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Skill Sets When Seeking A Mortgage Outsourcer

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Two weeks ago we discussed some of the features you should look for when considering a business process outsource provider. Our focus was macro-based covering areas such as Expertise, Security, Quality Control and Technology. With this post, we narrow our view and discuss some skill sets you should look for when outsourcing mortgage processing and underwriting tasks.

End-to-End Understanding

While it goes without saying, we will say it here. The provider you retain should have a detailed understanding on the mortgage process from end-to-end. Not just at the senior manager level, but down through the ranks of middle managers and team leaders. While the VP might know every step in the process inside and out, it is the line staff that will actually be doing the work on your file. If they are not familiar with which documents/ reports are needed, when they should be requested/ ordered and why they are needed, you are unlikely to get the work product you desire. Conversely, an experienced processing staff will not only know the when and the why, but also how to obtain the documents/ reports in the timeliest manner, helping you avoid costly delays.

The Reports – Credit, Title, Appraisal, Flood, Natural Hazard, etc.

The outsourcer’s staff should have the ability to order and the in-house expertise to review and analyze all the reports and documentation needed to complete your file. When it comes to the credit report, the outsourcer’s staff should intimately know what constitutes a credit report. Regardless of which credit bureau provided the report, they should be able to analyze the report, know which issues will raise red flags and what documentation is needed to address and resolve those issues. In a similar manner, the outsourcer’s staff should know how to review and analyze the title report. They should be able to identify issues that exist on title and how those issues can be addressed and/ or removed from title – whether internally or through the closing attorney, title agent or title underwriter.

Closing Conditions

Meeting the closing conditions is critical to closing the file on time. The outsourcer’s staff should understand the critical nature of these conditions and be able to interpret what is needed to meet each condition. Furthermore, the staff should have in place processes that allow them to focus on the closing conditions and obtaining the information/ documentation to clear conditions as early in the process as possible.

The Closing

What we have covered so far are processes that fall under underwriting and loan processing. For some, these may be the only tasks for which an outsource provider is retained. However, closing services may also be needed. If you are in need of such services, an outsource provider that services both the lending and the title communities is best suited. Outsourcer’s, and their staff, that service these two communities will have the skill sets discussed above as well as the skill set needed to prepare the necessary documents, including the title commitment, closing disclosure and title policy needed to close the transaction.

While the skill sets we’ve discussed above are not all inclusive, and may not address unique situation, they will provide a framework you can use when you start your search for a mortgage processing outsourcer.

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