Innovative technological advancements can solve the most foreboding of challenges and revolutionize the way business is conducted.
The latest technologies making their way to the forefront of default servicing are doing just that. From enabling process servers to validate their work straight from the field to standardizing regulatory background checks for property preservation vendors, today’s solutions reinforce the mobile nature of the business and demonstrate a commitment to regulatory compliance and consumer protection.
As Steve Campbell, ProVest’s chief information officer, put it: “Our business is a mobile business, and it’s fair to say that the mobile platform and mobile technology is here to stay.”
ProVest manages the delivery of legal documents and related foreclosure services for clients across the country, and the company has developed a smartphone app—Process Server Snapshot! —that allows servers to capture, document, store, and share relevant field data such as date, time, and location coordinates.
Campbell says a couple of ProVest’s clients have started requiring process servers to provide GPS coordinates as part of a photo timestamp demonstrating service attempts. “We think eventually everybody is going to come on board and make latitude and longitude a hard requirement,” Campbell said.
Process Server Snapshot! is the first app in a new mobile technology suite developed by ProVest with the collaboration of its clients, servicers, lending institutions, and the company’s field network of over 4,500 process servers. Subsequent app releases will feature deeper integration with ProVest’s back office and will incorporate the company’s proprietary patent-pending technology called TrustIT, which utilizes a checksum algorithm as another check and balance to validate the authenticity of the data captured and expose attempts to falsify the device-generated timestamp.
With new components of its mobile technology suite in the works, ProVest has opted to make Process Server Snapshot! available to the entire industry at no charge. A process server doing work in Lincoln, Nebraska, for a firm other than ProVest can download the free app on their Android or iOS device to validate the accuracy and completeness of their work, Campbell explained.
In that same collaborative spirit, field service providers are working in partnership to establish a universal standard for third-party vendor background checks mandated by new regulatory guidelines from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Phase I of the vendor oversight solution was launched at the National Association of Mortgage Field Services(NAMFS) conference earlier this month. The solution—Aspen iRecord—was developed by Aspen Grove Solutionswith support from First Advantage and is being implemented by Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, with a number of national and regional field service providers actively engaged in the onboarding program.
“Our primary goal and focus was to deliver a singular background check process that will be adopted across the industry, eliminating the costly and cumbersome exercise for national, regional, and local providers to have multiple checks done based on differing requirements of their clients,” said Eric S. Miller, executive director of NAMFS.
Sean Ryan, CEO of Aspen Grove Solutions, added, “[W]e know how hard people work in the field and in the financial institutions to ensure the best outcome for homeowners and consumers. This solution will help raise the bar of professionalism by providing an industry-standard criminal check, the ability to manage checks, and the ability to prove compliance with the standard. The industry has decided to take a strong lead to demonstrate commitment.”
Aspen Grove, NAMFS, and other industry stakeholders view the new solution as a starting point, and they say they’ll continue to review current standards, research other background check vendors, and consider additional phases for technology development such as on-site verification capabilities.
“This announcement represents a significant step toward standardizing background checks across the mortgage field services industry that will serve the best interests of the vendors and ultimately those of consumers, neighbors, and communities,” commented Jim Taylor, SVP of property preservation for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage.