How Mortgage Lenders Verify Employment

Mortgage lenders usually verify your employment by contacting your employer directly and by reviewing recent income documentation. The borrower must sign a form authorizing an employer to release employment and income information to a prospective lender. At that point, the lender typically calls the employer to obtain the necessary information.

Employers are usually happy to help, but there are steps borrowers can take if they refuse to verify employment.

Key Takeaways

  • Mortgage lenders verify employment by contacting employers directly and requesting income information and related documentation.
  • Most lenders only require verbal confirmation, but some will seek email or fax verification.
  • Lenders can verify self-employment income by obtaining tax return transcripts from the IRS.
  • There are several steps that borrowers can take if employers refuse to verify employment.

The Verification Process

In general, lenders verbally verify the information borrowers provide on the Uniform Residential Loan Application. However, they may opt to confirm the data via fax, email, or a combination of all three methods.

Lenders use this information to calculate several metrics to determine the likelihood that a borrower will repay a loan. A change in employment status can have a significant impact on the borrower's application.

Additional Information

When verifying employment, a lender will frequently ask other questions as well. The lender may inquire about the likelihood of continued employment.

Lenders are also interested in verifying position, salary, and work history. While lenders usually only verify the borrower's current employment situation, they may want to confirm previous employment details. This practice is common for borrowers who have been with their current company for less than two years.

Verification for Self-Employed Individuals

Many people who take out mortgages are self-employed. In this situation, lenders often require an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Form 4506-T. This form is a request for "Transcript of Tax Return" and allows the lender to receive a copy of the borrower's tax returns directly from the IRS. In a self-employed situation, the lender may also ask for attestation by a certified public accountant (CPA) to confirm income.

Responding to a Refusal to Verify Employment

It is frustrating when an employer will not verify employment, but it can be easy to fix this situation in some cases. The first thing to do is tell your employer's human resources (HR) department that you need verification.

Some companies will not give out employment-related information without your permission. This policy is designed to stop sensitive information, such as your salary, from falling into the hands of criminals.

Don't give up or get angry if an employer will not verify your employment. There are usually ways to deal with this problem or work around it.

There can also be state laws or company rules against sharing particular employment-related information. Talk to your employer to determine if some general rule prevents them from sharing. If so, ask them to explain that to your prospective mortgage lender. Some lenders might be willing to process an application if they understand that another state's laws prevent them from verifying certain information.

You may also be able to find a different mortgage lender. Other lenders might be more familiar with your state's laws or willing to work with your employer's policies.

Finally, there are some cases where an employer will not verify employment for other reasons. At this point, it might be time to consider getting a new job. Why won't the employer verify your employment? Could they be doing something illegal? Does your employer have something against you?

In the long run, you will likely be better off getting out of these bad situations as soon as possible.

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  1. Internal Revenue Service. "Request for Transcript of Tax Return."