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I did not participate in the ActiveRain/DocuSign Going Paperless In Your Business Challenge back in February 2011, but I have made progress in eliminating use of paper over the last year. It would have been interesting however, to have been able to go back and see how much of what I have done would have been include in a plan back in February 2011.
It is very hard to eliminate the use of paper in the Mortgage Industry, because the format for most of what I do is dictated by others. There are company procedures, as well as Banking Commission, and Industry guidelines that I have to follow. Many of those procedures involve documentation that have to accompany every loan. There are disclosures that have to be given to each Borrower, as well as document that have to be collected from each Borrower like, paystubs, bank statements, W2's, sales contracts, etc.
Between the Mortgage Application, Loan Disclosures, and documents that need to be collected from each Borrower I can end up with a mountain of paperwork on each loan. So how have I been able to cut back on some of my paper usage over the last year.
Each loan package that I turn in, I use to make a duplicate copy of the Mortgage Application, Loan Disclosures, and documents that need to be collected from each Borrower. I would then keep the duplicate file in my office in a locked file cabinet in case the Underwriter misplaced anything that I had turned in. One the loan Closed I would shredded all the duplicate documents following the Closing.
That created a couple of problems. First in stead of creating one mountain of paper, I was creating two mountains. Second I only had access to the file if I was in the office, and if the Borrower called me for information about one of the documents I had to wait until I was back in the office to give them the information that they needed.
What I have been doing for the last year in stead of making a duplicate paper copy, I have been scanning the documents and saving them to a folder that I create in Microsoft Outlook for each Borrower. This has not only reduce a huge amount of paper, it has also made me much more efficient. By creating an Outlook Folder I can access the information from my laptop no matter where I happen to be, and it also allows me to save every e-mail that I send or receive from each Borrower in the same folder. Once the loan Closes all I have to do is delete the folder, in stead of having to take time out of my day to shred everything. Also by scanning each file I have freed up a ton of file cabinet space that I can now allocate to something else.
I would love to eliminate printing out Mortgage Applications and Disclosures, and just save them to a Microsoft Word File that could be electronically signed, and a copy either e-mailed to the borrower or copied to a disk. Hopefully that is in my future, but until Company, Banking, and Industry Guidelines are changed to allow that, I am very limited to how much more paper I will be able to reduce. However, I do plan on taking a closer look at some things that I do have control over like printing out schedules, agendas, and new program guidelines. These are things that I should be able to save to computer folder, and access them much like I do now with the Outlook Folders that I have created for my Borrowers.
Hopefully I will have more to report on the next time that ActiveRain revisits our progress in reducing our usage of paper. If nothing else the ActiveRain/DocuSign Going Paperless In Your Business Challenge has cause me to try to come up with more ways to reduce paper.
George Souto is a Loan Officer who can assist you with all your FHA, CHFA, and Conventional mortgage needs in Connecticut. George resides in Middlesex County which includes Middletown, Middlefield, Durham, Cromwell, Portland, Higganum, Haddam, East Haddam, Chester, Deep River, and Essex. George can be contacted at (860) 573-1308 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.