This year Mortgage Strategy is playing Mortgage Santa, sitting cheerfully in our grotto doling out Christmas pressies to an impatient queue of leading industry figures, wish lists in hand.
They are a demanding lot and we can’t guarantee to pop all your demands for mortgage goodies down your chimneys, but we’ll do our best. So what are you asking for?
First in line, wish list in hand, stands Rob Clifford, managing director of mortgageforce. Like many people these days he doesn’t want toys, he just wants the money.
“Dear Mortgage Santa,” he writes, “could you please arrange for quicker payment of proc fees? Our favourite lenders can achieve it within hours of completion but some take weeks. And while you’re at it, a 100% accurate sourcing system would be good because we waste ages confirming published information is correct.”
Clifford would like all lenders to recognise the importance of giving brokers direct contact with underwriters to speed up complex applications.
“And could my clients please have their personal documentation before they complete their application, rather than three weeks afterwards?” he adds. “And can you find a cure for the amnesia that regularly strikes those with past credit problems?”
Clifford pushes his luck further by slipping in a request from colleague Scott Leacey for more lender consistency, following Nationwide’s recent dumping of its same rate for everyone pledge. We’re all in favour of lender consistency Scott, but sorry, no queue jumping. Ho ho ho.
Next up is a chap called Michael Bolton, founder of edeus, who gets straight to the point by issuing three demands to Santa.
“First, a larger gross lending market. That would indicate that lenders such as BM Solutions and Halifax have failed in their mischievous attempt to hoodwink brokers with their retention activities. Shame on their Scrooge-like tendencies.”
Young Michael would also like brokers to continue winning the battle for distribution, which is great news for borrowers.
Santa is strictly non-political, so we’re afraid we can’t do much about Bolton’s final request.
“Let’s hope chancellor Gordon Brown, the biggest Scrooge of them all, inherits the job of Prime Minister and therefore increases the chances of Labour losing the next election.”
We’ll leave that one to the voters.
We move on to Jon O’Brien, operations director at the Professional Mortgage Packagers Alliance, who would like lenders to be more honest about their distribution strategies, particularly if they plan to switch to distributing direct through brokers. A little advance warning wouldn’t go amiss, as this would give packagers time to do some planning to their own.
Technology is high on everybody’s Christmas list these days but O’Brien makes a plea on behalf of those who can’t afford the latest gizmos. He would like lenders to treat small packagers the same as larger firms, even if they don’t match up to their technological sophistication.
Here are 10 inspiring quotes from leading mortgage experts who are driving the industry forward.
“True automation can’t just be an IT project. All business leaders need to buy in.”
— Maria N. Fregosi, Chief Capital Markets Officer, Home Point Financial Corporation.
“We need process innovation, we need systems innovation, but most of all, we need people innovation, because it’s the diversity of people that brings diversity of ideas.”
— Christopher M. George, 2018 MBA Chairman-Elect, Founder, President and CEO, CMG Financial
“No one [technology] company or two companies can make a dent overnight. It takes courageous leadership with a commitment to investment over a long period of time, and you just chip away at it.”
— Anthony Hsieh, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, loanDepot.com LLC
“The answer is digital, digital, digital. We’re undergoing a revolution. You’re not going to recognize the financial services in 10 years.”
— Donald Layton, Chief Executive Officer, Freddie Mac
“[Consumers] believe that they need to be treated in a way that is transparent and mobile. We really need to solve for that, and I don’t believe we solve for that using robots to automate something that’s been done for 20, 30, 40 years.”
— Dominick Marchetti, Chief Technology Officer, loanDepot.com LLC
“In the last 10 years, what we’ve seen is that the affordability of housing – whether that’s housing people own or housing people rent – has declined significantly. This is the real crisis of housing.”
— Timothy J. Mayopoulos, Chief Executive Officer, Fannie Mae
“I think the myth of the 8-day close is definitely doable. It’s doable with today’s technology. It just takes the focus and dedication to get there.”
— Bill Packer, Executive Vice President and CIO, Chief Operating Officer, American Financial Resources, Inc.
“Online notarization is bringing a long, costly process into the 21st century. Customer experience is more important to our industry than ever before, and online notarization gives borrowers the flexibility and freedom they’ve come to expect in other facets of their lives.”
— Jennifer Parker, General Manager of Digital Mortgage, Notarize
“People are very comfortable doing what they’re comfortable with right up until they’re not. Some people do the whole [mortgage process online]. Some people only answering a couple questions and that’s all they feel comfortable with.”
— John Schleck, Centralized and Online Consumer Lending, Bank of America
“Lenders of all sizes can leverage data, but it starts with the ability to understand what data you actually have. A lot of smaller lenders don’t realize they have a pretty robust amount of data.”
— Joseph Tyrrell, Executive Vice President, Corporate Strategy, Ellie Mae, Inc.