If I'm understanding it right, there are 2 things at stake.
Definition of a completed application
1002.2(f) (f) Application means an oral or written request for an extension of credit that is made in accordance with procedures used by a creditor for the type of credit requested. The term application does not include the use of an account or line of credit to obtain an amount of credit that is within a previously established credit limit. A completed application means an application in connection with which a creditor has received all the information that the creditor regularly obtains and considers in evaluating applications for the amount and type of credit requested (including, but not limited to, credit reports, any additional information requested from the applicant, and any approvals or reports by governmental agencies or other persons that are necessary to guarantee, insure, or provide security for the credit or collateral). The creditor shall exercise reasonable diligence in obtaining such information.
9(a) Notification of action taken, ECOA notice, and statement of specific reasons.
1. Timing of notice—when an application is complete. Once a creditor has obtained all the information it normally considers in making a credit decision, the application is complete and the creditor has 30 days in which to notify the applicant of the credit decision. (See also comment 2(f)-6.
The creditor must diligently follow-up to endure the application is being handled. The completed application is a rolling date! If the credit report is pulled at application and doesn't meet bank standards, the bank has 30 days from that point to notify the customer. If it's good, go to the next step, e.g. the appraisal. The appraisal may take a few weeks to get. When received, if the value does not meet standards, the 30 days starts on receipt of the completed appraisal, etc.
Integrity. With it, nothing else matters. Without it, nothing else matters.