Lenders Find Collaboration Key To TRID

As the mortgage industry continues to respond to constantly changing rules and regulation, particularly the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule requirements, one thing has become readily apparent — the only way to stay compliant is to improve collaboration between lenders and settlement agents.

Historically, the lender prepared early disclosures, often without collaboration with the settlement agent, and the settlement agent carried the burden of preparing the HUD-1 Settlement statement. Now, due to the strict tolerances on fees and high potential fines to the lender, most lenders are preparing the new forms, the Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure, themselves and require information from the settlement agent earlier in the process.

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The real question is not whether you believe collaboration is necessary, but if as a lender that collaboration will be manual or automated. Good collaboration technology will solve and automate the issues of fee naming, data re-entry and provide a systemic, auditable real-time process that is defensible.

“Collaboration with closing agents is crucial to deliver accurate Closing Disclosures in a timely manner,” said Jim Connell, chief information officer at Sierra Pacific Mortgage.“Simplifile is a well-designed solution with a clean interface that follows the Closing Disclosure format and will be easy for our staff to use.”

“One of the biggest issues with TRID is how lenders and settlement agents communicate changes to various documents on a timely basis,” said Country Bank Loan Servicing Officer Robert Olivier. “Simplifile’s Collaboration and Post Closing portal provides the ideal solution for us to collaborate on these changes to meet the required timeframes. It’s extremely well-designed and easy to use, which is a huge benefit for both our staff as well as our settlement agents.”

Good collaboration technology needs to include: collaboration, e-recording, and post closing that will connect lenders to settlement agents and allow both parties to securely share, validate, audit, track, record and collaborate on loan documents, data, and fees to ensure compliance.

“We already partnered with Simplifile on their e-recording solution for our servicing needs,” Oliver added. “We were very pleased with the increase in efficiencies we achieved using that product and the support that Simplifile provided to us. They have been very responsive to our needs and are committed to making sure that the Collaboration and Post Closing portal will help ensure that Country Bank is in compliance with the TRID regulations.”

Shane Erksine, president of OneTrust Home Loans, said, “One of the major reasons we chose Simplifile as our partner was their established network of settlement agents who are already using their services every day. We’re confident in their proven ability to provide an easy-to-use service with an intuitive interface that can successfully bridge the gap between multiple parties in the mortgage and real estate transaction.”

“Simplifile offered a great price and great product; what more can you ask for?” said Mortgage Closing Manager Kele Cuddy at First Community Mortgage. “Simplifile will help First Community Mortgage and our settlement agent partners quickly share fees and documents to meet Closing Disclosure (CD) and final documents timelines and requirements.”

With good collaboration technology, lenders don’t have to worry about tracking documents, data or communication through a separate system or service. Messaging between lenders and settlement agents within a good collaboration solution is tracked as part of the complete audit trail and reporting provided to aid in TRID compliance.

Our established e-recording network gives both parties the unique ability to view, access, and share post-closing information and statuses on recorded documents and data centrally. Simplifile’s platform is independent, supporting paper, hybrid, and fully electronic closings, and Collaboration and Post Closing are free services to settlement agents, helping to drive industry adoption.

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Discounting In The Digital Age

Are discounts and coupons still relevant in today’s digital age?

Absolutely. A whopping 97% of retailers use discounting as a pricing strategy, according to the following Sailthru infographic. And 68% of e-commerce retailers find it very or extremely effective.

Moreover, 59% of digital marketers said discounts and bundles are effective for acquiring new customers, states Sailthru.

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To make sure discounts are reaching the right customers at the right time in the right ways, however, marketers need to perform testing. Here are some tips:

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Residential Mortgage Loans Are Trading Online

I have learned that Resitrader, Inc., a Calabasas, California-based provider of whole loan mortgage trade management software, announced that over $100 million of mortgage loans were traded on the company’s whole loan platform in February, the first month of live trading.  And trading in March is off to a robust start with substantial inventory and increase participation.

“12 financial institutions completed 24 trades in February,” said John Ardy, CEO of Resitrader. The company’s secure platform enables loan originators, banks, servicers, brokers and financial advisors to exchange data, pricing and loan documents related to residential whole loan mortgages in an easy and efficient format.

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The mortgages traded on the Resitrader platform in February included FHA-insured loans and  jumbo mortgages, as well as non-QM loans, Ardy said. He anticipates that over 1,000 Community Reinvestment Act loans will board for sale on the platform during March as well as a substantial number of mixed-performance loan pools within the next 30 to 60 days.

“We’re very proud of the platform and our success so far,” Ardy said. “We’ve proven we can support trading of any product type. The process is easy, and as liquidity continues to grow, we think we can become an important intersection for everyone in the secondary market.”

“The industry will benefit from using this trading platform by expanding investor relationships and expediting the trading process,” said David Brown, Executive Vice President of Secondary Marketing at Skyline Home Loans in Calabasas. “The Resitrader platform allowed for instant analysis of bid levels from multiple potential buyers. All communication took place in the platform, allowing for efficiencies and organization of incoming bids. The system was very streamlined.”

“I was introduced to the Resitrader system just a few weeks ago,” said Jim Modrycki, director of sales for the west region in the correspondent division at Impac Mortgage in Dallas. “The system is very easy to understand, and we were able to effectively make our bids without any issues, as well as get the trade confirmations for the loans awarded to us. Resitrader helped to ensure that the learning curve was a short one and that any bumps were smoothed out immediately.”

Resitrader is a secure platform that automatically normalizes loan data so loan buyers can easily search by investment criteria and loan type. Resitrader also makes it simple for buyers and sellers to communicate in real time, notify each other of loan pools they wish to trade, exchange loan data, documents and pricing information, and settle transactions.  The platform enables users to directly integrate their pricing tools, loan origination systems and service providers.

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My Advice To CEOs

CEOs are people, too. They need help and advise just like everyone else. Why you might ask? In the article entitled “Why CEOs Need A Triangle Of Trusted Advisors” the author suggests that the value in peer advisory comes from interacting with peers who aren’t navigating their individual agendas but rather sharing their diverse viewpoints and advice for the benefit of other members and the entire group. Vistage groups discuss each member’s issue in a structured process led by expert facilitators who also provide individual coaching to each member.

Move Beyond Your Ceiling

Executive coaches provide that one-on-one guidance to help you resolve conflict and manage effectively through tough situations. Often, CEOs neglect this valuable resource. In a 2013 study of 200 CEOs, board directors, and senior executives of North American public and private companies by Stanford University and The Miles Group, almost 100% of CEOs stated that they are receptive to making changes based on feedback. Yet, nearly 66% of CEOs do not receive coaching or leadership advice from outside consultants or coaches.

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Alicia Marie, founder of People Biz, a coaching and training organization, said that the number one reason people decide to engage a coach is that they hit a personal development ceiling. A moment occurs when they are stuck, when they realize they must change in order to be successful. “That can happen because your entire team of 12 just walked out on you, or you just sold $1 million in product and can’t fund it,” Marie said. “It can be due to major success or major issues.” Either way, the person acknowledges that they will have to grow to deal with the circumstance.

Alicia Marie notes that the biggest challenge is always people. “I’ve seen people with all sorts of resources fail because they weren’t paying attention to the people. Anyone can be successful by him- or herself. But can you get another person to his or her optimum level? That takes skill. Until leaders and managers can do that, they’re at a disadvantage. Companies that do that will have a huge advantage. That’s where coaching comes in.”

Fortify the Business

While utilizing a peer advisory group and coach will expand and reinforce the CEO’s platform, the organization often needs an expert to fortify its foundation. Enter the organizational operating system, a program to develop the processes and structure necessary to scale up. Craig Cummings, co-founder of Ridescout, the mobile app for real-time ground transportation, utilized the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) to help his team inject operational structure, accountability, a smart dashboard, and other processes when they were rapidly building the company.

Build Your Trusted Triangle

Every CEO faces an individual set of struggles on the path to organizational and personal growth. Consider the following circumstances to align your business and yourself with a triangle of trusted advisors:

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>> You feel isolated from other leaders who’ve walked in your shoes and would like to leverage their wisdom to help you take the elevator instead of the stairs. (Explore a peer advisory group such as EO, Vistage, TAB, et al.)

>>You see the value in someone who pushes you to achieve your best and problem-solve thorny issues. (Search for a coach by asking your extended network for referrals.)

Your organization lacks a coherent vision and core values, needs smarter metrics, can’t resolve tough issues, and lacks productive meetings and accountability. (Consider an operating system such as EOS, Ownership Thinking or Six Disciplines.

This type of expertise is valued by executives when making decisions. Executive leaders look to make informed decisions based on more than just “internal knowledge”; they seek information from trusted external resources. Fact based research, viability assessment, target market segmentation, and competitive analysis all provide a detailed view of potential opportunities, risks and rewards specifically developed for your organization.

As a trusted business advisor, NexLevel leverages years of experience in business strategy, corporate performance, strategic selling, and marketing to deliver customized solutions that help our clients take advantage of their unique business opportunities.

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Without Borrowers Compliance Matters Little

In 2015 most lenders were obsessed with constantly changing rules and regulations, especially TRID. That meant they spent a great deal of time, energy and resources trying to address those compliance demands. While all of the new rules and regulations are certainly an important priority for all lenders, and one that must be properly addressed, many lenders spent little to no time attracting new borrowers. The lack of focus on attracting new borrowers is costing them dearly. That is why I often say that compliance doesn’t matter if you don’t have any borrowers.

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In the face of these challenges lenders cannot continue to have tunnel vision and loose sight of the importance of bringing in new business while constantly looking for ways to drive new business in the most efficient and cost effective manner possible.

How will your company attract new borrowers in such a demanding and compliance focused environment? Identifying and acting on high-quality business opportunities is a big part of the answer. You need to generate leads quickly and efficiently, and then drive them to the point-of-sale. You need to convert them into customers with compliant in-process marketing. You also need to retain them and maximize their lifetime value through repeat business and referrals.

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That’s where marketing automation comes into play. Lenders focused on attracting new borrowers are turning to advanced marketing technology to obtain more borrowers in today’s highly competitive and regulated mortgage market.

So what is marketing automation and more importantly, why should lenders take notice? Marketing automation for lenders can be described as software and strategies that allow companies to consistently attract new borrowers–that is, to nurture prospective borrowers with highly personalized, relevant content that helps convert borrowers into customers and turns customers into raving fans.

Marketing automation typically generates significant new revenue for lenders and provides an excellent return on the investment, in addition to attracting top loan officer (LO) talent to the organization.

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These solutions automate engagement with prospective clients and provide relevant updates for in-process milestones while developing and enhancing partner relationships. Marketing Automation employs leading technology to maximize marketing relevance. With marketing automation LO’s will experience:

>> Increased pipelines and commission potential

>> A surge in response rates

>> Increased loyalty throughout client base

>> Improved communications with prospective borrowers, clients and referral partners.

Having tunnel vision solely on compliance is simply not a sustainable business model. Lenders must attract new borrowers and enhance their lifetime value. At the end of the day, compliance only matters if you have borrowers to serve.

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Here’s An Interesting Way To Reach Borrowers …

Maine Savings is the only Maine credit union to offer eligible home-buyers up to $15,000 in down-payment and closing costs through participation in the nationwide Equity Builder Program.

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The Equity Builder Program, provided through The Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston (FHLB), will be offered for a limited time and is available to individuals or households with incomes at or below 80% of HUD Area Median Income based on property location. According to the FHLB, since the program’s inception, nearly 2,500 home-buyers have been assisted.

“Rents are increasing and the dream of home-ownership seems out of reach for many. But this program will help bridge the gap for some who are close to being able to buy a home, but who may need a little extra assistance to get there,” said John Reed, Maine Savings President and CEO. “We take very seriously our role in helping members of our communities achieve the goal of home ownership.”

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Recipients must attend a home-buyer education and counseling program. The Equity Builder Program may be eligible to be combined with other loan programs, including the 10% down-payment CU Promise loan, which Maine Savings offers.

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