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<p>VIENNA, Va. – Navy FCU didn’t get to be the largest credit union mortgage lender in the country by taking members’ applications and processing them the old fashioned way. The $16-billion credit union is constantly studying its mortgage handling procedures and looking for ways to streamline the front and back ends of the mortgage process. Navy’s “eMortgage” transaction is one of the credit union’s latest endeavors. “eMortgage makes life a lot easier for the member, and makes the mortgage process more efficient for us on the backend,” says Lou Jennings, executive vice president of Navy FCU’s mortgage department. Among eMortgage’s benefits for Navy FCU, it allows the credit union to sell the mortgage on the secondary market within seconds and get a better price for it. It also means the credit union can record the document in minutes, “rather than in weeks,” said Jennings. Just as important, by making it possible for Navy FCU to process members’ mortgages electronically, eMortgage is an opportunity for the CU to reduce its paper load. For a credit union like Navy that has more than 2 million members and which closed $3.4 billion in mortgage loans in 2001, that would make for a lot of paperwork. eMortgage is being rolled out in three-release phases. Navy FCU began the rollout of eMortgage in September 2001 with the “eLien” portion because, Jennings explained, “it was the easiest piece of the three to do and involved the fewest people.” Navy partnered with Fairfax County, Va. for this release because the credit union is headquartered in the county and many of its members live there. The credit union used ingeo’s Electronic Recording System-a suite of software and services automating the paperless creation, authorization, validation and distribution of digital real estate documents-as the technology for eLien. Rather than sending paper forms, on the eLien process Navy FCU transmits electronic data for lien releases to Fairfax County. The County records the release “within seconds” and sends a digital confirmation to Navy. The credit union in turn pays the release fees by ACH. The entire process is digitally automated and confirmations are received in seconds. To date, Navy FCU has submitted more than 1,500 eLien releases, and the process has been expanded to Orange County in California and Maricopa County, Ariz. Four more counties are expected to sign on to eLien in the coming months. With eLien in production, Navy FCU is now piloting the second release – eClosing. The credit union describes it as “the electronic signing of the closing documents and electronic delivery of the note to investors.” Jennings says it is “a slick process.” Navy FCU worked with BridgeSpan Inc., a leading provider of technology and settlement service solutions to the mortgage industry, for the eClosing release. In an eClosing, the mortgage processor/closer creates and posts the closing documents on BridgeSpan’s secure Web site – eMortgageAxis. The settlement agent then accesses eMortgageAxis, reviews the documents, prepares the final closing package, and obtains all the necessary electronic signatures to close the loan. Members can either receive a set of the mortgage documents on paper, on a CD ROM or disk. eClosing also includes delivering the loans to investors for sale on the secondary market. The final release in the eMortgage transaction is eRecording, which entails electronically recording the lien on the property. Navy FCU expects to begin the pilot for eRecording in the fourth quarter 2002 with Fairfax County, Va. “eMortgage won’t necessary increase Navy FCU’s mortgage portfolio, but it will make the entire mortgage lending process more efficient for our members and for the credit union,” says Jennings, and that’s always been the credit union’s ultimate goal of the transaction. -</p> <p>[email protected]</p>

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