Hello, it is now 2009 and it is time to come clean with your customer that today’s underwriting is not like it was two years ago. Many of you are aware that every underwriter is making sure that they dot their “I’s” and cross their “T’s,” and make sure that “K” comes before “L” and “Q” is after “P.” Now you have been very honest and upfront with your customer, told them that their rate is this and have told them the amount of cash they will be bringing to close, but what about the real time that it will take to have the underwriting done and the time to get them closed. This item is something that brokers have not been able to forecast, but it is time that you are honest with your borrower. Explain to them that the reason that lenders are running behind. It is truly due to volume and the current amount of workers that they feel comfortable hiring. Most account executives now send you an update as to the amount of days that their underwriting department is behind. I have found that if you are upfront and lay everything on the table and give the customer a timeline based on the information provided by your rep, the customer will not be calling you to close in three days and will realize that it will be 10 business days before you hear from them. I don’t mean that you should totally neglect calling your customer, but you can call them after a few days and give them an update on your lender. Keeping in contact is the one item that will not only put trust between you and your customer, but it will not leave them with any false expectations. Don Frommeyer, CRMS is secretary of the National Association of Mortgage Brokers and senior vice president of Amtrust Mortgage Funding in Carmel, Ind. He may be reached by phone at (317) 575-4355.