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Can Mortgage Collaboration Be Safe Again?

Email is everywhere. Everyone uses it, and it’s generally accepted as part of everyday life. If you aren’t accessing email on your desktop, you’re most likely connected instantly through your phone. Whether for business or personal use, this is how almost everything gets done. From meeting invites to news alerts, purchase receipts to run-of-the-mill emails from family, seemingly all major transactions in life are touched by this communication method, including the mortgage process. People spend anywhere from 4-6 hours a day on email – and whether you agree or not that this is a good use of time, email is seemingly here to stay.

Things have arguably become more efficient thanks to email, particularly in financial services, especially the mortgage process. Think about your company’s origination process. To start, borrowers typically receive an email confirmation, letting them know any number of details about their loan application. From there, the title agent will send an email containing details of the property and requesting any required information. Real estate agents will keep their clients informed by emailing status updates and details pertaining to next steps. And just like that, with the exchange of a few emails, possibly never having met with your borrower face-to-face, your origination process is underway. In general, efficiency gains from these changes have been significant and helpful. Companies everywhere are encouraged to go all-digital, to eliminate paper, to respond quickly using technology. Email is an integral part of this strategy today.

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There is sense in exercising caution, however. There are risks, sometimes big ones with our ubiquitous use of this technology. From identity theft, to business email compromise, to wire fraud, you should take a careful approach to email and so should your staff. You should have a plan for educating your staff and responding to attacks and phishing attempts. But with 91% of cyber-attacks starting with email, most importantly, perhaps, is finding an alternative to email. Sure, some companies use old, antiquated systems for communication and document exchange, but these have historically been clunky and less easy to use than email. What if there was a secure strategy in lieu of email, something that not only added peace of mind to the process, but also increased efficiency? Read on to learn more.

Understand The Risk

There is a more secure strategy than email yet before explaining exactly what that is, it’s important to truly understand the risk. Just weeks ago a story hit the news here in Mortgage Cadence’s hometown. It reads like a paperback thriller. You know the kind – the one where you can sense trouble and know that the ill-fated character shouldn’t open that door (or in this case, email). A couple went to buy a house. They were emailed instructions on where to wire their funds – only somewhere along the way, the process was compromised, allowing a hacker to impersonate a title company employee. Money was wired, and by the time the mistake was realized, it was too late. The couple lost their life savings, all because of the hazards of email and the growing presence of hackers looking to capitalize on wire fraud.

According to a 2016 article published by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), nearly one-third of Brokers at an industry event indicated that they, or someone they know, have clients that were victims of wire fraud. In fact, the FBI warns that across the globe, law enforcement officers have received complaints of wire fraud in every U.S. state and nearly 80 additional countries, totaling over $2.3 billion in losses. Clearly, this type of attack is not uncommon. Hackers are acting as trusted sources and robbing anybody that falls into their traps. But how?

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A single failure by any one participant in the mortgage process exposes everyone involved. Think of it this way: whenever one of the parties’ email account is compromised, any email address copied in is also now at-risk to targeted phishing or monitoring for transaction details. Not only is your customers’ funds, identity, and other financial information at risk, but so is your reputation, if you don’t exercise caution. Across the nation, financial institutions are facing law suits due to breaches in security leading to fraudulent wire requests. Picture the headlines now: “(Your Company) Faces Lawsuit for Wire Fraud.” This doesn’t reflect favorably on your institution, and certainly not for prospective homebuyers looking to borrow money from you. So, how are you going to keep their information safe?

Educate Your People

Email isn’t going away. Therefore, you can and should implement processes to identify potentially harmful messages. The National Association of Realtors, FBI, American Land Title Association (ALTA), and others have published tips for keeping financial transactions secure. For example, here is what ALTA recently published:

>>Call instead. Confirm all instructions by phone before transferring funds using the number from the title company’s website or a business card.

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>>Be aware. It’s uncommon for title companies to change wiring instructions and payment info.

>>Confirm everything. Ask your bank to confirm not just the account number, but also the name on the account before sending a wire.

>>Verify. Call the title company or real estate agent to validate that the funds were received. Detecting that you sent the money to the wrong account within 24 hours gives you the best chance of recovering your money.

>>Forward, don’t reply. When responding, hit forward instead of reply and then start typing in the person’s email address. Criminals often use email addresses that are very similar to their real counterparts.

Informing your customers is a crucial first step. By educating them on the dangers or wire fraud and letting them know what kinds of communications they can expect from you, borrowers may be more likely to identify strange or unfamiliar emails as fraud. To that point, it is equally as important to train your staff. Keep them up to date on the latest new stories relating to this type of scam and require trainings on how to identify and prevent a breach by criminals. Awareness is half the battle. In addition to education, a new solution is needed.

Find A New Method

What if there was a better, more secure approach? A better, more secure solution is an online portal where all parties to the mortgage transaction collaborate at the same time inside a live mortgage folder. Cyber criminals cannot hack what they cannot see. Email is highly visible. The Mortgage Cadence Collaboration Center is not. Through this private network, critical customer information isn’t exposed to the outside world, thereby enhancing security. This eliminates the potential for human error as the weakest link in the transaction.

By using this new tool, which is one that routes all communications within a private network with no exposure to public servers, and one that automatically recognizes and organizes information through a predefined process, security can be significantly improved. With built-in messaging and real-time chat, this tools enables everyone involved in a transaction (borrowers, loan officers, title agents, real estate agents, other staff) to communicate in a single place, increasing efficiency and reducing cybercrime. With conversations time and date-stamped, everything remains logged and accessible – providing the ability to track and record securely. There are three main reasons this closed system enhances security:

1.) A criminal can’t hack what they cannot see. Behind the virtual walls of a closed system, communications remain secure and effectively invisible to hackers.

2.) Even if they were to somehow know about a transaction in process, the communication of the details are going on behind the wall making it significantly more difficult to compromise software than it is to gain access to an email account.

3.) And finally, by enabling all parties in the process to work together within the closed system, there is no reason for information to ever leave the software. In addition to efficiency gains from all participants having access to the information in a closed space, the whole process becomes more secure.

A closed network can help keep your customers’ money and identity safe, ensuring their trust in you, and keeping your reputation intact. Mortgage Cadence’s newly acquired Collaboration Center manages communications between borrowers, co-borrowers, real estate agents, sellers, attorneys, title agents, and all other parties on mortgage transactions, keeping all confidential data secure.

Conclusion

It is clear: all of us that participate in the mortgage industry face huge challenges when it comes to the potential for wire fraud. This is made far more likely through email. There are solutions available to address the risk for transactions within in the real estate industry, and the entire industry needs to be proactive and work together. By understanding the perils, providing constant education, and relying on closed systems for communication, risks can be reduced, keeping your customers’ data safer.

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Reaching Out To Settlement Agents

We talk a lot about lenders having to reach out more to borrowers, but its not just borrowers that they have to reach. Ernst Publishing Company, a provider of technology and closing cost data for the real estate and home finance industries for the past 27 years, has enhanced its Settlement Agent Gateway to give lenders more control and flexibility with their local relationships with settlement agents. These local relationships are key to keeping new business flowing to the loan originator.

“One of the most significant risks our industry faced with the onset of the new TRID rules was disconnecting lenders from their local business networks out of fear of noncompliance because they can’t control fee quotes and fee changes,” said Gregory E. Teal, president and chief executive officer of Ernst Publishing. “We solved that problem with the Settlement Agent Gateway. This enhancement gives lenders complete control over these vitally important local relationships alerting them of fee changes in real-time while using effective dating to control loan quotes already in the pipeline; this helps eliminate any fear of noncompliance and mitigates cures.”

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Ernst’s Settlement Agent Gateway is a collaborative fee management system that allows settlement agents to work with lenders to negotiate fees and then manage these fees in a web-based tool through which they certify the accuracy of their fees and then make them available to lenders who need to provide Loan Estimates mandated under the new requirements. This ensures full TRID compliance, protects the lenders from cures resulting from quoting the wrong fees and protects smaller settlement agent firms from being pushed out of the market due to non-compliance concerns.

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The web based technology is simple to use and uses MISMO data standards to allow the settlement agent to enter pre-negotiated fees into a spreadsheet that includes cells for the required services by geography, and then certify that the fees are accurate with a single click. Agents can access the system at any time. Ernst then loads this fee information into the lender’s custom fee engine and when the company is ready to create a new TRID Loan Estimate, the certified accurate fees for their settlement agent partners will automatically be loaded into the disclosures.

The program lets the lender set up their panel of settlement agents in advance and then choose which agent to use on a loan-by-loan basis. This allows them to build stronger relationships in local markets by connecting local loan officers with local closing agents very early in the process. The new enhancement enables lenders to maintain consistency with pipeline loan quotes. The Gateway ensures TRID compliance by providing accurate closing costs in time for the CD.

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Ernst programs process an average of 150 million real estate transactions every year, industry-wide. Since the company was founded 27 years ago, Ernst has processed over 1 billion transactions. The firm estimates that its patented technology is in use for 90% of the nation’s new loan originations and refinance transactions.

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Collaboration Is Key To TRID

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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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A New Lending Paradigm

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Paul-CliffordIn the current regulatory environment, especially under the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)’s TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures (TRID) rule, the lender is responsible for accurate and timely delivery of key disclosures to the borrower.

Lenders are under intense pressure to comply with these new rules and regulations. There is increased scrutiny and accountability thrust upon lenders in this new regulatory landscape. It requires lenders to rethink their lending practices, the touch points throughout the loan transaction and the communication that must take place among industry participants.

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 (Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure forms) themselves and requiring information from the settlement agent earlier in the process.

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Currently, the limited communication is often via phone or email and not centralized or audited. Since the lenders are on the hook for completing these forms correctly, they need stricter controls and more streamlined processes to reconcile data between the lender’s main system, the loan origination system (LOS), and the settlement agent’s system, the title closing system.

In order to mitigate risk and meet these strict new compliance requirements and profitability goals, lenders have to drive new processes; but to accomplish this they need other parties to the transaction come along. Being connected to the right people at the right times throughout the loan transaction is critical and the main focal point for this new lending paradigm.

For lenders looking to do this securely and effectively, an electronic portal or document/data exchange is required. In addition, lenders are also feeling increasing pressure from investors to deliver final documents such as the recorded documents and the final title policy.

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The answer to these and many other industry challenges in this new lending paradigm is to connect lenders and closing agents in a truly collaborative manner.

For lenders to successfully navigate this lending shift, a system that is designed for adoption is critical. Collaboration can’t work in vacuum. A lender can invest in the best software but never create any efficiency if their collaboration partners, the settlement providers, are reticent to use the platform.

Lenders should be asking their TRID vendors what they are going to do to drive adoption. Will their vendor actively participate in onboarding and training of the settlement agents? Will there be a fee to the settlement agents? Does the vendor have a historical relationship with the agents? And, most importantly, if a vendor can’t deliver, can the lender freely move onto a vendor that has the mindshare of the settlement community?

Keeping collaboration open post closing is also critical. Your TRID solution should have a post closing/post tracking service that provides the visibility into the settlement agent processes after closing, along with the reception of recorded documents, fee data, and final title policy. Furthermore, in preparation for delivery of the Uniform Closing Dataset to the GSES, the system should support the ability to update final closing data so the lender has the final data for delivery.

Today these changes often never make it back to the lender’s loan origination system. Many solutions end at the closing process, which is why trailing documents continue to be an industry pain point.  Lenders need to know where the documents are and what happens to them after closing.

Lenders must find a service that allows them to share changes, deficiencies, and statuses and receive notification when activity occurs. So both parties can stay informed throughout the closing process.

A technology approach to this problem is needed, and one example of how technology can help is:

“With the TILA-RESPA changes, being able to connect lenders to their settlement agents is more important than ever to get the fee collaboration and transaction details right. Thinking ahead to October, I can’t think of how organizations would be able to remain compliant without electronic collaboration,” said Nancy Alley, vice president of strategic planning at Simplifile. “Our new services, Collaboration and Post Closing, were designed to deliver on the promise of a world where agents and lenders connect transparently.”

Simplifile Collaboration enables lenders to share, receive, and validate documents and data with their network of settlement agents. This independent service gives visibility into settlement agent processes and provides a platform for collaborating on fee data, documents, and transaction details. This allows lenders to share changes, updates, deficiencies, and statuses within one system, making it easier to audit and ensure compliance.

With lenders now responsible for the closing process, visibility is more important than ever. Simplifile Post Closing provides the visibility lenders need into settlement agent processes along with the reception of recorded documents, fee data, and final title policy.

Their post closing service is organization, system, and closing type independent. It supports all closing types including paper, hybrid, and fully electronic closings.

Over 17,000 closing and settlement companies are part of the Simplifile network. In total, over 9 million transactions go through the system annually. Also, Simplifile’s network has coverage of over 70 percent of the population from the counties. At present, 25 title closing systems and 93 land record systems are integrated with Simplifile.

This powerful, independent network already provides vast and deep relationships with closing agents and can now be leveraged by lenders to deliver critical collaboration (communication tools, document sharing, fee data sharing, notifications, alerts and audit trails) and post close tracking (recording and transfer tax fee estimates, recording status, estimated recording times, and electronic return of recorded documents and final title policy).

“Trailing documents continue to be an industry pain point,” Alley added. “Lenders need to know where the documents are and what has happened to them after closing. That is where Simplifile Post Closing comes into play and helps to solve some major problems that have existed in the industry for decades.”

Simplifile is pervasive on the settlement end, so if a lender needs to connect to the settlement end of the business, who better to work with than those people who are already there.

With the TILA-RESPA changes, being able to connect lenders to their settlement agents is more important than ever to get the fee collaboration and transaction details right. The movement of data, documents, and correspondence needs to be controlled, tracked, and audited to ensure a compliant process. In addition, the transaction doesn’t end at the closing table. Trailing documents continue to be an industry pain point. Lenders need to know where the documents are and what has happened to them after closing. If you are going to solve this frustrating problem, you have to embrace an electronic strategy that drives total transparency.

“I can’t stress enough the importance of meeting users where they already work every day. You have to start with the familiar, which means taking technology that is already in use and expanding the functionality,” stated Alley. “If you can do that, you can create a great value proposition that makes it easy for the user to take that next step. Our Collaboration and Post Closing services allow lenders and settlement agents to share, receive, and validate documents from time of application through delivery of final documents, and that’s a huge benefit. Delivering this benefit through an existing application that settlement agents, one way or another, are in every day streamlines their adoption; they don’t need new credentials to remember, and they don’t have to add or manage another vendor to start collaborating with their lenders.”

The other key to broader industry adoption is offering both partners and customers options to work with you, and you need to appeal to all sizes and types of customers. Some users want a lights-out process, so you have to offer flexible integration options. Others are seeking a ready-to-go user interface while others may prefer a hybrid of both to help them meet the October deadline and plan for the future. You have to work with everybody and make it easy for them to work with you, as well.

To embrace this new lending paradigm, lenders must collaborate with the right parties at the right time throughout the loan transaction to successfully navigate these new regulatory requirements while maintaining profitability. The time to connect lenders, settlement agents and counties is now.

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Are You Connected?

In the current regulatory environment, especially under the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)’s TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures (TRID) rule, the lender is responsible for accurate and timely delivery of key disclosures to the borrower.

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 (Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure forms) themselves and requiring information from the settlement agent earlier in the process.

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Today, the collaboration is often via phone or email and not centralized or audited. Since the lenders are on the hook for completing these forms correctly, they need stricter controls and more streamlined processes to reconcile data between the lender’s main system, the loan origination system (LOS), and the settlement agent’s system, the title closing system.

Lenders are under intense pressure to comply with these new rules and regulations. There is increased scrutiny and accountability thrust upon lenders in this new regulatory landscape. It requires lenders to rethink their lending practices, the touch points throughout the loan transaction and the communication that must take place among industry participants.

Featured Sponsors:

[huge_it_gallery id=”3″]

In order to mitigate risk, meet strict compliance requirements and profitability goals, lenders have to drive new processes, but they need other parties to come along. Being connected to the right people at the right times throughout the loan transaction is critical.

To do this securely and effectively, an electronic portal or document/data exchange is required. In addition, lenders are also feeling increasing pressure from investors to deliver final documents such as the recorded documents and the final title policy.

The answer to these and many other industry challenges, is to connect lenders and closing agents in a truly collaborative manner. Simplifile – long known for its dominance in the e-recording sector – has expanded its network to connect lenders to its nexus of closing agents, and counties.

Simplifile Collaboration enables lenders to share, receive, and validate documents and data with their network of settlement agents. This independent service gives visibility into settlement agent processes and provides a platform for collaborating on fee data, documents, and transaction details. Simplifile allows lenders to share changes, updates, deficiencies, and statuses within one system, making it easier to audit and ensure compliance.

With lenders now responsible for the closing process, visibility is more important than ever. Simplifile Post Closing provides the visibility lenders need into settlement agent processes along with the reception of recorded documents, fee data, and final title policy.

Their post closing service is organization, system, and closing type independent. Simplifile supports all closing types including paper, hybrid, and fully electronic closings.

Over 17,000 closing and settlement companies are part of the Simplifile network. In total, over 9 million transactions go through the system annually. Also, Simplifile’s network has coverage of over 70 percent of the population from the counties. At present, 25 title closing systems and 93 land record systems are integrated with Simplifile.

This powerful, agnostic and independent network already provides vast and deep relationships with closing agents and can now be leveraged by lenders to deliver critical collaboration (communication tools, document sharing, fee data sharing, notifications & alerts and audit trails) and post close tracking (recording and transfer tax fee estimates, recording status, estimated recording times, and electronic return of recorded documents and final title policy).

To address these challenges head on, lenders must collaborate with the right parties at the right time throughout the loan transaction to successfully navigate these new regulatory requirements while maintaining profitability. The time to connect lenders, settlement agents and counties is now.

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[author_bio]

A New Mortgage Process Has To Emerge

New regulation demands that lenders embrace a more efficient and seamless mortgage process. Savvy vendors realize this and they are stepping up to offer lenders a solution. For example, Complementary to its existing e-recording service, Simplifile has added two new services, Collaboration and Post Closing, to its online platform. With the addition of Collaboration and Post Closing, Simplifile now connects lenders, settlement agents, and counties, making electronic collaboration possible from loan application through final title policy delivery. Here’s why this is important:

“With the TILA-RESPA changes, being able to connect lenders to their settlement agents is more important than ever to get the fee collaboration and transaction details right. Thinking ahead to August 1, I can’t think how organizations would be able to remain compliant without electronic collaboration,” said Nancy Alley, vice president of strategic planning at Simplifile. “Our new services, Collaboration and Post Closing, were designed to deliver on the promise of a world where agents and lenders connect transparently.”

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With new industry regulations and the CFPB’s TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures (TRID) rule taking effect August 1, 2015, lenders and settlement agents can utilize Simplifile’s Collaboration and Post Closing services to securely share, validate, audit, track, and collaborate on documents, data, and fees to ensure compliance.

“Trailing documents continue to be an industry pain point,” Alley added. “Lenders need to know where the documents are and what has happened to them after closing. That is where Simplifile Post Closing comes into play and helps to solve some major problems that have existed in the industry for decades.”

The two new services are free to settlement agents, and interested parties can now register for Collaboration and Post Closing or attend webinars to learn about the new services at simplifile.com.

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“The initial reaction when some folks hear about our new collaboration piece is that it seems a little strange because our core service has always been e-recording,” said Paul Clifford, president of Simplifile. “Without fail, it only takes a couple of seconds for them to reconsider and say, ‘oh, that actually makes a lot of sense.’ Simplifile is pervasive on the settlement end, so if a lender needs to connect to the settlement end of the business, who better to work with than those people who are already there.”

Since 2000, Simplifile has grown the nation’s largest e-recording network. Over 17,000 settlement companies, ranging from small independent agents and attorneys to large title offices, use Simplifile to e-record documents in over 1,235 counties nationwide.

“We’re at the advent of changing the way people work every day, providing them with information and data in real time that they have never had access to in the past, so that’s pretty exciting,” Clifford said.

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Solving Old Problems With New Solutions

Some of the challenges that lenders face these days include the fact that there is increased accountability with the new regulatory landscape present in mortgage lending today. This accountability starts long before the actual closing. Lenders today have to manage data, documents and communications. Here’s one solution to these mounting issues:

In order to achieve ironclad compliance and profitability, lenders have to drive new processes, but they need other parties to come along. For example, there are a lot of disparate systems and processes that lenders have to manage. Trailing documents continue to be a pain point, as well.

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The answer to these and many other industry problems is to connect lenders and closing agents in a truly collaborative manner. A company called Simplifile – long known for its dominance in the e-recording sector – has expanded its network to connect lenders to its nexus of closing agents, and counties.

Over 17,000 closing agents and settlement companies are on the Simplifile network. In total, over 9 million transactions go through the system annually. Also, the Simplifile network has coverage of over 70% of population from the counties. At present, 25 title closing systems and 93 land record systems are integrated with Simplifile.

Featured Sponsors:

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This powerful, agnostic and independent network already provides vast and deep relationships with closing agents and can now be leveraged by lenders to deliver critical collaboration (communication tools, document sharing, fee data sharing, notifications & alerts and audit trails) and post close tracking (recording and transfer tax fee estimates, recording status, estimated recording times, and electronic return of recorded documents and final title policy).

If lenders are going to move forward and advance, while being compliant and profitable at the same time, fixing broken processes with new industry collaboration will be the mortgage industry’s saving grace.

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[author_bio]

TRID Compliance Can Be Easy As Pie

DocMagic, Inc. will launch a Collaborative Closing Platform for the mortgage industry. Why is this significant? The solution is comprised of a secure, seamless and dynamic web-based portal that efficiently and expeditiously helps lenders comply with the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) rule that becomes effective on August 1. Here’s how it works:

DocMagic’s Collaborative Closing Platform enables streamlined, real-time exchange of information between lenders, settlement agents and their associates via a secure web portal designed to electronically access, edit, validate and approve both data and documents. As a result, the coordination of all closing costs and audits of critical disclosure details are addressed prior to closing and in full compliance with TRID.

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“Our Collaborative Closing Platform brings all of the necessary closing components and parties together to effectively assist lenders in complying with TRID in a very efficient, timely fashion,” said Dominic Iannitti, president and CEO of DocMagic. “With one simple click, lenders can invite their settlement providers to view and update disclosure data, which is automatically analyzed by DocMagic’s comprehensive Audit Engine in preparation for final approval by the lender.”

The solution utilizes version 3.3 of the new MISMO standard that is needed for TRID to bi-directionally and securely pass data between parties. DocMagic’s Audit Engine automatically tracks RESPA tolerance levels, changes in fees and related approvals to ensure compliance with applicable regulations. Each step in the process is tracked and stored within the secure environment.

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Approved parties that are involved in the process can view a full electronic audit trail history of compliance, workflow and document management, which is securely captured and housed in a centralized area for easy access and reporting. Inside the secure platform parties with appropriate permissions can access shared documents, enter and adjust data, view the closing disclosure in real-time as it is modified, and communicate via an integrated chat system.

DocMagic’s Closing Collaboration Platform leverages its eSign technology to deliver and facilitate the electronic signing of the closing disclosure and related documentation. The solution also provides a bridge that can seamlessly integrate with title, closing and lender LOS systems. The company says that in addition to lenders and settlement providers being able to utilize the platform, other relevant technology vendors can also take advantage of the solution to review and share data and documents.

Let’s Ease Some Frustration

*Let’s Ease Some Frustration*
**By Tony Garritano**

TonyG***Data from the CFPB and other sources show that what is available to consumers today during their mortgage experience isn’t enough. Fifty-four percent of the CFPB’s complaint database centers on negative experiences with loan-related processes. To this end, eLynx has enhanced its consumer portal, the Expedite Inbox, to solve this issue. Here’s how:

****“Through our interactions with the CFPB, we’ve learned that it isn’t enough just to get loan documents safely to consumers. We’ve been analyzing data to understand where consumers are getting lost in complex loan processes and why,” said Laura Venerable, Senior Product Manager at eLynx.

****According to a recent study by Carlisle & Gallagher Consulting Group, 80 percent of surveyed consumers would consider purchasing a mortgage from a non-bank such as Walmart. Respondents expressed frustration with slow processing, communication difficulties with their financial institutions, and an inability to track their loan status.

****To combat these aggravations, eLynx developed a feature set in the Expedite® Inbox that directly addresses the largest pain points for today’s consumers. These features allow a consumer to know exactly where he or she is in the loan process, what needs to be done, whom to contact and what is next. Furthermore, the consumer can directly see how he or she is moving throughout the process as action items are completed.

****“It’s easy to understand why consumers are frustrated today,” said Venerable. “Applying for a mortgage is a complex and daunting process, full of unfamiliar concepts and terms. As consumers navigate this path, what they need to do and who is involved is unclear. We’ve found that there are breakdowns in communication with the consumer. Also, key pieces of information about rates, down payments, and terms can be overlooked in complicated documents.”

****The eLynx system supports different types of loans and can be tailored to meet unique workflows. The names of the stages in a loan process, as well as descriptions for what the consumer needs to do and can expect during each stage, can be specified by the financial institution. At any time, lenders can provide real-time updates to the status to ensure the consumer knows whom to contact for questions, as well as have access to the most up-to-date information about when he or she will complete the process.

****“As the CFPB continues to focus on the consumer experience, we feel that these features are critical to empowering consumers with the knowledge they need to navigate any loan process with confidence,” said Alec Cheung, VP of Product Management and Marketing at eLynx.