PERSON OF THE WEEK: Kris Perez is customer success manager for Idaho Falls, Idaho-based DocuTech Corp., which provides compliance services and documentation technology for the mortgage industry. MortgageOrb recently caught up with Perez to get her views on why certain technology vendors were singled out for not adequately meeting the Oct. 3 deadline for implementation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) new TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) rules, as well as how vendors should prepare for the upcoming expansion of reporting requirements under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA).
Q: What do you feel are the biggest pain points currently plaguing the mortgage industry?
Perez: The mortgage industry today is increasingly focused on data. More specifically, lenders are being presented with significant issues regarding missing data necessary to maintain day-to-day operations. As the industry continues to be inundated with new information on a daily basis, lenders need a system in place to successfully manage this data in order to maintain efficiency and ensure all regulatory requirements are fully met.
Q: The CFPB recently took notice of several mortgage technology providers that were not adequately prepared for the Oct. 3 deadline for implementation of the bureau’s new TRID rules. What did some technology providers do differently to ensure they met the deadline?
Perez: Though we can’t speak for everyone, what worked for us – and for many of the lenders and technology vendors we work with – was maintaining a dedicated focus on preparing for the deadline as far in advance as possible. Aside from helping us to ensure our technology would be in optimal working order once the TRID deadline came and went, we were able to utilize the time leading up to the deadline to assist our customers in familiarizing themselves with changes to the system in order to prevent any confusion come Oct. 1. In addition, we made it a point to begin working with our partners early on in the TRID preparation process to ensure a seamless transition into TRID for all of our mutual clients.
Q: Following TRID, what will be the next major initiative within the mortgage industry?
Perez: Though the majority of 2015 was focused on the new TRID guidelines, regulatory changes are far from over for the mortgage industry. Although the HMDA rules are not scheduled to take effect until January 2018, mortgage vendors and lenders alike would be wise to begin preparing for the changes now, rather than risk falling behind and missing the deadline in 2018. Because of the new changes, technology vendors will begin implementing new fields into their various mortgage solutions to ensure customers are able to familiarize themselves with the new changes well before the 2018 deadline.
Q: What roles will electronic signatures and document fulfillment play as the industry moves forward?
Perez: Following the new integrated disclosure requirements [that went] into effect in August 2015, the industry saw electronic documents, signatures and transactions provide a significant advantage for both borrowers and lenders – which will continue well into this year. By more heavily leveraging digital documents, lenders have the ability to increase efficiency throughout the disclosure process by utilizing electronic documents to simplify compliance reporting requirements, decrease paper and printing costs, and more directly address the needs of today’s tech-savvy borrowers.
Q: What steps is DocuTech taking to proactively assist with lessening the impact of new regulations for its customers?
Perez: DocuTech consistently focuses on maintaining a strong lead time in advance of new regulations to ensure that all of its products and services are up to date for customers well before the designated deadline. Not only does this allow DocuTech to ensure all systems are in perfect working order, but it also allows customers to have ample time to reach out to the company with any questions about changes to the system. As new regulations are introduced, DocuTech’s customer service team is available around the clock to address any and all concerns from customers and can provide internal training to ensure the customer is fully confident in utilizing DocuTech’s technology as new regulations take effect.