Ernst TRID Technology Provides Pre-Portal Solution

October 20, 2015

Ernst Publishing Co. told mortgage lenders attending the Mortgage Bankers Association's Annual Convention that waiting to get accurate costs and fees negotiated with their settlement services partners until the deal reached a closing portal would expose them to significant compliance risk and put them at a competitive disadvantage. Lenders need to begin that collaborative process much earlier, according to Ernst.

"Lenders need to know that the prices they quote to borrowers before the TRID Loan Estimate are accurate and that they are connected with settlement services partners much earlier in the process," said Gregory E. Teal, president and chief executive officer of Ernst Publishing. "There are a number of powerful closing portals on the market now, but the fees are negotiated far in advance of that and locked into the lender's closing cost search engines. Our software makes that possible."

Ernst introduced its collaborative fee management system to settlement services firms attending ALTA’s Annual Convention in Boston. Ernst launched the system this past spring to allow settlement agents to work with lenders to negotiate fees and then manage these fees in a web-based tool through which they can certify the fees accurate and then make them available to lenders who need to provide Loan Estimates required under the new TRID rules.

Ernst developed the technology in response to a trend that saw lenders drop their contracts with smaller settlement services companies due to concerns that they wouldn't have certified accurate fees available at the time the lender was required to issue the Loan Estimate. This would have been disastrous for smaller industry firms but it would also put lenders at a competitive disadvantage because it would have dismantled their local business referral networks across the country.

"Mortgage lending, like all real estate-related business, is a local business and those relationships are incredibly important," Teal said. "Lenders in fear of compliance with new rules began to shrink these local relationships, impacting a proven system through which consumers previously have found the partners they need to finance their dreams. Our software makes certain that lenders won't have to face that risk."

The web-based program enables MISMO data standards to allow the settlement agent to enter pre-negotiated fees into a program that includes values for the services by for their specific geography, loan, property type and more. They are then required to certify that their fees are accurate. Agents can access the system at any time. Ernst then loads this fee information into the lender's custom title networks and when the company is ready to create a new TRID Loan Estimate, the certified accurate fees for their settlement agent partners will automatically be loaded into the disclosures.

Ernst reported that its programs process an average of 150 million real estate transactions every year, industry-wide. Since the company was founded 26 years ago, Ernst has processed over one billion transactions. 

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