SOURCE: The Mortgage Professor LLC
PHILADELPHIA, PA--(Marketwire - Sep 12, 2012) - After 15 years of advising consumers and the media on mortgage issues during tumultuous times, Jack Guttentag, an emeritus professor of finance at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, has expanded The Mortgage Professor website (www.mtgprofessor.com) from advice-and-education-only to a fully functional, interactive, "ombudsman" mortgage-shopping site with unique, consumer-oriented features:
- Lenders on The Mortgage Professor site are members of Prof. Guttentag's Certified Lenders Network, vetted by Guttentag for crucial issues of transparency, timeliness, comprehensive disclosure and honest approaches to loan offers and "price locking."
- Quoted prices are complete, reflecting all loan and borrower features that affect the price.
- Quoted prices are inclusive, covering all lender fees and all the features of adjustable rate mortgages that affect price adjustments.
- An in-depth, step-by-step process walks prospective mortgage borrowers-whether purchasing a home or refinancing-through the qualification process, selection of the mortgage/refinance type, selection of the best interest rate and lender, while allowing the borrower to monitor the process until loans are approved, "locked" and closed.
- Built into the process are decision-support calculators that allow consumers -- at each point in the process -- to determine their next-best-step.
- Consumers go through the entire process without revealing their identities, so they are not pestered by loan originators trying to sell them loans. The consumer chooses the lender rather than the reverse, and will be contacted only by the one lender they have chosen.
- Consumers determined to shop off-line can use the information obtained from the Mortgage Professor site to enhance their ability to shop offline effectively.
- The Mortgage Professor site is available free of charge to consumers.
"I see myself as ombudsman to consumers looking to purchase homes, refinance a mortgage, or take out a reverse mortgage," said Prof. Guttentag. "A mortgage is one of the biggest financial commitments consumers will ever make, but it's really hard to know whom to trust, because so much of the information available is distorted by various parties' commercial interests. My goal in building The Mortgage Professor site was to use my knowledge of the mortgage market to create a simple, transparent, honest and consumer-friendly way to bring ethical lenders and borrowers together while protecting consumers' privacy. Even if consumers don't buy a mortgage through the site, they'll come away armed with information and understanding that will help them get the right mortgage somewhere else."
In order to become a member of The Mortgage Professor's Certified Lenders Network (CLN), lenders must agree to: transmit their actual pricing directly to The Mortgage Professor website in real time; disclose complete price data, including interest rate, points, origination fees, and all fixed-dollar fees; for Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs), disclose complete information on all factors that could change future rates; provide "lock" requirements and extensive lock confirmation statements. Click here for a more detailed discussion of the CLN.
The step by step process is designed to help consumers obtain what Prof. Guttentag calls a "mistake-free mortgage." Prospective borrowers first learn if they qualify -- and how to improve their situations if they don't. Then they select the type of mortgage that best meets their needs; determine the appropriate combination of interest rate and lender fees; select the Certified Lender offering the best deal on the desired mortgage; monitor the price until the loan is locked and cleared to close; and lastly, compare the prices of title insurance and mortgage insurance (if required) on www.mtgprofessor.com with those quoted by the insurers selected by the lender.
About The Mortgage Professor
Jack M. Guttentag is Professor of Finance Emeritus at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He served as chief of the Domestic Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York; was a member of the senior staff of the National Bureau of Economic Research; and was managing editor of both The Journal of Finance and The Housing Finance Review. Prof. Guttentag has been advising consumers and the media on mortgage-related issues since assuming emeritus status in 1996.