As origination volumes hit record highs in 2020, Truework’s verification experts saw a spike in fraud, and expect that trend to continue this year. HousingWire recently spoke with Jeffrey Morelli, General Manager of Truework Verifier, about what lenders can do to prepare for and overcome the growing threat of fraud and data inaccuracy.
HousingWire: As we head into 2021, what are some challenges you foresee for lenders regarding employment verification?
Jeffrey Morelli: Throughout 2021, we foresee an ever-growing presence of fraud and disinformation in the employment verification process. Looking back to 2020, Truework’s verification experts saw an enormous spike in fraud—a notable case being the rise of income misrepresentation on TPO loans in Southern California last fall. This can be attributed to increasing mortgage applications and refinances due to COVID-19 and low interest rates. Given that the majority of lenders were overwhelmed with the sheer number of applications—it became easier for fraud to proliferate.
All lenders should expect this trend to continue well into 2021 given that the economy should not expect relief from COVID-19 until the latter half of the year—keeping interest rates low, and mortgage and refinance volume high.
HW: How can lenders prepare for and overcome those challenges?
JM: Lenders can prepare for fraud and data inaccuracy by automating their verification process, which helps keeps data more secure than a manual process and monitoring extensively for key signs of fraud such as misrepresented information from small businesses, generic emails such as an @gmail.com or an @yahoo.com, altered or completely altered forms of documentation (ie W-2 forms), large financial windfalls.
Outsourcing the verification process to a solution like Truework can also be incredibly helpful when dealing with fraud. Our verification providers focus solely on your verifications, data, and monitoring—and have deep knowledge of the landscape with higher rates of fraud detection—freeing lenders like yourself from the process.
Furthermore, with Truework’s integrated partnerships with several top payroll providers, we give you the latest payroll data for each of the 35 million active employees on our instant network. If your verification happens to be outside of the 35 million employees on our network, our manual team will source data directly for you from HR departments, so that you can be sure that any verification on Truework has the most accurate and current data. In addition, our automated validation engine runs on every completed report to make sure the data is accurate and complete. Based on Fannie Mae guidelines—Truework goes above and beyond what is necessary to flag improper reports.
HW: How has Truework helped lenders through the high-volume environment of 2020?
JM: Truework’s unique combination of software and services has been pivotal in ensuring speed, security, and efficiency for lenders through the high-volume environment of 2020. Our platform uses a tech-based and data-forward approach along with an expansive and ever-growing network—so that lenders can instantly and accurately verify tens of millions of employees across the United States, and take advantage of Truework’s manual verifications—the fastest and most accurate in the industry.
Along with Truework’s extensive team of mortgage professionals—lenders have, and continue to count on Truework as their one-stop-shop for all of their verifications.
HW: What are some of the most common pain points you see when it comes to employment verification?
Some of the most common pain points we’ve seen when it comes to employment verification have been:
- Slowness: Verifications often take too long, and slow down the overall lending process—creating inefficiencies and often forcing lenders to leave valuable loans on the table.
- Inaccuracy: Lenders often are given out-of-date data, or inaccurate information.
- Fraud detection: Especially in high-volume times, lenders often cannot identify fraud either due to lack of insight, or lack of time.
Truework can help lenders with all of these pain points and more. With our tech-enabled platform, expansive and growing network, and a team of mortgage professionals—lenders can count on Truework to provide friction-free verifications, enabling them to complete the verifications faster and more accurately than ever before.