PERSON OF THE WEEK: Paul Imura is chief marketing officer for ISGN, a provider of technology solutions and outsourcing services to the mortgage servicing industry. MortgageOrb recently interviewed Imura to learn more about ISGN's new loan servicing platform, LoanDynamix, the growing importance of security for servicer systems and how vendors are keeping up with the rapid pace of regulatory change.
Q: ISGN recently introduced a new servicing platform, LoanDynamix. Is this a completely new solution? If so, how does it differ from the previous loan servicing platform (modules, workflow, next-gen capabilities, etc.)? It says on your website that it's ‘built on over three decades of technology expertise of LSAMS’ – what does that mean?
Imura: LoanDynamix is a new platform that was designed specifically to meet the new standards of servicing. The majority of mortgage-related complaints received by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau stem from servicing and default and more than a third are due to routine servicing functions, such as management of payments, escrow and transfers. Due in large part to regulations, servicers now handle about half of the average loans per full-time employee as compared to a mere 10 years ago. With the addition of a hyper-competitive environment to these conditions, we clearly needed to change how servicing is managed. We leveraged the expertise we gained through our legacy servicing system, LSAMS, to create a new platform that would help servicers better manage their data, be more efficient and create loan-level insight.
LoanDynamix features an intuitive dashboard unlike any other servicing platform available in the market today. In addition to giving servicers complete transparency into their portfolio and loan-level analytics, this dashboard also aids in the assessment of early delinquency and compliance with federal and investor regulations. Servicers have the ability to drill down to further evaluate the state, investor, loan type or originator/servicer based on business requirements. The ability to view data in one place and use it to make faster, better-informed decisions makes LoanDynamix the competitive edge for risk management.
Q: Security has become a key consideration for cloud-based servicing platforms. What is the architecture for this system – does it run on a dedicated network, as a managed service and what are the options for network configuration?Â How are you addressing security?
Imura: Besides standard firewalls with limited access, and having only white-listed IP addresses with specific ports that allow access, LoanDynamix has role-based security on the system. Additionally, ISGN has ongoing evaluation and reviews for internal security and works on always improving where possible.
Q: Changing regulations are requiring software providers to constantly update their systems. How does this impact your company in terms of updating your solutions? Is it hard to keep up?
Imura: In today's regulatory environment, there is no room for error, so we are dedicated to incorporating user-definable business logic that adheres to investor and government regulations into our technology solutions. We focus on developing solutions that help lenders and servicers automate reporting requirements, better manage borrower communication and track multiple escrow lines, so these institutions can run their business more efficiently and most importantly, maintain regulatory compliance across the entire loan lifecycle. Tightening regulations have also resulted in bandwidth constraints and longer turnaround times, so we deliver technology solutions that can help lenders and servicers decrease their operating costs while still creating a higher level of efficiency and automation.
The constantly changing regulatory environment is certainly a challenge, but ISGN will continue to invest in the resources it needs to develop more innovative and relevant solutions. In doing so, we are able to stay ahead of the technology curve to keep pace with rising regulatory and compliance demands. Our goal is to streamline operations and provide trustworthy service through more software-as-a-service, cloud-based models. This shared model provides an improved customer experience while allowing the client to cut costs and create a safe environment for customers.
Q: As a system provider, philosophically, would you rather ‘stay busy’ with these constant updates, which can be challenging due to the ‘risk of misinterpretation,’ or would you rather see the deluge of new regulations start to subside, perhaps to regain focus or to preserve resources?
Imura: As a general philosophy, ISGN does not see regulatory compliance as a choice that can be made. Dates come hard and fast, so solutions need to be in place to meet those requirements – even if those solutions need to be revisited when the definition becomes more refined. ISGN has full-time staff that is 100% focused on compliance, how it affects our business and when. To that end, we are committed to a ‘stay busy’ plan in our pursuit of regulatory compliance.Â Â
Q: Despite some consolidation in recent years, there are still quite a few loan servicing platform providers in the marketplace – and new systems are being introduced as new regulations come into effect. Do you think the marketplace is too crowded – or is this what might be called ‘healthy competition’?
Imura: This is healthy competition. Each mortgage servicing system has its competitive advantages and weaknesses. Some have a narrower focus while others have more general approaches. Few, if any, providers offer technical solutions that serve the needs of the mortgage industry from end-to-end: origination and settlement through default servicing. ISGN has solutions that meet all of those needs at cost-effective price points and with flexibility that meets the varying needs and concerns of the market.
Q: The ease of uptake for Web-based solutions is a two-edged sword in that mortgage servicers can ‘jump ship’ and go with another provider more easily than with on-premises systems. This, in turn, has put more pressure on providers to deliver not only proven and reliable solutions, but also excellent software support. How is ISGN meeting this challenge?
Imura: Our product support team is committed to providing fast, accurate and professional technical service in support of ISGN's software solutions. Our support includes client implementation liaisons who have an understanding of a customer's workflow needs and who can quickly adapt to workflow changes, allowing ISGN a very efficient process for order assignments and delivery. Our client services group supports customers seven days a week, and their relationship managers help solve issues before escalation.
We also have a dedicated team of engineers that provide expert technical and product assistance. The product support team provides customers with a single point of contact for technical requests. The company provides all customers with log-on access to its customer-only website, where customers have 24/7 access to ISGN's Answerbook knowledge base of support issues and resolutions. We also have the flexibility to upgrade its systems and products and provide integrations based on customer suggestions and feedback.