How is the Mortgage Industry Responding to the Coronavirus Pandemic? Less Face-to-Face Contact and More Automation
By Gary Kasper, President at New Vista Solutions
Mortgage lenders have been faced with unprecedented challenges in 2020. Pandemic-related office closures and social distancing practices have disrupted workflow and caused lenders to re-assess how they interact with their customers. Servicing departments are managing late payments, forbearance requests and potential asset loss due to unpaid property taxes.
The demand from consumers to have more on-line options when applying for a loan is rapidly increasing, and with that demand comes the need for automation. Lenders must re-think operational and underwriting procedures that require time-consuming, face-to-face interaction with vendors and customers. This trend has been building for several years, but the pandemic has created a sense of urgency that wasn’t there before.
Mortgage executives understand the importance of digitization and automation, but they must also manage costs while remaining competitive in the marketplace. Since March 2020, the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) and other policymakers have eased valuation guidelines to help appraisers avoid interior home inspections. These changes in guidelines combined with recent legislation allowing higher thresholds on loans that require a full Title XI appraisal have significantly elevated the use of automated valuation model (AVM) products, evaluations and hybrid appraisals — lowering costs and accelerating the loan closing process.
Loan originators and servicers are closely monitoring employment status, income and asset verification and potential property tax delinquencies. Having an automated platform to access this information quickly and accurately is a key part of risk mitigation and portfolio management — especially during this time of record unemployment.
New Vista Solutions recently introduced a new product called FastTrack which is designed to cut costs and streamline the loan approval process while minimizing the need for person-to-person contact. The program also provides additional process warranties to ensure lender risk is mitigated. FastTrack is a bundle of settlement services products that can be customized to fit each lender’s specific operational needs.
Here is a breakdown of the products available within the FastTrack bundle:
- Residential Evaluations with optional warranty
- Automated Valuation Model (AVM) products with optional warranty
- Hybrid appraisals — desktop appraisals that are USPAP and IAG compliant
- Full appraisals with social distancing options
Verisite Photo App
- The property owner takes interior photos and submits them via a mobile app, eliminating the need for an on-site inspection.
- This product provides a comprehensive property analysis by combining the Verisite Photo report with the Collateral Data Report (historical data from public records and deed transfers) — and includes an AVM value.
- The lender receives verification of income, assets and employment via an automated process. LOS and lender website integrations are available. Secure email requests direct from the verification platform are also utilized.
Property Tax Monitoring
- This service will report delinquent tax status for a single loan or across an entire portfolio. With high unemployment and a significant number of delinquent mortgage and property tax payments, lenders must protect their collateral from foreclosure by taxing authorities.
Other products available in the FastTrack bundle include Flood Determinations, Warranted Title Searches and Property Condition Reports.