Industry NewsTechnology

Not everyone on same electronic page in real estate

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Year after year, at conference after conference, mortgage technology leaders insist that paper-based housing transfers are about to give way to electronic alternatives. Yet, time has proven these predictions well off the mark, at best, and at worst, a pipe dream. None of this is to be taken as criticism of the e-faithful like Gary Clark, chief information officer, Pasadena, Calif.-based IndyMac Bank, which will lend $60 billion in mortgages this year. Clark says proudly that every page of documents sent to IndyMac, "is originated and sent electronically and virtually all underwritten electronically." Formed in 1985 as a REIT (Real Estate Investment Trust), today IndyMac is a depository (bank); the ninth-largest mortgage originator in the country – second in alternative-A loans – with $19.6 billion in assets. Despite its full commitment to electrons over paper, Clark concedes the company must do business with "many people who have little incentive to provide data electro...