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Considering a career in loan processing?  If so, it will be very helpful to know some of the skills and responsibilities that a loan processor may be required to have. Loan processors often have wealth of knowledge. Let's take a look at the various job functions that are often considered to be a part of the loan processing function. There are a variety of positions that help keep the home loan process flowing smoothly. Here are a few of those positions along with some important details about each one. 


  

     Processing Assistant


A processing assistant should possess the following skills and characteristics:

1.Computer literate including:
  • Research skills for performing information searches
  • Knowledge of how to access and send correspondence via e-mail and the lender’s website interface
  • Uploading and downloading documents and forms
  • Ability to easily navigate mortgage related web sites, blogs and forums
  • Good typing skills (speed and accuracy)

2.Organized
  • Knows the importance of being able to access resources quickly 
  • Familiar with online and offline organizational tools: managing email and other correspondence, filing and labeling systems, physical and virtual document storage and more.

3.Good communication skills
  • Has the ability to communicate well (verbal and written)
  • Clearly understands the difference between communication styles that are acceptable for social media vs those that are considered acceptable for traditional business correspondence
  • Understands the purpose of various means of communication and uses them appropriately (i.e., a return phone call for an urgent matter rather than send an e-mail and wait for a response)

4.Grasps new procedures, concepts, and ideas quickly
  • Ability to review and implement steps for processing related tasks independently 

A processing assistance should be capable of managing the following projects:

5.Manage a general e-mail box. Provide him/her with guidance as to what to print, retain, delete, and notify management of.

6.Answering the phone, taking messages, and returning general inquiry calls.
7.Uploading, downloading, faxing, e-mailing or completing online verification and information requests including:
  • Preliminary title reports
  • Appraisal reports
  • Flood certification reports    
  • Payoff requests
  • Written or verbal verification of employment
  • Verification or rent or mortgage history
  • Credit reports
  • Land Surveys

8.Setting up a loan file in the required stacking order
9.Scanning, copying, emailing or converting a file
10.Uploading, downloading, emailing, scanning or shipping files or packages
11.Ordering supplies via telephone or Internet
12.Emailing, uploading or faxing file conditions to the lender
13.Sorting and distributing incoming documnets
14.Coordinating a closing/signing with the lender and title company
15.Obtaining and providing status updates
16.Assisting with any training or meeting facilitation activities

Where can you find a processing assistant:

  • Online job banks
  • Post an opening online to your network or forum members
  • Start an internship program and take on high school or college students
  • Advertise for part-time, flexible work hours 
  • Utilize the help of family, friends, and associates
  • Offer free training to aspiring mortgage professionals who need more experience to get the industry position they desire


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        LOAN PROCESSOR


A Loan Processor should possess the following skills and characteristics in addition to those that are noted above for a processing assistant:

1.  A pleasing personality –it will go a long way in his/her effective interaction with
  • Borrowers
  • Lenders
  • Brokers/originators
  • Processing assistants/supervisors
  • Third-party service providers
2.  Basic mortgage industry knowledge including:
  • Industry language and acronyms
  • Regulatory compliance
  • The lending process (in-house and for your primary lenders)
  • Mortgage calculation formulas (for quick and easy file review/analysis)
  • Loan programs and features

3.  The ability to perform standard processing duties including:
  • Ability to understand and adhere to regulatory compliance guidelines
  • Verifications of mortgage, rent, income, employment, assets
  • Calculations for income such as wages (hourly/salary), commission, self-employed, etc.
  • Understanding the components of a credit report and credit characteristics
  • Ability to understand lender documents particularly submission, rate lock, and approval forms
  • Ability to analyze title and appraisal reports
  • Ability to analyze file documents to determine if they meet requirements
  • How to prepare and submit a file that is in alignment with established underwriting guidelines
  • Ability to understand AUS findings/feedback reports
  • Ability to determine what documents will satisfy a condition
  • The ability to navigate and perform complete data entry on loan origination and processing software, such as Calyx Point, Encompass, 
           or other LOS’
  • How to read retail/wholesale rate sheets and price a loan based on this data
  • How to find and utilize current guidelines for various loan types such as FNMA, FHLMC, FHA , etc.
  • How to evaluate the accuracy of the HUD settlement statement

4.  Other personal attributes that are beneficial include:

  • Honest/ethical
  • Reliable
  • Persistence
  • Resourceful
  • Attention to detail
  • Ability to perform well in stressful or difficult situations

PROCESSING ASSISTANT                   LOAN PROCESSOR 1 & 2                     PROCESSING SUPERVISOR
        PROCESSING LEADER/SUPERVISOR


A processing supervisor should have the following skills and characteristics in addition to those that are important for the loan processor and processing assistant:

1.Strong process-management skills
2.Ability to facilitate training and team development
3.Thorough knowledge of all aspects of real estate lending including regulations, standard underwriting guidelines and loan policy
4.Ability to coordinate and supervise daily processing center activities including:
  • Prepare staff work schedule
  • Assign files for processing based on complexity and projected close date
  • Communicate effectively with brokers, lenders, and borrowers regarding file development and resolution of issues
  • Manage office pipeline including maintaining logs and generating reports
  • Review application files to determine feasibility
  • Monitor accuracy and timeliness of documents submitted for underwriting
  • Observe processing activities to make sure that customer service standards are being met

            Processing Manager


A processing manager has a diverse role that requires processing knowledge as well as knowledge of management principles and operational efficiency systems. The processing manager should have the following skills and characteristics in addition to those that are important for the processing supervisor, processor and processing assistant:

1.Good reasoning/evaluation skills
2.Attention to detail
3.Excellent communication, management and conflict resolution skills
4.Ability to train and develop processing staff
5.Ability to analyze and implement workflow assignments
6.Ability to analyze and make recommendations for process improvement
7.Develop and/or analyze profitability reports
8.Resolve internal and external conflicts with all involved parties
9.Monitor adherence to regulatory compliance, established systems and procedures
10.Report to owner/CEO monthly regarding operational efficiency
11.Perform human resource administration tasks including interviews and performance evaluation, promotions, and disciplinary action

                        Owner


The owner of a independent/contract processing company will bear the responsibility for the management and operation of the entire processing center. This individual should have the following skills and characteristics in addition to those mentioned for other personnel.

1.An understanding of regulatory compliance. Additionally, they must: 
  • Stay abreast of federal and state regulations
  • Stay abreast of preferred lender policy and procedure
  • Provide in-house regulatory compliance training for staff

2.Risk management skills
  • Evaluate lender, broker, and vendor relationships 
  • Implement identity theft prevention activities
  • Ability to identify mortgage fraud red flags

3.Develop policy and procedure 
  • New hire orientation
  • Team development
  • Develop workflow system

4.Develop incentive and compensation plan for salaried and contract employees
5.Develop and implement a quality control process
6.Business organization/structure  
  • Incorporation, DBA, etc.
  • Managing expenses and accounts receivable
  • Business growth objectives
  • Form beneficial partnerships and alliances
  • Organize advisory board (legal, professional, etc.)
7.Evaluate and acquire high capacity equipment and technology
  • Pipeline management system
  • LOS software
  • Office equipment
  • Internal and external communications system
8.Business development including
  • Market research
  • Develop and implement marketing strategies (online and offline)
  • Determine scope of services 

9.Strong Personal Attributes
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Processing, origination, and underwriting experience
  • Project management experience
  • Human resource administration experience
  • Excellent public relations skills


Other processing center positions:

1.Receptionist- Phones, filing, in-person customer contact
2.Processing clerk – Logging loans, file set up, faxing information requests
3.Courier- File pick-up/delivery, post office, general errands
4.Technical support- Equipment maintenance and troubleshooting
5.Post-closing clerk- Coordinate delivery and storage of closed files
6.Corporate trainer-Facilitate training for processor and broker staff
7.Marketing director- Develop and implement marketing strategies
8.Webmaster – Maintain website and upgrade content
9.Quality control manager – Review files during processing and after close to identify potential policy violations
10.     Social Media Manager – Effective management of online interactive sites


The requirement for college or a college degree for loan processing positions varies with each employer. Typically, the more advanced the position is, the greater the required level of education and previous employment experience will be.

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