The mortgage process is sensitive and timely. Without the proper steps, a mortgage closing could be delayed, which could hurt an entire channel of people involved in the process. Today, most loan processes take place over the phone or online. The days of meeting clients in their homes or at the local coffee shop are behind us.
But that leaves mortgage companies with a serious problem – document collection. You need documents fast to get the process rolling.
Email is fast and convenient. Most mortgage professionals ask clients to email their documents over so they get them faster and can process their loans in a timely manner without any delays.
There’s one problem.
Email hacks happen all the time and when you’re dealing with sensitive information like mortgage documents, that’s a big problem. You could be putting your clients at risk of identity theft.
What are the Risks?
Sending mortgage documents in an email poses many risks including:
- Accidentally sending the documents to the wrong email address. All it takes is one wrong letter or number and your client’s personal information ends up in the hands of a stranger.
- Lenders could accidentally send information meant for a specific borrower to another. It’s never intentional, but with the steadfastness of the mortgage industry right now, everyone is working at warp speeds, which increases the chances of serious mistakes.
- Emails get lost in the shuffle. If you receive hundreds of emails a day, it’s easy to overlook an important email from a client containing important mortgage documents. Without the documents, the mortgage processing remains delayed, which turns the whole process upside down.
- Emails aren’t encrypted. Anytime consumers do business with a financial institution, it should only be over an encrypted network to reduce the risk of identity theft.
Phishing is a Serious Concern
Phishing emails is one of the highest concerns of any mortgage company. Hackers know which companies or industries to target and real estate is one of them. They know that consumers are vulnerable when it comes to real estate transactions. They are worried about the transaction going through so they wait on pins and needles for an answer from the mortgage company.
Hackers use this to their advantage.
How many times have you received an email that looked legit only upon further examination you see spelling errors or a slight difference in the email address?
Not everyone looks at emails with a fine-toothed comb. They assume the email is from who it says, which could put your clients at risk of identity theft because they emailed their mortgage documents to you.
That’s how hackers use this to their advantage. They make themselves look like you or any other mortgage company. They write with a sense of urgency, but with a few changes in the title or email address. Clients often don’t realize it and before they know it, they send their sensitive information off to hackers.
Emails are Saved on Many Servers
Every time a client sends an email, it’s not as direct as they think. In their eyes, the email leaves their computer and ends up on the loan officer or underwriter’s computer and that’s it.
The truth is, the average email hits 10 – 15 servers. That means the hacking risks increase 10 to 15 times per email.
First, the email sits on the sender’s server. Unless the client deletes the email he/she sent, it sits in their sent folder, which means on their server. If the client backs up his/her computer, the email is likely part of it, which means that’s yet another server it’s stored on.
Next, emails go through a variety of other filters and servers including:
- The email program’s spam filter. This is what sends emails to your spam folder or focused folder. Many filters store a copy of your email on their server and are not encrypted.
- The sending mail server. This server sends the email to the intended recipient.
- The receiving mail server. This is the server the recipient (you) has to hold the emails.
- Any other servers you may open the email on including a phone, tablet, or any other device. If each device has a backup server, it’s stored there too.
A Mortgage Document Email Contains Vital Information
The bottom line is any mortgage document email contains sensitive information. The loan application is a summary of the person’s financial life and includes social security numbers and birthdates.
Any supporting documents the borrower sends also contains sensitive information such as bank or investment account numbers, income information, IDs, or even asset information.
If anyone intercepts the email, they’ll know a lot about a borrower in just a few minutes.
File Request Pro can Help
If you’re worried about putting your client’s information at risk, File Request Pro is here to help. With a fully secure and branded mortgage portal, you can safely send and receive mortgage documents and avoid the risks emails cause.
It’s just as easy as uploading documents to an email, but your client’s information will be much more secure. The only emails that exchange hands are emails that alert your client or you to check the portal for an updated and secure message.
Don’t Take Chances with Mortgage Documents in Email
It’s time to take your mortgage documents security seriously. Clients are catching on to the riskiness of sending such private information in an unsecured server.
Even if they use an email program that offers encryption on both sides (sending and receiving), nothing is protecting the information in the interim – all the servers the information hits in between.
Help your clients protect their information while getting mortgages processed and closed quickly. To learn more about File Request Pro and how it can help keep your clients’ information secure, contact us today.