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Technically Compliant

Panelists discuss mortgage compliance and technology

April 29, 2010

By JERRY DeMUTH


CHICAGO -- At this week's mortgage technology conference, panelists discussed how technology can make mortgage compliance easier.

The right technology can help loan officers keep up with the many fees listed in the new Good Faith Estimate -- keeping track of all the entries, including those still needed, and limiting changes to only those allowed, attendees were told at the Mortgage Bankers Association's National Technology in Mortgage Banking Conference and Expo this week in Chicago.

"It's not a good faith estimate; it's a binding offer," cautioned Jonathan Corr, chief strategy officer, Pleasanton, Calif.-based Ellie Mae Inc.

Corr was one of the panelists at the session, Taking the Chaos Out of RESPA Compliance.

photo of Jonathan Corr
Ellie photo of Jonathan Corr

photo of James Brodsky
Weiner Brodsky photo of James Brodsky

The new Real estate Settlement Procedures Act form, with its new GFE and HUD-1, is "

extraordinarily nasty," declared attorney James A. Brodsky, a partner at Washington, D.C.-based Weiner Brodsky Sidman Kider PC.

Brodsky warned that not complying is "a felony that carries criminal penalties."

But the latest versions of the ever-changing loan origination technology systems, if chosen wisely, can speed compliance by entering and tracking fees, according to Brodsky and other speakers.

And technology can not only accurately handle all the GFE requirements, but it can do it quickly, said Tony Farwell, chairman and CEO, La Jolla, Calif.-based Closing Corp. The faster you can deliver, the better you can meet the demands of Generation Xers who, with their technology experiences, "expect prompt and accurate delivery," he noted.

The technology you choose should tell you when a RESPA disclosure is needed and document when a GFE has been given to a consumer and "the clock has started ticking," according to panelist Ted Hicks of Calyx Software.

Hicks, who is director of the product management group at the San Jose, Calif.-based loan origination system developer, said technology should automate the input of fees by line item and prevent the changing of fees that shouldn't be changed, warn of excessive increases in fee groups and prevent duplication errors. And, he said, it should tell you what fees and other information still is needed.

"Have your system do alerts for you," said Ellie's Corr, who said the most important thing is tracking GFEs and any changes that may have been made.

The system you choose also needs to make sure that what it does for RESPA compliance does not violate any state laws, warned Jason Roth, senior vice president and co-founder Burlingame, Calif.-based ComplianceEase.

"You have to revisit state laws in light of RESPA," he said.

Jerry DeMuth is an award winning journalist who has been reporting for four decades.

e-mail Jerry at [email protected]
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