What is Cascade?


What is Cascade?

April 4, 2024
Certified Credit

The mortgage industry is competitive, complex, and ever-evolving. As a result, most mortgage lenders are eager to find ways to gain an edge over their competition. One way to set your business apart is by optimizing key workflows with Cascade.

Designed by mortgage industry experts, Cascade is a class of workflow automation products made specifically for loan officers. Cascade can transform some of your most tedious processes into the secret engine behind your success.

In this article, we’ll highlight our current suite of Cascade solutions. After that, we’ll review eight powerful benefits of employing Cascade in your mortgage lending business. 

#1 Cascade Alerts

If you wish your customer retention rate was higher, you’re not alone. Over 80% of customers change mortgage lenders when they refinance or move homes. Thus, there’s a strong chance that you currently lose a significant portion of your hard-earned business to your competitors.

While customer retention is a pervasive problem in the mortgage industry, you don’t need to accept defeat—you simply need Cascade Alerts. This innovative credit monitoring tool lets you know when your past, current, and prospective clients’ credit reports receive mortgage-related inquiries. It generates lead lists every 24 hours, enabling you to boost your lead generation and borrower retention without lifting a finger.

Armed with this timely awareness, you can reach out to in-the-market clients before your competition beats you to it, increasing your chances of maintaining their business. And don’t worry—unlike with trigger leads, there’s no firm offer of credit required when you use Cascade Alerts.

How Does Cascade Alerts Work?

Cascade Alerts is easy to set up and start using. All you have to do is:

  • Upload your client database – To start, you’ll need to upload your database of past, current, and prospective clients into Cascade Alerts. To make this process easier, simply integrate Cascade Alerts with your existing CRM. 
  • Customize your lead qualification criteria – Next, you can set filters for your preferred credit thresholds and GSE pass/fail requirements. This way, you’ll only receive qualified leads on your Cascade Alerts lists. 
  • Sit back and allow Cascade Alerts to work its magic – Cascade Alerts will continuously monitor your client base’s credit activity and process the data every 24 hours. After that, it will compile lists of qualified leads and send them to you daily, weekly, or monthly, depending on your preferences. 
  • Reach out promptly and make your pitch – Once you receive a list of leads who are actively looking for new mortgages, you can contact each of them and pursue their repeat business. If you’ve provided them with outstanding customer service in the past, there’s a good chance that they’ll be happy to work with you again.

Mortgage lenders who use Cascade Alerts report notable increases in their client retention rates. You can join their ranks risk-free with our month-long Cascade Alerts free trial.

#2 Cascade Prequal

Offering online prequalification helps you attract more applicants into your lending pipeline as they shop around with different lenders. Better yet, it enables you to do so without triggering your competitors’ attention. 

You can reap the many benefits of prequalification with Cascade Prequal. This solution uses automation to facilitate fast prequalifications. All you need to do is set your eligibility criteria and customize your credit reporting preferences, whether you want to pull from one, two, or all three credit bureaus. 

After that, Cascade Prequal will automatically compare applicants’ submission data with your pre-set credit thresholds and deliver instant prequalification responses. Even if certain applicants don’t prequalify with you, you can use their application as an opportunity to kickstart a valuable relationship, coach them into better creditworthiness, and nurture them into loyal borrowers down the line. 

How to Make Cascade Prequal Even More Cost-Effective

As of 2024, soft pull credit reports are more expensive, due to a price increase enacted by FICO and the credit bureaus. Fortunately, you can control your credit reporting costs by pairing Cascade Prequal with Smart Select. This tool enables you to order soft pull credit reports one bureau at a time, ensuring you only order more comprehensive reports for applicants who meet your basic criteria. 

#3 Cascade Verification of Income and Employment (VOE)

Once your applicants are formally approved for their mortgages, you need to conduct a thorough investigation of their income and employment. This way, you can ensure these borrowers are truly capable of affording their mortgage payments.

Manual VOE can be cumbersome, time-consuming, and expensive. You can eliminate its hassle and headaches for good with the help of Cascade VOE. Powered by an innovative rules-based engine, this tool automates the VOE process and gives you access to leading third-party vendors, such as Experian Verify and The Work Number, along with plenty of affordable consumer-permission-based vendors. You can customize the number of verification vendors you use, as well as the order in which you use them. 

Once your vendor preferences are set up, Cascade VOE will do all of the heavy lifting on your behalf, often returning hits within minutes. If Cascade VOE can’t complete a certain applicant’s verifications, Certified Credit’s manual VOE team will take over the process. Our team fulfills over half of all manual verifications within two days.

How Does Cascade VOE Work?

Before you start using Cascade VOE, you need to customize your cascade of vendors. If you want to get the most affordable verifications every time, consider placing the lowest-cost vendors at the top. This strategy has helped our customers achieve an average cost savings of 15% to 20% upon implementing Cascade VOE. 

Next, you can integrate Cascade VOE with your LOS system. Doing so enables you to order verifications from your LOS or directly through MeridianLink. You can also pair Cascade VOE with milestone ordering, which allows Cascade VOE to initiate verification orders automatically after an applicant has fulfilled a specific milestone. 

No matter which ordering option you choose, completing your verifications with Cascade VOE is a breeze. Just follow these steps:

  1. Upload the borrower authorization form
  2. Select the required report
  3. Order an automated VOE
  4. Let Cascade take care of the rest!

Once you’ve requested a verification, you can track its progress within your LOS system and set up text/SMS or email notifications for added convenience. Thanks to these benefits, this innovative solution can revamp an otherwise cumbersome process into one of your greatest assets.

#4 Cascade Undisclosed Debt Monitoring (UDM)

When an applicant is ready to close, you want the process to go off without a hitch. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case—some applicants’ credit activity alters their debt-to-income ratios or payment histories to the point that they no longer qualify for their loans. In these scenarios, you may deal with costly loan fallout or repurchase demands from secondary market investors. 

The good news? You don’t need to wait until closing to see if your applicants are still qualified. Cascade UDM can offer robust blind spot protection from your initial credit pull through the rest of your origination process. It does so by continuously monitoring your applicants’ credit reports and alerting you of any noteworthy changes to their credit activity, such as new: 

  • Tradelines
  • Hard inquiries
  • Late payments
  • Debt increases
  • Payment amount increases
  • Collection items
  • Etc.

You can decide which types of credit activity you want to be notified about. After that, Cascade UDM’s alerts will be sent to you via email or delivered directly to your CRM. You’ll also receive daily summary reports.

Since Cascade UDM provides an up-to-date assessment of your applicants’ creditworthiness, you can forgo the process of ordering Refresh Reports when it’s up and running.

8 Benefits of Cascade for Loan Officers

Now that you know the basics about these Cascade solutions, let’s take a look at eight benefits that its automation can bring to your mortgage lending business:

#1 Time-Savings

In the mortgage lending business, time is of the essence. By originating loans faster, you can generate more revenue and attain a higher rate of borrower satisfaction. 

From helping you identify lucrative opportunities for repeat business to expediting the VOE process, Cascade’s automation can save you a ton of time. You can reinvest this extra time into:

  • Making a positive impression on prospective applicants
  • Cultivating stronger relationships with your borrowers
  • Optimizing other areas of your loan origination process

#2 Lower Operating Costs

In addition to saving you time, Cascade’s automation can reduce your operating expenses in a variety of ways. Firstly, Cascade Alerts can provide you with a steady stream of low-cost leads. 

Next, Cascade VOE can help you order the most affordable verifications every time. Better yet, you only have to pay if Cascade VOE returns a hit. By standardizing your verifications and generating itemized invoices, this solution also makes it easier to pass on your VOE costs to your borrowers while complying with TRID requirements.

Lastly, Cascade UDM can save you money by preventing surprises upon closing that may otherwise require you to re-underwrite loans or buy them back from secondary market investors.

#3 Improved Accuracy

Manual processes are notoriously error-prone. After all, even the most detail-oriented mortgage professionals make mistakes from time to time. Catching and fixing these errors can delay your daily workflows and potentially increase your operating costs.

Automation has the potential to eliminate these errors entirely. In turn, it can tighten up your workflows and fortify your loan origination process. Cascade can also help you make more accurate lending decisions, thanks to its powerful data and analytics. 

#4 Enhanced Efficiency

Efficiency is what separates leading mortgage lenders from the rest. Cascade’s automation can drive greater efficiency by:

  • Speeding up key processes – Cascade’s advanced automation can speed up your lending workflows considerably. For instance, Cascade Alerts can pinpoint, process, and compile lists of qualified leads much faster than you could ever do manually. Likewise, Cascade VOE can run through lenders one by one without the disruptions or delays so commonly seen with manual VOE.  
  • Reducing inconsistencies – Automation also enhances the accuracy and consistency of your workflows, ensuring that no steps in the process fall through the cracks. For example, Cascade Prequal can provide new applicants with swift responses, securing their satisfaction from the start. Similarly, Cascade VOE can request verifications from your ordered list of vendors the same way each time, no matter which loan officer initiates the request.

#5 Scalability

Every mortgage lender wants to grow their business. Unfortunately, manual workflows can act as a bottleneck to your expansion. By investing in Cascade’s automation, you can grow your business with confidence, knowing that Cascade will be working reliably behind the scenes 24/7.

#6 Ease of Integration

Our Cascade solutions are easy to integrate with whatever systems you currently have in place. As a result, you can embrace the benefits of automation while continuing to use the CRM, LOS, or POS system you and your team already know and love.

#7 Comprehensive Compliance

In the mortgage industry, compliance is of utmost importance. Fortunately, Cascade’s automated solutions include built-in security and compliance features, so you can enjoy peace of mind that your client’s confidential information is protected at all times.

#8 Enhanced Borrower Experience

Loan officers aren’t the only ones who appreciate a smooth, efficient origination process. Your applicants do too!

Automation can expedite many steps involved in getting your clients their mortgages. More importantly, it can free up your time so you can invest more of it into providing high-quality customer service and going the extra mile.

Bestow Your Business with The Benefits of Cascade Today

From elevating your business’ efficiency to improving your borrower relationships, Cascade boasts many advantages. Most notably, it can help you embrace automation with ease and stay one step ahead of your competitors.

For more helpful mortgage lending solutions, reach out to the workflow optimization experts at Certified Credit. In addition to our Cascade solutions, we also provide:

  • Affordable credit reports
  • Automated credit supplements
  • Credit score improvement tools
  • Fraud and risk support
  • Property and valuation tools
  • Underwriting compliance support
  • Settlement services

Want to try out our game-changing Cascade solutions? Contact our team today to schedule a credit consultation.