You Deal With It

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take 5 Positioned for Transition As 2013 winds to a close, an industry executive offers words of wisdom for next year's challenges. T he calm before the proverbial storm is nigh, but there is one industry professional who thinks that as long as the industry stays on its toes, the storm won't be catastrophic. Joe D'Urso, president and COO of Clayton Holdings, believes that if executives arm themselves with good information and execute directives clearly, most companies will fare well during the transition. The 22-year industry veteran offers insight on what the mortgage banking community will experience in 2014. M // As the CFPB continues to refine the rules, companies are working hard to ensure they will be compliant by January 10, 2014. Is this a realistic goal for servicers, or will we see fallout from a lack of preparedness from companies? D'Urso // As a whole, the industry should be prepared for the January 2014 go-live date, as organizations have had more than a year to prepare. But as the rules have evolved since first announced, the organizations that are most nimble will be more prepared than others. It does not matter whether the goal is realistic. Change will occur, and not dissimilar to various promulgated start dates for the Making Home Affordable (MHA) program, all organizations will need to embrace the change regardless of whether they begin on day one or a short time thereafter. M // What is the biggest concern you are seeing in the field in terms of implementation of regulatory controls in individual companies? 6 | The M Report M // After everyone exhales on January 10, what will be the next issue to which the industry needs to give its full attention as it continues to recover? D'Urso // It is difficult to predict, but I believe additional fine-tuning will be necessary after the new requirements become effective. There will most likely be an adjustment period and perhaps additional changes that may result from the January deadline. M // How does your leadership style set a tone conducive to GRC | Clayton Holdings' cooperation in the housing market recovery? D'Urso // Our leadership style focuses on being fully engaged and collaborative with clients, regulators, and industry constituents. At the same time, we are staying abreast of all regulatory compliance requirements. In doing that, we want to work more closely with our clients and help them navigate changing times. Staying engaged both internally and externally helps us develop creative solutions to meet industry needs. An important part of our corporate culture, and of critical importance to our clients, is to remain agile and proactive. "The industry is recovering and will come back stronger than ever with all the newly established processes." M // What advice would you give a young professional looking to enter the industry at this point of the recovery? D'Urso // The amount of regulatory change and oversight has been unprecedented in our industry, be it as a result of the Treasury programs, the CFPB changes to RESPA and TILA, changes to the National Servicing Standards stemming from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) consent orders, or the national servicing settlements. We also have experienced unprecedented times within the housing market and the economy as a result of the Great Recession. Corporate executives and leaders need to remain vigilant, apprised of the regulatory changes, and be ready to act and execute accordingly to ensure continued compliance. Waiting on the sidelines to see how things will transpire is not a wise move. The "compliance train" has left the station. D'Urso // The industry is recovering and will come back stronger than ever with all the newly established processes. This presents an excellent opportunity for young professionals to join companies and help make a difference. They need to remain agile, but they should also take this time to really learn and digest as much information as possible from a broad range of resources. Keep your sense of humility, as this is a big and ever-changing industry.

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