Gaining Operational Efficiencies With Technology and Automation In a Changing Mortgage Lending Environment
Tracy Huber is Director of Product Management, Mortgage Service at Equifax Workforce Solutions. Tracy has over twenty years of experience in public accounting, mortgage lending and product development. At Equifax, Tracy is working to innovate mortgage solutions through elevated customer experience in the digital mortgage space.
As the mortgage industry continues to experience substantial changes, such as rising interest rates, home affordability issues, and an influx of layoffs for mortgage professionals, the entire industry is recognizing the need to adjust its operational strategies. Mortgage professionals need to be agile, quick and flexible to keep pace with the changing market, regulatory pressures, and borrower preferences.
Over the past several years, the mortgage industry saw an increased loan volume, which triggered a hiring spree of mortgage professionals. Now with the industry right-sizing, several mortgage lenders have been forced to downsize their workforce. Building in better efficiencies can help ease these cycles of layoffs that mortgage professionals would prefer to avoid.
Plus, even as the industry is changing, consumers are still applying for loans, and they expect the process to be efficient. More importantly, they want to ensure that they can lock in interest rates and get approvals quickly. Given the competitive nature of today’s lending landscape, lenders can benefit from having data-driven insights and solutions to more quickly approve loans while minimizing risk efficiently. Thus, by implementing tools to help streamline time-consuming tasks that are traditionally paper-based, mortgage professionals can create a win-win situation for themselves and consumers.
Income and employment verification is traditionally a time-consuming and manual mortgage loan origination step that might slow the process, causing an unnecessary burden to lenders. However, there are readily available technology solutions for lenders to streamline this process, which can help them instantly and securely determine loan affordability. Automating tasks, such as income and employment verification, and building these tasks into a lender’s decisioning process, can increase efficiency and provide a smoother and more secure application process for new and existing consumers.
Automation can also help mortgage companies develop their business without needing to make significant technology investments. The potential cost savings can be hiding in plain sight as technologies that enhance automation are already available in many existing mortgage loan origination systems.
Automated technologies mean employees spend less time on traditionally manual tasks. By reducing the time spent on tedious tasks, reducing the chances of human error, and speeding up the time-to-close, lenders can operate more efficiently, reduce costs, and even increase conversions* simply through automation.
While technology and automation have proven benefits to mortgage professionals, consumers also benefit from automated processes. The mortgage process can be daunting and burdensome to consumers, given the number of documents traditionally required for borrowers to provide personally. But, the process can be expedited and streamlined by accessing instant verifications. This decreased reliance on manual processes can mean reduced stress for borrowers over gathering paperwork, finding lost paperwork, and sending follow-up emails to HR, the bank, and previous employers. Automation helps enable borrowers to get approvals and lock in rates quicker.
Automated verifications can also give the millions of Americans who have thin or no credit files a chance at homeownership. With traditional loan decisioning processes, these individuals are at risk of being denied loans, regardless of their actual ability to pay. With verifications of income and employment, a more complete picture of a borrower’s financial situation can be presented.
By creating a simpler process for consumers to get the loans they need, lenders could increase the odds of conversion. Technology and data can also help lenders quickly and efficiently underwrite applicants, regardless of where they fall on the credit spectrum, giving more consumers the opportunity of homeownership. In a dynamic lending environment, lenders that are able to provide borrowers with a more seamless, faster, and more user-friendly process are in the best position to assert themselves among the top originators and successfully grow their loan portfolios over time.
(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 NewsLink Editor Mike Sorohan at firstname.lastname@example.org or NewsLink Editorial Manager Michael Tucker at email@example.com.)