This time of year, mortgage servicers turn additional attention to their MERS processes, and for many, navigating the data reconciliation process is a headache. Compliance issues, staff shortages, and missed deadlines are just a few of the challenges servicers face during MERS Season. And that’s not even accounting for the lingering effects of a global pandemic.
But despite the challenges of 2020, things are looking up. As shown in our MERS QA 2020 Findings Report, more of MetaSource’s clients managed to meet MERS requirements in full last year than the previous. This is a trend the MetaSource Team hopes to make continuous. And what better way to do so than to provide some valuable tips for ensuring MERS compliance?
Tip #1: Start the Review Process Early
It’s critical for MERS Members to start the review process early on. If you wait till the last minute, you’ll risk more than just failing to meet the December annual report filing deadline. You’ll also risk failing to comply with other MERS requirements. Beginning the process early on, ideally during the third quarter, allows you to identify and correct errors well in advance of the deadline and enables you to ensure compliance.
Tip #2: Establish Back-Up Help
During the pandemic, the need for back-up MERS help became blaringly clear for servicers. In fact, staff shortages contributed to MetaSource’s #1 MERS QA finding in 2020. Back-up help is a must-have in order to adequately prepare for staff shortages and avoid findings in the future. With cross-trained employees ready to step in if additional MERS help is needed, you can successfully complete required monthly reconciliation – regardless of market conditions.
Tip #3: Conduct MERS Loan QA Reviews
Contrary to popular belief, multiple MERS loan QA reviews are not included in the reconciliation process and, therefore, must be conducted separately. These reviews include document, MERS timing, and servicing system to MERS reviews. Make sure to perform these reviews, so you can stay off MERS findings lists.
Tip #4: Be Prepared for a Data Review
A data review is a reconciliation performed by MERS typically every two years. If you need assistance with this process, let MERS vendors or sub-servicers know when you are selected.
One way to stay ahead of the game is to keep up with corrections. Most annual report findings are related to reconciliation, so be sure you have fine-tuned your data review processes.
Tip #5: Keep Your Sub-Servicer in the Loop
If you choose to have a sub-servicer complete the MERS reconciliation process and make corrections, be sure to work closely with them. You’ll need to understand how long it takes for them to make updates and how they would like updates reported to them. That way, you can provide them with all of the tools they need to help you ensure MERS compliance.
Tip #6: Avoid Substituting One Report for Another
While another method of reporting, the Portfolio Analysis report is not an acceptable report for MERS reconciliation. It does not include co-borrower data, which is conditionally required. Don’t make the mistake of submitting one for the other.
Tip #7: Use a Reconciliation Software Solution
A reconciliation software solution offers MERS Members several benefits. MetaSource’s solution, mintrak®2™, presents many, including:
- Reduce error rates to less than 4% and identify discrepancies quickly
- Meet deadlines with a system that saves you time and reminds you when it’s time to pull down your MRE
- Reconcile data easily with a user-friendly interface
- Stay in-the-know with an audit trail that tracks and monitors compliance efforts
- Update the MERS System instantly with a platform that sends flat files directly to MERS
- Meet MERS QA compliance standards easily and efficiently!
By using a reconciliation software solution like mintrak2 and working with a trusted partner like MetaSource, you can handle a confusing process with ease and meet MERS requirements.
The Right Partner for a Compliant, Fast Process
In addition to MERS data reconciliation with our state-of-the-art platform, MetaSource offers MERS loan QA reviews, MERS third-party annual review services, and, most importantly, the support you need to achieve MERS compliance.
Stay compliant – and headache-free – with the right technology and tools to streamline your MERS process and regain your time this summer.
Contact us to learn more about our MERS QA and compliance solutions.