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GFE Trigger

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Question: 
We have a mortgage preapproval program as defined by 203.2 - a preapproval program as a request for preapproval for a home purchase loan is an application under paragraph b(1) of this section if the request is reviewed under a program in which the financial institution, after a comprehensive analysis of the creditworthiness of the applicant, issues a written commitment to the applicant valid for the designated period of time to extend a home purchase loan up to a specified amount. Section 3500.2 defines an application as the submission of a borrower's financial information in anticipation of credit decision relating to a federally related mortgage loan, which shall include the borrower's name, the borrower's monthly income, the borrower's social security number to obtain a credit report, the property address; an estimate of the value of the property, the mortgage loan amount sought, and any other info deemed necessary by the loan originator. The six items to trigger a GFE requirement are property address, loan amount, monthly income, estimated value, borrower name, and social security. Since a property address is not known on a preapproval, is a GFE required? What if we request verification of income? Does that not trigger a GFE on a preapproval even if the property address is unknown?
Answer: 

HUD addressed this in the 1-28-10 FAQ update. Refer to #33 in the "GFE-General" section.

33) Q: Can loan originators request verification documents or charge fees prior to issuing a prequalification or preapproval?

A: No. In order to prevent over burdensome documentation demands on mortgage applicants, and to facilitate shopping by borrowers, the final rule specifically prohibits the loan originator from requiring an applicant, as a condition for providing a GFE, to submit supplemental documentation to verify the information provided by the applicant on the application. Loan originators, however, can require applicants to provide such verification information after the GFE has been provided, in order to complete final underwriting. In addition, the rule does not bar a loan originator from using its own sources before issuing a GFE to independently verify the information provided by the applicant.

Similarly, HUD has long supported a public policy goal of creating a circumstance where consumers can shop for a mortgage loan among loan originators without paying significant upfront fees that impede shopping. To this end, and consistent with the Federal Reserve Board’s recently issued revised regulations limiting the fees that a consumer may be charged for the delivery of TILA disclosures, loan originators may not charge consumers anything more than the cost of a credit report prior to issuing a GFE.

First published on BankersOnline.com 3/29/10

First published on 03/29/2010

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