Staying Organized

Written By: Danielle Burgess

As we all know organization is key when it comes to mortgage processing.  With everything that goes into taking a file from disclosure to closing, we have to make sure that we are on top of dates and getting what the lender needs in a way that does not drive our clients crazy. Here are a few tips on getting organized and tracking your files. 

Identifying the type of file and the investor.
The first thing I do when I get a file is identify the program. FHA? VA? Conventional? The program type will tell me where I start paperwork wise. The next thing is to find out where the file is going. This will be more important for those that broker loans as each lender has different things that they need in the submission package. Once I identify the loan program and the lender, I get my checklist. Many investors will have a submission checklist on their website for you to print. Or you can make one up. I find that Excel is perfect for making a personalized checklist. I like to have all my dates on the front of my file folder as a quick reference. When was the title ordered? When was the appraisal ordered? What is the sale price? Loan Amount? Having this information written down on the front of your file can save you time when you get those calls from the loan officer or the realtor. Your checklist can be a simple or as elaborate as you need. I have a section that reminds me of things I need to check on my paperwork.  Is the ID expired? Does the bank statement have non payroll deposits? Do the tax returns have a Schedule A or C or E? With all of the documents that we review it can be easy to miss something and a reminder on a checklist can help to remind us of the things that we are looking for so that we can submit a squeaky clean file to underwriting. Not only does a great checklist remind you of dates, it reminds you of all the things that need to be checked on the documents before sending the file over to underwriting. 

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Tracking Dates and Reminders
One of the most important parts of the processor’s job is follow up. How many times have you been a week from closing and realize that the employer never sent you that VOE? Or title never sent the wire instructions? With everything on our plates we have to remind ourselves to remind ourselves. My solution is to set up reminders in my Outlook program. There are many programs out there that can do this for you, Google calendar, Zoho, Encompass, and Calyx all have features were you can set reminders. When I order  title, I go in and set a reminder to check back with title for the documents in 72 hours. When an appraisal is scheduled I set a reminder for the due date. When a verification of employment is sent, I set a reminder for 48 hours. This helps remind to follow up with everyone should I not get one of my requests. This helps to remove the stress of not having a document that you need at the last minute. If you work in wet funding states and you do purchase business you know how important those contract dates are. That said, I also set reminders for all my important contract dates to make sure we don’t miss a deadline. 

Templates are a processor’s best friend. Email has pretty much taken over as the preferred form of communication in our industry. It is fast easy and you have proof of everything said. I have made up template emails for requesting title, requesting homeowner’s insurance, and requesting conditions from the borrower. We can get a lot more done when we aren’t typing the same thing over and over again. Getting organized can take some time to do upfront, but once you get your checklists done, your reminders set, and your templates made you will save a ton of time. 

About The Author

Danielle Burgess has been active in the mortgage industry since 1998, working in various roles from sales to operations. She specializes in conventional, rural housing, FHA, VA, and numerous down payment assistance programs. She has extensive knowledge of all aspects of the home buying and refinancing process and has established an extensive network of satisfied clients and realtors. Danielle resides in Colorado and enjoys spending time with her family. If you're interested in becoming a writer for NAMP®, please email us at:

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