Imaging Reduces Post-Closing Burden

There has been a lot of talk about imaging as a tool to going paperless, but beyond just getting rid of the paper there are other uses for this technology that can equal big return on investment for the user.

"We're using OnBase in post-closing for workflow and imaging," said Tony Woodall, vice president, business technology officer at Opteum. "We import docs directly in OnBase to automate post-closing to reduce paper consumption and output. Eventually we want to deliver all of our loans electronically to all our investors.

"We're working with several investors to work electronically right now," he noted. "They're very interested in being able to do electronic delivery. The industry is headed in this direction and our investors are ready to jump on the bandwagon.

"Also, one of our goals is to be able to lower cost," said Mr. Woodall. "In order to survive you have to reduce cost. Some of our largest costs came from being a paper shop. Based on our analysis we think we'll save $12,000 per branch, per month. We've talked to several branches and they're realizing savings of $5,000 a branch today. We're also reducing the size need for our actual office by using imaging instead of storing paper."

"Imaging is the primary component that the industry is looking for," added Jason King, director of financial services solutions at Hyland Software. "Paper is pain. Anytime you introduce paper you introduce a roadblock to efficiency. Second, using imaging to get docs out to partners and investors is key. We've seen a 50% increase in our sales around imaging year over year.

"The MBA has done a great job in educating people about going paperless through MISMO," he said. "We're up on MISMO and realize that imaging will extend to SMART Docs. Also, investors like Countrywide have had a published spec for over three years now. People are now realizing that paper is the obstacle."

Other vendors like San Diego-based Del Mar Database agree. "We released our imaging product over a year ago," said John Walsh, president at Del Mar. "We saw really rapid adoption in the first six months. There's a subset of small lenders very interested in imaging. In total, 26% of our 450 clients have a document imaging solution. In the fourth quarter of last year and into this year we're seeing a renewed interest.

"Investors are starting to get on the bandwagon and accept imaged files," he noted. "We have three certified investors now and 10 other top 25 in the pipeline. When that many investors start to accept imaged files we will see a flood of imaging demand. Half of our clients are using it as a back-office shipping and storage mechanism now and another bunch of our clients are moving it to the front end to make the paper file redundant. We're also integrating SMART Docs into our platform this year. The issue for us is the investors. Once they accept them our clients will move in that direction."

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