The leadership at C-MISMO (which I am a part of) has been trying to decide the next steps to promote standards adoption. Toward that end, we hosted a “MISMO Summit” in May to seek support. At the meeting, it was clear a group of people wanted to put the entire effort into a hibernation mode.
These people argue C-MISMO should be shut down because there is no interest in implementing common, industry-wide standards. Most of the existing industry players (especially mortgage bankers) are satisfied with the status quo. I’ve known they don’t want standardization, but I was surprised when they actually tried to kill it.
In late June there were both formal and informal efforts by certain members of the MBA to kill C-MISMO by shutting it down. A proposal letter was drafted and circulated through the MBA that stated “it is not a good use of resources at this time to continue to create new standards.” The letter recommended “the development of new standards by Commercial MISMO be halted.” The effort to kill C-MISMO was pursued all the way to the Board of Directors of the MBA, where it was formally discussed.
Fortunately, the recommendation to hibernate C-MISMO was rejected by MBA leadership. We have been given the green light to keep going and, from what I understand, the firms pushing for the C-MISMO shut-down have backed down.
When the governance of C-MISMO found out about the proposal to kill our efforts, we initially laughed because we felt like we were being fired from volunteer jobs. But then we started to get annoyed. It is offensive that people would actively oppose open standards. So instead of shutting down shop, we are going on the offensive.
Yesterday, C-MISMO leadership voted to create a new standard we are calling the Origination Standard. This data standard will contain all the information needed to re-underwrite and make a commercial real estate loan. We are purposefully focused on the front end data package needed to make a loan versus the back end investor reporting package. While the goal is big, the existing C-MISMO data schema is complete enough that this should be a manageable effort. We are going to get started in September.
We also agreed to create a GSE MISMO Adoption Task Force, and we are going to pursue a Rating Agency Data Standard.
So much for going into hibernation.
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Jim Flaherty is CEO of CMBS.com and the creator of the Backshop loan origination system. He is a trained credit professional with experience installing enterprise underwriting systems for commercial real estate lenders, rating agencies and investors.