My “Talking” Good Faith Estimate

Ardell asked me to share with you how I present Good Faith Estimates to my clients when I’m not meeting with them face to face…and believe or not, most of my clients I never have the pleasure of meeting.   We do most of our conversation via email or over the phone.    When possible, I like to include a presentation where I review the good faith estimate for the client section by section.  

Here’s an example from a transaction a few months ago where my clients were buying utilizing an FHA mortgage with minimum down payment.

The program I use is called Jing and you have up to 5 minutes to record your presentation (I was pushing my time with this presentation…you might be able to tell that I’m trying to wrap it up at the end).   The uses for this program are endless.

This does take some extra time to prepare an estimate…but I think it’s worth it!

This entry was posted in Buying/Selling, Mortgage/Lending, Tech by Rhonda Porter. Bookmark the permalink.

About Rhonda Porter

Rhonda Porter is an NMLS Licensed Mortgage Originator MLO121324 for homes located in Washington state. Her blog, The Mortgage Porter, is nationally recognized for sharing relevant information to consumers about mortgages. She has been originating mortgages since 2000 at Mortgage Master Service Corporation #40445 Consumer NMLS Website: NMLS ID 40445. Equal Housing Opportunity. You can follow Rhonda on @mortgageporter, Facebook and/or Google+

100 thoughts on “My “Talking” Good Faith Estimate

    • This version of Jing allows you to create a 5 minute presentation. It takes a little getting used to and Jing’s site ( has tutorials that are excellent.

      There are basically three steps in creating the presentation:
      1) capturing the images from your computer screen.
      2) recording the session
      3) uploading to Jing

      I’d say it takes about 10-20 minutes. It might take a little longer in the beginning. 🙂

  1. Great presentation, Rhonda!

    I know this GFE is for a single family home, but can you explain the charges for “Condo Certification and HOA Fees” as it relates to condo purchases?

    Sellers pay for the Condo Resale Certificate, so is this for getting the condo approved for a loan type like FHA? Or is this simply a charge the lender adds for reviewing the certificate and making sure everything is in order and acceptable? (Eg: no lawsuits or pending assessments)

  2. Thank you, Rhonda!

    To all, I asked Rhonda for a GFE for a client the other, day and when I received both two pdf versions for two different scenarios PLUS the two videos explaining them to my client, I was floored. The videos were more personal, speaking to the client by name, and there was a third video where we could see Rhonda and she was introducing herself to my client.

    As Kevin noted, I was seriously impressed with both Rhonda and Jing. So much so that Kevin and I discussed the use of Jing in our business explaining the contract. Even though I do most often have the client sign contracts when we are together, this is an awesome tool for clients to be able to review the contract provisions over and over, after the fact.

    For my purposes, I needed the costs for writing the contract to know how much we might be asking the seller as a credit toward closing costs. Also, since the offer I was working on was a short sale, I needed to know how much room I might have if the lienholder later countered at a higher net proceeds than the original accepted offer would provide.

    Also, more than a pre-qualification or pre-approval, I like my buyer clients to know what their payment will be BEFORE they make an offer. That number of course will change as interest rates will change before we can lock the rate, especially on a short sale. But knowing more than the price limit of what a buyer can qualify for, is very important.

    Worth noting is that most of my clients are paying much less for the property, so that normal lender estimates of 1% to 1.25% of offer price are falling short of the current real annual taxes on the property. This can happen on any offer, but if it is a bank-owned property or short sale it is most often the case.

    I’m not sure how successful RE tax appeals are going to be this year, as the new assessed values coming out of King County in the last week or so are drastically reduced. They look like a rollback to 2008 assessed values before the County bumped many up by 30% or so. That is both a good and a bad thing, and I expect we will be talking about that in the weeks and months to come.

    Thank you Rhonda, and Happy 4th of July!

    • Thanks, Ardell. What I like about using Jing to review the GFE is that it breaks it down into “chunks” instead of having a page of numbers to look at. Before, if I just emailed the estimate, it would not be unusual to have a client ask what there payment was–or not understanding that the taxes and insurance are included in the payment.

      I do find that clients refer back to the video/jing as well… 🙂

  3. I especially liked the way you presented the “lender” fees separately from the “3rd party fees”. I tell my clients for many years that while the form as a whole is an “estimate”, I expect the lender to be right as rain on lender fees (barring changes to program and rate by lock time) and not as accurate as to 3rd party costs.

    In other words, I do expect them to know their own charges better than everyone else’s, especially if who will be doing Title and Escrow are unknown prior to offer and acceptance,which is normally the case.

    Separating the “included in APR” fees was also a very nice extra.

    • I take great pride in honoring my fees on my GFE as shown in section 800 and to make sure that clients view the section 800 fees in relation to the note rate. Some LO’s might go skinny on the title/escrow or reserves/prepaids… being able to explain why I have 15 days interest and that title and escrow might be higher or lower is important.

  4. I still try to meet all my clients face to face for the application and attend all my escrow signings, unless out of state. I feel like doing this is part of the service they pay for. Doing biz over email and phone only is a lot like “lending tree

    • Chris, I meet with clients too. Even when I meet with a client, I follow up with this GFE if I feel it’s needed.

      A majority of my clients are a result of my blogging efforts (or returning past clients/referral) and so most of the people I work with tend to prefer working with me via the internet and sometimes our schedules don’t cooperate. I can assure you, my clients are not receiving “lendingtree” type service.

    • Chris, insinuating that my business is similar to lendingtree is pretty insulting.

      If you read Ardell’s comment, the presentation that I made for her client was so that SHE could present this information directly too them. They’re not interested in meeting with a mortgage professional yet.

        • “He’s from a smaller town” is that an excuse? LOL

          I don’t know Chris and maybe he didn’t mean it personally… this is a perfect example of why video, voice and the type of technology that I’m sharing here are important. Text/email alone can be misunderstood since there is no tone or emotion.

  5. Thanks, Rhonda,
    As you know I’m an avid eyejot user. I often attach documents of all kinds and explain them with eyejot video email. I’ll explore the jing application.

    • As you know, I like eyejot, too! 🙂 I’ll attach the complete GFE/TIL with the jing review with my eyejot video email.

      Darn…now everybody knows my “secret sauce” LOL

  6. At the end of the video, you asked for some feedback so here you go.

    I first read this post via RSS while laying in bed recovering from last night’s most awesome Green Day concert so I couldn’t see the video until now. I wish this could be sent out as just a plain audio file. I couldn’t really see the parts of the GFE. Maybe if I viewed the video in larger screen I’d be able to follow along better. Perhaps my hearing has been impaired a bit from the concert because I had trouble hearing the audio even though my sound is turned up all the way.

    The next thing that came to mind is compliance. If I were a manager, I would darn well want to be sure my people were well trained before I let them use this technology which would expose the LO and my company to added liability.

    The last thing that came to mind was that at first, it just sounded like a reading of what I already see on my Good Faith Estimate. I wouldn’t want someone to say, “Line 801 is the loan origination fee” when I can clearly read that from the form.

    I guess I was hoping for more of an explanation like, “This is the loan origination fee and here’s what an LO fee pays for….” This is the title insurance fee and you are purchasing a lender’s title insurance policy that will benefit the lender….” and so forth.

    The “Your Guide to Settlement Costs” booklet from HUD says just about everything you say.

    Well, I do see the advantage of saying things more than one time to people. Sometimes clients need to hear things over and over again before they get it.

    In addition, I think this will come in handy when we move to the new revised GFE in Jan 2010.

    Overall, VERY creative and very clever. I would love your permission to show this to my LO students. This would make a great case study on potential liability v. truly taking the time and effort to fully inform the client.

    • Jillayne, with 5 minutes do review a GFE piece by piece, you’re limited on how much detail you can go into…it’s really just an overview and hopefully it triggers other questions for clients. I may wind up posting an actual example where I’m addressing clients (I often discuss points there and that agents like to direct title/escrow…etc)…I used some of my limited time explaining what I was doing in the intro.

      I think this is most useful for consumers to refer back to. Even when I meet with clients and review the GFE with them, I know that some of them won’t be able to retain all of the information–especially when you’re dealing with an emotional transaction, like buying a home.

      Feel free to share this post with your students. 🙂

  7. Chris,

    My clients’ time is very valuable. Rarely do my clients need to “meet” with a mortgage professional for any reason whatsoever…very, very rarely. Never because the mortgage professional “likes” to do it that way.

    What’s to meet about if someone has 40% down, a credit score of 810, etc…? We want the pre-approval letter to make an offer, and the best loan within 5 days of signed around.

    What’s the “meeting” for?

  8. Rhonda,

    My client loved it, as you know. Sorry this post went sideways on you. Sad really. This GFE is for someone who has to purchase and sale agreement yet and the type of loan is being considered. Could be FHA, House Key Program, USDA…we haven’t decided yet.

    I needed a broad overview of ALL of these programs at this point, prior to making the offer.

    Fine tuning comes in within the first 5 days of being signed around.

    • Thanks, Kathy. I hope so…especially if a consumer is deciding which mortgage professional to use just by the good faith estimate…I want an opportunity to explain why I have 15 days of prorated interest and 6 months of taxes and why my title and escrow fees might seem higher then “the other guys”.

  9. I did not mean to offend Rhonda,
    She does a great job!

    I do see the value in the system she uses but would only make sense for ME on the rare occasion that I could not meet face to face . And by the way Ardell the clients and realtors that I have done business with the past six years appreciate the way I treat them. Jillayne, I do not know what town/city size has to do with it, I think you have inhaled an overabundance of sparkler smoke!

    Like Rodney King Said, ‘Can’t We All Just Get Along?

    • Hey Chris, I’m glad you came back and clarified your point. 🙂 When I hear “lendingtree” it really makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck…I’ve written a two part post here at RCG about a client who started with LT and wound up w/me.

      My business has really shifted because of social media/blogging. I don’t work with many of the agents that I started w/9 years ago as a LO (further back as a title rep) mostly thanks to the pressure they’re under to use the JV’s.

      Most of the agents I work with found me from a consumer who discovered me on the www and/or they appreciate “my style” as well. I’m really fortunate (someone knock on wood–fast!) to have found a medium that suits how I like to do business. If someone were to tell me that I couldn’t blog, use video presentations, etc…and that all I could do was cold call or wait for an upcall; I’d quit.

      Ardell also hit it with her point, her clients don’t have time to meet w/an LO–I’ve found this w/my clients and just trying to make schedules work (especially if you have more than one borrower). This tool helps couples see and hear the same thing…whenever I’m just talking to one partner, I wonder how the message might be conveyed to the other.

      The type of client that I attract due to blogging generally prefers this type of communication.

      This presentation may not work for every mortgage originator or client.

      I think I’m about due for some sparkler smoke! LOL

      Happy 4th of July to you and yours.

      • Good stuff,
        I look forward to learning more about it. I’m sure I could learn a lot from you.
        I think as the years go by there will be less human contact business in all venues.
        Just so you know (and it’s on record) I do not stalk my clients they still for the most part prefer and see value in meeting F2F.
        I love new technology; in fact my town just got its own fax line! Makes doing biz much easier..

        Keep on truckin!

        • Chris, Are you teasing me about the fax line?

          It will be interesting to see if the SAFE Act impacts the industry as such that we’re all lending across the country. I’m limited to the State of Washington–and I’m happy with that…but if side effects of SAFE creates more of a national lending atmosphere, then this would be a tool that could be used appropriately.

          I always think it’s good to be able to track your LO down…worse case scenario.

          My LT scenario that I discussed earlier was about a local buyer who wound up with a LO in Florida (I believe)… when things went wrong, she just had to stop answering his phone calls.

  10. I do 95% of my biz in this state as well.
    It used to make me angry when I would see other GFEs from the comp with one day of interest on a FHA loan and a month of taxes but as I became a better, more informed and confident LO it then became an opportunity to stand above the bouillabaisse of lending horse pucky.

    I just downloaded Jing! Do you use the free or the Jing pro?

    The next two-three years will tell a lot and I’m sure that as long as we are able to originate we will (if my head does not explode first)

    I’m not teasing about the fax….I promise.

    • Chris, I love it…quite the visual: “bouillabaisse of lending horse pucky”. Back in my title rep days, I just worked with a handful of LO’s just because of that. 😉

      I think I’m doing JingPro and I honestly don’t remember why…yikes.

      I’m the current Chairperson for WAMP’s Social Media Committee…I’m having a lot of fun teaching my competitors (errr…I mean fellow mortgage originators) different techniques to work with and gain new clients.

    • Hi Ardell,

      I’ve been using Jing for a couple of years now. Every time I use it I get a very positive response from clients and biz partners. If I’m not in front of my clients, I’m using Jing. It has progressed a lot and keep getting better.

      You can even use video of yourself along with the screen capture now. Not sure if Rhonda has used that yet. Very cool.

      Rhonda did a nice job.

      • Thanks Ardell and Chik.

        Chik, I don’t use Jing’s video (yet); I prefer to do a separate video using

        Chik is actually one of the mortgage professionals who encouraged me to check out Jing (I think Dave Savage did too)…at the time, I wasn’t sure what or how I was going to use it. The review of the GFE is very practical. (I believe) both Chik and I subscribe to Mortgage Coach which allows you to run comparisons of programs side by side…Chik has been posting some examples on Twitter… check it out

  11. Jerry,

    A lot of Kevin’s clients who own in South Beach Florida, live in New York City. Face to face isn’t always an option from the client’s standpoint.

  12. Ardell- I didn’t say face to face contact was always possible, I said it was always better communication-wise. Here’s a job of mine in Argentina which I went down to seven times to oversee and fine tune. J- (Click)

  13. I love that room, Jerry! (in the link)

    I often give classes for agents on various topics involving new technologies, and often I hear them say “I’d rather talk in person or by phone”. My response is always “it doesn’t matter what YOU ‘want’ to do.”

    The reality is that face to face allows the professional to control the room and outcome, and people feel more comfortable if they can view things from various professionals without obligation.

    Face to Face is more often appropriate after the consumer chooses a professional, or at least narrows down the field to one or two. When speaking with lenders prior to having a purchase and sale agreement on a house, face to face is often a waste of time.

    The old days of “come in and let’s talk about it” in response to a question (vs. an answer to the question) are over. The answer to every question can’t be “a meeting” and meetings will more and more be via new technologies vs. people “travelling to” one another.

  14. Ardell, somewhere in this thread you made a comment along the lines that consumers like being able to review scenarios…kind of hard to find w/the current set-up and some of the comments/self-promo’s… here it is:

    “The reality is that face to face allows the professional to control the room and outcome, and people feel more comfortable if they can view things from various professionals without obligation”

    I never really thought about this aspect–but it’s so true. My thoughts were that this was more of tool for people to refer back to in addition to the “white paper”.

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