Paulina Gonzalez is the executive director of the California Reinvestment Coalition, which advocates for the right of low-income communities and communities of color to have fair and equal access to banking and other financial services. CRC has a membership of over 300 nonprofit organizations and public agencies across the State.
Follow her on Twitter @calreinvest
A simple way to create greater access and transparency would be to require banks to publicly disclose data about which communities and homeowners are helped under a settlement. This transparency is important because while some of the most predatory mortgages were targeted to poorer neighborhoods and communities of color, the homeowners in these communities are now receiving less help to avoid foreclosure.
The mortgage industry is leveraging technology like never before, streamlining processes across the spectrum of lending, servicing, investing and real estate. The combination of regulatory pressure and consumer expectations have set a high standard for efficiency and transparency, requiring a significant investment of time, money and talent to hit the right notes for both.
Ironically, the monkey on the mortgage industry’s back for the past 10 years — increasing regulation — is the very thing that forced companies to find efficiencies in every part of the process, which serves them well as they look to engage tech-savvy consumers. Even as the enforcement of some of those regulations is now in question, the long-lasting benefits of investing in automation will stand.
Mortgage banks have traditionally been slow to embrace new technologies, and while the technology that has improved efficiency, security and customer experience in a multitude of other industries (transportation, education and retail, to name a few) is finding its way into the loan production process, a lot of opportunity still exists in other stages of the mortgage life cycle.