Battlefield Production

Written By: Bonnie Wildt, Op-Ed Writer

No, it’s not reference to a place on a different continent or even a historic event, but the ongoing skirmishes and sometimes all out war that seems to occur on a daily basis in many a mortgage lenders offices’. I myself am usually a daily combatant and like to think of myself as a commander, but I am sure many office managers as well underwriting managers feel the same way. Like myself I am sure they to spend a large part of their researching battle plans and coming up with ways to keep their flanks covered.

Just like military strategy and tactics are essential to the conduct of warfare, it also seems that the same strategic coordination is essential these days to meet not only our underwriting objectives but also the political ones. Yes I said political ones. Politics in the office, politics with agency and non agency entities, you name it. It sometimes seems that every underwriting condition placed on a loan approval has to be designed to not only effectuate a sound approval with respect to guidelines, but also to be stated in such a manner that it is defensible. When I say defensible, I am referring to defending the necessity of the condition itself or its very validity.

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I have talked to many processors as well as underwriters who feel the same way. It seems that most mornings we think less of our morning coffee then we do our battle gear. Every request for information, regardless of how large or small, is met with opposition. This constant opposition results in constant hours of wasted time, researching guidelines, contacting the agencies that provide oversight for the products being underwritten and last but not least, the battle fatigue. Yes at the end of the day, I am weary. The most interesting piece to all of these ongoing battles, is that is usually always involves the production staff and in this statement I include the sales force.

For some reason, Originators find it necessary to constantly test processing and underwriting as to the necessity of the information required or any subsequent guidelines with respect to the kind of loan they are originating. I cannot begin to convey the countless number of hours I waste everyday and sometimes night, pouring over guidelines to prove that the documentation I requested is necessary or that some other aspect of a case would create an unsalable loan. In most instances I even offer advice on how to restructure it so that it does work but instead of just working through it, the opposing generals would just prefer to fight through it, sometimes for days. The amount of time and energy it takes to stage these battles unbelievable and pointless because at the end of the day, from an underwriting standpoint, we still need what we need.
As I sit here and rub my tired eyes, I am would like to call a truce. Let’s all of us, production and sales, decide that instead of wasting endless days fighting over the most basic things that we will learn to comprise. Yes I agree that some items are over kill and we can do without them. I also agree that sometimes, as underwriters, we are wrong so if the sales staff can teach us something, by all means please share. But also understand that a good deal of the time, underwriting is correct and rather than argue with us for days, it is going to be faster to just collect what you need so we can get the deal to the table. Have a wonderful week everyone.

About The Author

Bonnie Wildt - As an NAMP® staff writer, Bonnie currently serves as a senior instructor for FHA Online University ( 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:

Opinion-Editorial (Op-Ed) Disclaimer For NAMP® Library Articles: The views and opinions expressed in the NAMP® Library articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect any official NAMP® policy or position. Examples of analysis performed within this article are only examples. They should not be utilized in real-world application as they are based only on very limited and dated open source information. Assumptions made within the analysis are not reflective of the position of NAMP®. Nothing contained in this article should be considered legal advice.