NMP - February 2018 - 59

APERLESS a special focus on THE PURSUIT OF PAPERLESS a special focus on THE PUR

by the time a firm comes to us to
partner, that client is already
aware of the value of going
'paperless.'"
Stone says his team refers to
this as "integrated transparency"
and says it's the starting point for
an industry digital transformation
that has already begun.
"It's one thing to throw money
at a shiny new tech platform, but
that doesn't, in and of itself,
guarantee an efficient process,"
Stone said. "Right now, too many

of the technologies used to
process an entire mortgage-that
of the title underwriter; that of the
lender; perhaps the vendor
management platform-don't
integrate seamlessly. As a result,
we still have quite a bit of the
confusion, redundancy and delay
that comes when the various
parties to the deal aren't truly in
sync as to what's happening and
when."
While Stone admits that there
is still "a lot to unwind and

rebuild in the way of process in
our industry" he says that he is
seeing progress and companies
making "real strides in the right
direction."
Servicing
Meanwhile, on the servicing side
of the business, the nation's
servicers are still responding to
regulatory changes that have
turned their business upside
continued on page 60

59

NationalMortgageProfessional.com

n National Mortgage Professional Magazine n FEBRUARY 2018

the paper they remember the
longest is the giant stack of
paper documents they are
presented with at the closing
table.
"The settlement services
space has definitely come a long
way," said industry veteran
Patrick Stone,
Chairman and
CEO of Williston
Financial Group,
parent company
for WEST and
WFG National Title
Insurance Company. "However,
I'd say when it comes to
meaningful integration, we're still
in the early stages for perhaps
half of the industry or more. We
still have a lot of hybrid
processes that require paper in
places. Or, we often find 'bolted
on' tech that's not integrated or
imbedded. As a result, there's
still a lot of wasted time and
redundancy."
Stone says there are many
reasons for this, including
industry inertia, state regulations
or laws that don't lend
themselves to digitization.
proprietary systems that don't
easily integrate with other
systems. "And there's always
cost and the pain of
implementation," Stone said.
"Above all, we still desperately
need more meaningful integration
between all of the participants in
the mortgage process before we
see a truly 'paperless' process,"
Stone said. "The good news is
that it's getting exponentially
easier to overcome these
challenges. We spend a lot of
time educating people about
those improvements. But not
everyone is aware of that or open
to it."
While getting every shred of
paper out of the process may not
be important to lenders who
know they can just scan in the
odd document when necessary,
it will become more of a priority
to those lenders who want to
compete for a more particular
mortgage customer.
"This is a problem for anyone
seeking to compete in a market
where the client and consumer
increasingly demand speed,
efficiency and convenience,"
Stone said and suggested that
he knows where to find the
companies that get it. "One of
our primary purposes at WEST
is, of course, rebuilding the
mortgage process, which
includes digitization. Accordingly,


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of NMP - February 2018

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