by William DiPaolo
We had hoped to roll out Roohmz Enterprise last April – its now the end of September and we are still working on it. Because we receive a lot of inquiries about when Roohmz will be ready, I thought I’d post an update for all to see.
First, I believe Roohmz will roll out before Christmas this year. The reality however is that Roohmz Enterprise is extremely complicated and functions very much like an operating system for mortgage production. And, as a result, if we discover some new as yet unexplored area we must venture into, further delays may occur. Sometimes you don’t see what needs to be done until you bump into an obstacle. If it helps, we all feel good about getting things tied down this year.
Roohmz is remarkably different from any other software in our industry. During development we must think through the human work of mortgage production in the smallest detail, then automate the work where possible via the software. This means that Roohmz does actual work on every loan that moves through the pipeline – and facilitates the process for borrowers, lenders and investors.
To give you an idea of the complexity of Roohmz Enterprise consider that the team working on it is the same that created Funding Suite, Cogent Road’s flagship software product. Funding Suite is the leading software platform for ordering and managing mortgage credit reports. It incorporates innovative technology such as our Intelligent Credit Report and individual accounting at the branch and user level. It is supported by a backend system, completely hidden from our users, that routes, tracks and manages all credit service orders placed through the system. Funding Suite is the only system to use digital imaging so that credit authorizations and other documentation can be instantly matched to each order – giving Funding Suite users some of the fastest service order completion rates available.
Our team designed, built and rolled out the first version of Funding Suite in only 18 months. This was back in 2007.
Since then our team built the industry’s only Automated Valuation (computer generated appraisal) platform that used client defined business rules to ensure the correct automated valuations were ordered based on a wide assortment of loan criteria. It was also the first software to merge four different automated valuations into a single, comprehensive report. Unfortunately, the industry downturn in 2008 put the kibosh on acceptance of automated appraisals (for now).
This same team also created our Transaction Assurance Policy (TAP) software engine that, in partnership with AIG, used an insurance policy to guarantee a home’s value at the price the buyer was willing to pay for the home. It was (is) an amazing product that allowed mortgage lenders to get an INSTANT assessment of whether a home’s sales price qualified for the policy – entirely eliminating the need for an appraisal. We had a pilot set up with Bank of America – just at the time AIG got hit with the mortgage crises in 2008.
When we realized our Automated Appraisal engine and TAP were dead in the water – we turned our attention to the industry as a whole. We noticed that the meltdown occurred because the investor lacked transparency into the individual loans that made up its securitized investment vehicles. We also noticed that consumers themselves had no way to see how their loan was coming along – or if the lender needed anything from them. Further, there was no way for consumers to deliver confidential information to the lender (income and bank statements, tax returns, W2s, etc.), without sending them via e-mail. And we noticed that mortgage production was still being done manually – even though these lenders considered themselves paperless.
We knew if we could build a loan production system with intelligence founded in both the loan data AND the credit data (remember, Cogent Road cut our teeth on the Funding Suite credit platform), we could provide new efficiencies for borrowers, lenders and investors that have never existed before.
Fast forward four years later and we are just about to wrap up Roohmz Mortgage Enterprise. It has challenged us to create technologies never before conceived – and to perform business tasks that no software application in any industry can do. It is the creation of an engineering and design team that has worked together since 2005 – almost unheard of in the technology business. We know how to communicate with each other. We know how to solve problems together.
And we have created an idea that will prove well worth the wait.