Automating Documentation Can Mean Automating Compliance, Firm Says
Automating mortgage document production can mean more than making it more efficient and cost effective to bring that pile of papers to the closing table. It can also mean automating mortgage compliance.
That is part of the message from MRG Document Technologies, a Dallas-based firm that specializes in producing mortgage documents. Outsourcing mortgage document production can mean building mortgage compliance into the document process too.
This is a particular niche for MRG, a firm that is part of the mortgage banking law firm, Middleberg Riddle & Gianna.
The law firm started the practice group in document preparation to offer compliance and technology support for the ever more complex disclosure and documentation environment faced by single-family mortgage lenders.
"What we found is that we could build in compliance checks into the mortgage document process so that lenders can focus on the other parts of the mortgage process," said Laura LaRaia, an attorney and director of customer service for the firm.
LaRaia explained that the firm has been including compliance checks into its document production for some time, but the wave of regulatory changes from recent laws, particularly the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, makes compliance checks more important.
LaRaia explained, for example, that changes in RESPA rules prevent mortgage lenders from increasing certain fees related to the mortgage process by more than 10% over what are included in the standardized good faith estimate. Building compliance into the document production process lets the firm alert the credit union that one of its fees has come in too high. Before the CU would have to stop the closure process and go over some of the procedures again with the borrower.
"This can make a significant difference in the cost and timeliness of the mortgage process," LaRaia said.
The $2.1 billion State Employees Credit Union of Maryland is one of the credit unions that has outsourced its mortgage document production to MRG. The credit union has granted roughly 1,200 real estate loans so far this year worth almost $156 million, according to NCUA's data for the end of June.
Kevin Kesecker, loan production manager for SECU said that the credit union had automated its second-mortgage and HELOC lending first but has begun to automate its first-mortgage business as well.
He said that the interface with MRG and the credit union's second-loan and HELOC platform had cut about 10% off its turnaround time, dropping what had been15 days for an application to 13 days. He said the credit union expected similar results from automating the documents on its first-mortgage program.
"Managing SECU's mortgage compliance in-house can prove very costly and time consuming, ultimately affecting member service," Kesecker said. "With MRG producing our HELOC document packages, we are guaranteed to be in full compliance and are able to focus more resources on assisting members."
Kesecker explained that SECU had not had any instances yet where MRG's compliance efforts had caught major mistakes in SECU loan documents, but said that the firm had helped the credit union offer and process mortgages more smoothly and efficiently as well.