Written By: Bonnie Wilt-Hild
Recently I had the pleasure of teaching an FHA DE Underwriting class. The class, which is presented by FHA Online University (http://www.FHAtraining.org), is one of my favorites to teach. As opposed to the nuts and bolts of FHA underwriting practices and guidelines it takes on a more subjective perspective to underwriting, the why’s and what if’s if you would. I love teaching the class because as a whole a lot of super ideas get passed around and it allows the students to participate in more of the mental approach to underwriting a mortgage than just the mechanics of how it is done.
With that said, I just want to say that this week was no exception and as always, I had a blast. More than that, I had a few students say that they too had a lot of fun. What a concept, fun and underwriting. There is no doubt that there is a great deal of responsibility that goes hand and hand with making prudent underwriting decisions but I take heart in the fact that there are still individuals out there that enjoy the task as much as I do. There is nothing better than reading credit explanations out loud and phonetically correct and lets not forget the most famous employment gap letter, “I’ve never worked at the Gap” sorry but I still laugh every time I think about it.
I always find great stuff in loan files but more than that I love the puzzle. Pulling it all together and actually being able to assemble something that not only makes sense but makes financial sense is something I will never get board with. Every time I become frustrated with current market conditions, minimum credit score requirements with the FHA stuff and sometimes the inability to make loan decisions that I believe in because of secondary, I try to remember how much fun this job really is.
Recently I have listened to a lot of people complain about how limited they now are in terms of providing financing for individuals that they really believe deserve a mortgage. “Underwriting is no longer common sense, it’s obnoxious”, is the general statement from support staff. How unfortunate. I remember a time 20 years ago or so that most support staff thought that underwriters had a God complex. As judge and jury, they never really needed to be nice or even work with support staff, “Convince me”, was the game. Things seemed to turn around 10 years ago when the industry as a whole seemed to consider service a priority and underwriting actually followed suit. Rates were low, business was booming and every AE wanted the new accounts and underwriting accommodated. The job was fun.
That was then, this is now. The God complex has returned, as underwriters no longer need to be nice. The industry has tightened to a point that investors almost seem to discourage production, even production that makes sense and underwriting has again followed suit. There are a lot of old school underwriters out there who really have the knowledge to teach the new generation how to not only do it, but also do it right and with a level of service that knows no bounds and still have fun.
So this blog was supposed to be an underwriting checklist, that I promised some students from this weeks DE class, but as you can see it’s not. Instead it’s a thank you for spending some time with me and reminding me how much I really love this stuff. I hope that the people that were in the class learned as much as I did and continue to not only pass the knowledge on, but also have fun with it.
Next week, FHA underwriting checklist, I promise……
About The Author
Bonnie Wilt-Hild - As an NAMP® staff writer, Bonnie currently serves as a senior instructor for FHA Online University (www.FHA-Classes.org) as well maintains a full-time mortgage underwriting position as the Senior FHA DE Underwriter for a major lending institution. With over 25+ years of senior-level FHA/VA Government underwriting experience, Bonnie is considered the "Queen of FHA Loans". If you're interested in becoming a writer for NAMP®, please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.