Posturing for Progress

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Feature involve capturing more detailed information with respect to the borrower and the origination process to provide better compliance data. Certainly systems play a major role, but the process still requires people to ensure that data, such as milestone dates and even sources of business, are accurately captured. Stopgap measures were put in place to ensure that data is included or updated before moving on to the next step in the origination process. Additional review procedures as well as quality control layers have been added to ensure accuracy. Better use of compliance reporting has been and continues to be added to assist people directly responsible for a process. Reports are also available for those who manage these areas of origination. Most importantly, we have made investments in key personnel both at upper management and direct levels to better monitor new policies and increasing regulations. M // What compliance and risk mitigation advantages can lenders gain through choosing the right financial management platform? ADVANTAGE // Understanding your revenue and costs is a big part of knowing when things are going right and when things are going wrong. Having the right accounting platform that does loan-level accounting can provide that. We believe having the right tools is important, as is being able to produce the proper commission reports to loan officers to let them understand how they're getting paid, getting proper feedback from them, and providing accurate and timely financials to the branch managers to help them run their operations better. If we're doing all of this in the proper way, where we're streamlining time and it's taking less time to do the accounting, then we're freeing up people for that compliance effort. By streamlining the operations, we can allow the company to grow without having to add staff in the accounting department. M // What are the top three to five strategic changes or implementations that have facilitated the company's growing loan volume? equity // Strategies that facilitated Equity Loans' growth include the development of our branch concept, providing an excellent origination platform, enhancing We have worked hard on improving our origination platform to support the origination process. We continually review it on a cradle-to-grave basis. From help with boarding loans into the loan origination software (LOS) systems, to assisting with compliance, providing expanded product lines, and improving the quality and speed of underwriting, we focus on how we can better assist our branches with improving the loan origination process. Real-time branch financial statements—presented Understanding your revenue and costs is a big part of your revenue and costs is a big part of knowing when things are going right and when things are going wrong. support for our branch managers to assist their origination effort, and making sure we have the appropriate leadership areas of the company. We conduct a detailed review process to recruit branch managers who have strong track record of loan origination by successfully meeting borrower needs. We want managers who have origination skills and entrepreneurial attitudes so they can not only manage production and expenses, but also motivate and nurture branch employees. on an accrual basis along with basis-point presentation—enable branch managers and corporate management to monitor our profitability. It also enhances planning and goal setting to providing a roadmap for success. Investment in quality personnel in support areas such as branch support, compliance, underwriting, finance, and business development have led to our growth. We've added seasoned management personnel to guide and direct these areas within the company. M // What are the top three to five strategies lenders can utilize to maximize benefits derived from a strong data management platform? ADVANTAGE // One of the top things is recruiting top branches; we've seen a number of clients grow very well by being able to grow their branches. One of the things our Web-based branch reporting module is helping companies to recruit top branches because with that platform— with that product—they can put information into the branch manager's hands quickly. That's a big part of it—being able to give them the tools to let the branch managers to do their job. In the same way, recruiting top loan officers is important, and we have a Web-based loan officer tool that allows each loan officer to log on and see his or her loans and what the commission is on those loans. Having the proper accounting platform allows you to be competitive with your warehouse financing, allows you to respond to the warehouse financier's requests more quickly, and allows you to build better relationships with the warehouse lender. M // As the industry makes strategic changes in response to the shifting economic environment, what opportunities for growth do you anticipate during the year ahead? Conversely, what facets of the marketplace will face the greatest challenges near-term? equity // We think opportuni- ties exist for growth in continued expansion of our branch network and a high demand in the purchase market. As previously mentioned, we are continually working toward improving our lending platform to attract the best mortgage professionals. In conjunction with those improvements, we expect to continue to expand our footprint in all markets. Mortgage professionals want to work for a lender The M Report | 31

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