foreclose and sell the home to recover the debt amount.

In mortgage industry terms, applying for a mortgage is known as originating a loan. To originate the loan, you will first have to find a lender you are comfortable with. You may have a close relationship with a bank that will suffice. Many will find it advisable to use a mortgage broker to shop for the loan that best meets their needs. Different lenders offer different loans and terms.

As part of the origination process, you will fill out a lengthy loan application. Depending on the nature of the loan, you probably will also be required to submit documentation supporting your claims of income and so on. There are no document or partial document loan applications, but most people don’t qualify for them. Once your application is submitted, a lender inevitably will ask for more information or documentation. Depending on how the review, known as underwriting, goes, the lender may decline or accept your application. Often, the lender will add a stipulation to the loan that cover issues it is concerned about.

Once you are granted the loan, you will close on the residence you are after. Most people are then very surprised by what happens. Inevitably, your mortgage lender will sell the loan to another entity. To raise cash to issue more home loans, lenders sell their current stock of mortgages on a secondary market. Your lender may continue to handle the administration of the loan, but will often just hand the entire thing off.

Your mortgage will be terminated at some point in time. Positive reasons can be the sale of the home, refinancing or simply paying off the balance. Negative reasons can include default or bankruptcy. Regardless, the above represents the basic structure of the mortgage industry and how your loan moves through it.

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