MReport March 2017

TheMReport — News and strategies for the evolving mortgage marketplace.

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TH E M R EP O RT | 19 into the public record, consum- ers can wake up; walk to their computer in their bunny slippers; connect to a notary, closing agent, loan officer, real estate agent and anyone else who needs to be in on the transaction; and digitally sign the required documents in an electronic closing room. And that can happen at 7 a.m. on a Saturday morning if the borrower wants. Easy. Though through a Power of Attorney, one spouse can sign closing documents for another who cannot be present, a real eMortgage means those potentially risky legal workarounds will no longer be necessary. Spouses or business partners, in the case of investment properties, no longer have to be in the same place to buy and sell real estate. This will have a huge impact on customer satisfaction. It is becoming more important for good investor relations. Every year, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac drive the industry closer to all-electronic loan origination. They don't want to mess with the paper. They don't have the staff to sift through it all, and they don't have the time. They must employ advanced analytics to manage their businesses, and those tools only work on electronic data. There is no reason to assume that tomorrow's investors, regardless of where they come from, will oper - ate any differently. Finally, a well-designed and streamlined eMortgage process will allow lenders to do more work with fewer full-time employees. While the industry tends not to talk about trimming staff, the truth is that FTEs are a huge element of the lender's overall loan origination costs—which, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association, are in excess of $7,000 per loan now. The eMortgage will reduce those costs. Given all of this, you would think that the industry would be completely electronic by now, but we're not. So, what gives? The Imaginary Hold-up S o why aren't we, as an industry, offering eMortgages yet? There are plenty of excuses we hear every day. Some argue that the law isn't

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