MReport August 2020

TheMReport — News and strategies for the evolving mortgage marketplace.

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34 | M R EP O RT FEATURE F rom outside of the mortgage industry looking in, it would seem lenders have plenty to be thankful for. Despite a global pandemic that has added millions to the unemployment rolls, the housing market continues to plow ahead, and low interest rates are keeping refinancing pipelines full. Underneath the surface, though, the scene isn't so pretty. Most lend- ers weren't prepared to shift quickly to a remote workforce, which has brought increased risk and volatility to every aspect of the mortgage process. Lenders were also not ready to deal with the enormous spikes in refinancing and forbearance requests that lead to staff burnout and potential errors. So, if there is ever a time for lenders to embrace digital labor, it is now. There really is no other choice. But making the move to a digital workforce requires a deep understanding of how automation and new technologies can make the work humans do more meaningful and valuable—and then a plan to make it happen. Why Everything Has Changed I f the pandemic has taught us anything, it's that our industry, while better equipped than we thought to work remotely, has had to reevaluate the lending process end to end. It has really been a confluence of factors that have made mortgage lending so challenging over the past several months. Since March, credit guidelines have been adjusted across investors and lenders to address the evolving situation. With massive layoffs came increased borrower exposure, which has led to the need for extra verifications on every applicant's income and assets. Pipelines have There's No Turning Back from Digital Labor Making the move requires an understanding of how automation can make the work more meaningful and valuable. By Craig Riddell

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