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Wednesday, July 27th, 2016

Mortgage Platform Down

Mortgage Platform Causes Problems for Vancouver Home Mortgages

For several days last week, there was no way for thousands of brokers to send applications to lenders. This affected brokers across Canada including those dealing in Vancouver home mortgages. This resulted because the mortgage industry’s largest mortgage origination platform temporarily went down; the platform is called, “Expert”.

This unfortunate situation resulted in many brokers losing deals because they were unable to meet time frames, client commitments and conditions. It is estimated that Expert’s downtime cost the industry several million dollars. This is based on the assumption that 5% of brokers experienced damage to a deal or client relationship because of this situation. Lenders who missed out on deals also experienced losses.

Expert is owned by Davis + Henderson (D+H), a technology provider. It claims that 2 separate issues contributed to the outage. A database server problem caused the 1st (this is still being investigated). An Internet service provider disruption caused the 2nd. D+H purports that the disruption was not related to the switching of data centres during the previous weekend.

Expert was back and operational by July 26. At this time, brokers noticed an improvement in loading speed, when compared to the loading speed prior to the outage.

Increasing performance and improving stability is now the top priority for D+H, says Chris Pornaras, vice president of lending solutions.

Regarding the incident, an official report is to be released this week.

But the obvious question becomes, why was there not more redundancy built into the platform? Expert is absolutely critical to the mortgage industry and providing Vancouver home mortgages; brokers have a hard time functioning without it.

According to Pornaras, D+H does in fact have fully redundant systems but it didn’t seem completely necessary to implement them on Monday or Tuesday. Monday and Tuesday had intermittent service so it wasn’t deemed an full outage at the time. “Our redundancy plan takes effect (only) if everything is down” added Jerry Lo, a senior director of strategic accounts at D+H.

The redundancy plan was only initiated when the problems seemed more difficult to fix than it was to implement its full backup system.

The switchover would have been made more quickly, but according to D+H, its partners assured it that the problems would be fixed at an earlier time than they actually were. It also took longer than expected to diagnose the cause of the issues.

Brokers dealing in Vancouver home mortgages wondered why they could not have been switched over to backup servers located in another datacenter. In an age of cloud computing, one might think that a server issue could have been dealt with in a more efficient manner.

These were not the 1st problems that D+H has experienced. Its had a few different issues during the last 6 months. This is in spite of the fact that D+H has been investing in technology to avoid such issues during the same period of time.

While Pornaras admits that some brokers feel D+H does not care about them, he says this is not the case. Its employees have been working around the clock to fix problems such as those experienced earlier last week.

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