HousingWire sat down with ClosingCorp CEO Bob Jennings to discuss the company’s recent acquisition of WESTvm ordering technology.
HousingWire: What are the benefits of leveraging automation in the origination process?
Bob Jennings: At the most basic level, the benefits are saving time and money, and eliminating errors. Think about how many documents have to be handled and how many manual entries go into the origination process.
Our approach to automation is simple: Shorten the process one keystroke at a time. But when you apply that to a lender that’s processing around 2,000 loans per month, you’re eliminating hundreds of thousands of keystrokes, which probably translates into an hour or so off of each loan and that adds up.
At ClosingCorp our focus, of course, is estimating, ordering and delivering settlement services like title, flood, appraisals, etc. Done manually, these activities take time and create an opportunity for human errors.
Our Order Management solution allows the lender to allocate all vendors based on their specific rules and relationships. For example, they can select their vendors of choice by product, loan type, branch and state.
Once the integration with our API is in place and the allocation is done, when a milestone is hit in the lender’s loan origination system it will automatically send the order to the right vendor. The response – for example an appraisal, flood cert or a title order – then is automatically routed back into the LOS and an eFolder.
So instead of entering and re-entering data, we’ve automated these processes. So, you select what you need, click the button once and these critical services and products are ordered and delivered into the appropriate eFolder.
HW: How does the ordering technology solution recently acquired from WEST fit in with ClosingCorp products?
BJ: In a sense, it’s a perfect marriage of two very complementary solutions. The original ClosingCorp fee service connects to a network of more than 20,000 vendors nationwide and generates accurate, real-time fees and closing data.
Our solution, which has been renamed ClosingCorp Order Management, is a single, web-based portal that enables automated ordering of the same products and services that ClosingCorp estimates.
The combination creates the first loan-centric ordering technology available in the market and significantly streamlines the ordering and management of critical settlement services needed to originate or service a loan. It allows lenders to order appraisals, flood certifications, title and closing services and documents in less than 60 seconds.
Let’s consider a couple of examples to illustrate how well this works with the WESTvm and ClosingCorp integration.
First, every loan starts by setting up the disclosures in the loan file. If you can’t set up those disclosures accurately, precisely and instantaneously, lenders would have to re-disclose. With the combined integration, the disclosures are created up front with automated ordering, retrieval, and posting into the LOS.
Second, we are dramatically reducing the amount of phone calls and emails required to collaborate with service providers and lenders. Now it’s really only happening when it’s needed. Our goal is to never have service providers and lenders email, which happens in a non-secure environment.
All the docs come into our system automatically and flow right into their LOS, to their folder of choice. For example, if there are questions to the title provider, they’re inside of our portal. And when they go to the title notes of that loan, that note gets directly sent and integrated back to that vendor’s integration. All the collaboration and communication is stored in one portal.
This combined Order Management system is available through the Ellie Mae Encompass Digital Lending Platform and ClosingCorp’s standalone web portals. We are also working on several other third-party integrations.
HW: How does the ClosingCorp Order Management system help lenders drive down costs and time of loan origination?
BJ: We do this several ways. Because our solution isn’t reliant on a self-maintained database of fees and taxes, we eliminate misquotes and the need to re-disclosure loan costs. Inaccurate or excessive fees can create compliance and write-off issues and our solution significantly reduces these occurrences.
As I mentioned earlier, manual ordering adds time and cost that we eliminate. ClosingCorp’s tagline is “make every second count,” and time studies conducted on clients using our ordering platform show them doing just that, saving on average 45 minutes per file and $25 to $45 per loan.
At 2,000 loans per month, monthly savings could range between $50,000 and $90,000 –potentially $600,000 to $1 million annually. That savings directly translates into increasing the productivity of the processor.
Workflow efficiency also benefits lenders (and vendors). With an individualized status page, they can manage and view the workflow of all of their loans and all open orders, with the ability to instantly look at the detail, seeing everything in plain English and having visual confirmation. The Order Management status page provides a totally secure environment with one location and one portal.
HW: How do ClosingCorp’s solutions improve the borrower experience?
BJ: The end game for all fintech providers is to enhance the ultimate borrower experience. ClosingCorp delivers on this from several perspectives.
Delivering accurate, data-rich Loan Estimates minimizes borrower “surprise” upfront and at closing. Our solutions also help protect borrowers and lenders from TRID-related errors and re-disclosures which often make the borrower uneasy and confused.
Our solutions improve the relationship between lenders and vendors and help create borrower collaboration and confidence as they go through the origination process.