On EClosings And Donald Trump

August 7, 2015 at 10:31 am Leave a comment

The Bureau That Never Sleeps unveiled the latest fruits of its messianic zeal to make the world a more consumer friendly place on Wednesday  by releasing  the results of a pilot study it performed to analyze the  impact  that greater use of electronics could have on the mortgage closing process.  For those of you considering expanding the use of technology in closings the report is an informative case study  that will help your credit union integrate technology into your closing processes. It’s a good piece of work and very much worth a read.  For those of you looking for the Holy Grail of consumer awareness, more research has to be done before you convince me and other skeptics that digitization equals a substantially more informed consumer.

The CFPB prides itself on being a data driven organization.  It has been intrigued with the potential consumer benefits that could come with  electronic closings virtually since its inception and it wanted to  analyze the impact that technology could have on consumer empowerment and understanding of the closing process as well as how it make closings  more efficient.    It recruited seven financial institutions with varying degrees of sophistication to integrate technology into their closing processes.    Interviews were conducted with participating consumers.

Here are my takeaways:

Its overarching finding was that borrowers who participated in e-closings reported a greater sense of empowerment and knowledge about their closings than did consumers   who went through traditional paper closings.  Interestingly perception didn’t match up that squarely with reality.   The findings also suggest that many consumers participating in e-closings think they are much more informed than they actually are.

A   great point in the report is that expanded use of technology isn’t an all or nothing proposition.  You can decide what parts of the process will remain computer free and what parts could be improved by going paperless.  For example, you may not be comfortable with digital notarization but that doesn’t mean you can’t push for the more frequent use of email to send out closing documents.

it’s possible that more efficient e-closings may generate savings.  Closings went quicker when borrowers got their closing papers days before closings via email and were provided with links to CFPB background information. Consumers identified errors before closings and understood what they were doing.   This finding makes it even less likely that the Bureau will come to its senses and further modify its mandate for final disclosures to be received three business days before CONSUMMATION.

Finally, one of the greatest obstacles to technology is unease on the part of compliance people that the law actually does authorize electronic notaries and mortgage documents.  This is one area where the legislature has apparently moved faster than business. I think I will do a future blog about electronic signatures.

I can hardly wait….

Here is a link.

http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201508_cfpb_leveraging-technology-to-empower-mortgage-consumers-at-closing.pdf

 

I can’t resist a quick note about the first primetime Republican debate last night.  After all, its one of the reasons today’s blog is so late.  I watched it and went to bed too late since I had to vent   First I’m pretty sure there are more people wanting to get the Republican presidential nomination than I have friends.  Oh well.

Second ,  Donald Trump is performing an invaluable service to the American public by proving  that you  can be  really rich, Really crude  and really dumb.

Third there was also precious little talk about economic policy-I only heard one mention of Dodd-Frank reform, As amusing as Donald Trump is,  at some point his poll numbers will drop as people get serious about picking the person for the most important job in the world.   The presidency is going to be won by the person who best identifies with the economic anxiety being experienced by Americans across almost all of the socioeconomic spectrum and offers a coherent plan to get things back on track.  The serious candidates all missed an opportunity to make their pitch last night but the ones who came closest to the mark were Ohio Governor John Kasich and Florida Senator Marco Rubio.

Entry filed under: General. Tags: , .

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Authored By:

Henry Meier, Esq., General Counsel, New York Credit Union Association.

The views Henry expresses are Henry’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Association.

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