During the past 12 months, Brian Benson has been preparing the industry to comply with the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure Rule (TRID). While his company helps lenders and title companies meet the new, rigid compliance standards, his activities have gone beyond a sales regimen. In fact, he has become a thought leader, bringing awareness of the intricacies that can potentially trip up even the most well-meaning mortgage participants.
Earlier this year, ClosingCorp released the results of its nationwide survey that revealed approximately two-thirds of Millennials who plan to buy a home are unaware of closing costs. The survey also found that across all adult age brackets, more than one-third of potential homeowners are “not very” or “not at all” aware of closing costs.
Since then, Brian and his team have stepped up their proactive education efforts to help potential homebuyers become aware of the total costs of their transactions and ensure lenders, as well as real estate, title and settlement agents, are prepared to meet the requirements of TRID.
ClosingCorp provides fully managed, vendor-verified rates and fees from nearly 20,000 unique real estate service providers covering every geographic area in the nation. Through its integrations, ClosingCorp’s proprietary data is directly incorporated into leading title and loan origination systems, such as Black Knight, Ellie Mae, Savana, First American and RamQuest.
This allows loan officers to produce accurate and compliant loan estimates backed by the ClosingCorp Guarantee, which protects lenders from variance violations, and provide consumers with most comprehensive information about the total cost of the transaction.
Benson joined ClosingCorp two years ago with the goal of building better business intelligence systems that will streamline transactions, making them more predictive, accurate and compliant.
“I was looking for the opportunity to build the company into the kind of place I wanted to work,” he said. “This was the perfect opportunity to do that.”
Prior to joining ClosingCorp, Benson spent 16 years with CoreLogic Inc., where he built award-winning teams with a consistent record of sales and revenue growth.
He also spent 10 years in the Coast Guard, holding several leadership roles in Hawaii, Alaska, Japan and West Africa. His military background has made him more of a collaborative leader than what many would expect.
“In going from a military background to private sector, the funny thing is people’s perception are of a Type A, regimented way of doing things,” he said. “I personally have found the military has some of the most progressive management training programs. You can’t do everything yourself; you need to trust those around you. When you enable good people it makes your own job easier.”
Government regulation has been good for business, and Benson expects ClosingCorp’s revenue will double this year and again next year. TRID’s requirements for better data and improving the way it’s displayed will continue to present challenges for businesses.
“The whole industry is in a lot of ways reinventing itself,” he said. “The devil is in the details. As a middleman you have to think about clients and the people participating in this transaction. Accuracy is in the eye of the regulators in this case, matching it up and synthesizing it so you can get a streamlined transaction.”
ClosingCorp’s ongoing challenge will be to educate those in the business and make product modifications that allow transactions to proceed in timeframes that provide a good experience for consumers.
“I have tremendous empathy for what businesses have to go through,” he said. “They’ve been under heavy scrutiny and regulatory Armageddon. We’re TRID ready and complaint. The good news is that we feel like we’re in a unique and amazing place to make that transpire for clients.”