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Tue, 09/30/2014

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The ENGAGE Event brought to you by PROGRESS in Lending had record RSVPs this year. Despite the tough mortgage market, executives gathered to share their ideas about how to improve the mortgage industry. Here is some of what was said:

When discussing the new regulatory environment, Michael L. Riddle, the co-founder and managing partner of the Middleberg Riddle Group, a preeminent mortgage banking law firm, noted, “There is a new level of consistency from a regulator that is organized and effective. We some times think the larger lenders have the most trouble dealing with change, but that’s not the case anymore. We as an industry just went through a cycle of huge change and we’re still living with that. Going forward, when we talk about complying with new rules, it’s not just about mechanical change, it’s about improving the whole process and how all the different parties interact.”

“Quite frankly,” added Tim Anderson, the head of DocMagic’s eServices Division. “Lenders are wondering when the next shoe is going to drop. Regulators are going after everyone. Everyone is liable. So, these new rules are forcing fundamental change. What should lenders do? I have one word: ‘e’. I just don’t know how you comply with all these new rules in a paper world.”

So, what’s next for mortgage lending? According to Lisa Binkley, Senior Vice President at Platinum Data Solutions, “2015 is going to be the year of integration. Vendors are going to have to work more closely together. We’re seeing those talks happen now. There’s lots of interest.”

However, when it comes to implementing new technology, lenders are still going to take things slow. “Lenders are risk averse,” said Lisa Springer, Managing Director, Chief Operating Officer at STRATMOR Group. “As a result, technology vendors have to be more transparent. To the vendors I say: Do what you do best. Don’t try to step outside of your area of expertise. Don’t dilute your focus.”

From the vendor’s perspective, lenders are certainly automating more out of necessity. Kelly Purcell, Executive Vice President, Global Sales and Marketing for eSignSystems, pointed out, “People understand that we’re not just selling technology, we’re selling compliance.”

Jennifer Miller, President of a la mode’s Mortgage Solutions Division, added, “With manual processes, things start to break down. The liability is with the lender so they have to automate.”

All around, industry participants expect there to be a continued focus on compliance into next year. “Proof of compliance is going to be the big issue in 2015,” concluded Lee Gillispie, Managing Principal, Financial and Risk Management Solutions at Fiserv. “Lenders have to ask if they have the right data, documents, policies and procedures. Beyond that, everything has to be fully documented and executed. So, lenders shouldn’t just automate to be more electronic, it’s about being more efficient and proving that you did what you said you were going to do when it comes to putting together every loan.”

As featured on Progress in Lending, October 2014