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How is Your Mortgage Broker Paid?

If you’re in the process of refinancing your mortgage with a broker, the answer to this question is important if you want to avoid paying too much for your new home loan. The compensation your broker receives for originating your mortgage is not only based on the fee you pay but includes a kickback from the lender based on how much you agree to pay or overpay.

This lender kickback is the reason that American homeowners will overpay sixteen billion dollars for their home loans this year according to the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Here is an explanation of how your broker is paid and what you can do to avoid paying too much for your next mortgage loan.

Mortgage Origination Points

The first method your mortgage broker is paid for their services is by charging you a fee. This fee is often called “origination points” or an “origination fee.” One point is the equivalent of one percent of your mortgage amount due at closing. How much is reasonable to pay for loan origination? In most cases you should not agree to pay the broker more than one percent for mortgage origination. Any more than one percent and your mortgage broker is taking advantage of you with this fee.

Yield Spread Premium

The second method of mortgage broker compensation that I’ll discuss today is called Yield Spread Premium. This is a fee, also called a P.O.C. charge (Paid Outside of Closing Fee) paid by the lender. You might be asking “If this fee is paid by the mortgage lender, why should I care about it.” The problem with Yield Spread Premium doesn’t come from the fact that your lender is paying the broker a fee, but why this fee is being paid in the first place. Mortgage brokers receive Yield Spread Premium as an incentive for closing loans with above market mortgage rates.

Mortgage Yield Spread Premium is a commission paid to your mortgage broker for overcharging you. That’s right…for every quarter percent you agree to overpay for your new mortgage loan the broker gets a kickback of one additional percent of your loan amount. In most cases this will double, even triple your mortgage broker’s compensation for your loan. The problem with this markup is that most mortgage brokers will never admit that they’ve marked up your mortgage rate and go great lengths to conceal what they’re doing.

How to Recognize Yield Spread Premium

The first opportunity to spot this markup of your mortgage rate is when you lock in your rate. If your mortgage broker actually requests a rate lock from the lender he or she will receive written confirmation of the lock. This rate lock from the wholesale mortgage lender will clearly display any markup of your mortgage interest rate. The problem is that many brokers type up a bogus rate lock confirmation on their own company letterhead that does not include Yield Spread Premium. This rate lock is completely worthless because it did not come from the lender and only serves to hide what the broker did to your mortgage rate.

Many brokers falsify this document and never actually lock in your mortgage rate. When the deal falls through because there was no lock the broker will find a way to switch you a more expensive mortgage product. This is a common bait-and-switch tactic used by many dishonest mortgage brokers. When you lock in your mortgage rate always insist on seeing the actual guarantee from the lender and never accept anything on your mortgage broker’s letterhead.

Yield Spread Premium on Your HUD-1

Your second opportunity to catch Yield Spread Premium on your loan is with the HUD-1 Statement. Your mortgage broker cannot falsify this document; however, you might not recognize the fee as Yield Spread Premium. If your loan includes the lender kickback it will be disclosed on lines 810-811 of the HUD-1. You might see it called “mortgage broker rebate” or “YSP paid to broker.” Whatever dollar amount you find on this line is the kickback your broker receives for overcharging you.

You Can Refinance With a Wholesale Mortgage Rate

Most homeowners don’t understand that they can refinance with a wholesale mortgage rate without paying this “retail” markup. You can find mortgage brokers willing to give you wholesale rates once you know how to negotiate the deal.

You can learn more about negotiating with mortgage brokers for wholesale rates by checking out my free mortgage video tutorial.

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