In a recent issue of Forbes, writer Mark Greene illustrates in enlightening fashion the realities of getting approved for a mortgage loan in 2012. It’s one of the clearest explanations we’ve seen about why the process of getting a loan approved these days is harder than ever. It’s not because banks are simply trying to be tough for the sake of being tough. And it’s not because no one wants to lend. It’s more a matter of lenders doing everything possible in underwriting a loan to make sure they won’t have to buy it back from Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. And it’s working. One surprising statistic from the article: Of the secondary-market loans originated in 2007, 22% went into default within 18 months. Of those originated in 2009, only 2% went into default. That drastic change undoubtedly was brought about by several factors, but more stringent underwriting was a main factor. Green also does a brilliant job of explaining the key players in the mortgage process–from the originator to the processor to the underwriter. Click here if you want to read it, and let us know what you think.