A year ago, TRID (TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure) raised the standards for consumer experience and compliance in the mortgage industry. To the benefit of those who work in the industry and borrowers alike, outdated third-party vendor management was one of the casualties of the new rules. Now, technology is breathing new life into the process.
Consumers are increasingly demanding out-of-office mortgage closings, which require the help of third-party notary signing agents. With these “mobile” closings, a notary signing agent travels to a location of the borrower’s choice to consummate his or her mortgage loan.
Mortgage closings—particularly remote mortgage closings—include multiple parties and many moving parts, making a smooth, safe process harder to achieve without automation. Today, modern technology tools connect everyone involved in a real estate transaction, simplify the steps to completion, and secure sensitive information. In an industry carefully scrutinized for regulatory compliance post-TRID implementation, technology also has a greater role to play in notary selection.
Outdated vendor management methods are costly due to the fact that notary signing agents who have not been vetted can threaten the security of the closing. And, with less visibility into the process, service level agreements are more at risk. For lenders and title companies, selecting an experienced, cordial professional to handle the last step of the loan process is crucial for protecting sensitive information and an organization's reputation.
How can lenders and title companies be certain that they are enlisting the help of notaries that they can trust? User reviews. Dynamic, online vendor databases have put the days of flipping through phone books, searching online without any guarantees, and blindly farming out notary sourcing in the past.
User-generated content drives the modern vendor database. The shared impressions of those who have actually worked with the thousands-upon-thousands of notaries promoting themselves for jobs shed much needed light on the satisfaction of the settlement services companies that hired them, as well as the quality of the experience that an individual notary will create for borrowers. From a consumer experience standpoint, this is particularly important because many times the notary is the only person that the homebuyer encounters face-to-face throughout the entire mortgage process. Rather than entrusting the last step of the loan process to a stranger based on a bare-bones directory listing, data-driven vendor scorecards ensure the success of the transaction.
Modern vendor management goes beyond background checks and certifications. Seeking out the right technology partners helps lenders and title companies save money and save face, with consumers, partners, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Consider this: If you were taking an honored guest out to dinner in a new town, would you be confident in your restaurant selection simply based on whether it had a food safety certification? That’s a baseline requirement that won’t give any insight into whether the food, service, or atmosphere is good. Instead, you likely rely on sites with crowd-sourced reviews like Yelp or OpenTable. In the mortgage space, lenders and title companies are no longer settling for baseline requirements either; they’re using technology platforms to impress valued customers like distinguished dinner guests, while satisfying regulatory requirements redefined by TRID.
Operating in a highly-regulated industry that also hinges on referrals, mortgage professionals can’t afford to take a “shot in the dark” when hiring third-party signing professionals. Thanks to innovation, quality metrics are now a click away.