In Uniformity Lies the Path to Progress
Automating the acceptance of appraisal and other valuation services has been an objective of lenders for a long time. While it has been possible to convert appraisal data into an electronic format for transmission and storage, the lack of consistency among providers has significantly limited the ability to do anything more. When Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac implemented the Uniform Mortgage Data Program (UMDP), along with its three main initiatives, the Uniform Loan Delivery Dataset (ULDD), Uniform Appraisal Dataset (UAD) and Uniform Collateral Data Portal (UCDP), its purpose was to keep data provided to the mortgage industry consistent. Now, we are seeing this positive step in uniformity take on a multitude of new forms and break down barriers to data access. From a broad perspective, valuation management platforms can allow an organization to effectively extend itself in a unified manner, typically connecting lending branches, or perhaps, linking the origination arm to the servicing arm. However, in today’s climate, lenders can leverage these solutions to extend from internal originations efforts into the secondary market government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) investor initiatives to create more cohesion than ever before. A robust valuation management platform, combined with the new uniformity of appraisal data, also greatly improves an organization’s ability to convert data to information that can be used to identify new products, services and opportunities. The industry is already seeing UAD definitions and terms being embraced in the production of non-traditional valuation products, making it possible for an organization to gather input from various sources in a common language to facilitate better analysis and understanding of the underlying collateral throughout the life of the loan. Looking at a more detailed level within the platform itself, there are at least three functional benefits of integrating UCDP and UAD modules and embracing the concept of data uniformity. ►Benefit #1: Advanced valuation management platforms can provide the ability to convert first-generation appraisals into an electronic data format compliant with GSE initiatives. When that format is not readily available from an appraiser or an appraisal management company (AMC), or a lender chooses not to utilize the portal-level conversion tool, lenders need to have the ability to convert it for submission. Valuation platforms can provide this facility without ever leaving the native application for appraisal order, receipt and review. ►Benefit #2: Advanced valuation management platforms can provide the ability to automate expectations and resolve issues before submission. Specifically, when an appraisal is returned, a valuation management platform can confirm if the data is UAD compliant. The platform may also run the appraisal through UCDP’s known requirements before it is submitted, providing alerts on any “hard stops” that might prevent the loan from processing for GSE review. Why is this important? Because it allows lenders to identify and handle problems before the GSEs get involved to assist in maintaining a positive seller/servicer relationship. ►Benefit #3: Advanced valuation management platforms also create significant improvements in vendor management processes by instantly identifying marginal performers and re-directing assignments to the best performing vendors to save time and money and ultimately increase customer satisfaction. The Dec. 1, 2011 deadline for ULDD compliance is now past, and the final March 19, 2012 deadline for full UCDP compliance is swiftly approaching. It’s not too late for lenders to take a critical look at what they can manually process through the online portal versus the automated efficiency and additional benefits in data uniformity that can be realized with a valuation management solution. David Rasmussen is senior vice president of operations at Veros Real Estate Solutions. For more information, call (714) 415-6300 or visit Veros.com.