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Image: Thinkstock

The Payoff from Automating Payoffs

JUN 20, 2014 2:29pm ET
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For servicers, the complexities of the CFPB’s new mortgage servicing regulations are more time consuming, expensive and require an unprecedented amount of attention from agents in order to achieve compliance. In response, servicing companies are increasingly looking to technology to compliantly streamline operations and reduce overall operations costs. Sometimes even older technologies can provide cost-effective solutions.

While use of facsimile has decreased in the workplace for general business practices over the years, fax machines still remain the default delivery method for sending and receiving mortgage payoff statements. Lenders, servicers and closing agents are accustomed to sending payoff statements to borrowers via fax machines because faxing continues to be the fastest, most dependable and profitable way to deliver the documents.

One of the best opportunities to gain servicing efficiencies lies in providing borrowers and title companies with a self-service option to automatically process payoff quote requests. Fortunately for many servicers, the technology to automate and streamline this procedure already exists via their existing Interactive Voice Response systems. Borrowers and their agents can request a payoff quote from their servicer at any time, including all the traditional payoff information pertaining to unpaid principal, interest, fees and associated costs, as well as actual payment instructions. For HELOC loans, borrowers may have the option of requesting pay down as well as payoff statements.

Fax on-demand IVR applications require authenticated callers to enter their fax number and the payoff as-of date. The IVR system then communicates to the servicer’s back-end technology and automatically prepares and routes a payoff statement from its loan servicing package. This automated technology accesses the required data, merges information from a predefined payoff statement template and immediately transmits the complete payoff statement to the borrower’s provided fax machine number. Properly implemented, this type of self-service IVR application addresses the servicer’s business rules, investor requirements and regulatory expectations.

The process of generating and sending payoff statements is a routine transaction for closing agents, but by automating this mundane, yet critical component, servicers can realize meaningful operational efficiencies while freeing their customer service representatives to better serve their borrowers.

Barry Hays is Co-Founder and Senior Vice President of TeleVoice, a provider of customized call center solutions, to the financial services industry.

Comments (2)
I cannot figure out why the mortgage servicer cannot send it as a pdf file by email. This makes no sense.
Posted by ingrid D | Friday, June 20 2014 at 3:06PM ET
Why not join the 21st century and create a web enabled portal for obtaining and delivering payoff statements?
Posted by Chris H | Monday, June 23 2014 at 8:44AM ET
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