NMP - February 2018 - 60

a special focus on THE PURSUIT OF PAPERLESS a special focus on THE PURSUIT OF PA

where paper still hides

down. What was initially a simple
business of collecting payments
has grown into the primary and
longest living mortgage industry
relationship that the typical
consumer will ever have. What
takes 30 days to originate (in a
perfect world, subject to
restrictions ... yada, yada) could
take 30 years to pay off. That's a
long-term commitment-and not
just for the borrower.
And while the servicer may be
the single point of contact for the
mortgage borrower until rates fall
and they refinance, the loan itself
may be sold any number of
times. When it does, the paper
follows it, mostly hiding in the
collateral files.
John Hillman is
Chief Executive
Officer of
Nationwide Title
Clearing Inc.
(NTC). His firm
made a name for
itself in, well, title clearing, but

FEBRUARY 2018 n National Mortgage Professional Magazine n

NationalMortgageProfessional.com

60

continued from page 59

over the past 25 years, has
become one of the foremost
experts in research and
document services in the
residential mortgage industry.
NTC offers a range of document
related services, including
collateral file remediation and
that's where he says a lot of
paper is hiding.
"Our industry's collateral files
are filled with paper documents,"
Hillman said. "They have to be
because no one in our industry
has adopted a life of loan
electronic process. That means
that someone is electing paper
over electronic documents and
we have to make sure those
documents actually travel with
the loan."
Hillman's team digs through
the public record and document
custody shops in search of the
documents required to perfect
collateral files for NTC clients.
They don't often like what they
find.

"We've been in document
custody shops that won't adopt
an electronic process, even if it
is faster for them and their
clients," Hillman said. "They
won't do it because of the initial
expense of digitizing all of their
existing documents and setting
up technology to ingest
documents electronically. That
initial expense would negatively
impact their bottom lines."
In this respect, Hillman says
our customers are actually ahead
of the industry.
"Borrowers like paper, but
they are willing to accept and
even signing documents
electronically as long as they
know they can be securely
stored after the fact," said
Hillman.
So how long does Hillman
think it will take to get the paper
documents out of the collateral
files?
"All of the paper could be
completely gone in 15 years,"
Hillman said. "I don't think many
would disagree with that. Unless
someone solves the Life of Loan
electronic process problem,
we're not going to see
widespread adoption anytime
soon. Now adoption of
blockchain could speed up this
process, if it's adopted on the
document management side. But
we'll still have legacy docs that
have to be scanned-millions
and millions at the cost of
millions-and some banks and
country recorders are never
going to want to do that."
So why does Hillman thinks
it's even possible to get our
industry into the electronic
realm? Because his company is
already doing it on the
eRecording side of the business.
NTC sends millions of
documents to county recorders
around the country each year. Of
those that they send for
recording into the public record,
currently 70 percent are
recorded electronically. Hillman
says his firm will increase that
percentage in the future.
In terms of paperless
processing, that is a real
success story, but it's not the
only one. Another niche has seen
similar success.
Denis Brosnan is
President and
Chief Executive
Officer of
DIMONT, a
provider of
technology-enabled solutions in

specialty insurance claims
processing and collateral loss
mitigation management for
mortgage and auto lenders,
servicers and investors in the
United States.
"Our business wouldn't even
exist if we weren't capable of
automating paper intensive
processes," Brosnan said. "We've
been here for over 20 years and
founded hazard claims adjustment
for servicers on delinquent and
vacant properties."
Brosnan says that changing a
business like the mortgage
industry is akin to changing the
direction of a battleship. It takes a
lot of time to steer. Even so, he
said he sees servicers changing
course. But they can only do it if
industry vendors offer them
solutions.
"I've been a service provider
over 20 years," Brosnan said. "We
are the ones in our community
who have to bring the new ideas
and technologies."
His firm is doing that today with
two products he was promoting at
a national servicing conference as
this article went to press. The first
is a service that helps
homeowners process hazard
claims via a portal that connects
them to their insurance provider
and to their servicer, who has a
vested interest in seeing any
damage to the collateral repaired.
Brosnan says this service is
getting more attention in the wake
of all of the natural disasters we've
seen over the past 18 months.
The other offering is an investor
claims service that helps servicers
navigate the process of filing
claims with investors that offer
loan guarantees, such as the
FHA. It's a paper intensive
process that can only truly be
managed electronically, Brosnan
says.
"It's kind of ironic that we're
hyping a portal product that we
actually believe will be
revolutionary," Brosnan said. "It
really shows the state of the
industry. The average person
interacts with many portals each
day, but it's taken many years for
our complex industry to get these
technologies to penetrate all the
dark corners of our business. But,
bit by bit, we're automating and I
think there is a significant interest
on the part of everyone in the
community to see paper-based
processes digitized. It's just going
to take a while."
continued on page 62

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

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