NMP - February 2018 - 53

Where Paper Still Hides
in the Mortgage Business
By Rick Grant

e hate paper. We would be happy if we never
saw another paper document for as long as
we lived. Well, at least that's what we say. In
the mortgage business, we've been saying
that for about 20 years now, some of the
older guys have been chanting it (with
pitchfork in hand) for longer than that. And still, paper persists.
We find it hiding in nearly every part of our business, from the
documents we leave with our Realtor partners at an open house
to the government-mandated disclosures we send via snail mail
to our borrowers to the collateral files that travel with our loans to
investors to back up their securitized bonds. Even when we clean
out our offices and install very expensive high-tech systems to
capture all of the data we could ever need to do our work, still we
find paper.
Millions of years of human evolution passed without a single
mark ever hitting a scrap of the stuff and now, just a few
thousand years after the first paper was created with a repeatable
process, and we cannot get rid of it. It's like that old Chinese
proverb won't stop ringing in our ears: "The weakest ink is
stronger than the strongest memory." It's enough to make a
person who has dedicated his life to taking the mortgage lending
process paperless start drinking (again).
I'm not talking about myself, of course, I work for the
publication you're reading ... I'm talking about highly creative
mortgage technologists working all over this industry who are
dedicated to taking our business fully electronic-and trying not
to lose their minds in the process.
I reached out to some of them to find out where they thought
paper was hiding in the mortgage business today and why it was
so difficult to get rid of it. Starting where our process starts, here
is what they told me.

W

n National Mortgage Professional Magazine n FEBRUARY 2018

continued on page 54

NationalMortgageProfessional.com

The point of sale
A number of executives I visited with talked to me about the point
of sale, not because that's where their particular technologies
were deployed, but because the POS has become the poster
child for the digital mortgage. It's true, if you ask the average
television watching American how to get a digital mortgage, they
will describe a red button, somewhat smaller than the old Staples
"Easy Button" that when pressed, will magically produce a
mortgage loan. But does it, really?
You know those wild animals that fill the stage during a
performance of The Lion King? Same thing. They look like

53



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