Recognizing an opportunity to consolidate its data, automate its loan processing systems and update to a Windows-based solution at the same time, SouthTrust Mortgage (Birmingham, Ala.), a subsidiary of SouthTrust Bank ($51.7 billion in total assets), first completed the implementation of a loan origination and processing solution from Fiserv (Brookfield, Wis.) in 2001. The bank had previously utilized a DOS-based loan origination solution from Gallagher Financial Systems (Coral Gables, Fla.) in collaboration with Fiserv's loan servicing product MortgageServ, according to Mary Beth Hill, vice president, automated underwriting and training manager, SouthTrust Mortgage.
Implementing Fiserv's UniFi PRO Mortgage system was a relatively easy decision, relates Hill, and the product eliminated the need for the Gallagher system because it handles the entire loan process. "With Gallagher we were using a front-end system to originate, process, underwrite and close, and we had a separate [Fiserv] servicing system," says Hill. "Since our servicing system was already a Fiserv product, now we can use Fiserv all through the loan process, from the beginning to the very end for the customer."
SouthTrust's previous relationship with Fiserv gave the lender confidence in its selection, Hill says. Fiserv's quality customer service was an important factor, too. "We have had good communication with Fiserv, and they were great on the customer end with helping us out," says Hill. "That was one of the top reasons we chose them."
Since implementing UniFi PRO Mortgage was an easy decision, upgrading to Fiserv's UniFi PRO Mortgage eX loan origination and processing solution in October 2003 was a no-brainer. The upgrade immediately boosted the lender's ability to automate the loan processing workflow, according to Hill.
From the start, the financial institution was impressed with the features of the UniFi PRO Mortgage eX upgrade, she says. Hill explains that the product has an auto-tasking feature that seamlessly performs the tasks that a loan officer would have previously done manually, such as order a birth certificate, for example. When the loan process reaches a given point, the system automatically performs the necessary task, without the intervention of a loan officer, Hill explains.
"The computer is automatically doing a lot more tasks for us," she says. "In addition, the computer automatically sends messages [to a processor or loan officer] when the underwriter approves a loan." The system also includes a calculator to help loan officers when customers come in with inquiries about loans or debt consolidation.
But perhaps the most valuable aspect of the upgrade, Hill suggests, is its ability to allow more than one bank employee to work on different parts of the loan application process simultaneously, without switching applications. "Loan officers are able to lock loans, and as we go through the process, everyone is working on the same file and seeing that same exact thing," explains Hill. "Whether you are a loan officer or an underwriter or closer, that exact same information is housed in there, and we are not having to go back and forth between systems."
Finally, UniFi PRO Mortgage eX's capacity to grow sealed the deal, says Hill. SouthTrust plans to add more options to the loan processing solution's auto-tasking feature, adds Hill. "We knew that they wanted to grow and expand and they were headed the way technology is going and we loved that," she asserts. "We knew they were going to take us down a path of where we wanted to go to be advanced in technology."
Institution: SouthTrust Mortgage (Birmingham, Ala.), a subsidiary of SouthTrust Bank.
Assets: $51.7 billion total.
Business Challenge: Integrate loan processing systems.
Solution: Fiserv's (Brookfield, Wis.) UniFi PRO Mortgage loan origination and processing application and eX upgrade.