DS News

DS News August 2022

DSNews delivers stories, ideas, links, companies, people, events, and videos impacting the mortgage default servicing industry.

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Page 52 of 99

51 e eNote cannot get misplaced or destroyed and requires significantly fewer resources to manage over the life of the loan." As for what the future holds, Lewis notes that continued usage of tech enhancements such as remote online notarizations (RONs) will further advance the industry toward an all-digital process. Further supporting Lewis' sentiment, the U.S. House of Representatives recently passed bipartisan legislation, HR 3962—the Securing and Enabling Commerce Using Remote Electronic (SECURE) Notarization Act, designed to update and modernize the notarization process in and outside of the United States. HR 3962 will allow every notary in the U.S. to perform RONs, as well as allow signers located outside of the U.S. to securely notarize documents. "As eNotes continue to be adopted by some of DocMagic's largest clients, the next level of eClosing will be a complete RON closing," added Lewis. "DocMagic is confident that, in the coming years, RON eClosings will be the common closing practice of the most successful and largest originators. Consumers will come to demand the efficiency and safety of the remote closing. We believe Federal Law will pass, allowing for 50 state RON acceptance along with full adoption of the nation's title insurance underwriters as well as full adoption at the county recorder level. Lenders that are working today to include the eNote in their process and replace the paper custodial workflow with a digital experience will be the ones who are ready to take RON eClosing to full scale. When lenders, services, investors, and warehouse banks all start utilizing eNotes, the industry will achieve significant operational optimization. It will take time, but it's on the horizon." MICHAEL MERRITT, SVP, Mortgage Default Servicing, BOK Financial Michael Merritt is the SVP of Mortgage Default Servicing for BOK Financial, a $47 billion regional financial services company headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with more than $101 billion in assets under management and administration. Merrit discussed lessons that both he learned personally, and his company have gleaned over the past few years. "I think everyone always talks about their people being their strength, and COVID-19 showed that we have great employees that care about their job and care about helping customers," Merritt said. "To me, these past few years have really shown that if you want to be effective, you must have a good team. You must set them up for success, whether it's providing the right technology, or the right work arrangement. When you do those things, you're going to be successful, and when you're successful, you want to help customers. You have better conversations and better outcomes with the customer to preserve homeownership, which is exactly what we strive to do." In terms of challenges, Merritt points out that staffing the company with knowledgeable professionals was an issue. "I think for everybody right now, it's a challenge to hire experienced people," Merritt said. "During COVID, volume went down, loans go on moratorium, so your foreclosure staff is slower. But your loss mitigation staff and collection and call center staff are as busy as they can be. We were fortunate to be able to cross-train groups and redeploy them to be able to help customers where needed. Even within foreclosure spaces, as the moratoriums ended, we were able to take the people that were at the end of the process, help with pre-foreclosure, and then move them back into their traditional roles. To me, it has really shown just how flexible our employees can be when shown the mission." NATALIE MULLEN, Mortgage Market Leader, Jornaya Natalie Mullen of Jornaya presents a unique perspective on the state of the industry over the period of the pandemic. As Mortgage Market Leader for Jornaya, Mullen helps customers adapt their marketing and lead buys in real-time, based on consumers' online shopping behavior. "Making major purchases—like buying a house and securing a mortgage—can be hard," Mullen said. "Abundant choices and endless marketing outreach leave consumers confused and frustrated, and they begin to tune out. Our products and solutions help businesses deliver the right message, at the right time, to the right person. Consumer behavior within our industry has changed, and our marketing behaviors must evolve as well. Technology can enhance a mortgage lender's ability to help consumers make informed financial decisions and achieve the dream of homeownership. Mortgage originators can grow substantially if they are able to organize, segment, tailor, and deploy data and technology to smartly engage prospective clients with salient information at optimal times during their homebuying journey." While the effects of the pandemic may be lasting on the mortgage marketplace, Mullen found that the millennial market has emerged as targets for lenders for years to come and discussed techniques to remain engaged with this segment. "For lenders, millennials are the consumers to watch in 2022," said Mullen. "With the trend of younger Americans purchasing expensive homes and mixed households is set to continue, lenders should recognize the untapped opportunity to serve this group as they enter a phase filled with major life purchases, and how to create valuable long-term customers within this demographic. Overall, behavior- based data will rise in value for marketers. Keeping preferences and permissions in mind, mortgage marketers can know and use static, personal information in how they respond to digital consumer events, like form submissions, sign-ups, page views, and more metrics." TIM ROOD, Head of Government & Industry Relations, SitusAMC SitusAMC is a leader in the securitization/due diligence space, on the forefront of innovation of its products and services to address the pain points across the mortgage continuum. In addition to hosting the company's podcast, Tim Rood is Head of Government & Industry Relations for SitusAMC. Rood commented on some of the challenges he is seeing in the industry. "A major challenge for me and the industry writ large is that the process for rulemaking is terribly broken," Rood said. "e Constitution vests 'all legislative

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