Mortgage Lending Organization Structure

The Organizational Design of a Mortgage Lender: Definitions, Roles & Responsibilities

Mortgage Banking Organization Chart

Mortgage Lending Organizational Structure Outline

Mortgage Lending Organization Chart Template

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Mortgage Lending

The Mortgage Banking, or Mortgage Lending, Group is responsible for originating and servicing mortgage loans for retail (i.e., individuals or families) clients. Mortgage lending sales staff members work with borrowers to assess their eligibility and collect any personal information required to process the mortgage application (W-2 forms, tax returns, account statements, etc.). After the application is submitted, appraisals, credit reports and other inspections are performed so that the underwriting group can make a decision on the application (approve/deny/counter). If the mortgage application is approved by underwriting and closed, mortgage loan servicing and account managers work with borrowers to process mortgage payments, change account information and answer any questions related to their mortgage. Mortgage lending groups may also work with correspondent lenders to source applications and/or sell mortgages on the secondary market.

Common Mortgage Lending job titles: EVP/SVP of Mortgage Operations, EVP/SVP of Mortgage Banking, Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

Mortgaage Sales

The Mortgage Sales function works to generate sales leads, educate potential borrowers on loan options, and move borrowers through the loan origination process. Mortgage Loan Officers, or Sales Representatives, are tasked with performing all of the front office, customer facing tasks related to mortgage loan origination, including collecting customer information (pay stubs, tax returns, credit reports, etc.), communicating with borrowers throughout the origination process and reaching out to potential new borrowers to grow their book of business.

Common Mortgaage Sales job titles: Mortgage Loan Officer, Mortgage Sales Manager, Mortgage Banker, Mortgage Consultant

Mortgage Loan Operations

The Mortgage Loan Operations function is responsible for all tasks between the submission of a mortgage application and the final funding (pending approval) of a mortgage loan. The steps between include application processing, underwriting (approval or denial of loan application), closing, and post-closing. The main purpose of this step is to evaluate the prospective borrower's credit-worthiness (i.e., risk level) to determine if the bank should lend to them, and if so, what the terms of the loan should be. After the loan has been processed, approved and funded, the borrowers work with the Mortgage Loan Servicing function to process payments, update account information and answer any questions related to the terms of the mortgage. In many cases, mortgage originators sell loans to a third party to be serviced.

Common Mortgage Loan Operations job titles: Mortgage Loan Officer, Mortgage Loan Originator, Mortgage Underwriter, Mortgage Loan Processor, Mortgage Funding Specialist

Application Processing

The Application Processing, or Origination, function is responsible for processing the applications submitted by borrowers who are looking to obtain a new loan. During the application process, a borrower submits a variety of financial information (tax returns, prior paychecks, credit card info, etc.) to the mortgage lender, who uses it to determine the type of loan the borrower is eligible for and what interest rate will be paid. Though applications for loans may be made through several different channels, in general, loan applications may be split into 4 types: agent (branch-based), agent-assisted (over the phone), broker sale (third-party sales agent or loan officer) and self-service (through online/mobile applications).

Common Application Processing job titles: Mortgage Loan Originator, Mortgage Loan Processor, Mortgage Loan Specialist


The Mortgage Closing function is responsible for the last step in buying and financing a home. Also called a settlement, closing a loan is when all parties in the mortgage loan transaction sign the necessary documents (loan estimate, closing disclosure, initial escrow statement, etc.), ensuring that the buyer of the home becomes legally responsible for the home and of paying back the mortgage. Closing a mortgage loan may involve the buyer's title insurance company, an escrow company, the buyer's lender, the buyer's attorney and the seller's attorney. Depending on the availability of all those involved in the mortgage loan transaction, closing a mortgage loan could take several weeks to complete or just a few hours.

Common Closing job titles: Mortgage Loan Closer, Mortgage Loan Processor, Closing Coordinator

Portfolio & Credit Risk

The Portfolio & Credit Risk function is responsible for analyzing the quality of the loans being originated by the lender based on the lender's risk tolerance and establishing standards that loan underwriters can use to make decisions on mortgage applications. Portfolio & Credit employees use historical data to create borrower profiles that can be used to predict the likelihood that a borrower will default on their mortgage. They also assess the quality of loans based on the value of the home and the lender's ability to sell the loan to a third party mortgage loan servicer.

Common Portfolio & Credit Risk job titles: Mortgage Credit Analyst, Risk Analyst, Credit Analyst


The Post-Closing function prepares and records all mortgage loan documentation in order to release the original Deed and Deed of Trust into the new home owner's hands. Post-Closing employees also ensure that all documents gathered during the origination process are complete and in good order (to prepare to pass the loan off to the Loan Servicing function and/or to sell the loan third-party). The Post-Closing process can take up to six months as they not only correct any recording issues that come up, but they also obtain and pay the final water bill, maintain and disburse repair escrows, issue title policies, return signed orginal documents to the lender and resolve any questions or issues that were left unanswered during the origination process.

Common Post-Closing job titles: Mortgage Post Closing Specialist, Post Closing Specialist, Final Documentation Specialist, Mortgage Post Closer


The Underwriting function is responsible for assessing mortgage loan applicants and making decisions on whether to accept or reject mortgage loan applications. Mortgage underwriters weigh the probably financial risks of their applicants (obtained through analyzing financial and other information submitted along with the applicant's mortgage loan application) against the potential costs of funding the loan. They use data and guides developed by the Portfolio/Credit Risk team to make pricing and acceptance decisions based on risks associated with the potential borrower's credit "profile" (age, location, income, debt levels, credit history, daily habits, etc.).

Common Underwriting job titles: Underwriter, Underwriting Analyst, Mortgage Loan Underwriter

Mortgage Loan Servicing

The Mortgage Loan Servicing Group deals with all communication between the borrower and the lender after the approval and initial funding of the loan. They collect payments, help the borrower with repayment plans or loan consolidation and assist with other customer service-related tasks (address change, billing questions, account statements, insurance adjustments, escrow account management, etc.) during the life of a loan. Mortgage servicers are compensated with servicing fees, generally a small percentage (less than 1%) of the remaining principal balance on the loan each month. In many cases, loans are sold to a third party to be serviced after origination is completed.

Common Mortgage Loan Servicing job titles: Mortgage Loan Servicing Specialist, Mortgage Customer Service Representative, Mortgage Loan Servicing Representative

Collateral Management

The Mortgage Collateral Management function is responsible for mitigating credit risk by documenting borrower assets to serve as collateral against the possibility of payment default. The recipient of the loan essentially pledges to relinquish ownership of certain property should he or she be unable to pay back a loan at the scheduled time. Collateral Management involves monitoring the asset for changes in value and other events which may affect the terms of the loan agreement. There are a wide range of possible asssets that can be used to provide collateral, ranging from cash, government securities and letters of credit to real estate, commodities and other physical assets.

Common Collateral Management job titles: Collateral Management Specialist, Collateral Analyst, Document Management Specialist

Customer Service/Account Management

The mortgage Customer Service/Account Management function provides customer service to mortgage loan borrowers by answering questions (involving the borrower's account, mortgage loan, payments, etc.) and resolving any issues borrowers may have. Representatives from the servicing insitution stay in contact with borrowers throughout their lifetime with the company to provide support and, when possible, sell additional products and services (i.e., renew accounts/contracts, cross-sell related products, etc.). An Account Manager may be responsible for a single borrower (in the case of a high profit account) or a larger group or pool of borrowers.

Common Customer Service/Account Management job titles: Customer Service Representative, Customer Service Specialist

Escrow Management

The Escrow Management function is responsible for overseeing borrower escrow accounts that are typically used to pay property tax and insurance (homeowner's insurance, flood insurance, and/or private mortgage insurance) throughout the life of the mortgage. With each monthly mortgage payment, borrowers deposit funds into escrow accounts so the mortgage banking institution can pay taxes and insurance premiums in their stead. Should an Escrow company get involved, they act as a neutral third party and are contractually arranged to receive and disbuse money or documents for the primary transacting parties, with the disbursement dependent on conditions agreed to by the transacting parties.

Common Escrow Management job titles: Escrow Officer, Escrow Processor, Title Officer

Investor Relations

The Investor Relations Group within the loan servicing function is responsible for fulfilling requests and requirements related to servicing third party loan portfolios. Common activities carried out within this group include repurchase processing, insurance rescission, file request fulfillment, and investor reporting. Mortgage loan investors are typically interested in the overall health of the loan portfolio.

Common Investor Relations job titles: Investor Relations Specialist, Mortgage Loan Processor, Mortgage Loan Underwriter, Investor Reporting Analyst

Loan Boarding

The Mortgage Loan Boarding, or Loan Booking, Group is responsible for transitioning recently originated or acquired loans into the bank's loan servicing program. This process includes transferring data and documents from the loan origination system (LOS) over to the loan servicing system (LSS). They are also responsible for reviewing all closing documentation (post-close review) to ensure that everything is correct and in place.

Common Loan Boarding job titles: Loan Registration Specialist, Loan Booking Specialist, Loan Servicing Specialist, Loan Boarding Specailist

Mortgage Loan Defaults

The Mortgage Loan Default Group is responsible for the processes that occur if a borrower cannot make timely payments on their mortgage (i.e, default). Initially, the Mortgage Loan Defaults Group may work with borrowers to determine a loss mitigation strategy that might work for both parties to avoid foreclosure. If the borrower is not eligible for loss mitigation, the property is moved to foreclosure. The Mortgage Loan Defaults Group also manages real estate owned (REO) properties, making sure that they are kept in line with health and safety regulations and are in sell-able condition.

Common Mortgage Loan Defaults job titles: Mortgage Default Specialist, Mortgage Default Detection Specialist, Loss Mitigation Specialist, Compliance Officer

Loan Modifications

The Mortgage Loan Modifications (sometimes referred to as Loss Mitigation) function is responsible for working with borrowers to make adjustments to the terms of their mortgage. Should a borrower be unable to repay the loan at the scheduled point in time, the Loan Modification function works alongside the borrower to adjust interest rates, length of the loan, payment installments and loan terms to make it easier for the borrower to pay back the loan and prevent default. Before modifying an existing loan, the lender must assess the borrower's current credit situation to determine if they are eligible to receive a modification.

Common Loan Modifications job titles: Loan Modification Underwriter, Default Reporting Analyst, Default Post Closing, Loan Processor, Loan Servicing Specialist

Secondary/Wholesale Mortgage Marketing & Sales

The Secondary, or Wholesale, Mortgage Sales function pools loans from the primary mortgage market and sells them to investors (pension funds, hedge funds, investment banks, or insurance companies) as collateralized mortgage obligations or mortgage-backed securities. The extremely large and liquid secondary mortgage market provides borrowers with a 'backup plan' for traditional primary mortgages and aids in making credit available to borrowers in mortgage markets that may be experiencing a shortage.

Common Secondary/Wholesale Mortgage Marketing & Sales job titles: Wholesale Mortgage Broker, Wholesale Mortgage Lender, Mortgage Lending Wholesale Sales Specialist