How to Keep Your Mortgage Documents Safe and Secure
Did you happen to read The New York Time’s Bucks Blog on March 14? Blogger Jennifer Saranow Schultz ponders whether a “mortgage cloud of sorts exists” for mortgage lenders. The answer, I gathered from both the post and from reader comments, was, “Eh, kinda.”
Schultz reached out to Bank of America and Chase to see if they still handled paper applications or turned that paper into electronic documents for faster retrieval (alluding to increased customer satisfaction and a reduction in lost documents). Only Chase responded, saying it has scanned mortgage docs since 2009.
No word on how Chase handles the docs after they’re scanned, but a spokesperson says the company has a way to workflow mortgage documents and determine if a borrower’s file is missing critical pieces. And underwriters can access docs from their computer rather than by marching over to a filing cabinet.
But, it would be even better if a disconnect between lenders and borrowers didn’t persist, as readers passionately commented on. Citing various financial institutions, they lamented lost mortgage documents and delays in the application process – some resulting in deals gone sour.
Delays are one thing. In some instances, you can trace that back to inefficiencies on the employee side (heavy workload, pressing priorities, extended vacation). But lost documents are quite another.
Lost documents present a security issue. If a financial institution cannot account for documents brimming with a customer’s personal information – well, that’s bad. Who has that information? Why do they have it and how will they use it? This is the kind of stuff that drives a bank’s customer service, public relations, legal department and management team nuts.
If it’s not a flat out security breach but rather the matter of an outdated and complicated filing processes, how best to retrieve the lost information? Asking the customer for duplicate paperwork – as evidence by Bucks Blog reader response – does not inspire confidence.
Many banks were early adopters of imaging technology. But, articles like this have me scratching my head. Why did they stop with scan and retrieve?
Today, enterprise content management solutions are addressing many more problems than the inefficiencies of paper. Auditability and security of documents is paramount, as is a solution that keeps pace with new and emerging industry banking regulations. An example: Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance. Some ECM solutions are doing their part by encrypting images and index values, helping banks comply with new PCI laws.