HousingWire sat down with Greg Dennis, vice president at MDA Lending Solutions, during the Five Star Default Servicing Conference and Expo in Fort Worth, Texas to talk about valuation practices for default servicers. He took a break from the conference in the leather chairs on the second floor of the Omni Hotel, above the fray of brokers, managers and marketers weaving networking webs and looking for stress relief to their distressed property problems. The lending solutions of TransUnion.com, MindBox and DataQuick fall under MDA Lending Solutions’ umbrella of utilities for orginators, servicers and investors. Using that database, Dennis said that MDA applies their valuations to specific marketplaces across the country. “It’s not just about understanding what a value is but where is it in the marketplace,” Dennis said. Dennis was surprised by the energy of the US government to put in controls such as the Home Valuation Code of Conduct (HVCC), and he believes it’s a good thing that the industry is following suit, such as the Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA) recent release of new policies which will remain “consistent” with the Code. “The controls have been put in play for a while. It’s been in regulations, but it just hasn’t been policed,” Dennis said. “It [HVCC] drives a more objective process.” Despite the many industry players that believe HVCC hinders the process from moving at a speedier and unrestrained pace, Dennis indicated MDA has seen no significant difference in the speed of the appraisal process. “We still have customers who are just as happy to receive an appraisal in seven days after HVCC as before HVCC,” Dennis said. After the Code's introduction, Dennis said that MDA hasn’t seen a big change in the amount of time it takes to complete a valuation. “It wasn’t like it took three days before and ten days now,” Dennis said. The most effective businesses place their corporate policies above the platforms offered by MDA. This way, their valuations can be form-fitted to those rules, streamlining the process and shaving time away from adapting the results themselves, Dennis said. The foreclosure crisis has and continues to streamline the old ways of originating and servicing mortgages, according to Dennis “This event has forced a lot of servicers to shift toward a more proactive approach to their portfolios,” Dennis said. “We were getting fat and happy, and it’s tough to make such big changes in a short amount of time.” Write to Jon Prior.