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Now entering phase 2: The updated digital mortgage

What defines a digital mortgage?

Coverage on digital mortgages moved from transforming the front end of the process to transforming the back end: Phase two.

In an interview with HousingWire, Simon Moir, digital mortgage manager with eOriginal, expanded on the impact of its recent partnership with Quicken Loans, which allowed Quicken Loans’ Rocket Mortgage to be able to digitally create an eNote and securely store it in an eVault. 

The partnership, while a big announcement for both companies, symbolizes a much greater move for the industry.

For added background, Quicken Loans funded $7 billion in closed loans through Rocket Mortgage in 2016. That’s just over 7% of Quicken Loans’ total closed loan volume in 2016, which checked in at a record-breaking $96 billion. 

Moir explained that the beginning news around digital mortgages only dealt with the front end: Phase one.

With phase one, Moir said the industry got to see a lot of players in the market play catch up to bring a digital mortgage to the market.

Now, he said, the industry is at the beginning of phase two.  

Phase two is really the end of the mortgage process, i.e. the eClosing, eNote, eVault and so forth.

When Quicken Loans first unveiled its end-to-end digital mortgage, people were quick to point out that the closing process wasn’t living up to the digital expectation.

Moir recounted the story of when he joined eOrignal. At the time, he was asked during the interview process, “What’s a digital mortgage?”

He responded saying, “It’s when you finally sign the promissory note electronically.” 

This is finally starting to happen in the industry.

“The industry has been waiting for this and waiting for the ball to drop from someone as big as Quicken Loans,” said Moir.

But Quicken Loans isn’t the only company that’s helping pioneer the way for eClosings.

Moir explained that Fannie Mae repositioning themselves to be onboard with eClosings was also a major step forward.

With Fannie Mae ready to buy and work with eClosings, it left the need for an originator to bring it scale, said Moir.

Moir added, “Quicken couldn’t do this unless there was an outlet for them. Both the GSEs have stepped up in this space,” he said.

But, he said, “Until it’s produced by the originators, it means nothing."

To get the industry to go the way of eClosings, it will take a group effort. Underwriters, warehouse lenders, settlement agents and title agents all need to be on board.

Moir concluded by noting that they are working on educating the industry that this is a real way of doing business. There is a lot of conversation around phase two, and this is only the beginning. 

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