Putting It All Together for Bridge Loan Originations
Agricap is a mid-market lender located in California. They serve the Pacific region and many Central American states providing a wide range of agricultural finance products, including factoring, accounts receivable lending, inventory finance and mortgage bridge loans on farm real estate.
Early on, Agricap's business experienced several years of consistent growth, but even before the downturn, their business had already begun shrinking.
Why? The primary reason was identified as the process of collaboration required to put together a loan package. It became increasingly clear that the existing process required so much staff time that they barely had time to effectively maintain their existing loan volume, let alone increase mortgage lending activities.
Agricap CEO Richard Kostkas scheduled a meeting with EaseCap execs to outline his challenges and to discuss his concerns. That kicked off a process in which EaseCap put together a Response Team for Agricap. The Response Team met with the Agricap staff one by one. The objective was to identify the nature of the problems they encountered with broker packages.
A thorough analysis of Agricap's process uncovered a primary truth of information management: Having too much information can be much worse than not having enough. Agricap's established process worked well for a lower volume of loan packages, but the high level of data-handling required per package created a formidable barrier to future growth. Processing more data, more efficiently, with fewer errors and in fewer man hours were key objectives for Agricap to meet in order to reach their goals.
After that analysis, the EaseCap Response Team formulated their recommendations. EaseCap executives met with the Agricap senior team to present those recommendations, to determine directions and to outline the action items required. The result was a customized solution that combined mortgage origination work flow, central document management, underwriting sign-off control and loan activity reporting - tailored to what Agricap required. By taking advantage of their prior experience and modular solutions, EaseCap was able to get Agricap up and running with a solution in less than 3 months.
The lending tools provided for Agricap not only provided a solution for its original challenges, but also enabled it to make bridge loans, intermediate-term commercial loans or long-term 30-year mortgages using the same basic process. By eliminating the need to follow different procedures for each type of mortgage, Agricap was able to return to their core expertise: forming insights about agricultural finance needs and making decisions about how to best serve those needs for their clients.
EaseCap helped Agricap effectively manage existing business while greatly improving their position for handling growth. Today, Agricap is better served by other (counter-cyclical) components of their agricultural finance mix of lending products, such as factoring and receivables finance. As the business cycle returns to a positive climate, Agricap is poised for growth. While looking forward to that growth, Kostkas says, "Thanks to EaseCap, we now have the capacity to grow our mortgage portfolio without having to add staff."