I was surfing the internet this week when I stumbled across a survey conducted by a national lender. The results of the survey made me laugh so hard that milk came out of my nose – that was crazy considering several hours had passed since my daily intake of dairy, but I digress! So, the survey I saw measured the level of customer satisfaction of the mortgage process. Needless to say, the unscientific results proved that consumers were less than satisfied with the mortgage process in 2010 than in 2009. Consumers cited longer processing times and the burden of gathering documents as their primary reasons for being unsatisfied.
Honestly, I was quite shocked by the survey, not the results but the survey itself. The fact that consumers are unhappy with the process shouldn’t be discovered by a survey. That fact is obvious by listening to consumers’ comments when they are asked for “one more document,” reading the complaint letters they write, or reading the complaints they post online. One only has to open his eyes and ears to hear the complaints.
The cause of the majority of these complaints is additional government red tape creating more disclosures (and redesigned disclosures) and what seems like a never ending request for additional documentation to verify income, assets, and property values.
The solution to this problem is simple. Let the mortgage industry fix the mortgage industry’s problems. Our government cannot legislate solutions to the industry’s problems because the government doesn’t understand the industry’s problems. This is no different than a divorce court judge doing an auto mechanic’s job for a day.
Uncle Sam, if you would have just enforced the lending laws that have been on the books for decades, we never would’ve gotten into this mess we are in now. Common sense tells us you are not going to fix the mess you’ve created (or allowed to be created) by regulating an industry you know little to nothing about. The truth of the matter is you are not protecting the consumer more. You are confusing the consumer more, frustrating the consumer more because they are confused, increasing the cost of obtaining a mortgage, and causing everyone in the process (Realtors, lenders, attorneys, title companies, buyers, sellers, appraisers, etc) to be unhappy.
Besides, this industry of our operated just fine until you loosened the credit guidelines in the late 1990’s in order to achieve a 100% homeownership rate. Uncle Sam, thanks, but no thanks! Why don’t you let the housing industry fix the housing industry? Why don’t you find some regulations to regulate the regulators?