written by: Mariam Anthony•edited by: Donna Cosmato•updated: 8/23/2010
A mortgage loan officer is the most important intermediary in the mortgage loan application and approval process. Some of the mortgage loan officer responsibilities are guiding the customer through the application process, and analyzing the ability of the customer to repay the loan.
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Mortgage loan officer responsibilities include assisting clients in their mortgage application process and choosing the most appropriate loan for the customer. Clients may have different goals, may come from different financial backgrounds, and their credit requirements may also vary. It is the responsibility of the loan officer to match the needs of the clients with the available mortgage products.
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Responsibilities while Analyzing the Mortgage Application
While some loan officers, especially those working in a bank or credit union, let the clients come to them, most loan officers actively market themselves and seek out new clients through partnership with real estate agents and related parties. Usually, loan officers do not have a fixed salary, but work on a commission basis, so it is in their interest to find as many new customers as they can.
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Once a client in need of a mortgage gets in touch with the loan officer, he analyses the client's financial background and creditworthiness. He also assess the ability of the customer to repay the mortgage. Sometimes, the loan officer will pre-approve an amount which is less than what the client is looking for, if he feels that the customer is not in a position to repay the higher amount.
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Customers needs and goals vary, and a wide variety of loans are available in the mortgage industry to match the requirements of the customers. It is the loan officer's responsibility to assist the customer in choosing the most suitable loan. For example, a fixed rate mortgage is suitable for a person with a fixed income every month, while an interest-only loan suits someone with a low income at present but whose income is expected to go up in the near future. A suitable candidate for an interest-only loan would be a medical student whose income is expected to substantially go up in the future, while a salaried person would do well with a fixed rate mortgage. A good loan officer should be aware of the new products in the mortgage industry so he can serve his customers better.
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Responsibilities while Processing the Loan
Once the loan officer and the client find a suitable mortgage product, it is the responsibility of the loan officer to verify that the documents submitted by the customer are in order. In order to do that, he will have to obtain the latest credit history, related financial statements, proof of collateral, and any other documents he requires from the client. The loan officer then analyzes and checks these documents to verify that the customer is creditworthy, and that his financial history and income prove he is capable of and willing to repay his loan. He must also give the customer an estimate of any closing costs, which is the cost of processing the loan application plus any related fees.
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The loan officer is the intermediary between the client and the higher management. He works to ensure that any disputes are resolved amicably, and get approval from management for granting loans that are out of his range. An important aspect of the mortgage loan officer responsibilities is working with clients whose accounts are delinquent to negotiate payment arrangements, and to ensure that the loan is made current again. It is also the responsibility of loan officers to send mortgages that the customers are unable to repay to authorities for collector action.
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1. U.S Department of Labor, http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos018.htm
2. Career planner website, http://www.careerplanner.com/Job-Descriptions/Loan-Officers.cfm