There is a trend in the mortgage industry towards “Digital Mortgages”. Basically, the idea is for the entire process to be handled through a website. You upload your documents, fill out forms, and digitally sign documents.
This is not really all that new and all that unique. At CFS, we can process docments and forms online as well. Utilizing technology to streamline the process and provide efficiency is a must as a modern, agile company.
The negative part of the “Digital Mortgage” is that companies mainly focus on just getting as many mortgages as they can through their website. It’s about cheap loans and high volume. They hope that the website will do the heavy lifting of processing the loans. Missing is the experienced loan officer who helps customers through a still complicated process. It can cost the consumer money and time.
For instance, here are just a few reviews of Quicken Loans…
“We closed on a purchase with Quicken Loans in January. We closed a couple of weeks early before our deadline. I found out FHA dropped the mortgage insurance by at least 40% within a week of our closing. With 2 months Quicken is calling me to refinance with them so I can save $60 a month. They knew the MIP was changing when they closed my loan but chose not to tell me. So I am stuck with this extra $60.00 until I pay for a new refinance. I had many other problems with them which I chose to overlook. I would not recommend Quicken Loans unless you want to tear your hair out.”
“As others have commented, I used Quicken loans several years ago to refi our home in California. So I thought I would try them again – Big mistake! They told us we were looking good when we started the process in April, asked for reams of paperwork and said we should be closing by June. Well that never happened, then we got a call that we would be closing on July 31st. No one showed. We stayed home all day expecting to hear from someone at any moment (it was a Saturday). On Monday they called and said “the loan is still in review and you should be closing soon.” Well it is now September (5 months so far) and we still have not closed. I called and asked to speak to the President of the company. I was so mad but I got some assistant from “the executive team” who did nothing but give me more lip service and excuses!!! Go anywhere but here!”
“I started the loan process in April, provided financial information, said I was qualified. Sent in $500 to start the process to hire an appraiser. Had one appraiser whose appraisal was rejected, sent a second appraiser who was not qualified, and finally a third appraiser who just finished the appraisal last week. It is now September 2nd and still no indication that the loan will close. The rate that I originally locked at is no longer good because the loan process has taken so long. Five months to close on a loan is unacceptable. I am only trying to get a loan for 61% of the appraised value.”
Those are just the first 3 found. (http://www.consumeraffairs.com/finance/quicken_loans_mortgage.html) Out of 1,416 reviews, they just a one (and a sliver) star rating on average. Not every review online is negative, but this looks pretty bad.
A loan officer in not a paper pusher. Loan officers provide valuable services to clients.
- They guide you through the process.
- They make sure your loan fits your needs.
- They know what problems may pop up and have solutions.
- The are looking out for you because they want to get referrals, work with you on future purchases and refinances, and have a reputation to stand behind.
- They provide knowledgeable advice. Perhaps you should wait to get your mortgage. Perhaps you should get a bigger or smaller mortgage.
- They educate. Buying a house is a big deal and you should know what you are getting into. Loan officers are here to help.
The future is definitely about using technology to streamline the mortgage process. The easier data is shared, the more efficient the process becomes. That’s a good thing. One element that shouldn’t be removed is the years of experience of a seasoned professional like the loan officers here at Chicago Financial Services.
Let’s make sure technology makes the process better and not worse.