With the internet becoming an important part of the home shopping and mortgage application process, Ellie Mae is going all digital with a new platform that will enable borrowers to apply for a mortgage and get approval online.
In a press release, Ellie Mae, the platform provider for the mortgage finance industry, said that homebuyers are more than three times more likely to find their lender online than five years ago and that more than 60% of homebuyers in the U.S. expect to apply for and complete their home loan application on the internet. As a result of that growing trend toward digital mortgages, Ellie Mae announced the launch of Encompass Consumer Connect. The new platform gives lenders the ability to let customers apply for a home loan via any digital device.
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“For lenders to effectively compete in today’s purchase-driven market, they need to be equipped to successfully reach the homebuyer at the point of thought,” said Joe Tyrrell, executive vice president of corporate strategy for Ellie Mae, in the press release announcing the digital platform. According to Elle Mae, the platform enables lenders to provide more transparency and customization to would-be home loan borrowers.
Encompass Consumer Connect includes the ability for consumers to research mortgage rates and loan options, fill out a loan application that is simple and in a conversational style, and securely upload documents from any device. Ellie Mae said the platform will enable lenders to automate services including credit, product, pricing and asset verification, enabling interactions with borrowers for requested documents and allowing them to update documents via a secure portal.
Ellie Mae isn’t the only one looking online when it comes to mortgages. In April, Bank of America Corporation (BAC) announced that it was going digital with mortgages, launching the ability for customers to apply for a home loan via its mobile banking app and online platform. With advanced prefill capabilities, Bank of America said customers can apply for a mortgage via the mobile app or on bankofamerica.com and have much of the application automatically populated, which it said will reduce the time and effort to apply for home loans. What’s more, in lots of cases, Bank of America said customers will get a conditional approval the same day.
Bank of America said at the time that the digital mortgage application feature was in response to a survey that showed growing demand from consumers who are increasingly comfortable using digital tools for all aspects of their lives. Dubbed the Bank of America Homebuyer Insights Report, the survey found that 32% of Americans would rather apply for a mortgage online than find a date over the internet, while 52% of respondents said that they would apply or already have applied for a mortgage via a mobile phone or online. The survey also found that 98% of first-time buyers polled by Bank of America think technology plays a role in every stage of the homebuying process, including researching homes, getting a mortgage, and negotiating and purchasing the house.
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