Points of View

Get inspiration on data monetization from Ellie Mae and Persistent’s innovative and client-focused mortgage initiative

HFS expects the US mortgage market to be worth nearly $3 trillion in 2020, the second-largest annual volume in US history. Over 43% of processed mortgages flow through Ellie Mae, a cloud-based mortgage technology company that serves lenders, and is focused on automating and streamlining, originating, and funding new mortgages while ensuring regulatory compliance. Ellie Mae’s success is rooted in a simple philosophy: Automate everything automatable in the residential mortgage industry. To do this, the firm needed a partner that was aligned with their mission and had the technical expertise to bring viable solutions to the table. Business, data, and analytics leaders will find great value in Ellie Mae’s example of data modernization.


Automating in the mortgage industry means coming to grips with complex processes and mining mountains of data


Ellie Mae’s mantra is straightforward enough, but behind it sits a profoundly complex world. Many of us don’t realize how these complicated financial instruments are processed from origination to funding. The average mortgage application, for example, can have over 20,000 fields in it that range from financial and property information to details on regulatory compliance. Regulatory compliance in the US has hundreds of variations, with different flavors by state, county, and city thrown into the mix. What is left for Ellie Mae is a very rich but complex data pool.


At HFS, our industry research has pointed to the biggest challenge in mortgage origination revolving around data and documents (see Exhibit 1). Loan applications have gone digital, and buyers submit most of the required documentation electronically. However, lenders must still move documentation through the origination process life cycle, which is fraught with complications, including the quality, validation, and verification of borrower-submitted documents. This document data challenge is an emerging opportunity for automation to improve services and different ecosystem partners to offer enhanced data and analytics-based services. Ellie Mae’s example is exactly where we see the industry going.

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