MBA Staff--Feb. 12, 2014
MBA NewsLink recently talked with Roger Beane, CEO of LRES, Orange County, Calif., a national residential and commercial financial services provider offering property valuations, asset management and technology services for clients. For more information about LRES, visit its website, www.lres.com.
MBA NEWSLINK: The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has jurisdiction over lenders that do business nationwide, but some of its policies have broader implications for all lenders, such as third-party risk. What are some of the key issues that you see impacting the lending industry?
ROGER BEANE: Although there is a lot of change in this season of regulation--which is very fair to have--we have seen quite a bit more time spent wondering what is next and staying ahead of it. We are collaborating more with our clients and our competitors and we are spending a lot more time training our employees and monitoring laws and regulations on a minute-by-minute basis.
NEWSLINK: How do these regulations affect your ability to comply?
BEANE: The biggest opportunity for us is to make sure that training is in line. At the end of the day--since the first valuation was affirmed--this is a subjective opinion of value. So we have training; we have collaboration. We conduct on-site training and evaluation.
Now, the biggest challenge is--and the OCC needs to be reminded of this--is that the value is an opinion, based on the facts that we have and the constants that exist; all of those are subjective and applying and implying value. While all of these regulations attempt to inject more accuracy--yes, we get it--at the end of the day, it’s still an opinion. So, we cross our T’s and dot our I’s.
NEWSLINK: So there is only so much a regulator can do to codify a process that’s primarily opinion-based?
BEANE: You’re absolutely correct--you can do a background check; you can do an income check; but you can still have dozens of factors that influence value. Our industry has earned the right to be in that position. Appraisal independence is a huge value; there is value in using an appraisal management company that has experience and uses the tools that we can to offer the most effective value to a customer.
NEWSLINK: How could these regulations affect a lender’s choice in selecting vendors?
BEANE: for our particular company, we’ve been very fortunate to have the infrastructure that we’ve established over the past 12 years. Our staff has years of experience and we have a lot of clients. It’s going to be difficult for new AMCs to come into this marketplace with the amount of regulations--much more than it has in the past.
NEWSLINK: is the hard part over?
BEANE: We’ll see. We are prepared. We’re cautiously optimistic. We collaborate frequently with our competitors; and internally we are constantly preparing. We recently had a training session for 20 people internally…we are consistently training with our customers so that we as an industry are prepared.
NEWSLINK: What’s next?
BEANE: It’s too early to tell. We consistently collaborate with our partners--going to shows, reading magazines; talking with our customers, so we can deliver what is compliant and as accurate as possible. MBA has been great--we’ve relied on them for guidance.
NEWSLINK: How’s the coming year look for your company?
BEANE: For 2014, MBA has come out with a reduction in its forecast, which will allow the industry to acclimate to the new world of regulation. We also work with quite a few loan servicers and hedge funds.
We’ve been very fortunate--we’ve had strong growth over the past five years. We have a saying: we find a way to find a way, and we are extremely optimistic going forward.
Our customers have a tremendous burden of implementing new policies and procedures; a partnership is so important. There’s a tremendous amount of change going on in the industry--some of it earned and some of it deserved.
(The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect policy of the Mortgage Bankers Association, nor does it connote an endorsement of a specific company, product or service. MBA NewsLink welcomes your submissions; articles and/or Q/A inquiries should be sent to Mike Sorohan, editor, at firstname.lastname@example.org.)