20 Nov, 2020

Optimizing Mortgage Processing Amid Pandemic

Optimizing Mortgage Processing Amid Pandemic

Mortgage processing is considered one of the most complex financial processes undertaken by banks and financial organizations.

Several key challenges arise in such a complex and heavily regulated process. If not properly addressed, it can significantly impact the efficiency of mortgage processing. If lenders are aware of these challenges and the current best practices, they can take appropriate actions to reduce inefficiencies and optimize the process.

Lack of Resources and Technology

The primary challenge currently faced by mortgage processors is the lack of resources and technology. If staff is not supported with the right tools and technologies, each stage of the mortgage process can take longer than necessary. Across several lenders, there is a significant dependency on manual, paper-based activities with procedures that must be stringently adhered to.

This is especially relevant right now, at a time when more buyers are looking for remote mortgage services. “Many buyers are also seeking out speedier mortgage processing to compensate for the slowdown caused by the surge in mortgage applications when rates dropped this summer.

The only way to overcome this challenge is to provide mortgage processors with more support, both in technology and process efficiency.

A mortgage processor can benefit from integrated tools and expedite the loan process. The right technology can move a loan from start to finish, with less effort and less paperwork, while also keeping everyone involved in the process connected.

Gathering Documentation

One of the greatest challenges faced by mortgage processors is the need to gather extensive documentation from buyers in order to supply the underwriter with the information they need to approve a mortgage.

Due to strict lending guidelines, there are many documents required to back up information supplied via the application process. Most borrowers miss providing the right income documents, tax bills, and bank statements, as they may not be ready with all these documents. A lender’s requirements can surprise, which can make it very challenging to complete the process.

The best way to alleviate this challenge is to maintain transparency with the buyers throughout the entire mortgage process. By providing them with a detailed overview of the process right from the initial conversation, lenders ensure that no document requests will take them by surprise.

Making the client aware that the lender will more than likely require additional documents to confirm certain details can prepare the buyer. Letting your client know that this is entirely normal and standard across the industry can also provide for a smoother experience as well as a platform that safely and securely sends certain documents directly to the lender.

With increasing regulation levels and the numerous challenges involved with mortgage processing, such as those discussed above, it is no surprise that many lenders are seeking new ways to optimize the process and improve efficiencies across the board. One of the most heavily discussed methods for optimization is the automation of manual tasks.

Automation

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) can assist mortgage processors in dealing with an increasingly demanding clientele who want the information to be readily available to them, through automatic responses to information requests, and by reducing reliance on manual, time-consuming tasks.

RPA can easily interface with existing loan origination platforms or other legacy systems to carry out tasks at a much faster rate and with significantly fewer errors than a human. This increased speed and reduction in errors facilitate optimization across many areas throughout the mortgage process.

The best way to optimize the mortgage process is to have certain manual steps automated and gather all of the client’s information upfronts so that it is readily available for automatic processing to be carried out.

Document Digitization

The mortgage industry is edging toward a completely electronic experience, from pre-approval to closing, as lenders become more aware of the benefits that digitization can bring. In fact, it appears that borrowers also see the value in a digital mortgage process, with a survey by Fannie Mae finding that two-thirds of borrowers would be interested in a digital mortgage.

Document digitization can alleviate a number of frustrations for both buyers and lenders throughout the mortgage process. For example, the gathering of documentation for verification, appraisal, and underwriting are unavoidable and time-consuming tasks, and their digitization can almost instantly and significantly speed up the process. It can also be conducted remotely, which is critical in today’s Covid-19 remote-working world. If a lender is reliant on paper-based processes, this will raise significant challenges for processing mortgage applications during the pandemic, as it may be unclear where paper documents should be sent to and what the corresponding safety regulations are.

Document digitization can be facilitated through technologies such as Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software, allowing paper documentation to be digitized without the need for any manual data input from processors. It greatly speeds up the analysis of documentation and gives buyers and lenders greater control over the management and distribution of critical information, helping the overall process.

Despite the complex nature of the mortgage process and the level of critical information gathering that it necessitates, there are several traditional and innovative methods for ensuring that it runs as smoothly as possible.

Conclusion:

Lenders who act on the advice given above, such as through digitization and automation of the mortgage process, stand to gain a competitive advantage in a period of disruption for the mortgage industry. To handle the many mortgage processing challenges, lenders can benefit a lot by working with a technically skilled and experienced mortgage processing team. Peoples Processing has expert teams that specialize in mortgage processing services. Talk to Peoples Processing today!

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