US 20050197953 A1
The automated compliance engine of the present invention uses the Federal, State, local and professional regulations and requirements and implementing instructions to generate a plurality of tasks which can be used to control and drive the process of handling a mortgage loan application to completion and to monitor the completion of the tasks in order to generate a Completion Certificate. Mortgage loan requestors may specify that the system will generate the plurality of required tasks, provide the plurality of required tasks to the requestor for his execution, and monitor the completion of all required tasks so as to provide a completion certificate to the requestor. Alternatively, loan requesters may specify that the automated compliance engine will generate the plurality of required tasks, will transfer the required tasks to other systems qualified to manage and control the execution of the required tasks, and the compliance engine will monitor the completion of all required tasks so as to provide a completion certificate to the requester.
1. A computer implemented method for generation of a set of required procedures for processing a mortgage loan comprising the acts of:
receiving a request to process a mortgage loan;
generating a plurality of tasks, the tasks comprising actions required to process the mortgage loan, including tasks required by applicable federal or state law; and
distributing one or more of the tasks to one or more systems capable of performing one or more of the tasks.
2. The computer implemented method for automated processing a mortgage loan of
3. The computer implemented method for automated processing of a mortgage loan of
4. The computer implemented method for automated processing of a mortgage loan of
5. The computer implemented method for automated processing of a mortgage loan of
6. The computer implemented method for automated processing of a mortgage loan of
7. A compliance engine for automated processing of a mortgage loan comprising:
a computer system having communications devices for receiving a request to process a mortgage loan;
the computer system having logic mechanisms programmed to generate a plurality of tasks, the tasks comprising actions required to process the mortgage loan, including tasks required by applicable federal or state law; and
the computer system having additional logic mechanisms programmed to electronically distribute one or more of the tasks to one or more systems capable of performing one or more of the tasks.
8. The compliance engine of
9. The compliance engine of
10. The compliance engine of
11. An apparatus for automated processing of a mortgage loan comprising:
means for receiving a request to process a mortgage loan;
means, coupled to the means for receiving a request to process a mortgage loan, for generating a plurality of tasks, the tasks comprising actions required to process the mortgage loan, including tasks required by applicable federal or state law; and
means, coupled to the means for generating a plurality of tasks required to process the mortgage loan, for electronically distributing one or more of the plurality of tasks to one or more systems capable of performing one or more of the tasks.
12. In a network having a user node including a browser program coupled to said network, said user node providing requests for information and providing mortgage loan application related commands on said network, a network node comprising:
a mortgage loan processing server node responsive to a request from said user node to process a mortgage loan, whereby said mortgage loan processing server node provides a first mechanism for generating a plurality of tasks, the tasks comprising actions required to process the mortgage loan, including tasks required by applicable federal or state law; and provides a second mechanism coupled to the first mechanism, for distributing one or more of the plurality of tasks to one or more systems capable of performing one or more of the tasks.
13. The loan processing server node of
14. The loan processing server node of
15. A computer program product stored on a computed useable medium, comprising;
a first computer readable program mechanism for receiving a request to process a mortgage loan;
a second computer readable program mechanism for generating a plurality of tasks, the plurality of tasks comprising actions required to process the mortgage loan, including tasks required by applicable federal or state law; and
a third computer readable code mechanism for distributing one or more of the plurality of tasks to one or more systems capable of performing one or more of the tasks.
16. The computer program product of
17. The computer program product of
This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/189,635 filed Mar. 14, 2000. This application is also related to the following utility applications which are filed on the same day as this application:
A portion of this patent document contains material which is subject to copyright protection. The copyright owner has no objection to the facsimile reproduction by anyone of the patent document or the patent disclosure, as it appears in the Patent and Trademark Office patent file or records, but otherwise reserves all copyright rights whatsoever.
The present invention relates to the general field of computers, telecommunications, and computer and Internet related systems. More specifically the invention relates to systems and processes to be used in the mortgage industry for generating and monitoring a set of required procedures involved in moving a mortgage loan through the steps of ‘originate’, ‘approve’, ‘close’, ‘find’, and ‘ship’.
There is a need for an automated system for managing the processing of mortgage loan applications, wherein the identification of the loan originator, his/her location and the location of the property which is the subject of the loan, determine the Federal and State mortgage loan laws and regulations as well as the professional guidelines which govern the loan transaction, and wherein the automated system uses the specific loan regulations to determine the tasks required to complete a loan transaction, including tasks required by applicably federal or state law, provide the set of required tasks to lenders and other interested parties, record the completion of the set of tasks, and if requested by a lender, to use the set of tasks internally to drive the flow of the automated mortgage loan process to completion.
The Federal laws and regulations in question are basically those outlined in the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) and the Federal Housing and Urban Development's (HUD's) implementing Regulation X. The State regulations in question are those State specific regulations and implementing instructions that serve a similar purpose, relating to Lender payments to Mortgage Brokers and other settlement service providers. RESPA is the federal law implemented by HUD's Regulation X, to protect home buyers from excess costs and confusion when securing a home mortgage loan. Among other federal laws, the Truth in Lending Act (“TILA”) and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (“ECOA”) impact the mortgage loan process. Under the TILA, certain credit related disclosures are required to be made to the borrower prior to the consummation of a mortgage loan transaction, so that the borrower understands the total cost of the loan.
The ECOA, and its implementing regulation, Regulation B, were enacted and promulgated to require that lenders make credit equally available to all creditworthy borrowers without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, age, receipt of public assistance or the fact that the borrower in good faith exercised any right under the Federal Consumer Credit Protection Act. In addition to the prohibition against discrimination, the ECOA and Regulation B also contain, among others, requirements regarding the provision of appraisal reports, evaluation of applications, spousal signatures, and the provision of adverse action notices.
Regarding state laws, most jurisdictions have enacted licensing statutes that may require real estate sales professionals, builders, financial institutions/lenders and mortgage brokers to obtain a license and satisfy various other financial, educational and operational requirements. Most jurisdictions also have enacted laws that impose, among others, requirements regarding the types of fees that may be charged to a consumer in connection with a mortgage loan transaction and the persons entitled to receive such fees, as well as certain jurisdiction-specific disclosures that must be provided to the consumer.
There is a need for a system to facilitate the application of all of these laws and regulations (“regulations”) in an efficient and systematic manner during the course of a mortgage loan transaction by using the telecommunications and computing facilities available to the market today.
While some state laws are more restrictive, RESPA allows a licensed real estate professional to receive compensation for originating a mortgage loan only if that real estate professional provides goods or facilities or performs services that are necessary for the origination of the loan and that are separate and distinct from any services the real estate professional provides incident to the sale of the property that secures the mortgage loan. Moreover the mortgage loan process is labor intensive, error prone and time consuming for all parties concerned, making it difficult for a real estate professional to track the services he or she provided to satisfy RESPA and state requirements to justify receiving compensation.
Since the inception of the mortgage process wherein a borrower and lender associated themselves to enact a mutually beneficial and agreeable relationship, the lending process has become increasingly complex. In prior times, a lender, typically a small bank, negotiated directly with a potential home, commercial, or business owner to purchase real property. The borrower presented him-or herself directly to the president of the bank, or to a designated lending officer, and petitioned that bank officer for money to accomplish the purchase of, or improvement to a piece of property. The deal was sometimes affirmed in the form of a handshake, but by definition, a mortgage loan is a loan secured by a mortgage on the subject property. In all, the process was very subjective, and great weight was given to the friendship (or lack of it) between the borrower and lender, as well as other factors which, in today's lending environment, are discouraged or are illegal. The demand for fairness and equity, as well as an increasingly competitive lending environment, was the reason why RESPA was passed and now requires a greater level of sophistication on the part of the lending community. Furthermore as indicated above, increasing oversight on the part of governments and regulatory agencies have required increased levels of sophistication in the traditional borrower-lender relationship. While these oversight demands are generally considered to be a benefit to the borrower-lender relationship, it is, nonetheless a burden to all parties, and significant increases in both time and cost are accrued to the process. As well, protective regulations added by the lending community under whose umbrella the industry operates, further protract the process of ‘doing business’. As indicated above, these regulations and ‘rules’ governing the mortgage process permit those in the loan origination role to receive a fee for services rendered when the applicable rules are followed, as well as penalties and loss of fees for non-compliance. For example, RESPA has criminal penalties wherein a violator can go to jail for up to a year.
The impacts from this increased burden are manifold. The process of obtaining a property-secured loan is protracted by regulation and disjointed, because the participating agents, workers, institutions, and individuals are linked throughout the transaction by archaic means, that is to say, via face-to-face meeting, telephone conversation, fax, postal mail, private delivery contractors, e-mail, and electronic file transmittal. While in some instances, these means are considered by some to be state-of-the-art, they are not. Inherent in all of these transactive mechanisms is the human element. It is typical that time is consumed from the loan application, underwriting, and issuance process because a person is involved at virtually every step of the process. Typically, individuals process information serially, that is, one requirement after another, whereas other means exist to process information and service requests in parallel, where multiple requests are handled or processed simultaneously.
In current methodologies, the loan approval can occur only after the lender has obtained and processed all relevant borrower information, including financial, credit, and employment information. A further disabling of the process exists when errors are made, an event more common when persons are involved in simple, repetitive data handling and manipulation tasks.
In present implementations, the mortgage underwriting process generally follows the following pattern: A borrower, wishing to purchase or improve real property, and usually without the help of experienced advisors, makes a personal determination of the amount of available money generally required for a down payment and his or her ability to repay a loan for the balance. With this personal estimate in mind, a borrower (or buyer) begins a search for property and attends carefully to the costs of said property, making sure that the scope of the search is within the individual's envisioned cash flow constraints and acceptable debt ratios. Generally, individuals seek the professional services of a skilled Real estate sales professional or other agent to aid in the search for suitable property. Concurrent with this search, the individual will often, at the advice of a Real estate sales professional, seek to obtain a pre-approval for an envisioned loan amount, or at least a pre-qualification for a loan. In certain lending models envisioned by the present invention, loan approvals are accompanied with a ‘rate-lock’, or an indication by the lending institution of the available interest rate. Until such a commitment is obtained, it is generally not possible for the individual to faithfully commit to the purchase of property. In the current practice, the pre-approval process occurs outside of the Real estate sales professional's control. However, when a loan pre-approval is obtained, the buyer may, in good faith, negotiate with a seller for the purchase of property. Such negotiations are almost always facilitated by the attending Real estate sales professional(s) who represent the buyer and/or seller in the negotiation. When a mutually agreeable price is determined, and terms of the agreement specific to the buyer and seller are negotiated, appropriate documents are signed, such documents constituting a formally offered and accepted ‘offer to purchase’. At this time, the lending institution originally issuing the loan pre-approval is contacted to proceed with the loan application. It is at this step that the aforementioned ‘burdens’ come to bear on the transaction.
In the past, attempts have been made to automate some parts of this process. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 5,995,947 issued Nov. 30, 1999 to IMX Mortgage Exchange titled “Interactive Mortgage and loan information and real-time trading system” provides a system and method for trading loans wherein a transaction server maintains a database of pending loan applications and their statuses, and wherein each party to the loan (broker, lender) can search and modify the database consistent with their role in the transaction. However this system focuses on only one facet of the loan process itself. Other parts of the loan process are addressed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,966,700 issued Oct. 12, 1999 to Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago, titled “Management System for Risk Sharing of Mortgage Pools” is a system wherein a mortgage originator (bank, savings & loan, etc.) and a finding institution (Federal Home Loan Bank, etc.) agree to assume certain risks for the mortgage by entering into a credit agreement having an overall credit enhancement value, and wherein the system calculates and records the allocation of mortgage interest and credit risk between them. This system functions after a mortgage has been issued which is outside of applicants' present system. Another recently issued patent related to mortgage loans is U.S. Pat. No. 5,991,745 issued Nov. 23, 1999 to Fannie Mae, titled “Reverse Mortgage Loan Calculation System and Process”, which is a payment calculation system related to loans that the borrower is generally not required to repay until the security property is sold. Still another is U.S. Pat. No. 5,940,812 issued Aug. 17, 1999 to LoanMarket Resources, LLC titled “Apparatus & Method for Automatically Matching a Best Available Loan to a Potential Borrower via Global Telecommunications Network” teaches a system for matching loan requests (and related credit data) to lenders (with related eligibility criteria) in order to facilitate such loans whether they be for automobile purchases or whatever. Similarly, other U.S. Patents teach methods for real time loan approval (U.S. Pat. No. 5,870,721), methods for Lender direct credit evaluation and loan processing (U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,029,149; 5,930,776; and 5,611,052); and methods for keeping track of loans, loan histories, leases and pertinent data related thereto (U.S. Pat. No. 4,774,664).
Inherent in most property transactions, especially those involving a mortgage, are other elements which, as suggested before, serve to protect the interests of all concerned parties, but which unnecessarily protract the underwriting process. These generally include at least the following: a processing procedure and fee to originate the loan application, a title search to discover any encumbrances on the property such as liens, overdue taxes, etc., a credit check on the borrower of record to determine the credit-worthiness of the individual, a verification of employment which speaks to the individual's ability to repay the loan, a property survey, where such is dictated by local laws, an appraisal to determine if the property value secures the lender's investment, application for various insurances such as flood, earthquake, or other insurance as local law and custom requires, the loan application itself, and other such applications, searches, and discoveries, as local laws dictate. In addition to the aforementioned, an income to debt ratio is established to help select the most appropriate loan program(s) consistent with the lender's policy and the borrower's requirements.
Of equal importance in the process is the distribution of service fees and commissions associated with real estate mortgage transactions. The timeliness and accuracy of transactions can adversely affect the payment of various agents or workers involved in the process. Furthermore, because of the almost casual connection between the parties to the transaction, coupled with heretofore rigid definitions of each worker's responsibility, creative solutions to the aforementioned problems were not forthcoming, and little could be done to remedy these problems. Personal intervention on the part of agents or other workers could help, but weren't part of the scope of the transaction, were unreliable, and were differentially applied, often in consideration of such elements as the wealth or prestige of the borrower, the value of the property, personal friendships, or other less tangible factors.
Many of the agents or workers participating in the transaction bear a limited portion of the responsibility for the transaction. Employment verification, title searches, and the like, are often of fixed duration and required effort with mortgages falling within a broad value range. As such, these workers enjoy a steady, regulated income flow. It falls however, to the real estate agent to invest time on an open-ended basis to accomplish a sale. In this instance, the commission is often fixed by industry convention or statute, and the Real estate sales professional typically doesn't enjoy the benefit of serving as both listing and buying agent, which might net a full commission. More typically, the agent must make a 50/50 split with another agent or agency. Adding injury to this significant commission reduction is the typical requirement that the remaining commission balance be split, usually 60/40, with the Real estate sales professional's parent agency. It is common for a Real estate sales professional, having invested many hours over a period or weeks or months, to realize a modest 1-2% of the selling price of the property. Given this scenario, it is expected that a Real estate sales professional will focus on opportunities which will bear fruit faster, and leave the longer-term prospects alone, even though they have a similar reward and are of equal value in the eyes of the respective buyers and sellers.
The current state of the art simply does not provide a means whereby the real estate sales professional, or any other agent or worker, may participate in the other portions of the monetary flow, beyond that which is historically common to their respective industries.
While there are a number of developing systems, as mentioned above, for automated lender selection and loan tracking, it is clear that a need exists for an automated system based upon a database of federal, state and local rules and regulations, which can be used to identify, for a given loan transaction, the set of tasks required to process and complete the loan transaction, including tasks required by applicably federal or state law, and to track the set of tasks during the process itself to reasonably assure that compliance with these rules and regulations can be reported, or alternatively, that compliance task completion may be traced to the entity reporting completion. There is a further need to automatically attach the regulatory compliance information with a task management system required to process loans and to provide methods for integrating the Compliance Engine technology with any third party loan processing software.
The present invention provides a solution to the needs described above through a system and method for automatically generating a set of required tasks for use in managing the mortgage loan process by use of a compliance engine, including tasks required by applicably federal or state law. The automated system of the present invention automatically attaches the regulatory compliance information and a task management system required to process loans and provides methods for integrating the Automate Compliance Engine technology with any third party's loan processing software.
The automated system of the present invention uses the Federal, State, local and professional regulations and requirements and implementing instructions to generate a plurality of tasks which can be used to control and drive the process of handling a mortgage loan application to completion and settlement in accordance with these regulations. Mortgage loan requestors may specify that the system will generate the plurality of required tasks, including tasks required by applicably federal or state law, provide the plurality of required tasks to the requestor for his execution, including tasks required by applicably federal or state law, and monitor the completion of all required tasks so as to provide a completion certificate to the requester. Alternatively, mortgage loan requestors may specify that the automated system will generate the plurality of required tasks, including tasks required by applicably federal or state law, will manage and control the execution of the required tasks, and monitor the completion of all required tasks so as to provide a completion certificate to the requestor.
The invention allows loan originators to enter loan applications and comprises a platform to allow other entities to underwrite the loan (that is, this invention is not a loan approval system, but can use any lender's loan approval system) but which provides the means to control and drive the mortgage transaction to closing by means of a compliance system which contains a rules engine built around the required Federal and State regulations and which tracks and records every step in the process to provide a record of completion for Federal and State regulators. The invention was designed to provide mechanisms for use to assure that loan originators meet and exceed federal, state, local and professional laws governing the relations between real estate sales and mortgage lending activities.
A computer implemented method is disclosed for facilitating processing of a mortgage loan application wherein the system receives a request to process a mortgage loan; generates a plurality of tasks, the tasks comprising actions required to process the mortgage loan, and including tasks required by applicable federal and/or state law; and distributes one or more of the required tasks to one or more systems capable of performing one or more of the tasks. The method further provides an act of monitoring the completion of the plurality of tasks whereby a report of completion of all required tasks can be generated.
A compliance engine is disclosed for automated processing of mortgage loans which has a computer system with communications devices for receiving a request to process a mortgage loan; the computer system having logic devices programmed to generate a plurality of tasks required to process the loan, wherein the tasks are made up of actions which are required for a specific mortgage loan by various legal rules and regulations; and wherein the computer system has logic devices programmed to distribute the plurality of tasks to various systems who can carry out the tasks.
Also disclosed is a server node in a network which is responsive to a request to process a loan by generating a plurality of tasks which are required to process the requested loan, including tasks required by applicably federal or state law, and for distributing the plurality of tasks to persons who are qualified to perform the tasks. Also disclosed are mechanisms in the server node for monitoring the completion of the plurality of tasks related to a given loan and for generating reports and completion certificates associated with the actions related to the given loan.
Also, a computer program stored on a computer readable medium or carrier wave is disclosed having computer code mechanisms for receiving a loan request; for generating a plurality of tasks required to process the loan, including tasks required by applicably federal or state law, and distributing the plurality of tasks to persons capable of performing those tasks. Additional code mechanisms are disclosed which monitor the completion of the plurality of tasks and when all tasks are completed can issue various reports and completion certificates.
Still other embodiments of the present invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art from the following detailed description, wherein is shown and described only the embodiments of the invention by way of illustration of the best modes contemplated for carrying out the invention. As will be realized, the invention is capable of modification in various obvious aspects, all without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention. Accordingly, the drawings and detailed description are to be regarded as illustrative in nature and not restrictive.
The features and advantages of the system and method of the present invention will be apparent from the following description in which:
The present invention provides a solution to the needs described above through a system and method for managing the mortgage loan process. The automated system of the present invention uses the Federal, State, local and professional regulations and requirements and implementing instructions to identify the set of tasks required to process a specific loan application, including tasks required by applicable federal and state law, to use, or provide this set of tasks to a lender to use, to drive the process of handling the specific mortgage loan application, and to monitor and report the completion of the specified tasks as required by these regulations, or alternatively, that the required task completion may be traced to the completing entity.
The heart of various embodiments of the present invention is a module designated an Automated Compliance Engine (the “Compliance Engine”) which is designed to maintain and use a rules-based loan compliance database to generate the set of tasks required to be performed to complete and close a specific mortgage loan transaction. This Compliance Engine is described in more detail below. However, we now describe a general overview of a preferred embodiment of the invention.
(1) General Overview
All mortgage loans will be originated through the applicants (OnePipeline.com) website. In the future, websites other than OnePipeline.com's will be used to originate loans that will interface with the compliance engine. The technology used as part of the system currently is, and will be, able to interface with many other industry standard software programs to make the exchange and flow of data easy and accurate.
The system is predominantly web-enabled, which extends its use to all industry professionals connected to the Internet. The system contains the Compliance Engine that applies Federal, State, Local, and profession based filters to each loan application and each Loan Originator to create a combined task list that defines a custom workflow process for every transaction originated through the System and Program, which forms the basis for monitoring the steps and procedures required for a specific loan transaction in order to provide a completion report for the specific mortgage loan. The rules applied to each new mortgage loan application will determine who is permitted or required to perform which services in the loan origination process under the Program and who will receive fair market compensation for services actually performed. The System then creates a record of the actual workflow. The list, as a composite of compensation or origination tasks and required tasks, is represented as a ‘task list’, and may optionally be presented to a subscriber client through an API.
(2) Detailed Description
In an embodiment of the System, the Borrower and Loan Originator work together throughout the loan origination process. Once a Borrower decides to work with a Loan Originator on the System, the System will have the Borrower and Loan Originator answer typical financial and property questions concerning the Borrower. The answers to these questions will allow the System to pre-qualify the Borrower for a loan and offer appropriate loan program options to the Borrower. Once the System makes this information available to the Borrower and Loan Originator, the Borrower will be able to choose to make a formal mortgage loan application on-line through the Loan Originator.
After a consultation between the Borrower and Loan Originator, the Borrower will then be able to select a loan program -or request the System to find the most advantageous interest rate available from the various lender options. The System and staff will select a loan product and submit the application to the appropriate lender for approval and distribute on-line results back to the Borrower and Loan Originator, together with a complete set of underwriting conditions.
An exemplary sequence of events is as follows:
Making either selection will notify the System of the Borrower's intent to proceed with the mortgage loan origination process and will initiate the rules evaluation process, coincident with underwriting of the loan, as described in the next paragraph.
The System's Compliance Engine will apply a set of rules appropriate to each mortgage loan transaction, including property and borrower profile, originator's professional guidelines, state and federal regulations and other relevant rules. The final filtered task list will then apply to each mortgage loan transaction in an attempt to assure that the mortgage loan is originated in accordance with applicable federal and state laws. This will include, making sure that qualified Loan Originators, Independent Contractors and Local Loan Processors are permitted to perform services associated with the loan origination process and that all services required to be performed in order for the Loan Originator, Independent Contractor and/or Local Loan Processor to receive compensation in connection with the mortgage loan transaction are actually performed.
Based on the mortgage loan origination process requirements defined by the Compliance Engine, the Loan Originator will make decisions about each of the service providers (e.g., inspection companies, surveyors, appraisers, title companies, etc.) the Loan Originator wishes to have involved in the mortgage loan transaction. Any qualified service provider will be able to be selected by the Loan Originator and entered into the System at this point. Some nationwide service providers may, in the future, have a direct online ordering system available inside the System. Others may still require the typing in of the name and contact information. OnePipeline.com, Inc. expects that it will be most common for Borrowers to select local service providers with whom they are familiar.
After the Borrower selects the service providers, the Loan Processor will confirm to the system which services have been provided by the Loan Originator. As described in more detail below, the services actually performed by the Loan Originator, Independent Contractor and/or Local Loan Processors will serve as the basis for the fees earned as fair market compensation for performing settlement services in connection with the mortgage loan origination process under the Program.
After each of the above steps are completed, the System will automatically create a workflow process based on the applicable rules and appropriate tasks will be eventually assigned to each of the service providers for the mortgage loan transaction. In a preferred embodiment, the mortgage loan data and applicable tasks will be passed to a workflow generation system, either implemented as an integral part of the system of the invention, or as a service provided by a remote application service provider (ASP), which will generate an automated workflow process which can notify each service provider of his task(s) and allowing each service provider to interact in completing needed tasks. All task assignments will be distributed by the System and tracked. At this point, many people will be working on the loan simultaneously though the System. For example, the Loan Originator may be obtaining financial information from the Borrower, the Independent Contractor may be ordering an appraisal, the Local Loan Processor may be verifying Borrower information, and various service providers may be performing services and adding information to the mortgage loan file through the System. Hard copy data will be input by either OnePipeline's staff, an Independent Contractor (to the extent permitted under state law) or the Local Loan Processor, and added to the physical mortgage loan file. Work notices and status communications may be generated automatically by the System to keep the process moving and to ensure that all appropriate parties perform their assigned tasks in the proper order to meet all rules requirements applicable to the mortgage loan transaction.
c. Products Available
Borrowers may obtain a loan using the facilities of the lender organization, in which mode the system of the invention merely determines which tasks are required and tracks the completion of the required tasks. By obtaining a loan through the Program, Borrowers will be given access to a wide variety of first lien, fixed and variable rate, closed-end mortgage products (both purchase money and refinancings) at competitive rates and pricing, and in a timely and efficient manner. For example, as noted above, OnePipeline.com, Inc. will make available to the Borrower, loan products and interest rates that are available from its participating lenders. OnePipeline's System and Program also will make available and support secondary lien, fixed and variable rate, closed-end loan products and interest rates available from its participating lenders. In the future, OnePipeline may give Borrowers access to first and second lien, fixed and variable rate, open-end mortgage products through the Program. OnePipeline's Program and System will not make available or support mortgage loans that constitute “High Cost” or Section 32 mortgage loans, which are covered by Section 32 of Regulation Z, 12 C.F.R § 226.3.
d. Funding Source
In a preferred embodiment, OnePipeline.com, Inc. will not fund any mortgage loans, and no mortgage loans will be closed in OnePipeline's name. OnePipeline will be acting exclusively in the capacity as mortgage broker. All mortgage loans will be funded by, and closed in the name of a participating lender. In an alternative embodiment, OnePipeline could fund certain mortgage loans and close loans in their name in those jurisdictions where qualified to do so.
e. Disclosures and Form Documents
In a preferred embodiment, the System will produce applicable Borrower disclosures (on a state specific basis) required under applicable law to be provided to the Borrower in connection with the mortgage loan origination process under the Program. The Loan Originator will be required to provide the disclosures to Borrowers at the appropriate times. Moreover, the Loan Originators will be required to provide the Borrower with a disclosure that informs the Borrower that the Loan Originator will receive compensation for services actually performed by the Loan Originator in connection with the mortgage loan transaction. This disclosure also will inform the Borrower that the Loan Originator is an exclusive part-time W-2 employee of OnePipeline, and that the Borrower is free to use another mortgage broker or lender other than OnePipeline.
The System also will allow a lender to elect to use a standard set of mortgage loan documents, which can be printed off of the System, in connection with a mortgage loan originated through OnePipeline's Program, or the Lender may use its own forms. The forms available off of the System will be provided to OnePipeline by a third-party document vendor.
f. Mortgage Loan Fees
Fees will generally include, among other permissible fees: (1) origination fee payable to the lender and passed through to the Loan Originator based on services performed; (2) underwriting fee payable to the lender and passed through to Local Loan Processor; (3) impound waiver fee payable to the lender and passed through to secondary market investor (only on loans without escrow accounts); (4) processing fee payable to the lender and passed through to Local Loan Processor; (5) document preparation fee payable to the lender and passed through to third-party vendor; (6) tax related service fee payable to the lender and passed through to third-party vendor; and (7) attorney fee payable to lender and passed through to closing attorney. OnePipeline.com, Inc. will charge a lender a membership fee to participate in OnePipeline's Program and a flat fee for each Completion Certificate issued to the lender.
g. Loan Originators
In a preferred embodiment, mortgage loans will be originated through the System and Program by licensed real estate sales professionals, such as real estate agents/salespersons and, in limited cases, real estate brokers. The individual real estate agents and individual real estate brokers (i.e., brokers that are not corporations or similar business entities) will enter into an employment agreement with OnePipeline, and become part-time W-2 employees of OnePipeline.com. The employment agreements will expressly require the Loan Originator to originate mortgage loans exclusively for OnePipeline.com, and prohibit the Loan Originators from receiving compensation for performing loan origination services for another mortgage lender or mortgage broker.
In the future, other non-traditional originators, such as investment advisors, financial advisors, accountants and other professionals may be added to the Program as Loan Originators, in each case to the extent permitted by applicable law. Loan Originators may also have an affiliation with a mortgage lender, which defines the selection of loan products the Loan Originator may offer.
i. Local Loan Processors
In a preferred embodiment, wherein the loan is being processed through the system of the invention, loan processing functions which would trigger mortgage broker or similar licensing requirements under applicable state law will be delegated to properly licensed Local Loan Processors who will receive compensation intended to be fair compensation for services actually rendered by them. The Local Loan Processors will be either mortgage brokers and mortgage bankers.
j. Services Performed
As noted above, in a preferred embodiment, a Loan Originator will initiate the mortgage loan process with a borrower using OnePipeline's System. The services that a Loan Originator will have to perform, in all cases, in order to be fully compensated include the following: (1) obtaining the applicant's signature on disclosures, (2) obtaining the applicant's signature on the credit authorization, (3) pre-qualifying applicants, (4) assisting applicants in selecting loan products, (5) taking the loan application or obtaining loan application information, (6) reviewing the credit decision with the applicant, (7) explaining the good faith estimate and other disclosures to the applicant, (8) collecting documentation from the applicant that is needed in connection with processing and underwriting the loans, (9) updating the applicant and responding to applicant inquiries, (10) locking the interest rate, and (11) scheduling and attending the closing.
If a Loan Originator does not perform all required services, the services will be performed by OnePipeline's staff, Lender's staff, an Independent Contractor (to the extent permitted under applicable state law) or by a Local Loan Processor, and the compensation received by the Loan Originator will be reduced accordingly.
By way of additional background, the basic of the rules and regulations which form the heart of the present invention are now described in more detail.
The following is a brief summary of RESPA and its implementing regulation, Regulation X, and their requirements. It is not intended to be comprehensive. For example, RESPA and Regulation X may not apply in all situations, and their application is not discussed below. Users should consult RESPA, Regulation X and independent legal counsel for complete explanation of RESPA, Regulation X and their requirements.
The Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (“RESPA”) is a federal statute that was enacted by Congress in 1974. A federal regulation implementing RESPA (“Regulation X”) also has been promulgated by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”). HUD is the federal agency charged with administering and enforcing RESPA, Regulation X and their requirements.
RESPA was enacted to provide Borrowers with greater and more timely information on the nature and costs of the home buying/settlement process, and to protect Borrowers from unnecessarily high settlement charges caused by certain practices believed to be abusive. Among other requirements, RESPA and Regulation X prohibit the payment or receipt of “any fee, kickback or thing of value” (i.e., a referral fee) in exchange for the referral of settlement service business. Settlement service business includes, among other services, loan origination services such as taking applications, obtaining income verifications and communicating with a borrower or lender.
RESPA and Regulation X permit a lender to make reasonable payments to its agents and contractors for services actually performed in the origination, processing or funding of a loan. Based on interpretations of this provision in RESPA and Regulation X, real estate sales professionals and others may, in certain circumstances, provide loan origination services and receive fair market compensation for the services they actually perform.
The preferred embodiment of the invention in OnePipeline.com's program and system are designed around this provision. Applicant's loan originators are required to perform certain settlement services in connection with loans originated by OnePipeline.com, and the compensation received by these loan originators and regional loan processors is intended to be fair market compensation for the services they actually perform.
Other Federal and State Compliance
The following is a brief summary of other federal and state statutes, regulations and laws that impact OnePipeline.com's system and program, and a user's performance of services under this system and program. It is not intended to be comprehensive. Users should consult the statutes, regulations and laws, and independent legal counsel, for a complete explanation of other applicable federal and state statutes, regulations and laws.
Among other federal laws, the Truth in Lending Act (“TILA”) and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (“ECOA”) impact OnePipeline.com's program and system, and the user's performance of services under applicant's system and program. The TILA, and its implementing regulation, Regulation Z, were enacted and promulgated to assure meaningful disclosure of credit terms so that the Borrower will be able to compare more readily the various terms available to the Borrower. Under the TILA, certain disclosures are required to be made to the Borrower prior to the consummation of a mortgage loan transaction.
The ECOA, and its implementing regulation, Regulation B, were enacted and promulgated to require that lenders engaged in the extension of credit make that credit equally available to all creditworthy Borrowers without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, age, receipt of public assistance or the fact that the Borrower in good faith exercised any right under the Federal Consumer Credit Protection Act. In addition to the prohibition against discrimination, the ECOA and Regulation B also contain, among others, requirements regarding the provision of appraisal reports, evaluation of applications, spousal signatures, and the provision of adverse action notices.
Regarding state laws, most jurisdictions have enacted licensing statutes that may require real estate sales professionals, builders, financial institutions/lenders and mortgage brokers to obtain a license and satisfy various other financial, educational and operational requirements. Most jurisdictions also have enacted laws that impose, among others, requirements regarding the types of fees that may be charged to a Borrower in connection with a mortgage loan transaction and the persons entitled to receive such fees, as well as certain jurisdiction-specific disclosures that must be provided to the Borrower.
The environment in which the present invention is used encompasses the use of general purpose computers as client or input machines for use by loan originators, lenders and other parties interested in the mortgage loan process. Such client or input machines may be coupled to the Internet (sometimes referred to as the “Web”) through telecommunications channels which may include wireless devices and systems as well.
Some of the elements of a typical Internet network configuration are shown in
An embodiment of the Mortgage Loan Management System of the present invention can operate on a general purpose computer unit which typically includes generally the elements shown in
In consideration of it's major aspects, the present invention is a system and methodology, comprising a ‘container’ concept, wherein the mechanics of real estate transactions beginning with loan origination and proceeding serially and in some instances in parallel through the closing, funding and disbursement and reporting of funds may be accomplished. The system also controls the timing of the process and the time allocated to the completion of each loan occurrence. When the time allocated to a process expires, the task is transferred as required by the rule base. The system, constituting the present invention, is designed to programmatically manage and document all attendant processes with compliance to applicable regulatory rule sets and requirements of participating workers. In a preferred embodiment, data exists within the executing programs as ‘objects’, the meaning of which as commonly understood by those skilled in the art of ‘object-oriented programming’. In a preferred embodiment, the software programs comprising a portion of the present invention are also object-oriented. An integrated relational database management system is utilized to maintain persistent data and to permit and facilitate queries and reports against the persistent data. While the embodiment of the present invention embraces certain elements of a ‘closed loop’, or self-contained decision-making process, it's strength lies in the ability to orchestrate the workers or agents participating in the lending transaction with respect to responsibilities and financial compensation.
The system of the invention encompasses a means whereby the object-oriented ‘instances’ or discrete occurrences of data, may be stored and retrieved from the relational database management system. In the preferred embodiment, such storage and retrieval is accompanied by programmatic conversion of said data instances to ‘formats’, or preferred representations upon which the required program(s) may act. Such data storage occurrences and the accompanying manipulations of said data follow preferred programmatic documentation procedures such as sequentially ‘nested’ descriptors. An example of a sequentially ‘nested’ descriptor would be, ‘borrower.occupation’, where the nested descriptors are separated by a ‘.’ or ‘dot’, and in such manner are understood to mean, ‘the identified borrower's occupation’. Such ‘dot’ notation will hereafter be used to describe the higher level of programmatic functionality when such explanation is necessary. Those skilled in the art will understand JAVA™ programming, Object oriented Programming, and the use of automated “Agents” to perform programmed tasks whenever activated to do so, HTTP, XML and other communications protocols as described in more detail below.
An exemplary way to articulate the concept and embodiment of the present invention is the idea of a ‘container’, which brings together the loan originator, the subject real property attributes, and the lender, as well as means to validate transaction profitability and bundle said transactions for sale to lenders. Or in an alternative view, as a means for generating the required compliance tasks for a specific loan transaction, provide the tasks to a lender and monitor the completion of all required tasks by the lender's service providers. The present invention provides decision points wherein the loan originator makes selections from menu(s) generated by the compliance engine acting upon the original information supplied by the originator. The selection process introduces the refined data into an integrated ‘workflow’ process wherein rule-based engines and other workers or agents act toward a common goal of closing, funding, shipping, and collecting transaction fees on a loan.
As indicated above, the present invention is a method and apparatus for automating the process of generating a set of tasks required for controlling, and regulating a mortgage loan application, underwriting the loan, and tracking the tasks through the closing process, wherein the tasks comply with all known Federal, State and local requirements for the specific loan. Elements of an alternative embodiment include loan origination, authenticating the loan originator, underwriting the loan, closing, processing, funding, and shipping, with transfer of funds, within the regulatory legal framework of funding and reporting, required for these processes. In a preferred embodiment, which is described in detail below, some or most of these functions may be performed by the lender or application service providers (ASPs) with the system of the invention providing the set of required tasks generated by a Compliance Engine and simply monitoring the completion of those tasks.
Referring now to
Continuing with reference to
The loan data is passed to the Compliance Engine 431 (477 in
In a preferred embodiment, the system can supply this required task list in its entirety to the lender if the lender wishes to manage the task completions himself through his own automated systems (see 441, 443 in
A depiction of an alternative embodiment of the present invention is shown in
Having described a preferred embodiment and an alternative embodiment of the applicants invention, we now describe the major components in more detail.
The ‘Loan Application Gateway’
The input data originates from the input screens provided by the system. Upon making the connection to the OnePipeline system, the loan originator is presented with introductory screen sets (
These ‘affiliates’ constitute a variety of resources which may be called upon on a loan-by-loan basis to provide services common in the industry, to the originator in order to complete the loan.
The Authentication System.
In a preferred embodiment of the system, a Lender may make use of the OnePipeline system merely to obtain the set of tasks required for a specific loan, including tasks required by applicable federal and/or state law, and to obtain a Completion Certificate, or he may originate a loan through OnePipeline's network of Loan Originators also obtaining a Completion Certificate based upon the systems monitored performance of the required tasks involved. In either case the Loan Originator's qualifications are not verified by the Compliance Engine. That is, the Compliance Engine does not check the lenderID and property location to determine whether this Loan Originator is qualified to represent this loan applicant.
In an alternative preferred embodiment, this authentication of the loan originator/lender is performed. This process will now be described. Upon completion of data entry by the loan originator, the OnePipeline system launches a validation or ‘authentication’ process 403 in
The Automatic Compliance Engine
The Automatic Compliance Engine (the “Compliance Engine”), (458 in
As described above, many government, professional, and business institutions impose requirements on land and mortgage lending transactions. A requirement can be the disclosure of specified information to the borrower, filling out a required form, or the gathering of specified information, to name a few. OnePipeline.com, Inc. retains the services of legal professionals throughout the country who continuously gather these requirements and organize them into a comprehensive rule base. The purpose of the Automated Compliance Engine is to apply these rules in an automated way to identify all requirements that apply to a specific loan and to track the completion of those tasks. The output of the engine is a task list comprised of all the tasks which the engine has determined need to be completed for a specific loan, augmented with task completion information for completed tasks.
In a preferred embodiment, the task list is prepared by selecting a subset of tasks from the list of all task definitions known by the Automated Compliance System. Tasks are selected by evaluating expressions written in a dynamically interpreted programming language that test facts pertaining to the specific loan information. If the expression evaluates to true, then all tasks associated with that expression are added to the task list. All of the expressions in the rule base are sequentially evaluated for each loan instance. The Automated Compliance Engine is thus a rule based system, where each expression represents the ‘if’ part of a rule, and the subset of tasks associated with the expression represents the ‘then’ part of a rule.
For example, the following is a set of tasks for a given context:
Once required tasks are identified, the engine applies lender task profiles in order to override task description, the URL to print a form, and other task information provided in the standard task definitions with more specific values from the Lender Task Profiles. This allows a high degree of flexibility in customizing the engine for specific lender requirements, including changing the wording of the description of the task or changing the form that must be filled out.
Once the task list has been initially prepared, it is presented to those persons responsible for completing the tasks. This may be as a simple task list transmission to a lender who is doing his own loan origination and/or processing and simply wants OnePipeline to monitor task completion, or it may be an automatic transmission to an automated workflow process engine. In a preferred embodiment, the automated workflow process engine may be Framework™ Inc.'s “Lendware™” program or a functional equivalent, such as one based on Forte Software™ Inc.'s Forte Conductor™ product. In this case the Workflow process engine presents the tasks to the persons identified as being responsible for doing the task.
As each task is completed, the Compliance Engine receives notice of the completion event and the task list is updated to include the identification of the person completing the task and the date and time of completion. The task list is considered completed when all required tasks have a completion date. Compensation may be issued to those who performed specified tasks with assurance that all required tasks have been completed and that the compensation is within the bounds of the laws and policies of the participating institutions.
In the preferred embodiment, all Compliance Engine inputs and outputs are in represented externally in Extended Markup Language format (XML) which is described in the document found at www.w3.org/TR/1998/REC-xml-19980210 which is incorporated fully herein by reference. XML provides an extensible hierarchical data structure where each element of information is labeled with a tag and optionally contains a value and any number of child elements. Internally, the same information is represented and manipulated in a standard tree format using the Document Object Model tree (DOM) which is described in the document at www.w3.org/TR/REC-DOM-Level-1/level-one-core.html#ID-1590626202 and which is incorporated fully herein by reference. Conversion between internal and external representation is provided by output methods of the DOM tree implementation and input methods of the Java API for XML Parsing (JAXP) which is described in the document at the URL java.sun.com/xml/docs/api/ which is incorporated fully herein by reference.
For convenience in referring to DOM tree elements, but not of necessity, the tree implementation is extended to provide easier tree traversal using a simple “get(String path)” method that takes a path argument such as ‘task.name’. The tags between the dots ‘.’are parsed out of this path and used to search for corresponding elements in the tree. In this example, the get method searches for the first-occurring element of the tree with tag “task”. Once found, the get method then searches for the ‘name’ tag among the child elements of the ‘task’ element, and so on for all the tags listed in the path. Further descriptions herein will use this path notation to refer to specific data elements in the data model trees defined below.
Alternative ways to represent and access the information could include files, objects, database records, arrays, structs, TCP/IP socket streams, ‘if-then-else’ statements in a programming language, or other ordinary means for representing structured information.
In recognition of the need to automate as many of these activities as possible, to the mutual advantage of the real estate and mortgage loan community, the Mortgage Bankers Association of America (MBAA) recently originated an effort to develop data structure standards to provide standardization of common business transactions in the mortgage industry. This effort is coordinated by a workgroup of mortgage industry representatives and is called the Mortgage Industry Standards Maintenance Organization (MISMO). Initial deliverables of MISMO include 1) an XML Transaction Architecture to encompass data exchanges from loan origination, the secondary market and servicing; 2) a data dictionary to provide business definitions and corresponding tag names of each of the data elements included in the architecture; and 3) a data model to provide relationships between the elements in the business data. The current versions of these deliverables are contained at www.mismo.org and are fully incorporated herein by reference.
This description refers to the detailed data model in the MISMO web site mentioned above (www.mismo.org). The Data Model is described therein as follows:
“The Data Model is a tool used to understand the relationships between the data elements in the data dictionary. It is a reference to aid in building the XML DTD's. This is not the XML implementation of the MISMO Standard.”
MISMO Data Model Documentation
The Compliance Engine XML/HTTP Transaction API described below includes Example values for clarification.
The core knowledge of compliance requirements is represented in the ‘rules’ structure, consisting of ‘rules.contexts’ and ‘rules.operations’. Each ‘rules.contexts.context’ represents an if/then rule, where the ‘context.if’ part describes a specified loan situation (context), and the ‘context.then’ part is a list of ‘taskname’ references to the tasks that are required in that context. Each ‘context.if’ definition is expressed in a programming language statement that examines the facts of a specific loan and evaluates to true or false, as described in the algorithm description below.
Each ‘rules.operations.task’ defines detailed information about a specific task, independent of the contexts in which it may be required. This information includes a description of the task, a URL link to any forms that may be required for the task, a time period within which the task is expected to be completed, and potentially other information pertinent to a task. References from the context structure in each ‘rules.contexts.context.then.taskname’ are matched with the corresponding name in ‘rules.operations.task.name’. In this manner, a detailed task definition is associated with one or more specific contexts, by task name reference.
This separation between tasks and contexts is a convenience that allows a task to be defined in a single place yet be associated with multiple contexts. Alternatively, the ‘rules.operations’ list could be eliminated by replacing every ‘rules.contexts.context.then.taskname’ with an equivalent ‘task’ structure as presently defined in ‘rules.operations.task’, although many of the tasks would need to be defined and maintained redundantly in this mode.
Elements of a ‘rules.operations.task’ definition may be overridden by a corresponding element in an ‘override.tasks.task’ definition whose ‘rules.operations.task.name’ matches the ‘override.tasks.task.name’. This allows customization by supplying customer-specific information in the task definition, such as a customer-specific form, description in more familiar language, or any other task definition element. Any number of ‘override’ structures may be applied in sequence, each overriding the result from the previous ‘override’ application. This allows overrides from customers, and their brokers, agents, and other affiliates to be applied in any desired priority ordering that ultimately determines which override changes will be final. The method of applying the override information is described in the algorithm below.
The ‘loan’ structure contains all the information pertaining to a specific loan application. The loan application contains information about the borrower, the property to be mortgaged, its location, the loan amount, and the type of loan applied for. This is the information that is evaluated by the ‘rules.contexts.context.if’ expression to determine whether the conditions specified in the context definitions are true in the case of a specific loan.
Compliance Engine XML/HTTP Transaction API
The Compliance Engine Application Program Interface (API) defines structures for communication between the Automated Compliance Engine and the external environment. The request is initiated by an external agent with accompanying request parameters described below, and the response is a complete Task Status Report consisting of the ‘tasks’ list output of the engine plus the completion information of completed tasks. Each output ‘tasks.task’ defines a task that the engine has determined is required in the case of the specified loan. The list will typically be a subset of all defined tasks. Each task includes the detailed task definition information from ‘rules.operations.task’, with some elements possibly overridden by corresponding task override information from ‘override.tasks.task’.
Data is exchanged via pre-authenticated HTTP in XML format (DTD available). It is presented in indented format for readability. All XML elements are required.
The lender must provide, for each loan product, a description containing the product attributes that are required for compliance analysis, such as whether ARM, fixed, balloon, index, etc. Each loan application is linked to this information via the loanProductId compliance parameter, described below. This must be updated whenever the product attributes change.
The MISMO standard mentioned above contains most of the information required by the Compliance Engine to perform its work, but not all. The key missing pieces are the type of loan product the borrower is applying for, and the lender and agent identification.
Loan products differ from each other in terms of whether they are adjustable rate (ARM) or fixed, whether the rate is tied to T-bills or some other index, whether there is a Balloon payment, whether the property will be owner occupied or rented out, whether there is cash out or not, etc.
The loan product information is complex, and there are several compliance rules that arise out of different characteristics of the lender's loan product. In a preferred embodiment, rather than try to identify all facets of the loan product in a structured way and apply rules each time those facets are examined, instead, the loan product information is analyzed by hand, one time, up front, and a decision is made as to what compliance tasks are required for that type of loan. Then when it's time to generate a task list, there is a single rule that indicates if you have loan product type XYZ then you must do tasks 1, 2, and 3. The main piece of information that is not provided by MISMO is the loan product ID, which is the id given the loan product by a lender.
Besides the loan product ID, the compliance API also requires the lender id, which is used in conjunction with the loan product id to fully identify the loan product, and it also tells us where the loan originator's pay will come from, which lender profile to apply, the lender to send notifications to, etc. The API also requires the loan originator agent id, which identifies who the loan originator is so he/she can be paid appropriately when that time comes. The loan originator id is assigned by OnePipeline.
The lender may also provide a task list profile that defines override values for task.description and task.form for any task. These values override the OnePipeline default values for these fields, if present. This allows lenders to describe tasks in their preferred terminology and to use their own forms, subject to compliance requirements.
These data provided via the Loan Application Gateway 3400 (described above) include the following exemplary type data:
New Task List Transaction
This transaction creates a new loan compliance record in the OnePipeline compliance database, and creates the task list.
This transaction updates the loan compliance record when one or more tasks are completed, or when loan compliance parameters are changed. If loan compliance parameters are changed, a new task list is generated, and the old one is moved to the taskListArchive section. Task completion information is retained in both the current task list and in the archived task lists.
Task Status Report Transaction
Format and structure is the same for all transaction types. When changed loan compliance parameters require regenerating the task list, old task lists are preserved in the taskListArchive section. Completion information is present only for completed tasks, in both tasks and taskListArchive sections.
Refer to the description of XML, JAXP, and DOM in the data representation description above, and to the data model description and detail data model elements also described above.
At startup, the Automated Compliance Engine reads the XML-formatted ‘rules’ from external storage into memory. This XML stream is parsed by the JAXP parser into a DOM internal tree. For each ‘rules.operations.task’, the ‘task.name’ is used as a key in adding task detail definition elements to a java.util.Hashtable to enable looking up a task definition by ‘task.name’. Similarly, an array is loaded with each ‘task’ indexed by ‘task.id’, to enable looking up each task by the unique ‘task.id’ integer value. A separate hashtable is loaded with task override information for each lender, again using the ‘task.name’ as the key. Also, a socket connection to a network is opened by a web server or other HTTP service to enable Compliance Engine users to submit requests to the Compliance Engine server and to return responses. HTTP socket connections are describer described in the document found at www.w3.org/Protocols/rfc2616/rfc2616.html and which is incorporated fully herein by reference.
Once initialized, the Compliance Engine server operates in a stateless request-response fashion, similar to a web server, following the HTTP protocol. Alternative protocols could be used. The request and response are both formatted externally in XML format, and internally in DOM trees, as described in the data representation description above.
The Compliance Engine API provides for three different request types: New Task List, Task Completion, and Task Status Report. These are described below. The response in all cases is a Task Status Report containing a ‘tasks.task’ list. The remainder of this algorithm section describes how the task list is created or updated in response to these requests.
The Compliance Engine also incorporates an ‘event generation mechanism’, the purpose of which is to trigger actions upon the occurrence of specified events. These events may include a ‘pushed’ report where a task list is periodically updated according to specified parameters and delivered.
New Task List
The New Task List request consists of a ‘loan’ structure that contains information about a specific loan sufficient to determine which compliance tasks are required.
The ‘tasks.task’ list is prepared as follows. Each ‘rules.contexts.context.if’ expression is evaluated, one at a time, in a loop from first to last. The ‘if’ expression is written in the JPython programming language, which is an interpretive scripting language that can evaluate string expressions at runtime. The Python Programming Language is described in the book “Internet Programming with Python” by Aaron Waters, Guido van Rossum and James C. Ahlstrum, M & T Books (Div. of Henry Holt & Co.) 1996, which is incorporated herein by reference. Other languages could be used. The expressions typically reference a specific element in the ‘loan’ structure to see if the element contains a specific value.
For example, to determine if the loan property is in the state of Utah, the expression could be “val(‘loan.property.address.state’)==‘UT’”. The “val( ) method takes a string describing a path into a DOM tree, and returns the first value of the first DOM node found on that path. If the actual value of the ‘loan.property.address.state’ node of a specific loan was ‘UT’, the expression evaluates to true, otherwise false. When such an ‘if’ expression evaluates to true, all of the associated ‘rules.contexts.context.then.taskname’ references are followed by using the ‘taskname’ value as a key to look up the referenced task detail definition through a java.util.Hashtable populated at startup.
After finding the task detail in the hashtable, the ‘rules.operations.task.name’ task detail definition structure could be copied directly to an output task list; however, for convenience in the preferred embodiment, the integer value of the included ‘rules.operations.task.id’ element is used to set a corresponding bit in ajava.util.BitSet. This ‘id’ integer value is unique for each task in the ‘rules’ set. After all rules have been evaluated and all applicable bits are set, the resultant BitSet contains a true bit for every task with a true ‘if’ expression. The BitSet thus represents the subset of all tasks which the Compliance Engine has determined to be required in the case of the specified loan. The purpose of this BitSet representation is to allow, in the future, rapid and simple boolean operations (and, or, or not operations on the BitSet) to combine task lists from different rule sets to improve flexibility and/or increase performance. One way to increase performance, for example, is to create a BitSet at startup time from a rule set that contains contexts that are always true for every loan. This initially created BitSet can be combined with the dynamically created BitSet using a bitwise ‘and’ operation in a manner that avoids unnecessary re-evaluation of some rules.
Once a final BitSet is constructed, the program loops through each bit in the BitSet, and where a true bit is found in a particular bit position, the bit position is used as the index to retrieve the corresponding ‘task’ definition structure from the array that was indexed at startup time using the matching ‘task.id’ integer value. This ‘task’ detail definition structure is then copied and the copy appended to the DOM output tree containing the output task list.
After constructing the list of task detail definitions for all required tasks, the task override information is applied. This is accomplished by iterating through each task on the output task list, and looking up the task override information for the lender specified in the request. If a task override structure is present in the table, then the program loops through each element in the override structure task definition and replaces the corresponding element in the output task definition. For example, if the override task structure includes a lender-provided task description, then the value of that description is copied over the top of the more generic description from the original rules structure.
Exemplary Task List
An exemplary task list generated by the Compliance Engine in a preferred embodiment is as follows:
In a preferred embodiment, the original compliance task list for a specific loan is transmitted to the lender for Compliance Management or passed to an automated workflow engine to initiate the dynamic workflow process.
In an alternative embodiment, a more general compliance system may be used, and is now described with reference to
The ‘Worker Description’ 521 comprises an assemblage of data sources which define the types 525, roles 527 and locations 529 of the workers or agents which may participate in the mortgage origination process. The participation decision for a worker or agent is based upon the combination of features which the worker embodies and which make them unique when combined one with another. In the preferred embodiment, the worker provides a data profile representative of the worker's type—that is, the type of service the worker may provide. The worker is typically representative of only one ‘type’ for example, either a ‘Real estate sales professional’, ‘mortgage broker’, ‘banker’, etc. The specific ‘role(s)’ that a particular worker or agent has in the process is/are also defined. The ‘role(s)’ that a worker assumes are aligned with the tasks requiring completion which a worker of that type can legitimately perform, according to the governing rule base for that specific worker type. These ‘roles’ may include such tasks as surveys, inspections, credit worthiness checks, employment verification, etc. Orchestrating the interrelationship of these information sources is a ‘Role Sequencing’ definition or data table which assures a meaningful, orderly, and legal application of the available data. Those skilled in these arts will understand that various methods similar to those described above in a preferred embodiment could be used for such sequencing activities. In an exemplary process the data passed from the Authentication module includes the loan originator used ID. This user ID is used as an argument to find the recorded worker type in the Worker's description databases where a user ID1, for example, would produce a Type ID1. This type ID1 would then be used to find the corresponding roles for this type of user and to determine the locations where this user id is licensed/qualified to do business. These data are written into a ‘worker's profile’ structure.
Referring again to
The ‘Loan Application & Program Matching System’
Referring again to
As indicated above, in the preferred embodiment of the invention, this Loan Application & Program Matching System’ is preferably performed by a system such as GHR Systems™ making use of their PremierWare™ product. This GHR product is also an object oriented product, however the objects employed are Microsoft COM™ objects which require Windows NT™. The web server architecture of applicants system is UNIX based which necessitates using Java and the Common Object Request Broker (CORBA) system to communicate between the UNIX and COM based object systems. The architecture of this communications interface is described below with reference to
With reference to Onepipeline's use of this PremierWare™ product, the following description pertains. The input and output data elements that play a role in OnePipeline.com, Inc.'s use of the GHR Underwriting Framework known as PremierWare are now described. OnePipeline implemented the framework within a distributed architecture encompassing several technologies including Java, CORBA, COM, and Delphi (Object Pascal). First, how the GHR components interact with each other are described, followed by the OnePipeline implementation around that interaction.
GHR Systems' PremierWare framework is a set of software components that adhere to the component object model (COM) sponsored by Microsoft. Inc. The framework is provided to facilitate the qualification of borrower credentials, i.e., income, debts, etc., against mortgage loan programs. The desired result being to locate a loan program for which the borrower is qualified. The framework is functionally divided internally representative of three primary operations:
If no product filtering is performed before qualification, then qualification processing is completed on all products in the GHR products database. Filter criteria can be set using any or all of the data elements below:
The result of a Product Filtering operation is a set of loan programs that serve as the input to a Qualification operation. Within the framework, the Pricer object's GetProductsForQualification method is used to perform a filtering operation. Once a set of loan programs is received from GetProductsForQualification, then qualification can commence.
The first step in qualification is selecting a Qualification Method. There are fourteen methods in total, which are grouped into four Modes. The four Modes are:
The methods of Qualification are listed below by Mode:
The grids below and on the following pages outline these modes and the various methods available in each Mode with each method's input parameters. There is a core set of input parameters that are used for all methods, and then under each method, there are one or more variations that are indicated in context.
Credit Profile Inputs
Each of the qualification methods also accept two input arrays for specifying aspects of the borrower's credit profile. These elements improve the accuracy of the Qualification Results. A Credit Report is retrieved electronically from a certified credit-reporting agency and prepared for use by the GHR interfaces. The two array elements are:
The data elements for setting these arrays are provided below:
GHR Qualification Results
Two sets of records are returned from each qualification request. A set of products (Loan Programs) and a corresponding set of closing costs. There is a one-to-many relationship from each Loan Program to the array of Closing Cost Records. The layout of these fields is depicted below:
In OnePipeline's architecture, the GHR components are wrapped with a CORBA interface using Borland's Delphi development tool (Object Pascal). This interface exposes a single method ‘Qualify’ that accepts five input parameters:
With the exception of ‘Mode’, which is an integer value, all the other parameters are Strings. The Strings are formatted (delimited) with structures to be easily disassembled for use against the GHR COM interfaces. The format makes use of industry standards such as XML and XMLT. Data is sent to and from the CORBA interfaces utilizing IIOP over TCP/IP.
Any CORBA client can tie directly into the GHR CORBA server once the input parameters are satisfied. In our implementation, a set of JavaBeans comprise the client side of our architecture. There is a JavaBean representing each of the Qualification Methods expressed by GHR. The JavaBeans expose mutater methods for setting each element of the input parameters for Filter Parameters, Borrower Liability Data, Borrower Public Record Data, and Qualifications. The Qualification Mode is encapsulated within the JavaBean corresponding to the GHR qualification method. All of the JavaBeans expose a Qualify( ) method through inheritance that performs all of the CORBA location and marshalling functions necessary to interact with the GHR CORBA Server. The result of the Qualify( ) method call is a delimited String representing the ‘PreQualOutput Records’ and ‘Closing Cost Records’ described above. Navigating the output is facilitated by a special IqualifiedProducts JavaBean which receives the formatted return String, parses the records, and exposes methods for accessing individual elements of semantic importance as also outlined in Qualification Results section above. These JavaBeans are dependent on the visibility of the GHR CORBA Server via an IIOP channel and are not well suited for integration with the outside world.
To expose the functionality of the Qualification features of the OnePipeline system to the outside world, the JavaBeans encapsulation of the GHR CORBA Server's API is further abstracted to facilitate clients via the HTTP protocol. A Java enabled HTTP server is positioned to intercept function calls via the outside world and pass them into the JavaBeans which in turn make their normal CORBA requests to the GHR CORBA Server.
Referring now to 34, with reference to the descriptions above, this OnePipeline-GHR Systems communications interface is defined in functional overview. An HTTP server receives inputs from applicants' system, wherein requests for data are processed and an instantiation of a GHR client JavaBean occurs based on type of qualification desired 3503. These GHR JavaBeans provide an API into the GHR CORBA Server using distributed computing data marshalling over the Internet Inter-ORB Protocol (IIOP) 3505. The IIOP request is transmitted to a GHR CORBA server 3509 where the data from the client JavaBeans are accepted, unmarshalled and used to trigger the instantiation of the GHR Systems COM objects. The GHR system using its COM objects, processes the request and returns qualified loan programs (if any). These data are formatted into an XML data stream and sent back to the client JavaBean. 3511. The OnePipeline system code receiving the XML datastream, parses the datastream and creates an HTML document for return to the calling web browser for end-used interaction.
In an alternative embodiment, subprograms for performing the functions equivalent to those of the GHR system would be developed internally to applicants system.
The ‘Originator Task Menu and Origination Fee Assessment’ Function.
As indicated above, upon completion of the loan selection and formal loan request, the loan originator is given the screen shown in
The ‘Loan Fulfillment Workflow Process.
The composite of information which is passed to the ‘Loan Fulfillment Workflow Engine’ 545 in
The ‘Loan Fulfillment Workflow Engine’ 545 and its Forte Conductor engine assures that processes happen in the correct sequence and in accordance with the (software controlled) pre-determined, programmatic branching conditions defined by the ‘Worker Profile Attributes’ 543 business process definition. The ‘Loan Fulfillment Workflow Engine’ 545 may call upon any combination of ‘workers’, heretofore described as computers, data tables, software, persons, organizations, companies, or other data sources, etc. to perform the required tasks. The ‘worker’ or ‘agent’ is typically manifested in one or more of the following ways: as an individual, an organization, one or more data tables, a data processing system, or the like.
In this alternative embodiment the pre-programmed functional steps executed by the Forte Conductor system are shown in
The process definition drawing shown in
This workflow process is better understood with reference to
The system has capabilities to determine that the required criteria have not been met/completed 633 and determine whether to resubmit the loan request to automated underwriting 639, 640 or to notify the underwriter 641 to iterate on the credentials review process 643 and either deny 645, 647 the loan or approve it 645, 623 and generate the task lists again 625.
Thus the loan process in this alternate embodiment is driven through the required tasks by the Forte Conductor engine to assist in the complying with the various regulations and yet automate the process in a helpful and efficient manner. In the preferred embodiment the ASP system LendWare or its equivalent drives the loan process and the individual task workers in a manner similar to that described above. In the preferred embodiment the task completion data is passed to the Compliance Engine which monitors the list of tasks for each loan and which can also communicate directly with some task workers when certain critical events occur or timeouts are perceived.
The ‘Task List Maintenance and Status Reporting Gateway”
The ‘Task List Maintenance and Status Reporting Gateway” 550 in
A loan originator or borrower may also come into the system via this gateway to check the status of the loan process, etc. As indicated below every entrant via this gateway must never-the-less be authenticated before entry is allowed. Conveyance of task lists to a loan originator and associated workers and reporting of borrower loan status are accomplished through a programmatic presentation 552 which embodies the following: ‘borrower status report(s)’, ‘originator's task list’, and ‘other worker's task lists’ (as described above)—said information exchanged through this ‘task maintenance & status reporting Gateway’ (the “TMSR gateway”). This ‘TMSR gateway’, functions in a manner similar to that used during the loan origination process. Reports may be conveyed by a variety of programmatically controlled means, such as web pages, PDF® files, word processing format files, etc. The TMSR gateway receives the direction messages from the ‘Loan Fulfillment Workflow Engine’ 553 in the standard Forte Conductor or Lendware API format, and using the middleware layer described before, converts the format and message protocol into that required to communicate with the desired agent/worker. Similarly, the TMSR gateway can receive messages from the various agents/workers in various formats and protocols (i.e. HTML, XML, WML, WAP, etc.) and converts these messages and protocols into the standard API formats used in the preferred embodiment.
Referring now to
The TMSR gateway is required to pass the received data to a second authentication module 549 in
Transaction Service Provider Gateway
Returning now to
For example referring now to
During the course of the workflow process execution of the various tasks as shown in
Worker Compensation and Task Performance Report Module
The ‘Worker Compensation and Task Performance Report’ Module 468 in
The ‘Secondary Banking Process’ Module
The ‘Secondary Banking Engine’ module 469 in
In an alternative embodiment, a special task of the secondary banking module is to manage use of the finds in the warehouse credit line. The management objective is to optimize the financial return generated by the funds in the warehouse line of credit. If too much of the warehouse line is consumed in covering mortgage loans processed, the overall return on these funds is diminished. Accordingly the management task is to move mortgage loans from the warehouse line to secondary investors as quickly as possible. This may be done by selling individual loans to secondary investors, or by pooling multiple loans, according to various credit conditions and pooling rules for sale to other secondary investors.
Referring now to
Having described the invention in terms of a preferred embodiment, it will be recognized by those skilled in the art that various types of general purpose computer hardware may be substituted for the configuration described above to achieve an equivalent result. Similarly, it will be appreciated that arithmetic logic circuits are configured to perform each required means in the claims for performing the various features of the rules engine and flow management. It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that modifications and variations of the preferred embodiment are possible, such as different computer systems may be used, different communications media such as wireless communications, as well as different types of software may be used to perform equivalent functions, all of which fall within the true spirit and scope of the invention as measured by the following claims.