Loan origination systems are moving to mobile devices — enabling loan officers to send information directly to their office computers and maintain regulatory compliance. The efficient process is making it easier to focus on servicing the customer — a priority that was becoming secondary.
Systems that perform different origination-related functions are becoming integrated more and more, LOS vendors told Mortgage Daily at the Mortgage Bankers Association’s 99th Annual Convention and Expo in Chicago last month.
“At the forefront of every concern is compliance,” says Greg Ellis, senior business consultant for LOS development at ISGN Corp.
“Lenders have become more interested in complying with regulations,” says Will Armstrong, chief executive officer of Blueberry Systems LLC, “than serving borrowers. They know the CFPB is coming. But that’s not what the regulators want.”
This changing LOS landscape and the new technologies being introduced to meet its challenges is part of an industry-wide technology effort to reduce what MBA Chief Economist Jay Brinkmann described as the greater costs and increased inefficiencies caused by growing regulations, a situation that eliminates any benefits from size.
“Twenty-thirteen,” predicts Blueberry’s Armstrong, “will be the year of adaptation to the changing landscape. There’s been a seismic shift in the industry but technologies have not been answering the questions being asked.”
The mortgage industry, he adds, is now dealing with challenges “it was not even thinking about 18 months ago.”
“In the past it was more a manual process on a computer,” points out ISGN’s Ellis. The Melbourne, Fla.-based service provider introduced a new web-based origination system for its 18-month-old Catapult end-to-end LOS.
“It can run on a Kindle, an iPad, an iPhone, a Blackberry or on any Android system,” he says, replacing numerous manual tools.
Documents and data can be moved back and forth and when a document is completed it is sent automatically to a loan processor, Ellis explains.
This new system, he says, is available as a hosted cloud-based system or a licensed system that can be installed and run in-house. And the cost of a single origination is the same for both large and small originators. It also can be implemented in a matter of weeks rather than the traditional months it typically takes to fully implement a new system, he explains.
“What we’ve tried to do,” Ellis says, “is to hone in on what can save originators time and costs and people. It’s so tough to compete today. It used to be fun to originate. Now it’s dangerous.”
However, although ISGN’s new web-based system eliminates the need for originators to come into their offices, only about 50 percent of ISGN’s clients, most of them new, “get really excited about that,” Ellis admits. “A lot of loan originators still come into their loan offices. They’re just not yet in that mind set.”
Greenwood Village, Colo.-based Blueberry also has launched new applications to its existing services, as have Ellie Mae, a Mortgage Daily advertiser, and Mortgage Builder Software.
Blueberry, at the MBA, announced that its Relay loan origination software now seamlessly integrates with DocMagic’s document preparation and compliance technology and employs more capabilities, including eSignature and eDelivery. Lenders and their originators, Armstrong says, can now follow origination and regulatory guidelines without leaving Relay.
“With our improved operating platform,” says Armstrong, “originators can have all their data sets in one place where they can be found easily.”
Pleasanton, Calif.-based Ellie Mae, explains Jonas Moe, vice president, product strategy, has a new document engine, built off of its Encompass360 LOS software, that enables users to access all applications. It can be loaded onto either a desk top or a mobile device, he says, but it’s all done with the same security.
“The mobile solution was built brand new for originators to access,” he explains. “Everything is done on a secure channel and it’s done encrypted.”
Because information is sent to an office computer as it is entered, originators not only never have to go into their offices to upload information, but there is never any information stored and accessible on their mobile devices should those devices be lost or stolen.
“We built the application to fit loan officers, who are our target office,” explains Moe. “Our next focus will be borrowers.”
But borrowers can benefit already because of the time savings when taking a loan application on a mobile device, which can even be used to obtain credit reports, he points out. And the new document engine is ready for use of e-signatures.
Southfield, Mich.-based Mortgage Builder announced at the event that it has added customer relationship management technology and product pricing and eligibility engine technology to its LOS and servicing software with the acquisition of Denver-based LXE Software Inc.
LXE’s LoanXEngine, which combines lead management, product pricing, product eligibility and CRM workflow into a single platform, will be integrated into Mortgage Builder’s new LOS platform, President and CEO Keven Smith tells Mortgage Daily.
“We want to have all the pieces we need in our platform,” he says, “otherwise we’re at the mercy of others.
“It’s a great product and pricing engine that will help our need to get to the market quicker.”
It also, says Kelli Himebaugh, vice president, client development, “makes our lenders more competitive and is great for recruiting new lenders. And we can also sell it as a stand-alone system.”
Mortgage Builder had released a month earlier a new LOS platform, Architect, which leverages state-of-the-art technology using, within a NET framework, Windows Communication Foundation, Windows Presentation Foundation and XAML, Windows’ declarative markup language that enables a workflow where separate parties can work on the UI and the logic of an application, using potentially different tools.
“Mortgage banking,” notes Smith, “is always changing.”
Despite all of today’s challenges and problems, concludes Blueberry’s Armstrong, the mortgage industry is “doing well” because it is “trying as hard as possible” to deal with those challenges and problems.
Technology not only helps comply with regulations, he says, but also can be used as “customer touch points.”