The final day of the Mortgage Bankers Association Secondary conference in New York City ended with a panel of experts who spoke on the importance of the digital mortgage to the secondary market.

During the panel, Securitizing the Digital Mortgage, experts explained the benefits digital mortgages have already brought to the mortgage process.

“Our eClosings take about 10 minutes as opposed to about two hours,” said Jeffrey Bode, Mid America Mortgage owner and president. He explained consumers benefit as they get their documents sooner, and experience a more expedited process.

But the expedited process doesn’t just touch the consumer side through the origination process, but also speeds up the process for lenders through the secondary market.

The digital mortgage actually has two parts: the origination side and the secondary market, according to Joseph Tyrell, Ellie Mae executive vice president of corporate strategy. While the first part focuses on the consumer, such as automating texts go out to consumers according to their personal preferences, the second part focuses on taking all the original source data and delivering it to the secondary market.

Lenders who utilize digital mortgages and eClosings seem much faster turn times. Bode explained currently, Mid America is able to send mortgages to the GSEs in anywhere from two hours to two days. This is down from eight days when the company went through a paper process.

And the digitalization of the process doesn’t only create faster turn-times, but also produces more accurate data.

“When we’re relying on a manual process and doing that stare and compare, someone is always going to miss something,” said Shane Hartzler, Fannie Mae director of eMortgage strategy and operations.

But the experts also warned against automating without cause, saying the end goal should always be in sight when moving forward with automation.

“We’re a big advocate of automation, but it has to be automation with a purpose,” Tyrell said.

He explained Ellie Mae’s “North Star” is to automate everything that is automatable, while keeping the end-goal in mind. He explained that for all automation, there has to be a reason.

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