Rhode Island-based Embrace Home Loans, a digitally focused mortgage lender, announced that its borrowers can now rapidly verify assets through a digital experience, eliminating the need for borrowers to print, copy, and email paper bank statements, thereby reducing the process to secure a mortgage by up to a week or more.
The innovation is a result of a software integration between Finicity, a provider of real-time financial data aggregation and insights, and Embrace's loan origination system. When borrowers apply for a mortgage online, they can simply give Embrace permission to generate a verification of assets report using data direct from their bank. This process is more secure than sending printed documents or electronic documents via fax or email. The new capability also enables Embrace to take advantage of Fannie Mae's Day 1 Certainty program, as Finicity is an approved report provider. This program provides lenders faster-documented loan approvals.
"This is a dramatically improved experience for Embrace and for our customers," said Embrace Home Loans CEO Dennis Hardiman. "With Finicity's help, we've removed one of the biggest sources of friction in the mortgage process, which is documenting the borrower's assets and income. It's a landmark development in our journey toward becoming a fully digital mortgage lender."
"More and more, customers expect services that they can access online via their phones or PCs, and it must be easy to understand and use," said Steve Smith, Finicity's CEO. "Embrace gets this, allowing us to work together to accelerate the mortgage process for borrowers while enabling them to retain total control over their financial information. We are excited to integrate with a digital innovator like Embrace."
Because Embrace is working directly with Finicity instead of going through a third-party vendor, the integration between the two companies is more flexible than similar arrangements. For example, Embrace is able to collect complete bank statements, which it can use to help assess a borrower's income and cash flow. This is particularly helpful for self-employed borrowers, who often have difficulties verifying income because they are paid irregularly. For loan approval purposes, self-employed borrowers can now use cash flow data in their bank statements instead of tax forms.
"Ensuring a borrower's assets and income in just minutes not only lets us streamline approvals, we're also removing hurdles for non-conventional loan borrowers as well," Hardiman said. "After years of watching frustrated borrowers wrestle with requesting, copying and scanning paper bank statements, we're now seeing loans sail through our system. In a word, it's breathtaking. And our customers couldn't be happier."