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Making the Paper Disappear

There has been a lot of talk about originating loans without paper. While the paperless mortgage may be a way off yet, lenders, title companies and even county recorders are finding ways to reduce the amount of paperwork that needs to change hands when a loan is made. But mortgage servicers may actually be ahead of the curve when it comes to cutting down on paper. Already, just about every major lender offers options for paying monthly mortgage bills electronically, via automated clearinghouse technology as well as Internet and telephone enabled automatic debit programs. The percentage of home loan customers who pay their bills by writing out and mailing a check every month has been steadily declining over the last several years.

And that is just one way mortgage servicers are reducing the paper burden. They are also working with entities such as MERS (see related story, page one) and with county recorders to eliminate assignments when loans are transferred and to automate the reconveyance of title or the lien release process when loans are paid off in full.

With three years of refinancing-driven portfolio churning under their belts, mortgage servicers are more aware than ever before that automation can make their shops more productive and efficient.

Since mortgage banking is a cyclical industry, lenders and their parent companies are looking for ways to manage a variable workload without having to constantly hire and fire staff based on interest rate conditions. For servicers, that often means turning to an outsource vendor to handle all or part of specific tasks.

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