Embracing regulation to optimize the customer experience.

Author:Jacobs, Daniel

JULY 2016 WILL MARK MY 20TH YEAR IN THE MORTGAGE BUSINESS, and I doubt I have the mathematical skills to count the number of new regulations we have been subjected to during this time. While new and additional regulations are loathed and often seen as a tax on the industry and consumers alike, they are rarely repealed and must always be complied with to continue conducting business.

Over the years, I have come to realize it is far more productive to embrace the inevitable new regulations as an opportunity to continuously improve our offerings and, as a result, our customer experience.

The sweeping new Truth in Lending Act (TILA)-Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) Integrated Disclosure (TRID) regulation provides us a significant opportunity to reshape and reimagine our service offering, despite whatever flaws you may believe the regulations contain.

Does TRID increase overall costs to obtain a loan? Yes.

According to Greenwood Village, Colorado-based STRATMOR Group's April TRID--Impact and Experience Spotlight Survey of mortgage industry executives and its MortgageSAT Borrower Satisfaction Program survey, also released in April, the cost per loan has increased by $160 as a result of TRID.

Do borrowers find value in TRID?

A survey conducted on the matter in February by San Diego-based Closing-Corp, National TRID Impact on Homebuyers Survey, indicates consumers do find value in TRID. The survey further finds that, irrespective of what your data or mine may suggest, the perception of an overwhelming 70 percent of responding experienced mortgage customers is that the process of obtaining a mortgage now seems faster.

Customers' perception is their reality. They are more impressed with the easier-to-understand documents and ability to have closing documents in advance than paying part or all of the additional $160. While there are clearly certain unintended consequences the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has promised to address, the law is actually helping us look better in our customers' eyes.

Four years into my mortgage career, I went to work for a company owned by a very strictly Orthodox Jewish gentleman. I found myself learning to navigate more than just a sea of mortgage regulation, but also a separate set of guidance on how the company would operate.

The company had a rabbi on staff to consult regarding a wide variety of issues, especially those that had potential ethical implications. The rabbi often cited one of...

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