Lenders have largely automated the process of approving and servicing loans, so perhaps it’s only natural to automate the process of foreclosure.

Although only a small percentage of homes end up in foreclosure, that percentage is growing, and foreclosure is a complicated and time-consuming process.

Without a centralized system for tracking records, a foreclosure can create a jumble of faxes, e-mails and phone calls, with the details of a particular file residing mostly in the mind of the person — or people — handling it.

The only software applications available for automating the foreclosure process were developed years ago for the title insurance industry, not lenders, according to DepotPoint, which developed its TrackPoint application specifically for lenders.

TrackPoint is a Web-based solution that manages communications between everyone involved in the process, and tracks the status of each property from default to auction, said Chris Matty, vice president of marketing at DepotPoint.

“Our view was that deploying the latest technologies could bring efficiencies in certain areas,” Matty said. “A lot of the process is being done manually, — by fax, phone, e-mail, — there was no real centralized solution, to manage the process.”

The program’s “exception handling” capabilities allow the application to take complications such as bankruptcy and debt disputes in stride, Matty said.

Mortgage repurchasers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac set the fee for processing a foreclosure at $650. TrackPoint should help the trustees or attorneys who handle the work cut costs by 30 percent to 40 percent, Matty said.

DepotPoint formally launched TrackPoint on Oct. 31, and on Tuesday announced the addition of an intelligent foreclosure regulatory knowledgebase to help attorneys comply with foreclosure laws.

Local legal requirements dictate the pace of the foreclosure process. To ensure that foreclosures are processed as quickly as possible while complying with legal constraints, TrackPoint creates a timeline with milestones for each file, generating alerts when they’re not met. The software generates all of the documents required to move the process along and then stores them for future reference.

DepotPoint plans to roll out additional modules later this year aimed at managing the sale of real estate-owned properties and helping lenders work out less-costly solutions to foreclosure, such as short sales.

The Bellevue, Wash.-based company employs about 50 workers dedicated to managing the foreclosure process for lenders. TrackPoint benefited from their experience and that of chief system architect Winston Khan, Matty said.

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