Technology Spotlight: The Prescription For Success

*The Prescription For Success*
**First Bank Mortgage Profiled**

***First Bank Mortgage of Augusta, GA, a division of First Bank of Georgia, has selected Ellie Mae’s Encompass360 loan origination system (LOS) as its mortgage management solution. In 2011, First Bank Mortgage originated more than $400 million in mortgages through its retail branches and 60 correspondent lenders. So, if the bank was doing so well why did it switch its LOS. Here’s the story:

****Prior to selecting Encompass360, First Bank Mortgage had been using multiple systems, which made it increasingly difficult for their wholesale correspondent lending clients to do business with them. Third-party origination (TPO) lenders generated approximately 60 percent of First Bank Mortgage’s total volume in 2011 and are expected to account for roughly the same level of volume this year, according to the company. For more than six months, First Bank Mortgage evaluated various loan origination systems (LOS) before ultimately selecting Encompass360.

****“Every shop is different and has different needs. Ellie Mae understands this and Encompass360 allows users to set the system up in the best possible way for them,” said Thomas Bird, First Bank Mortgage’s executive vice president and a former president of the MBA of Georgia. “For us, this meant implementing a system that will make it easier for our TPO clients to do business with us online and to do it paperlessly. Encompass360 also enables us to customize our business rules to enhance compliance, which is a big issue for us. It also comes with a pricing engine, which saved us the cost of buying and integrating one.”

****Mr. Bird estimates that Encompass360 will produce at least $200,000 in hard-cost savings in the first full year, following implementation. “That’s not counting intangibles like higher productivity, increased business, improved customer service or the cost savings of preventing mistakes that could lead to compliance penalties or buybacks.”

****To build excitement for the new platform, First Bank Mortgage is creating and distributing t-shirts with Ellie Mae’s Encompass360 logo when they kickoff their new system on April 1. Mr. Bird said, “This is a big deal for us and we expect to save a significant amount of time and money. But going through a system change, even if it goes smoothly, is still stressful for our employees. So, we thought it would be a good idea for them to wear the t-shirts and blue jeans one day and have some fun with it.”

****“We have never had a client so excited about launching Encompass360 that they wanted to create t-shirts,” said Jonathan Corr, Ellie Mae’s chief operating officer. “But I can understand why. First Bank Mortgage’s move from multiple software systems to a complete, enterprise solution will give them more control, allow them to more efficiently manage loan officers and correspondents, and be more nimble when handling compliance, market and technology issues as they evolve. At the same time, they’ll have greater confidence that they are originating quality assets.”