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Everything You Should Know About the Loan Approval Process: An Interview with Leo DiPierre of Wintrust Mortgage

By Leo DiPierre

Tell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer.

Wintrust Mortgage is a full-service lender, a bank and a broker. We are the best of both worlds: as a bank we offer the most competitive rates as a broker we can fund loans that are more challenging and require more specialized lending. The borrower has more options and more choices of loans this way. This enables us to provide the best possible financing. We lend in all 50 states, residential as well as commercial, although the majority of our loans are residential. .

Is there a common misconception that people have about getting approved for a home loan?

There are a lot of misconceptions about getting approved for a loan, especially today. I think the primary one is income qualification right now. How to determine what you qualify for in terms of a purchase price is complicated and requires a conversation with a loan specialist such as myself. Whether you are self-employed or salaried retired, living on a fixed income or some other sort of income.

Can you briefly outline the main steps in the mortgage approval process?

The main steps in the mortgage process are :

1. The application, where we obtain pertinent documentation from the borrower.
2.Ordering documentation, where within 24 hours of application we request credit report, appraisal, verification of employment, funds to close, landlord or mortgage ratings and any other supporting documentation.
3. Awaiting documentation, at this point we check for any issues that might arise and request additional documentation if needed.
4. Loan submission, here the entire loan package is put together and submitted for approval to our underwriters.
5. Loan approval, this step takes anywhere from 24 to 72 hours and the loan is then fully approved.

What are the most challenging steps for home loan applicants?

The most challenging step is really to grasp the loan process because it's not familiar. It's not something you do every day and as a result a lot of it seems strange and doesn't make a lot of sense, but once you have gone through it with us it is quite easy to grasp.

How can you better prepare yourself for the loan process?

The best way to start is to talk to a loan specialist such as myself to get you started. If you'd rather not contact someone directly, I have a very helpful series of email programs that give you step-by-step instructions to prepare yourself. There are many things to organize such as credit, down payment, income verification and assets that you will want to have ready

Do you have any tips to help people work successfully with a mortgage broker?

Absolutely. No matter what your situation you must tell the mortgage broker you are working with. No matter what it is bad credit, a divorce, bankruptcy, foreclosure, short sale, child support . . . anything, you have to be upfront with the loan specialist. We want you to get the loan and we do not get paid unless your loan funds, so we are here to help facilitate your loan successfully closing. If you hold back on anything financially, we will find out later anyway and then it may be too late to do anything about it. So please if you take nothing else from this interview take this advice be forthright.

What's the best way for people to contact you and your company?

Phones: direct 818 755 2808, office 818 386 6666
Fax: 818 301 2165

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Phone: 818-755-2808

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