From May 2 - 4, 2022, Regulators, compliance experts, and lenders gathered at our Inaugural Fair Lending Forum in Charlotte, North Carolina. Here are the highlights from this groundbreaking compliance industry event.
The Forum’s wide array of attendees and speakers included prominent government officials such as Sandra Thompson, Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), and Jon Seward, Principal Deputy Chief of the Department of Justice (DOJ).
Sessions throughout the Forum covered important topics in compliance, including Fair Lending, Fair Servicing, HMDA, CRA, and Redlining:
The Forum also hosted fun networking events during which attendees and speakers got to know one another. Attendees enjoyed receptions, local foods and brews, and a nail-biting Kannapolis Cannon Ballers baseball game!
The Fair and Responsible Hall of Fame was established to honor individuals who have greatly impacted the industry, with fair and responsible banking achievements, over the course of their careers. During the Fair Lending Forum, inaugural members of the Hall of Fame were inducted. They are:
Mike Calhoun is president of the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL), the policy affiliate of Self-Help, the nation's largest community development lender. For more than 30 years, Mike has been on the front lines of working for economic justice. At CRL, he provides management and policy leadership.
Ensuring compliance and fairness within the lending industry can be complex, with numerous associated risks. Mike discussed the mortgage compliance industry’s challenge, saying, “Our biggest risk over the next five years is that we will not make the necessary changes in products and procedures and devote sufficient resources to begin to close the racial homeownership and wealth gaps.”
For fun, Mike loves sailing, gardening, and playing basketball.
Dr. Marsha J. Courchane is Vice President and Practice Leader of Charles River Associates and heads the Financial Economics Practice. She specializes in financial institution analyses for regulatory reviews and is a leading expert in the areas of mortgage and consumer lending.
In an interview with the Asurity team, Marsha expressed her thoughts on how the lending industry has changed and how it will need to adapt moving forward, saying, “Fair lending oversight requires a very strong basis in the history and purpose of supplying consumer credit, and must have the statistical tools to both analyze the applications for credit and the performance outcomes of originated loans.”
When asked what Marsha likes to do for fun, she said, “Before the pandemic, our favorite pastime was foreign travel. My husband and I have traveled to 47 countries and all seven continents since our marriage in 2005. For those of you now traveling again, three of our favorite trips were to Antarctica, the Galapagos, and Istanbul. Happy travels!”
Loretta Kirkwood is the Vice President of Fair Lending at loanDepot, providing an integrated approach to assisting clients in developing and implementing effective regulatory risk management programs. She has over 30 years of financial services industry experience focused on regulatory compliance with extensive knowledge of mortgage lending, bank regulations, loan operations, and technology.
As regulatory priorities continue to influence the direction of the lending industry, lenders and servicers will need to be quick to adapt to a constantly changing environment. Loretta explored the most important needs within the mortgage industry, saying, “The regulatory landscape continues to evolve, and consistency is an ongoing concern with all compliance professionals. Ensuring that lenders have the appropriate guidance and resources to implement effective internal controls to address both federal and state laws and regulations is of utmost importance.”
Interestingly, Loretta wanted to be a doctor when she was younger. She told us, “As a child, I dreamed of being a doctor – so I could help people feel better. I never in my wildest dreams aspired to be a regulatory compliance professional focusing on HMDA, Fair Lending, or Fair Servicing - nor do I believe anyone would.” Here she is today, though, earning her place in the Hall of Fame.
Lynn Woosley is the Managing Director of Fair and Responsible Banking with Treliant. She is a seasoned executive with extensive risk management experience in regulatory compliance, consumer and commercial credit risk, credit and compliance risk modeling, model governance, regulatory change management, acquisition due diligence, and operational risk in both financial services and regulatory environments.
As a seasoned industry professional, Lynn offered advice to fellow lenders entering the industry: “Learn everything you can about your institution’s lines of businesses and products. As you improve your understanding of the products your firm offers and the criteria used for marketing, underwriting, pricing, and servicing those products, you will be able to create better fair lending analyses and offer better compliance advice.”
When asked about her favorite sports team, she said, “My favorite team is the University of Georgia Bulldogs. Go DAWGS!”
Wes Zickefoose is a former Office of the Comptroller of Currency (OCC) Examiner turned Consultant who retired from the industry in 2018. He has had extensive experience learning and instructing in fair lending software products and developing fair lending learning programs.
Wes also explored potential risks for the mortgage compliance industry moving forward, expressing the biggest risk would be to “let complacency and politics interfere with a very noble part of regulation and responsible lending.”
Wes is another traveler among the Hall of Fame inductees. He told us, “I convinced my wife that buying an RV and traveling the US and Canada would be fun. And it has been, even though it is a lot of work. Our first trip was ambitious, starting in Venice, Florida, and traveling through Colorado, Lake Tahoe, Yosemite, Redwoods, the Oregon Coast, Washington State, Whistler BC, Banff National Park, Jasper National Park, Glacier National Park, Toronto, Western Pennsylvania and back home. I am an avid photographer, so I was in heaven in these beautiful places! We traveled 18,000 miles in six months.”
The Inaugural Fair Lending Forum was a major success. In the ever-evolving compliance industry, there is always more to learn, so save the dates May 15th - 17th for Fair Lending Forum 2023 in Washington, DC. Stay connected with us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn for additional details.
MISMO® (Mortgage Industry Standards Maintenance Organization), the standards development body for the mortgage industry, creates standards for many aspects of mortgage financing which are used by participants across the industry. Compliance experts from Asurity Technologies, LLC will be joining forces with other mortgage regulation leaders to create a standard dataset for Regulatory Compliance.
It’s tough to overstate the importance and value of standards that are applied throughout the industry. Implementation of MISMO standards has led to lower costs, greater efficiency of information sharing, faster loan closings, and importantly, an improved consumer experience.
In the regulatory compliance sphere consistent standards have meant better adherence to regulations and guidelines from both government regulators and industry partners, less time and money spent on compliant practices, and more efficient internal and external audits. Ultimately, this has resulted in a reduction in fraud, further decreased costs, and improved consumer confidence in mortgage financing.
The work in this phase of standards development in which Asurity Technologies, LLC is participating will focus on in part:
The widespread adoption of MISMO standards is one key to its success. The collaborative process of developing the standards includes bringing together experts from organizations throughout the industry, such as retail and wholesale lenders, GSEs, software and service providers, credit reporting agencies, and more.
Asurity leaders are in a unique position to provide insight into this standards development process. As developers of RegCheck, a best-in-class mortgage loan compliance solution, they have experience in applying technology and innovation to improve efficiency in compliance testing. They understand the benefits of speed and accuracy and the need to eliminate compliance failures at each stage of the lending process.
In a rapidly evolving industry mortgage standards must be continually adapted to serve all partners and consumers well. The Asurity team is looking forward to working with other professionals to move regulatory compliance standards forward.
April 14, 2022 (Washington, D.C.) - Today, Asurity Technologies, LLC® (“Asurity”), a premier provider of digital compliance products and solutions, announced that its Asurity Mortgage Group (“AMG”) software has been successfully deployed by DLS Servicing Consultants, LLC, a trusted provider of mortgage and default servicing headquartered in Grand Rapids, MI, to deliver mortgage loan servicing capabilities to mortgage servicers DLS supports. On behalf of its clients, DLS maximizes the return on delinquent and defaulted loans by providing expert services and by using its proprietary system WaterfallCalc.com software to conduct loss mitigation reviews, as well as to support short sale, deed-in-lieu negotiations, default servicing consulting and training. Asurity and DLS have been collaborating for some time and, in the past year, have delivered on large-scale projects in response to market needs. By combining the expertise and tools both organizations can offer, clients capture the benefits by having a complete solution that efficiently and compliantly meets their needs.
DLS leverages Asurity’s advanced loan document technology to produce compliant loan modification and partial claims document packages, as well as the expertise offered by AMG’s dedicated services team to track the receipt and review of a borrower’s executed documents, coordinate counterparty signatures, record, and deliver fully executed and recorded documents to appropriate counterparties.
The combined offering delivers more efficient loan processing and fewer risky loans, which results in serviceable and saleable loans, and a better user experience in a time of heightened digital transformation in the mortgage market. “Loss mitigation involves a series of complex steps with specific technical, process, and document requirements,” says Ken Mezger, the Director of Operations and leader of the services team at AMG. “Leveraging our automated compliance technology and our team’s extensive years of deep mortgage and process expertise, Asurity is excited to support DLS in assisting mortgage servicers to minimize losses, to scale operations to meet volume demand, to control costs, and to expedite the loss mitigation process.”
Donna Schmidt, Managing Director of DLS Servicing Consultants and co-founder of WaterfallCalc.com, commented, “Asurity’s ability to quickly deploy document software and expert services which complement our capabilities have allowed us to more seamlessly take on loss mitigation work for large lenders, while providing the excellent compliance and operational efficiency that our customers have come to expect.” Schmidt further explained, “together we can help servicers extend their operations to process large backlogs of distressed assets with our outsourced services, saving the time and money to build internal operations while providing compliance and assurance throughout the process.”