Vicki DiPasquale is vice president of sales for Simplifile, the
nation’s largest network for connecting lenders, settlement
agents and county recording offices. A 30-year veteran of
the title industry, and a former real estate professional,
DiPasquale’s expertise lies in e-recording, lender-settlement
collaboration and closing, topics on which she frequently
speaks at ALTA and other real estate industry events. Reach
her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What’s Holding Back E-Mortgages?
Fully digital lending can’t occur until all systems can collaborate
By Vicki DiPasquale
The call to digitize the mortgage process is louder than ever, and with the number of e-solutions available, there appear to be no bstacles preventing mortgage companies
from executing at least a mostly electronic mortgage
transaction. Yet, the vast majority of mortgage loans
originated today are completed in much the same
way they’ve always been, with paper dominating the
So what’s holding the industry back? Seemingly, it’s
the industry itself.
Currently, the concept of a fully electronic transaction appears to be disjointed. Mortgage origination only represents one piece of the entire real estate
transaction. The lion’s share of focus and attention,
however, has been on taking this aspect of the process
digital, without considering how it connects with and
impacts the other elements of the transaction.
This insular approach to digitization and technology
integration has stalled the industry’s efforts to complete
fully-digital mortgage closings. This mires lenders, originators, Realtors and borrowers in a slow, arcane system
that ultimately costs everyone time and money.
What typically happens today is that a lender or mortgage company makes the decision to go digital and
either builds a proprietary solution or integrates with
whatever vendor they think is a good fit for their organization. From there, the company naturally assumes
that other parties to the transaction — Realtors, borrowers, title companies, etc. — will take advantage of
the lending institution’s electronic information.
Of course, it’s never that simple. In reality, consumer
and property data is rekeyed many times throughout
the underwriting and closing process, each presenting
an opportunity for error or miscalculation.
On the mortgage side of the transaction alone, there
are numerous connection points between the various
service providers — appraisal, verification services,
credit reporting companies, doc prep, quality control,
etc. Even with the industry’s focus on digital, those
connections aren’t always as tight or as sophisticated
A tremendous amount of application programming interfaces (API), integration and field formatting
go into connecting disparate systems, and not every
organization has the time or resources to dedicate to a
significant development project each time they sign a
new vendor. Furthermore, many systems on the market
haven’t evolved much since their creation, which adds
an additional layer of retrofitting in many instances,
resulting in clunky processes and integrations.
These systems all approach data-handling differently, resulting in a disjointed, often manual exchange
dustry Standards Maintenance Organization (MISMO)