The Stack of Paperwork


I recently attended a closing for a couple that Sara and I have really enjoyed working with. They are buying a property from a Bank and have run into the usual assortment of issues that can be attributed to the process of buying a foreclosed property. The first delays were of the normal variety encountered when a consumer is waiting to hear whether their offer has been accepted or not. The offer was presented and then apparently shot off into a black hole. The Bank eventually replied and the normal procedures were put in place – inspections, appraisals, underwriting etc. And, against all odds, everything appeared to be relatively straight forward without drama. Until the septic inspection failed. The waiting began again and ultimately approached a month and a half before the Bank relented and did the repairs required by the County. And so we finally entered that magical time when documents are prepared and signatures for said documents are required.

It had been a while since I had been to a closing for the type of loan my customers were receiving and I admit that I was shocked at the sheer girth of the stack of papers to be signed. There must have been at least 60 documents that required a signature. To the uninitiated, the stack of forms and disclosures that must be signed by a consumer at closing is daunting. I may need to start hiring a masseuse to come in and work out the cramps in my costumers’ hands. Or maybe I’ll tell my customers they should consider getting a personal trainer so that they will be prepared for so many signatures. I wanted to shout out “pace yourself, dig deep – you’re almost done!” I remember someone saying a few years back that the mortgage industry was on the cusp of being “paperless”. Talk about wishful thinking. Seriously, what drugs were they taking?

I don’t know of anyone that is not somehow aware of the issues within the mortgage industry. And, I suppose that makes sense when the troubles within the industry are broadcast on TV and on the front page of all the major newspapers on a seemingly daily basis. Quite honestly, creating new forms and new disclosures doesn’t help. One of the issues in the past is that consumers were overwhelmed with all the paperwork and the complexity of the process. Adding an even larger number of forms and disclosures doesn’t help. After about ten forms, most consumers’ eyes will glaze over and they will sign the majority of their forms in a zombie-like haze.

Hopefully my customers will have their loan funded and closed today. They’ve done the waiting. They’ve been patient. They’ve done the signing. And so far, they’ve lived to tell the tale.

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2 thoughts on “The Stack of Paperwork

  1. Yes, it is rather daunting, isn’t it. It’s funny to hear some customers talk about how overwhelmed about the amount of paperwork the first time around, not so funny to see the trepidation in others’ eyes about the 2-3″ stack of paper in the middle of the table. That’s what I’m here for… to make it seem not quite so painful! 🙂

  2. Debbie –

    You are one of the very best escrow officers on the planet. If anyone can help customers steer through this mess, it’s you. Thanks for always doing such a great job.

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