California-based Comstock Mortgage started down that road, but noticed significant limitations and abandoned the effort well before it was implemented. So Comstock decided to look for a best in class paperless document management solution, one that was independent from its LOS yet would mirror their existing workflow. Comstock chose the VirPack Document Management System. VirPack is an industry leader in document manage- ment and eDelivery technology; solely focused on delivering the most efficient solution possible for 15 years.
Comstock Mortgage handles approximately $65 million in mortgages each month through five branches in the Sacramento, California area. Until last year, Comstock was a paper-only mortgage banker and broker with 140 employees handling more than 250 loans per month.
“We were in love with paper,” said Comstock Mortgage President Gary Clark. “After loans would close we would scan an image of a loan file and retain it on our server. But then we would have one PDF document of 400 pages or more. And if you needed to look for a specific item within that document, you literally had to scroll through each page of the PDF file to find it.”
Comstock’s mission is to provide a higher level of customer service through a wide variety of financial and real estate loan programs with competitive rates to succeed in the marketplace. That focus drove Comstock’s decision to implement a paperless document management solution. Initially Comstock looked at using the imaging capabilities on its existing LOS but found it difficult to locate documents and hard to understand which version of a particular document was the most current available. The LOS solution also lacked all the capabilities processors and underwriters needed to eliminate their use of paper.
“We started to see if our LOS’s imaging and document management capabilities would work on the front end, at the origination of our loan. But it was just a situation where it was too cumbersome,” Clark said. “The LOS just didn’t provide all the capabilities our staff needed to meet our needs and enable us to achieve the highest level of efficiency.”
VirPack’s Ease of Use
Comstock realized the paperless transition was an opportunity to make document handling easier, more efficient, and ultimately more profitable for the business. In particular, Comstock wanted a paperless solution that replicates the workflow that served the company well for 20 years.
The company turned to VirPack’s Document Management and eDelivery system. Clark said VirPack’s ability to provide different views by user category and its capability to separate the documents according to Comstock’s unique nomenclature were important features.
￼￼￼￼￼“It presents a view of a file and documents within the file that mirrors the paper file. It makes it much easier to find documents and data within the documents,” Clark said. “It absolutelyCelebrating 15Years replicates our workflow from when we were paper only. It also provides the ability to define the task management and workflow to fit Comstock’s unique workflow. ”
In consultation with Comstock, VirPack suggested implementing VirPack’s Document Management and eDelivery solution beginning with the end of the mortgage process. Starting with the shipping and post-closing funding components allowed for a smooth transition into a totally paperless document management environment.
“This approach gave us the opportunity to make sure we named documents in the electronic files consistently. In other words, after the dust had settled around the origination, processing, and settling of a loan, you could take the file and make sure the documents are recognized,” Clark said. “Then we pushed it into the work flow from the back end forward, ultimately refining the delivery of those files to our investors for loan purchasing.”
VirPack’s investor delivery capabilities were an added bonus. VirPack had more than 75 percent of Comstock’s investor delivery requirements pre-defined in their system. Once Comstock created a paperless loan file, the VirPack system would transmit the paperless loan package to each investor in the format they required. The origination and IT staff had to do nothing extra to make that happen.
Document Management-Specific Training Drives Change for the Better
The implementation method also provided crucial training for Comstock employees. VirPack technical experts conducted three training sessions to make sure key members of the Com- stock staff were comfortable with all aspects of the system and to help build user confidence. “Change is difficult. Everyone tends to like routine and sometimes can be resistant to change. Certainly going from a paper environment to a paperless environment is a big change, both in terms of our loan funders and underwriters who are used to working with paper,” Clark said. “It’s always good to bring in an expert who knows best practices and efficiencies for paper- less document management and who can be there on site to quickly answer questions and overcome anxiety individual users may be having.”
Clark said the most challenging aspect was developing comfort for underwriters who want to be able to touch and feel documents. But he said with the LOS and VirPack EC running side-by-side, the result is a virtual replication of the paper-only environment on the VirPack platform.
“The VirPack Document Management System is working very well for us. Your image docu- ments are on one monitor and your LOS system to review data is on the other monitor. That is much like how you would underwrite a paper file. You would have the paper file open while looking at data on the screen. The only difference now is that you are looking at two screens,” Clark said.
Celebrating 15Years Comstock had the VirPack System installed and fully operational, both front end and back end for all branches complete with staff training, in less than five months. The company is now using every feature available in the most current version of the VirPack System. Clark sees growth potential for Comstock thanks to the solution VirPack offers.
VirPack’s EC is a Catalyst for Growth
“I certainly believe it gives us the opportunity to grow. This system will allow us to have people that aren’t physically within the confines of our office performing work for us. Now that we are implementing remote based staff into our business we are able to bring on experienced staff that helps our business around the clock,” Clark said.
Clark said he was impressed by VirPack’s capability to deliver and maintain a system as robust as a document management platform needs to be. But he also emphasized VirPack’s ability to be nimble and react to the customer needs.
“As we talked to people in the industry who were already users of the VirPack system, one of the things we liked about VirPack, was their openness to take information from their users and implement changes. They are a company willing to take the input and are constantly working to expand and refine their system,” Clark said. Clark noted the addition of features like automated document recognition and indexing (ADI) and on-image annotations are real game-changers for VirPack and ultimately for lenders.
“Because document management is VirPack’s sole focus, they have created a document management system that supports all of the nuances that we needed to provide our staff to get them to make the transition from paper,” Clark said. “That really makes a big difference for us as it was a key reason why our staff adopted it so quickly.”
VirPack is the leading provider of document management and eDelivery solutions forthe mortgage industry. Founded in 1998, VirPack has pioneered many industry firsts and on-boarded virtually every major investor. VirPack’s award-winning technology drives the industry’s premier eDelivery solution and its end-to-end paperless platform, Enterprise Center. VirPack simplifies business processes throughout every step of the loan process resulting in increased efficiencies and significant enterprise-wide cost savings.