Behind the Scenes
Step-by-step guide of what happens to secure your mortgage
The mortgage process can feel daunting, but we are here to help simplify it and teach you about what happens at each stage during the official mortgage process. We will be in touch throughout your journey, so no need to memorize this, but here’s a bit of context as to what is going on behind the scenes, and what we will need from you. This section will provide you with an overview of our part of the mortgage journey.
Step 1: Mortgage Application (1003)
When you request to lock in your rate with Morty, you have officially applied for a mortgage. During this process, you answer a variety of questions and provide additional information that is required for us to be able to assess eligibility and place you with the best options available within our lender marketplace. This information will be used as the foundation for the rest of the mortgage process as we work towards your final approval and closing. Here is a summary of the major categories that we will be collecting information on:
- Property Information
- Income & Employment
- Residential History (it’s important to let us know if you currently own any property)
- Credit Information (Social Security number, marital status, address, phone number, date of birth)
- Demographic Information (race, gender, ethnicity, and citizenship)
What to Expect
- A confirmation email that we received your rate lock request.
- Before proceeding to the next step, our team will do an internal review of all of the details you entered to make sure they conform to the lender's guidelines. In some cases, your Loan Officer will need to reach out to you to confirm any details that may impact your eligibility or loan terms.
Step 2: Lock + Registration
By the time you have reached this step, you have already selected a mortgage option that best suits your needs. At this stage, your mortgage advisor will leverage Morty’s Loan Options technology and review all of your information as well as your selection to make sure there aren’t any better options available. If this is the case, or you are still deciding how you would like to proceed, you will work directly with your mortgage advisor to review numbers and answer any remaining questions to help you feel confident in your decision on how to proceed.
In addition to matching you with the best available mortgage option and lender, Morty analyzes and reviews all of your information provided thus far to assess eligibility and determine your best path to closing. Once we have completed these steps, your mortgage is officially registered with your lender and the official final approval and closing process has been started. This is the point in time when you receive your loan number, initial disclosures are issued and initial document requirements are shared.
What to Expect
- Email confirmation from us at Morty that your rate has been locked!
- Initial Disclosures sent directly to you from your lender: Please review your Loan Estimate and sign your initial disclosures within three days of receiving them. If you are having any trouble finding your initial disclosures, please let your loan officer know.
- A request to pay for the appraisal; this amount will not be charged to your payment method until you have signed disclosures and are within a 30 day window of your closing date.
- Closing Tracker: Check out your Morty Closing Tracker, which has spaces to upload requested documents, which we will need for the next step.
What would make you not qualify for the loan? Check out our assets and employment sections to learn more!
Step 3: Submission to Underwriting
Submission to Underwriting requires a bit of work from you, but we will let you know exactly what we need! Lenders have underwriters who review your income, asset documentation, and disclosures to issue you a conditional approval and then final approval. We will need a few documents throughout this process, which you will find outlined on your Closing Tracker. Please note that we would like to submit your loan to underwriting within three days of registering and locking.
What to Expect
Document Requirements on your Closing Tracker. These documents vary borrower to borrower depending on circumstance but can consist of bank statements, W2s, paystubs, greencards, investment statements, mortgage statements on currently owned properties and so on.
We will reach out to your title company to place the title order. The title company is responsible for preparing several necessary documents required by lenders in order to close. It can take 2-3 weeks for title orders to be completed, so we aim to get the order sent out at least 3-4 weeks before your closing date.
Step 4: Conditional Approval
After your income & asset documents and credit have been analyzed by the lender’s underwriter, your Morty team will be notified that you are conditionally approved. Receiving conditional approval is a big step and a good sign that everything is proceeding smoothly. At this point, we will also know about any additional documents the lender will need from you before closing. These can be documents such as an updated paystub or bank statement(s) and we will update your Closing Tracker to reflect these additional requests. The conditional approval will also let us know of any third-party items that are still outstanding, such as:
- WVOE (Written Verification of Employment)
- Documents from the Condo Association (if purchasing a condo)
What to Expect
- An email notification from us letting you know additional requests have been added to your Closing Tracker.
Step 5: Final Approval aka Clear to Close
Once all additional requests have been uploaded to your Closing Tracker after conditional approval and all third-party items such as title, homeowners insurance, and the appraisal are complete, we will be able to submit everything to the lender for a Final Approval review. This review takes approximately two to three days and once complete, the lender will issue Final Approval. During this process, the lender will review everything that has been provided and worked on throughout the process as well as run final quality control and risk assessments. There are situations in which documents expire or new information is identified as part of this holistic check, so you may need to work with your mortgage advisor and Morty closing team to clarify final details during this process. It is important to work as quickly as possible on the items being requested as they are almost always required due to program guidelines and are not being asked for, for no reason.
What to Expect
- An email notification from us letting you know that you have been Cleared to Close along with confirmation of your preferred closing time and date.
- Your employer should expect a call during this time to complete a verbal verification of your employment - See our Verification of Employment Article for an in-depth view of this process.
Step 6: Closing
After the lender reviews and clears all of the documents and conditions, the title company’s settlement agent is the main point of contact. The settlement agent handles the scheduling of the closing with you and other interested parties. They are also responsible for balancing the final closing disclosure with the lender in order to provide a final cash to close number to you, the borrower, and making sure the lender’s wire is balanced. They will also confirm how they would like to receive the funds due at closing whether it’s by wire or a certified check.
Once final docs are signed and funds are received, the settlement agent will disburse the funds to all interested parties (real estate agents, mortgage broker, insurance company). After the funds are disbursed, the settlement agent confirms everything is set for recording and makes sure the closing is recorded in the local municipality’s records.
What to Expect
- You will receive a Preliminary Closing Disclosure via email that you must review and acknowledge at least three business days prior to closing. Business days in this context are considered any day other than Sunday or a Federal holiday. If this is not acknowledged by e-signature three days prior to closing, then closing will be delayed and pushed back. Final numbers may change.
- Review Final Closing Disclosure that will be signed at closing. The CD is balanced between the settlement agent, seller’s party, and lender between your final approval and closing. The final package should go out one or two days prior to closing, but sometimes it will be the same day depending on the situation.
- Finalize scheduling of the closing with the settlement agent and lender.
- The lender will wire funds in the amount of your new mortgage to your settlement agent ahead of the closing.
- You will need to wire funds or obtain a certified check for the funds due to the settlement agent.
- Prepare any items outlined by the settlement to have ready for the day of closing and signing of final documents.