States Title automation tool aims to cut escrow and title turnaround
States Title recently announced the launch of its software tool, Instant Closing Disclosure, an automation tool designed to cut time spent collecting title and escrow data.
The product's machine learning capabilities analyze the patterns and trends from algorithms to generate accurate and nearly immediate closing disclosures, according to Kelsey Flittner, VP of brand and communications at States Title.
Completed settlement statements are currently returned in one minute about 35% of the time, but that share should grow as the machine learning gets smarter by processing more data, Flittner said.
"For those that cannot be instantly returned (where the algorithm has identified an area where human expertise is needed), settlement statements are returned within an average of about 50 minutes, which is about 40% faster than the 'old fashioned' turnaround time," Flittner said in a statement to NMN. "Reducing title and escrow time on our side helps us ultimately lower costs for our lenders and the end consumer."
States Title's new tool was developed in response to requests from its partner, Home Point Financial, which was looking to reduce the time spent on title and escrow, Flittner said.
One of the logistical difficulties in mortgage lending, particularly during the coronavirus era, is the lack of coordination between lenders and title agents. At the same time, social distancing measures have spurred an increase in digitally driven transactions, with companies like Realogy reporting a tripling of RON closings in the first half of this year compared to the whole of 2019.
Many entities, like Freddie Mac, have bolstered their technology stacks in the past six months to keep up the strain of high demand. But a disconnect with backend operations lingers. At the 2020 Digital Mortgage Conference, industry experts reiterated the importance of investing in new techto drive efficiencies, automation and improve customer experience.
"Brick-and-mortar shops, whether it be lenders, title agents, homeowner insurance agents or appraisers … all those constituents are fundamentally struggling with the ability to do business," Vishal Garg, founder and CEO of Better.com, said in a Digital Mortgage Conference interview. "The backend — title, notary, recording offices — about a third of them have not discovered the internet. You have to go and physically put in a file to have it recorded there."
While refinancing booms in the current mortgage rate landscape, title companies make less profit on refis than on purchase loans. In the second quarter, the industry generated $4.18 billion in premiums, an increase of 6% from the first quarter, according to the American Land Title Association.