The COVID-19 virus is now impacting all ways of life here in the U.S., and chances are your mortgage lending team is experiencing some of the shockwaves. Just last week, the fed slashed interest rates, resulting in an unprecedented spike in refinances. This, combined with staffing concerns and other factors, are creating unusual circumstances for lenders. Here’s 4 ways your team can navigate the crisis, without losing the patience or trust of your borrowers.
Let your customers know they’re in good hands by always keeping communication open. If there’s one thing consumers want at a time like this, it’s transparency. Of course, they’ll want to know where they’re at in the application process, as well as who they can go to with questions.
Use Consumer-Permissioned Data
If you haven’t already done so, make sure you’re taking advantage of consumer-permissioned data during the application process. At a time like this, you’ll want to keep your borrowers as safe as possible, and one way to do that is by mitigating trips to the bank. Consumer-permissioned data enables applicants to grant lenders digital access to their financial info, without the hassle of providing hard-copies. Learn more about consumer-permissioned data here.
Consider Alternatives to Interior Appraisals
To carry out your equity lending transactions, you’ll need data from a current appraisal. However, due to the average appraiser age rising, and recent calls by the CDC for older Americans to stay home, having an on-site appraiser can be risky. Given these circumstances, consider switching to Automated Valuation Models (AVMs) or other alternative methods so that an appraiser doesn’t have to enter the home. Data Facts’ Verisite Photo Report enables the borrower to upload property photos directly from their mobile device, without the need for an appraiser. Learn more about the Verisite Photo Report here.
Expect the Unexpected
There’s no doubt that over the past few weeks, unforeseen circumstances have hit many of your customers first-hand, and that could affect their loans pre-closing. If any of your customers work in the travel or food industries, there’s a good chance they’ve been trying to stay afloat working reduced hours. Maybe their credit scores were impacted due to frequent credit card use. In either case, be prepared to deal with situations like this, and have a plan to address these scenarios.