Even the job of explaining the mortgage process to the borrower could be automated, he insisted, giving short thrift to the argument that a client – consciously or otherwise – still wants to be ‘chaperoned’.
“A section of the public still wants to talk to somebody on the phone and they might want clarification, (maybe to discuss) a systematic system issue, but they can do the work at their pace and (not have) the pressure of a loan officer wanting to close the sale,” he said.
He cited fraud analysis – a field he has devoted his entire career towards – as another area that “can be completely automatable”. Using third-party data sources, mortgage companies can create a visual map of fraudsters’ transactions, obtaining crucial evidence to help apprehend criminals – more often than not straw borrowers who simultaneously apply for multiple mortgages.
One aspect that Sarkar was less sure about is the use of cryptocurrency in the home buying process. Wholesale lender UWM recently ditched its short-lived plan to accept Bitcoin as payment, but according to the latest Redfin survey, 12% of first-time homebuyers said selling cryptocurrencies helped them to save for a down payment, a figure that had increased from 5% in 2019.