*What Will 2013 Bring?*
**By Tony Garritano**
****The Year Of The eSignature
****It’s about time. We’re finally seeing the last barriers to eSignatures drift away. “In light of the IRS’ decision to accept eSignatures I am very optimistic about 2013,” noted Christian Wright, Director, Mortgage & Financial Solutions at CIC. “I think we’ll see FHA approval of eSignatures in 2013. I also expect a renewed interest in the full eMortgage. The mortgage industry as a whole will become more comfortable with eSignatures rather than less comfortable.”
****Compliance Is Still King
****Ankush Dham, director of technology products and services at ISGN, concluded that he “expects the emphasis on compliance to remain at the forefront of technology initiatives. Technology will continue to evolve to provide more automation around tracking of compliance. When the final disposition of regulatory changes are announced, technology vendors will be busy implementing changes and designing functionality that will allow clients to effectively originate compliant loans.”
****Simply put, “Compliance tools will continue to emerge to support lending decisions and servicing measures,” added Kelli Himebaugh, Corporate Vice President, Mortgage Builder Software. “Experience has shown us that “best efforts” are not always enough to satisfy regulators, so additional tools and enhancements will increase visibility into all stages of the mortgage process, from origination through servicing.
****“Reporting and event tracking are perhaps the most obvious, with everything from email and conversation logs, to inspection and valuation reports open to regulator scrutiny. LOS solutions are well positioned to provide this, particularly as they include 4506-T results and every other conceivable document in electronic format. Digital document management will become a necessary part of the origination process in order to provide the transparency the new environment demands. Well-integrated pricing engines will record the loan program alternatives made available at the time of origination, bringing clarity into the fair lending concerns of various regulators.
****Servicing systems are under renewed scrutiny, and platforms aimed at the mid-tier segment will benefit from greater harmony with the LOS systems that create the loans they service,” concluded Himebaugh. “Presently, many of the steps required to transfer information from one to the other require intermediary steps where errors can occur. Systems that are designed to work together can enhance compliance by eliminating human error to a much greater degree.”
****Count Every Dollar
****Compliance aside, the other big issue for lenders in 2013 will be how they control their cost to lend. With refis making up less of the market, lenders have to smarter about how they go about creating the most cost effective lending process. “Leveraging technology to combat these rising costs is essential for all lenders, especially in the community bank market,” pointed out Daniel Liggett, Director of Client Services for Associated Software Consultants’ PowerLender Loan Origination & Processing System. “Sound business practice has these lenders turning to trusted third-party providers for their compliant technology solutions rather than attempt to maintain it in-house.
****“These lenders will continue to turn to technology providers that provide solutions that are flexible and cost effective and have the ability to deliver tested compliant solutions in an accurate and timely manner.