As the mortgage industry continues to navigate record-low interest rates in the midst of a pandemic, many companies are seeing tech opportunities, and rising up to modernize outdated processes in order to keep up with demand.
“For [mortgage servicers and lenders], demands for technology responsiveness and capabilities are at an all-time high,” said Jane Mason, Clarifire founder and CEO of and a 2019 HousingWire Tech Trendsetter. “As a result, lenders and servicers both require automated business logic to address continually changing regulations and process record large loan volumes.”
HousingWire reached out to Mason to discuss how tech resources are helping lenders “control the chaos” while meeting the needs of its clients in these unprecedented times. This interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity.
HousingWire: How has COVID-19 impacted technology strategies and roadmaps for mortgage lenders?
Jane Mason: The impacts have been extraordinary. Many new tech opportunities are springing from the mass urban exodus, low interest rates and enormous, rapid market demands. Forbearance volumes are now stabilizing, however, the industry is facing imminent defaults. Lenders that also service mortgages face growing complexities and convergence of disasters – the COVID-19 pandemic and the record number of hurricanes for this time of year. For these organizations, demands for technology responsiveness and capabilities are at an all-time high. As a result, lenders and servicers both require automated business logic to address continually changing regulations and process record large loan volumes.
HW: Where would you advise clients and colleagues to focus their tech resources as we navigate the second half of 2020 and prepare for 2021?
JM: I would encourage all organizations to expect and prepare for the unexpected. The best approach is to focus on continuity of processes and implement seamless, automated, straight-through processing and corporate-wide, centralized customer-centric interactions. These are the types of improvements that will improve both flexibility and efficiency. We have found that grouping loans and adding technology to drive the appropriate logic results in providing straight-through processing in bulk for refinance, forbearance, extension and loan modification requests. Centralizing the standard processes in a transaction with visibility and flexibility not only controls the chaos but attains final results faster and with greater efficiency.
HW: In your business, where are you finding the opportunity to meet client needs and grow relationships?
JM: For us, the unrelenting demands on mortgage servicers have been an ongoing opportunity to demonstrate the importance and capabilities of modernization. I’ve found working tirelessly and side-by-side with mortgage servicers to solve their current challenges has made a real difference. Our clients have expressed confidence in our ability to use creative solutions to meet their challenges head-on.
We’re also seeing many new customers who have reached out to us for our process automation expertise and our reputation for delivering results. As a small company with a big product, this helps us grow and further deepen our long-standing business relationships in new ways.
HW: As an executive, how do you keep your learning curve steep and prepare for an increasingly digital future?
JM: Helping the industry achieve the results they need through technology is at the forefront of our vision, and educating myself about the evolution of digital technology is a massive part of this effort. I tend to diversity my research into current trends and keep an open-minded approach to new methodologies. I also read all of the industry publications, including HousingWire, which gives me an excellent perspective on where the industry is headed.
I’m particularly interested in current technology innovations and process cognitive computing, which helps me better understand the industry’s needs and other strategies that are working well for servicers. I’m always in discussion with my colleagues and peers, from whom I receive excellent insights into incrementally improving chaotic areas within servicing. We consistently exchange ideas about new ways to enhance our offerings and how best to implement them. The result is being able to continually evolve our technology’s digital benefits as a part of our everyday business.
Mason is a 2019 HousingWire Tech Trendsetter. This year’s Tech Trendsetters are now open for nominations! Enroll your technology expert today.