United Wholesale Mortgage says new automated document recognition and processing capabilities the company has developed in-house will allow mortgage brokers to get initial approvals for qualified borrowers in 15 minutes.

The new self-service platform, BOLT, is available as an option when brokers upload loan applications with the required documentation to UWM’s loan origination system, EASE.

BOLT classifies and extracts information from documents like driver’s licenses, income statements and county records, and provides brokers with access to the same income calculator used by UWM underwriters. To maintain accuracy, the company said, automated tools and artificial intelligence notify users of potential discrepancies.

Mat Ishbia

Mat Ishbia

“UWM built this technology, which uses things like doc recognition and indexing,” said UWM CEO Mat Ishbia, in a statement. “This will allow initial approval of the file to be completed in minutes rather than hours, while also ensuring guardrails and quality standards are in place, as they always are with UWM, to close clean loans.”

Intelligent document processing is fast becoming a “must have” for mortgage lenders who are looking for ways to cut costs, speed approvals, and scale their business up or down to meet changing demand. Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure offer proprietary AI and machine learning capabilities that can be customized for lenders.

Pontiac, Michigan-based UWM, which called the new tool “revolutionary” in its statement, was the nation’s second-biggest mortgage lender in 2020, behind only Rocket Mortgage. Rocket touts the simplicity and speed of its application process, which has been particularly popular with homeowners who are refinancing their existing mortgage.

UWM works with mortgage brokers, but has been investing in improvements to its process that also benefit borrowers. This month the company announced it will launch a new in-house appraisal capability on Oct. 1 that will give brokers the option of bypassing appraisal management companies. UWM Appraisal Direct will employ a team of 100 employees to work directly with appraisers to deliver appraisals in 5 to 7 days, the company said.

Ishbia champions mortgage brokers as a key to UWM’s future growth, and has said UWM is using social media and other marketing channels to “educate Realtors and consumers that the best way to get a mortgage is through a broker.”

UWM mortgage originations by type

Source: Data from UWM regulatory filings compiled by Inman

UWM originated a record $59.2 billion in mortgages during the second quarter, with purchase loan originations up 97 percent from the first quarter and 288 percent from a year ago, when the pandemic crippled home sales.

“As we have said previously, UWM is built to succeed not only when there is a refi boom and margins are at record highs, but also when margins are compressed and purchase business drives the volume,” Ishbia said last month when the company released its second quarter earnings.

Email Matt Carter

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