The mortgage lending space continues to weave through a maze of uncertainty caused by reluctant borrowers, worries over mortgage fraud and loan credibility fears among investors, Mortgage Bankers Association president and CEO David Stevens said Tuesday.
The simple answer to all of these concerns is new and existing innovations in technology, Stevens said while speaking at the MBA's National Technology and Fraud Conference Tuesday.
"Technology knows no bounds and I envision a system that includes more than just data standards," said Stevens. "Plans are already in the works to expand to forms and information security. Our data can never be safe enough. Adding security features will go a long way to gaining trust."
Stevens said the MBA is currently working with IRS staff on an e-signature solution that can streamline the filing of documents disclosure forms.
"Ask any of your customers what one thing they would like to eliminate most from the loan process and I can almost guarantee you it will be paperwork," Stevens said. "Am I right? I'm sure you could deal with a little less paper too. In the world of e-filing and e-faxing, why are we still caught up in the nineteenth and twentieth century way of handling forms?"
Stevens said adding data standards and technology solutions to improve forms and information security will go a long way in preventing fraud while regaining the trust of investors who ended up losing faith in their ability to detect risk underlying mortgage investments.
Stevens also promoted the Mortgage Industry Standards Maintenance Organization, or MISMO, a platform that develops residential and commercial property and technology standards. The MBA took the MISMO platform over last year. Prior to that, the Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, or MERS electronic mortgage registry, was overseeing the platform.
"Our top priority – MISMO," said Stevens. "Any company operating in the mortgage industry today needs to be concerned about the quality and consistency of their data. The MISMO standards provide a voluntary, consensus, industry standard to facilitate the exchange of data that is consistent and of high quality."
Stevens said Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have already adopted MISMO standards. In addition, the Securities and Exchange Commission, Federal Reserve, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. have expressed some interest in using MISMO standards in the future.