SEATTLE, Jul 5, 2001 (BUSINESS WIRE) --
WaMu's Home Loans & Insurance Services Group to Integrate Automated Real Estate Appraisal System Enabling Faster Closings Washington Mutual Home Loans &
Insurance Services Group today announced plans to deliver OptisValue(TM), a real
estate appraisal system that supports Optis(TM), the company's automated
mortgage origination platform.
Scheduled to be available during the third quarter of this year, the new system
will streamline the appraisal process to provide a faster, less expensive
appraisal service and electronic delivery of appraisal reports.
"Our new real estate appraisal system will help support WaMu's substantial loan
production and will contribute to the efficiencies delivered by Optis," said
Stacey Arens, executive vice president of operations for the Home Loans &
Insurance Services Group at Washington Mutual. "The OptisValue system supports
our goal to enable closings in three to five days. With the use of AI Ready
software, the system will create significant cost savings for Washington Mutual
and ultimately for our customers."
Washington Mutual incorporated FNC Inc.'s Collateral Management System (CMS) to
support OptisValue. The new system will automate the entire appraisal process,
including ordering, assigning and return of the completed appraisal product,
which will enable faster, less expensive service and electronic delivery of
reports. The system will also offer 24x7 access to information and real-time
status of ordered appraisal services. OptisValue will ultimately increase
productivity for appraisers and save loan customers time and money.
Washington Mutual approved appraisers will need to use Appraisal Institute (AI)
Ready software to benefit from the speed and reliability of the OptisValue
system. Appraisers will then be able to go to www.appraisalport.com to
electronically receive assignments and submit completed appraisals.
Both AI Ready software and AppraisalPort.com are required components to using
Washington Mutual's OptisValue system. AI Ready software is currently offered by
Day One, a division of Appraisal.com Inc. Appraisers should check with their
software provider to determine if their software supports the AI Ready standard.
More information about AI Ready software can be found at www.aiready.com. All
WaMu appraisers will be transitioned to the new system supported by AI Ready
software by the third quarter of 2001.
Washington Mutual is the nation's leading mortgage lender with the broadest
product line for consumers and brokers. Optis, an automated mortgage origination
platform, is the foundation for the company's initiative to lead the industry in
the speed of decision and reliability of close for home loans. Coined from the
word options and the Latin word optimus, meaning "best," Optis automates 80
percent of the steps in the mortgage process, making it fast and easy for
borrowers, realtors and WaMu PremiereBrokers. The goal for Optis is to enable
loan decisions in minutes and closings in as few as three to five days. Optis
will also have the ability to generate increased sales volume, market share and
flexibility, enhanced productivity while reducing pricing errors and providing
consistent credit quality. This increased efficiency will save on costs that can
be funneled into better pricing. Most importantly, Optis allows Washington
Mutual to move quickly and provide customers with more options on their home
"Our goal is to put more people into homes -- we call it The Power of Yes -- and
OptisValue, as part of the overall Optis system, will help us do this faster and
better than before," Arens said.
About Washington Mutual
With a history dating back to 1889, Washington Mutual, Inc. (NYSE:WM) is a
national financial services company that provides a diversified line of products
and services to consumers and small- to mid-sized businesses. At March 31, 2001,
Washington Mutual and its subsidiaries had assets of $219.93 billion. Washington
Mutual currently operates more than 2,300 consumer banking, mortgage lending,
commercial banking, consumer finance and financial services offices throughout
the nation. Washington Mutual's news releases are available at www.wamu.com.
CONTACT: Washington Mutual, Inc.
P. Kevin Horn, 206/377-3268
Olivia Riley, 206/377-3636