I’m Loving Equator!

Written By: Gail Foster

I just had a short sale approved through Equator in about 30 days and we will probably close it in about 60 days. This is just beautiful! The seller is happy, the buyer is happy and I am happy. It was easy to execute, everybody was aware of the status at all times, when something was needed, it was posted and we jumped to get it addressed. The frustration level was virtually non-existent for all parties involved, and the pay-off is a completed short sale in record time. I can tell you not all short sales are this easy but why aren’t they? And why can’t a system such as this be used for regular loans?

The Equator web site has been used for a while to disperse REO listings to local agents. It was updated to originate and manage short sales. In the beginning, it didn’t work very well but with some tweaking and changes it seems to be a viable vehicle for managing short sales in an efficient manner. Short sales are originated in the system when an offer has been received. Immediately tasks are assigned to the various participants, usually the listing agent and seller of the property. Time frames for submission are included with the tasks so that the process continues to move forward. The faster a task is finished the sooner the next level of processing the short sale can occur.

Sellers are given their own log-in so that they can track the progress. Phone calls and follow-up are kept to a minimum because it’s all right there on the website. When a new task has been assigned the website generates an email to the responsible party letting them know what the next step is and what is required to complete it. I just love it! And the end results speak for the success of this method.

In my opinion, this type of management system could be used for loan processing also. A loan is originated in the system and immediately a set of tasks about required documentation is assigned to the borrower. Documents can be uploaded right into the system, no faxing, and no driving to drop off, no delay. The borrower gets to see what’s needed and is held to a task time frame for submission. The faster items are submitted the faster things get done. Once everything is submitted, the website can display a general turnaround time for the next task i.e., appraisal, underwriting, clear to close and docs etc. Frustration and confusion is kept to a minimum.

At all times, everybody knows the status of the loan and even more important, what the holdup is if a delay is occurring. A system such as this can help borrower’s understand the process and encourage tasks to be completed in a timely fashion. There is a sense of satisfaction when one knows and understands what is required and when those requirements are met and progress follows.

Additionally, a system such as this can also be used to track employee performance. Are loans originated in a timely manner? Is processing being effective in collecting the correct documentation upfront? Are lender tasks being addressed in reasonable time frames? If there is a delay, who is responsible? This type of system can also be very cost effective. The lender can track what is needed, where a delay is and not spend time on a loan if the borrower is not cooperating or meeting time frames. At that point the loan gets bumped back to the loan officer or put on hold until the required tasks are completed.

Time is spent on those loans that have met their task requirements, and no time is spent chasing down paperwork because the borrower has been notified through the website of the status of the loan. Time is money. Customer satisfaction creates referrals, and task tracking shows who is dropping the ball and who is getting the job done. Works for me! What about you?

About The Author

Gail Foster - As an active real estate industry professional for the past twelve years, Gail Foster is a proud licensed mortgage officer and a Realtor in the state of Maryland. If you would like to become a writer for NAMU®, please email us at: contact@mortgageprocessor.org.

Opinion-Editorial (Op-Ed) Disclaimer For NAMU® Library Articles: The views and opinions expressed in the NAMU® Library articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect any official NAMU® policy or position. Examples of analysis performed within this article are only examples. They should not be utilized in real-world application as they are based only on very limited and dated open source information. Assumptions made within the analysis are not reflective of the position of NAMU®. Nothing contained in this articles should be considered legal advice.