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The Automation Engine (formerly called ‘Rules Applied’) is a customizable automation system in LMS that uses criteria to automatically implement actions within your account. This article is a basic overview on what the Automation Engine is and how you can use it to automate your loan servicing.
Why the Automation Engine is Useful
Let's say that your company has a policy of forgiving debt when the remaining payoff is less than $10. You could search through all your loans, check the remaining payoff, and issue a credit to those that qualify, but that process will require a lot of time and resources from your loan servicers. Instead, the Automation Engine lets you specify a criterion, such as Payoff is less than $10, and implement an action — Issue a credit for the remaining balance. The system will check which loans match your criteria and automatically issue the credit. And in the future, the system will continue to check if any new loans qualify.
The only thing a lender has to do is create a rule, and then the system will take over. Servicers won't need to go back into every loan and make changes.
Criteria and Actions
It's important to know the difference between criteria and actions when creating a rule. The criteria are what needs to happen for an action to take place. The action is what takes place when the criteria are met. For example, lets say that you set up a rule that states that if any loan is greater than 120 days past due, then the status of the loan would be changed automatically to "charged-off". Your criteria is that Days past due are greater than 120, and your action is to Change the Loan Status to "Charged-off".
Criteria and Clojure
A person can read your criteria and understand what you mean. Computers, however, need things to be written out very clearly in code. LMS uses a coding language called Clojure for the Automation Engine. Clojure expresses your criteria with equations and variables, creating something like a true-or-false statement describing the loan. When the statement is true, LMS will implement the action you specified on the loan.
How do Clojure Rules Work?
Here's an example of a Clojure rule for the criterion we described above:
(> status-days-past-due 120)
The whole rule is enclosed in parentheses, and the math symbol, greater than >, comes at the far left. To the right, we have a variable, status-days-past-due, and a value, 120. Altogether, this says that Days past due are greater than 120. When the system evaluates a loan, it pulls from the loan data and plugs it into that equation. If a loan is only 90 days past due, the system sees that the rule is currently false, and nothing happens. But as soon as the loan is over 120 days past due, that rule will evaluate as true, and apply the actions you've specified.
This rule is pretty straightforward, but automating a more complex process will require more complex Clojure rules. We have several articles on Clojure, starting with Clojure Rules 101, to help bring your tech team up to speed with the language. If you don't have any tech personnel on staff, you can enlist the help of our own Solution Architects. For more info, reach out to your Success Specialist.
When the system evaluates a rule on a loan and finds that it's true, it will apply the actions you've set up. A single rule can trigger any number of actions.
Actions can alter a loan's settings, prompt a transaction, or update its and portfolios.
Expand All Available Actions
Here's a full list of the different action categories you can select from:
|Lets you set various credit and loan status changes, date changes, and convenience fee options.
|Lets you activate, inactivate, archive, or delete an account.
|Lets you determine Amount Past Due adjustment types and dates.
|Lets you determine various bankruptcy settings as well as custom fields.
|Change Due Date
|Lets you modify due dates and base dates.
|Lets you determine credits settings and set charge-offs.
|Lets you apply customer roles, pull credit, and validate customer information.
|Lets you update loans via created .
|Stop Interest Date
|Lets you suspend and resume interest accrual on a loan.
These are the terms used in the Automation Engine:
|These are the conditions you define when you create the rule. If the criteria are met, the system will implement actions on the loan.
|This is the action once the criteria is met on the rule. If the criteria are met, the action will then take place, making changes to the loan.
|Clojure is the coding language used for the Automation Engine and several other areas of the software, such as Trigger-Based Notifications or validations on process wizards. For more information, read Clojure Rules 101.
|A rule is a Clojure expression of your criteria.
|Variables represent changeable data within LMS. For instance, the loan-status variable will pull a different value for different loans at different times. Variables make rules a dynamic automation tool.
The Feature is Not
Let's take a second to clarify the limitations of the Automation Engine.
- The Automation Engine don't give you the same case-by-case decision making as you'd have if you did things manually. Automation, by definition, means giving control over to the system. Some users may feel wary using the Automation Engine because they may feel as though they aren't as involved in the loans that they manage. If you want a loan agent to have close oversight over every step of your servicing process, you might want to limit your use of the Automation Engine and instead check out tools like Process Wizards.
- The Automation Engine can't detect problems in your Clojure rules. The Automation Engine will do exactly what you tell them to—even if that's not what you want. For example, consider our rule from earlier, (> status-days-past-due 120). If you included a minor typo and flipped the greater than symbol around, this rule would do the exact opposite of what you want. That may ruin your day. Thus, it's important to use caution when writing criteria.
This is a basic overview on the Automation Engine. For more complex steps on creating rules in LMS, take a look at our Setting Up the Automation Engine article. For more info on Clojure, see Intro to Clojure Rules.