Most mortgage companies have settled on one of several loan origination systems (LOS) for their loan origination and processing needs. While most of these products are specific to the area of loan origination and processing, I have been looking at a product that is a bundle of services for the mortgage office, including a number of functions.
Installation of The Mortgage Office takes a few minutes and a call to the tech support department to obtain a key that is associated with your specific computer ID. This factor makes it nearly impossible for anyone to “‘borrow”‘ your software and set up their business on it, a problem I have seen with other systems that were not copy protected.
Opening the demo version that I was provided with allowed me to access the files of a mythical company called World Mortgage Company, and I entered a user name and password to enter the main database. A clearly marked menu at the top contained the standard set of Windows icons, as well as some that are proprietary to The Mortgage Office. Under Modules, I noted that the system provided the following sets of functions: Loan Origination, Loan Servicing, Trust Accounting, Partnership Servicing, Collateralized Mortgage Obligation, DRE Annual Reporting, ACH Express, Financial Calculator, and Credit Reporting. While it was clear that the system could be used by any mortgage broker, it may be of most interest to a California based broker doing private trust deed investments and note sales—so-called “hard money lending” (the area in which I started in the mortgage business back in 1989).
The Loan Origination module contains a number of features that can be selected from a menu structure. Open and Pending Originations and Note Sales appear to be the modules you would routinely use. After clicking on the Open Originations button, a spreadsheet appears with a line for each transaction in the database. Clicking on the particular line allows the user to select that transaction for further processing. This new menu has icons at the left-hand side for General Information, Borrowers, Funding, Properties, Terms, and a number of other items. The program is structured so that any or all of these windows can be left up at the same time to allow the user to switch easily to the desired section, rather then moving in and out of the existing window, as is very common with many programs. One is essentially “drilling down” into the program to get to the level of detail desired within a particular transaction.
A Financial Calculator module allows for a number of sophisticated results to be obtained, including Amortization Schedule, Negotiate Loan, Calculate APR, Fully Amortized, Interest, Calculate Yield, Balloon Payment, Current, Balance, and several others. Negotiate Loan covers all the details of a transaction, including terms, payoffs, yields, and commissions to be factored together. These items are all on one screen, in a manner commonly done with financial calculators to obtain yield or purchase price, as an example.
Other modules are available to allow for Loan Servicing, including payment and check disbursement, which can be a major headache to any private money lender trying to manage multiple trust deed investments and funds on both the investor and borrower side.
Maybe of most interest to me was the heavy focus on marketing, reporting, and preparation of required forms and disclosures in the program. As I well know from personal experience, it is absolutely essential to correctly disclose in these types of transactions for Department of Real Estate (DRE) compliance, and to provide the necessary reporting and trust accounting to meet DRE requirements. This program is obviously a real help to the private money lender doing business in California, and who finds other LOS systems inadequate for these types of requirements.
Additional features include its ability to operate with multiple companies, allowing the user to keep separate databases. The built-in security used in The Mortgage Office protects data with a system of passwords. Access can be restricted down to the user level, and can even allow for limited access on the basis of a particular workstation or time of day.
The Mortgage Office can be purchased in any of several configurations, depending on your specific requirements. I think any broker considering such a product should call the sales and marketing department at Applied Business Software for a specific quote centered on their particular private money lending operation and its requirements.
By Stephen Breden