Posts

Integration Furthers eRecording For Credit Unions And Community Banks

Two of the top technology companies in the housing industry have announced a new partnership this week. LenderClose has integrated Simplifile, which functions as an electronic liaison between lenders and county recording offices. Simplifile has deployed its e-recording platform in 50 percent of all U.S. recording jurisdictions and plans to help the remaining 50 percent realize e-recording benefits in 2019.


Featured Sponsors:

 


Because the LenderClose platform provides API connections to every vendor it takes to manage a mortgage or HELOC loan, the combination of the two platforms further streamlines the lending staff experience.


Featured Sponsors:

 


The integration is a continuation of LenderClose’s strategy to provide lenders a single point of access to the housing industry’s top vendors to holistically digitize the loan cycle. LenderClose also recently integrated with MeridianLink’s LoansPQ loan origination platform.


Featured Sponsors:

 


“We cannot afford to lose sight of the borrower experience,” said LenderClose COO Ben Rempe. “That’s why we have placed such a high priority on putting the right technology and integrations into the hands of lending staff. When they are empowered to exceed expectations, the borrower experience is automatically improved.”


Featured Sponsors:

 


Through LenderClose, lending staff access a suite of property data reports and services – from flood certification and valuation products to title reports and e-recording. The result is a vastly accelerated underwriting process, an increasingly essential capability for all lenders. With one vendor, one integration and one invoice, lending teams realize multiple points of efficiency.

The pairing of LenderClose and Simplifile allows lenders nationwide to upload county recordable documents, such as mortgages, trust deeds, releases and more, to the LenderClose platform without having to toggle between providers and accounts. Every LenderClose user will have access to e-recording and will remain inside the LenderClose platform as they engage directly with county recorders.

“Vendor collaboration is critical for the continued digital transformation of the lending industry,” said Paul Clifford, Simplifile founder and president. “We’re fortunate to have found an excellent match in the leadership of LenderClose. Bringing our two platforms together has been very smooth and iterative. We have a strong feedback loop in place, and look forward to taking our users’ suggestions for making the experience of accessing both platforms from a single access point even better.”

“Our old process required us to mail mortgages to county offices nationwide, with a check in every package. It took us 5 to 7 business days to record a mortgage or file a release,” said Becky Beard, AVP of mortgage operations at Deere Employees Credit Union. “Now, we upload our documents to the LenderClose platform and the county e-records it the next business day, sometimes within hours or even minutes.  Once recorded, we’re able to retrieve a copy of the documents, complete with county stamps.” 

“Legacy lenders can’t wait a minute longer to digitize,” said Omar Jordan, CEO of LenderClose. “It’s surprising how many lenders continue to rely on postal services, or even hand-delivery of documents, when the industry has access to fast, secure technology. By integrating with as many technology vendors as possible, we make it even easier for lenders to evolve their processes to new, exciting ways of serving digital consumers – and to close more loans while they’re at it.”

Simplifile Gets Acquired

Intercontinental Exchange, an operator of global exchanges and clearing houses and provider of data and listings services, today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Simplifile. Simplifile operates one of the largest networks connecting the agents and jurisdictions that underpin residential mortgage records, serving as an electronic liaison between lenders, settlement agents, and county recording offices, streamlining the local recording of residential mortgage transactions.


Featured Sponsors:

 


As a pioneer in helping its customers submit electronic documents into the public record, the acquisition of Simplifile expands the ICE Mortgage Services portfolio, which includes MERS. Simplifile and MERS support the residential lending industry’s shift to digitization and will, together, help to make the mortgage closing process simpler, faster, and more transparent for a range of industry stakeholders.


Featured Sponsors:

 


ICE will pay $335 million to acquire Simplifile, which is based in Provo, Utah and has no debt. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of this year, subject to the expiration or termination of the applicable waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended. ICE does not expect the transaction to have any impact on its previously announced capital return plans. Upon closing, Simplifile, which has approximately 200 employees, will continue to be based in Provo and operate under the Simplifile name.


Featured Sponsors:

 


“Originators, consumers, and investors can obtain significant benefits and savings as the real estate process shifts from paper-based to digital transactions. Simplifile understood this trend early, uniquely solving for the critical aspect of submitting required documents into the public record in a seamless, auditable and transparent method,” said Chris McEntee, President of ICE Mortgage Services. “By connecting lenders, settlement agents, and counties through a robust network, Simplifile will enhance ICE’s efforts to further streamline a legacy process ripe for innovation,” McEntee added.


Featured Sponsors:

 


Simplifile was founded in 2000 with the goal of digitizing the closing process of the real estate industry. Starting with Utah County, it began the process of onboarding, one by one, all 3,594 mortgage recording jurisdictions in the U.S. Simplifile today connects 1,922 counties in the United States, representing over 80 percent of the U.S. population. Leveraging its core eRecording product, Simplifile continues to introduce additional electronic solutions to serve the entire real estate transaction supply chain. The company has delivered a consistent history of revenue growth and has been profitable every year since its founding. 

“We’ve seen how ICE has helped to transform markets going through an analog to digital conversion and  has made them more transparent and efficient for all participants,” said Paul Clifford, Founder and President of Simplifile. “We are closely aligned with ICE’s vision as it applies to the residential mortgage industry and, as we become part of Intercontinental Exchange, our team at Simplifile will continue our efforts to simplify the industry for all of its stakeholders,” Clifford added.

As an indication of the increased pace of transformation of the mortgage industry, ICE and MERS announced earlier in April that the number of eNotes added to the MERS eRegistry during the first quarter of 2019 exceeded the total number of eNotes registered for all of  2018. An electronic note, or eNote, is the functional equivalent of a paper promissory note when created in conformity with eCommerce law requirements, and upon origination, is registered on the MERS eRegistry. Digital solutions such as the eNote are gaining traction and represent an important step towards a fully electronic mortgage.

The State Of Innovation

website-pdf-download

Over 100 mortgage executives came together to attend PROGRESS in Lending Association’s Sixth Annual Innovations Awards Event. We named the top innovations of the past twelve months. After that event, we wondered what would happen if we brought together executives from the winning companies to talk about mortgage technology innovation. Where do they see the state of innovation? And what innovation is it going to take to get our industry really going strong? To get these and other questions answered, we got the winning group together. In the end, here’s what they said:

Q: Some say innovation has to be sweeping change. Others say innovation can be incremental change. How would you define innovation?

JEFF BRADFORD: Innovation can be incremental or sweeping. The key is that it is an improvement. It can be a small change to a process that improves efficiency or costs, or it can be disruptive and eliminate an entire category of services or processes.

DOMINIC IANNITTI: In order to gain significant traction and adoption in the mortgage industry, things generally happen in increments, mostly because so many parties have to weigh in and agree on how and when to effectuate change. A good example of that is the slow but sure industry adoption of eSignatures, eNotes and eClosings.

However, universal change and innovation can occur when a major compliance regulation is put into effect. The CFPB’s drive to implement the TRID rule created a fundamental shift of seismic proportions in both business processes as well as relationships. This affected so many entities across the mortgage supply chain. The CFPB essentially became a change agent that facilitated never-before collaboration between lenders and title companies. This not only helped the borrower but it also helped develop far greater transparency, much more efficient workflows, and better communication.

Featured Sponsors:

 

So depending on the impetus, innovation can be swift or incremental. But I really define innovation as a process — the process of arriving at new ideas, concepts and approaches to doing things differently — and then bringing all the necessary parties together to execute on and attain adoption.

PAUL CLIFFORD: I don’t think it is either. Innovation isn’t tossing out the old paradigm completely, nor is it tweaking the old paradigm for incremental change. Innovation is taking what we “know,” our collective industry experience, and solving for old problems in new ways. We can’t forget our history, nor can we simply amend it.

MARC RICCIO: There is no definite explanation on how to create innovation, which is what also makes it so difficult to define. Considering something as being innovative means that it is one of a kind regardless of how it was achieved. What matters most in today’s industry, especially in the software world, is that creating innovation is mandatory in order to stay relevant and competitive. Without the ability to think outside of the box, there is little hope for survival.

BRAD THOMPSON: Innovation must be constant. It’s a given, really, for all technology companies, though especially ours. We’ve built our business around rapidly evolving mortgage platforms to meet the ever-changing needs of lenders and their borrowers. Regulations over the past several years, including TRID, are current examples, though many innovations were less reactionary and more visionary for us, such as the rollout of a true borrower portal in 2001 – it’s the combination of both reactionary and visionary innovations that allows lenders and technology providers to stay ahead of the market.

NICKIE BADALAMENTI-KALAS: Innovation does not have to be mutually exclusive to being either sweeping change or incremental change. It depends on the circumstances and specific market conditions in play. Innovation requires a company’s commitment to delivering dynamic solutions, technology, new processes, that proactively address current and future market conditions in a way that adds value to all interested parties.

SHARON MATTHEWS: Innovation comes in all formats, including small changes and large revolutionary advances. Being innovative simply means doing something differently than what has traditionally been done. It means not accepting the status quo as a given, but rather looking for new ways to do things. For every disruptor like the smartphone, there are many more that have been the result of multiple innovations over time that have improved the state of the art. Mortgage technology is a prime example.

Q: How would you define the state of innovation in the mortgage industry? Is it thriving or in a state of decay?

BRAD THOMPSON: Innovation is thriving in the mortgage industry! Stronger than ever, in fact. Some of it is, of course, reactionary – TRID for example – yet the most interesting are forward-looking – like the work we’re doing around business intelligence and our next-generation borrower portal. Lenders require partners that are innovative, therefore, the best companies will be taking similar steps to stay ahead of industry trends.

MARC RICCIO: If you asked me this question 12 months ago, I would have replied it’s in a state of decay because of TRID. Although still weighing some vendors and lenders down, the worst part is over…and we have some exciting and innovation capabilities being released in the next 6-18 months. That being said, there are many new opportunities to embrace innovation. The Millennial generation will need housing, which will push lenders to embrace “their type of technology,” including tablets and mobile devices. We haven’t even scratched the surface with e-signature and paperless process capabilities. The future is all about speed, efficiency and economies of scale, and it will be driven by providing a seamless and optimizing loan process that provides personal service. The lenders who find a way to achieve this through innovation will be the winners.

DOMINIC IANNITTI: To use a well-known proverb, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” I cannot recall the last time I have seen so much innovation in the mortgage industry. Dodd-Frank imposed unprecedented regulatory oversight, introducing new processes and procedures, workflows, increasing compliance costs, along with greater risk while reducing bottom line profit and thinning margins. In order to survive, lenders must turn to eliminating old paper-based processes and automating more of the compliance verification and document process to ensure proof of compliance to protect themselves against future regulatory audits.

The increasingly regulatory intensive landscape the industry has faced ended up forcing a major business change from producing a paper trail, to document compliance in a loan file, to implementing a continuous automated, electronic data verification and compliance audit process. This resulted in ensuring that both the data and the documents which contain them are as current, complete and compliant as possible. Even Fannie and Freddie have moved from a post-closing review process to new pre-closing verification systems in order to verify data before final documents are drawn.

The short answer is that regulatory mandates to implement new compliance rules resulted in vendors developing better technology solutions to accommodate them. While it has been painstaking, I believe that the mortgage industry is about to turn a critical corner. We’re going to reach new heights of efficiency and the truly paperless eMortgage will gain critical mass sooner rather than later.

JEFF BRADFORD: I think innovation is thriving in the mortgage industry. The amount of venture capital that is pouring into the FinTech sector is huge. There are a lot of ideas being funded. We’ll see some of these turn into new services and products and enter the market in the next few years. Some may even disrupt the mortgage market. It will be interesting to watch.

NICKIE BADALAMENTI-KALAS: Personally, I know at Five Brothers we view the state of innovation as thriving. The influx of new rules and regulations has forced companies to develop innovation to respond to constantly changing market conditions. The key is developing a culture within the organization that is continually looking for ways to do things better, faster, and more cost effectively.

PAUL CLIFFORD: While it is thriving from a “spot solution” standpoint, I do feel we are still too reactive rather than proactive, preventing us from innovating at a broader, industry level.

SHARON MATTHEWS: Innovation in the mortgage industry is thriving without question. Every phase of the mortgage process is evolving, from the user experience at the point-of-sale, to eClosings, to post-close processes. We see better, faster and more cost efficient approaches coming to market in all these areas. Even data standards – not something typically associated with innovation – are helping to make possible the vision of a data-validated mortgage, in which quality and compliance are more easily assured from beginning to end.

Q: Lastly, if there was one innovation that you would say the mortgage industry desperately needs to happen over the next twelve months, what would it be?

SHARON MATTHEWS: It would be what we have termed the “Data-Validated Mortgage,” which refers to a loan whose individual data elements are in an accepted, standardized format and is made available in a way that is useful by stakeholders in every aspect of the business. The ability to assess loan documentation from pre-close to close and then extending through to post-close, especially in relation to TRID disclosures, is a game-changing capability affecting compliance, loan quality and investor salability. Leveraging the work performed by MISMO, eLynx and others, the Data-Validated Mortgage is an innovation whose time has come and is ready for adoption by the industry.

DOMINIC IANNITTI: Director Cordray of the CFPB has gone on record as stating that his number one goal moving forward is to implement a total eClosing and electronic Compliance Management System (CMS) that effectively addresses both compliance and consumer satisfaction. Our participation in the CFPB’s eClosing Pilot provided us with keen insight into helping streamline the overall consumer experience from the initial LE and eDisclosure to delivering the final CD and pre-closing package three days prior to consumption.

In order to ensure a truly consistent and compliant process, however, lenders need to document all consumer interactions. Using paper-based or even imaging-based systems aren’t going to cut it. You must start and end with electronically creating a completely paperless process to document consumer consent and understanding, acknowledgement, intent to proceed, receipt of delivery, etc. throughout the entire mortgage manufacturing process.

In future compliance audits, the CFPB is going to be checking the source and validity of the data so lenders are going to have to keep an electronic audit trail to document that as well. The only way to effectively accomplish that is to implement a true eMortgage process (eSign, eDisclosure, eClosing, eNotary, MERS eRegistry) and retain electronic proof and evidence of compliance (data, documents and electronic audit trail) that resides in an eVault along with reps and warrants to ensure total compliance with regs.

MARC RICCIO: I see the need for providing “picture” documentation that allows a borrower to zoom and click a picture of a borrower document with their cell phone or tablet. They need to be able to securely transmit the document to the lender to automatically be uploaded to the LOS and securely attached to the borrower record. The key is providing a secure delivery that requires no human intervention.

JEFF BRADFORD: Appraisals need to get better. Much better. It’s a big bottleneck for lenders trying to close loans when 50% of the appraisals submitted are returned for corrections. Innovation in the appraisal process, in the analysis and in the reporting are desperately needed. We live in a world, which revolves around technology and appraisers are still filling out forms manually. This has to change.

NICKIE BADALAMENTI-KALAS: With the influx of new rules and regulations, property preservation is not just about securing a lock or boarding up a window; it is about preserving the appearance of neighborhoods and maintaining homes as good as the house next door. The speed and accuracy at which servicers can get information from their property preservation company is a critical factor in making this happen. Mobile technology specifically applied to property preservation significantly speeds up this process while also improving data integrity and therefore will have a major impact on the industry over the next twelve months.

BRAD THOMPSON: The digital mortgage is absolutely crucial. Even a hybrid approach where the front-end process becomes digitized is a step in the right direction. With regulations and an ever-changing industry ahead of us, the ability to be agile is critical to long-term success, and being digital is essential to being agile.

PAUL CLIFFORD: Well, I don’t think it is a secret that we need to drive to data standardization and interoperability. The longer we remain a fragmented industry of stakeholders and systems, the longer our problems persist and multiply.

Post TRID Issues Persist

Many of the problems we have seen with TRID have been a result of the disconnect between lenders and settlement agents. Lenders and settlement agents need to get on the same page. It is important to remember 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.

Featured Sponsors:

 

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.

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.

The good news is that lenders and settlement agents are now collaborating, but that collaboration is usually manual. Unfortunately, lenders that are trying to collaborate manually are experiencing numerous issues, such as lack of security, inability to scale, compliance, liability, increase in time and cost, and an incomplete audit trail.

Some lenders claim that the reason they have resisted using electronic portals and collaboration platforms has been due to cost and integration issues, and some are still using email (both encrypted and non-encrypted) and even fax to communicate with closing agents.

For lenders that want to resolve the disconnect with settlement agents, electronic collaboration is key. Lenders need to view electronic collaboration as a competitive advantage.

Here are a number of advantages that electronic collaboration provides:

>> Lenders with the ability to get the CD out earlier

>> Risk mitigation

>> Speed, which can reduce timing pressure from regulators

>> A shift from paper and snail mail to electronic disclosures and proper e-consent that delivers cost and resource savings

>> A complete and secure audit trail to meet regulatory requirements and audits

>> Lenders with the ability to more easily maintain compliance

The right electronic collaboration solution can provide true real-time chat and messaging throughout the collaboration process. Not only does this improve communication between lenders and settlement agents, but it also provides visibility for all parties throughout the entire process.

In addition, lenders can automate post-closing to do’s and receive the final title policy electronically. Knowing when and how documents have been recorded – with the option to e-record—provides for faster turnaround time.

Electronic collaboration can also help with UCD delivery. If a collaboration portal is based on the UCD and MISMO 3.3 standard, then a lender can already be collecting and collaborating on the data in the format it will have to be ultimately delivered to Fannie and Freddie. No further transformation would be needed.

The right technology solution will normalize the data. The delivery of the Uniform Closing Dataset to the GSEs is right around the corner, with testing opening up later this year; therefore, TRID solutions should be based on the MISMO 3.3 standard.

Electronic collaboration can significantly reduce these post TRID issues that continue to persist for many lenders.

About The Author

And The 2016 Winners Are …

2016-Award-Banner

Prominent mortgage executives gathered last night to see who the Executive Team of PROGRESS in Lending named the top industry innovations of the past year. This honor is the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval, the Gold Seal when it comes to recognizing true industry innovation. All applications were scored on a weighted scale. We looked for the innovation’s overall industry significance, the originality of the innovation, the positive change the innovation made possible, the intangible efficiencies gained as a result of the innovation, and the hard cost and time savings that the innovation enables industry participants to achieve. In alphabetical order, the top innovations are:

Bradford Technologies

Bradford-Technologies-2016-WinnerPROGRESS in Lending Association has named Bradford Technologies a top innovation. Appraisers today are tasked with providing even greater detail and analytical support for their adjustments and comparable selection in their appraisal reports. Lenders are demanding greater transparency and repeatable results using accepted methodologies. Redstone was developed by Bradford Technologies and released in 2015 specifically to address these challenges and to help real estate appraisers support their appraisal reports to lenders and the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs). Redstone has been particularly useful in helping appraisers add statistical support to their appraisals and better defend their value conclusions.

DocMagic

DocMagic-2016-WinnerPROGRESS in Lending Association has named DocMagic a top innovation. In 2014, DocMagic began developing a comprehensive technology solution called SmartCLOSE to effectively address the CFPB’s launch of the TILA?RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) rule. Sure, lots of vendors jumped on the bandwagon to create TRID solutions. Most of these are light solutions, lacking in functionality and cannot fully automate the new process from start to finish or ensure 100% compliance. SmartCLOSE brings lenders, settlement providers and other relevant parties together inside a secure collaborative portal to share, edit, validate, audit, track, and collaborate on documents, data, and fees.

eLynx

eLynx-2016-WinnerPROGRESS in Lending Association has named eLynx a top innovation. Expedite ID is a new solution from eLynx built on its certified MISMO-compliant Expedite services platform. Expedite ID combines the power of two existing solutions from eLynx — Inbox for consumer delivery and eCN for closing — and adds on new capabilities specifically engineered to enable lenders to address the CFPB’s Know-Before-You-Owe (KBYO) mortgage disclosure rule, i.e. TRID. It leverages eLynx’s extensive partner network to eliminate the need for lenders to go through the painstaking tasks of managing complicated integrations and organizing extensive training for their staff.

Five Brothers

5-Brothers-2016-WinnerPROGRESS in Lending Association has named Five Brothers a top innovation. The speed at which servicers can get information from their property preservation company is a critical factor in quality control. Mobile technology significantly speeds up this process. In 2015 Five Brothers introduced FiveLive, complete Field Services Management in the palm of your hand to its over 6,000 contractors. FiveLive is the workflow management system that automates virtually every step of the work order process in real-time. The FiveLive Mobile App brings a host of innovative technology capabilities to the job, making it faster, more accurate and more profitable.

Mortgage Cadence

Mortgage-Cadence-2016-WinnerPROGRESS in Lending Association has named Mortgage Cadence a top innovation. The Mortgage Cadence Configuration Migration Utility (CMU) is an advanced configuration promotion tool only available through the Enterprise Lending Center. This new, patent-pending utility enables the easy migration of ACE Actions, business rules, and formulas from one environment to the next – whether development, staging, or production. The utility also dynamically discovers differences between environments, then surgically migrates the specific configuration changes to the desired environment. With the need to fluidly adapt to constant regulatory and investor requirements, the CMU allows lenders to effectively manage complex configurations efficiently and reliably.

Simplifile

Simplifile-2016-WinnerPROGRESS in Lending Association has named Simplifile a top innovation. In 2015 the regulatory environment changed significantly, 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 were under intense pressure to comply with these new rules and regulations. To address this extremely challenging regulatory environment, In 2015, Simplifile unveiled two new services: Collaboration and Post Closing. These innovative services electronically connect lenders and settlement agents, a streamlined connection that was needed more than ever with TRID taking effect in 2015. Simplifile Collaboration allows lenders to conveniently collaborate with their settlement agents in one place.

Specialized Data

Specialized-Data-2016-WinnerPROGRESS in Lending Association has named Specialized Data a top innovation. By law, every financial institution in the United States is required to have efficient strategic plans to prepare for business continuity, third party management, and incident response. Traditionally, financial institutions tend to push these operational risk management tasks aside to allocate more time towards return on investment tasks. To alleviate the frustrations associated with maintaining an effective operational risk management program, the company has created a suite known as RemoteComply. RemoteComply is an all-in-one web based suite containing solutions for business continuity planning, vendor management, incident response, and alert notification. The suite creates one centralized area to easily update and maintain all operational risk management criteria.

SPONSORED BY:

sponsors

Collaboration Is Key To TRID

website-pdf-download
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.

Featured Sponsors:

 

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.

About The Author

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.

Featured Sponsors:

 

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.

About The Author

MISMO Gets It Right

Two people that I consider to be industry visionaries have been appointed to high-level positions within the Mortgage Industry Standards Maintenance Organization (MISMO). Specifically, the MISMO board of directors represents a cross-section of the real estate finance industry that manages and directs MISMO’s business and affairs. It consists of representatives from the residential and commercial mortgage industry who serve for staggered two-year terms. Here’s the scoop on its new appointees:

First, Simplifile’s Vice President of Strategic Planning Nancy Alley was appointed by the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), parent corporation of the Mortgage Industry Standards Maintenance Organization (MISMO), to the MISMO board of directors.

Featured Sponsors:

[huge_it_gallery id=”2″]

“It’s an exciting time at MISMO and I am honored to join the board,” Alley said. “With the standard at the forefront of solving real industry business problems and regulatory challenges, I believe MISMO is a foundational piece of our future and I’m thrilled to be a part of it.”

Second, the Mortgage Bankers Association has also appointed eLynx President and CEO Sharon Matthews to the board of directors of MISMO. eLynx advocates strongly for the adoption of industry standards and is the only vendor certified as MISMO compliant in the TRID domain and at the Premiere Level in the information exchange domain.

Featured Sponsors:

[huge_it_gallery id=”3″]

“I am delighted to be joining the MISMO board,” said Matthews. “It will be an honor to work with such a highly-regarded and influential group of leaders and visionaries. I look forward to helping in the evolution and growth of MISMO standards for our industry.”

MISMO is the technology standards body for the residential and commercial real estate finance industry. MISMO develops, promotes and maintains voluntary electronic commerce procedures and standards that allow participants in the mortgage process to exchange real estate finance-related information and electronic mortgages more securely, efficiently and economically.

Dave Stevens, CMB, President and Chief Executive Officer of MBA said in announcing the new board members, “In its most recent scorecard, the Federal Housing Finance Agency pledged active support for mortgage data standardization initiatives, including MISMO. The technology used to serve customers in housing finance continues to evolve and MISMO will play an increasing role in solving business and operational problems.”

About The Author

[author_bio]

A New Lending Paradigm

website-pdf-download

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.

Featured Sponsors:

[huge_it_gallery id=”2″]

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.

Featured Sponsors:

[huge_it_gallery id=”3″]

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.

About The Author

[author_bio]

Post Closing Lender Communications

Trailing documents continue to be an industry pain point, especially with the new TRID requirements. Lenders need to know where the documents are and what has happened to them after closing. That is where the need for advanced post closing communications comes into play and helps to solve some major problems that have existed in the industry for decades.

It starts with automating the post closing process. The right post closing solution gives lenders and settlement agents the unique ability to view, access, and share post closing information and statuses on recorded documents and data in one central place, completing the full life cycle of the loan through final title policy delivery.

Featured Sponsors:

[huge_it_gallery id=”2″]

The right post closing communication solution benefits both lenders and settlement agents. Let’s first discuss the benefits of a post closing solution for lenders.

With lenders becoming more liable for the closing process, visibility is more important than ever. The right post closing solution provides the visibility lenders need into settlement agent processes along with the reception of recorded documents, fee data, and final title policy.

Featured Sponsors:

[huge_it_gallery id=”3″]

The right solution already has connections to over 17,000 settlement companies, ranging from small independent agents and attorneys to large title offices, and offers the ability to e-record documents with counties across the nation. Most likely, your favorite settlement agent already uses that solution or can easily get started. Documents e-recorded through the solution are instantly delivered to you the moment they’re recorded.

Additional Benefits for Lenders include the ability to:

>> View when and how documents are sent to the county

>> View estimated recording time, fees, and transfer taxes

>> Track recording status and rejection reasons

>> Electronic delivery of recorded documents and data

>> Configurable notifications and activity alerts

>> Complete audit trails and reporting

>> Communicate changes, deficiencies, and statuses

>> Visibility into settlement agent post closing processes

>> Prompt agents for final title policy upload and return

>> Electronically receive final title policy

>> Quickly provide your lenders with post closing updates, recorded documents, and final title policy.

Post closing for settlement agents also delivers significant benefits. With the right post closing solution, lender communication and electronic document delivery have never been more simple. This automates the post closing process for settlement agents at no cost by providing your lenders with recorded documents and data, estimated recording fees and transfer taxes, and estimated recording times—reducing follow up calls with lenders.

Additional Settlement Agent Benefits include the ability to:

Share when and how documents are sent to the county

Share estimated recording time, estimated recording fees, and transfer taxes

Provide recording status and rejection reasons

Electronic delivery of recorded documents and data

Configurable notifications and activity alerts

Complete audit trails and reporting

Communicate changes, deficiencies, and statuses

Electronically send final title policy

Helps with compliance

Helps satisfy ALTA best practices

The time to get connected with the right post closing solution to minimize industry pain points while addressing the new TRID requirements is now.

About The Author

[author_bio]