<< Tricks continued from Page 78 “Many settlement agents now offer secure
collaboration tools that integrate with
lender systems and allow an easy exchange
of both data and documents.”
wiring instructions to divert funds.
It is critical that this sensitive data is
securely handled by all third-party
venders, but especially the settlement
and title agents.
Many settlement agents now offer
secure collaboration tools that integrate with lender systems and allow an
easy exchange of both data and documents. “By offering a mobile closing
portal, we are able to keep all parties in
the transaction up to date leading up
to the closing,” says Braga. “Our lender
and Realtor clients look good by offering increased levels of transparency to
the borrower, which ultimately leads to
a better closing experience.”
Innovations in the settlement space
even include the closing process itself.
Millennial borrowers are used to flexibility and ease with any purchase, which
includes buying a home. Electronic closings are quickly gaining traction in the
industry, with many states and even the
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
running pilot programs to get all parties
familiar with the process.
To support e-closings, a greater
level of integration and collaboration
among all parties is needed. Although
the majority of work needs to be done
on the lender side to ensure the e-loan
can be resold, settlement agents must
be able to update electronic documents and ensure they are working
with a notary who can support both
“wet signing” (ink on paper) and electronic signatures at closing.
As regulations and costs rise, mortgage
companies and lenders must look at
all of their service providers to make
sure they are following top industry
practices. A good settlement agent can
lower origination costs, reduce time to
close and improve the overall experience. This not only makes borrowers
happy, it helps originators build a more
loyal base of future clients. ■
The average time to close a loan today
hovers around 50 days, but borrowers
rarely see all the steps involved in the
process leading to the actual closing.
They often experience “radio silence,”
which can lead to frustration and confusion. It is during this time that important title and settlement tasks — title
search and preparation of closing documents — are taking place.
These tasks involve accessing sensi-
tive, confidential information about a
borrower. The property address alone,
for example, is entered an average of
70 times during the loan process from
receipt of the application to closing.
Settlement agents must securely
exchange both documents and data
many times leading up to the closing.
It is this stage in the process where
fraud is most likely to occur via phishing
scams where fake e-mails are sent to
the borrower emulating the attorney or
the title agent containing fraudulent