According to the third annual CMP brokers on lenders survey, First National provides Canadian mortgage brokers with the best underwriter support, followed closely by Home Trust.
CMP just received the results of the online survey in which over 300 mortgage professionals took the initiative to fill out - and on the topic of lenders, did they ever have a lot to say. CMP asked them to weigh on which lenders are getting it right, and perhaps more importantly, which ones aren't.
While the full results will be published in the July issue of CMP (if you're not already a subscriber, sign up for free here) here is a sneak peak at one of the 11 categories polled - underwriter support
"The most important skill an underwriter can have," wrote one broker in the comments section of the poll, "is to be completely forthcoming with an agent. We know every deal can not be done, but being frank with an agent at the outset can save a lot of time for all parties involved."
That was just one of the hundreds of responses CMP received on what makes a good underwriter, which ranged from the simple and straightforward ("Acting like he/she cares about your deal when they have 25 more on their desk.") to the more exact:
"Experience!" wrote John Pasley, a mortgage specialist with DLC Capstan in Kentville N.S. "With no experience or having worked on the 'front lines,' they rely solely on computer models and statistics, which any seasoned lender will tell you doesn't always cut it. That means the lenders will eventually have to pay for good underwriters instead of the call centre people they have approving deals there now. When I have had the good fortune of speaking to a seasoned underwriter they are only there for a matter of weeks because they are promoted and now don't deal with the brokers any longer."
But it wasn't all bad, as some lenders earned respectful scores, which were on a scale of 1.00 to 5.00 (5.00 being the best). The lenders who scored in the top ten for underwriter support (and based on at least 50 votes) are as follows.
1. First National 4.22
2. Home Trust 3.72
3. Equitable Trust 3.68
4. Street Capital 3.55
5. ING Direct 3.54
6. Merix 3.51
6. Bridgewater Bank 3.51
8. MCAP 3.45
9. Macquarie 3.44
10. Scotia Mortgage Authority 3.33
"First National, I think, is head and shoulders above the rest," wrote one broker, echoing a common sentiment. "The BDM (Tom Taylor) is extremely helpful when called upon (rarely) and our underwriter (Robert Sanita) is magnificent - efficient, gets it done and without fighting us."
The respondents had a lot to say about all of the lenders in all of the categories (including the overall best) so look for full results in the July issue of CMP.