Datacap Sees Growing Need for Data Capture, Index Tools

Scott Blau, CEO of Datacap Inc. here, says the market for imaging of mortgage documents will grow even stronger as lenders adapt standards for the creating and management of electronic documents and data.

"A lot of people are doing imaging, and they are all doing it a little differently," he told MSN recently. "The trend is that there is a strong desire to standardize this information."

That will require agreement between organizations and companies in the mortgage industry regarding the formats and structures to be used for the documents and data associated with mortgage loans, so that each recipient of loan files in the industry's food chain doesn't have to re-image documents from thick loan files.

Today, when a wholesale lender or servicer receives disks, they often come along with the paper documents. In many cases, the recipient has to go through and confirm that the paper documents and the images represent the same loan information and data as the paper documents rather than just accepting the images and electronic files.

He says the standards currently being adopted for SMART Docs go a long way but still leave some room for additional standardization. He believes that while it will take time, the incentives for the mortgage industry to embrace standards for imaging and indexing of electronic documents and data are strong enough for progress to be made. "The savings are so big it's going to drive the process," Mr. Blau said.

He said it might take the mortgage industry longer than some other industries, such as health care, where government regulations have provided an impetus for standardization of electronic documents. "No one can wave a magic wand and say. 'OK, guys, let's throw away the paper and work electronically.'"

Datacap focuses on the front end business of turning paper documents into electronic images, and works with other providers that provide management of electronic documents, including DocuWare, FileNet and Hyland. Datacap also provides document indexing, so that imaged documents are not lost after being created. The company's Taskmaster product is a rules-based software solution that is designed to turn paper into information. Taskmaster also enables scanning and indexing from a browser and integrates with document management software systems.

Over time, he believes that standards will help move imaging technology closer to the point of document creation for the mortgage industry. "Overall for the industry, it's more efficient if there are fewer people scanning. But of course, these are different organizations with different interests."

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