Andrew Liput, President and CEO
Growing up, many of us thought about our future lives with great ambition. We drew pictures of what jobs we wanted to have and the house we wanted to live in—as a representation of secure life for ourselves and our families. And, as we kept getting older, we kept striving ahead to reach that goal where we would become successful and proud homeowners of our dream houses.
Interestingly, for every individual, homeownership is one of the most cherished moments of their lives. Working around making this a reality, the U.S. residential mortgage market hasal so grown continuously, letting people live their American dream. However, closing a mortgage loan can be riskier than it sounds.
Consider that you have applied for a mortgage loan. Soon, the home inspection passed, and your loan officer locked you in at a favorable rate. You are approved for a loan and ready to close and get the keys! All that remains is to attend the closing of the loan, where you will review and sign a mountain of documents, the money changes hands and the title is transferred to you. But, who will help you navigate the legal documents, handle the money exchanges, and make sure the title passes to you cleanly and securely? In almost every situation it is an attorney, escrow officer, or title agent who acts to “settle” the transaction on your behalf and for the protection of the bank. In most cases these professionals are honorable, experienced, and trustworthy—but in some instances they are not and can commit fraud, steal consumer information, and even walk away with the mortgage proceeds leaving your home ownership dreams shattered! According to the FBI, there are many millions of dollars in losses by consumers and banks every year because of mortgage settlement fraud.
According to Andrew Liput, a mortgage banking expert, such cases are quite common in the mortgage lending space because, “although banks have an excellent loan underwriting process, they don’t have a robust settlement professional vetting procedure in place.” Upon finding this gap in the industry’s risk management process, he envisioned creating a database of vetted mortgage settlement professionals to help lenders and their customers with better risk management, consumer protection, and loss prevention.
Around the same time, when Liput was in the thick of turning his vision into reality, a rising number of financial fraudsled to Congress enacting the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act, which in turn gave birth to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. One of the key directives of this act stated that the lenders are obligated to manage any third-party risk. In simpler terms, it means, when someone outside the bank is introduced to a customer, it is essential for the bank to monitor them from a risk standpoint. For Liput, this directive acted as a regulatory mandate to bolster his idea of a nation wide vetted mortgage professionals’ database. So, he combined his 10 years of research of fraud cases in the mortgage lending industry, and his brainchild, Secure Insight, was established soon after.
We were the first company in the mortgage industry to provide third-party risk management addressing the closing of residential mortgages, and we are proud of it
Since its inception, Secure Insight has been the preferred choice of banks and credit unions for vetting settlement professionals. “We are the first company in the industry to provide third-party risk management in the residential mortgage lending industry, and we are proud of it,” extols Liput.
Today, Secure Insight has developed an enhanced vendor management platform that can conduct in-depth vetting of the settlement professionals. Secure Insight performs meticulous background checks, such as judgment lien searches, civil litigation searches, and evaluation of licensing insurance and bonds. The vetting process goes a step further with the verification of escrow or trust accounts directly at the source, authentication of internal controls to manage data privacy, provide cybersecurity, ensure consumer protection, and conduct professional references as well. Secure Insight collects 120 different data points in seven different categories, leaving no stone unturned in the vetting process. Subsequently, the company rates the settlement professionals for low, medium, or high risk.
Once the process is complete, Secure Insight uploads the profile on its nationwide database. This closing agent database has been developed over a decade of vetting 80,000+ professionals. Banks, mortgage lenders and credit unions can search this database 24/7 and 365 days of the year tore-verify any agent data. Moreover, the clients can integrate Secure Insight’s reports into their loan pipeline. “The clients can either get the report through our web-based application, or we can integrate our data into digital loan operation system,” says Liput.
Based on a lender’s business focus (retail, wholesale, warehouse lending) and geographical footprint, Secure Insight provides a proposal for managing risk that perfectly fits their needs. The company handles all vendor communications as well as 24/7 customer service to make the process easy for lenders to incorporate into their operations with little disruption and reallocation of resources. “We offer training and continual customer service from the time the client hason boarded with us,” remarks Liput.
Even during the current pandemic, the mortgage industry is booming, and Secure Insight remains relevant and vigilant. Collaborative data sharing arrangements with other industry risk data providers have given the company more diverse delivery options for prospective clients. System integrations with DocMagic—a leading provider of digital mortgage products and solutions—CoreLogic, a leading provider of consumer, financial, and property data, and also Vendorly, which helps banks and financial institutions streamline oversight of third-party vendors have the ability to bring Secure Insight’s solutions to a broader group of clients in a variety of ways.
Driven by technology innovation and integrity, Secure Insight has come a long way in the mortgage industry since its founding a decade ago. It was the first company to offer third-party risk assessment in the residential mortgage lending space, and today is viewed as a critical industry utility. Company’s plans include offering data reports directly to consumers to empower education and informed choice in their selection of qualified professionals. Moving ahead with undeterred momentum, Secure Insight remains poised to continue its reputation as an innovative leader in mortgage fraud risk prevention solutions.