While I was recently demonstrating the virtues of creating Adobe PDF files for purposes of e-mailing original loan documents to a client, he proudly mentioned that he had a program called InterActive vForms that did this and much more. After using the product myself, I am happy to say that it goes a huge step beyond the simple creation of these files, and at only slightly more in cost than the regular Adobe Acrobat Distiller that I have been using.
The main panel of vForms contains buttons that provide various data-linking capabilities, depending on the specific programs that you choose to integrate it with. During the installation process, you may choose to merge data into the program from a variety of sources, including any of several popular loan origination systems or contact managers. I set my copy up to integrate Point for Windows and ACT!—a common enough requirement for loan originators.
The product easily allowed me to take any of my borrowers, prospects, or contacts inside of ACT! and merge the desired data into the built-in marketing fliers and letters in vForms. A simple drag-and-drop technique allowed me to easily select the desired data, in a way far different from data manipulation with other products.
My single complaint was in regard to the time required to bring up my voluminous ACT! database to extract data from one user. In cases like this, I would recommend using vForms on a computer with ample memory and processor resources, to keep things from becoming bogged down.
The vForms Printer allows you to e-mail any completed document from your loan origination system (LOS), including the Good Faith Estimate, TIL, 1003, and other documents and disclosures. In this regard, vForms functions like Adobe Acrobat in its ability to generate PDF files that may be easily e-mailed.
In addition, vForms comes with an extensive library of interactive forms, including the 1003 and many disclosures that may be “interactively” reviewed and completed by the receiver of the e-mail. The only software required by the borrower is a copy of the free Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available on the vast majority of all computers in use today and can be downloaded free if not already installed. A Preview option enables users to view forms at different zoom levels prior to opening them for editing.
The rich text format (RTF) program, a standard available on all Windows PCs, allows you to create custom letters and e-mail messages that can be automatically populated with the data from the LOS or contact management software. The user has only to click on a borrower or contact from within the left-hand pane of the main panel of the program, and then select the preprogrammed RTF form and print or e-mail it.
The product provides several graphic capabilities, including custom placement of your company logo in the Forms Library. If users want to custom place their own pictures or a picture of a specific home from an Internet site, vForms requires these pictures to be saved in a .jpg file format to be viewed and printed in the fliers. It is easy to obtain pictures of individual real estate agents and their listings from publicly available Web sites, and these pictures may be easily placed in the vForms Library to add impact and to customize them for those receiving the marketing documents. If a digital camera is used to obtain these pictures, they may also be easily transferred from the camera for placement within the fliers.
vForms provides a valuable bundle of features to allow more efficient extraction of data as available to the loan officer, and to allow the merging of this data automatically into forms and disclosures. It enables you to e-mail these forms and provides the borrower with the ability to complete and edit them. Finally, the product provides a powerful print preview function in conjunction with its basic ability to generate PDF files for e-mailing. vForms is well worth its nominal cost, considering the variety of things that it does.
By Stephen Breden