Hot Seat: Michael Danlag of Sutherland Mortgage Services

Process transformation presents opportunities for mortgage lenders


Process transformation continues to be a trending topic in the mortgage industry as companies look to improve their overall performance. We sat down with Michael Danlag, global service delivery head for Sutherland Mortgage Services, to define process transformation and discuss how it can bolster service and innovation for mortgage lenders. 

HousingWire: What does “process transformation” mean in the mortgage industry?

DanlagMichael Danlag: Process transformation is the improvement of technology, speed, and effectiveness of executing critical back office functions for mortgage lenders.

Process transformation requires a balance between automated processes and those handled by mortgage professionals. A partner with the proper onshore and offshore mortgage experience will structure the framework for maximum efficiency in accordance with the lender’s specific needs.

Sutherland is at the forefront of leading the process transformation revolution for the mortgage industry. Our teams are continually advancing the solutions we provide to mortgage lenders by leveraging digital applications, machine learning, analytics, robotics, and automation to perform processes that support the full lifecycle of a loan.

We consistently enhance work streams that allow us to review documents, conduct quality control measures, update customer accounts, and more. And when advanced support is required, our intelligent systems automatically forward requests to our highly skilled mortgage professionals for a detailed level of service.

HW: What are some of the most important areas that should be improved through process transformation?

MD: Two critical areas that will benefit significantly from process transformation include mortgage transfers and portfolio retention during the refinance process.

First, it is paramount to ensure little to no disruption to the end consumer when loans shift lenders. When transfers occur, they often painfully result in confusion as consumers have to engage with a different lender. Not to mention, consumers often fear their new lender may not have the necessary account information to properly service their loan.

We directly combat this dreaded fear by auditing the lender handoff process for our clients. Our auditors mine data holistically before and after transfers from one system to another to ensure no data is lost in doing so. We also conduct document-to-system reviews, to ensure data from original documents is accurately represented in the new lender’s system.

Portfolio retention also directly benefits from process transformation. Now is the time for lenders to increase customer lifetime value and conduct a data-driven analysis of their portfolio. With advanced analytics, we are able to identify at-risk customers who have shopped for new rates with competing lenders and others who simply qualify for a lower interest rate.

After identifying those customers, Sutherland can expertly handle the end-to-end refinance process with outbound calls, processing, underwriting, and closing for customers. Lenders who leverage this analytical process can expect a higher rate of customer retention, satisfaction, and increased lifetime value across their entire portfolio.

HW: How does working with a process transformation partner like Sutherland improve overall performance for your mortgage industry clients?

MD: Sutherland takes a holistic approach for effectively managing our clients. We review all areas of our clients’ businesses to improve internal workflows and gain efficiencies by modernizing processes.

We are mortgage bankers serving mortgage bankers. Our solutions are customized to fit our clients’ needs versus a one-size-fits-all approach. Whether lenders require a full end-to-end or component model, we deliver onshore, offshore or dual-shore to meet their requirements. As more consumers expect speed, lenders can shine in the eyes of customers by leveraging design thinking to develop a delivery model that keeps loans in motion overnight between skilled resources onshore and offshore.

Sutherland is also continuously enhancing our portfolio of solutions across a number of industries. Our clients gain efficiencies from other industries we serve including information technology, telecommunications, insurance, and more. When innovation occurs for other verticals, we quickly determine how they can be applied to the mortgage space.

HW: How do you provide high-level service as you take on clients’ critical day-to-day functions?   

MD: Sutherland prides itself on our ability to deliver outstanding service while handling mission critical functions for our clients. We achieve this by configuring customized solutions for our clients by following a process that includes steps such as discover, design, develop, and deliver. This solution delivery process enables Sutherland to understand the desired solution and gather insights, test concepts and prototypes, build the set of services, and bring the ideal solution to market for the client.

This collaborative delivery process enables our teams to be strategic in our approaches and deliver optimal results for our clients. Most importantly, our client and solutions team agree upon the end solution upfront, allowing us to instill client confidence in committing to the proposed solution before implementation.

We also establish an effective governance structure to ensure the proper stewardship and fiduciary responsibility for each client engagement. Our team regularly delivers performance reports, reviews key performance indicators, discusses process improvements, and consistently works with each client to ensure that their needs are not only met, but exceeded on a regular basis.



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