Equifax has announced a new platform, ClearPro, that helps mortgage brokers, principal brokers, and broker owners stamp out fraud throughout the mortgage profession—especially within their own company.
ClearPro is a multi-faceted platform that examines various types of data and sources from Equifax to try and identify where they may be red flags. By identifying these issues before fraud occurs, there’s a high chance of fraud prevention. In its first phase, the goal is to look at originators and maybe even appraisers.
Carl Davies is the head of fraud and security management at Equifax Canada, and said that banks or brokerages will typically instigate a ClearPro check in order to start the process. The check will consist of three things:
- The credit file—searching for any reg flags in an employee’s credit file (not for information on the quality of that individual’s credit)
- National and international media lists—looking for any negative media
- International sanctions lists—such as those provided by OSFI
The final part, according to Davies, is identity proofing, and there is also the potential to host lists of people who have been convicted of committing fraud in the past.
After a bank or brokerage submits the request via a secure channel, Equifax will receive the information and check to make sure the request is complete, then they will check against the Equifax data assets. The response will then be given back to the bank or brokerage—and the entity requesting the information will be able to define and determine what they see as red flags and what they want to examine further.
“One of the key differentiators here,” Davies said, “is the fact that it monitors throughout the originator’s employment. That’s key because lots of checks that we do today are at a point in time, and we know that fraudsters will not always be fraudulent; they could become fraudulent.”
The plan is to offer two versions of the program: a one-time hit for prospective hires and the continuous monitoring, where ClearPro can alert managers when something is changing in an employee’s file.
“That’s probably one of the most important things that a broker owner can ask for and should be getting,” said Ed Karthaus, executive VP, sales and marketing at Home Trust.
This is of particular use for any company that is pooling mortgage volume under a submitting agent ID, in which case the agent owns all of the information on that file. If there has been any misrepresentation or fraud in that file, they then assume responsibility.
Karthaus was the man with the plan; prior to joining Home Trust he had been working on an idea for a fraud solution for mortgage brokers and agents across the country. Because he identified an opportunity for a technology-enabled fraud solution, he was able to share his ideas with Equifax, who was then able to incorporate some of their existing solutions and take the project to the next level.
“I approached Equifax with an idea and some IP around the solution, that for the first time in the Canadian mortgage industry, would give mortgage brokers, principal brokers, and broker owners a tool set to manage their business in a 365-day form,” Karthaus said.
ClearPro exists in addition to Equifax Canada’s web-based fraud management tool Citadel, a multi-sector shared intelligence platform that looks at first-party and borrower fraud. What it doesn’t do is look at fraud parties from everywhere in the mortgage space.
The platform is currently available for use for both banks and brokerages.