Frustrated with the US Mortgage Process? It’s your Name.

MI help stack of files

If you are a fourth-generation American and live in Oklahoma, in all likelihood, your legal name consists of no more than three words. For you, I’ve done very few loans. But as an originator in the transient global community that is South Florida, I can tell you that many of my borrowers use name variations consisting of four words—first name, middle name, father’s surname and mother’s surname.

If your full name consists of more than three words and you are not working with a loan officer that is familiar with the formatting of foreign name customs, the first issue the loan officer will encounter is how to enter 4 names into the origination software that provides only 3 categories for name entry (first, middle, last)? Will he put the first and the second name together under First Name with the first last name in the Middle Name section and the fourth name in the Last Name section? Will he hyphenate both last names? How does he address you?  Teach him.

Meet my borrower- Juan Pablo Menocal Macias. Addressed at home by his first and middle name of Juan Pablo because his brother is Juan Ricardo; each bearing his father’s first name and the middle name is that of their maternal and paternal grandfathers, respectively. By American tradition, both he and his brother would be called Juan (Juan 1 and Juan 2, I suppose).

At school, Juan Pablo preferred to have his friends call him Pablo. The first last name is his father’s surname and what is typically used as his standalone last name in the US. The second last name is his mother’s father’s surname and is rarely used in the US.
Because I am familiar with the usage of hispanic names, I enter Juan into First Name, Pablo into Middle Name and Menocal Macias into Last Name and then I start looking at the supporting documentation and realize our fun is just beginning.

Mr. Menocal’s documentation looks like this:
• Driver’s license Juan P. Menocal
• Social Security Card – Juan Pablo Menocal
• US Visa – Juan Pablo Menocal Macias
• Bank Statement – J. Pablo Menocal
• US W-2 Juan P. Menocal Macias
• US Tax Return Juan Pablo Menocal Macias

This is going to be a loan processing nightmare as the lender is tasked to verify identity and we are alerted to potential fraud that is triggered by any of the below:

1. Name used to pull credit report does not match the name attached to the social security number inputed.
2. The name on the Employment Visa does not match the name on the social security card.
3. Execution of form 4506-T to verify income as reported to the IRS is rejected, No Match Found.
4. Execution of form SSA-89 to verify the issuance of the social security number is rejected, No Match Found.

Future loan applicants reading this, whether you have 4 names or 3, been married once or 5 times, please take the time now to review your documentation and correct documentation by choosing one name variation consistently to avoid delays in the processing of your loan. And remember, if you fail to bring all documentation to the initial interview with your loan officer, he won’t be able to identify these issues upfront and you will be subjected to unnecessary delays.

Be Proactive.

If you’re already at the point of loan application and you don’t have time to make your name variations consistent on your supporting documentation, be sure to review the following with your loan officer at application:

a) Section VI of the loan application, reads, ” List any additional names under which credit has previously been received and indicate appropriate creditor name and account number.” I can tell you that it is very rare that a borrower will remember the name she used to open a credit card. However, it is in this section where all name variations should be listed, regardless if any credit was issued or not.

b) You may want to mention to your loan officer that he should include in his Cover Letter to underwriting a list of the documents that reflect a different name variation than how your name appears on the loan application. Also, be sure you detail how you would like your name to appear in titling. The format your name appears in Titling can differ than the format your name appears on the loan application.

c) In the disclosure package, you will receive one IRS Form 4506-T for each applicant. Please take a look at each W-2 and Tax Return provided to your lender and if these tax documents have a name and/or address that differs from how the name and present address appear on the loan application, you will need to model, print and sign various Form 4506-T’s to match the name and address exactly as they appear on each tax document. Otherwise, you will encounter a delay in the verification of income process which may lead to a denial if income cannot be verified within the 30 day ECOA timeframe.

d) Confirm the printed disclosure for form SSA-89 (Consent Based Social Security Verification) matches the name variation as it appears on the social security card or work authorization. If it does not, be sure to ask your loan officer to provide you with a blank one so that you can complete it to match and have proper verification in a timely manner.

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Sylvia M. Gutiérrez Mortgage Loan Originator, NMLS id 372427

Book Launch


I’m so excited to announce that I’ll soon be sharing insights from my 20+ years of mortgage loan origination experience with the general community in my new book, Mortgage Matters:  Demystifying the Mortgage Loan Approval Maze!

The mortgage industry has by many measures, struggled to meet consumer expectations on the timeliness of loan application decisioning.  Mortgage Matters will empower the applicant with the necessary tools of organization and understanding for the battlefield of mortgage banking.  I won’t sugarcoat it, regulatory changes now require a lot of documentation from the consumer and a lot more work for the lenders.  Streamlining the process is essential.

If you’ve waited until you’ve signed a sales contract/purchase agreement to begin loan preparations, you will in all likelihood experience a very stressful few weeks due to delays in gathering documentation and unease about the decisioning of your loan request.   As financing contingencies are very relevant agreements that need to be adhered to, work with your lender to deliver all necessary items without delay.

Beginning with a Comprehensive Mortgage Application Checklist,  you will have the roadmap to begin gathering the majority of loan documentation to deliver to your loan officer upfront, day one. Don’t go by the vague, short list of documents all lenders list on their websites.  Instead follow along in the book and develop an understanding as to what affects the mortgage process, learn the common avoidable delays, how lenders document income, what you can do today and every day to ensure you have access to the best available rates and loan programs.


For the millions of borrowers who are frustrated with the lending process, who have struggled through the decisioning of their loan, and who wish to reduce anxiety by gaining better control.


For the thousands of Realtors who are sought after by their buyers to assist with the struggles of understanding the mortgage loan approval process and who yourselves are experiencing increased anxiety with loan commitments oftentimes coming in a day before the scheduled closing – if at all, advance a copy of this book to your clientele as part of your value proposition to expedite the decisioning of their loan and thus create a more favorable experience for all parties.


For the thousands of mortgage industry professionals whose incomes, job descriptions, and career trajectories have been on a roller coaster ride for the last decade, I hope this book helps your clients come to your initial interview prepared, that you will increase your fundings and that you will be able to spend more time nose-to-nose, drumming up new relationships versus sitting behind an electronic device waiting for the next emergency to divert your attention.


For the Global Community who struggle with language barriers, different customs of US homeownership, a credit system that is new to them and who are subjected to even longer lists of documents requiring translations that add further delays, I’ve included a special section to address your specific concerns.  I will also be publishing the book in the languages of Spanish and Mandarin.


Don’t want to miss out on valuable content from my upcoming release?  Register for my newsletter to receive updates from my blog, Mortgage Matters and access to online content as discussed in the book such as a comprehensive mortgage application checklist, generic condo questionnaire, income worksheets, mortgage calculator, amortization schedule, property valuation models, links to agency guidelines, model forms and instructions for completion of 4506-T, SSA-89, VOE, sample letters of explanation, and credit, bank and employment reference letters and much, much more.

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Warm regards,

Sylvia M. Gutiérrez, NMLS id 372427