April 2016 - Tech Revolution

TheMReport — News and strategies for the evolving mortgage marketplace.

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TH E M R EP O RT | 17 COVER STORY "Better integration across the board will [not only] help consumers and lenders have an improved and more streamlined mortgage process, but also mortgage brokers and capital markets partners." Emphasizing the importance of interoperability in today's mort - gage workflow solutions, Jane Mason, CEO of St. Petersburg, Florida-based Clarifire, said, "The challenge with using many single- point technologies is that you begin to experience a lack of over - sight and control due to the many silos. The better the business does, the more technologies are ac- quired and soon you are left with an environment that cannot scale and must be patched together. IT turns to in-house development to hard code a fix which then requires more resources." Daniel Jacobs, MiMutual Mortgage's EVP and managing director, Retail Lending, doesn't mince words on this key issue. "Frankly, there are missing inte - grations from CRM to lead to LOS to AMCs to doc prep to closing agents and CD creation to investor delivery to post-closing quality control to mortgage insurance companies to servicing to servicing transfers," he said. "The list goes on of integration failures that plague our industry and thus rob us of ef - ficiencies and accuracy. These ineffi- ciencies and failures ultimately cost both the industry and consumers a significant amount of money." Time is money, especially in the mortgage marketplace. Times are much better now in the industry and they will keep im - proving with relentless technologi- cal innovation. BRIAN A. LEE is an Atlanta-based freelance writer and former editor of Western Real Estate Business magazine. Although a big fan of mortgage and housing content, the Wake Forest and University of Georgia graduate considers his top moment in journalism a one-on-one interview with baseball legend Hank Aaron in 2009. All the top personnel, finest mortgage tools, and stout branding won't get lenders to their business goals without vision. Financial institutions must be able to 'read and react' to market conditions and customer information; intelligence is not actionable unless it's first accessible. Lenders Leverage & Look Ahead A ll the top personnel, finest mortgage tools, and stout branding won't get lenders to their business goals without vi - sion. Financial institutions must be able to 'read and react' to market conditions and customer information; intelligence is not ac - tionable unless it's first accessible. "Some of the most recent technological advances are re- ally helping move the industry forward in terms of access to data," said Ray Brousseau, EVP of Carrington Mortgage Services' Mortgage Lending Division. "The mortgage industry generates an incredible amount of data, from the most popular loan products to which geographic locations are seeing the most activity to when activity spikes throughout the year. This data isn't useful, how - ever, if we cannot pull it together in a meaningful way. The system leveraged for increased data access is the technological advance that has really impacted us the most in the last year." Gupta added, "Mortgage technology is very focused on the ability to gather and use verified data in residential underwriting." Harnessing the mountain of mortgage data not only helps a company assess performance, it also enables it to look ahead and pinpoint the next need in the market. Being uninformed is poor form, and, as it's been said, failing to plan is planning to fail. Technology empowers banks and other lenders by aligning them much better with their data. Despite the many challenges of a high-speed, high-demand in - dustry, Brungardt at RoundPoint Mortgage Servicing maintains the mortgage sector has a good track record of overcoming challenges with technology: "MISMO is a perfect example. When an indus - try as diverse as ours can come together to set data standards that allow everyone to develop technologies that are easier to integrate and use, that's a real suc - cess story." Of course, the bigger, better, faster advantages of technology never go out of style. MiMutual Mortgage has recently migrated multiple business systems to cloud-based providers, and just last year Silverton Mortgage Specialists launched its mobile app to better facilitate communi - cation between the borrower, the real estate agent and the mortgage company. That's not the Atlanta- based lender's most impactful innovation, however. "What's most interesting and innovative about [our intranet] is that it has become sort of a 'Wikipedia of mortgage scenarios' for our organization by capturing and documenting each loan sce - nario and challenge we encounter and allowing loan originators to do keyword searches out in the field," said Josh Moffitt, Silverton's president and founder. "Every loan has a different story, and we have accumulated so many different stories of people buying houses over the last 20 years. Now, we are able to give loan originators constant access to the lessons from these stories so that they don't have to rely on calling the operations staff with questions and waiting for a response." There are many miles to go, however, before mortgage lenders sleep comfortably on their tech platforms. The next wave of mortgage tech advances will be, shall we say, one to document. "The biggest revolution in the next year will be the move away from traditional documents in favor of usable data," said Moffett. Egenhoefer at Waterstone Mortgage seconded, "Smart docu - ment imaging would be the single biggest advance in the industry." Rather than having a borrower track down his or her last two bank statements, paystubs or W2s, they will be able to do it all online, eliminating the need and time to scan or upload those documents. "If lenders were able to go directly to the IRS for tax information, this would improve the borrower's experience, reduce fraud and streamline our loan process," Egenhoefer added. One of the biggest challenges still facing the mortgage industry is the lack of integrations between vendors. The resulting delays af - fect more than expenses and the origination timeline. "One transaction typically requires multiple service providers, often with various disparate sys - tems," said Brousseau at Carrington.

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