News from Ellie MaeMortgagePress.comEllie Mae Encompass Ellie Mae announces next upgrade of Encompass LOS Ellie Mae, a mortgage industry software and services provider, unveiled the latest version of its mortgage automation system, Encompass 2.8, at the Western Regional Mortgage Brokers Conference in Las Vegas in November. The latest version of Encompass features a number of very significant enhancements for new business development, loan processing, electronic document management and administration. It includes new pre-qualification and loan comparison tools, an employment verification service, an updated 1003 and a simplified appraisal ordering function. "As the market starts to slow down, we want to make sure that originators using Encompass have as many tools as possible to help them generate and close new business as quickly and cost-efficiently as possible," said Jonathan Corr, chief strategic officer for Ellie Mae. The new Encompass pre-qualification tool enables originators to conduct a comprehensive pre-qualification through a single form without having to visit many different forms to enter a broad range of data, including income, assets, liabilities and closing costs. The form features easy-to-interpret visual cues to illustrate whether the borrower is qualified or pending qualification. The new loan comparison tool empowers originators to conduct a comprehensive loan comparison that features visual cues to help borrowers easily identify scenarios for which they qualify. The employment verification service improves the processor's efficiency by using an electronic verification service to request and complete employment verifications. Originators no longer need to print verification of employment forms and chase employers to get the information they need. Verifications are requested electronically right from within Encompass and are received in less than three business days. Thanks to an all-new appraisal ordering interface, originators can save time when ordering appraisals by sending order details to their preferred appraiser directly from Encompass. The service is now offered at no charge to either the broker or the appraiser and is easier to use than the previous service. There's no need to re-type order details, print forms or fax documents. To ensure compliance, the 1003 has been upgraded to meet January 2006 Fannie Mae requirements. The updated 1003 is mandatory for all mortgage originators. Additional Encompass 2.8 enhancements include the following: • Loan officers can easily manage recurring calendar appointments in the contact manager. Using the contact synchronization optional feature, recurring appointments can be synchronized with Outlook and ACT! • eFolder support has been expanded. Originators can easily manage electronic documents in a wider variety of file formats, including Word, PDF, TIFF (graphics) and text-only documents. • To extend their company's branding, originators with an Encompass Web site can brand the Loan Center with their company's own logo. The Loan Center is the Ellie Mae Web site where Encompass users can see their online loan status and where electronic document management users can send their borrowers to get updated loan status and documents that need to be signed. • Partners such as real estate agents have easy access to loan status and loan-related electronic documents through their own login to the Loan Center. • A new auto-save setting reduces the risk of accidentally losing recently entered loan information. Users can specify how frequently loan files should be automatically saved. • Loan files imported from Contour, Genesis 2000 or Calyx Point can be assigned new Encompass loan numbers during the import, allowing users to maintain a consistent loan numbering system across all loan files. Encompass customers with current maintenance agreements will be able to upgrade to Encompass 2.8 at no additional charge. Contract Processing becomes provider on Encompass Processing Network Ellie Mae has announced the addition of Contract Processing Inc. (CPI), a provider of mortgage loan processing, compliance, quality control and consulting services to the mortgage industry, to its Encompass Processing Network. Based in Corona, Calif., Contract Processing became the first provider of domestic contract processing services on the Encompass Processing Network, which enables Encompass users to easily order outsourced loan processing services from within Encompass. "Ellie Mae has really hit the mark by launching the Encompass Processing Network," explained Jennifer Quinteros, president and CEO of CPI. "That's because the demand for contract processing services has gone up exponentially over the past few years, primarily as a result of the decentralization of loan officers. These days, loan officers often lack the time, experience or compliance expertise to effectively process their own loans, so contract processing is a great option. Yet finding a trusted contract processing company can be a difficult task. That's where the Encompass Processing Network will really make a difference. Now brokers can tap reliable contract services on a moment's notice whenever they need them." Contract Processing sees many benefits from transitioning from being an Encompass user to an Encompass partner. "Being on the Encompass Processing Network means that it will be simpler for our customers to submit loans to us, and for us to process their loans effectively while maintaining excellent lines of communication," added Quinteros. "With a simple click from within Encompass, our customers will be able to order loan processing and submit a file. We'll be directing our customers to submit loans through the Encompass Processing Center, which will provide us loan files via a unified entry system, versus by phone, e-mail, fax and courier." The Encompass Processing Network is accessible exclusively to Encompass users, as Encompass is designed to enable the collaboration required for originators to have their loan files processed by third parties. Ellie Mae's management feels confident in its selection of its second processing partner. "Contract Processing is an excellent choice for the Encompass Processing Network," said Joe Puthur, director of hosted and professional services at Ellie Mae. "It has a proven ability to process loans quickly and effectively with great focus on compliance and customer service. The company is dedicated to offer a premium level of service and knows how to leverage technology in order to do so." Global Branch Solutions closes $5 billion in loans through Encompass LOS Ellie Mae has announced that Global Branch Solutions of Clearwater, Fla. has closed a record $5 billion in loans through Ellie Mae's Encompass Mortgage Automation System. Since Global Branch Solutions was first established two years ago, it has become the fastest growing net branch organization in the country, a segment that accounts for approximately 30-40 percent of the nation's loans. For technology, Global Branch Solutions invested in Ellie Mae's Encompass Mortgage Automation System. "We set out to find a loan origination solution that would help us effectively manage our branches, and help them efficiently close loans," said Freifeld. In fact, Global Branch Solutions makes the use of Encompass mandatory among its brokers. "Thanks to Encompass, we can take a loan from origination through closing about 45 percent faster than with other loan origination systems," said Freifeld. "We rely on our branches being successful, and Encompass enables that success." Encompass equips Global Branch Solutions with a centrally accessible repository where all loan data is stored. This aggregation of company-wide data enables the company to better manage each of its dispersed branches. "Our business benefits immensely from having visibility into all company-wide loans," says Freifeld. "At any point in time, we know what loan volume is at any of our branches. For instance, if I see a rise in closings in Michigan, I'll be able to review the flow of loans, and I can talk to the loan officers in Michigan to see why they are doing so well and share lessons learned with the rest of the branches. Another great aspect of having loan data in a central repository is that the loan file does not need to be routed. Instead, processors and loan officers can efficiently collaborate, thanks to simultaneous electronic access to a single loan file." Global Branch Solutions attributes much of its ability to grow at a pace of 40 new branches per month to Ellie Mae's ongoing commitment to broker training. "The back-end support you get for Encompass is very strong," explains Freifeld. "They regularly do seminars and train our staff. They don't just give you a disk and wish you best of luck. This is training that I would normally have to pay for myself, so it's a big savings." For more information, visit www.elliemae.com.