A LOT!  And I can’t impress upon you enough how important it is to remember yours! Take my word for it: the most sophisticated borrowers often use the wrong name on their mortgage applications. This problem most often shows up at the worst possible time, at the closing, when you’re asked to present your photo identification only to find out it doesn’t match the information on the application. Then watch what happens: all hell can break loose!

Many borrowers inadvertently use a name on their mortgage application that is not their registered legal name. They often don’t include middle names or middle initials that are also a part of their legal name. Many married people haven’t legally changed their name, but they use their married name on the application. Similar discrepancies also arise regarding the address of the property being financed. Many homes have a filed legal as well as a common address that is most often used by the homeowner. You are required to use the legal address on your application. We see this problem a lot in Sag Harbor. While many homeowners use a Sag Harbor mailing address, the legal address is actually in Noyac.

The process of financing a home requires your time and money. So remember: know and use your legal name and address on all application and bank documents when filling them out. If you don’t recall the legal status of your name or residence, check before filling out any applications.

A comment on 2015 interest rates: Many experts predicted that mortgage rates would rise in 2014. In fact, they ended the year ¾ percent lower than where they started back in January. Experts now predict that rates will remain low for the first part of 2015 and will increase at least a full percentage point by year’s end. Studies show that ninety percent of consumers believe interest rates have bottomed and will rise this year.  We can only hope that you are all wrong and rates will stay the course and remain low!

Many sectors of the economy are showing signs of strength, but global economic factors and substantially lower oil prices might help mitigate any pressure to increase borrowing rates in the short term. As history shows us, the real estate market has thrived even with higher rates, but we also know that borrowers prefer rates as low as possible. We’re watching the trends day-to-day for any indications of a change in one direction or the other.


Melissa Cohn has been an industry leader in the mortgage/brokerage business for over 3 decades.

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