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Integration Furthers eLending

PathSoftware today announced that Path, its configurable, multi-channel, cloud-based mortgage loan origination software (LOS), is now fully integrated with DocMagic, a provider of document production, automated compliance, and eMortgage services.

The new web integration provides a direct, secure connection between users’ loan files and DocMagic’s family of products and services. This enables users to order, generate, manage, receive and deliver TRID-compliant documents, such as loan estimates, closing documents and disclosures, with just a few mouse clicks—virtually eliminating the chance of errors and exposure to security risks, while avoiding the time constraints of manually rekeying information.

This integration also enables users to access DocMagic’s Total eClose platform, a digital mortgage solution that contains all of the components needed to facilitate a completely paperless digital closing. In addition, the integration also accesses DocMagic’s eSign technology so borrowers can electronically sign all documents in a secure, compliant manner.

Path was designed to simplify and streamline mid- to enterprise-level, multi-channel loan origination. All loan data, lock data, products, pricing, automated underwriting system findings, loan estimate and closing disclosure documents emanate and are reconciled within one system. In addition, the LOS’s configurable workflows, with role-based functionality, provide visibility into every loan at every stage—so financial institutions can ensure their business rules are followed.

“Smart companies like PathSoftware know that TRID compliance, risk reduction and cost control are huge concerns for lenders, and they’re building value by offering solutions to those issues through their technology and that of their partners, like DocMagic,” said Dominic Iannitti, president and CEO of DocMagic. “We’ve had an excellent partnership with PathSoftware’s parent company for many years. We’re proud to continue supporting them as they introduce new and better solutions to their customers and the industry.”

“DocMagic has long been a leading provider of fully-compliant loan document preparation solutions, differentiating itself by the way it handles data and runs compliance checks,” said Doug Mitchell, director of sales and support at PathSoftware. “Our integration with DocMagic will not only make ordering compliant documents significantly easier for our joint clients, it will also significantly reduce time and cost, and eliminate the need for data re-entry, which can inadvertently cause errors and lead to compliance issues.”

The PathSoftware LOS integration also gives mutual clients the option to take advantage of DocMagic’s Premium Reps & Warrants Guarantee offering. The guarantee covers high cost points and fees calculations, TRID-related audits, customer modifications of documents, document selection, and the Loan Estimate (LE) and Closing Disclosure (CD) under DocMagic’s SmartCLOSE product.

Progress In Lending
The Place For Thought Leaders And Visionaries

Happy Borrowers: Achieving Financial Success With Customer Satisfaction

To Download The Full Free Industry Paper PDF Click Here

Your borrowers matter. And in a changing market, they matter more than ever. In 2017, we’ve seen the shift from record-breaking volumes to slower growth. Now, stealing share, and therefore winning the hearts and minds of borrowers, is the key to success. Increasingly price and product flexibility matters less to borrowers than customer experience. Rates and closing costs are no longer the central drivers of satisfaction in the loan process.

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But just how valuable is “borrower satisfaction?” Most mortgage executives we speak with see the big picture benefits of being borrower-centric: happy customers lead to more referrals and a better reputation, lowering costs of service and engaging employees in the workplace. But when you dig below the surface, you realize that few truly can quantify the economic return of a better borrower experience.

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In this overview, Maxwell Financial Labs has pulled together research that highlights the central drivers of borrower satisfaction. And more importantly, Maxwell highlight change tactics and a structured methodology to quantify the business case for creating happy borrowers.

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To Download The Full Free Industry Paper PDF Click Here

Progress In Lending
The Place For Thought Leaders And Visionaries

Just Digitize Everything

I remember the late 1990s when everyone wanted to do an eClosing pilot. Everyone thought that eMortgages would blow up and go mainstream faster than you can imagine. Well, here we are over 15 years later and today everyone is talking about the digital mortgage.

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Maybe I’m old school, but to me it doesn’t matter what you call it, just do it. Lenders have and should automate and/or digitize every-thing. It just makes sense.

Why does it make sense? First, because higher interest rates and a slowing of refinances as a result demand that lenders be as efficient as possible. And interestingly, the higher rates are not scaring away younger borrowers that want a more convenient, digital process.

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According to data compiled by Ellie Mae, conventional loans remained steady at 64 percent of all closed loans by this generation, while FHA mortgages stayed at 32 percent—a market share they have held since June. The average loan amount for loans closed by Millennial borrowers in August of 2017 was $185,919, which was a slight increase from August 2016’s average $184,113, despite the average 30-year note rate having increased to 4.211 percent from 3.706 percent last year.

In August 2017, the average Millennial primary borrower was a 29.4-year-old who took out a Conventional loan of $185,919 to purchase a home with an average appraised value of $223,882. This average homebuyer had a FICO score of 724, which helped them get a 30-year note rate of 4.211 percent, and they closed on their home in 44 days. The majority (64 percent) of primary borrowers were male.

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Additionally, more than half (52 percent) of borrowers were married.

Overall, Millennials were most likely to close loans for the purpose of purchasing a home (87 percent). Refinances accounted for 12 percent of loans closed by Millennials in August.

And guess what? These borrowers want convenience. So, going digital will both make the lender more efficient and help them reach new borrowers. Beyond these benefits, going digital will also allow lenders to prove their compliance with new rules and regulations that is just not possible in a paper world. I’ll say it again: Going digital makes sense.

Some lenders may wonder: How do I get started? Going digital is actually much easier these days as compared to the late 1990s.

Why do I say that it’ easier? Because technology vendors are launching new solutions literally every day to help lenders digitize. For example, Capsilon, a provider of cloud-based digital mortgage solutions for mortgage companies, unveiled its vision for the future of mortgage production and servicing with the launch of the Capsilon Digital Mortgage Platform, powered by Intelligent Process Automation.

The new Capsilon Digital Mortgage Platform doesn’t replace a loan origination system (LOS). Rather, it integrates with leading LOS’s and uses Intelligent Process Automation to automatically complete key steps throughout the mortgage production process, from the initial loan application to delivery to investors. Unlike Robotic Process Automation, which uses computer programs to mimic simple manual tasks, such as data entry, Intelligent Process Automation uses contextual artificial intelligence to understand which documents, data and rules are required to accomplish key tasks at every step of the mortgage production process, and automatically completes these steps. Human intervention is required only for items that fall outside of established parameters.

And lenders are responding. “UWM shares Capsilon’s vision of how the mortgage industry needs to transform,” said Mat Ishbia, president and CEO of United Wholesale Mortgage. “We’ve partnered with Capsilon for years and think their technology has been key to helping UWM become the #1 wholesale lender in America.”

“The Capsilon Digital Mortgage Platform transforms the speed, user experience, and economics of the mortgage process,” said Sanjeev Malaney, CEO of Capsilon. “By leveraging Intelligent Process Automation, the platform transforms existing mortgage production and servicing processes into a modern digital factory.”

The point that I’m trying to make is that embracing a more digital mortgage process makes sense and the barriers to adoption are becoming few and far between. The real question should be: Why wouldn’t you digitize?

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.

Loan Document Automation

The mortgage lending industry presents a number of unique challenges for classifying and extracting data from key documents, due in part to the large volumes of disparate documents in most loan files.

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New documents and the regulations related to them put a new emphasis on the need for quick and very accurate data. Lenders in particular face significant penalties for inaccurate data and missed delivery deadlines. Sorting and capturing critical data from thousands of diverse documents has historically been labor intensive, slow, and expensive. To stay competitive, and meet these new and constantly changing challenges, automation through technology is no longer optional.

The key is finding a provider that specializes in automated document classification and data capture specifically for mortgage lending and the financial services industries, which scales to process millions of pages per day.

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Leading edge OCR solutions offer significant efficiencies for classifying large quantities of differing document types and extracting key data elements from those documents.  In the mortgage market, these capabilities allow for quick and accurate identification of over 500 unique documents in the typical mortgage file, along with the ability to capture nearly any data element from those documents that an organization requires.

Here are some examples of applying this advanced technology to specific mortgage documents:

Application Processing

Extract relevant content from borrower-provided pay stubs, W-2s, bank statements, and tax documents to expedite underwriting and reduce origination costs.

Post-Close Processing

Identification of each document in the loan file, bringing structure to what was a 300+ page blob of content.

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Verification that relevant documents have been signed

Compare key data elements from loan file with your systems of record to verify changes haven’t been made without your knowledge.

UCD File Generation

Create the Uniform Closing Dataset (“UCD”) file required (as of Sept 25, 2017) when selling loans to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

Reporting And Audit Automation

Extract key loan file data elements to support the following reporting/audit activities:

HMDA reporting – our system is ready to capture the additional demographic data on the new Uniform Residential Loan Application (effective Jan 1, 2018)

RESPA audit

TRID audit

Lenders can longer afford to manually classify and manage large volumes of disparate documents. Manually preparing a batch for scanning by inserting document separator sheets and manually classifying loan documents is a labor-intensive, inefficient and error prone process. Not only is it critical that this process be done accurately, but also that it be done efficiently in order to allow downstream underwriting and servicing decisions to be performed in a timely way.

At the end of the day it is about finding a provider that focuses its skills towards delivering the most efficient, accurate, and flexible freeform document classification and data extraction solution available. The time is now for lenders to reduces manual labor costs and increases accuracy levels associated with classifying and capturing data from loan documents.

About The Author

Mark Tinkham
Mark Tinkham is Director of Business Alliances at Paradatec, Inc. Over the past twenty-five plus years, Mark has worked for technology companies that deliver innovative solutions to the financial services industry. For the past ten years, his primary focus has been bringing efficiencies to the mortgage market through industry leading Optical Character Recognition (OCR).

Building Loan Officer And Realtor Relationships

Real estate agents may have the opportunity of obtaining a cash buyer from time to time, but in most cases homebuyers will require a mortgage. As a loan officer, it is important to build a trusted, long-term relationships with agents to keep the volume up. This means it is necessary for loan officers to build relationships with realtors to the best of their abilities. Forming these relationships in business takes time and effort, but the outcome can make a significant difference in the success rate.  Here are some useful tips to not only build a foundation but to improve interactions among real estate agents by helping loan officers and real estate agents stand out from the competition.

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Communication plays a significant role in forming a strong relationship among the loan officer and the real estate agent. It is important to be able to provide reliable facts to both the clients and Realtor. If a real estate agent is not accurate about a loan, the potential amount of time lost during the pre-approval process could be drastic. This not only keeps the deal from closing but can potentially have a damaging effect on the relationship between the loan officer, Realtor and client. One of the most useful opportunities for a loan officer to work closer with a real estate agent is to remember that you are both on the same team. The goal of a real estate agent is to please their clients. In doing so, they’ll promote business to you if they see you are eager to help them achieve this goal.

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Today, there are advanced forms of technology available that enhance the communication experience among loan officers and real estate agent. These features include the sharing of realtor pages that interact with loan officer pages. This enables leveraging to the realtor sites that fully interact and have the capability to share data together. Social media platforms are also becoming the ‘norm’ and almost required to build business relationships. Today, one of the best things both real estate agents and loan officers can do to communicate more effectively and expand their brands is to have a presence on social media. By using these platforms, businesses can not only stay connected but also use each other for support. One key feature of social media is the ability to be able to share content. This tool is useful in not only branding your business but in building relationships among clients. Today, thousands of people are using social media to stay in contact in their industry. Social media is a great place to enhance and nurture relationships among others in your field.

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There is no question that forming a strong relationship among both the loan officer and the Realtor ensures a higher success and performance rate among existing and future clients. Building a relationship amongst a loan officer and a real estate agent is fundamental in the mortgage industry. What we can agree on, is that everyone has the same goal to close the loan and the best way to do this is to improve communication between loan officers and real estate agents. Loan officers and Realtors need to come together as a team to guarantee success.

About The Author

Kelcey T. Brown
Kelcey T. Brown is Chief Strategy Officer & Executive Vice President at WebMax, LLC. Brown is responsible for developing, communicating, executing, and sustaining strategic initiatives. He acts as a key advisor to the company’s president on critical changes in the competitive landscape, internal employee development and the external business environment. Brown has worked for nine years in the Real Estate and Mortgage Technology Industry.

TRID 2.0: Now What?

Over a year in the making, TRID 2.0 was finally released on July 7, 2017. With an effective date 60 days after the final rule is published in the Federal Register, and a mandatory compliance deadline of October 1, 2018, the industry is sure to have a lot to say about these new regulations.

TRID 2.0 is meant to provide additional clarity to the original TRID rule that went into effect on October 3, 2015. Changes include:

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Cooperative Housing. Loans on cooperative housing are now covered by TRID, having previously been left to state law definitions of real and personal property.

Tolerances. New tolerances have been added and others have been clarified, including total of payments, the “no tolerance” category and good faith, and property taxes.

Rate Locks. A new Loan Estimate, or Closing Disclosure, must be provided upon rate lock, even if nothing has otherwise changed.

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Escrow. The Closing Disclosure Escrow Account Disclosures have been clarified, allowing for 12 months in “Year 1” calculations.

Additional Guidance. The amendment provides additional guidance around disclosure of construction to permanent loans, simultaneous second loans, disclosure of principle reductions, and a reiteration that re-disclosure of the Loan Estimate (LE) or Closing Disclosure (CD) is permitted at any time.

What’s Missing?

The CFPB has not yet finalized proposed changes to resolve the infamous “black hole” issue; instead, they published a new proposal. In case you’re unfamiliar, complications arise due to potential timing conflicts between the Loan Estimate and the Closing Disclosure. If a borrower experiences a change in circumstance after they have received the Closing Disclosure and needs to delay the date of closing, there are concerns that a lender will be unable to comply with both the requirements to provide a revised disclosure to the consumer within 3 business days of the change and simultaneously within 4 business days of consummation in order to reset the tolerance thresholds for the good faith determination. There is even uncertainty of the ability of a re-disclosed Closing Disclosure to reset tolerances at all. Can we expect a final TRID 3.0 to resolve the issue? Only time will tell.

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Similarly, the issue of disclosure of simultaneous title quotes for owner’s and lender’s title premiums remains unchanged and unaddressed. The current, and very complicated, method of calculating lender’s title in the case of a simultaneous quote still stands and is not currently included in the “black hole” proposal.

What Happens Next?

Our main concern after dissecting TRID 2.0 is the phased implementation. On the surface this sounds like a great thing for lenders, but what happens when a consumer compares disclosures between lenders? This gets tricky when it comes to the application date. Additionally, you don’t want to change to the new calculations in the Calculating Cash to Close table mid-loan cycle with your consumers. This would result in re-disclosed Loan Estimates, or the Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure on a single loan may utilizing different logic. This could confuse consumers as well as investors on loan purchase, and examiners down the line.

Regardless of the outcomes our industry will adjust. One thing is for sure, policies, procedures, and technology will continue to play an essential role in mortgage compliance.

About The Author

Amanda Phillips
Amanda Phillips is EVP Legal and Regulatory Compliance for Mortgage Cadence, an Accenture Company. She works closely with Mortgage Cadence Product and Development teams to help interpret compliance requirements and assist in developing risk mitigation strategies and implementing the requisite controls within the Mortgage Cadence platforms. She also communicates with clients regarding Mortgage Cadence compliance interpretations and controls. Phillips joined Mortgage Cadence in January 2014 as its Legal and Compliance Lead, guiding development of the organization’s technologies, including the Enterprise Lending Center, the Loan Fulfillment Center and the Document Center.

Your Brand Matters

What you stand for is important. Relationships in the mortgage industry matter a lot. Often technology decisions, for example, are made based on who else is using that same technology.

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For this reason a lot of mortgage technology vendors are reluctant to tinker with their brand, but I’m here to tell you that’s the wrong approach. In the article entitled “The Importance of Updating your Brand” by Chirag Thumar, he defines a brand as “what your consumers perceive of your company. The idea or feeling that they associate with your company is the brand of your business. If you ask your clients of what comes to their mind when your business is mentioned and they respond consistently with an emotion or perception, which is your brand.”

Your company’s brand plays a vital role in the workings of its business, as it helps create an impression, evokes curiosity about the company and its business, and gives out an essence of quality and professionalism.

Why should you update your brand?

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Brand image is crucial in communicating properly with your target clients the goodwill of your business and to assure certain levels of expectation. Even if your business has an established brand, it needs to evolve as the business itself changes. Re-branding and refreshing your company’s appearance is crucial to keep it relevant to your old clients as well as to attract new ones. There are many reasons why to do so, such as:

>>To reflect internal changes

>>Business growth: As a business expands, the brand needs to extend itself to appeal to the increasing mass of consumers that the company is trying to interact with.

>>Globalization: When a company expands its products and services to the international market, the brand name has to evolve to be represented constantly in all the countries.

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The biggest of the international brands like Google, eBay, Apple, Coca-Cola update their brands frequently to cater to their expanding business strategies.

When is it time to update your brand?

Re-branding your company is a decision that should be made after a systematic analysis of the response pattern of your consumers. There are certain signals that your brand needs an update, which you need to look out for, like-

>>If your brand is being associated with negative feelings

>>If your brand is out of sync with your business identity

>>If your brand is not making your business stand out

How do you get your brand updated?

A refresh comes in many forms and it is important to have an understanding of your clients’ attitudes to opt for the most suitable re-branding for your business. The options include:

>>Getting a logo: If your business doesn’t have a logo, consider getting one developed. Or if your company has had the same logo for a long time, consider getting it changed. A case in point is the company Starbucks, which has become a very easily recognizable brand with its much simplified logo.

>>Changing the company’s name: For a business to appeal to the popular mass, the company needs a name that is easily accepted and recognized by its large variety of consumers. For example, the digital giant Google was once known as “Back Rub”.

>>Releasing a new product that has gained relevance among the consumers.

>>Changing the way of advertising: It is essential to advertise your company the right way and by right way, what is meant is the way your target audience will find your product or service the most appealing. It is equally important for the advertising strategies to be relevant to both your business identify as well as time.

And most companies can’t do this alone, which is where partners like NexLevel Advisors come in. NexLevel Advisors marketing services helps its clients strategically market products and services whose complicated selling propositions or complex technical offerings require the communication of highly specialized information to elevate results. We offer world-class expertise and marketing insight to deliver dynamic marketing strategies and campaigns that will truly take your organization to the next level.

So, don’t be afraid to change your brand to meet today’s mortgage industry needs and don’t be afraid to ask for help in making sure that you do it right.

About The Author

Michael Hammond
Michael Hammond is chief strategy officer at PROGRESS in Lending Association and is the founder and president of NexLevel Advisors. They provide solutions in business development, strategic selling, marketing, public relations and social media. He has close to two decades of leadership, management, marketing, sales and technical product experience. Michael held prior executive positions such as CEO, CMO, VP of Business Strategy, Director of Sales and Marketing and Director of Marketing for a number of leading companies. He is also only one of about 60 individuals to earn the Certified Mortgage Technologist (CMT) designation. Michael can be contacted via e-mail at mhammond@nexleveladvisors.com.

Serious Delinquency Rate For Home Loans Holds

Data from CoreLogic shows that nationally, 4.6 percent of mortgages were in some stage of delinquency (30 days or more past due including those in foreclosure) in July 2017. This represents a 0.9 percentage point year-over-year decline in the overall delinquency rate compared with July 2016 when it was 5.5 percent.

As of July 2017, the foreclosure inventory rate, which measures the share of mortgages in some stage of the foreclosure process, was 0.7 percent, down from 0.9 percent in July 2016 and the lowest since the rate was also 0.7 percent in July 2007.

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Measuring early-stage delinquency rates is important for analyzing the health of the mortgage market. To monitor mortgage performance comprehensively, CoreLogic examines all stages of delinquency as well as transition rates, which indicate the percentage of mortgages moving from one stage of delinquency to the next.

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The rate for early-stage delinquencies, defined as 30-59 days past due, was 2 percent in July 2017, down slightly from 2.3 percent in July 2016. The share of mortgages that were 60-89 days past due in July 2017 was 0.7 percent, unchanged from July 2016. The serious delinquency rate (90 days or more past due) declined from 2.5 percent in July 2016 to 1.9 percent in July 2017 and remains near the 10-year low of 1.7 percent reached in July 2007. Alaska was the only state to experience a year-over-year increase in its serious delinquency rate.

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“While the U.S. foreclosure rate remains at a 10-year low as of July, the rate across the 100 largest metro areas varies from 0.1 percent in Denver to 2.2 percent in New York,” said Dr. Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic. “Likewise, the national serious delinquency rate remains at 1.9 percent, unchanged from June, and when analyzed across the 100 largest metros, rates vary from 0.6 percent in Denver to 4.1 percent in New York.”

Since early-stage delinquencies can be volatile, CoreLogic also analyzes transition rates. The share of mortgages that transitioned from current to 30-days past due was 0.9 percent in July 2017, down from 1.1 percent in July 2016. By comparison, in January 2007 just before the start of the financial crisis, the current-to-30-day transition rate was 1.2 percent and it peaked in November 2008 at 2 percent.

“Even though delinquency rates are lower in most markets compared with a year ago, there are some worrying trends,” said Frank Martell, president and CEO of CoreLogic. “For example, markets affected by the decline in oil production or anemic job creation have seen an increase in defaults. We see this in markets such as Anchorage, Baton Rouge and Lafayette, Louisiana where the serious delinquency rate rose over the last year.”

Progress In Lending
The Place For Thought Leaders And Visionaries

eClose: Moving Toward The Holy Grail

A fully paperless eClose has long been the Holy Grail for the mortgage industry. Just as Sir Galahad embarked on a quest to find the Holy Grail that would bring the ultimate benefits of self-actualization and salvation, brave lenders and tech vendors have been working tirelessly to achieve fully electronic closings and reap their invaluable benefits.

Not only do eClosings offer a wealth of operational benefits for lenders—improved efficiency, cost savings, tighter security and compliance, just to name a few— but they also enable lenders to extend more convenience and transparency to their customers. For lenders, they truly are the Holy Grail worth questing after.

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Luckily, eClosings are seeing more traction within the industry than ever before, but there’s still some distance to journey before they become standard. The first important step is understanding where the industry is currently and where it still needs to go before it can get its hands on the Holy Grail.

The Current State of eClose

A majority of eClosings today are hybrids between a standard paper closing and a full eClosing, meaning part of the process takes place electronically, but some portion still involves paper, usually for the notarized and title documents. Hybrid eClosings indicate progress for the industry and are still preferable to an entirely paper-based process, as transferring even part of the closing to digital brings business benefits to the lender and an improved experience to the borrower.

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Now it’s time for pioneers in the industry to address the handful of obstacles that remain on the path to eClosing.

(1) eNotarization

eNotarization is the aspect of eClosing that has perhaps most complicated the industry-wide transition to paperless closings.

This difficulty can be traced to confusion and lack of consistency in the current legal environment. While there is an existing legal infrastructure to confirm the validity of electronically notarized documents, notary legislation is controlled on a state level, which has resulted in a patchwork of differing laws.

While some states simply accept the ESIGN/UETA legal infrastructure, others have crafted their own legislation, and still others have yet to proclaim whether or not they will recognize eNotarization. This issue has been complicated even further now that some states recognize remote eNotarization—similar to standard eNotarization except the notary witnesses the closing ceremony via webcam instead of in person.

Due to differing state laws, title underwriters have been hesitant to insure loans closed with remote eNotary, because of the risk that a county recorder might notice that the notary was from a different state than the borrower and refuse to record the loan. As a result, investors have also been hesitant to purchase loans that have been remotely eNotarized unless they’re working in the few states, like Virigina and Montana, that have explicitly passed laws around the practice. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s official policies initially stated that they would accept remotely-notarized loans only for borrowers and properties in the same state as the remote notary. More recently, those policies seem to be evolving toward acceptance of a remotely-notarized loan “as long as the title underwriter insured it,” regardless of location.

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The most straightforward solution would be for all states to simply accept the legal validity of electronic notary signatures under the existing ESIGN/UETA legislation. Only once the legal landscape has become more standardized across states will eClosings become the norm.

(2) Widespread Misconceptions

While most lenders and consumers recognize the benefits of conducting closings electronically, commonly held misconceptions among all parties involved have also impeded eClose traction. Luckily, this is an easy obstacle to overcome, as addressing it simply requires a little more education.

With the increasing frequency and complexity of data breaches, perhaps the biggest worry among lenders is that eClosings could be less secure than paper closings. However, digital mortgage processes actually have the potential to be more secure, as there’s less manual data management and better authentication methods to confirm the borrower’s identity. And it’s always important to remember that regardless of the method used to sign the final documents, on paper or electronically, lenders must store and secure the borrower’s personal information in the same back-end LOS systems, so eClosings don’t introduce any new issues related to data breaches.

Borrowers are generally happy to embrace eClosings, since many of them are already familiar with completing financial transactions online and would prefer the convenience of this method. However, they may also have security concerns, so lenders should make it a point to be transparent during the process to ensure borrowers feel comfortable.

(3) Technology

Technology solutions supporting eClose exist today, but they vary in their areas of focus and don’t yet comprehensively address every need at the closing table. Solutions that focus on eNotarization or remote notarization lack tight integration with document generation and employ manual tagging for signature points, introducing opportunity for human error if a signature point is missed.

There have been recent announcements of “completely electronic closings,” which indicate good progress toward a completely paperless process. However, in each case a lot of manual work and document handoffs were necessary to pull together all of the closing documents into a single eSigning event. Still, as the industry develops greater integration between lenders’ loan origination systems, doc generators, title production systems, closing agents, and electronic notarization and recording, we will continue to move toward more seamless solutions where document assembly and tagging will be performed automatically.

These developments attest to the hard work technology vendors have been putting into heralding in the age of eClose with optimal technology. The increasing prevalence of APIs and vendor partnerships are also facilitating the transition.

Additionally, there are still individual solutions that lenders can use to take some of the paper out of the process. Since eClosings hinge so significantly on documents, the most important feature to have in today’s lending environment is integration between the doc source and eSign platforms.

The industry is closer than ever to possessing the Holy Grail of mortgage lending: a fully paperless eClosing. All that remains of the quest is to overcome some difficult but conquerable obstacles, and then the entire industry will reap the benefits of eClosings.

About The Author

Harry Gardner
Harry Gardner is executive vice president of eStrategies for Docutech, a leading provider of compliance and documentation technology. Founded in 1991, Idaho Falls, Idaho-based Docutech offers a wide range of solutions to institutions all over the world. From document generation and imaging support to eDelivery, digital signatures and print fulfillment, Docutech sets the standard in providing market-proven technology and unrivaled client service to you, your workforce and your clients.

Getting The Most Out Of Your Contact Center

The first and fourth quarters of the year are when the tax servicing industry is flush with high call volumes. During these times especially, when customer demands are escalated, it becomes even more important to ensure service levels are not jeopardized. One of the most important and influential means of providing the best customer service is to take a proactive stance, rather than reactive.

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The contact center, when managed properly, can be a source of great information. Below are three ways to get the most out of a call center.

Reduce Call Volume

Why are borrowers calling? While this may seem like an obvious question, it is important to use data to corroborate and to make changes if necessary. For example, in your due diligence efforts, you could uncovered that a lot of the calls requesting information for 1098 forms for income tax purposes. In response, you can update your interactive voice response system to route these calls to right department.

Properly managing calls can improve caller experience as well as abandon call rates. This afforded companies financial benefits in the money saved from reducing overtime – without affecting performance. Customers will ultimately be happier as they will not need to be transferred from one department to another and agents could more effectively assist borrowers with their property tax inquiries.

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First Interaction Resolution and Staff Training

When a request requires research, it is imperative for the contact center team to be well trained in active listening, effective questioning, timely follow through and collaborated solutions. This ensures that, if the call cannot be resolved immediately, a timely resolution will be found with all the information gathered that is needed by the borrower.

For example, if a homeowner calls about delinquent taxes, an agent should listen carefully without interruption and gather as much information as possible. Usually, this will allow the agent to obtain critical information such as; the agencies name to which the taxes are delinquent, the amount due, and if any action is being taken against the property. The agent can advise the borrower on the time frame for either a follow up, update or resolution. In this way, companies can operate efficiently and effectively to address borrowers’ concerns. When a customer understands what is being done, and when, it prevents an escalation of the situation or repeat calls.

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Random Call Audits

There is always room for improvement. Random call audits are one of the tools that lead to call quality improvement. Through this training system, the agent can better understand his or her strengths and correct any areas that need improvement. In this process of streamlining the call center, you could uncover areas that could benefit from better quality control efforts.

Even if you exceed requirements, it is important that companies understand the importance of continuous efforts to improve the caller experience service.

About The Author

Christy Perez
Christy Perez is Customer Care and Call Center Manager at LERETA. Since 1986, LERETA has provided the mortgage and insurance industries the fastest, most accurate and complete access to property tax data and flood hazard status information across the U.S. LERETA is committed to giving customers extraordinary service and cost-effective property tax and flood solutions. LERETA’s services are designed to increase efficiency, reduce penalties and liabilities and improve processes for mortgage companies.