The pandemic and record-low interest rates helped set off a refi boom that put unprecedented strain on credit union lending departments. Now, rising interest rates and a cooling market have many re-examining their staffing models to accommodate the changes in the markets they serve.
Through all this change, member-owned financial cooperatives across the asset range have relied on third-party providers of mortgage services to help them adapt and compete. The right partner offers a full range of customizable services while making the necessary investments in automation tools and processes so credit unions don’t have to, says Greg Schatzke, vice president of Servion Mortgage, part of The Servion Group in New Brighton, MN.
Greg Schatzke, VP, Servion Mortgage
“Today’s crazy market is creating a whole new set of staffing and technology challenges for credit unions, particularly those with smaller staffs. Servion recently invested in new technology to help streamline the processing and underwriting processes so you can concentrate instead on the changing and new opportunities in your market,” says Schatzke, whose CUSO provides mortgage services to more than 450 credit unions and community banks in 45 states.
Below, Schatzke explains more about what Servion does and how it does it, including the organization's recent investment and deployment of the AIQ omnichannel solution from ICE Mortgage Technology which relies on automation to shorten the overall mortgage process.
First, a quick overview of Servion Mortgage’s products and services?
Greg Schatzke: We offer processing, underwriting, closing, compliance, and servicing at the individual levels our clients need, depending on their sophistication, staffing, and volume issues.
Credit unions that don’t already have a loan origination system (LOS) in place also can use our white-label, point-of-sale retail site. There, partners can submit an application to us and our team of loan officers will work with the borrowers from that point.
So, really, it just depends on your experience level, staffing, or other specific needs that we can help with to help you reach your business goals. We have multiple ways for you to partner with us and help generate revenue from the mortgage channel.
What does AIQ stand for and what does it bring to the mortgage process?
GS: AIQ stands for automation, intelligence, and quality. The solution streamlines the underwriting process and relies heavily on artificial intelligence to automate certain workflows, increase efficiency and productivity, and reduce business risk.
When did Servion Mortgage deploy the AIQ solution and how are you using it now?
GS: We began working on it last November and launched it in late February. We have three pieces of AIQ in use right now: document recognition that allows us to take a 100-page PDF with multiple types of information in it and sort them into appropriate folders; an income analyzer that allows us to review pay stubs and W2s to determine an accurate and consistent income; and a credit analyzer that in a matter of seconds reviews more than 70 data points, such as birthdates, Social Security numbers, and many more.
How do your credit union partners benefit from this technology?
GS: One big plus is how it helps us uncover potential red flags early in the process – those kinds of issues that might come up later and cause delays if you’re using a more manual process.
And, overall, the way it intelligently automates key business processes helps us ensure a smooth, efficient application process for our partner credit unions and their members.
Do you work with existing lending platforms or help credit unions create and deploy completely new platforms? Or both?
GS: Most of our credit union partners already have LOS software at the front end, so they can simply upload a loan application and documents to us for underwriting, processing, and servicing. Our TPO (third-party originator) site allows us to work with any LOS software that uses industry-standard MISMO 3.4 files.
What’s coming next in your rollout of the AIQ tools?
GS: We’re now in the mapping phase of adding software that will help with lead management and follow-up that will allow Servion Mortgage to consistently stay in touch with borrowers from pre-approval through signed purchase agreements.
That will help lower the chances of losing a deal to a competing lender. In this market, that’s always a risk. The risk is also reduced by working with our nationwide network of vetted Go2Source agents. So, along with catching those red flags we mentioned earlier, this is another way that Servion Mortgage can help reduce the business risks our partners encounter every day.
We also plan to fully implement e-closings by the end of the year. This will allow borrowers to pre-sign certain documents before actually going into the closing, so instead of an hour or more, a closing can take 10 or 15 minutes.
How can my credit union find out more about Servion Mortgage?
GS:To learn more about partnering with Servion Mortgage, go to www.myservion.com.