The age of the customer has arrived.
In nearly every industry, technology has shifted power to the hands of consumers, who have access to more information than ever before for informed decision-making.
The Internet has morphed into a town hall without walls, where people can participate in open discussions and broadcast their experiences far and wide. A communal rolodex with limitless, user-reviewed options is now at consumers’ fingertips.
While transparency is a move in the right direction, the concerning reality for mortgage execs is that the voice of the consumer is also guiding the heavy hand of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – and consumer complaints can arise from a wide spectrum of security and experience mishaps, big and small.
To champion consumers in this new era, the CFPB stepped up its requirements of mortgage professionals with TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure rules. This is positive for homebuyers but can be a burden for lenders and title companies – especially with remote mortgage closings, which have many moving parts and parties involved in the process.
Without automated safeguards in place, companies may occasionally miss meeting regulatory requirements – despite good intentions – and face consumers, competitors or even partners crying foul.
In a world with increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks and stricter mortgage guidelines, modern technology is the answer for risk mitigation.
Here’s how mortgage settlement service providers and their lenders can guarantee security and benefit from turn-key compliance:
1. Move away from email.
Sending documents containing sensitive information by email is not secure nor compliant, as email servers are highly susceptible to being hacked.
2. Securely transfer documents.
Use a platform that transmits documents containing sensitive information over https. When implementing new technologies that involve document transfer, pursue direct integration so there are no cracks through which sensitive information can slip.
3. Encrypt sensitive information.
Store consumers’ private information in encrypted fields and in the cloud to protect the data in case of a natural disaster or attack, whether it originates in-person or from a remote location. With a reliable cloud host, companies can benefit from a data center and network architecture built to meet rigorous security requirements.
4. Perform due diligence on anyone accessing sensitive information.
Conduct and store background checks on all employees and third-party contractors handling loan docs. Additionally, track log-in location and require multi-factor authentication for any log-in attempts from unrecognized places. Log all instances of access within the database.
5. Keep an audit trail.
Use technology that tracks important events that occur with every order and account and that creates an activity record, which would be critical in the case of an audit.
As mortgage service providers are faced with more and more requests for out-of-office loan signings, the use of new tools to handle these mobile closings should be explored.
In addition to helping lenders and title companies manage and maintain security amidst a decentralized signing process, the latest technology platforms can allow consumers instant and ongoing access to important information about their loan. Modern platforms can also make open communication and collaboration throughout the mortgage process easy.
Staying current on the latest in security technology and consumer protection regulation is a heavy lift, but selecting the right technology partners can significantly lighten the load.
Compliance is baked into smartly-designed modern tools, which should evolve as technology and rules change. Adoption of such tools frees mortgage pros to focus on their strengths, rather than the regulatory boxes that need to be checked.
Modern mortgage technology can fend off information security threats and automate compliance, while creating a home buying experience that wows the consumer chorus. After all, holding complaints at bay keeps the CFPB away.