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New rules raising the cost of mortgages


Under a recent directive from the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, lenders, title insurers and settlement agents were required to comply with a new, nearly 1,900-page rule book designed to improve transparency and accuracy in real estate and mortgage transactions for home buyers and refinancers. The regulations impose potentially heavy penalties on lenders that get their cost estimates wrong or fail to deliver accurate disclosures to consumers on prescribed timelines at application and closing.

Why Lenders Are Warming Up to CRM Tech, But Remain Cool to E-Sign


Amid a renewed focus on improving customer service and the overall borrowing experience, lenders surveyed by National Mortgage News indicate a strong interest in customer-relationship management software, but remain tepid about electronic signatures.

CRM and process automation software are leading technology priorities for lenders and servicers surveyed by NMN and SourceMedia Research. In addition, both segments of the industry are bullish in terms of their staffing outlooks. More than 300 industry professionals, including C-suite and other senior-level executives at mortgage origination and servicing firms of all sizes, responded to the September 2015 survey.

How the Industry Will Get eClosing Wrong


We all have read the results from the CFPB eClosing pilot and can all see the tremendous benefits of eClosing. However, many lenders will get it wrong on their first attempt. The reason for this is short-sighted approaches based on poor assumptions.

Unfortunately, many businesses have difficulty in understanding what eClosing really is and make the erroneous assumption that eClosing = eSigning. The truth is eSigning makes up less than one percent of the value proposition and functionality needed to realize the benefits of a true eClosing. Here is a look at some of the other poor assumptions lenders are making in regards to eClosing:

MBA Releases White Paper on Information Security


DALLAS--The Mortgage Bankers Association released a white paper that discusses information security risks facing the mortgage industry and basic security practices necessary to help mitigate risks.  

How an End to MSAs Will Level the Mortgage Playing Field


As marketing services agreements between mortgage lenders and referral partners increasingly fall out of favor due to questions about their legality, a more level and competitive playing field may soon emerge for loan officers.

The agreements often leave service providers obliged to recommend a partner, even when a better alternative is available for a consumer. What's more, many lenders see MSAs as a necessary evil to avoid putting their loan officers at a competitive disadvantage.

Down Payment Assistance Programs Remain Active to Help Consumers


Homebuyers may be missing out on a wide range of programs that can help them afford their purchases — programs their agents either don't know about or don't want to bother with.

They go under the heading of "down payment assistance," which makes it seem as though they are strictly for low- and moderate-income buyers, or those buying their first homes. But that's hardly the case.

Housing Starts Climb to an Almost Eight-Year High


New-home construction climbed in July to the highest level in almost eight years, indicating the industry will pick up in the second half of the year.

Residential starts rose 0.2% to a 1.21 million annualized rate, the most since October 2007, from a 1.2 million pace in the prior month that was higher than previously estimated, a Commerce Department report showed Tuesday in Washington. The median forecast of 77 economists surveyed by Bloomberg was 1.18 million. A drop in permits, a proxy for future construction, signals additional gains will take time to develop.

Managing the Unintended Consequences of TRID


As the industry braces for TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule (TRID) to finally be implemented, mortgage bankers must put a plan in place to manage vendor liability and risk within the context of the new rule.

Several aspects of TILA-RESPA will be left open to interpretation. While a variety of interpretations are acceptable, banks need to make sure they fully understand every individual vendor’s appetite for risk to ensure alignment. There may be variation from one vendor to the next, so banks must be proactive in learning how their vendor interprets various sections of the rule, and how they put those interpretations into the functionality.

Rates reverse trend, business spikes


Changes in interest rates suggest loan officers may have to hunt harder for originations that may ultimately be more lucrative.

"Overall, trends in mortgage applications last week were consistent with the ongoing shift towards a purchase market accompanied by growth in employment and higher interest rates,” said Lynn Fisher, vice president for research and economics at the Mortgage Bankers Association, reports CNBC.” Although contract interest rates fell by 3 basis points due to economic uncertainty abroad last week, they remain 40 basis points above April levels and the refinance share of mortgage applications fell to 48 percent, the lowest rate since June of 2009."

CFPB Points Out Illegal Mortgage Activities in Supervisory Report


In order to provide transparency, reduce risks to consumers, and comply with Federal consumer financial law, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently shared its eighth Supervisory Highlights report. The report covers the illegal practices that the Bureau uncovers in areas such as consumer reporting, debt collection, student loan servicing, mortgage origination, mortgage servicing, and fair lending for the first four months of the year.

According to the supervisory report, the CFPB found problems with dual-tracking at mortgage servicers that could lead consumers to believe their trial modifications were canceled.


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