The industry is alive and well, despite fears to the contrary

by Justin da Rosa04 Dec 2015
Originators shouldn’t fear the influx of online and digital mortgage options, according to one industry veteran, who argues the role of the loan officer is more important today than ever before.

“I do think that technology will continue to transform the way that the mortgage industry operates – some for the better and some for the worse; I think any industry or business has to offer options to interact the way their client wants to interact, whether via an app, over email, online, on the phone, or face to face,” Roger Steur, an originator with Principal Mortgage, told Mortgage Professional America. “However, at the end of the day, I feel like with all the lending rules, loan options, and constant changes to the industry, the role of the loan officer during the transaction has increased rather than the loan officer becoming an endangered position.”

In fact, these technological advancements could actually benefit originators, according to Steur, by allowing players to originate business from greater distances.

“Current regulations require testing and licensing at the state and or national level, so there will be a loan officer involved at some point as the loan officer of record,” Steur said. “It will simply be a matter of whether or not they will be in the same place or region as the potential borrower.”

Steur’s comments come on the heels of a news cycle rife with stories about burgeoning technological companies aiming at winning their own chunks of the mortgage origination pie.

Lenda, a platform that allows homeowners to refinance their mortgages completely online, announced last week it had raised $2 million in funding from a number of investors.

That same week, Google announced the expansion of its fleet of financial services to include mortgages, a move that follows the launch of a mortgage calculator tool back in February of this year.

Not to be left behind, Quicken Loans launched its latest origination endeavour: Rocket Mortgage. It claims to be more than just an online application service; it also verifies information and provides a conditional approval similar to one provided by a loan officer.