RESPA Rated Toughest Compliance Task

Mortgage & Real Estate

Of the thousands of financial regulations on the books, which is the most burdensome? Dodd-Frank? Truth in Lending? Basel III?

According to panelists at the National Mortgage News‘ 13th annual Mortgage Technology conference in Miami, the Real Estate Settlement and Procedures Act hands down the clear winner.

Moderator Avi Naider, chairman of ACES Risk Management Corp., Ft. Lauderdale, said one top five bank has spent 200,000 hours in IT time trying to comply with RESPA. “That’s a tremendous number,” he said.

Angie Kolb, director or compliance product marketing at Dorado, a CoreLogic company based in San Mateo, Calif., lenders still struggle everyday with RESPA and the variety of interpretations that come with the consumer protection law.

“The hardest part is getting your hands around it,” Kolb said, noting that FAQ’s are still being published. “Even small items like where to put funding fees are part of the back-and-forth conversation.”

Melanie Feliciano, chief legal officer with Doc Magic, and Noel Wells, a regional manager with Premier Home Mortgage, agreed. “Other regulations have had an impact,” said Feliciano, “but RESPA presents the greatest compliance burden.”

The panelists also agreed on another point: That technology is wonderful, but the human touch can’t be forgotten. “Technology is not always the answer to everything,” said Naider. “While the tools are out there, you can’t forget the human skill set.”

“You have to have people interpret the data,” added Kolb. “Technology cannot supplant human beings.”

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