Turnaround times festering issue

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Lender wait times are increasingly frustrating for brokers concerned the issue has yet to be adequately addressed.
 
 “Whenever I get together with mortgage brokers at awards, or meetings, we always discuss lender wait times for underwriting,” Ranjit Dhillon of Centum Mortgage Smart Inc. told MortgageBrokerNews.ca. “The response we get from the BDMs is that they are flooded with business and that they’re working on the system that should improve wait times to the point where they approve the deals right away. We hear these excuses but I haven’t seen much change in the last few years.”
 
A recent MortgageBrokerNews.ca poll revealed 65 per cent of brokers believe monolines offer faster turnaround times on deals, compared to 35 per cent who says bank deals result in less waiting time.

While frustrations are mounting, some lenders are making improvements.
 
“The biggest change I’ve seen is in TD’s underwriting; they would definitely approve or decline within 24 hours,” Dhillon said. “Industrial Alliance was four days behind but now they’ve come to turn things around in 48 hours. Canadiana is quick – they get back within 24 hours.”
 
Last year’s Brokers on Lenders issue revealed brokers gave an average score of 3.7 out of a possible five. The top seven were monoline lenders.
 
Still, strides still need to be made, according to Dhillon, especially because brokers are losing deals while waiting for lenders to approve or decline deals.
 
“Most waste five or six days before declining or approving and now we brokers are competing with the banks who can approve the deal right away,” Dhillon said “On the same good clients we have to wait two or three days and we can lose a client just because of the delays.”
 
  • Jim T, Advent Mortgage on 2015-06-08 9:50:24 AM

    My experience is just the opposite. Two of my top five lenders are Scotia and National Bank, both of which offer very quick turnaround. I usually get approvals within 24 hours and conditions reviewed within 48 hours with file complete within 2 days. If you are experiencing delays it could be a result of your commitment to your lenders. Like us brokers, lenders will also focus more energy towards brokers who do not waste their time and actually close the deals they send.

  • Jesse D on 2015-06-08 9:58:50 AM

    If a client goes to a bank mortgage specialist and that client has good credit, the required income and stability as per the application, they can get an automatic approval. TD is good for this.
    When our lenders, whether that be TD, BNS, Street, etc, are making us wait 48 hours on a good day, we risk losing the deal. We can prep the client & realtor if they're in the equation that it can take 48 hours, but they both still get nervous after 24 hours and get on us. Why go to a broker and wait 48 hours + when the bank specialist can get it approved instantly in some cases or worst case, in the same amount of time as a broker. ICICI is one of the quickest usually within the same day BUT their rates not always competitive. Lenders keep agreeing their times are slow but are doing nothing about it. Industial Alliance isn't really even in the market. They are not interested in signing new brokers, plus their servicing is terrible, not even in the equation of a usable lender. TD has only improved for brokers because of First National.
    These days everything is about speed and getting things done NOW.

  • Ex Boker Ex Banker Mono & Big 5 on 2015-06-08 11:38:58 AM

    The old adage garbage in garbage out applies here. Before and during a client interview prepare your client properly. Get essential documents up front such as income and down payment. Submit applications with this accurate information. Tell the real story in your comments, warts and all. The lender will work with you. They want your business. If you don't like your underwriter ask for a new one. If you send one deal a year to a lender be prepared to wait. If you send a lot of business your applications will be looked at quicker. If not talk to a BDM at another lender and set out your expectations of turn around time for potentially sending a lot of business their way.

    Over 30 years I have seen applications that can be approved in 5 minutes because all of the essential information was given to the underwriter. They don't have to call you to clarify information. They don't have to change the application and re-assess because income is $30,000 and not $40,000.

    From the broker side of things underwriters should answer their phones or reply to emails promptly. You may have the client sitting there and nothing makes you look worse is not being able to get a hold of the decision maker. It makes you look bad.

    Turn around time is a joint effort and not one sided.

  • Ron Butler on 2015-06-08 11:55:53 AM

    Ex Broker, bad application quality is always an issue and you are correct it slows down response time and always will. That being said; today in some small monoline shops, labor cost is VERY closely monitored and there simply are not enough bodies to handle true peak volume as occurs end of April through May.

    Jim T. there is always the issue of how you rank with the lender, if you are among the lender's top 25 brokers you will always get better turn around times.

  • Jim T, Advent Mortgage on 2015-06-08 12:41:41 PM

    Hi Ron, you are correct in that the higher you rank and the more biz you send gets you somewhat better treatment from lenders. Of course, this is no different than how brokers operate in how we segment the leads we get. Having said that, we must understand that underwriters operate this way as well, especially in shops where the underwriter is paid bonuses/commissions for closed deals. Underwriters will segment the deals based on a number of factors, including the ease of the deal, the fullness of the application, your funding ratios, etc., etc…..
    Here is what I do to get in front of the line and it seems to work well:
    -only send in full applications with extensive notes to explain where necessary
    -we never send an application to a lender unless we have all docs up front. This accomplishes two things: it prevents us from having to re-work a deal and waste time; second, by gathering all the docs upfront from the client, we get the client to do a bunch of work which shows us a stronger commitment from the client.
    -This leads to the next point, close your deals with your lenders. If you don’t have a high funding ratio, you are wasting the underwriter’s time which takes money out of their pocket! Why should they care about your deals if you don’t care about them.

    No matter how big or how small a producer you are, if you try the above your deals will get the attention that you believe they deserve.

  • Victor Simone on 2015-06-08 5:30:55 PM

    There was that sweet spot from 2003 to 2008 where our deal would get packaged, submitted to the "right lender", and it would get approved.

    I realize things change, but lenders are declining more deals than they had in the past. Perhaps, it's the insurers or some changes to the mortgage rules, but getting back to one and done would surely help everyone.

  • Colleen Lindsay on 2015-06-18 11:22:45 AM

    Good point by Jim T to have all docs up front. As an alternative lender, this especially true if brokers want a 24-48 hour turnaround time for more challenging deals. We have some tips on packaging alt deals at our (Bridgewater Bank’s) blog: www.bwbbrokerblog.ca.

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