Step 1: What to do with your insurance check:
As soon as you find out your claim has been approved and funded, call your mortgage company to ask them specifically what steps they require you to go through to get it endorsed. It varies between companies. If there is not a local branch in which you may take it, write down the address to which to send it. Write down which documents you will need to provide them. Most want a copy of the insurance loss statement, and some require contractor affidavits and release of lien documents that have to be notarized by your contractors. Many roofing companies should have the ability to provide all necessary mortgage company documentation. Some require a W-9 from your contractor. Sometimes homeowners are required to schedule inspections by a mortgage company representative upon completion. The more you find out in the initial conversation, the more smoothly the process will go. Many of the largest banking institutions are located in Arizona, California, Florida and Texas. Other institutions are scattered throughout the nation. If you’re a lucky homeowner than you may have a local branch with a management staff that’s able to endorse the mortgage company check for you. We’ve found that in the local Credit unions that have given home loans are easy to work with when a mortgage check needs to be endorsed. In addition, Wells Fargo local branches seem to always have a willing manager that has the ability to endorse a mortgage company check that has been listed as an endorsee on a check for a property insurance claim. There are some other banking institutions that the process is quite simple, however, don’t be surprised if it takes a lot longer than you expect. Either way, the sooner you begin the easier it will be for you to begin working with a contractor and ultimately to pay the contractor the final payment when all work is completed. Almost all insurance companies will release funds over two payments. The first payment is part of the actual cash value payment. The second payment is the recoverable depreciation part of a replacement cost value policy. I’m assuming that you have a replacement cost value policy. If you would like more information on this subject please browse through our pages.
Step 2: How long will this process take?
Consider sending the insurance check overnight to them to expedite the process if that will benefit you. Allow up to 10 days on average for them to process the endorsement and send it back to you. In some cases, the mortgage companies will keep the checks for over a month or create an escrow in which they only release partial payments of the insured’s insurance funds. Historically when the lenders’ client has a history of slow payments than they will release the funds in proportion to the work that has been completed. Many times the mortgage company will hire an inspector which will go to the property with the insurance claim in hand. This home inspector will ensure that the scope of work which is listed on the adjuster’s claim summary has been completed. If the work is completed the inspector for the mortgage company will notify the mortgage company of the facts. Of course, the length of time necessary for this to occur will depend on the inspectors’ schedule and timing of necessary protocols that have to be met by the inspector with the hiring mortgage company. If the mortgage company only requires one inspection at the completion of all the work on the insurance loss statement this will certainly benefit the homeowner. Again there will be some occasions when the mortgage company may require multiple inspections. If one is extremely lucky and the mortgage company doesn’t require any inspections than the entire process of time should be shortened. However, there are times when mortgage companies are overwhelmed with all of the insurance claims handling processes with all of their loans and it happens to coincide with a time when they are short-handed thus extending the time that it takes for this process. Overall if everything goes smoothly than it should take up to 10 days to get the mortgage company checks endorsed.
Step 3: How can my contractor help out with the endorsement process?
At times the homeowner is asked to pay out of pocket and get reimbursed with their funds after proving payment in full to their contractor. This along with the other delays mentioned above can create a difficult situation for the homeowner who has timely repairs to make and is unable to access the funds by which to pay the contractors. Don’t be afraid to ask the contractor to speak to your mortgage representative on your behalf if you find yourself in this difficult situation as this can be highly effective in getting a rapid response. However, in most cases, the contractor is not involved in the mortgage company endorsement process other than to provide requested documents to the mortgage company. If you are fortunate enough to have paid off a mortgage or if you refinance your loan, please confirm that your insurance company is updated so they will not issue a check on your next claim to a mortgage company that does not have any legal recourse to sign it. This oversight can cause unnecessary delays in having your insurance funds available to make necessary repairs. The good news is that it is easily avoided with a phone call or letter to the right department.
Talk or text with your ORC rep today and get it solved easily, without a hitch!