Lending process takes huge toll on Mother Nature

  • Based on 7.8 million mortgages a year and 280 sheets of paper per loan, study estimates that 2.2 billion pieces of paper are used for home loans.

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Inman Connect San Francisco, Jul 16-20, 2018

Homebuyers complain so much about the “mounds” of paperwork they have to deal with at closing that perhaps the term should become a certified, government-approved measurement. Until then, according to a new study, borrowers are going to continue to consume more than 260,000 trees a year just to buy their houses. That’s because the typical closing involves some 252 pages, according to the study by FreeandClear, an educational website that helps people make sense of the lending process, in collaboration with the Environmental Paper Network, an organization that works for environmental transformation in the production of paper. Add in the documents borrowers must supply lenders during the underwriting process -- tax returns, bank statements and the like -- and the number of pages jumps to an eye-opening 280. The study found that 55 entities plus the lender require paper, typically only a few pages each. The items with the most pages are the sales contract and the apprai...