For the launch of its fully integrated, start-to-finish loan origination software, Ross Mortgage-a private independent lender-has tapped Mortgage Builder, a software system by Mortgage Builder Software, Inc., (MBSI), Southfield, Mich. Ross officials expected to go live with Mortgage Builder in early January.
Mortgage Builder allows loan origination, approval, closing and seamless transition to a servicing company if the mortgage is sold, said Keven Smith, president of MBSI. The system allows data warehousing and interfaces with lending systems used by mortgage servicing companies and federal lending agencies Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.
"Mortgage Builder represents a state-of-the-art origination processing, underwriting and closing system," said Tim Ross, president of Oak Park, Mich.-based Ross Mortgage.
Seamlessness brings down the lender's operating costs. And it allows Ross' system to integrate with those at other companies with which it wants to partner, Ross noted. At presstime the lender was developing alliances with a real estate franchise and a financial planner.
Ross Mortgage makes about 2,000 first and second residential mortgages annually, worth $200 million to $250 million, most of them on a retail level. But Ross expects to do roughly 3,000 loans in the coming year, partly due to efficiencies the new software allows and to the partnerships the lender is forming.
At Ross, Mortgage Builder replaces software by Glenn Computer, MBSI's parent company. The older system was DOS-based and included some redundancies that required employees to input more data than Mortgage Builder. The new system automatically enters information into relevant fields as a loan goes from application to approval to servicing.
Ross Mortgage also replaced its system because it wanted something Windows-based, which will better allow for the company's growth and make it more attractive to potential employees, Ross said.
Besides Mortgage Builder, Ross officials also considered software by Dynatech and Gallagher. They chose Mortgage Builder because of cost- although Ross declined to provide specifics-and MBSI's and Glenn's reputations.
The advantage of Mortgage Builder over competing systems is that "it's written by us, not something that's been done by the mergers of different companies," Smith said. He described competing products as either DOS-based, aging or hybrids with DOS- or Windows-based front ends but DOS-based internal infrastructures that lack adequate functionality.
MBSI also offers a Web-hosting service for its clients, although Ross Mortgage isn't using it. MBSI tailors the depth of its service to the company's needs and if necessary can create and manage complete Web sites, Smith said, noting that customers prefer a complete package-front-to-end software and a Web site-from a single supplier.