Collaboration Fosters Transition to E-Mortgages

As various electronic partner networks link up more and more providers, they can be extended to help lenders reach a total e-mortgage. RealEC Technologies hopes to take advantage of the data it passes between partners to help lenders automate more parts of the mortgage lifecycle.

"Initially this was about connectivity," explained Dan Sogorka, president of RealEC. "We did the one to many piece to fill everything in, but as we got more customers it became a many to many deal. We got increased visibility and started to look to standards. We found space between the loan origination system and the service providers to carve out both integration and functionality to allow for true collaboration. We focused on workflow, aggregation of data and using data to drive processes.

"Once you have everything you need in a data format, you can bring in other pieces so you never have to paper out. Another thing you can do is plug in related products and services to work off the data, like fraud detection tools for example. So we're focusing on collaboration, moving everything to data and moving to a lights-out process."

Founded in 1998, RealEC Technologies provides supply chain management software, integration services, product decision tools, vendor sourcing tools and a robust B2B exchange for mortgage loan originators, real estate agents and settlement service providers. The company's products and services are designed to automate the origination, servicing, statusing and closing of real estate transactions.

Through one connection, the RealEC Exchange enables mortgage originators to conduct e-business with thousands of service providers while offering more direct connections to settlement service providers than any other network in the industry. RealEC Technologies has significant equity ownership from Fidelity National Information Services Inc., Stewart Title Co. and LandAmerica Financial Group.

The depth of the connections RealEC can offer was greatly facilitated by the acceptance of industry standardization though MISMO, but in most cases RealEC extends MISMO to perform core functionality on behalf of lenders. "For us, we get a lot more granular in the transaction then MISMO," said Mr. Sogorka. "So, we'll use the standard format and still have a couple hundred more data elements to help people collaborate. We use the standards and build additional functionality onto them.

"Going forward, we're also looking to outsource non-core services that lenders don't consider to be a competitive advantage. Both lenders and providers are looking to cut cost and the IT side is the easy place to do that. Executives are looking at a list of 20 technology products and saying, 'Hey we're only doing these three.' On the lender side they're buying vs. building right now. They don't have the money for the nice-to-haves so they're looking at outsourcing. On the title side they still have paper-intensive processes and that's not how they're differentiating themselves anymore."

As part of this initiative, RealEC will start with automating the HUD-1. "We're bringing an e-HUD and a Web-enabled closing piece to market," saidd Mr. Sogorka. "We'll drop these two pieces in the middle of this network and lenders can use it on an ASP basis and be vendor agnostic. So, folks can come in and customize off of a standard process for their own use. For example, the lender collaborates on the HUD in an electronic fashion, locks it down and stores that data.

Now you have that HUD data that you can use to compare across your enterprise.

"With Web-enabled closing we offer a hybrid with limited power of attorney. We took an LSSI product, private branded it, made enhancements and now offer it to lenders as an agnostic tool that we manage. This way everyone gets a consistent experience and everyone works on the same platform. This is a good start on e-closing because it is essentially a remote closing."

Prior to the convention, Mr. Sogorka said he thinks there will be a lot of technology topics top-of-mind at the annual Mortgage Bankers Association show. (c) 2007 Mortgage Servicing News and SourceMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved. http://www.mortgageservicingnews.com/ http://www.sourcemedia.com/