Caliber Home Loans, Inc. ("Caliber") has announced a new mobile platform designed to simplify the loan process for borrowers and key players in the homebuying and mortgage financing chain.
The platform features three mobile phone apps customized for borrowers, Caliber’s sales force, real estate agents and homebuilders. The apps provide efficient and effective communication among all parties from home shopping to as far as servicing the loan. “We are a retail shop that provides hi-tech services to our borrowers,” said Caroline Watteeuw, Executive Vice President and head of technology at Caliber. “We took a track that really would reflect what Caliber stands for. Rather than just slamming an app into our system, we needed to create a virtual family of apps with the goal of putting a borrower into a home. That’s what we set out to do.”
Caliber ranked eighth among the top mortgage lenders in 2017, originating $43.7 billion for the year, according to Inside Mortgage Finance.
In creating the new technology, the nonbank lender had in mind consumers who prefer to manage their finances through their cell phones. The effort produced three mobile apps, one for borrowers, another for loan officers and brokers, and a third for real estate agents and homebuilders.
Each of the apps is customized to provide easy access to all points in the mortgage process, allowing real estate agents and builders to communicate with the borrower and each other, borrowers to track the progress of their loan application, and loan officers to close loans even faster.
The process begins with the real estate agent and homebuilder, who help the borrower look for a house that meets his or her needs. With the Caliber Mypipeline app, they can track their shared Caliber loan pipeline even when they are out of the office. They can view the loan’s status in real time, key dates, contacts and comments. The app also allows them to see all loan notifications in a single screen.
In addition, Mypipeline users can search for Caliber loan consultants, check their information and contact them by email, phone or other means of electronic communication. They may even invite borrowers or potential borrowers to apply for a Caliber loan. The second app, CaliberH2O, helps loan officers, loan consultants, broker partners and non-delegated clients search for the appropriate loan product for the borrower. They can also use it to price and lock loans and access off-sheet pricing. After the loan application is submitted, CaliberH2O users can view the loan’s contacts, key dates, loan conditions, loan status and disclosure history. “What we’re trying to do is free them up from a physical office, a physical desk, a physical laptop,” Watteeuw explained. “Everything they currently do they can do on their app remotely. Their work sort of moves with them; they don’t have to go into their apps to upload and track.”
Finally, Caliber Home Loans for Borrowers helps consumers connect during the origination process and manage their loans after closing. With the app, borrowers can track their loan as it moves through the pipeline. They also can opt for automatic notification on any type of issue or problem, as well as loan approval or denial.
After the loan closes, borrowers can view their account info, make payments and arrange recurring payments, and edit their profile. In addition, they can view their escrow account and payment history, and request removal of private mortgage insurance. “The entire process is supportive of the borrower, all the way from working with a real estate agent to servicing,” said Watteeuw. “The borrower app also supports Caliber’s servicing platform, so it becomes the borrower’s servicing app post-closing.”
The three mobile apps are secure, according to Watteeuw. Information is encrypted and sensitive data are never stored in the app. Access is password-protected, although some consumers prefer a thumbprint or facial recognition.
“The iPhone 10 has facial recognition software, but not everybody would be willing to drop $1,000 on an iPhone,” the executive noted. “However, our mobile apps have gone through third-party security scans and another firm reviewed the codes. I can say we have very secure apps.”
Customers can also go to iTunes or the Android market and download the borrower app, which provides another level of security, said Watteeuw.
“The mobile apps are not just about time savings,” she said. “There is a large percentage of the population that is doing everything on their mobile devices. So, the apps free people to do what they want or need to do on their phones remotely.”