Rethinking Originations: Why Partner?

*Why Partner?*
**By Mark Phlieger**

***As an LOS we are end-to-end, but that doesn’t mean we don’t build partnerships with best-in-class providers. You read about partnerships here and in other outlets all the time. So, why am I talking about it? I don’t think you ever get an inside view into why the partnership was created. So, I want to share one partnership story from my perspective in an effort to inform you about why partnerships are so important to the overall mortgage industry.

****In today’s complex market I believe that a focus on compliance is crucial. In this case, I think a partnership is in order. I can only talk from my experience here. We at Avista decided to partner with a compliance expert in Wolters Kluwer Financial Services. Why did we do this partnership?

****Lenders have told us they are overwhelmed and frustrated with the amount of regulatory change taking place. They need a compliance provider that they can rely on, one with deep and broad regulatory expertise and that is financially stable. We were very comfortable in choosing Wolters Kluwer Financial Services as our compliance partner.

****Wolters Kluwer Financial Services’ regulatory experts have reviewed nearly 40,000 pieces of newly-proposed state and federal legislation relevant to the banking and mortgage industries through the end of October in 2010. Of these, just over 8,000 have been enacted. That’s already up from 2009, when they reviewed 33,500+ pieces of proposed legislation and just over 7,000 were enacted.

****The Dodd-Frank Act, the newly-created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the hundreds of implementing rules that will follow within the next several years will have a dramatic impact on mortgage lenders’ businesses. The sheer number of and complexity of the regulatory changes on the horizon is unprecedented and will likely weigh heavily on most lenders. As the regulatory environment continues to grow increasingly complex, lenders are looking for anything that can help them address change rapidly so they don’t slow down in meeting their borrowers’ needs and growing their portfolios. So they are very interested in any product, service or technology that can help them make compliance and risk management easier, faster and more effective. But on top of that, they’re looking for compliance and risk management solutions that can also help them be more competitive. It’s not enough for a solution or service to simply help them meet regulatory requirements or comply with internal policies and guidelines. They want tools and services that can help them operate more efficiently and enhance the borrowers’ experience. And they want to improve their ability to capitalize on growing lending opportunities.

****So, what does this mean for the industry? Compliance is surely important and as a lender you need to keep on top of everything. So, check and double check your provider to make sure they’re on the top of their game. Partnerships are a part of this industry that’s here to stay so I advise that we as vendors and you as lenders take them seriously. They matter.

A longtime leader and technologist for the mortgage lending industry, Mark Phlieger is president and CEO of Avista Solutions, the Charleston, South Carolina- based creator of innovative all-channel, Web-based loan origination systems. Co-founding the company in 2001, Mark has led Avista since its inception and has an impressive record of achievement in pioneering and development in the mortgage technology space. Mark was a team member on the Fannie Mae project that developed the groundbreaking technologies of Desktop Underwriter and Desktop Originator and later became responsible for their implementation and adoption as the industry standard among Fannie Mae lenders. He went on to create Resource Bancshares Mortgage Group’s core Web-based e-business platform, e-RBMG.