Royal dis­cov­ers help is just a phone call (or four) away

CREDIT UNION: ROYAL CU CAT­E­GORY: LOAN PRO­CESS­ING NOM­I­NATED BY: ROYAL CU

Credit Union Journal - - Special Report - BY W.B. KING

WITH A SIG­NIF­I­CANT NUM­BER OF NEW loans sold to Fan­nie Mae each year, Royal Credit Union’s em­ploy­ees be­gan to voice con­cerns about the in­creas­ing com­plex­ity in the Fan­nie Mae guide­lines, which made the home loan process time con­sum­ing and cum­ber­some.

“Process in­ef­fi­cien­cies on Fan­nie Mae loans re­quired sig­nif­i­cant ex­tra time spent on each loan file due to re­triev­ing ad­di­tional doc­u­men­ta­tion, re-re­view­ing added doc­u­men­ta­tion,” said Royal CU Vice Pres­i­dent of Mort­gage Lend­ing Matt Ger­ber.

Royal’s home loans depart­ment of­fers nearly two dozen loan pro­grams, in­clud­ing new con­struc­tion, sec­ond home, va­cant lot, ru­ral devel­op­ment and home eq­uity. “Mem­bers had to go through more hoops than needed and team mem­bers had to spend more time than needed,” said Ger­ber.

In an ef­fort to stream­line op­er­a­tions, the $2 bil­lion, Eau Claire, Wis.-based credit union con­tact- ed Fan­nie Mae and “en­gaged in a multi-phase dis­cus­sion” to im­prove pro­cesses, said Ger­ber.

TEAM­ING UP WITH FAN­NIE MAE

Af­ter four phone calls to­tal­ing 20 hours with three lead un­der­writ­ers from Fan­nie Mae and the Royal Home Loans lead­er­ship team, which in­cluded the un­der­writ­ing su­per­vi­sor, re­gional sales man­ager, op­er­a­tions man­ager, pro­cess­ing man­ager, mort­gage loan of­fi­cer, and the vice pres­i­dent of home loan sales, progress was re­al­ized.

“The group sched­uled one hour to ad­dress each sit­u­a­tion that had been ‘gray’ and cre­ate more black and white guide­lines,” said Ger­ber. “Clar­ity, for ex­am­ple, was needed on how to dis­tin­guish be­tween suf­fi­cient or non-suf­fi­cient credit ref­er­ences.”

Doc­u­mented ex­am­ple top­ics in­cluded the treat­ment of dif­fer­ent types/sta­tuses of stu­dent loans, qual­ity of a bor­rower’s trade lines, bor­row­ers who are work­ing and go­ing back to school or re-en­ter­ing the work­force, and treat­ment of re-submitted ap­pli­ca­tions, ex­plained Ger­ber.

Be­fore the dis­cus­sions, Royal Credit Union sold ap­prox­i­mately 1,400 loans to Fan­nie Mae an­nu­ally. Af­ter the dis­cus­sions, the credit union sold 2,000 an­nu­ally, mark­ing a 43 per­cent in­crease. Ad­di­tion­ally, team mem­bers saved an av­er­age of 20 min­utes per loan, which equates to a 55-hour sav­ings each month.

“This in­creased team mem­ber sat­is­fac­tion and en­gage­ment in the process,” said Ger­ber. “On av­er­age, it takes two hours to process each loan file. With the process ef­fi­ciency gains noted, the same num­ber of team mem­bers can process 27 more loans each month.”

Trevor and Sarah Ellef­son with their daugh­ter, Rylie, be­came ‘home sweet home­own­ers’ with a lit­tle help from Royal CU.

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