PERSON OF THE WEEK: Nancy Alley is chief product officer for ISGN, a provider of mortgage technology and services. Prior to joining ISGN, she served as vice president and general manager for Xerox Mortgage Services. In her new role, Alley oversees ISGN's technology business unit, which covers all aspects of the mortgage lifecycle from loan origination to servicing and default management, as well as construction lending, settlement services and vendor management.
MortgageOrb interviewed Alley to learn more about how technology is driving changes in the industry – and how changes in the industry are driving the need for new technology solutions.
Q: What new technologies can we expect to see in the mortgage industry over the next several years?
Alley: I am very passionate about moving the industry to paperless, so I will have a strong focus on offering solutions that promote a truly electronic process, including eSignatures and solutions that are data centric to analyze and optimize our customers' processes.
I also expect compliance to remain at the forefront of mortgage technology initiatives, as technology must continue to evolve in lockstep with the regulatory landscape. Technology vendors will need to make changes and improve functionalities to ensure their customers are compliant with the new guidelines.
Q: Given the current and forecasted market, what may impact technology-related buying decisions? How will ISGN overcome that?
Alley: With rates ticking up, the industry is bracing for the end of the refinance bubble and a shift back to purchase business and lower volumes. While that seems like a negative, I have found historically that it focuses the industry on improvement and innovation. Technology is often part of the solution, so I would expect to see many organizations evaluating technology. Let's face it – it is difficult to replace technology during market highs because all eyes are focused on meeting the demand flowing through the door. To meet lenders' shifting needs as we move back to a more purchase-driven market, ISGN will work with its customers to identify areas of improvement and offer technology and services options to help them compete more effectively in this next wave of change.
Q: As the construction lending market rebounds, what technology should lenders utilize?
Alley: Construction lending is an interesting challenge because it has unique needs not often found in more standard technology offerings, so finding vendors who focus on construction lending is critical. Lenders should beware of a technology system that is retrofitted for construction loans, as it often falls short or involves work-arounds. At ISGN, we have a core competency in construction loan servicing technology, offering a solution separate from our core servicing platform because we understand the needs are unique for this segment.
Q: With the looming Consumer Financial Protection Bureau deadlines, how should lenders work with their vendors to maintain compliance?
Alley: I think the key to maintaining compliance is partnership and open communication. Lenders should partner with an experienced team that is dedicated to staying informed of regulatory changes and maintaining compliance, which allows lenders to focus on bringing in more loans. Also, there cannot be any last minute surprises. Vendors should communicate their plan openly and frequently so lenders are confident that they will have a compliant response well ahead of deadlines. This should also be a two-way communication. If I am communicating with our customers, I know they have not only listened to our plans, but have provided feedback so we can get it right together.