As the mortgage origination industry continues to evolve its processes to become compliant with the changes to the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), Minneapolis-based Wolters Kluwer Financial Services started a new service to help lenders ensure operations on in line with the new laws and avoid Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) sanctions. The Wolters Kluwer RESPA Post-Implementation Audit Service helps lenders implement new policies and procedures to complement updates to software systems. Jason Marx, vice president and general manager of Wolters Kluwer Financial Services’ mortgage division told HousingWire that lenders facing many challenges in implementing the new RESPA rules, which include a new HUD-1 and good faith estimate (GFE) forms. “The forms were brand new and they had new tolerances, new fee lines, new calculations and people that were preparing those things for years suddenly had to do it differently from Friday to Monday,” Marx said. Wolters Kluwer lawyers, compliance analysts and regulatory consultants conduct a review of the company’s RESPA changes, including lending, compliance, vendor management, and staff training procedures, as well as loan file reviews of GFEs and HUD-1 and HUD-1A forms for accuracy and adherence to all RESPA requirements. Since the new RESPA regulations took effect January 1, HUD has mandated compliance, but because the changes were so drastic, there has been some leniency. Implementing the policies has been difficult for lenders because prior to January 1, many of the standards were in flux, but that doesn’t excuse lenders from implementing the changes, Marx said. “The regulators understood this was a large complex change and as long as lenders are showing good faith in going forward and making the changes necessary, that was where they were allowing the lenders some latitude in timing, but not necessarily in compliance,” Marx said. “The expectation from the regulators is that there best be a good faith effort that you’re making to comply with the changes. Doing nothing is not acceptable,” he added. Write to Austin Kilgore.
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