As I talk to lenders throughout the country and attend industry events, everyone wants to discuss digital mortgage, which is great. Unfortunately, there is a lot more people talking only about the consumer facing side of things. The shiny apps and very consumer esque experiences seem to catch our eye. While all of those things are good, let’s not forget about how we accomplish a truly digital lending experience – streamlining the entire lending process in a digital world.
For years, even decades, lenders met with clients in person, put pen to paper, and shifted documents from person to person. Now, the entire process is being streamlined across the digital landscape. As a lender, if you hesitate to deliver on the digital experience, which includes not only the streamlining of the borrower application, and loan origination process, but also all of the back-office processes, competitors will leapfrog you in obtaining highly sought after new borrowers.
As a result, lenders must adapt accordingly or be left behind. However, regulations inundate the mortgage industry. Loan officers need to comply at every step of the loan origination process. Lenders can’t merely throw a bunch of technology at their loan officers and hope to succeed. They need technology that streamlines the loan process while complying with regulations and protecting the borrower.
That’s why mortgage expertise is so vital in providing a quality digital mortgage experience. We understand the rules and regulations because we’ve been in the industry for so long. We realize all of the in’s and out’s such as, handling fluctuating rate environments, new HMDA requirements, UCD changes and the constantly rising cost to originate. Technology should augment and improve the digital mortgage experience, not override it and threaten its integrity.
Mortgage lenders that purchase the new online lending app from a provider that does not have deep mortgage experience to properly handle compliance are like a new shinny car that has no engine; lenders can not truly deliver on the digital mortgage without compliance. If they try, they face regulators and the potential of fines and penalties for failing to comply with industry standards.
Before the 2008 financial crisis, lenders and brokers alike-approved mortgages for just about anybody. After the fall, lenders faced strict scrutiny and were required to verify borrower information. Often this information comes from a multitude of third-party sources. While today’s technology can connect lenders to third parties with ease, mortgage experience determines which third party affiliates provide the most accurate, seamless, and secure data exchanges.
Applying for a mortgage online leaves a lot more room for error. Digital lending solutions can pre-qualify a borrower in minutes. Thus, lenders must assure that their approval mechanisms produce quality mortgages. Assuring the production of quality mortgages takes mortgage expertise, not just tech savvy apps.
Although mortgage lenders must meet their borrower’s digital needs, the mortgage comes first. Bringing compliance, integrity, and credibility to digital lending entails better loans, happier borrowers, and more productive employees. Technology streamlines the mortgage process. Mortgage experience structures the digital lending process. It makes the digital mortgage possible.