Pandemic ushers in a new era of digital lending

Pandemic ushers in a new era of digital lending

Amid this global pandemic, mortgage rates have been at historically low levels, borrower demand has increased, refis have broken records and lenders have had to shift in many instances to a remote workforce. In addition to moving to a remote workforce, most face-to-face interaction with borrowers has either not been allowed to occur, or the borrower’s willingness to meet has declined dramatically. That has caused a remarkable shift to a digital lending model that has significantly impacted a lender’s ability to do business during these challenging times.  

Josh Friend – guest columnistMarch HW Magazine

Record-low interest rates have driven home sales to a 14-year high and spurred a 200% annual increase in refinancing. While this boom in volume has generally been positive for primary mortgage originators, it has also exposed underlying weaknesses in their digital strategies that could create challenges down the road. According to the J.D. Power 2020 U.S. Primary Mortgage Origination Satisfaction Study, mortgage originators’ shortcomings in self-service tools for application and approvals, frequent communication, and extended loan processing times could negatively affect customer satisfaction over time.

“It’s been a complicated year for the mortgage industry,” said Jim Houston, managing director of consumer lending and automotive finance intelligence at J.D. Power. “Between surging customer volumes on the origination side, an influx of customer inquiries on the servicing side, and a workforce that has been completely displaced by the pandemic, resources have been stretched to their limits.”

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