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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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Partnership Helps Lenders Get Closing Costs Right

Ernst Publishing Company, the leading provider of technology and closing cost data for the real estate and home finance industries for the past 27 years, announced today the integration of First American Mortgage Solutions services into its closing cost search and fee management software. The seamless connection allows Ernst’s lender clients to quickly and accurately get title, settlement and recording fee quotes from First American Mortgage Solutions and use them to populate the loan estimate required in many residential real estate transactions.

“Lenders working today need access to information from their third-party partners as if it were residing within their own systems,” said Gregory E. Teal, president and chief executive officer of Ernst Publishing. “Today’s consumers and regulators are demanding it and this new integration is another way for lenders to get it. We have a rich history of innovation at Ernst, spanning more than 26 years.

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“First American’s integration with Ernst demonstrates our commitment to helping lenders deliver high-quality mortgage loans that efficiently meet today’s regulatory requirements and homebuyer expectations for superior service,” said Kevin Wall, president of First American Mortgage Solutions. “Lenders now have another way to quickly access accurate title, settlement and recording fee quotes from First American.”

First American Mortgage Solutions provides lenders and servicers with end-to-end solutions covering the entire lifecycle of the residential loan, from origination to post-closing and from servicing to default services.

Lenders now have one-button access to First American Mortgage Solutions through Ernst’s closing cost search and fee management software. Ernst uses XML requests to directly query First American Mortgage Solutions for guaranteed-accurate fees and then propagate that information throughout all of Ernst’s technology solutions, from its innovative web interface and mobile solutions to the many custom fee engines deployed by lenders around the industry.

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. Ernst estimates that its technology is used for 90% of the nation’s new loan originations and refinance transactions. For a complete list of the company’s innovations, visit the website.

Debuting Web-Based Settlement Agent Tech

Ernst Publishing Company, a provider of technology and closing cost data for the real estate and home finance industries for the past 27 years, announced today that the company will present its Settlement Agent Gateway technology at the American Land Title Association’s Business Strategies Conference. The event takes place March 16-18, 2016 at the JW Marriott Indianapolis, located at 10 South West Street in Indianapolis.

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Ernst will hold an interactive session on Thursday, March 17th from 12:30 pm to 2:30 pm. The Ernst team will be offering Settlement Agents a hands on demonstration of their web-based Settlement Agent Gateway and signing agents up for the program at the show. The system was created to help save smaller title and settlement services agents from being pushed out of the business due to fears on the part of lenders that they would be incapable of complying with the CFPB’s TILA/RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) rule. Ernst will be offering a discount to any Agent signing up to be part of the program while at the ALTA Conference.

Ernst’s Settlement Agent Gateway allows settlement agents to enter their settlement service fees into a password-protected program that enables them to manage fees for required services by geography, fee and loan type. Once their fees are entered into the program, agents certify that the fees are accurate with a single click. Agents can access the system at any time to manage fee changes. Ernst then provides access to these fees in their lender custom title solutions. When a lender is ready to create a new loan quote, Loan Estimate or Closing Disclosure, their settlement agent partner’s certified fees will automatically be loaded into the disclosures. This provides accurate, consistent settlement fees to all parties from the very start of the transaction.

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Ernst’s new technology has been instrumental in allowing smaller title and settlement agents to remain in business at the same time it has preserved the competitive advantage of lenders who have spent years building out their local business referral networks.

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. We estimate that our technology is in use for 90% of the nation’s new loan originations and refinance transactions. For more information about the company’s Settlement Agent Gateway, contact the company.

Ernst, eLynx Link Systems to Enable Faster, More Compliant and Accurate Closings

Ernst Publishing Company, a provider of technology and closing cost data information for the real estate and home finance mortgage industries for the past 26 years, and eLynx, the pioneer and leader in on-demand compliance services for Data-Validated Mortgages, have linked their software systems to enable lenders and settlement agents to close mortgage loans more accurately, quickly and compliantly, to the ultimate benefit of consumers.

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The alliance creates a tighter integration between Ernst’s Settlement Agent Gateway, a collaborative fee management system that guarantees TRID compliant fees for both lenders and settlement agents, and eLynx’s Electronic Closing Network (eCN). eCN gives lenders transparency and control of the closing process while significantly reducing the risk of loss due to fraud and non-compliance. Both platforms were built according to Mortgage Industry Standards Maintenance Organization (MISMO) data standards.

“This is a perfect fit for both companies and delivers a huge benefit to both eLynx customers and our own,” said Gregory E. Teal, president and chief executive officer of Ernst Publishing. “We’ve spent the last 26 years creating software and systems that provide guaranteed accurate mortgage closing cost fees to lenders. And eLynx’s eCN platform is one of the best vendor management systems for closing agents. Together, we now offer a complete solution that removes the compliance pain from the closing process at the same time it guards against fraud and improves the borrower’s overall experience.”

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“Today, eCN gives lenders the confidence to work with over 100,000 registered closing professionals, the largest verified network of closing attorneys, partners and agents,” said Andy Crisenbery, senior vice president of business operations for eLynx. “By incorporating Ernst’s closing cost data to eCN, lenders now have easy access to guaranteed accurate fees long before the deal approaches the closing table. This is a very strong alliance that offers significant benefits to loan originators and their partners.”

New Web-Based TRID Solution Emerges

Ernst Publishing Company has rolled out a new 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 can certify that the fees are accurate and then make them available to lenders who need to provide Loan Estimates required under the new TILA/RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) rules.

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The technology responds to a trend that is seeing lenders drop their contracts with smaller settlement services companies due to concerns that they won’t have certified accurate fees available at the time the lender must issue the Loan Estimate. This will be disastrous for smaller industry firms.

“This software allows smaller settlement agents to protect their businesses,” said Jan Clark, vice president of sales and marketing for Ernst Publishing. “A single mistake will be enough to delay the closing and lenders have already realized that they can’t afford it. By managing their own fees and providing a certification to lenders that these fees are accurate, all settlement services providers can now protect their valuable lender relationships by helping their partners remain compliant.”

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The web-based program is simple to use and uses MISMO data standards to allow the settlement agent to enter pre-negotiated fees that include fields 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 a 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 and are compatible with nearly every LOS and closing system in the marketplace.

Ernst programs process an average of 150 million real estate transactions every year, industry-wide. Since the company was founded 26 years ago, Ernst has processed over 1 billion transactions. We estimate that our technology is in use for 90% of the nation’s new loan originations and refinance transactions.

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Keeping Loan Information Accurate

*Keeping Loan Information Accurate*
**By Tony Garritano**

***Ernst Publishing Company, a provider of closing cost data for the real estate and home finance industries for the past 20 years, has released a new version of its closing cost data search engine, Smart Query II. The new fully customizable tool provides guaranteed-accurate fee and tax data with integrated geo-coding, client-specified defaults and built in monitoring available via browser or any mobile device all for a single price per loan regardless of the number of searches. It provides the information lenders need to populate the Good Faith Estimate and title providers need in creating the HUD-1.

****“This is the next generation of GFE fee calculator and it includes everything a loan originator needs to provide accurate third party closing cost information to borrowers at the Point of Sale and any point thereafter, up to and including the closing table,” said Gregory E. Teal, president and chief executive officer of Ernst Publishing. “Industry regulators have made it clear that the days of not providing completely accurate loan information to prospective borrowers where and when they want it are behind us. This new offering removes compliance risk, increases a lender’s ability to attract and maintain loan applicants through the closing process and is easier to use than ever.”

****Smart Query II allows lenders to work smarter by getting the right data in seconds or less with the same accuracy, reliability and guarantee but requiring less information, reducing data input time. Integral geo-coding allows Smart Query II to choose the right jurisdictions automatically, making every search faster and more accurate than ever before. Each search comes with Ernst’s data update protection, allowing users to know immediately if anything changes before the deal is closed.

****“Smart Query II has always been the ultimate GFE knowledge tool in the real estate industry,” said Jan Clark, vice president of Ernst Publishing. “Now, it’s even smarter.  The new version has everything our clients have been asking for, and a few more things that will make their jobs that much easier. In addition, with more datasets available, our customers will use Smart Query II for more than just GFEs and HUD-1 forms, making this fee engine the only answer our clients need.”

****Smart Query II provides guaranteed fee data for Blocks 4 through 8 of the GFE, for the preparation of the HUD-1 and with its new datasets, it can also provide information for the preparation of deeds, appraisal reviews, title reports and more.