On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the fast-spreading coronavirus outbreak to be a global pandemic. By mid-March, cases had been identified in all 50 states, and massive disruption to Americans’ day-to-day lives had set in. Aside from the devastating effects on human life, the outbreak is already having considerable impact on employment, business, and the supply chain, with an increasing probability of profound impacts on the U.S. housing and mortgage markets.
With the U.S. responding to the growing cases of COVID-19, the lives of millions of Americans have been placed on hold. Everything seems to have stopped – including the purchase of a new home or even refinancing an existing mortgage. General uncertainty in the market and among the public could impact not only the willingness of prospective home buyers to transact, but also that of lenders to lend and retain business. The ripple effect of the pandemic has many in the mortgage industry wondering how to move forward.
The negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on overall home purchases remains to be seen, but Q2 and Q3 have traditionally been the seasonal peaks for purchase lending. Even before the crisis, the market had seen a surge in refinance applications in response to historically low interest rates. Now, there are millions of homeowners with a pressing need to potentially tap into their home equity or refinance to reduce their mortgage payments. The mortgage process needs to continue moving forward.
Obviously, social distancing makes it difficult for homeowners, loan officers, real estate agents and title professionals to execute traditional closings. But that doesn’t mean the process has to stop altogether. The same access powering the now remote-working world can also keep loan closing pipelines moving. A fully digital closing process takes the need for face-to face meetings out of the equation.
As a result of years of investment and innovation in digital mortgage technology, Black Knight has enabled much, if not all, of the mortgage application and closing process to happen online and remotely. This means that lending – particularly refinance lending – can continue unabated, and help to move the market forward for some time, even in the midst of this global health crisis. There’s no need to press pause on home loan closings.
Lenders, title agents and home buyers can keep their loan closings on track with Expedite® Close, Black Knight’s end-to-end eClose solution. Expedite Close is a complete workflow management platform that encompasses e-signature, e-document fulfillment and delivery, and robust audit and post-closing capabilities. With Expedite Close, all participants can seamlessly collaborate on and facilitate a full digital close from the comfort and safety of their homes.
The solution’s embedded rules and workflow identifies such factors as jurisdiction requirements, settlement agent processes, consumer preferences and investor requirements – so users don’t have to. Expedite Close easily integrates with loan origination systems, internal processes, title and escrow software solutions, and document providers so any user involved in the real estate transaction can continue to conduct business easily.
Expedite Close is designed to be user-friendly and simple to use – even for the consumer. They can view their loan status, review their closing package in advance and e-sign important documents through the easy to use, secure online portal. Times and circumstances may have changed, but providing an exemplary customer experience doesn’t have to.
With Expedite Close, users have the ability to:
- Consolidate data and documents from multiple systems
- Present information in a secure portal
- Provide user-centric views
- Facilitate seamless online interactions between all parties
- Support users’ current processes
- Enable secure online collaboration between everyone involved in the transaction
Closings shouldn’t have to wait in this new social distancing environment. It is critical for real estate and mortgage industry participants to have the right technology partners in days such as this. A partner that has a truly holistic view of the mortgage and housing life cycle is essential.
Black Knight’s Expedite Close can provide the digital closing experience your customers need. Get started today to experience the benefits of digital closings and learn more about how Black Knight’s unique eClosing solution is unmatched in the industry.