When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in mid-March, many mortgage companies started seeing record volumes of business, an acceleration of what was already happening earlier this year. With rates at historical lows, and employees at capacity as they pivoted to work from home and processing was limited, many companies were forced to navigate the new landscape in a short space of time.
“The market continues to be volatile and it’s hard for our clients to recognize whether they should hire more or look to third-party partners to expand their enterprise and their workflow,” said Nate Johnson, senior vice president at SLK, a digital platforms and solutions provider.
Johnson says they’ve been able to pinpoint the inefficiencies and bottlenecks happening within a workflow and help mortgage and other finance companies change their processes to keep up with increasing volume during these everchanging times. In the retail market, pre-underwriting and set up - from collecting documents from the borrower and making sure they are compliant - has been a major bottleneck for many companies.
“Our systems help decrease the time from application to underwriting by doing a lot of the legwork upfront, which minimizes the number of touches the underwriter has for each file,” said Johnson. “Underwriters are able to do three times the number of files after putting in the processes we re-engineered in their workflow.”
LoanAccel is a pre-underwriting support platform that works within a lender’s LOS using automation and process to help originators, processors, and underwriters drive more productivity and efficiency. Automated checklists customize to each type of loan and automated emails and push notifications to processors are customizable and help loan officers recognize deficiencies in a loan in real time, for example, if a paystub is not recent or a bank statement is missing a page.
“Underwriters also appreciate that we’ve standardized what a file looks like because some branches may deliver files in different manners. Through LoanAccel, there’s a summary sheet that underwriters look at to get the idea of the file before they start making credit decisions.
SLK also offers solutions for wholesale and correspondence clients. Johnson says we are at a unique position in the market where most mortgage companies are experiencing record volumes, but forbearances are coming to the end of their time limits and unemployment rates remain below pre-COVID levels.
“We are prepared to serve clients in both high-volume times and also when they start declining and delinquencies go up and loss mitigation functions are really needed,” he said. “The market remains volatile because we don’t know when the table is going to turn, and we have to be ready and plan for it.”