Mortgage technology firms adapt practices to keep the system moving

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Mortgage industry technology providers are adjusting their processes to allow for originations to keep flowing through the system as the nation combats the coronavirus.

For example, SharperLending updated its Verisite property inspection product to allow homeowners to take their own interior photos. They can then send those photos and the descriptions to the appraiser for the report.

Normally the appraiser would come inside the home and take their own photos for a full report.

"With rates so low, we are seeing record loan volumes and we want to do what we can to help appraisers stay safe and healthy as they are out in force completing inspections," David Chiappe, president of SharperLending, said in a press release. "While safety and health are paramount to us, we also don't want lender pipelines to become blocked."

While application volumes did decline on a week-to-week basis, refinancings spiked over 400% and purchases rose 11% over the same time last year, according to the latest Mortgage Bankers Association survey.

As a fraud prevention measure, Verisite automatically verifies the accuracy of the location where the photos were taken down to a 10-foot radius, thus assuring lenders the pictures are of the property being used as collateral to secure the mortgage.

Separately, another appraisal technology company, a la mode, sent a memo to clients regarding its plans regarding staffing and training.

"As needed, our employees will work from home in this current situation, too. We don't anticipate any delays or decline in service during this transition. For employees, who are in the office working, we're taking additional precautions to keep them safe," according to the memo from Jay Shafer, executive with CoreLogic a la mode. (CoreLogic acquired a la mode in April 2018.)

It is also providing more online training, which it described as similar to its roadshow presentations for its Total product.

At Black Knight, which provides the nation's most used mortgage loan servicing platform, as well as a loan origination system and various data products, remote work became mandatory starting on March 18.

The work-from-order will allow the Jacksonville, Fla.-based company to put its business continuity plans into place, a press release said.

"Black Knight is a family, and our first priority is the health and safety of our employees, clients and community," CEO Anthony Jabbour said in the release. "Throughout this unprecedented situation, we will support and look out for one another. Together, we will get through this and continue to provide our clients with the innovation and premier service they've come to expect from Black Knight."

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