National industry appointments update - 11/29/2006

National industry appointments update - 11/29/2006

November 28, 2006

Getting the most from loan origination softwareGail JoyceLOS
The current mortgage landscape includes fewer loans being
originated and more competition for those loans. Properly matching
origination needs to available technology could mean surviving in
the valley of low volumes instead of going out of business. This
means that originators have to make sure that they are using the
loan origination software that best fits their needs and allows
them to be flexible.
It can be a daunting task to select the right system. Let's face
it - rather than focusing on a system, originators want to focus on
generating more business. But considering the efficiencies gained
from using the right loan origination software, a faster
origination process will allow originators to close more loans at a
lower per-loan cost.
Originators should consider several factors to maximize their
usage of their loan origination software. The system's core
origination and processing features need to be advanced, meet
compliance guidelines, be easily integrated with other systems and
offer multiple access methods for users. Originators should also
maximize their relationship with their loan origination software
provider. A provider that solicits feedback about the system and is
willing to incorporate suggested features can lay the foundation
for a long-running relationship.
Secure, remote access to an loan origination software online via
the Internet through a Citrix server or terminal services allows
originators to make the most of their time in the field instead of
waiting to get to the office to key in information. While this
might be taken for granted, being able to access the loan
origination software at any time from any place offers flexibility
that could provide an edge over the competition. This also
eliminates the need to install additional software on already
strained systems.
Using loan origination software as the conduit to interface with
other vendors, including credit bureaus, lenders, appraisers,
settlement services and closing document companies, can save
originators time and eliminate the need to switch between systems.
However, to truly reap the rewards of these interfaces, originators
should seek systems that are moving toward service-oriented
architecture, whereby programs are communicating with each other
through interfaces built around industry standards.
When reflecting on the interoperability that a service-oriented
architecture approach offers, originators should consider that an
effective platform should allow systems to communicate and
integrate information from a single point of entry. The challenge
that has compromised the success of service-oriented architectures
is that many technology vendors continue to promise ease of
integration with their systems and those of other vendors. The
reality is that the integration process has been fragmented at best
and extremely expensive at worst. The successful service-oriented
architecture can lower maintenance and create a layer between
systems that allows new products and services to be deployed
faster.
In addition to the features and capabilities of loan origination
software, originators should take advantage of the tools that will
make it easier to perform daily tasks. For example, using the
functionality of a system to automatically synchronize first and
second loans, or automatically populate address fields, will cut
down on the time to input information and prevent re-keying
errors.
Many systems now have contact management modules to help
originators stay in touch with current clients and potential
clients. These features help originators launch marketing
campaigns, including sending out flyers and other mailers to
existing and prospective clients. Originators can leverage these
features as part of an ongoing communication strategy to advise
borrowers of available loan products that better suit their needs.
Using these features will allow originators to be more aggressive
about increasing business during any origination cycle. And with
such robust features in their loan origination software,
originators can constantly maintain a high level of customer
service.
The bottom line is that many types of loan origination software
have features that allow originators to close loans accurately with
quicker processing times that will ultimately benefit the consumer.
Using these features properly will make originations easier and
encourage borrowers to do business with an originator's company.
Some other features that can be particularly useful include:
- A comprehensive comparison reporting tool, allowing borrowers
to view several loan scenarios at the same time and subsequently
turning those files into Good Faith Estimates;
- Reports for pipeline management that include lock expiration and
closing date information;
- The ability to store multiple borrower information on one loan
file;
- An alert function that warns of impending dates and any action
items needing attention; and
- The ability to calculate maximum loan amounts for first, second,
HELOC and FHA loans.
As originators focus on growing their business, it is imperative
to have a system that does not require duplicate entries. For
example, a system that saves and recalls Good Faith Estimates or
loan scenarios without re-entering information can save originators
time and prevent errors that may occur when re-typing the
information.
Since a lot of hands can touch a mortgage, allowing originators
to monitor modifications being made to the loan file is important.
The originator should watch the progression of the loan and see
what changes are being made. Brokers and supervisors can see what
point changes are made at as well. These reports ensure that no
fraud has taken place during the process.
Using all of his loan origination software's features will
ensure that an originator is getting a maximum return on his
investment. From accessibility to functionality, there are many
features that loan origination software offers to improve
productivity in the origination process. All loan origination
software is not created equal, so make sure that the system has all
of the components that will improve the overall origination
process. In the long run, it can significantly affect business
growth.
Gail Joyce is the business development and national sales
manager for Byte
Software, a CBCInnovis company based in Kirkland, Wash. She may
be reached at (800) 695-1008.

Originations

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