New MERS system fee to fund MISMO tech initiatives

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The boards of the Mortgage Bankers Association, its nonprofit data-standards subsidiary and an electronic registration system have approved a new source of funding aimed at speeding the development of industry technology.

"Starting on July 1, every new loan registered on the MERS system will carry a 75-cent administrative fee. This fee will then be given to MISMO to advance its work," MBA President and CEO Robert Broeksmit said at a virtual event Monday. "This is a low-cost solution that will have high-impact results."

The fee was designed to allow the Mortgage Industry Standards Maintenance Organization to hire new staff and work simultaneously on multiple projects aimed at responding to a heightened industry demand for automation that accommodates remote work.

Recent examples of MISMO's work include the establishment of an industry loan application dataset known as ILAD. ILAD was designed to provide a standard way of exchanging information included in the government-sponsored enterprises' new Uniform Residential Loan Application and their automated underwriting systems.

"The response to MISMO's actions has been overwhelmingly positive. As a result, we have heard growing calls for MISMO to do more, and do more quickly," said Broeksmit. "The coronavirus pandemic has further clarified the need for action. Strengthening MISMO requires giving it a dedicated source of funding, something it has never had."

While the annual fee will be added in July, users won't be billed for it until early next year, according to information posted on MISMO’s website.

Subsequent billings will occur annually. The fee charged next year will be prorated. MERSCorp has agreed to pass the entire fee through to MISMO without retaining any of it as a service to the industry.

Broeksmit encouraged members to share any feedback they had on the fees, MISMO's efforts or other technology issues with him.

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