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How Mortgage Tech Innovation Has Evolved

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Clayton Christensen, the Harvard Business School expert who coined the phrase “Disruptive Innovation,” has written what is sure to be one of this year’s hottest business books, “Competing Against Luck.” Christensen postulates the key to successful innovation is understanding the “job” your customers are hiring your product or technology to solve. Over the course of the book, he cites examples of how the “Jobs Theory” (in one form or another) has been applied successfully by leading companies, such as Intuit, Ikea and Airbnb.

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This created pause for me, and I began thinking about the “job” mortgage lenders and bankers are “hiring” loan origination systems (LOSs) and other technology products to perform. The job has always been: increase productivity, prevent errors, and take time and cost out of the origination process – from the 50,000-foot view. Many of us realize the sands have shifted and over the years and the issues customers have used LOSs to resolve have dramatically changed.

The Evolution of LOSs

When CalyxSoftware was launched 25 years ago and Point 1.0 was introduced, the mortgage origination process was completely form-driven. Most loan originators (LOs) were filling out loan applications with typewriters using pre-printed forms and carbon paper. Make a mistake and you could not just use “Wite-Out.” (Remember those little bottles?) You had to retype the entire form. Even if you were careful, aligning the typewriter or word processor with the fields on the pre-printed forms was a painstaking and painful process.

When you stop and think about it, the first job was to simply fill out the forms. The technology matched the need, and made the lives of the LO and processor easier. The software came in a shrink-wrapped box and resided on a floppy disc (it was totally rigid and contained less than 0.0008% of the computing power of today’s average smart phone). Updates came by snail mail, not miraculously from a “cloud.”

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In the early 1990s, our industry saw the first of a series of $1 trillion origination years—milestones that would have been unattainable without technology. The timing for innovation could not have been better.

Over the next two decades, LOSs were hired to do other jobs within the mortgage origination process. These jobs included connecting various parts of the process (production, underwriting, closing, QC, pricing/secondary marketing, etc.) and participants (originators, investors, GSEs, vendors, etc.).

Until the mortgage industry crash, speed and ease of use were the benefits users valued most. Post-crash, the wave of new regulations and fear of “buybacks” and penalties created a new job for LOS and tech vendors: automated compliance.

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The focus on compliance for the past few years has siphoned resources away from innovation—except for enhancements focused on compliance. Rules on ATR, QM, LO Comp, and TRID (which clocked in at 1,888 pages), and the updated HMDA and upcoming TRID 2.0, have highlighted the importance of tracking and retaining data to stay compliant. This has led to the development of data-driven LOSs.

A data-driven LOS allows originators to input all borrower and property information once, in a logical progression; then uses those data fields to populate multiple forms—simplifying the application process, as well as compliance with new regulations. Additionally, when a new form is mandated, a data-driven LOS only needs to add the new data fields and map them to the correct lines on the new form.

The current landscape dictates the LOS to be the system of record. Smart integrations between the LOS and document vendors now serve greater purposes. The integrations not only provide the resource to create the documents, record changes and chronicle why, but also store the documents, so they are easily accessible to lenders and regulators. This is a compliance-centric enhancement.

Going forward, compliance, accuracy, and transparency will still remain the priorities; however, the balance between compliance and innovation will ideally be a 50/50 split.

Jobs for LOSs

The advent of non-traditional FinTech lenders and imagination-capturing products such as Quicken’s Rocket Mortgage, have prompted some observers to question the future of LOSs. These new players and products will create new expectations from consumers, and raise the bar for traditional technology providers to provide enhanced offerings. However, when you look behind the curtain, these innovations handle only a portion of the process in the loan life cycle.

FinTech lenders appeal to Millennials due to ease of use at the beginning life cycle of a loan but the playing field evens up quickly at the underwriting stage. FinTech firms may experiment with new ways to qualify and underwrite loans but loans still need to be funded. At the end of the day, everyone (to and including the FinTech lenders) must still meet GSE underwriting standards.

Early adopters may be willing to give new players unfettered access to their personal accounts in return for less paperwork; however, the vast majority of homebuyers and owners are not there yet. By the time they are, these capabilities will be integrated into LOSs and into the consumer direct channels of traditional lenders.

Despite what the TV and online ads promise, many borrowers, based on their FICO scores and the complexity of their financial situations, will simply not qualify to utilize a Rocket Mortgage-type technology. Juggling early adopters and traditional borrowers will create challenges for FinTech lenders. They will need to offer two separate sales experiences: one for pristine, tech-savvy borrowers and one for everyone else.

Industry surveys continue to show a large percentage of homebuyers are more comfortable working with a LO rather than going alone online. The 2015 National Survey of Mortgage Originations, jointly sponsored by the Federal Housing Finance Agency and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, found that 70 percent of mortgage borrowers in 2013 used lenders/brokers “a lot” as a source of information. In addition, 77 percent of borrowers applied for a mortgage with a single lender or broker, instead of completing applications with multiple lenders or brokers.

Will this change over time? Probably. For the foreseeable future, the job of the LO and the mortgage broker appears to be safe. This is particularly true providing the LO continues to offer a high-level of customer service and differentiates themselves by focusing on non-perfect borrowers and non-vanilla lending programs/products.

As originators focus on these opportunities, this will create new jobs for LOSs and tech providers to complete. For example, they will look to product and pricing engines to source non-agency products allowing them to match these programs with their customers.

New technology for non-agency wholesale lenders already allows brokers to provide conditional approvals to their borrowers without having to send an entire package to the lender. This saves several days in the loan life cycle. Additionally, these loans are often more profitable for both lenders and brokers. Best of all, the LO is providing an opportunity for homeownership for unique borrowers that otherwise would have been denied.

The borrower experience, as we have seen, will take on greater importance. Younger borrowers will want to engage with their lenders throughout the origination process using their device of choice. Technological developments will play a major part in enabling this scenario.

The LO will need to ensure they are utilizing technology such as mobile applications, mobile pricing, and software allowing them to share updates with their borrowers or realtors at any given time. The LO will also want to focus on utilizing LOSs that are fully integrated with instantaneous verifications providers, such as The Work Number or FormFree, allowing reduction of time in the loan life cycle.

As vendors become more closely integrated in the LOSs, data integrity will continue to improve and advance the prospect of movement to truly paperless mortgages. This in turn will further enhance the customer experience, particularly the disclosure and closing processes.

LOSs are and will continue to be the hub of the mortgage origination process—connecting lenders with not just borrowers and vendors, but also regulators. True cloud-based computing (think: Microsoft Azure and Amazon AWS), not just today’s web-based solutions, will significantly expand end-to-end origination capabilities as well as workflow, loan review, and delivery options.

Over the past 25 years, the challenges and jobs within the mortgage industry have transformed dramatically. What has not transformed is our industry’s ability to resolve and respond with innovation to tackle the ever changing landscape of the mortgage industry.

About The Author

Bob Dougherty
Bob Dougherty is Vice President of Business Development at CalyxSoftware, a leading provider of comprehensive mortgage software solutions for banks, credit unions, mortgage bankers, wholesale and correspondent lenders and brokers. He can be reached at dougherty@calyxsoftware.com.

Sustained Winds Of Change To Continue

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We’re all conditioned to think about change coming in waves with ample time in between to recover before the next wave hits. This is true in both our personal and our professional lives; we see it within a year and within a lifetime. But what happens when the waves of change become so frequent that it’s hard to tell where one ends and the next begins?

Since 2009, the US mortgage industry has experienced back-to-back changes. Not only have we seen typical purchase/refinance cycles, but we’ve also had countless compliance changes: RESPA, ATR/QM, KBYO, and so on. It’s not just the mortgage industry, either. Across seemingly all aspects of modern life, largely thanks to technology, the pace of change is quickening. For example, the VHS was introduced in the US in 1977, followed by the DVD 20 years later in 1997. However, Blu-ray entered the scene just 6 years later in 2003, and now we have the 4K revolution quickly setting in – something YouTube adopted in 2010. Now, with the election of a new kind of presidential administration, there is no reason (on top of all others) to think that the pace of change in the US mortgage industry will ease. There will be considerable uncertainty around regulation and interest rates. Add in innovations like those for borrower experience now further fueled by Fannie Mae’s Day 1 Certainty program and industry movement towards eClosing and the overall view can be daunting. Our new normal is nearly constant change. The question becomes: How is this constant change impacting your staff, and what can you do to support their needs in order to best serve your customers?

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It’s in our nature as humans to react to, and then absorb, a wave of change. We also expect that the dust will settle before the next wave of disruption hits. However, when change continues unabated, it can be stressful. As managers, it can be equally stressful to help your staff adapt to these times. One way to simplify the impacts change has on us is to think of change similar to the well-known stages of grief: denial, fear, acceptance, commitment:

>>Denial. With change often comes an unwillingness to accept what lies ahead. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help your staff overcome this make-or-break stage. First, get buy-in from staff early on. By communicating what the change means to each team member long-term, you are more likely to advance through the four stages without as much resistance or push-back.

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>>Fear. Denial and fear often go hand-in-hand. Again, communicating regularly about what this change means for each employee and how you seek to make the transition as smooth as possible for everyone can make all the difference. Most important for this stage is establishing an action plan for addressing the changes. This step can significantly help your staff see the big picture and the “light at the end of the tunnel”.

>>Acceptance. By now, you should have buy-in from your team that the change is happening but is manageable thanks to the plan you’ve put in place. At this stage, you should encourage that acceptance and continue keeping the lines of communication open. Without ongoing communication, staff could very well revert back to the previous stages, thinking the plan established is not, in fact, being acted upon.

>>Commitment. Because the waves of change are sure to be constant going forward, the four steps can become cumbersome and hard to constantly manage. In order to gain true commitment from your staff, ensure you have a nimble “change-enabled” origination process in place. By creating systems and processes that can easily adapt to meet change, you can significantly reduce the impact of future changes on your staff and your customers.

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By better understanding how we, as humans, process change, while also taking our own advice by going through the 4 steps to accept that we now live in constant change, we can begin to best position our organizations for long-term success. The next step in riding the winds of change is to establish the processes and systems that will lead your staff towards long-term commitment.

While as an industry, we can’t avoid or ignore external change like required security or compliance updates, lenders and vendors alike can build vetting and prioritization processes to make sure that only the best changes/improvements are put in place to truly support where your business needs to go. If you have too much “self-introduced” or discretionary change, then you might add unacceptable levels of risk. On the flip side, if you have too little self-introduced change, then you’re sure to be exclusively reactionary and passed by competitors.

So what are common criteria for vetting and prioritizing change in the mortgage industry? Compliance risk, financial risk, impact to borrowers, impact to staff efficiency, level of effort and/or expense all are great starting points. For a given proposed change, many of those categories might be mixed (positive in some areas, negative in others). Some will be easier to quantify than others, but this should not mean that subjective measures can’t be used. For those that might fear bureaucracy, you can introduce a lightweight and flexible process. The point is that you collect additional facts only when appropriate to the size/impact of the decision. Frequently, you will decide based only on readily available information but still will take the time to capture it in a structured way. Having a transparent and fact-based process helps get the right discussions going between the right people and will make difficult decisions easier.

So a process around vetting and prioritizing change is essential. In addition to that, what aspects of an origination platform will help manage change? True flexibility is required, but what specifically in a technology platform provides flexibility? An open architecture that is extensible means having a developer’s toolkit and an API surface. An exposed rules engine is also important so that you can easily configure workflow, drive efficiency like automatically ordering services, kicking off exception processes, etc. Last but not least, delivering all this in a SaaS product model is critical to stay current on the latest releases. This is no longer optional thanks to regulatory changes and ongoing security enhancements to keep your borrowers’ data secure. Custom or quasi-product models allow for the customer to lag on an out-of-date version. When this happens, you’re not only missing the latest security and compliance updates, but you’re also limiting your ability to effect change because of the friction of moving your enacted change through multiple version upgrades.

As John F. Kennedy once said, “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” By working with your staff, updating your processes, and advancing your technology, your daily concern will be less about adapting to change and more about anticipating the change. Let your focus turn towards the future, which is sure to look brighter than ever before.

About The Author

Paul Wetzel
Paul Wetzel has led Product Development and Product Management activities through most of his 20-year enterprise software career – over the last 10 serving the Financial Services industry. In his current role, Paul manages both customer and industry requirements to drive product enhancements while also ensuring Mortgage Cadence leads the way in innovative loan origination technology. Paul began his career with Accenture in software development where he rose to the level of Director, Business Development for an Accenture subsidiary. Before joining Mortgage Cadence in 2009, Paul spent several years with FICO in product marketing and corporate strategy roles.

Technology Innovations

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At the end of the second quarter we got some good news. Black Knight reported that at $518 billion, Q2 saw the highest volume of 1st lien mortgage originations in a single quarter since Q2 2013. Purchase lending was particularly strong, making up 57% of all lending and seeing a 52% increase in volume from Q1. Purchase originations rose $102 billion from Q1 to a total of $297 billion, hitting their highest level in terms of both volume and dollar amount since 2007. Refinance originations rose by 8% from Q1, but fell slightly below last year’s levels, despite lower rates and a larger population of refinance-able borrowers. In fact, refi lending has risen in each of the past 3 quarters, though primarily in the higher credit segments of the market. The industry was also able to put the burden of complying with TRID behind it. Moving forward, new compliance burdens by the GSEs changing forms and the CFPB changes to HMDA still exist. So, what does all of this mean? There is ample opportunity for success in mortgage lending if the industry adopts a culture that embraces both innovation and change. Roger Gudobba, Vice President, Mortgage Markets at Compliance Systems, talked to our editor about the impact of technology innovation in the mortgage industry. Here is what he said:

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Q: Let’s start by talking about your first experience in computers.

ROGER GUDOBBA: In 1961 I was hired as a computer programmer by Dr. Beckett at the Lafayette Clinic, a research and training facility that was part of the Michigan Department of Mental Health. It was a little bit scary, since I had never seen a computer before. That led to 18 years of programming computer applications to facilitate their research endeavors on a Bendix G-15 paper tape computer in machine language. Over the years, there were far-reaching advances in computer hardware and software. I quickly realized that computers were just tools to enable you to do a job faster and easier, but it was paramount to stay abreast of new technology.

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Q: So, how did you first get involved in the mortgage industry?

ROGER GUDOBBA: I spent the next eight years developing software for a variety of small businesses, mostly on IBM computers in a variety of programming languages. The last two years of that period I managed a Mortgage Loan Origination System. I believe it was at the MBA Annual in Boston in 1986 where laser printers were the hot topic. The ability to bring an image in and overlay the data, creating an electronic document provided cost and time savings that were substantial over using dot matrix printers with pre-printed forms. At that time, VMP was the premier provider of mortgage forms and they hired me in 1987 to help develop the laser form library. The size of the library was huge and I looked for ways to simplify that. Our compliance officer pointed out that some documents, like notes and security instruments, only had minor differences. I wasn’t thinking about dynamic run-time forms. It was more about defining the creation and maintenance required for the source library. Like any new technology, there were some challenges and adoption was slow. And, for the first time, I was frustrated by the industry’s resistance to change and reluctance to embrace technology.

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Q: Over the years the key phrase that most associate with you is that you always said: “It’s all about the data.” How did that come about and what led to your involvement with MISMO?

ROGER GUDOBBA: VMP started looking at other authoring technology. That’s when I discovered XML, which was a subset of SGML. I attended an international conference on XML in Spain in 1997. I had the opportunity to meet a number of leaders, including Charles Goldfarb, the father of SGML. I was convinced that XML was a way to exchange data. The key was you had a start tag, information, and an end tag. Compared to the two solutions in use at that time (fixed record layouts or comma delimited files), XML was very flexible, less prone to errors, and, among other things human readable. I met Gabe Minton at a meeting at the MBA in D.C. Gabe and I were both in agreement about XML. In 1999, our respective companies—VMP and ULTAPRISE—formed a non-profit organization called XML Mortgage Partners to develop an XML data library for mortgage. Even though we had a nice cross-section of industry leaders, including lenders, LOS vendors, and consultants, it created some friction in the industry. Dave Matthews worked with the MBA to create MISMO in 1999 and Gabe was named the director. Both of us are still very active today and very proud of MISMO’s progress in establishing standards for the mortgage industry.

Q: What do you see as the major challenges facing the industry?

ROGER GUDOBBA: The U.S. financial industry is experiencing rapid evolution. While we are past the trial-by-fire days of the 2008 financial crisis, the consequences of that difficult time continue to impact the way we do business. Today, there is no doubt: increased regulatory oversight from federal and state agencies, as well as the uncertainty of regulatory changes yet to come, have created a hazardous business environment. The Federal Reserve has increased the imperative for financial institutions to implement an enterprise-wide risk management solution, one that effectively addresses operational risk, legal or compliance risk, reputation risk, and liquidity risk, among other risk types. These risks are ever present and their management by financial institutions is closely monitored by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) as well as other regulating agencies. The only way to address these problems is with technology that controls and validates your information flow.

Q: How does Compliance Systems Transaction Risk Management Solution address this?

ROGER GUDOBBA: Financial institutions are becoming increasingly familiar with the demands of managing these various types of enterprise risks and many financial institutions are struggling to ensure that they can demonstrate that their specific policies, processes, and procedures are fairly and consistently applied across their customer communities. In the absence of a transaction risk management (TRM) solution, each institution is responsible for maintaining the integrity of the entire transaction risk system. Institutions are responsible for ensuring that their institution’s policy disclosures contain appropriate data based on state and federal regulatory requirements and applicable case law. They are responsible for determining that data is consistent across all documents required to memorialize the transaction. They are responsible for determining in any given transaction that there is data consistency across all documents. Their staff is responsible for determining complex, state-specific entity types such as limited liability and limited partnerships, and for determining the correct organizational authorizations. Failure to do so exposes institutions to the risk of unenforceable transactions that impact liquidity, compromise their reputation, and result in legal and regulatory repercussions.

It is understood that certain data is required in transactions by federal and state regulation, and every institution must present that content at transaction time. However, because all institutions are unique and offer unique products, they need to have the ability to define and control the language used to represent those products.

The CSi Transaction Risk Management (TRM) Solution allows financial institutions to easily configure language that precisely defines their policy decisions and product definitions. The solution ensures that only compliant, validated language is applied at transaction time, mitigating their ongoing operational and compliance risk. Security features and audit trails help them control and track access to their data.

Q: What is the foundation for TRM?

ROGER GUDOBBA: Throughout its history, Dennis Adama, CEO and Founder, has differentiated CSi from competitors with his willingness to conceive new solutions to the problems surrounding transactions. Starting in 1995, Compliance Logic Systems (CLS) was a standalone wizard application used by financial institutions to create and maintain their own ARM and TIL lending disclosures. That CLS was designed as an intelligent data collection and compliance validation tool proved prescient and reflected Dennis’s focus on the data necessary to document financial transactions, rather than on the physical documents or forms that would ultimately present the data. This foresight to build a software foundation on the data would establish CSi’s development model for the years ahead. Around the same time, initial launch of Document Selection Logic (DSL) was underway. That technology component uses transaction data to determine the documents required to perfect financial transactions and relates entities and collateral with the relevant documents, helping institutions mitigate risk at the root level of the transaction. This was quickly followed by the release of dynamic documents—documents in the sense that they end up rendering in the page format with which we are all familiar, but actually software applications that logically include or omit content based on transaction values.

All of these technological advances established the foundation for Transaction Risk Management. Transaction Risk Management (1) provides a warranted contract with a clearly enforceable promise to pay, (2) ensures the institution has an enforceable interest in any collateral on the transaction, (3) follows all governing law language and regulations specific to the transaction, (4) correctly assembles and associates all relationships on the transaction to appropriate documentation, (5) automatically configures any institution-specific language based on the institution’s very own selection criteria, (6) and clearly identifies any missing information.

I joined Compliance Systems in 2008 primarily because of their technology and their business model, which is based on offering strategic technology partnerships. We interact and exchange thoughts, ideas, and development plans with our partners in order to develop and support the best joint solutions possible.

The CSi Data Schema, launched in 2009, was the first technology component I saw built from the ground up at CSi and is another example of how the organization seeks to support partner integration efforts. Rather than simply working with MISMO data schema in the Mortgage market, CSi envisioned a complete data schema that supported Mortgage, Deposit, Consumer Lending, and Commercial Lending. Since then, CSi has only forged further ahead in developing technology solutions that reduce the risk exposure of financial institutions. We have Configurability, which allows lenders to modify, append, or replace text provisions within documents so that they can adapt to market, business, policy, and regulatory developments while maintaining warranted compliance with CSi. We have Simplicity, which expanded that configurable functionality and allows lenders to designate logos, bar codes, etc., to be applied to standard documents automatically.

When the TILA/RESPA Integrated Disclosures (TRID) Final Rule was announced in the fall of 2013, CSi immediately recognized that this was an excellent fit for dynamic document technology. Early estimates showed it could take potentially hundreds of static templates to produce all the variations, assuming that this was even possible. We communicated throughout the process with our strategic partners so that they would understand what we would deliver, actually a year ahead of the deadline. That allowed them to focus on the changes required from their end.

The Data Collection Logic (DCL) is one of our latest technology components. It provides CSi partners with information regarding the data that must be collected in their platform interface in order to fully document a transaction. That data collection is based on existing business and regulatory rules already integrated into CSi technology. CSi’s partners have traditionally struggled with the problem of data analysis in the development of their own systems, as their own data collection and application user interfaces also depend on an ongoing knowledge and analysis of regulatory compliance and business rules. The DCL can decrease the time and costs required for a business partner to get a quality platform solution on the market and to maintain that solution in the face of ongoing regulatory changes.

Q: When did you become associated with Progress in Lending?

ROGER GUDOBBA: I probably met Tony Garritano sometime in the 1990s when he was at Source Media. I served on the Advisory Board for Mortgage Technology magazine when Tony was the editor. I spoke with Tony on a weekly basis and we lamented on the fact the industry seemed to be slow to change. He wanted to give everyone in the industry a chance to express their concerns. With the encouragement from a number of us, he launched Progress in Lending in 2010. This is a central place for industry participants to have discussions about how technology can improve the process, and it provides a place for thoughts and ideas to flow freely. It’s easier to move things forward when you’re in a group. One of the monthly publications is Tomorrow’s Mortgage Executive and I personally have contributed over 70 articles. There are now over 15,000 followers on the daily posts. A high point of the MBA Technology Conference is the PIL Innovations Awards, with over 150 applications over the last 6 years. Progress in Lending has been a resounding success and I am proud to be on the Executive Committee for Progress in Lending.

Q: Lastly, what is the status of technology innovation in the mortgage industry in your opinion?

ROGER GUDOBBA: The use of technology has had a significant impact on many industries. Certainly, the mortgage industry is no exception to adapting technology. But have we exploited technology to its fullest potential? The answer is: No! I believe the industry has woefully underutilized technology. When you look at the loan process, not much has changed over the last 25 years. It is still a very document-oriented process. Certainly we have introduced technology solutions at certain points in the process, but we still have not seen a dramatic change in the process. The main objective for TRID was Know Before You Owe so that there were no surprises at closing for the borrower and sometimes the lender. It ensured that the CD was within tolerance levels from the LE. It changed that responsibility from the settlement agent to the lender. It certainly provided a great opportunity to modify the way we close loans. Instead, it is another opportunity missed. We are just getting around to standardized fee names. I am constantly both intrigued and mystified about the slow rate of technology adoption in our industry, but I’m also optimistic about the future.

INSIDER PROFILE

Roger Gudobba is passionate about the importance of quality data and its role in improving the mortgage process. He is vice president, mortgage markets at Compliance Systems and chief executive officer at PROGRESS in Lending Association. Roger has over 30 years of mortgage experience and an active participant in the Mortgage Industry Standards Maintenance Organization (MISMO) for 17 years. He was a Mortgage Banking Technology All-Star in 2005. He was the recipient of Mortgage Technology Magazine’s Steve Fraser Visionary Award in 2004 and the Lasting Impact Award in 2008. Roger can be reached at rgudobba@compliancesystems.com.

INDUSTRY PREDICTIONS

Roger Gudobba thinks:

1.) Digital mortgages will mandate innovative changes to the loan process and move the industry to focus on data and not documents.

2.) Lenders will need to have an integrated central repository for all their data and have complete control over all their interactions.

3.) Consumers will demand multiple access points to communicate with lenders and it will be different for diverse consumer demographics.

Progress In Lending
The Place For Thought Leaders And Visionaries

Here’s What The Future Of Mortgage Technology Innovation Will Look Like …

For the sixth consecutive year, PROGRESS in Lending Association hosted its groundbreaking ENGAGE Event designed to engage the mortgage industry to discuss and find solutions to so many pressing  industry issues. This was a frank and thorough exchange of ideas and tips about how to solve the problems that face the mortgage industry.  Yesterday we reported on what the speakers said about the future of mortgage regulatory compliance. Here’s what they had to say about the future of mortgage technology innovation:

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“Looking back, the industry under estimated the amount of effort required to comply with TRID,” said Roger Gudobba, vice president, mortgage markets at CSi. “The industry is always reactive instead of being proactive. The new buzzword going around now is the digital mortgage. I hope it’s more then a buzzword. We as an industry need to focus on the data, which is what we always needed to do.”

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So, what will define a truly forward-looking and innovative mortgage company in the years ahead? “Burdens in many areas continue,” answered Paul Wetzel, product management lead for Mortgage Cadence. “You need an open platform with a modern interface. Ease of use is critical. The innovative technology firms will be adding quality development staff. The innovative system of the future will be scalable, compliant and include all of the fun stuff, too.”

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Case in point, let’s look at Fannie Mae’s launch of Collateral Underwriter. The GSE has invested a lot in development to roll out new tools to both digitize the process and ensure compliance, but is it working? “People are accepting of CU,” pointed out Lisa Binkley, senior vice president business development and mortgage services at Platinum Data Solutions. “However, people say that it is too manual. The UI is easy, but many feel like they need to know what’s underlying the decision of CU so they can address the findings. CU is an advance, but it has to be improved.”

The key to innovating is getting as many lenders to embrace smart automation. If lenders won’t automate at all, innovation just can’t happen. One way to get lenders to move faster is to offer more automation in one platform that is either all-in-one or tightly integrated to best-in-class players.

“It is an expansive and timely process for lenders to vet so many technology vendors,” explained Marc Riccio, president at Specialized Data Systems. “Vendors have to offer both lenders and borrowers a truly better process. You can’t just automate an old process, you have to automate to improve the process. For example, if you are working with someone on a mortgage, you should be able to offer them other products like a credit card, a boat loan, or something else, all from one system. Innovative technology allows lenders to work smarter.”

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 tony@progressinlending.com.