OREANDA-NEWS. April 27, 2016. Todays documentation process for mortgage approval may be best described as rigorous. The list of whats needed to qualify for and process a loan stretches to 10 (or more) required documents from an official photo ID (simple) to two years of tax information (complicated). Somewhere in the middle on this scale of complexity lies income verification from a prospective borrowers employer.

Manually verifying employment and income may not be rocket science, but it is a high-touch activity. It may require contacting the employer at the beginning of the loan process and again at the end, just before closing.

Thats why having a relationship with an independent third party, like Equifax, to supply the data is paramount. A neutral third-party data provider has no skin in the game, which can be key to helping reduce fraud exposure in the underwriting process, simplifying the process for consumers and streamlining operations. That provider also should have a proven process that gives lenders the information necessary to meet regulatory requirements.

At Equifax, we provide verifications of employment and income through our proprietary database called The Work Number. It contains data from more than 5,500 employers nationwide a number that is constantly growing. The Work Number streamlines income and employment verification by:

Providing the data necessary for lenders to meet regulatory criteria for using third-party verifications in lieu of borrower-provided documentation
Speeding up and simplifying ability-to-repay (ATR) obligations by using real-time data thats as current as the last paycheck
Following federal Internal Revenue Service standards for IRS Form 4506-T tax transcript fulfillment
Using a template that provides the same information as Fannie Mae Form 1005

We provide data directly from the source. We integrate into lenders proprietary systems, as well as into various fraud platforms and loan origination systems. Also, The Work Number can be accessed directly, if thats what a lender prefers.

Our ability to tap so much information makes for a uniquely powerful offering. But there are still instances where some manual verification will be needed. When that happens, Equifax can go out and obtain that information for the lender. That means were able to provide a 100% verification solution.

Lenders use Equifax-provided data every day to make more informed decisions about whether theyre going to fund loans. Our verification solutions help them close higher-quality loans, and quite frankly also help them close more loans.

Eric Bloomquist is vice president of Product Management, Verification Services, at Equifax.