The Mortgage Industry Standards Maintenance Organization (MISMO), which was created by the Mortgage Bankers Association, today announced it has become an independent corporation and has launched MX Compliance Service, a new compliance initiative designed to test and certify new software as MISMO compliant and/or compatible.

The announcements were made at the association’s 2004 National Technology in Mortgage Banking Conference & Expo in Phoenix.

“The development of an independent-certification process is both timely and very, very important for the current users of MISMO-based solutions,” said Regina M. Lowrie, MBA’s vice chairwoman and chair of MBA’s Board of Directors Technology Steering Committee. “This new service will protect the investment of current users by ensuring that any products they choose to purchase in the future will be MISMO compliant and/or compatible.”

The first phase of the compliance service will cover extensible markup language (XML) data compliance and will be comprised of the following two tracts: compliance to the exact published v2.x or higher XML data standards and compliance to an “extended” version of a published v2.x or higher XML data standard.

The second phase of the compliance service, which will be launched later this year, will validate SMARTDoc eMortgage files. All organizations meeting the requirements will receive a “MISMO compliant” logo to designate they had been tested as compliant.

MBA established MISMO in 1999 with the mission to develop, promote, support the implementation of, and maintain voluntary electronic commerce (eCommerce) standards for the mortgage industry. As the organization has grown (more than doubled in size since 2002), its mission increased in scope and now includes new industry support efforts, such as a compliance testing service and intellectual property rights protection.

“When MBA established MISMO, we hoped to provide very important service to the mortgage industry,” Lowrie said. “This move, which is a product of the organization’s growth, is a sign that the industry is responding to MISMO and that we are providing a much needed benefit to the industry. We are very pleased that MISMO is now ready to stand as an independent entity.”

The new MISMO organization will be a 501(c)6 corporation. While the current governance committee will continue in its current function, there will be a new board of directors and new elected officers.

“This completes the first step of MISMO’s development,” continued Lowrie. “The next step in MISMO’s development will be to drive adoption of its standards to the next level. Failure on that front would mean the failure to lower costs to consumers that the standards are uniquely positioned to do. This lowering of costs is critical to the advancement of home ownership.”

Washington, D.C.-based Mortgage Bankers Association is a national association representing the real estate finance industry.

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