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Executive Conversations is a HousingWire web series that profiles powerful people in the financial industry, highlighting the operations and the people that make this sector tick. In the latest installment, we sit down with Dan Sogorka, president of RealEC Technologies, a division of Black Knight Financial Services, to talk about the company’s latest innovation — Closing Insight.

Q: What led RealEC Technologies to develop Closing Insight?

Dan SogorkaA: Closing Insight was developed to support the CFPB’s TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) rule. As mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act, the CFPB established new disclosure forms for consumers applying for and closing on mortgage loans.

As lenders, settlement service providers and other involved parties prepare to comply with the TRID rule, they are facing dramatic challenges that will impact their current origination process, including workflow, data mapping, document generation, technology infrastructure and their integrations with settlement service providers. Closing Insight was developed to support many of the necessary processes that lenders will have to embrace in order to meet the CFPB’s requirements.  

Q: What makes this product unique in the marketplace?

A: Closing Insight was developed in collaboration with several top-10 lenders and their settlement service providers. By incorporating feedback directly from the industry, Closing Insight is well positioned to help the lending community gain efficiencies by enabling lenders to deploy a data-driven process across all of their settlement agents. By leveraging this system-agnostic utility, lenders can be assured that settlement agents are prepared to comply with the TRID rule requirements and that borrowers have a positive closing experience.

Closing Insight will also enhance efficiency and make compliance easier for everyone involved through its thousands of inherent business rules. Through an intuitive workflow and use of previously proven event-driven technology – RealEC Exchange – Closing Insight replaces manually intensive processes with real-time sharing of data and information between lenders and settlement providers. And,  Closing Insight will offer full integration with the industry’s largest software providers from day one of TRID. 

Q: How is this a game-changer for your clients?

A: In many cases, lenders today still collaborate with settlement agents on fee changes using manually intensive processes — email, voice, facsimile, scan, etc. But given TRID’s requirements around fee changes and disclosure timelines, continuing with this approach can be risky and is neither optimal nor sufficient since it is difficult to record receipt dates, track various versions of emailed documents, and ensure a truly auditable record and proof of these time-sensitive proceedings.

An industry utility such as Closing Insight can allow both lenders and settlement agents to efficiently collaborate on documents and fees to meet the new timeline requirements and enable an automated collaborative disclosure workflow between lenders and providers. Closing Insight delivers an enhanced bi-directional exchange service that enables lenders and settlement services agents to aggregate and verify fee quotes from multiple sources, and includes a data-centric rules engine to help ensure process consistency and tracking in support of the lender’s regulatory compliance efforts.

Closing Insight offers secure integration to widely used title production platforms (e.g., SoftPro, RAMQuest, etc.), as well as a web portal to provide collaborative workflow to any size settlement firm. Data is captured and retained in standard MISMO format to enable efficient system integration and provide a machine-readable loan archive and payload delivery to address evidence of compliance needs.

Q: How does RealEC Technologies encourage innovation in its employees?

A: Given the scope of change that has occurred in the financial services industry during the last five to seven years, it is important to create a culture that is accepting and supportive of change. To be effective, everyone must understand change is inevitable, and that it can be very positive, both for the employee, the business and the industry.

RealEC has built a culture that allows us to be proactive when change occurs in our business, our clients’ business and in the industry. In general, we make sure to:

  • Provide clarity around what the end result looks like
  • Gain buy-in and support from executive leadership
  • Incorporate a solid planning process that involves subject matter experts in each impacted area
  • Develop an implementation infrastructure with identified internal and external participants, timelines and budgets
  • Establish check-points along the way as changes are rolled out to ensure that up and downstream impacts are anticipated, and that mid-course corrections can be made if needed

RealEC believes companies that best understand the discipline, science and art of change management will have a competitive advantage as a result of their ability to easily adapt as the industry evolves. As a core competency for the company, RealEC has been able to stand out in the marketplace and maximize opportunities as a result.