What are the MISMO eVault Standards DWG?
• The MISMO eVault Standards DWG is a development workgroup formed by MISMO to create mortgage industry standards for eVaults.

Why are eVault Standards important to the mortgage industry?
• Two primary functions of eVaults are to store electronic records such as eNotes and to send and receive copies of such records, and information about them, to/from other eVaults. Having a single set of standards for the mortgage industry will help to ensure interoperability among different eVault providers and serve as baseline requirements that can be leveraged by investors and other interested parties when evaluating eVaults, as well as by technology providers when developing them.

What are some examples of things that might be addressed by the planned eVault standards?
• The eVault standards are intended to cover the functionality, features, and security aspects of eVaults. One such item planned for consideration by the DWG is a set of rules for the validation of SMART Doc eNotes sent and received between eVaults.

Who is participating in the eVault Standards DWG?
• The DWG is open for participation by all MISMO members. It currently consists of representatives from mortgage lenders, the GSEs, Ginnie Mae, the Federal Home Loan Banks, and technology providers.

How can one participate in the eVault Standards DWG?
• MISMO members can sign up for the DWG via MISMO Connect. It currently meets on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month from 11 am – 12 pm ET. The next meeting is on May 25th.

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Jim Voth: Digital Transformation Will Continue Despite Slowdown


PERSON OF THE WEEK: Will a slowdown in the mortgage market result in lenders cutting back on technology investments? Not necessarily, says Jim Voth, managing director at mortgage advisory firm Falcon Capital Advisors, in a recent interview with MortgageOrb. Q: Historically, when the mortgage industry goes into a down cycle, investments in technology often get placed “on hold.” Do you think this will be the case this time around? Or will the drive toward digital transformation keep going at the same pace this year? Voth: That’s certainly the conventional wisdom, but this cycle might be different. For one thing, there is a lot of momentum behind digital lending, and the value proposition is compelling. Digital lending and e-closings, for example, can drive operational efficiency and help offset some of the margin pressure that mortgage companies are facing. The creation of e-notes accelerates delivery to the secondary market, which is why there are more and more investors accepting eNotes, including aggregators like Wells and PennyMac. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac also have auto-certification that reduces document certification time to almost nothing and speeds up funding. There is also the issue of competitive parity: The nation’s largest lenders are all-in on digital lending and enhancing the borrower’s experience at closings. The next tier of lenders has to go digital to stay in the game. Going digital isn’t the heavy lift it was a few years ago. The closing technology has been proven and is integrated into the major lending platforms and in industry utilities, like the MERS e-registry. The settlement service community, for the most part, is also up to speed on hybrid and even full e-closings. So, a lot of the friction has been removed. To flip the script, you could argue that the slowdown in refinancing might accelerate the digital transformation. That’s because lenders will have the bandwidth to undertake and finish these projects. One bottleneck that slowed progress last year, for example, was the switchover to the new URLA form, which pushed lots of projects further down the queue in IT departments. And that’s behind us now. Q: What are some of the operational benefits that lenders (and other players) could quickly realize by taking on either discrete or end-to-end digital engagements? Voth: Obviously the more digital you are, the more value that you’ll realize. But not every lender needs to be fully digital from day one. There is incremental value in each step in the transformation process. Hybrid closings, for example, are more efficient in most cases than traditional closings and enhance the customer experience. They are often a good interim step prior to full e-closings. E-notes, as we’ve mentioned, are now being accepted by the GSEs and Ginnie Mae, as well as private investors. The numbers are still relatively small as a percentage of all mortgages, but they are growing rapidly. The industry is coming to realize how much faster you can move and sell these e-assets. For example, if you can move an e-note off a warehouse line in days, rather than weeks, that significantly reduces short-term borrowing costs. So, to recap, end-to-end solutions are absolutely achievable and can produce real bottom-line results, but they can often be accomplished in stages. Q: Everyone has always agreed that in principle digital lending is the future. But hard numbers on ROI have always been hard to find. Is this changing? Voth: Getting solid return on investment (ROI) numbers has been a challenge. Recently, however, two new ROI studies have been released. The first study, commissioned by Notarize, found that a full e-closing saves lenders approximately $444 per loan, and settlement agents up to nearly $100 per loan. This was based on an analysis of time savings, fewer defects, and the direct printing and mailing costs. The average time savings on a hybrid closing was 99 minutes; 157 minutes for an e-closing. Almost 90% of the respondents said that they could close more loans with the same or fewer staff members. Similarly, ICE Technology released an ROI survey that showed its hybrid e-closing solution is saving 70 minutes per loan and reducing overall cycle time by 2-3 days. Together these two savings add up to a savings of $134 per loan. A fully digital closing, the study suggests, could save up to $500 per loan. We’d argue that the ROIs might even be higher, since the surveys didn’t really go into some of the downstream secondary marketing advantages like fewer days on warehouse lines using eNotes. Q: Are there bottom-line advantages in using a consultant in a transformation versus doing it all in-house or using turnkey vendors? Voth: This is our business, so it is a little hard not to be biased. What we’ve seen in the market though is that successful implementation of a complete e-mortgage program is determined by much more than just buying the right technology. There are impacts across your people, processes, technology and policies and procedures that are critical to get right, both from an internal operations and external adoption perspective. A firm like ours, for example, can help clients assess their digital readiness and then develop a roadmap for their journey, including the identification of the operational changes that will be required. The advantages to working with an advisor are even more pronounced for complex engagements: for example, multi-channel digital lending or end-to-end integrations to achieve straight through processing. A good consultant will have e-mortgage business transformation expertise, experience working with the leading eMortgage technology companies and be an agnostic party in the vendor selection process. Our team has worked on the client side of the mortgage industry at large banks, vendors investors and industry standard-setting organizations so, in addition to knowing the strengths and limitations of vendors and solutions, we have a deep understanding of the business and compliance requirements necessary for implementation.

Falcon Digital Mortgage View


"To Measure is to Know" - Lord Kelvin

One of the hurdles that advocates of digital lending have faced in convincing their companies to undertake a major digital transformation has been the ability to show hard ROI. Everyone believes in the potential of digital - faster, cheaper, more efficient - but there's been a lack of hard numbers to prove it - until now. Recently two different surveys, commissioned by Notarize and ICE respectively, drilled down into the benefits of eClosing solutions and put hard numbers against them. Notarize's study found that lenders can save up to $444 per loan and title agents up to $100 per loan when using an eClosing solution. ICE's study found that lenders can save 70 minutes per loan and shave 2 days off the loan cycle using the company's hybrid eClosing system. The bottom line is that with an eClosing solution in place lenders can close loans faster with fewer errors and save more money than with an in-person or legacy paper process. These studies are an important step for our industry, and something we look forward to helping our clients understand. - Armando

Wolters Kluwer Acquires IDS

Wolters Kluwer recently announced the acquisition of IDS. IDS will become part of Wolter Kluwer's Governance, Risk, and Compliance Group, a leading provider of compliance software for U.S. banks, lenders, credit unions, insurers, and securities firms. The acquisition further builds out Wolters Kluwer's presence in the eClosing space. At the end of 2020, the company also acquired eOriginal. LEARN MORE

MISMO Looking to Create Standards for eVaults

MISMO has issued a call for participants for its new development workgroup (DWG) focused on creating eVault standards that improve the current process, enhance digital mortgage scalability and help ensure the seamless transfer of eNotes to facilitate their sale to investors. The new eVault Standards DWG will work with industry participants, government agencies, and other stakeholders to create a single set of standards to streamline eVault operations. LEARN MORE

Your MERS Annual Report is Coming

It's never too early to start planning for your MERS Annual Report. Although it is not due until December 31, MERS servicers can submit the Annual Report beginning in June. Falcon Capital Advisors is one of a handful of approved Annual Report third-party review firms. We can schedule our review of your organization's MERS policies and procedures to occur any time in the year and then work with you during the submission window to submit your Annual Report to MERS. Contact us at [email protected] to get started. CONTACT US

Servicers Going Digital with eModification

In a recent interview with DS News, Tim Anderson, the President of Evolve Mortgage Services' eMortgage Division discusses the benefits of eModification for servicers. Anderson said, "With an eModification, the entire loan modification process - including notarizing the new loan - can all be done online. An eModification enables servicers to process loan modifications more quickly and easily than they would under traditional, antiquated, paper-based processes." LEARN MORE

Snapdocs First to Achieve MISMO Certification for eClosing System

Snapdocs’ eClosing platform, procedures, and policies have been certified as compliant with MISMO's requirements. Snapdocs is the first, and at the moment only, eClosing provider to achieve this certification from MISMO. LEARN MORE

New Hampshire Completes First RON eClosing

Summit Title just completed the first RON eClosing in the state of New Hampshire. As consumers are increasingly demanding fully remote access to facilitate loans and mortgages, states are establishing or expanding RON measures, New Hampshire passed RON into law last year. Summit used Stavvy's digital closing and RON tools. LEARN MORE