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Optimal Blue’s Comergence Launches Social Media Compliance Solution

Turnkey service automates regulatory oversight, eliminates manual tasks and financial risks

Plano, TX. — Comergence, an Optimal Blue company and a trusted compliance solutions provider to the mortgage industry, announced today the launch of its newest compliance solution, Social Media Compliance. Powered by sophisticated regulatory intelligence capabilities and embedded with the specific policies and procedures of a licensed mortgage originator, the unique and leading-edge service addresses the growing need and seemingly insurmountable task of monitoring social and digital media communications within a regulatory framework.

“Social media is a powerful tool used more and more by today’s loan officers to source business. Yet, with numerous regulations today and even more expected in the future, the risk is high for unintentional social media mistakes that could pose significant financial risks for lenders,” stated Scott Happ, Chief Executive Officer of Optimal Blue. “We recognize that adherence to growing compliance demands will be challenging for lenders if social media compliance remains a manual, time-consuming effort coming at a great cost. By delivering this robust automation at an extremely affordable price, lenders discover an immediate ROI – regardless of whether they have five loan officers or hundreds.”

The Social Media Compliance system can evaluate social media activity across all loan officers and all venues in real time via automated scheduling. The platform also identifies potential violations, highlights usage trends, and provides 360-degree audit reports for a deeper violation review so lenders can communicate and remediate internally and externally – all within a single, turnkey compliance tool. The system provides enormous advantages for the hundreds of organizations that already rely upon other Comergence compliance solutions, including streamlined organizational and user set-up.

“Social media presents a large playing field and a new frontier for today’s lenders that is not going away anytime soon. Leveraging automation removes the heavy lifting and positions lenders to properly take full advantage of the opportunities through this great marketing asset,” said Greg Schroeder, Vice President of Comergence. “Everything lenders need to self-manage social media compliance is available in our solution, bringing efficiencies, simplicities, and real-time oversight with little effort.”

For more information on the social media compliance demands in the mortgage industry, Optimal Blue has developed a resource titled “The Importance of Developing a Social Media Compliance Policy”. The whitepaper can be accessed here.

What’s a Lenders Obligation to Social Media Compliance?

There are plenty of sources citing President Trump’s plans to reduce regulations but don’t mistake his pledge as a good time to take your foot off the gas when it comes to digital advertising and social communications.  On, February 24, 2017, President Trump signed another executive order on regulatory reform. In the order, federal agencies are instructed to make “regulatory reform” task forces, which will serve to assess federal rules and then recommend whether to keep, repeal, or modify them. The President has repeatedly stated that he plans to cut regulations by 75% or more. The order explicitly states that “it is important that for every new regulation issued, at least two prior regulations be identified for elimination, and that the cost of planned regulations be prudently managed and controlled through a budgeting process.”1 Lenders and mortgage brokers are anticipating that this will drastically affect their ability—or lack thereof—to advertise on social media.

So, how should lenders respond?

Despite this news from the Federal government, we are not quite sure how each state will respond. Although the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council’s (FFIEC) guidelines are not considered a regulatory document, adherence to its risk management program and the various components therein, can assist financial and lending institutions in remaining compliant with any of the laws and regulations.2  Until we know for sure, Comergence suggests that lenders follow the FFIEC’s program guidelines.

Does your company program contain all of the FFIEC elements listed here?

  • Identify individuals responsible for managing and overseeing the program.
  • Clearly defined policies and procedures as it relates to social media use and the methodologies that will be incorporated to overcome the risks.
  • A sound process for selecting and managing social media third party relationships.
  • Employee training program that states the unauthorized use and activities per the company policy.
  • True monitoring of information published to the various social media sites.
  • Periodic audits and reviews that assist in your effort to be in constant compliance.
  • Finally, a way to disseminate information to upper level management on the program’s success or weakness.

We realize that staying compliant on social media is difficult. While social media provides a wonderful (and easy!) way of networking and advertising your services, the regulations surrounding advertising are stringent and the repercussions for violating them are harsh.  Spend the time to understand the various state and federal regulations that have the greatest potential for violation and set up your program accordingly.

Comergence can help!

Our Social Media Compliance solution addresses the growing need and seemingly insurmountable task of monitoring social and digital media communications within a regulatory framework.  We’ve developed an effective service that meets the specific needs of mortgage originators and is affordable for any size organization that bears the responsibility.

Visit our Social Media Compliance page to see how it works.

Sources:

[1] Swanson, B. (2017, February 24). President Trump signs another executive order to slash regulation. http://www.housingwire.com.

[2] CohnReznick (2014, June) Mortgage Lenders Use of Social Media, Balancing the Benefits and the Riskshttps://www.cohnreznick.com