The Importance of Good Documentation


Mortgage lenders require borrowers to provide documentation to verify identity, property information, income and equity/down payment. These documents are known as conditions that the borrower must satisfy in order to receive a full-fledged mortgage approval (up until that point, the mortgage that you are offered is referred to as a “conditional approval”). When you are asked to provide certain documents – such a job letters, purchase contracts or bank statements – it’s important that you provide complete and accurate documents in a timely manner.

Why correct, complete information?

The lender requests documentation from you because it’s gives them a snapshot view of what kind of client you are. If you look bad on paper, mortgage lenders won’t want to lend you hundreds of thousands of dollars. This is why you want to provide complete and accurate information to us, which we will then review and pass on to the lender. The more thorough it is, the better idea the lender has about what kind of client you will be. It’s also a good idea to supply us with all required documents in one package, because then when we send them to the lender, they will get the whole picture at once, rather than little snapshots of information that they will later have to piece together.

Complete documentation is also important because it makes the whole process faster and reduces the headaches of having to re-send documents. For example, when we collect bank statements we require a few specific things: a) that the bank statement covers 90 days, b) that the statement states the client’s name, and c) that the statement shows the account number. If we receive a bank statement missing any of this information, we’ll have to request a new one (or a supplementary document), and that just slows the whole process down.

Why get it to First Foundation quickly?

Providing us with your documentation quickly not only speeds up the entire process, it also makes everything easier. We send the documents you supply us to the lender, so the faster you get documents to us, the faster they will be sent to the lender, and the faster the mortgage is considered “conditions satisfied” (which is where you have a mortgage for sure). This is especially important for those who have an imminent condition of finance date or closing date.

Also, if you have one document outstanding, it’s better than you provide it to us as quickly as possible. Not having supplied us with one piece of documentation could potentially hold up your whole mortgage longer that necessary, or even make it so that you’re not “conditions satisfied” before your condition of finance or close date (which is not a good thing).

So what can I do?

You can check out the Required Documentation Checklist that First Foundation has put together to give you a good idea beforehand what kind of documentation we’ll typically be requesting from you. Also, when we do request documents from you, please make sure you are providing the requested documents, and please get them to us quickly. If you ever have any questions about documentation, be sure to ask your Licensed Mortgage Broker and they’ll be able to help you along the way!

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