Automated Underwriting Of Portfolio Products Allows Lender To Expand

Cascade Financial Services (Cascade) has implemented LoanScorecard’s Portfolio Underwriter as its automated underwriting system (AUS). Cascade is an independent mortgage bank that specializes in manufactured and modular home financing.

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In May 2017, the company was named Regional Lender of the Year for the third consecutive year by the Manufactured Housing Institute, the national trade organization representing all segments of the factory-built housing industry. Cascade was founded in 1999 in Arizona and is currently licensed in 38 states, with plans to expand to the contiguous 48 states by the end of 2017.

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Cascade’s unique portfolio loan products include both land/home and home only loan options for manufactured home buyers. With Portfolio Underwriter, Cascade’s guidelines for these products can be captured within the engine to deliver a rules-based underwriting decision in seconds. Results of the decision are documented in an in-depth findings report, which includes the program-specific, conditional underwriting criteria used in the data analysis. This allows Cascade to automate underwriting its portfolio loans and manage exceptions based on valid compensating loan factors, rather than loan officer “discretion.” It also ensures consistent, transparent credit policy application to demonstrate Fair Lending.

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“Having an AUS to provide quick and consistent underwriting decisions on portfolio loan products is a very important part of being able to scale a business. And building an internal system that is intelligent enough to read credit reports and interface with an LOS takes significant time and upfront expense,” said Gerron Dover, Executive Vice President of Production at Cascade. “We selected LoanScorecard’s Portfolio Underwriter because it works seamlessly with our LOS, it was relatively quick and inexpensive to get set up, and it is now providing us the efficiency we need to offer our portfolio loan products on a more expanded scale. It also provides us the ability to quickly revise system parameters as we get more experience with our new loan products, and our lending guidelines evolve over time.”

“Manual underwriting is time consuming, costly, and puts lenders at risk for Fair Lending violations,” said Ben Wu, Executive Director at LoanScorecard. “That’s why more and more forward-thinking portfolio lenders, like Cascade, are turning to sophisticated automation. By using Portfolio Underwriter, they’re able to not only automate underwriting for their unique portfolio products, but also reduce errors, improve efficiency, and expand their manufactured housing finance business.”

About The Author

Tony Garritano

Tony Garritano is chairman and founder at PROGRESS in Lending Association. As a speaker Tony has worked hard to inform executives about how technology should be a tool used to further business objectives. For over 10 years he has worked as a journalist, researcher and speaker in the mortgage technology space. Starting this association was the next step for someone like Tony, who has dedicated his career to providing mortgage executives with the information needed to make informed technology decisions. He can be reached via e-mail at