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VA Embraces Electronic Reports

In cooperation with Fidelity National Information Services Inc., Jacksonville, Fla., the Department of Veteran Affairs launched the VA Loan Electronic Reporting Interface, an online tool created to instantly connect lenders, servicers, portfolio investors and vendors while adapting fully revised mortgage compliance requirements.

VA said the project redesigned virtually all of VA loan servicing regulations, processes and reporting requirements. "The new regulatory environment is being implemented through process changes, organizational changes, and a new application service that replaces our current loan servicing system."

VALERI is credited by its creators as a regulatory revision tool that has "transformed VA's role from supplemental servicer to servicing oversight, resulting in increased reporting requirements for mortgage clients" and avoiding manual transmission of data.

According to deputy director of VA Loan Guaranty Service, Dick Fyne, the new technology will help improve services offered to veterans as well as the mortgage servicing industry at a lower cost to the government. "The VALERI application service was designed to support the largest regulatory revision in the history of VA's home loan program," Mr. Fyne said.

VALERI will serve as a reporting application for mortgage servicers based on Fidelity's FIS Desktop. It allows users to report significant events either through their servicing system or a VALERI user interface. Besides lowering processing costs, the paperless structure makes compliance to required servicer VA reporting highly time efficient. It also helps improve workflow, document management and process automation level.

VALERI was introduced at the Mortgage Bankers Association's National Mortgage Serciving Conference in New Orleans in February.

The new VA servicing redesign update and the phased-in approach to the implementation of the new platform, panelists said, will help simplify the regulatory reporting process for servicers.

VA project manager, Tanya Brennan, who will serve as a primary VALERI contact until full implementation, encouraged current and future VALERI users to inquire through the VA website and call VALERI help desk. "Call us, call the help desk, or e-mail, whatever is more convenient," she said.

Servicers need to inquire so they know when their client's loans are scheduled to go under the new system and make sure their procedures are updated. In addition, VA provides training options that help servicers reduce VA loan rejections.

VALERI features include regulatory changes such as a new appraisal processing program, new incentives for workout options, reduced amount of data to be reported, reviewed timeframes and procedures, and the elimination of the three-year title warranty requirement.

VALERI was developed during a three-year period. It went live in February and is projected to fully transition into the marketplace by November. Detailed information about the implementation and related regulatory changes are available online at the VA website at homeloans.va.gov/valeri.htm.

VA set up the VALERI helpdesk and a phone number to ensure users can talk to VA staff directly and receive any additional information needed.

Wells Fargo is one of the first banks to go through a phase implementation of VALERI and the first to market test the platform.

"We are confident that our partnership will accelerate processing, improve communication and reduce costs for all industry participants," said Laura MacIntyre, COO for the FIS Desktop group.

The platform will improve industrywide access to VA data and processing since approximately 50% of all U.S. residential mortgages are processed using Fidelity's FIS Desktop software, the company said. (c) 2008 Mortgage Servicing News and SourceMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved. http://www.mortgageservicingnews.com/ http://www.sourcemedia.com/

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