Talkuments addresses miscommunication to change the industry

by Francis Monfort22 Dec 2017
As a provider of interactive loan and disclosure technology, Talkuments is seeking to change the mortgage industry by addressing its miscommunication problem. Founder and CEO George Baker tells Paydayloans247 about the company’s offerings and how their tech can reshape the industry.

Paydayloans247: How would you describe Talkuments?
George Baker:
The easiest way to understand Talkuments is to visualize application documents and closing documents. They command, depending on the lender, anywhere from 150 to 250 pages. And what we do is we explain that in multiple languages to loan applicants. Most loan applicants really don’t know what they are signing. So our objective is to create an environment where they can self-navigate and understand the loan product that they’ve signed up for: the costs that they’ll incur, the disclosures that the lenders are asking them to sign, and various other things associated with mortgage process itself.

Paydayloans247: So this is available in English and Spanish and other languages?
Yeah. In 2018, we hope to put it into Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, and Tagalog. We have been speaking with FHFA and (Fannie and Freddie) with respect to seeking a solution to the limited-English-proficiency problem that faces the industry today. About 9% of loan applicants, English is not their native language. So FHFA and the (GSEs) are faced with a directive to come up with a multi-year solution to provide information to these non-native English speakers. And between translating documents and creating an educational experience in various languages, which is what we do, we seem to be the preferred solution.

Paydayloans247: What is your strategic vision moving forward?
What we really want to do is we want to change the mortgage industry. It’s really that simple. Our industry itself – the consumer-information delivery model is antiquated. It’s flawed. It’s the root of all of our legal compliance and regulatory problems. And so we have all this paper that we ask people to sign. They don’t understand and we have an unmonitored sales structure where lenders are fully culpable for what the loan officers say or don’t say, but they have no idea as how to monitor that. We spoke with one large lender, and they told us that if they would come up with one word that would describe 80% of their consumer complaints, it would be miscommunication. And that’s understandable because these loan officers, they are not paid on how well they educate a loan applicant. They are paid on how many deals they do, how many loans they can originate.
So we really do want to change the industry. We want to make it more borrower-friendly. We want to use technology to explain things from A through Z. And if we had our way, we would eliminate half the paper that’s associated with the process…

My job, as I see it, is to convince industry professionals that their job is to convey in the most effective manner as possible information to loan applicants, acknowledged by digital signatures and not forms. ...We can take the information that’s on that form, nobody understands, we can deliver it to people in the preferred language. We can deliver it to people by a learning experience. Some people like to read, some people like to listen, and some people like to watch things like infographics to understand what’s going on. They like other kinds of animation, smart AI. They can ask questions and get answers. If we can take that process, this is my vision, if we could take that process and we can introduce it now and then allow it to grow, what we are really doing is increasing that borrower experience, reducing half the paperwork, and we have a borrower acknowledging that they understand, which is really important. So that’s the idea.

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