Excellence in Compliance Automation with Academy Mortgage
Author: Eileen Linn, Sr. Customer Marketing and Advocacy Manager, Ellie Mae
The regulatory climate for mortgage lenders is always evolving and most lenders invest a significant number of hours and dollars to ensure they remain compliant. To help ease this burden, digital mortgage technology can be a valuable tool to automate aspects of their compliance management processes and reduce the need for manual data entry. Recently, Academy Mortgage Corporation was awarded the 2019 Ellie Mae Hall of Fame Award for Excellence in Compliance Automation for their exceptional work in leveraging business rules, alerts, and the Encompass Compliance Service™ to fully integrate compliance into their origination process.
Founded in 1988, Academy Mortgage focuses primarily on the retail mortgage business with 276 operating branches in 49 states, generating a total annual loan closed volume of more than $8 billion. Last year, one of their top initiatives was to improve efficiencies for their Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) and Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) departments to ensure the accuracy of their loan data to regulators.
To drive these efficiencies, Academy Mortgage knew this project would require many different layers of configuration and development within the Encompass® Digital Lending Platform , as well as the creation of SDK tools. By the end of the year, they had successfully automated their processes for the delivery of statement of credit denial (SOCD) and notice of loan approval (NOLA) documents to borrowers by:
- Running two separate reports within Encompass: One report was for conventional loan programs and another for non-conventional loans.
- Separating loans with acceptable and unacceptable credit scores: Based on credit scores, Academy Mortgage identified the population who should receive SOCDs and NOLAs.
- Running a mail merge on this population of loans: After ensuring the mail merge matched the Encompass reports, SOCD or NOLA cover letters were created.
- Generating the SOCD or NOLA and mailing it to the borrower: The SOCD or the NOLA are then printed, matched with the appropriate cover letter, and mailed out.
By automating these processes, Academy Mortgage increased efficiencies for both their HMDA and ECOA departments. They were able to data default several critical fields for their HMDA reporting through field triggers and data templates, which reduced the amount of manual data entry needed by their staff and helped them meet new demographic information requirements. And by utilizing SDK tools to compare recent credit reports with current loan data to update the Underwriting Summary and Loan Transmittal fields within Encompass, they eliminated the need for manual entry within their ECOA process and ensured the accuracy of their loan and borrower data.
By partnering with Ellie Mae and utilizing the customizable Encompass Digital Lending Platform, Academy Mortgage achieved results including:
- SOCD process: Reduced from two analysts working 8 hours per day, to one analyst working 2 hours per day delivering approximately 11,855 SOCDs over the past 8 months
- NOLA process: Reduce from one analyst working 8 hours per day, to only 2-3 hours per day delivering approximately 45,098 NOLAs over the past 8 months
Through automating aspects of their compliance processes, Academy Mortgage is now delivering higher-quality loans to their investors, federal regulators, and state regulators while gaining efficiencies and reducing manual entry.