Wells Fargo sells e-mortgage to Freddie Mac

Source: Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo Home Mortgage announced today that it has successfully sold an eMortgage to Freddie Mac.

The secondary market transaction was completed with the assistance of a team of technology companies that will provide digitally encrypted electronic documents, settlement services, closing and eDocument custody services.

This is the first of several eMortgages Wells Fargo Home Mortgage will process during the next several months with Greenlight Financial Services and its other electronic lending associates.

Freddie Mac and Wells Fargo Home Mortgage officials said the transaction using the Mortgage Industry Standards Maintenance Organization (MISMO) XML data standards holds the promise to reduce mortgage origination and processing times.

"We're extremely pleased with the progress we're making to create a better and faster mortgage lending process for the home buyer," said Eric Stoddard, an executive vice-president at Wells Fargo Funding, the correspondent division of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. "This is the next stage in the mortgage closing process, and wouldn't be possible without the collaboration of our technology and financial service associates."

Freddie Mac, one of the nation's largest investors in residential mortgages, has been a long-time advocate for streamlining the home-lending process through the widespread adoption of a paperless electronic mortgage technology.

"Today's announcement shows the potential time and financial savings that eMortgages can provide to America's borrowers and lenders," said Paul Mullings, Freddie Mac's senior vice-president of Single Family Sourcing. "It underscores the reality that eMortgages succeed when a team of providers works together so our lenders can get the most from each new innovation, no matter who developed it."

The latest milestone in the "paperless" revolution began on Dec. 14, 2005, when the Irvine, California-based Greenlight Financial Services electronically originated a single family mortgage using Freddie Mac's Internet-based automated underwriting service, Loan Prospector.com. Veri-docs.com, the settlement agent, then used Fiserv Lending Solutions' eLending platform to electronically close the eMortgage using the MISMO SMART Doc category 1 electronic note, developed by VMP Mortgage Solutions, a Wolters Kluwer Financial Services brand family.

Wells Fargo Funding purchased the eMortgage from Greenlight Financial Services and, in turn, sold it to Freddie Mac after the loan was certified by Wells Fargo Document Custody.

"The ability to expedite transactions electronically is the perfect extension to our online business, which draws customers seeking a streamlined lending experience," said Stacey Sommer, senior vice president of Greenlight Financial Services. "Our customers are very enthusiastic about the speed and ease that this technology brings to the lending process."

Fiserv Lending Solutions is the eVault vendor, and provided the connection to the MERS eRegistry, which identifies the owner and custodian for registered eNotes. Wells Fargo Document Custody is the custodian of record in the registry. This is the first electronic transaction where a third party custodian has been involved in an eMortgage transaction on the MERS eRegistry.

"It's only fitting that Freddie Mac and Wells Fargo Home Mortgage can now benefit from using the MERS eRegistry as the industry standard solution for identifying the owner and custodian of eNotes," said R.K. Arnold, President & CEO of MERS. "After all, both organizations have been strong supporters of MERS and the MERS eRegistry and are industry leaders in the advancement of eMortgages."

Both Wells Fargo Home Mortgage and Freddie Mac are pleased with the results of the process test.

"There's still a great deal of fine-tuning to be done," said Stoddard, "but we're clearly on the path to developing the environment to create and sell e-notes throughout the industry."

"The lessons we learned working with Wells Fargo and the different providers also helped us accelerate the publication of our eMortgage purchasing standards to December 22, 2005," added Mullings. "By clarifying our requirements for e-documents in the mortgage loan file, and their care and storage throughout the life of a loan, we can support the markets' adoption of eMortgages."

Freddie Mac purchased its first eMortgage on Oct. 2, 2000, the day after the federal E-SIGN law took effect and ushered in the possibility of using electronic documents for consumer financial transactions. Since then, Freddie Mac, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage and the mortgage industry have worked to develop uniform standards through MISMO to guide the development and implementation of eMortgage technology.

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