It’s Time To Move Forward

It’s Time To Move Forward

Over the past week or two we have heard a lot about taxes and the debate as to what is the best way forward. Sometimes I think we get so bogged down that we don’t see the whole picture. How does this relate to the mortgage industry? With everything that has happened in the mortgage industry, people get stuck in survival mode. When you’re in that mode you only see the trees instead of stepping back to see the forest. You need to look at the bigger picture, which sometimes entails looking to other industries to see what is working.

For example, look at health care. The health care industry is adopting electronic medical records much quicker than this industry is moving toward the e-mortgage. Hospitals are using electronic medical records as a competitive distinction. And it’s working. E-mortgages can work too, if they are given a chance.

Doctors are sharing information in ways that benefit everyone with the adoption of electronic medical records. It’s working. How? When you go to the cardiologist, they can access your records from your family practitioner. Why do you, the patient, have to fill out another form when you go to a specialist? The information already exists. Further, by you printing it again on a form you run the risk of someone else misinterpreting your handwriting and getting it wrong. Who benefits in that scenario?

As a result of this strategy, the doctors are more efficient, they’re more transparent and they can see more patients. I think there are lessons that can be learned from the health care industry. It is not a matter of technology, it is a matter of adoption. If we had a full e-mortgage everyone would be informed about what’s going on with that loan at every step of the process. Everyone is clamoring for loan quality these days; well, e-mortgages can improve loan quality. The technology is there.

As I look around I hear lenders say investors won’t accept it. Well, over 80% of the market is Fannie and Freddie dominated and they both accept e-mortgages. Why do we as an industry, need to be pushed to do the right thing? And e-mortgages are not the right thing simply because they’re the morally right thing to do, they are the right thing because of all the benefits that they bring to literally everyone.

Would things move faster if mandates were in place? Sure, but the mandate to be compliant is there, the mandate to do higher quality loans in a more transparent fashion is there, the mandate to do what is necessary to remain profitable is there. Don’t those mandates count?