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  • 6 Common CRA Assessment Area Mistakes to Avoid

    by Brian Arnesen | Mar 05, 2018
    One of the most important factors in a CRA exam is your assessment area. Your assessment area will dictate the performance standards you are measured against. Assessment areas can be optimized in a number of different ways, but there are 6 common mistakes you must avoid in order to pass your CRA exam and obtain a good rating.
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  • 3 Reasons Manual VOE's Are Here to Stay

    by Tim Simpson | Mar 05, 2018
    In recent years we’ve seen the rise of websites & applications that can automatically verify employment & income for lenders across the country. These programs are integrated with an employer’s HR records, and allow lenders to obtain an instant snapshot of the employee’s details & earnings. These are great tools, that have helped slash precious time off of originations. However, while the reach of these companies is growing, automated verifications will never be able to capture the entirety of the market. Here’s why:
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  • The CFPB’s 3 New Goals and What They Mean for Your Institution

    by Brian Arnesen | Feb 16, 2018
    On February 12th, CFPB director Mick Mulvaney released his strategic plan for the next four years. The plan was composed of three main goals that outlined exactly how the CFPB would be conducting itself over the next four years.
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  • 7 Issues Reported with the New CFPB HMDA Platform and Tools

    by Brian Arnesen | Jan 31, 2018
    With the new HMDA rules in effect and the new CFPB HMDA Platform now accepting 2017 submissions, growing pains and hiccups are to be expected. The CFPB recently said that it would not assess penalties for errors in data collected in 2018 and it recognized that there were significant operational challenges needed to meet the requirements under the rule.
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  • Mulvaney Takes the CFPB in a New Direction

    by Brian Arnesen | Jan 29, 2018
    On January 23, 2018, CFPB Director Mick Mulvaney sent out a memo to all staff at the CFPB that redefined the mission and purpose of the agency. That memo, which was leaked and published by ProPublica, stated that the CFPB would cease being a regulator that “pushed the envelope” through its enforcement actions and would instead serve everyone it works for.
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  • 3 Popular Ways Borrowers Falsify Income and Employment

    by Tim Simpson | Jan 23, 2018
    We’ve come a long way since the 2008 financial crisis. The phenomena of NINJA and stated income loans has died off. The current state of mind for every mortgage investor is VERIFY, VERIFY, VERIFY! People want to know exactly what they’re invested in, and verifying income & assets is an extremely important part of that.
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  • What Do Tax Season and HMDA Reporting Have in Common?

    by Brian Arnesen | Jan 23, 2018
    The short answer is everyone waits until the last minute to submit their files. For example, “In 2015, 21.5 million Americans or 1 in 7 filers waited until the last week before the deadline to file their tax returns,” according to the IRS. Historically (based on our volume of support calls) a large percentage of HMDA filers also wait to submit their HMDA data until the last two weeks of February.
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  • Why Your CRA Story Matters

    by Brian Arnesen | Dec 29, 2017
    Whether you are a large bank with assets of $1 billion or a small bank, your Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) story matters. All state member and nonmember banks, national banks, and saving associations that meet or exceed the asset size thresholds as defined by the FFIEC for both of the last two calendar years are subject to the data collection and reporting requirements of the Community Reinvestment Act. Even if you’re not a submitting bank, you still need to perform under the Act.
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  • How to Use the New CFPB HMDA Platform

    by Brian Arnesen | Dec 29, 2017
    Although the new CFPB HMDA rules can seem complex to navigate, the submission process is relatively straightforward, especially if you already use QuestSoft software. The new CFPB HMDA platform was released in beta on November 3, 2017 and allows for institutions to create accounts and test their HMDA data for errors. In 2018, more than 3,000 institutions will submit their data to the CFPB using the new submission platform.
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  • 3 Common Forms of Occupancy Fraud

    by Tim Simpson | Dec 28, 2017
    In the mortgage industry, there are countless different forms of fraud ranging from the seemingly innocent omissions, to large scale market manipulation. One of the more common forms of deceit, which may seem like just a white-lie, is occupancy fraud.
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  • 4506-T Vendors Warning of Closing Delays

    by Brian Arnesen | Dec 20, 2017
    The IRS called a sudden meeting on Friday, December 8th to announce that they were going to implement security to protect taxpayers. The surprise was they were implementing it over that same weekend.
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  • 3 Ways to Use Your HMDA Data

    by Brian Arnesen | Nov 30, 2017
    Digging through the data yourself can often be tedious if you do not know what you are looking for. However, there are tools such as QuestSoft’s Market Data module that can extrapolate the information from the HMDA data for insights into an institution’s performance and allow institutions to improve their lending performance.
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  • [Q&A] How Will a New CFPB Director Affect Compliance?

    by Brian Arnesen | Nov 28, 2017
    With the upcoming change in leadership, we decided to have QuestSoft President Leonard Ryan and QuestSoft Vice President of Support and Training Carey Aimone weigh in on how a new director could affect the future of compliance and regulations.
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  • How Blockchain Can Be Used for Compliance

    by Brian Arnesen | Nov 01, 2017
    Blockchain has the potential to impact many different industries. The financial services industry is ripe for innovation and is of great interest to enthusiasts for the adoption of blockchain. Blockchain technology can affect how compliance departments, quality control and many other departments operate. Blockchain technology can also help mortgage lenders save money by streamlining workflows and creating a better customer experience, while reducing risk.
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  • How to Create an Exceptional Compliance Program

    by Brian Arnesen | Oct 24, 2017
    HousingWire recently reported that Wells Fargo has appointed a new chief compliance officer to transform their compliance into an “industry-leading” program. This comes after multiple accusations of harmful business practices emerging over the past few years, including accusations of “forcing mortgage applicants to pay unwarranted fees” (Washington Post). This alone would make anyone even remotely familiar with TRID furrow their brow. So, what does it take to make an exceptional compliance program? Well, it all starts at the top.
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  • Analysis of the 2016 CFPB HMDA Data

    by Brian Arnesen | Oct 16, 2017
    Every year, HMDA loan data is made public on all reporting institutions. This data is used by public groups, agencies and businesses to assess mortgage lending and develop better ways of doing business. By analyzing the data, businesses can extrapolate trends and issues across the mortgage industry.
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  • QuestSoft Updates CFPB HMDA Testing Database to Ensure HMDA Readiness

    by Brian Arnesen | Oct 02, 2017
    This week, QuestSoft will be releasing the latest Compliance RELIEF update to enable customers to live test their 2018 data against the 215 new validity error codes and 42 new quality checks—three months ahead of the implementation deadline of January 1st. These new error codes have no ties to historical codes, allowing lenders to start with a “clean slate” and adjust to new standards and conditions throughout their operations.
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  • How the CFPB is Addressing HMDA Privacy Concerns

    by Brian Arnesen | Sep 26, 2017
    The CFPB recently addressed how it planned handle the privacy concerns of its new HMDA reporting and collection requirements. The number of submitted fields is nearly tripling, and these fields must be stored by both financial institutions and the CFPB. With the recent security breaches at Equifax and the SEC, the privacy and security of this expanded dataset is a major concern.
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  • What Is Alternative Data and How Is It Being Used for Loans?

    by Brian Arnesen | Sep 22, 2017
    The CFPB just issued a no-action letter to Upstart Network, an online lending platform, which uses alternative data to make credit and pricing decisions. This means the CFPB will not take legal action against the company for actions that are not technically legal, but are acceptable as long as Upstart provides certain information to the CFPB regarding the loan applications it receives, how it decides which loans to approve and how it will mitigate risk to consumers. The CFPB wants to study how alternative data can be used to better serve the credit needs of underserved populations.
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  • How the New CFPB 2018 HMDA Rules Will Affect Fair Lending Examinations

    by Brian Arnesen | Aug 31, 2017
    The CFPB has stated that fair lending enforcement is a priority and has issued more than $45 million dollars in remediation since 2016 for violations. Institutions that are able to take advantage of the new HMDA data expansion will not only have smoother examinations, but will also be able to make data-backed business decisions.
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