SigniaDocs, a Houston-based eMortgage company, appointed industry veteran Harry Gardner as chief strategy officer.

Gardner will aim to replace expensive and clumsy paper mortgages with more efficient electronic mortgages that would be adopted nationwide, according to a company statement. A leaner system would tighten the belt on a mortgage industry ballooning with expense and waste, SigniaDocs says.

Cutting down on waste and streamlining operations are familiar strategies at SigniaDocs. Lenders collaborate electronic documentation and eMortgage processes for disclosure, closing and modifications with the company's Web service platform.

But Gardner's appointment suggests there's work yet to be done in streamlining electronic mortgage processes.

SigniaDocs appointed Gardner for his experience at the spearhead of eMortgage development as both an engineer building the SMART Docs platform, which is the electronic mortgage standard practices and documents that make eMortgages possible, and as a manager.

Gardner spent eight years at the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), managing the Mortgage Industry Standards Maintenance Organization (MISMO), an industry group that developed the foundation for eMortgages. In 2007, Gardner was promoted to vice president of Industry Technology and served as the president of MISMO, which is owned by the MBA.

Write to Jon Prior.