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Reducing friction in COVID-19 era.

CEO COMMENTARY | May 18, 2020


Last week I read an article authored by Rob Chrisman and published through his relationship with the Stratmor Group. You can find it here. He discussed his recent participation in a Stratmor Group Workshop with 70+ mortgage lenders (institutions & IMBs). Everyone’s dealing with refinance volume and forbearance/loss of employment issues. He also mentioned how lenders are hiking up margins to manage volume as they wrestle with capacity concerns.

Curt on creating a"frictionless" process for lenders.

Capacity concerns are difficult to alleviate through added HR at the moment. Most lenders have yet to sufficiently handle fully remote training. Yes, there are certainly exceptions; but adding HR as a capacity solution is less appealing right now than leveraging IT. Lenders are looking to drop “stare and compare” HR functions with IT solutions. They’re doing this while making certain employees understand their criticality to the company; for example, tech replacing human concerns.


S1 is positioning our income determination solutions (income+) in a similar vein. Rather than replace members of a lender’s team, automated income determination is meant to leverage validated income sources and highlight exceptions for processors and LOs to clear or red flag. Think of those efficiencies in comparison with a well-trained associate comparing income documents line by line. Some example shops have transitioned these skilled team members to engage in high touch customer service/support tasks or more meaningful involvement in complicated condition clearing.


INCOME+ workflow

Additionally, at S1, we’re seeing a considerable uptick in mortgage and employment verifications 2-3 days prior to close due to forbearance and employment concerns. Keep in mind, S1’s verification turn-times are nearly 50% less than industry benchmarks.


Lastly, the IRS is slowly -- very slowly -- chewing through inventory. They have switched to a remote model for their clerks to process 4506-Ts. We’re closely measuring performance this week. If there’s no considerable improvement by Wednesday, we will strengthen advocacy efforts with Treasury and our trade associations.


I hope this information is helpful to you and your teams. Please reach out with successes you're having in your shop, and we’ll pass it along.

Best,

Curt

Curtis Knuth

CEO, SERVICE 1st

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