Here’s a timely article (registration required) highlighting how the new regulatory environment for lenders is forcing a stark choice: either invest in technology to streamline and automate loan origination and servicing processes – or exit the business.
Some choice excerpts:
“Origination costs are expected to rise 11% this year from a year ago, to nearly $5,900 per loan, as lenders scramble to meet tough new requirements from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Federal Housing Administration and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that take effect in January.”
“Large banks can justify investments in technology and can hire more staff because they spread the costs across more loans. But small banks with fewer than 100 employees may only have a handful of employees doing the work, which means relying even more on technology…”
“…921 compliance changes [have been documented] from various agencies since the housing market crashed in 2008. Particularly challenging for small lenders are new requirements from Fannie and Freddie that require lenders to deliver loans with as few defects as possible.”
“The government-sponsored enterprises are now electronically validating 100% of the loans they purchase as part of a broader initiative to improve loan quality. The Federal Housing Administration has proposed similar changes and may set a maximum threshold for the percent of loans it will allow to have defects.”
“Survival is dependent on improving quality control standards otherwise [lenders] won’t be able to compete or to sell loans that the GSEs will be willing to buy,” says Craig Focardi, CEB TowerGroup’s senior research director.”
“Everybody is extremely nervous because if you don’t dot your i’s and cross your t’s in compliance, you’re going to get a lot of repurchases and will be out of business. Everything in a loan file has to follow the letter of the law.”
“Many lenders don’t want to invest in the labor and technology that it takes for [quality control] and compliance,” says [Annemaria Allen, president and CEO of The Compliance Group in Carlsbad, Calif.], noting that such requirements have never really been enforced to the degree that they are now. “You have to be able to slice the data and we know that business units are screaming about this. But if you’re going to sell to Fannie and Freddie and you do a [lousy] job…they will be in your house nonstop and make sure you have the processes in place and embrace quality.”
Forewarned is forearmed. It’s a very different industry now than it was in 2007.