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Rural Housing Service: Stewards of the American Dream and Leading the Way to a Modern USDA with Paperless Processing

Posted by Tony Hernandez, Administrator, USDA Rural Housing Service in Rural
Feb 21, 2017
Guaranteed Home Loan Program infographic
New home loan processing is saving customer and staff time, taxpayer money and lots of paper. (Click to enlarge)

This has been the year of innovation at USDA Rural Housing Service. We are working smarter, faster, more efficient and environmentally conscious than ever before.  After years of brainstorming, planning, reengineering, testing, and training, RHS has realized its vision: the Section 502 Guaranteed Single Family Home Loan Program now operates paperless, and we’re saving more than we ever imagined possible.

USDA’s Rural Development State field offices now transact business with private lenders via Web-based uploads and electronic signatures.  This means RHS and our private partners are no longer printing and sending hundreds of pages of paper back-and-forth every time a loan guarantee is used to help a rural American family buy their home.

As a result, loan guarantees are processed faster and families move into homes more quickly. Postage fees will be eliminated and huge print jobs avoided for every one of the 140,000+ home loans USDA guarantees we will make in the coming year. Initial estimates show USDA Rural Housing Service will save 37,500 reams of paper every year now that we do more business in a paperless environment.

More than 135,333 staff hours per year nationwide were being spent managing these paper processes. Staff will have more time to assist our customers, connect with potential partners and, of course, help more rural Americans buy their own homes through our 502 homeownership programs.

All of the savings in time, paper and postage adds up to some serious savings of American tax dollars. In fact, we estimate RHS will save more than $4.2 million in just one year of using the new process nationwide.  This means we can allocate more time and money into oversight initiatives that will work to ensure lender compliance, and more adequately staff other Single Family Housing Programs to better serve Rural America.

The people who work in the Rural Housing Service are proud of this milestone! But, as they like to remind everyone, RHS is just getting started.  Innovation projects of this sort have begun to touch every one of the Agency’s programs. RHS is advocating for the American dream of homeownership by working smarter, faster, more efficiently, and more conscious of the environment than ever before.

Category/Topic: Rural

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Maria Caramella
May 16, 2015

I am in interested in purchasing a property for sale by your organization in Florence, Wisconsin but not sure who to speak with regarding this. Any information would be greatly appreciated. My number is (906) 221-6786. Thank you, Maria Caramella.