How to Address Last Minute Mortgage Problems

Last-minute problems can prevent completion of a home purchase.

Last-minute problems can prevent completion of a home purchase.

Getting a mortgage can be a time- and energy-consuming experience. Even if the rest of the process goes smoothly, there’s a chance that last-minute issues may radically change the terms and conditions of the loan or bring the whole thing to a screeching halt. You don’t want to be surprised when you’re sitting at the closing table, so it’s best to plan for some of the most common last-minute mortgage complications beforehand.

Fulfill any conditions the lender imposes to receive final approval. These may include paying down debts or selling your current home. The lender may delay or even cancel a closing if conditions are not met.

Turn in any additional documentation the lender requested within a week of closing. This most often includes evidence that you satisfied any required conditions or proof of funds for closing costs and the first few months’ of mortgage, insurance and tax payments. If the lender doesn’t have all the necessary paperwork in its possession, it can’t verify these items and will likely refuse to close on the loan.

Confirm that the lender has sent the settlement documents to the lawyer or title agent overseeing your closing at least 24 hours before the meeting. This helps avoid the not uncommon issue of not having the closing documents sent in a timely manner, which can delay or even stop closing on the loan. Request a copy of the paperwork.

Review the settlement paperwork you receive so you can avoid another last-minute problem, such as inconsistencies between what you thought you were going to pay and the actual final figures. Check the principal loan amount, the interest rate, your monthly payment amount and closing costs -- including points and title fees -- to make sure the numbers are in line with your good-faith estimate. Contact your lender immediately if you notice any differences. Otherwise, you may find yourself short of funds and unable to close.

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About the Author

Lauren Treadwell studied finance at Western Governors University and is an associate of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors. Treadwell provides content to a number of prominent organizations, including Wise Bread, FindLaw and Discover Financial. As a high school student, she offered financial literacy lessons to fellow students.

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