With 15 years of experience in the mortgage field, MetaSource Manager for MERS Operations Kelly Jensen has a lot of tips to share on the subject of reconciling mortgage documents with the MERS® system.
His advice: work hard and learn to "speak geek."
That's shorthand for finding someone on your IT team who understands the meticulous requirements of a system that has to match up the nearly three-dozen mortgage document fields with the corresponding fields in the MERS system. Get it wrong and MERS will kick it back to you for corrections. For servicers handling thousands of mortgages a year, that adds up to a lot of time spent rehashing the details.
It can be a tedious process – which is where the hard work comes in.
An Insider's Tips to Navigating the Quirks of MERS
But Jensen is preparing to make it a little bit easier for the more than 260 attendees who have signed up for the MERS User Conference, June 18-20 in Reston, Virginia, where he will be part of a panel on MERS reconciliation "beyond the basics," along with two other industry representatives.
Audience members will have plenty of experience with the pain points of MERS reconciliation – a separate panel at the conference will introduce the topic at a beginner's level.
Jensen will share his insider's knowledge of navigating the system's many quirks, which include everything from unique ways of breaking down address fields to misalignment with the character limitations on some servicing systems.
Among the most frequent source of MERS rejections, Jensen says, are errors in the fields for:
- property address
- borrower names
- borrower social security numbers
- Investor loan number and organizational ID
- servicer organizational ID
- validated county listings
Digging in for MERS Reconciliation and Quality Control
Servicers can save themselves a lot of time and energy by learning how to pick out the information found in MERS rejection reports to predict problems and make system changes that can streamline the process going forward, Jensen says.
He says he was not surprised to learn that more than half of the conference attendees have registered for the reconciliation session. "I think people are trying to get it right and they want better ideas," he said.
Jensen can sympathize. He says he relies on the tenacity, discipline and focus honed during a 24-year career in the U.S. Army where, among other things, he did the math that aligned the big guns to their targets, to keep on top of the reconciliation process. Like the army, he says, maintaining quality control in the mortgage industry can also depend on the ability to "dig in until the job is done." He also credits his MBA and experience as an adjunct business professor at Grand Canyon University.
We are lucky to have him at MetaSource, where he is an enormous asset to our MERS quality control operations. MetaSource is the gold standard when it comes to third-party reviews, required by MERS of any servicers who originate more than 1,000 mortgage loans a month.
At MetaSource, we offer a full suite of MERS QA services, including monthly data reconciliations, annual report creation and access to our mintrak2® monthly/quarterly data reconciliation platform – all of which can keep you audit-ready and headache free.