Mortgage Technology published the first Top Tech-Savvy list in 2003 and for the first eight years, the lenders named to the list were selected by MTs editorial staff. Beginning in 2011, lenders and their technology vendors were asked to submit nominations to be considered for the list. The applications are reviewed and judged by the editorial staff, who selects the companies named to the annual list.
More changes came to the 10th annual edition of the list in 2012. Eligibility was expanded to include servicers and new perks were added for the companies that make the list: special recognition at the Mortgage Technology Awards Ceremony and the opportunity to vote for the finalists and winner of the Lenders Choice MT Award, which commends the vendor that offers the best customer service, value proposition and overall user experience.
This years Top Tech-Savvy Lenders and Servicers will vote for the 2013 Lenders Choice Award, and the list also debuts its new home, in the pages of National Mortgage News.
The Top Tech-Savvy Lenders and Servicers are mortgage companies small and large and range from regional mortgage bankers to national depositories. Still, they share a common thread in that theyre all committed to achieving technological excellence.
Benchmark Mortgage maintains an IT infrastructure that includes a private cloud for its loan origination system, a VoIP phone system and paperless underwriting. The Plano, Texas-based retail lender and servicer is also developing a big data analysis project to streamline the use of loan-level data.
BofI Federal Bank
BofI Federal Bank is a San Diego, Calif.-based branchless bank with 14 online brands, including BankofInternet.com. As part of its customer relationship management strategy, the bank uses a two-way flow of servicing and origination data to maximize loan performance tracking and refinance marketing opportunities.
Brentwood, Tenn.-based Churchill Mortgage uses an online training portal to help managers recruit and train local talent across its branch network. The retail lender uses online chat to connect with borrowers and recently deployed business intelligence software to improve its pipeline dashboard and reporting capabilities.
Moving its critical systems to the cloud has helped Envoy Mortgage improve technology ROI, decrease system downtime and provide an easier path for future expansion. The Houston-based retail lender and servicer also deployed a Web-based ticketing system to improve customer support communications.
First Choice Bank
The mortgage subsidiary of First Choice Bank, called First Choice Loan Services, uses its paperless processing to manage remote personnel and multiple fulfillment centers. To ensure quality control, the Morganville, N.J.-based lender generates real-time reports throughout the origination process.
First Guaranty Mortgage
First Guaranty Mortgage Corp. enhanced its wholesale channel with tools to track and generate reports on its third-party originators and allow TPOs to bulk upload loan file data. The Tysons Corner, Va.-based mortgage bank also transitioned to a new data center.
First Internet Bank
The online-only First Internet Bank posts online video biographies of its loan officers to help it build stronger customer relationships without face-to-face contact. The Indianapolis-based depository is also improving its website to provide easier access to borrower tools.
Freedom Mortgage specializes in originating VA-backed loans and uses proprietary origination workflow and electronic document management systems. The technology has been developed with an eye toward maintaining seamless integrations with third-party applications and helping the Mount Laurel, N.J.-based mortgage bank and servicer grow its origination volume and scale its business.
Gold Star Mortgage Financial Group
To expand its branch network from 13 to 33 locations over the course of three years, Ann Arbor, Mich.-based mortgage broker Gold Star Mortgage Financial Group deployed new origination workflows, branch automation technology and real-time status alerts that give borrowers and their real estate agents real-time status updates on their loans.
Online-only lender goodmortgage.com recently completed a server and desktop virtualization initiative that improves data security and integrity and enhances employees access to systems by providing remote access to desktops with a computer or tablet. The Charlotte, N.C.-based company also uses robust data mining tools to improve quality control, customer service and compliance.
GSF Mortgage Corp. recently implemented a data privacy management platform and it also has deployed enhanced email security tools and digital file upload portals. The Brookfield, Wis.-based retail and wholesale lender and servicer generates leads by advertising on rate table websites and is deploying a mortgage industry-specific CRM system.
Chicago-based Guaranteed Rate boasts that its online mortgage application lets borrowers submit personal information, obtain credit reports, shop for loan products and receive automated underwriting results in 15 minutes or less. The nondepository mortgage lender and servicer also uses business intelligence technology to manage its pipeline of loans between branches.