Politics & MoneyMortgage

HMDA deadline looms closer: Have you checked your system twice?

Here are ways to prepare

Are you prepared for most of the 2015 updates to the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act rule take effect in January 2018

If not, you need to start to get prepared. 

Panelists during a HousingWire webinar on Thursday continuously stressed and stressed again the importance of preparing for the upcoming HMDA reporting requirements.

The HMDA Town Hall webinar sponsored by Ellie Mae attracted more than a hundred questions as the industry tries to assess how they can best prepare for the requirements.

Panelists included Richard Triplett, vice president and director of compliance with Ellie Mae, John Haring, director of compliance enablement with Ellie Mae, Amy Cross, senior product manager with Ellie Mae and Tom Kearney, partner in the Consumer Financial Services Practice Groups at Akerman.

HMDA, which was originally enacted in 1975, requires many lenders to report information about the home loans for which they receive applications or that they originate or purchase. The HMDA updates are supposed to improve the quality and type of HMDA data.

Once the filing period officially opens next year, reporting institutions will have until March 1, 2018 to submit data for calendar year 2017.

But, the industry shouldn’t wait until then to care.

Panelists advised that filers need to go through the exercises to make sure that they have the process down.

Ask yourself, “How might this break?” Then, fill in where those holes are.

Making sure people are trained and adequately understand their responsibilities keeps lenders up at night, panelists explained.

Panelists listed the following as top ways the industry working to prepare for the requirements.

  • Making sure your LOS is working
  • Training people
  • Testing your solution
  • Sticking with your process for scrubbing the data

If people are doing these things, it puts them in a better place with regulators.

“If you’re trying to build the ship after it sailed, it’s highly likely that you’re going to get slammed,” a panelist stated.

They noted that it’s okay if you have kinks that you need to work out, as long as you have made a good faith effort.

And while technology is a great tool to help become HMDA compliant, users shouldn’t completely rely on it.

“The more you use technology the easier this will be. But, it’ also highly important to answer what your technology does, so you can pick up any of the gaps that it doesn’t pick up.”

While this is one of the most important topics discussed on the webinar, check here for a free download of the webinar to see what the answers to the other top questions are.

And don’t forget that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has launched its new HMDA Platform, giving the industry about two months to test if they’re compliant with reporting requirements.

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