LEE KIST

Systems manager Banc One Mortgage Corp. Indianapolis

First, technology reduces the time frame involved in processing loans. With good technology in place, you can move loans from the application stage to underwriting stage quickly. You get better controls within the process and you can also improve the productivity of both your originators and processors. With laptop computers, originators can transmit loans from anywhere -- an applicant's house, for example. When the loan is sent to the processing center, it begins moving through the system within an hour.

Also, a strong, well-maintained data system should keep everybody involved. It should give everybody involved in the process an understanding of what the status of the loan is. This way if there is any documentation missing or any exceptions that need to be dealt with, these items can be identified quickly.

MACK I. WHITTLE

Chairman and chief executive Carolina First Bank Greenville, S.C

Technology allows you to do more with less. We are a medium-size bank in South Carolina, but we have a mortgage company.

Through technology, we are able to compete with large mortgage companies, because we can buy software and run it on our existing hardware.

Technology allows us to provide the same caliber of product that some of the larger companies can provide -- otherwise we'd have to go out and hire people with the expertise.

Also, the cost of technology has come down to where it is affordable to more companies than it was five or 10 years ago.

The fact that costs have come down allows many smaller companies to economically enter competitive markets and generate returns.

SCOTT COOLEY

President Contour Software Inc. Campbell, Calif.

If you are looking at new technology, there are two major directions: artificial intelligence and electronic data interchange.

Under the heading of Al, there are two areas. One is expert rules and the other is automated underwriting using self-teaching neural-networking software. Neural networks learn by experience. They look at thousands of loan packages and learn how to underwrite based on what they've assessed.

A different subset of AI is "rule-based" processing, which makes loan-processing more efficient by applying rules throughout each stage. At all the various stages, the rules constantly check all the data elements of the borrow file.

The other major area is EDI. EDI facilitates the flow of information between the various vendors and the mortgage company, thus making the whole operation of generating a loan much more efficient.

CARL MIROWITZ

President Delmar Financial St. Louis

Technology is absolutely vital. The only way to provide low-cost housing and to deliver low-cost home financing is to utilize technology.

Look at the process of loan closing. The physical act of closing a loan after it has been approved involves typing up innumerable documents. You might type a name, address, and legal description at least a dozen times on a dozen different documents for one loan closing.

This means that everything has to be rechecked for accuracy. By using computers to create all these forms, if you've entered information correctly, you know it is all going to come out correctly.

By moving from the manual typing to computer technology, our loan closing productivity has increased a thousand-fold.

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