Keeping things personal is extremely important to First Integrity Mortgage of St. Louis, Missouri, to the point that they don’t use voice mail or screen phone calls, so that callers can always talk to a live person. So when they were faced with being orphaned by their "sunsetting" loan origination system -- a problem faced by many mortgage originators as technology providers consolidate and/or exit the business during the current downturn -- they went looking for a replacement whose provider reflected their personal service values. "We started our due diligence by looking at advertisements in industry publications and reading stories written about loan origination systems," said Eve Janis, senior vice president and operations manager for First Integrity. "I spoke to many of my counterparts with other companies and found out who they were using." After almost a year of research and investigation, First Integrity Mortgage selected Southfield, Michigan-based LOS provider Mortgage Builder, citing the personal approach the software company took during the due diligence period and later, during implementation. First Integrity is a regional mortgage bank in the St. Louis area, serving all of Missouri and nearby Illinois communities. They close about 100 loans a month, have been in business over 15 years, and have 30 employees. "We don’t even outsource an incoming call to voicemail," quipped Janis. "We wanted to handle things like docs, HMDA data and 1098s ourselves because it gives us control over our customer service levels. It’s one reason we enjoy a 98 percent approval rating from our customers." First Integrity installed and tested Mortgage Builder in the first week of March 2008, trained their people during the third week of the month, and by April 1, every one of their closings took place in Mortgage Builder. The lender is taking the implementation process in stages, currently using the basic modules, and will add warehouse monitoring and image management capabilities over the course of the next year. For more information, visit