How Do We Change The Mortgage Process For The Better?

A lot has been made of complying with this rule or that rule, but in the rush to comply I think the big picture is sometimes lost. The big picture should include changing the whole mortgage process for the better instead of just trying to stay ahead of this rule or that regulator.

So, how do you do that? “We focus on the backend processes,” answered David Sohm, COO at Capsilon. “We want to speed that up and keep the communication open. Things change all the time. The most recent change was TRID. TRID was supposed to speed up the process and make the process easier to understand, but it has actually extended the process.”

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Capsilon is provider of cloud-based document management solutions for mortgage lenders and investors. Sohm is responsible for managing the company’s growth plans and overseeing alliances and corporate development.

Sohm has more than 15 years of successful president/chief operating officer experience in software and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) markets, in both public and private companies. He has been directly responsible for the evaluation, selection and integration of multiple acquisitions and mergers (both buy and sell). He has developed and executed worldwide product support, sales, distributor and marketing plans to achieve company growth and profit goals.

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“In the end, if the number of touches can be reduced, that speeds things up. For example, knowing which documents are required and which docs are missing is important. Also, there needs to be a secure place to exchange information so you’re not just exchanging important info through the air,” noted Sohm.

A lot of the heavy lifting required to change the process for the better is done by the LOS because it’s the system of record. So, what contributions are LOS vendors making to improve the space? “There are a lot of ways that people are trying to simplify the process, but beyond that you also have to engage at the right times,” answered Abhinav Asthana, a senior product manager and global head of mortgage consulting at Wipro Gallagher Solutions (WGS), a Wipro Ltd. Company, which is a provider of end-to-end technology products and services for mortgage, consumer, and commercial lenders in the United States and abroad. WGS’ technology products include its flagship NetOxygen Loan Origination Systems (LOS) and mobile lending technologies.

“We at WGS are manufacturing a loan for the borrower so the customer has all the input. So, the touch points should be more skewed toward the borrowers vs. the backend of the process. Today when a borrower starts an application, the loan officer is in constant communication with the borrower, asking for more and more items. While the LO is working the loan, or when the loan is being worked by the underwriter, the borrower is in the dark. The borrower doesn’t know what’s going on. The back office is working the loan, but the borrower doesn’t know what’s going on. You need to inform the borrower upfront and let them know what’s going on and what comes next.”

As vendors talk about advancement and what they are doing to propel mortgage lending into this century, the rubber really hits the road with the lender. If the lender doesn’t adopt new technologies, nothing changes.

“I got in the mortgage industry in 2003 and there was a lot of talk about e-mortgages,” remembered Dan Jones, vice president, technology at Churchill Mortgage Corporation. “Look at where we are today. The industry moves slow. Also there was a lot of talk about younger borrowers wanting everything electronic, but we are finding that they also want to speak to you on the phone.”

Jones has been with Churchill since July of 2003 and has previously worked as a small business technology consultant, Systems Analyst for a national manufacturing company and Data Specialist for an international computer manufacturer. Jones’ experience in customizing and installing Churchill’s multi-branch loan origination platform and integrating their pricing engine, lead management, database marketing, imaging workflow and e-commerce efforts has provided a unique holistic perspective and hands on knowledge of every aspect of the mortgage banking process. In these efforts, he helped spearhead an LOS implementation during Churchill’s transition from Broker to Correspondent Lending in 2003, and played a key role in Churchill’s implementation of a newer LOS.

“If you have to boil the mortgage process down, you have to automate the experience,” Jones pointed out. “Its not just about how you interact with the borrower, it’s about total transparency. Getting a mortgage can be an intimidating process that consumers don’t understand. Going forward we at Churchill are working on automating the collection of information so the need for the borrower to provide and share documents like bank statements, W2s, etc. goes away. The need to traffic in these documents is going away. As this becomes electronic it will streamline the whole process. That’s where every lender should be going.”

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