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 John Surface, president and COO of LenderLive, to discuss the factors driving lenders and servicers to reevaluate their strategy on outsourcing critical tasks.

Q. An increasing number of originators and servicers are taking a renewed look at outsourcing partnerships, especially around streamlining processes and document management. What’s driving the focus toward a more collaborative approach?

SurfaceA. Competitive and regulatory pressures are driving our clients to focus on their core competencies and reevaluate their operating approaches. For some, this may mean questioning whether to maintain an internal mortgage operation at all; for others, it may mean exploring new ways of handling component functions related to critical tasks within origination and loan servicing. But both groups realize they can no longer operate at sub-optimal scale and be cost-effective and compliant over the long term.  

By working with LenderLive, our loan origination fulfillment clients create efficiency, improve profitability and enhance quality and compliance by leveraging our operating scale, enhanced process workflows, technology systems and subject matter expertise. This approach allows these firms to take advantage of the significant investments LenderLive has made in these areas to effectively share the cost of ownership.  

Similarly, our document and compliance services clients realize that the increased oversight and risk associated with using disparate processes and/or multiple providers to address heavily regulated areas like default, loss mitigation and foreclosure can be costly and unsustainable. Our compliance monitoring, extensive libraries of state and federal notification templates, control processes incorporated into our document technologies, and integrated print fulfillment capabilities are designed to reduce risk and provide greater efficiencies for our clients.  

LenderLive's integrated approach consolidates processes that were previously often managed through separate providers, including in-house operations, outside law firms and other print fulfillment and mail houses. By employing superior, integrated controls to fulfill these critical borrower communications, we align with a company’s resources to optimize operations and reduce risk.

Q. From your recent role as a senior bank executive, what keeps executives up at night making decisions around processes, technology, scalability, or compliance? 

A. What doesn’t keep them up at night? Concerns over economic policies, industry growth, margin compression and the growing risk of cybersecurity breaches are at the forefront of many bank executives' minds.  Furthermore, as regulators increase their oversight, executives must constantly re-evaluate their companies' policies and procedures to stay compliant and manage costs.

There are often no easy management solutions to these issues, but we believe these very concerns enhance the value proposition we offer to our clients. Our services enable our clients to manage regulatory and compliance costs more effectively, optimize sub-scale internal processes, enhance subject matter expertise and avoid costly investments in technology systems. 

Clients can determine which essential internal operations lack the capabilities to deliver consistent results, identify which workflows can be managed better with proven external resources and leverage our capabilities in those areas.

Q. How does being the largest on-shore fulfillment provider and offering document services impact your business approach and what you offer to prospects?

A. LenderLive clients value not only the cost management benefits we provide, but also the enhanced quality and compliance that we deliver in our various service offerings. We differentiate ourselves by collaborating with our clients as a partner to understand staffing philosophies, technology platforms, interpretations of regulatory requirements and other important business requirements. 

Our approach puts us in a position to propose unique and innovative solutions that fit client infrastructures and take advantage of each party's strengths. Clients want to be intimately involved in decision-making and visit our operations and management team frequently, which gives them more confidence and control over their businesses. This greatly enhances our clients' abilities to meet rigorous vendor management requirements that have become more complex with global operations and multiple vendors.