Doc Firm Says Automation Can Help Reduce Buybacks

With buybacks on the rise, lenders are actively looking for new strategies to mitigate their risk. Automated data management may be the answer.

"I like to stress data management," said Ruth Thompson, CEO at Desert Document Services, a part of Wolters Kluwer Financial Services. "It's about business rules really. We have a polished toolset and subject matter experts to take in the requirements to create quality data management and business rules.

"What has happened is lenders put loans together that made sense at a certain point in time but investors are looking for buybacks today so they're applying today's rules to old loan products. As a result, a lot of our clients are asking for reps and warrants. This made me think of high-cost issues and I looked to partner with a specialist.

"A lot of our competitors throw their own high-cost tool together instead of partnering with an expert so they can offer a better price. What's happening is the clients of those vendors are getting a lot of buybacks and the vendors are now looking to the experts anyway," noted Ms. Thompson.

"Our lenders are telling us that they need access to that expertise. The complexity of what we do is such that if you don't have the content management tools to track changes, you can create problems. You have to have a good method of taking in the requirement, quality controlling it, testing it, creating the rule and deploying it."

Specifically, Desert Document Services has developed more than 3,000 reusable business rules and workflow processes that are ready for "off-the-shelf" use to enforce compliance on a federal, state and local level. These rules and processes are the result of more than 23 years of industry expertise gained while managing more than one billion mortgage document changes every year, said Ms. Thompson.

The company also has fully integrated and systematically enforced change management process capable of providing a complete behavior history down to the form level. In addition, Desert Docs' SMART Tools software allows changes to cascade down through the system, identifying all the affected forms, ensuring that changes are correctly deployed to every form without rework.

Because the system is Web-based it has built-in collaboration capabilities, so the lender can supplement their internal compliance and product management staff with Desert Docs' subject matter staff to manage resources. "While everybody has business rules if you don't understand what they're touching and how they impact the business as whole you're going to lose," said Ms. Thompson.

"You have to know what impacts you're making on your business with every touch. It's about thinking across the enterprise nowadays." (c) 2007 Mortgage Servicing News and SourceMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved. http://www.mortgageservicingnews.com http://www.sourcemedia.com

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