Although it’s been more than a decade since the U.S. mortgage crisis first be- gan, new rules and regulations continue to emerge within the mortgage industry.
As a direct result, navigating the lending and servicing
space has become trickier. Growing investor and borrower demands and heightened regulatory pressure
require more staff time and attention.
Now, more than ever, financial institutions face a
common challenge in terms of lack of time and resources. Hiring additional employees isn’t always an
option because of budget constraints. By taking full
advantage of mortgage software, however, lenders,
servicers and mortgage originators can increase efficiency and successfully navigate the latest industry
changes without adding staff.
One of the best ways to increase efficiency, thereby saving time and money, is to implement mortgage
software equipped with application programming
interfaces, or APIs. An API is a software-to-software
interface that enables applications to easily communicate back and forth without the need for user awareness or intervention.
APIs can be used internally specifically for a given
company or organization, or externally and made available to any and all parties interested in developing an
interface or connection to their product or service.
APIs also can differ in functionality, which increases
their usefulness across a broad range of areas.
Leveraging multiple solutions
Sometimes it’s easier to use an API than to develop
new functionality from the ground up. An API may be
developed to query data or update a database, initiate
a process or provide additional functionality to a software application, for example.
By utilizing available APIs, mortgage companies
are able to leverage multiple solutions to achieve the
specific functionality desired and create a centralized
database. Furthermore, APIs enable mortgage originators to use different platforms to take advantage of
the functionality that can most effectively and comprehensively meet their unique needs.
APIs let mortgage professionals seamlessly order
fulfillment services from various service providers or
share data across platforms. This allows users to remain
in one system to provide support to their customers.
APIs offer several important benefits to lenders, servicers,
originators and borrowers, including improved efficiency, data quality, compliance and user experience.
Efficiency through automation
One of the biggest benefits of utilizing APIs is the
workflow-automation they provide. APIs support
integrations between software programs, allowing
mortgage professionals to create a comprehensive
technological ecosystem that supports automatic
communication between systems.
Increased automation provides a wealth of benefits,
including fewer errors, reduced staff hours and monetary costs, and more seamless operations. An API, for
example, can link scheduling software to servicing-software schedules and automate end-of-day and end-of-month tasks, preventing servicing staff from having
to run the jobs after business hours and on weekends.
In addition to saving time, the API reduces mistakes
caused by human error and can provide borrowers
with quicker updated access to statements and loan
information on the consumer-facing website.
APIs also can query data and/or update a database
when processing a loan application. In the past, to determine loan eligibility, lenders had to pull information,
such as borrower credit scores and liabilities, manually.
Now, by using an API, lenders can integrate their online
portal or loan origination system (LOS) with credit agencies to determine loan eligibility almost instantaneously.
Improving data quality
APIs also can provide further automation for specific
programs. By openly sharing information between
platforms, such as servicing and loan-origination
software, an API eliminates the need for data to be
manually migrated. With reduced human intervention,
data consistency and accuracy increase dramatically,
improving the data-management process.
In addition, the API determines how data is shared,
ensuring full compatibility, whereas separate systems
may result in data that is incompatible. Going a step
further, APIs can even allow real-time access to specific
data within another system, even if that data is not
physically stored in the other system.
A financial institution that stores data in their core system, for example, may utilize a separate software system
to service their mortgage loans. Even though these loans
are being serviced on another system, the tellers and
call-center reps can provide real time information and
process payments directly from the servicing system.
If the LOS, borrowers’ and loan originators’ online
portals leverage internal APIs, then originators can more
easily support borrowers during the loan-application
process, providing real time access to documents and
the status of their loan application and allowing borrowers to upload supporting documents all the way to
closing. Additionally, the data from the mortgage application can be automatically imported into the separate
Susan Graham is president and chief operating officer of
Financial Industry Computer Systems Inc. (FICS), a mortgage
software company specializing in cost-effective, mortgage loan origination, residential mortgage-servicing and
commercial mortgage-servicing software for mortgage
lenders, banks and credit unions. FICS’ software solutions
use Microsoft .NE T Framework, providing customers the
flexibility to choose an in-house or cloud-hosting solution.
FICS also provides document management and web-based
capabilities on its full suite of products. Reach Graham at
APIs Are the Software Titans
of the Mortgage Industry
Application programming interfaces, or APIs, can offer
originators greater business leverage
By Susan Graham
by Susan Graham
By Susan Graham
C2 Financial Corp.
Photo illustration by
“If you try to market to everyone, you’ll market to no one.”
This modern adage has become the foundation of successful marketing
strategies for many of today’s financial institutions. Specializing in a certain
niche can provide mortgage loan originators with a competitive edge in
a one-size-fits-all world.
View these articles and more at
“Try on a Mortgage Niche,”
“Lock in the MISMO Advantage,”
“Be Prepared for the GSE Road Ahead,”
“Going Green in the Mortgage Industry,”
Continued on Page 50 >>