Getting a mortgage is becoming an increasingly digital experience, with lenders and borrowers benefiting from saved time and fewer hiccups. HousingWire recently spoke with Kosta Ligris, CEO and co-founder of Stavvy, about how the mortgage tech journey has expanded beyond eClosings and is reaching all corners of the mortgage industry, from appraisal and valuation to internal workflows and processes.
HousingWire: We hear lenders talk a lot about eClosings but what other aspects of the mortgage process have been improved by the digital revolution within the industry?
Kosta Ligris: Digital solutions that enabled consumers to import their income, bank account or assets directly from the source saved time, errors and paper. What started with a portal for consumers to submit their username and password has grown into a data-rich tool that speeds up underwriting, allows for more objective credit decisions and enables innovation for new real estate and mortgage products.
Increasingly, the appraisal and property valuation space is also innovating around solutions that include 3D scans or LiDar, floor plans based on video tours and better, more objective analytics.
HW: Where do you think mortgage tech advancements have made the biggest impact for mortgage professionals?
KL: One of the most significant benefits of digitization is that it allows mortgage professionals to delegate tasks to technology. Whether it’s providing transparency about where a transaction currently stands or ensuring a signer has completed all necessary fields of the signing packet, allowing technology to take care of these tasks means your employees’ time is freed up to focus on other aspects of their job so they can be more efficient.
It also significantly reduces the time needed to complete a transaction. Signers will no longer need to spend half a day going to and sitting in a notary or lawyer’s office completing paperwork — it can be done from the comfort of their own home. That also means less time traveling for the mortgage professionals they’re working with.
Another key benefit is the added security that an eMortgage provides. For example, in a traditional paper closing, a signer only needs to provide their government-issued identification before completing the transaction. However, with remote online notarization (RON), in addition to providing a government-issued form of identification, the signer must also complete a knowledge-based authentication (KBA) process or another second factor of identification, adding an extra layer of verification to the transaction.
Additionally, with a RON, the signing session is digitally recorded and kept for at least ten years, adding to the depth of the audit trail.
HW: In what ways have digital enhancements helped streamline workflows for lenders?
KL: Paper, by its nature, creates a very manual process — documents must be printed, collated, marked for signing, signed, reviewed and then physically mailed to the various parties involved. By delegating this process to technology, it can be completely automated, saving both time and money. The move towards structured data and digital workflows will now unlock automated quality control review, preventing errors and decreasing the costs associated with originating a loan.
Technology also allows multiple people to work in parallel on different parts of the transaction. Instead of waiting for paper or the “ol’ go-ahead,” digital updates and tools mean the closer, title agent and notary can all work simultaneously to prepare a closing. This is true for the application and process of a mortgage as well.
Working in parallel, knowing all the updates will occur without overwriting each other, means a more efficient process for all parties involved.
HW: How does Stavvy’s platform transform old, manual processes into customizable, digital workflows?
KL: Some lenders have found that the tasks (read paper processes) were manual but the order of operations and workflow was the way they wanted it. Stavvy allows these lenders to leverage our platform to digitize tasks, like creating a closing meeting or ordering title, while keeping their internal workflows the same.
At the same time, other lenders want to overhaul their entire workflow, both digitizing tasks and reordering the process for more efficiency. Stavvy allows these lenders to build their ideal process with parts of the closing process.
In both cases, the platform becomes the centralized hub of activity so everyone involved in the closing process, from document creation to loan delivery, is working off the same data and system. As more of the closing ceremony is digitized, the tasks, like loan QC, onboarding and servicing, can be digitized using the same data and workflows. The same idea allows technology built for a remote signing to be accessible by a lender needing an eClosing or a servicer scheduling a loan modification.
We also believe in empowering the professionals that have served the industry and their communities. Stavvy was never designed to take the stakeholders out of the transaction — instead, we support title agents, lenders and others with tools to make them more efficient while going digital. They control their transactions and customer experience — on their terms.
To learn more about how Stavvy’s platform transforms processes into digital workflows, visit stavvy.com.
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