You Deal With It

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Feature Survival Tips for Medium—and Small-Sized Companies Offered by Jack Konyk, Weiner Brodsky Kider P.C. 1. Buy affordable, appropriate technical support and commit to its maintenance. 2. Go to the website of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ( The website not only has the rules, but also many tools to help understand the rules. 3. Consult trade association websites such as the Mortgage Bankers Association, American Bankers Association, and the Independent Community Bankers Association that contain information about the rules. There is a lot of information available that costs nothing. While some is for members only, much is available to everyone. 4.Read newsletters published by major law firms and consulting groups. Many of these give a summary of the regulations. 5. Be aware that free information may not be tailored to your company's circumstances. Make sure the information applies to the way your company conducts business. 6.Evaluate everything you learn in relation to your company's circumstances. 7. Make sure everyone knows what they must do. Training is essential. 8.Find a way to train employees in a timely manner. 9.Take things one step at a time and remain positive. 28 | The M Report Although he works for a law firm, Konyk is not a lawyer, but a career mortgage banker. He says there aren't many people left in the mortgage industry who have seen as many changes as he has seen. "Not many people around today were already in business when the Truth-InLending Act and other laws we now accept as the norm went into effect," he explained. "Back then, everyone thought it was the end of the world. Now that this particular 'normal' is going away, we're going to have to do something different while adjusting to the new 'normal.' You have to remember to stay positive. We learned those rules back then, and we can learn these new rules now." Technology Helps Small Companies Meet Federal Requirements A ppropriate technology can play an important part in helping medium- and small-size companies meet federal housing requirements. One of these essential procedures includes providing accurate, up-to-date closing cost information. Earlier this year, ClosingCorp, located in La Jolla, California, introduced its SmartGFE system, enabling small and mid-size lenders to bypass customized onboarding processes to instantly obtain accurate rates and reduce RESPA tolerance violations. The SmartGFE system was designed to be affordable for small- and mid-size companies. This technology provides users with access to actual, vendorverified rates as well as critical recording fee and transfer tax data straight from ClosingCorp's proprietary closing cost database. Generating a GFE with SmartGFE only takes a few seconds, saving critical time and money, which is especially important to smaller companies with limited staff members. According to ClosingCorp CEO Brian Benson, SmartGFE is integrated with the nation's most popular LOS platforms, providing a convenient and seamless workflow. In addition, its sophisticated data mapping capabilities will quickly and easily accommodate the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's proposed disclosure changes as they occur. Benson said that all relevant changes to a loan file are automatically captured, date stamped, and updated with appropriate fees based on every change in circumstance. "This function provides a complete audit trail from GFE to HUD-1, and a Compliance Guarantee Certificate, which contains the audit trail," he explained. ClosingCorp is rapidly responding to the growing importance for lenders to gain quick access to accurate fee data. "We pride ourselves in providing the most current, accurate, and reliable closing cost data in the industry," Benson continued. "Our revolutionary technology takes the guesswork out of good faith estimates by delivering actual closing costs from a comprehensive network of more than 12,000 residential real estate service providers. This information for any address in the nation is available 24 hours a day." Mock Compliance Audits Help Avoid Disasters P reparing for audits is a daunting task for most small lenders and servicers. To meet this need, ISGN Corporation, based in Palm Bay, Florida, has developed a proprietary risk framework to conduct a mock Comprehensive Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Audit. According to Lisa Weaver, CMB, SVP of Mortgage Solutions for ISGN, "This approach provides our clients with the ability to conduct a 'dry run' to bring out any issues in policies, procedures, and practices prior to the actual regulatory review." ISGN's mock audit program was developed in partnership with TruPoint Partners and is designed specifically to assist smaller companies that cannot afford on-site services. "This Web-based self-assessment program offers the same services as when we go on site," Weaver explained. "During the identification phase, we review our clients' needs and conduct phone conversations to assist them in putting together their own specific mock audit compliance program." In most instances, that will be enough, but sometimes an on-site review may be required. Presently, ISGN is the only software company offering this type of program, which can be utilized by lenders as well as servicers. "It's really as simple or as complex as clients require, depending on what we identify for each client," Weaver explained. She says that requirements vary according to each company. For example, financial companies already have a lot of procedures in place, but mortgage companies have not previously been subject to some of the regulations and have more to do in fulfilling their compliance requirements. "They are starting from ground zero," Weaver said. "Consequently, it may take more time for these companies to construct a mock audit program." Weaver explained that "our goal is not only to strengthen our clients' ability to comply with current and upcoming regulations, but also to make the process less expensive, thereby reducing costs to consumers." She said the cost of compliance has already doubled from what it was five years ago.

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