Vow Home Loans doesn't just offer you great products and rates. A big part of our value proposition is the support behind the scenes. As her title suggests, our Settlements Champion, Shehana Prakash, plays a vital role in getting your deals settled, as fast as possible. Here we ask her about her role, and also include some amazing feedback from brokers who have been working with Shehana recently.
Q. What do I enjoy about my role?
A. The ability to "think outside the box" and make an executive decision. I also put myself in the broker/borrower shoes to try find a solution to assist them and the solicitors. The goal is always to enable a faster and smoother settlement process for all.
Q. What are the obstacles/challenges you help brokers overcome in the loan process?
A. For refinance settlements - ensuring discharge forms are completed correctly in full and executed by all and submitted immediately - this avoids delays in settlement of our borrowers' loans. This is sent to the brokers prior to loan documents being issued and I am very happy to say a lot of the brokers are being proactive by not only providing me with signed discharge forms but also initiating the discharge.
For purchase settlements - following up borrowers' solicitors to make sure they are providing all lender requirements immediately to our panel solicitors, for a quicker settlement.
Urgent settlements - each funder has their own process. I seek escalations with senior external stakeholders to ensure documents can be sent to the borrowers either via email or collection by borrowers. Then I ensure all documents and lender requirements are returned as soon as possible.
Q. What is your professional background and how has it helped in this role?
A. My professional background consists of personal loan processing from sales to settlements, Legal Secretary/Conveyancing, Real Estate, Paralegal Mortgages Processing, and Compliance and Risk, AML/KYC/ Fraud Analyst in transactional monitoring. This means I have a perspective from all sides of the transaction.
Every day is a learning curve and I have attained my knowledge on the job by wearing different "hats", and also pre-empting and finding solutions for our customers. Understanding the process from the beginning (i.e. preparing a contract for sale) through to settlement, means I can make it run as smoothly possible for our customers.
But don't just take our word for it! - Here is some feedback from the network.
"Shehana has been very helpful every time I ring and request documents in relation to post settlement clients. (Vow Home Loans) have vastly improved their credit assessment procedures in the last three months and also the post settlement Loan Support Team as usual provides exceptional service no matter how busy they are."
"The advantage ... is that we have full control of the client from application to settlement and beyond. By using other institutions we have no idea if and when clients discharge or request an amendment to their loans (which takes up to two weeks to action) until we receive our commission statement at month end and have a number of Clawbacks debited."
"Shehana has been valuable as part of the revamped YBR Group Lending team. She has been proactive in making sure your loan documents are issued and chased up in time prior to settlement and it is really important to keep constant communications with the team every step of the way."
"I think it is a terrific idea having a settlements champion, as this can be a difficult part of the process for us as brokers to navigate. Often once the loan is approved in some instances we aren't informed of what is going on, which means we can't keep the customer updated as well. Keeping us in the loop like this is great with a dedicated contact person is great. I have always found the service from the team as a whole to be exceptional."
"Shehana did a great job for our business, she has contacted me on a regular basis regards with the progress with settlement booking. I think it is a great role."
"I would just like to say thank you for the newly created role of Settlements Champion within the Group Lending Team - it is a breath of fresh air knowing that settlement is looked after especially by the efficient & knowledgeable Shehana Prakash."
"100% best work having Shehana there to help. Makes our life so much easier. Please give her our thanks."