Mortgage company wants software to pick up the pace

Ivan Wahl hasn’t mortgaged the company’s future on the new financial software, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t expecting big things.

The chairman of Toronto-based Xceed Mortgage Corp. says it has signed a five-year deal

worth up to $2 million with Basis100 Inc. for its mortgage processing software, BasisXpress Inc. Xceed is a former subsidiary of the Bank of Montreal and specializes in non-conforming residential mortages as an independent provider. BasisXpress is an operating system built on Powerbsae and specifically caters to the business rules and processes of the mortgage industry, integrating corporate lending policy into workflow, data processing and document management.

Xceed already had a close link with Basis100 — Wahl, who is also vice-chairman and a director. He says he is expecting the see improvements on two fronts.

“”It eliminates a lot of the paper that usually flows in the mortgage business, and as a result of that brings us some economies of scale and efficiency that would normally be related only to a much larger company,”” Wahl says, adding he expects to see paper consumption cut by 80 per cent.

“”Our company only has 22 employees and for us to go and develop from scratch this kind of software would be prohibitively expensive and yet it’s something that, when we purchased the system from Basis100, we were charged for it on a variable cost basis.””

Craig Focardi is the senior analyst, consumer credit group, TowerGroup headquartered in Needham, Mass. He has been studying the difference between the Canadian and American mortgage software markets. He describes processing software like BasisXpress as a “”significant productivity tool,”” and isn’t surprised a smaller player is looking for a technological edge.

“”While mortgage companies tend to be relatively late adopters in the United States, in Canada mortgage lenders and the brokers that source loans have been more aggressive adopters,”” Focardi says.

“”The mortgage broker phenomenon in Canada is recent and most brokers have entered the business in the last five years. They didn’t have old legacy systems to get rid of, so they’ve been fortunate to adopt software built on newer technology standards.””

Finding the technology, however, wasn’t easy. Wahl says it looked everywhere for a suitable product, but couldn’t find anything designed for Canadian lenders that was also available at a variable cost basis. Basis100 is serving as integrator and the installation is expected to take four-and-a-half months. The Toronto-based company will maintain and run all the software on its premises. Wahl says if it weren’t for productivity tools his office could use thin clients.

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