Jim Rosen of Mortgage Cadence: How the Right Services Strategy Promotes Loan Origination Efficiency

Jim Rosen is Executive Vice-President of Services at Mortgage Cadence and has more than 20 years of experience in the mortgage software and services industry. He has been with Mortgage Cadence for nearly eight years and was instrumental in launch of the company’s new MCP loan origination platform.

Jim Rosen

MBA NewsLink reached out to Rosen to find out why he believes that efficiency has been such an elusive target for lenders, many of whom have spent millions of dollars over the past few years on new technologies that have not yielded the promised lift in loan origination efficiency.

MBA NEWSLINK: What is the leading cause of inefficiency in the loan origination process today?

ROSEN: That’s a good question that has been difficult to answer over the past few years. Lenders have recently been overwhelmed with heavy workloads and record loan volumes. In our discussions with lenders, we’ve learned that many are frustrated that their technology investments are not delivering all the efficiencies they may have been promised. Their teams, their people are regularly forced to work around their tech.

The real problem the industry is facing today is not specific to any given tech stack or a particular set of vendors; it’s about how the lender’s core system, the Loan Origination System (LOS), connects these products and services together. This enables the lender to create an innovative process their people can master for the benefit of the borrower.

NEWSLINK: What is it going to take to finally achieve efficiency?

ROSEN: The truth is that most LOS platforms tend to get in the way of the lender’s efforts to create their own preferred tech stack and borrower journeys. If lender efficiency is the end goal, no technology vendor should stand in the way of the lender creating the experience they want.

Lenders need to be able to connect to any vendor they choose and integrate the resulting products and services directly with their LOS. Lender users should stay on platform as much as possible; and, ultimately, accessing new services should be easy – same-day easy.

NEWSLINK: How can a technology provider deliver this?

ROSEN: We’ve found four key requirements, without which this is not possible.

First, the LOS must be built on an open architecture that allows for a robust API layer. This means opening the platform to connections and publishing a capable API surface that allows lenders to will make it possible for them to accept orders and return data easily.

Second, the LOS provider must set aside exclusive or “preferred” vendors or tech stacks and align behind the success of lenders.  Lenders must have control of their own corporate destinies and should not be punished for developing their own preferred process.

Third, the LOS must offer a highly configurable, dynamic user interface (UI) that will allow lenders to tailor data capture, workflow and screen flows to suit the roles and users within their organization.

Finally, the solution should allow any lender to create a new process, make the connections with the LOS to the vendors of choice and test it within days – not weeks or months.

NEWSLINK: Why can’t we just solve this problem with APIs?

ROSEN: Each API comes with its own specifications for integration, its own overhead, authentication, and data definitions. This package is different for every product and service available on the market. Working through this to create the required integration is a difficult job.

Lenders and their technology partners tend to underestimate the time and requirements needed to make APIs operational, which, in turn, make the traditional API integration path more costly than expected. It gets worse if the LOS provider is limiting the lender to only “preferred” partners.

NEWSLINK: So, what does a better platform look like?

ROSEN: First and foremost, it’s a platform that the lender controls. The days of ceding control to the technology partner who knows better than the lender is behind us. That’s not the way to operate efficiently.

Lenders must have the power to innovate, to create a better process with less friction that meets their unique strategic objectives. They must, therefore, have the ability to connect to any vendor they choose and integrate the resulting products and services directly into their LOS.

It turns out that this can be achieved. It requires a technology partner that takes a true “provider agnostic” position in the market. It requires a  services layer within the LOS that makes it very easy for vendors to publish offerings that lenders can sign up for and try immediately.

Doing this empowers lenders to innovate freely and remove inefficiencies by making alterations to their process as soon as friction presents itself. This means that, finally, lenders will have complete control of their corporate destinies.

(Views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect policy of the Mortgage Bankers Association, nor do they connote an MBA endorsement of a specific company, product or service. MBA NewsLink welcomes your submissions. Inquiries can be sent to Mike Sorohan, editor, at msorohan@mba.org; or Michael Tucker, editorial manager, at mtucker@mba.org.)