United Wholesale Mortgage (UWM) reports that it has removed the 0.25% escrow waiver fee nationwide for all conforming conventional loans.
The change is designed to give mortgage brokers nationwide a competitive edge over large banks and mega retail lenders that typically charge 0.25% of the loan amount to allow a consumer to manage his or her yearly tax and insurance payments, the firm says in a release.
As a result, borrowers can potentially save thousands of dollars at closing on fees and an initial escrow deposit.
UWM says it is the only lender that has eliminated this fee nationwide.
“This change is a major win for our mortgage brokers and their borrowers,” says Mat Ishbia, president and CEO of UWM. “Removing the 0.25 percent adjustment will allow borrowers to keep more money in their pockets and the flexibility to pay their own taxes and insurance yearly.”
UWM says it will allow borrowers to waive escrow on all conventional loans up to 90% loan to value (LTV). For LTVs exceeding 80%, borrowers will be required to have a FICO score greater than 720.
“Having no charge for an escrow waiver is huge for my borrowers,” says Tim Ayers, a loan officer at Grandview Lending in Indianapolis. “It lowers the amount of cash my borrowers need at closing, gives them potentially a better interest rate and lets me outshine the big banks that have a 0.25 percent charge for waiving escrows.”
In related news, UWM has been significantly ramping up its investment in technologies to aid both brokers and borrowers. For example, the firm recently launched a suite of new tools that ultimately allow borrowers to avoid having to submit hard copies of documentation needed for loan approval. About a month ago, it rolled out a new automated income verification tool. Prior to that, it introduced new e-sign technology. More recently, it introduced new tools for automated asset verification and tax returns.