Sprout has developed a large number of loan programs to meet the wide range of home financing needs that our clients bring to us. The result is a robust set of lending solutions that cover literally thousands of scenario permutations. iQualifi automates a search among all those possible loan solutions to identify the right one for each customer and each situation, and to quickly price it using information that is available to the loan officer early in the sales discussion. All this is done without having to consult program matrices, rates, or having to calculate loan-level pricing adjustments.

2. Sprout Mortgage is a leading non-QM residential lender and appears to be spearheading the use of tech in the space. Are there any limitations when it comes to using tech with non-QM lending?

We’re focused on delivering lending solutions that fulfill our customers’ desired experience and that are prudent, sustainable solutions in the investor community. Technology can speed our delivery and make for a more efficient process, but we don’t want it to diminish the human element of the trust factor, which is critical to our customers. As for the investor community, limitations from the investors who purchase non-QM loans are important to consider. But they’re more like prudent skepticism than true limitations. Everyone in the value chain is motivated to make non-QM originations as efficient as possible. So just as with any kind of new process, we have to be able to demonstrate that the change has not impacted our underwriting criteria, or exposed a new kind of risk, or weakened our control mechanisms in any way.

3. Can the process ever be fully automated, given that a borrower’s employment record tends to be more complex (mainly because non-QM borrowers are usually self-employed)?

That is an achievable goal, and we’re well on our way to achieving it. We have already introduced a tool that uses an AI engine to analyze bank statements and produce an equivalent income estimate. It’s called iAnalyze, and it calculates in an hour or two something that used to take several days. It even optically scans bank statement documents that are uploaded to a secure location we provide. Our clients are now able to provide qualification information back to their borrowers much more quickly, and the streamlined intake mechanism means less work for them overall.