Editor’s note: Jack Guttentag, founder of the The Mortgage Professor website, is also an Inman News mortgage columnist.

In January, The Mortgage Professor, an online mortgage information and guidance website, launched the Certified Lender Network, a service that aims to simplify and streamline the mortgage shopping process.

The service, according to its website, focuses the mortgage-buying experience and eliminates opportunistic pricing by bypassing the work of a loan officer or mortgage broker, who may advertise or emphasize prices different from a mortgage’s actual price and fees to get business.

The network also integrates much of the site’s previous function as a mortgage information hub. "The service integrates decision support in the loan origination process," said Jack Guttentag, who runs the site and service.

After self-determining their qualification by following steps laid out on the site, potential borrowers face the next two major questions in the process, he said:

  • "What kind of mortgage meets my needs?" and
  • "What’s the appropriate trade-off for upfront fees vs. interest rate level?"

Currently, five lenders are part of the Certified Lender Network, which, according to the network’s website, send price quotes directly from their pricing system and display all real-time fees with no middleman. The participating lenders are:

  • American Federal Mortgage Corp.;
  • AmeriSave;
  • First Century bank, N.A.;
  • First Financial Services Inc.; and
  • Goodmortgage.com.

In exchange for the price clarity, the lender gets high-quality leads: shoppers who have conducted background research, know what they qualify for, and know what they want.

In a week or so, said Guttentag, a refinancing tool will be released that will allow users to determine whether refinancing a mortgage they already have pays or not.

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