A Cure for Document Blues

As a mortgage provider, saving your customers time and instilling confidence are two things that create a satisfying experience. That’s particularly true when you do it with something as tedious as document collection.

Mortgage Alliance is one of few broker networks and industry suppliers that have made document processing more efficient for clients and agents alike. It’s done that with a new system called Safe Docs.

Safe Docs basically works like this:

  1. The mortgage agent specifies a list of documents required by the lender (using the interface below).
  2. Safe Docs then creates an email that the agent can send to the client with a documents list and upload link.
  3. The customer clicks the link in the email and uploads his or her documents using a secure web page.
  4. The documents are then organized and stored in the agent’s file (on Mortgage Alliance’s Mortgage BOSS system).

From BOSS, the agent can then easily track which documents have been uploaded and which are still outstanding.

From the client’s standpoint, it is simple, fast (as long as they can easily scan their documents) and very secure.

On that last point, email has been the #1 way clients get documents to their mortgage agents, but emailed documents aren’t totally secure. Mortgage Alliance also has a fax-to-email service, but that system has similar security imperfections. By contrast, Secure Docs uses point-to-point SSL encryption in a browser, so there is almost no chance of a network snooper intercepting and viewing the client’s documents.

Another useful feature is document conversion. Secure Docs automatically converts all file formats to PDF, lenders’ preferred format. With many clients now photographing or scanning documents with a smartphone, this is a real time saver. Any agent that has to manually convert .JPG files to PDF, for example, will vouch for that.

In 2015, this is technology that virtually every broker in the country should have. It’s high time that more brokerages and suppliers implement something like it. D+H, Canada’s leading mortgage processing platform, showed off something similar at last November’s CAAMP Expo, but there have been no related announcements since.

  1. Sounds like a great system to combat fraud if it is like Exchange and documents cannot be deleted. I take it the Principal Broker and compliance will have access to it and can see what the client sent thus tracking any document to ensure it is presented to the lender in it’s true form, or omitted for that matter. Will FSCO have access at audit time?

  2. Hi Mike,

    You are correct, we also are using this to combat fraud. No documents can be deleted and our Principal Broker and compliance have access to see what the clients are sending and can track documents, etc. This is also used for FSCO Audits. So much nicer than having to pull out paper files, everything is online.

    Thanks for your comment – Christa Mitchell

  3. My life would be wonderful if the client could put his or her finger on exactly what was requested the first time, scan each item neatly into a PDF file, provide the correct annotations and cross references, then delight me with an upload, requiring no post-upload processing! Maybe I am going after the wrong clients!

    I’d be curious about the experiences of other brokers based on the client profile they deal with and whether this system would work for them. Maybe I am going after the wrong clients! For me in Alberta, catering to a lot of 1st timers, BFS, and revenue property investors, despite sending a very clear document requirement list to the client, explaining what I need *and why*, getting the necessary documents back first time is hit and miss. Invariably, I have to manipulate the inbound information using Adobe Pro (I’m a paperless office) to pull it apart, rotate pages, reduce file size, convert from JPG, TIFF, or whatever to PDF, then circle, draw arrows hi-lighting certain elements, then reassemble or breakdown all into nicely names PDFs for my underwriters. My underwriters like me at a minimum! Who has clients that this would work for?

  4. @Chris We’re looking at a paperless system ourselves so I’m wondering what you meant when you said “Who has clients that this would work for?” It sounds like you’re already are making it work with your electronic system. Or maybe I don’t understand your point?

    Thanks,
    Mike

    1. Mike, paperless is great. My point is, how you choose to manipulate the incoming files in the *least amount of steps* to get them lender-ready (then file complete, compliance, etc.) is where you win or loose. That’s the part you have to figure out. When a new layer is added, such as the above, one has to ask whether this helps or hinders 1) the mortgage broker, and 2) the client. In my experience, it would likely hinder and frustrate both, hence why we haven’t gone that way. But I am curious what experiences others have with their paperless processing efforts, so hoping to hear some replies.

      We find processing email attachments or faxes arriving via email as PDFs has much fewer overall steps than an ‘upload option’ (which we still have to download to manipulate, or “parse” as we call it) and more in tune with capabilities of the client base. Having a central electronic filing location and a consistent electronic file naming convention is key/indispensable for paperless, and that’s the way we do it. Adobe Pro is the indispensable document manipulation tool.

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