*New Rules Bring Unintended Consequences*
**By Tony Garritano**
***It seems like all we hear about these days is compliance. In fact, compliance as we know it is literally changing how mortgages are done. Another weird consequence is that new rules are forcing more and more historical competitors to integrate when one has overwhelming market dominance. For example, a la mode launched a new strategic integration that allows lenders using mortgage technology provider SharperLending’s Appraisal Firewall platform to place appraisal orders with any appraisal management company (AMC) using the a la mode Mercury Network. Here’s why:
****The single integration with Mercury Network gives lenders using Appraisal Firewall more control when selecting appraisal providers, and expanded coverage for areas when they need it. It also gives those lenders more options in complying with wholesale and investor requirements. The integration gives Appraisal Firewall clients instant and fully integrated access to a full list of some of the best AMCs in the business.
****Mercury Network’s customization options enable workflow to be streamlined on a client by client basis, so lenders can enforce their own business requirements within Appraisal Firewall with every AMC they choose. Payment for the appraisal can also be processed by the AMC, providing the lender a receipt immediately upon payment. In addition, the integration provides live status updates to the lender so they are kept in the loop during the appraisal cycle just like they are when they use their known and trusted Appraisal Firewall appraiser panel.
****“The integration with Mercury Network gives Appraisal Firewall lenders instant access to an expanded list of AMCs with which they can work,” says Dave Black, President and CEO of SharperLending, the company behind the Appraisal Firewall technology. “We feel that this is an especially effective strategic partnership because both of our companies have demonstrated a commitment to delivering efficiency and compliance technology solutions to lenders to make sure appraisal processes don’t get bogged down.”
****AMCs using Mercury Network will see an increase in orders as Appraisal Firewall lenders get connected. “We’re proud to connect our AMC clients with new business”, noted Jennifer Miller, president of a la mode’s Mortgage Solutions Division. “This integration is key to giving Appraisal Firewall lenders more control over appraisal vendors, while still maintaining a tightly integrated workflow with their current systems.”
****a la mode’s Mercury Network is the nation’s premiere Vendor Management Platform in the appraisal and BPO industries, offering both interfaceless “black box” MercuryDirect services and APIs, as well as “turn key” MercuryManaged Web front ends for use by loan officers and compliance staff. Mercury has been used in both capacities by a lengthy roster of the nation’s largest lenders and AMCs, as well as by numerous community banks, credit unions, wholesale and correspondent lenders, and mortgage brokers, simplifying full compliance with appraisal independence standards and banking security regulations. It’s been used by more than 200,000 mortgage professionals since 2002 to automate the full “round trip” of tens of millions of appraisals.
Tony Garritano is chairman and founder at PROGRESS in Lending Association. As a speaker Tony has worked hard to inform executives about how technology should be a tool used to further business objectives. For over 10 years he has worked as a journalist, researcher and speaker in the mortgage technology space. Starting this association was the next step for someone like Tony, who has dedicated his career to providing mortgage executives with the information needed to make informed technology decisions. He can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.