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The Future Starts Tomorrow

Eric Weinstein
Sep 19, 2016

On Thursday, May 12, 2016 at 10:32 a.m., I was in my home office researching exactly how many transgender people are there in the United States (about 700,000 or 0.3 percent of the population). I was agonizing about what I would put under gender if I had to take a loan application for one. Then, I got a fax from myself from the future.

The fax went to my computer since my fax machine has long been relegated to the ancient office machine graveyard in the basement along with my pager, landline phone and dot matrix printer. Evidently, with all the hackers in the future, faxes make a comeback since they are hard to decrypt unless you are the NSA, the phone company or 90-years-old, who knows what a fax is.

It turns out that the mortgage industry pioneers early time travel to solve the annoying problem of borrower missed signatures on important documents. That is where if they don’t sign it, you don’t get paid. Thank goodness, I hate that.

Future me tells me that I am to write, will write, have written an important article this month that will change the mortgage industry forever. I put down my transgender research and pay attention.

In the future, all computers are connected. This is called the “Big Yahoo” (memo to self, buy Yahoo! stock) with all queries automated with data transmission seamless. All it takes for a borrower to apply is to give you his ever changing secure password for the day. Your Encompass Version 1,032.1 automatically goes into his virtual wallet and gets his bank, insurance, employment, credit and title company information. His password allows your computer to access all this information at the source. In less than a heartbeat, the 1003 is filled out verified and run through DU. Press another button and the mortgage is recorded electronically and they are done.

No more underwriters, processors, title people or (gulp) loan officers. Artificial intelligence mortgage companies take the calls and press the buttons. You cannot tell the difference when you talk to them. You think you are talking to a real person, but, actually, it is a toaster in India.

OMG, I think to myself, the entire mortgage industry is going the way of my favorite supermarket checkout clerk who was replaced by a simple scanner last week. I am still getting over losing the attendant that fills my car with gas and checks the oil.

Evidently Fannie Mae leads the charge on this and gets the idea from my column this month! Sure, business is faster, but what about the humanity?

Well, there is a simple solution. I will just not write my column this month. This never happened and I will tell nobody. Then the future cannot happen until, maybe after I retire. Okay, that’s fine. None of my kids want to be a mortgage broker, anyway.

Unfortunately, as we all learned from the Terminator series, destiny cannot be denied. As I sit here, my computer is writing the column itself and sending it to the publisher’s Cray computer who it knows on a personal level. I pull the plug on my computer, but it’s a laptop with a full charge. “Stupid humans,” my computer laughs. It brings up my Candy Crush game and gives me a free level. I forget all about it.

Eric Weinstein worked in banking, on the commercial real estate side until 1991, when he fell in love with residential lending. In 1995, he started a small mortgage company in his basement called Carteret Mortgage Corporation, which in 2003, grew to one of the largest mortgage broker companies in the United States. Eric is semi-retired, doing mortgages by referral only. He may be reached by phone at (703) 505-8692 or e-mail [email protected].

This article originally appeared in the June 2016 print edition of National Mortgage Professional Magazine.

Sep 19, 2016
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