Despite the fact that many lenders are shedding their wholesale channel, panelists at the 11th Annual SourceMedia Mortgage Technology Conference in Orlando, Fla., indicated that wholesale will make a comeback. "Wholesale is not dead," said Greg Smith, vice president and general manager at e-collaboration vendor Xerox Mortgage Services. "It will be reborn. However, in the more near term, lenders will focus on retail and online retail channels." The key to the rebirth of wholesale will be greater adoption of automated fraud detection and compliance tools to ensure loan quality, Ellie Mae chief strategy officer Jonathan Corr acknowledged. Mr. Smith concluded: "In the process of adopting such quality-control tactics, lenders can also use technology to create a high-touch environment to actually help their broker partners be more competitive themselves."

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