The following is a dramatization of three mortgage servicing C-Level Executives of mortgage servicing companies at a private event following an annual mortgage conference. Dinner has just ended and they approach the bar for a cocktail.
“Well, that was a big day. We’ve got a lot to digest, besides that prime rib.” Tom Brooke, Chief Risk Officer of Acme Mortgage said.
“You’re right, the problem is I didn’t hear anything new or earth-shattering that can help us with our compliance problems.” Al Milton, Chief Innovations Officer of Acme Mortgage, replied.
“To be fair, our problem isn’t with offering compliant solutions, it’s with our default volume. Our teams just can’t keep up with the volume of applications to satisfy regulatory deadlines,” Tom corrected.
“It’s our duty as Servicers, and if we can’t keep up it’s a major problem. We don’t have the capacity to provide overwatch to our leadership to make sure they are in compliance. We’re in a fortunate position with the origination shift that there is now a talent pool with industry experience. But, there’s still training time involved, which takes time away from the operational managers that they don’t have.” Al said in a frustrated tone.
At that moment, a man sitting next to them at the bar turned to them and said, “Sorry, for eavesdropping, but did you make it by the Brace booth today? From overhearing your problems, I think they could help you out with your situation. I’m Steve Sanders from MortgageTown USA.” He extended his hand in greeting
“I thought I recognized you! Nice to meet you, Steve, I’m Al Milton and this is Tom Brooke, we’re from Acme Mortgage.” Al said, shaking Steve’s hand. “I’ve heard of Brace. They’re on our list for tomorrow, but we aren’t 100% clear on the product. Don’t they work in AI software? I’m not sure that’s a solution for us.”
“Well, they do have a consumer-facing portal as a part of their product, but nothing really to do with AI. That’s an unfortunate assumption due to their web address [Brace.ai].” Steve corrected.
“I see,” said Tom, “What’s your experience with them?”
“We’re partners,” Steve replied proudly. “It was one of the best investment decisions we’ve made in a long time. Our company’s compliance issues were very similar to yours. Their product has really helped us stay on top of things compliance-wise. In turn, it’s really boosted team performance and moral.”
“That’s a bold statement!” Al chuckled. “How exactly did they turn things around for you, if you don’t mind me asking?”
“Honestly, the amount that it has lightened the load of my teams is unbelievable. When a loss mit application comes in, the system automatically assigns tasks to your team members based on their skill level. It also Prioritizes tasks by key RESPA deadlines. Before, we became past due more than we’d like to admit, and it increased the risk of fines. Now it’s literally a non-issue. We’re responding to files moments after receiving a completed application.” Steve said as he finished his beer and signaled the bartender for another.
“Interesting,” Tom said intrigued. “I was under the impression they focused on a consumer-facing, digital experience-based product?”
“That’s a big part of what they do, but it’s only one part of the system. The magic really happens when you have their full system end-to-end consumer and servicer systems working in parallel. That’s when you can start automating tasks that slow down the process, like managing reams of paper mail and file batching. I’ll tell you, my teams have never been happier, and management is freed up to work on development and some next-level ideas.” Steve bragged humbly.
“I’ll admit, I’m interested. But how is it with keeping up with regulatory changes?” Tom asked as he signaled for another cocktail.
“It’s a very proactive product. The Brace compliance team is on top of things and makes speedy suggestions against guideline changes, and then they can write it into your decisioning waterfalls. It vastly improves data traceability. Every interaction by consumer, SPOC, processor, or Underwriter is trackable. With that, you can always prove you’re in compliance. You read the CFPB Pandemic Response Metrics Report, right?” Steve asked.
“Yes,” Al replied.
“They surveyed 16 Servicers for data to compile the numbers for their metrics, and a lot provided incomplete data or no data. What does that tell the CFPB? It says that maybe they should be expecting more transparency and accessibility. If the CFPB is beginning to expect more, we as Servicers have to be proactive in thinking about ways to provide data. Brace does that. Not only that, they’ve introduced some new Proactive Servicing KPIs that will help measure performance beyond primarily motoring call centers.” Steve said passionately.
“Makes sense.” Tom agreed.
“This is all very compelling. My last question is, why are you telling us all this? We are competitors, after all.” Tom asked.
“I always try to live by words my grandfather told me as a boy. He said leaders share information and try to make the world a better place. Imposters hoard secrets to achieve an impossible dream.” Steve answered with a friendly smile.