Here’s something that’s kind of interesting. Half of all zero net energy homes have been built in California. “Cali,” a nickname despised by residents, has bold goals for all residential new construction to achieve ZNE (zero net energy) by 2020. Other states? Low energy costs are a barrier to generating ZNE demand. One-third of homeowners report having a monthly electricity bill less than $100, so while many households recognize the value of ZNE, the immediate financial incentives are not there yet. As California goes, so goes the nation?
Yes, vendors do things beside combining words and capitalizing random letters in their names. Or outnumber lenders at various conferences. From soup to nuts, licensing, appraisal and lead generation through recording and servicing, those zany vendors offer a variety of products. Let’s play some catch up on announcements, loosely grouped by the loan flow, over the last several weeks.
Vendorly polled banking and mortgage professionals on their organizations’ vendor management processes, challenges and technology capabilities. According to the VendorlyTM study, there is a need for the implementation and enhancement of vendor management programs within the banking and mortgage industry. “Three in five respondents (59 percent) said their organization does not have a fully comprehensive vendor management program in place. When asked about the biggest challenge their organization faces within vendor management, more than one-third (36 percent) of respondents identified employee capacity to handle workload or vendor management as the greatest challenge…the second biggest challenge cited by professionals was knowing who their vendors are and tracking them (27 percent). Vendor inventory size and management may also influence reporting frequency. When asked how often their organization monitors and assesses vendor performance, 30 percent of respondents said annually.”
Approved, Buckley Sandler’s technology-enabled, fixed-fee service that assists financial services firms and fintech companies in obtaining and maintaining state-required licenses, announced the addition of three directors to its leadership team: Tanya Anthony (mortgage and consumer lending, vendor management, and developing technology for license renewal and maintenance), Derek Schultz’s (background includes leading various policy initiatives and contributing to the development and expansion of the NMLS), and Dan Ladd (managing APPROVED’s West Coast team and national training program).
ProxyPics a platform designed to make region-specific photography available for both iOS and Android devices has launched a mobile app enabling anyone with a mobile phone to take a picture of anything you need immediately. It leverages GPS and digital payment technologies to match photo requests to the photo takers on a global scale. It is also set to disrupt entire industries, by making time-sensitive, affordable photos available on a grand scale. Real Estate, insurance, merchandising audits, and news media outlets are all areas that can greatly benefit from immediate photos of specific locations and subjects.
Valuation Partners launched HomeBase which provides all parties involved in a residential transaction with real-time access to details about the appraisal appointment, including details on the appraiser, the appraiser’s name and contact information, the kind of vehicle they drive, as well as information for buyers and sellers about what to expect when the appraiser visits the property. In addition to details about the appraisal appointment, HomeBase provides a single point of contact for all parties involved in the transaction to verify details about the appointment and the appraisal order.
Veros® Real Estate Solutions has released an enhanced, data-rich version of its VeroSCORE™ appraisal risk management solution with a new revamped design that displays additional validations such as public record data and appraiser licensing and eligibility checks. Other features have been added to further identify risk, including street views of subject properties, dynamic mapping, comparable sales, and AVM values for neighboring properties. All can be viewed online with zoom-in capability, mapping and pinpointing.
Veros® and Accurate Group have partnered to provide AVM, eValuation and Appraisal Services with Veros’ VeroPRECISION and VeroSELECT platforms. This joining provides a complete, end-to-end collateral valuation and analytics solution that will enable home equity lenders and other mortgage industry participants to cut costs and increase operational efficiencies.
Capsilon, a SaaS digital mortgage solution partner, announced the expansion of its digital mortgage platform through the addition of big data capabilities and a new set of smart tools designed to radically improve back office workflows and accelerate loan production.
Black Knight announced that it has acquired HeavyWater, a provider of artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) to the financial services industry. Black Knight will be integrating AIVA into its premier solutions, while also making the technology available to clients who seek to deploy AI/ML within other parts of their organizations to help enhance efficiency, effectiveness and accuracy. By taking on manual tasks that have diverted resources away from value creation projects, AIVA reads, comprehends and draws conclusions based on context to mimic cognitive thinking and build expertise over time.
Digital Risk LLC announced an agreement to integrate its LoanFx digital mortgage platform with Black Knight’s LoanSphere Empower loan origination system (LOS). The integration of LoanFx with Empower will provide near real-time updates throughout the application process to loan officers, their clients and their realtors for increased transparency.
LoanLogic announced it is partnering with Transformational Mortgage Solutions (TMS). As part of the partnership, TMS will acquire LoanLogic’s non-core MSR consulting products and re-brand LoanLogics’ MarketLogics newsletter, which informs readers on technical, interest rate, volatility and yield spread outlooks for the mortgage industry. Les Parker, who oversaw MarketLogics and led LoanLogics’ industry relations and consulting efforts, will join TMS as its Managing Director and work closely with LoanLogics.
The Collingwood Group announced it has entered into a strategic technology partnership with Decision Ready Solutions, Inc. to significantly expand its existing claims advisory business. “Decision Ready in partnership with Collingwood will lead the much-needed transformation in managing servicer advances, recovery and loss management.”
Trelix, a provider of licensed fulfillment, quality control and other due diligence products and services, launched its closing services solution which helps mortgage lenders execute and settle their loans. Trelix now provides a full suite of end-to-end fulfillment services. Customers can streamline the closing experience from disclosure and document preparation to compliance review and closing coordination.
LenderLive Services, LLC, a mortgage services provider, announced that it acquired reQuire Holdings, LLC, a group of technology-enabled companies that provide compliance, quality assurance and valuation solutions for the residential and commercial real estate market. LenderLive acquired reQuire from L2 Capital Partners, a Devon, PA-based private equity family office.
Thirty-One additional recording jurisdictions located in 16 states throughout the Midwestern, Southwestern, and Western United States have joined Simplifile’s e-recording network. The network of recording jurisdictions e-recording platform is now being used by the recording jurisdictions of more than 80 percent of the total U.S. population.
DocMagic has integrated its eSign Technology with MortgageHippo’s Digital Lending Platform. Lenders can order disclosures directly from their loan origination systems (LOS), most of which are already integrated with DocMagic. MortgageHippo then provides eDelivery of the disclosures to the consumer via the MortgageHippo borrower portal for compliant eSigning using DocMagic’s eSign technology. This service is available for initial disclosures, Loan Estimates (LE), Closing Disclosures (CD) and closing documents.
Resitrader Inc. announced new features to its digital platform including a highly configurable eligibility engine that enables sellers to identify loan characteristics by the investor and either notify traders of ineligible loans at the investor level or block transactions at the seller’s discretion. The platform also now includes automated MSR values that can be loaded by sellers or fed into the platform by hedge advisory firms.
Mortgage servicing is the channel to watch right now for tech disruption. On the heels of being named a TECH100 winner for its SIME servicing platform, TMS, the fintech company is focused on developing relationships with borrowers well-before and -beyond the closing table. TMS has released a mobile application as the newest feature to its SIME platform. Now, borrowers will be able to not only manage and pay their mortgage, access their account statements and transaction history, it also allows users to upload and submit documents from their mobile phone and communicate through a variety of ways 24/7.
BSI Financial Services announced that Standard & Poor’s has awarded the company an Average ranking as a residential primary servicer. This was the first rating Standard & Poor’s has awarded to BSI Financial Services and officially adds the company to the S&P Select Servicer list of servicers.
With the upward trend in rates, many lenders have reached out with questions about extending long-term interest rate locks to borrowers. Besides the competitive benefits, long-term locks may provide access to new sources of production, but they present unique risks for secondary departments. Learn about the opportunities, challenges, and hedging best practices for managing a pipeline of long-term locks in MCT’s latest whitepaper.
Late June’s economic indicators continue to point to moderate-to-strong GDP growth for the second quarter. The Conference Board’s Leading Economic Index was up by just 0.2 percent in May and though the index shows solid growth, it is unlikely that economic activity will accelerate into the second half of the year. Unemployment insurance claims remain especially low below the 220,000 level. Housing data in May and June was mixed with existing home sales declining 0.4 percent while new home sales were up 6.7 percent. Supply continues to remain tight and higher prices combined with higher mortgage rates are squeezing the budgets buyers and potentially keeping some on the sidelines. Meanwhile the National Association of Home Builders’ builder confidence survey weakened by two points to 68 as concerns about materials prices due to new tariffs are increasing.
The 10-year closed 2bps higher as confusing signals on global trade keep coming from the White House. The third estimate for Q1 GDP contained a downward revision to 2.0% (expected 2.2%) from the second estimate of 2.2%, attributable to downward revisions to private inventory investment and personal consumption expenditures. The GDP Deflator was revised up to 2.2% (expected 1.9%) from 1.9%. Personal spending was weak in the first quarter, but a pickup in personal spending now has many Q2 GDP forecasts increasing in expectations.
To close out the week, this morning we’ve seen May Personal Income (as expected, +.4%), Personal Spending (+.2%, slowing from April), and PCE Prices (at or near the Fed target). June Chicago PMI, expected to decline, and Final June Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index are coming up. Today starts with the 10-year yielding 2.85% and agency MBS prices a smidge worse than last night’s close.
The Tax Cuts & Jobs Act eliminated the deduction for business entertainment expenses incurred after December 31, 2017. While this rule may sound straightforward, there is currently a potentially significant tax difference between entertainment expenses that a company pays directly to third party vendors from the treatment of entertainment expense that it reimburses to its employees. The mortgage tax experts at Richey May have provided some guidance to lenders in their latest blog on how to handle business entertainment expenses; read more here or contact their tax professionals.
Radian is on a mission to provide stellar mortgage insurance rates and top-notch partnership capabilities. Radian was first to market with BP Single rate reductions and have now decreased its BP Monthly rates. With multi-borrower rate adjustments, better pricing is available across all its mortgage insurance programs including, Monthly, Single, and SplitEdge. Radian also makes it easy to compare rates side-by-side, calculate mortgage payments, and much more with the Radian Rates App. Learn more about Radian’s mortgage insurance solutions and partnership capabilities at radian.biz/MIssionSuccess.
The Virginia Housing Development Authority is searching for a Director of Homeownership Lending to direct and manage all activities related to the homeownership originations line of business for VHDA including its satellite and mobile offices. Among other duties, this person will lead and manage a highly motivated, professional mortgage lending staff of 50+ associates, establish and implement short and long term strategic plans for the Homeownership Originations division, and design and implement homeownership programs that address identified housing needs throughout the Commonwealth. The ideal candidate will have 6+ years executive management experience in the mortgage lending field, and a knowledge of investor/secondary market requirements, mortgage lending and compliance regulations as well as mortgage lending best practices. Hiring Range: $128,0645 – $166,482 + potential bonus + benefits. “VHDA is one of the nation’s premier housing finance organizations. Our mission is to help Virginians attain quality, affordable housing, which we accomplish through our public-private partnerships.” Interested parties should contact Recruiter Lila LaCroix. VHDA is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
SocialSurvey is expanding and has openings for 2 Regional VPs of Business Development and a National Head of Mortgage. SocialSurvey is no longer just a borrower review platform. It also provides Employee and Realtor Reviews, Social Media Monitoring and more… SocialSurvey is offering salary, commission and equity to the right candidates. If you have sold tech or services to the mortgage industry, send a confidential resume to John Jackson, SVP of People & Culture.