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Feb 19, 2021


COVID-19 has changed the way most people-centric businesses operate – and the mortgage industry is no different. Over the last year, the pandemic has pushed mortgage companies to take a more modern and scalable approach to how they do business.

Here are a few short-term changes we’ve seen that may result in long-term changes.

1. Adoption of contactless processes

In response to COVID, some investors relaxed their guidelines for appraisals to limit the face-to-face interactions. Drive-by, desktop, and curbside appraisals have become more commonplace. And it isn’t clear if things will go back to the way things were.*

Contactless processes save time, can speed closing, and may eventually become more accurate than in-person appraisals. Computer models and machine learning may be the future of valuation of a property. Experts could still be called in to confirm the results.

Remote notarization used to be a tool for only certain states, but realtor associations have been lobbying for this service to become permitted across the country. While we await a decision from Congress about remote authorization at the national level, many states have permitted remote notarization in some form, at least temporarily, due to COVID. And some have changed their laws permanently. At the outset of the pandemic, 23 states had passed remote notarization laws. This number increased to 28 states in less than a year. If Congress passes the law, in-person closings may eventually become a thing of the past. *

* Coronavirus: Federal and state government work quickly to enable remote online notarization to meet global crisis” DLA Piper, January 2021,

2. Digital self-service

When rates hit historical lows this spring, lenders were so inundated with inquiries that some were forced to implement self-service just to keep up. Tools like mobile apps, calculators, online mortgage applications, chatbots, and instant rate locks were introduced to allow customers to answer their own questions rather than calling a broker. As an increasing percentage of millennials enter the housing market, they will no longer have the patience for slow and difficult processes. Instant access to answers will become increasingly important.

Click here to learn more about Caliber Wholesale’s digital verification of employment and income with H2O

3. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML)

As COVID-19 settled in, AI tools such as auto-classification of documents, auto-extraction of data, integration of data from internal and external sources, and scanning social media and the internet for employment verification and risk profiles, among other tasks, have seen an acceleration in adoption.

One might think that people would shy away from automated methods of scrutiny, but according to this National Mortgage Professional Magazine article, 70% of Americans would happily provide more personal information if it resulted in a fairer or more favorable credit position.

As more companies are introducing AI and ML software for mortgages, it may become a requirement merely to stay competitive. It seems that while technological advancements are inevitable, COVID played a huge role in speeding up the process.

Caliber Home Loans, Inc. is dedicated to staying ahead of the game with the most effective technology available. Partner with us today.



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