The #1 Misconception About eMortgages
More than 20 years after digital signatures for real estate transactions became legal, eMortgages are finally within reach for any lender. Yet despite the undeniable advantages, not everyone has fully adopted them.
A big reason for this is an ongoing misconception, and it’s costing companies a lot in profits, speed and business. To this day, many lenders seem to think that creating a completely digital mortgage involves a significant amount of time, money and staff resources. While that’s been the case for some lenders who have taken the hard route to implementing eMortgages, it isn’t for others who found a better path. In fact, I know that implementing eMortgages doesn’t require a big effort, and any lender can do it without breaking the bank.
So, what’s behind this disconnect?
Where the Misconception Starts
When you start talking about eMortgages and eClosings, most people think you’re only talking about electronically signing documents. However, eSigning is just the first piece of a digital mortgage, and while many lenders offer some form of eSigning in their origination process, few have come close to adopting a completely end-to-end digital process. The remaining steps are what often appear disjointed and overwhelming to implement in the eyes of most lenders and that is because most technology providers only offer one or two pieces of the puzzle.
If digital signatures represent the first phrase of eMortgage adoption, phase two is where lenders offer borrowers a completely digital eClosing, including a remote online notarization (RON). It’s this shift that causes some lenders trouble. That’s because many lenders adopting eMortgages rely on multiple vendors for the different processes—one for signing disclosures, another for signing the eNote, another for RON, and another for eVault services and registering the note on the MERS eRegistry.
The problem is that all these platforms aren’t easily integrated with each other, and their connections to each other often fail at crucial times. Worse, instead of providing greater convenience to borrowers, they make things more difficult by forcing borrowers to move from one different platform to another with multiple logins and different interfaces.
The Value of a Single Provider
There aren’t many companies that can do it all and provide a turnkey eMortgage solution. But they do exist, which means lenders and their customers can go as far down the digital mortgage path as they desire with a single integration.
With one provider, it takes significantly less time to implement eMortgage processes than getting different technologies from multiple providers. In fact, it can take as little time to implement all the eMortgage pieces you need for completely digital mortgages—including eSign, RON, eVault, and eRegistry, etc.—as it does to implement eSignatures alone.
Though rare, it’s also possible to get digital mortgage technology and other mortgage services—such as outsourced loan fulfillment and due diligence—from the same provider as well. This means you really only need one partner to take your business wherever you want it to go. Such providers are truly rare, but they do exist, and Evolve Mortgage Services/SigniaDocuments is one of them.
How to Choose
There’s no monopoly on eMortgage technologies, but there are major differences among providers that are worth paying attention to.
First, SMART Documents are absolutely key to implementing fully digital mortgages. Paperless does not mean digital. Without a seamless transfer of data through documents and systems, you are not performing a digital mortgage, and you cannot reliably transfer data using PDFs. It’s not just about having the note in SMARTDoc® format, although that is important. The goal is to be able to provide SMARTDocs for all documents in the loan file, even unique documents, such as gift letters.
Second, and sadly, most eClosing providers offer document services, but do not offer a full library of SMARTDocs or the ability to create SMARTDocs other than the eNote. They’re still using PDFs, which means someone has to manually set up every PDF and create signature tags before the borrower can sign them, which is an extremely painful, time-consuming, and unreliable process. Plus, because it is manual, it increases the chances of error, which defeats the purpose of going digital. As a diligence provider, Evolve Mortgage Services sees the mistakes made by manual tagging or bots that claim to do ‘automated tagging’ every day.
SigniaDocuments is the pioneer of SMARTDoc® technology and has a full library of SMARTDocs covering all loan products across all states, and Signia can create SMARTDocs for any custom loan program. Not only that, but Signia’s parent company, Evolve Mortgage Services, has been an outsourced due diligence provider for over 25 years, putting compliance first in everything they do. This gives lenders confidence that Evolve/Signia can implement eMortgages in a manner that’s compliant with their processes and procedures, as well as the ability to scale business to their heart’s delight.
While they are not all the same, eMortgage technologies are widely available today. With the right platform and partner, a lender can adopt eMortgage processes quickly, easily, and conveniently. Considering the changes and challenges the market faces today, there’s no reason why lenders should delay going truly digital another day.
Ready to see how easy an eMortgage turnkey solution can be for yourself? Give us a call at 1-877-7SIGNIA or email us at [email protected] — we’d be happy to put you and your borrowers on the short path to 100% truly digital mortgages.