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Mortgage Lenders "Avoid Compliance Headaches" With MortgagebotNewly Enhanced, Integrated Point-of-Sale (IPOS) Automation Platform Helps Eliminate Mortgage Compliance Concerns for Banks and Credit Unions (October 12, 2009)
MEQUON, WI -- (Marketwire) -- 10/12/09 -- Mortgage lenders are becoming increasingly concerned about today's flood of compliance-related change: Navigating the complex maze of pricing issues, credit scores, payment-stream disclosures, new TIL requirements, and GFE changes is a real challenge. A recent article in the National Mortgage News Daily Briefing described how community "banks are bracing" for the "overwhelming task" of ensuring compliance with the "different regulations that are changing in the next 18 months or so."(1)
That's why Mortgagebot® LLC (http://mortgagebot.com) is announcing its "assured, automated mortgage compliance solution" for banks and credit unions: The newly enhanced PowerSite®, Mortgagebot's multi-channel, integrated point-of-sale (IPOS) automation platform.
Sweeping Industry Changes Raise Significant Compliance Questions
No one disputes the need for a more clearly understood, consumer-friendly mortgage process, but the final regulations are shaping up to be anything but clear for many lenders. But there is a solution: Industry experts -- and most lenders -- agree that the best way to ensure full compliance with today's regulatory "sea change" is automation.
A lender survey described in the online edition of Mortgage Technology magazine in June 2009 reveals that 90% of lenders believe they need technology to comply. "Technology will definitely be the answer to getting ready for the new... requirements," the article stated. "[It is] the best way to ensure that lenders do not end up paying for failure to comply. [But] lenders must ensure that their technology is coupled with adequate processes and skilled people."
"The more time lenders are forced to spend analyzing legislation and developing compliance programs, the less productive and profitable they are," says Scott Happ, President and CEO of Mortgagebot. "But the good news is that Mortgagebot provides a proven mortgage-automation solution for assured regulatory compliance."
According to Happ, many banks and credit unions are not fully aware of the broad-ranging impact that the current wave of mortgage regulation is having on their business practices. So Mortgagebot has created a list of questions that lenders should ask themselves as they strive to respond to today's compliance issues.
"If lenders cannot confidently answer all of the questions," notes Happ, "they may be at significant risk of non-compliance." The questions include:
-- Can we accurately price and approve loans at the point of sale? Key concerns: Loan pricing is more complex than ever. Today's variances are confusing and complicated; and with credit score-based adjustments, it is nearly impossible to work from paper rate sheets. Also, mortgage insurance (MI) guidelines can vary by location, property LTV ratio, borrower credit score, and the specific loan product. So it's not enough for a loan to be underwritten by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae -- it might not be approved based solely on MI availability. -- Are all of our disclosures fully correct and compliant? Key concerns: Organizations with manual or paper-based compliance processes may be at risk. In July, the "Regulation Z" changes required to implement the Mortgage Disclosure Improvement Act of 2008 (MDIA) took effect. So lenders need to ask themselves: Are we fully aware of the changes in the Truth in Lending (TIL) requirements? How long are we required to retain disclosures? How well does our disclosure plan comply with federal, state, and agency requirements? Are correct disclosures always delivered on time and at the point of sale -- across all mortgage channels and in every situation? -- Can we properly disclose payment information? Key concerns: As of October, mortgage promotions (such as ads, rate sheets, lobby signage, brochures, Web sites, and so forth) must disclose payment details for all products in which payments can change. How good is our current solution at doing this effectively and consistently across every mortgage point-of-sale (POS) channel? -- How will we handle the year-end RESPA/GFE changes? Key concerns: A new set of Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) rules takes effect January 1, and the changes will be significant, including new disclosure forms and changes to the Good Faith Estimate (GFE). Will we be able to track and prove that we are in compliance?
"Our compliance used to be all manual," said Ken Martin, President and CEO of the billion-dollar Cashmere Valley Bank, a PowerSite user with nine locations in and around Cashmere, Wash. When the bank decided to implement a mortgage point-of-sale solution, compliance was his top concern. "But even with skilled people," he noted, "things can get sloppy when you get busy. Now PowerSite enables us to do everything correctly -- it gives us the control we need."
"Because of Mortgagebot, our compliance officer loves us!" said Gregg Formigoni, VP and Mortgage Department Manager at Illini Bank, a $248 million, 12-office community bank in Springfield, Ill. "With PowerSite's automated compliance, our documents are always accurate and consistent -- so we avoid headaches down the line."
The PowerSite Solution: Affordable, State-of-the-Art Compliance Automation
"With Mortgagebot PowerSite, regulatory changes will not catch banks and credit unions unprepared," Happ says. "Mortgagebot has the industry's most experienced team of mortgage POS automation experts -- a team that is squarely on the lender's side, anticipating new legislation and developing effective solutions."
Since 1997, Mortgagebot has been the leader in mortgage POS automation; the company currently automates the mortgage application, pricing, and approval process for more than 900 bank, thrift, and credit-union lenders nationwide. Those lenders have high praise for Mortgagebot, because PowerSite's automated compliance sets them free to focus on what they do best: Attracting new borrowers and providing fast, personalized service.
For example, Randy Wacker is Real Estate Lending Manager at Gesa Credit Union, an $850 million, nine-location lender based in Richland, Wash. He said that PowerSite eliminates application-related compliance concerns. "The regulatory environment is changing," he observed, "and we have to keep up. But with PowerSite, we don't worry about compliance. In fact, because of Mortgagebot, our legal department is not concerned about our mortgage compliance at all. We count on Mortgagebot to keep [PowerSite] compliant -- and that's what happens."
PowerSite is the industry's finest mortgage POS automation solution set -- the most complete and cost-effective POS platform available. It is affordable, quick to implement, and fully scalable for all lenders. And its "smart" application enables consumers, branch staff, call-center reps, and loan officers to complete error-free, compliant applications in just 20 minutes. The PowerSite platform is made up of three primary products that are integrated with a single database:
-- PowerSite Consumer. Mortgagebot's original, "base" POS solution functions as a lender's "self-serve" mortgage Web site, taking mortgage applications directly from online consumers "24/7/365." -- PowerSite Advisor. This unique add-on product is tailored for use by branch or call-center staff, enabling "non-mortgage" associates to take complete, error-free mortgage applications after only a brief training session. -- PowerSite Pro. This flexible add-on solution meets the unique application needs of professional loan officers.
Mortgagebot LLC (www.Mortgagebot.com) is the industry-leading, Inc. 5000 company that provides the unique, award-winning PowerSite family of integrated point-of-sale (IPOS) solutions for taking mortgage applications from every mortgage channel: consumer-direct via the Internet, in the branch or call center; or through professional loan officers. Mortgagebot blends extensive mortgage experience with leading-edge technology to automate the mortgage application, pricing, and approval process for more than 900 banks and credit unions nationwide.
Mortgagebot also offers Mortgage Marvel® (www.MortgageMarvel.com), the award-winning, ad-free, online mortgage-shopping service that delivers accurate, anonymous, real-time rate quotes in seconds from a nationwide selection of lenders. But unlike other online mortgage-shopping services, Mortgage Marvel enables borrowers to link directly to their preferred lender -- where they can complete a mortgage application and get conditionally approved with full disclosures, all in 20 minutes or less.
(1)"Closing Cost Rules Are Confusing and Costly," by Glen Fest; National Mortgage News Daily Briefing (8/31/09).
Mortgagebot, Mortgagebot PowerSite, and Mortgage Marvel are registered trademarks of Mortgagebot LLC. Other products and/or services are the property of their respective owners.
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