After you have applied for a mortgage loan, the lender by law must provide you with an estimate that lists all fees paid before closing, all closing costs, and any escrow costs. This is provided to the borrower who is applying for the mortgage three days after the application is made in order to be used as a tool to decide which loan terms to accept.
Lenders are not legally required to guarantee their good faith estimates (GFEs), which means that the fees listed could change. Because of mounting consumer pressures and government reviews of the lending industry, more lenders are either offering a guarantee of these numbers or providing a range of what the costs will be. While some experts advise that a borrower insist on getting the guarantee up front, that may not be feasible for some lenders.