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 Debbie Lastoria, vice president of business development at Nationwide Title Clearing, to find out how her company is adapting its lien verification service for the changing market.
Q. How does NTC’s lien verification service help lenders and servicers?
A. NTC’s Lien Validation Report is a low cost alternative to insurable title searches concentrating on only the information needed to complete a variety of end to end processes. We have successfully integrated the data and/or reports compiled thru thorough research of public records into due diligence programs for both buyers and sellers, delinquent lien disposition, foreclosure processes, charge-off and blight prevention initiatives. In addition with minor customization, our focus expands into providing tax status, lien position monitoring, mortgage position validation and transaction history for all the same reasons plus some.
The fact of the matter is that these reports evolved over time with our existing client base to assist with the imposed regulatory requirements and investor guidelines alike. We reacted to our client’s needs and created the solution needed to streamline new processes, enhance existing requirements and manage costs at the same time.
Q. What makes this service unique in the marketplace?
A. All research is completed by research specialists using the most accurate available resources. Our level of accuracy requirements cannot rely on data bases so they simply are not part of the delivery.
Integrating our results into the decision making tools and/or processes is our specialty — again — focusing on timely and accurate results and not the cost of unneeded information and/or document copies; when appropriate
Q. As the number of distressed properties drops nationwide, how has NTC adapted to the types of lien verification needed now?
A. The versatility of the Lien Verification Report is endless. We have new clients calling for new reasons all the time. That’s the good thing about answering your client’s needs; the demand is there across lines of business regardless of the independent industry ebbs and flows. For example and more to your point, NTC’s report can pinpoint the information needed to complete quality control on new loans, due diligence on portfolios for sale and/or provide key decision points on lien disposition. With this balance, we are not relying on one industry statistic rather counting on diversification from the investors, capital market groups, servicers and collateral file experts we call our clients.
Q. NTC is one of the fastest growing private companies in the housing economy, ranking in the HW Fast50 last year and recognized by Inc. magazine for the fourth year in a row. What is behind your growth?
A. NTC has created an executive team which has nearly 300 years of combined experience and deep expertise in this industry. Collectively, this knowledge gives us the edge to stay ahead of the game in this ever-changing world. Having an ear to our client’s needs not only allows us to expand upon and make more efficient our existing product lines and out of the box solutions but it helps us provide the resources for special one-time projects that otherwise would be deemed unjustified from a cost and time perspective. I have said for years that our clients are the backbone to our success. In the spirit of partnership, we rely greatly on their confidence in us to explore new opportunities outside of our core competency.
Q. What's next for NTC?
We are a privately owned company that has organically grown into a fairly large company because the core values of the original founders have remained intact. While most large corporations are blindly driven by profit, we believe that profit is the reward rather than the goal. Our executives are fixated with establishing processes that are as close to perfect as possible. Our objective is to provide the highest standards in research and document production. We accomplish this through a lot of employee training, through effective QA processes and a lot of trial and error. But when we get it right, we record it in policy and procedure and lock it down. We believe continuing this practice by remaining steadfast and loyal to our founders’ original values will keep us growing well into the future.
Long term, we will continue to focus on drastic expansion of software solutions, and perfecting our research and document services, evolving our services with a more sophisticated web experience than what’s out there, one that delivers on quality results not just automation because our focus has always been and will always be quality.