Daily Mortgage News & Commentary

Apr. 16: Letter on CFPB/Transunion; Vendor news runs the gamut; FBI on new cybercrime & scam; Saturday Spotlight: Homeside Financial

For something non-mortgage related, last night here in Manhattan (who hasn’t seen AC/DC’s version of “On Broadway”?) city officials arranged the lights on the Empire State Building to glow blue and white with “42.” Why? On April 15, 1947, Jackie Robinson, age 28, became the first African American to play in Major League Baseball when he started at first base for the Brooklyn Dodgers. (In Los Angeles, his 99-year-old widow, Rachel, attended the Dodgers-Reds game.) None of that matters to cybercriminals who have come up with a new scam where they trick users into sending money to what they think is their own account to reverse a fraudulent charge. What could be safer, right? The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center issued the warning, which it said involves cybercriminals who have definitely done their homework. “In addition to knowing the victim’s financial institution, the actors often had further information such as the victim’s past addresses, social security number, and the last four digits of their bank accounts,” the IC3 said. “The con starts off as many that target individuals do nowadays: With a text message. In this case it’s not a phishing attempt, it’s an attempt to ascertain whether the person receiving the message is susceptible to further manipulation. Posing as the target’s bank, the message asks whether a large charge ($5,000 in the example the FBI gives) was legitimate and asks for a reply of YES or NO. Replying no leads to a follow-up text: “Our fraud specialist will be contacting you shortly. This is where social engineering comes in, and the FBI is painting a picture of a sophisticated operation…”

Saturday Spotlight: Homeside Financial

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Mortgage made easy.

In 3-5 sentences, describe your company (when was it founded and why, what it does, where, recent growth and plans for near-term future growth). 

A superior experience is built through the consistent delivery of promise and transparency. This is the very foundation of values upon which Homeside Financial was built when we opened our doors in the fall of 2013. Our passion and commitment to going above and beyond to serve the needs of consumers has allowed us to expand nationwide into 46 states. We’re strongest when we put the customer first and that means providing a service in the way that best suits them, from DBAs to unique portfolio products and multiple business models to choose from, we want to put the originator and borrower first, always.

Tell us about what type of volunteer work employees are encouraged to engage in, or charities your company supports, and why.

Homeside feels strongly about building a bond within our community! We’re proud to say the team volunteered more than 400 hours to various charitable causes in 2021, a testament to the character of our team members! While Habitat for Humanity is one of our largest involvements in Columbus, OH, we care deeply for the Casey Cares Foundation which provides support for families with critically ill children with the intent to brighten their childhood.

What does your company do to help elevate your employees’ growth? Describe any mentoring programs, outside classes or training, in-house training. How does the company help people develop?

Homeside is constantly elevating our training and development programs for our originators. Our Corporate Development department solely dedicates their time and efforts to continuing education for sales and support staff. They participate in virtual and in-person training, all dependent upon the preference and learning needs of the team member. This team acts as an extension of you with the main goal of ensuring a seamless experience for the borrower, originator and each and every referral partner. We allow access to Xinnix, an origination training platform that coaches production results, thus, changing lives of our loan officer’s by empowering them to reach new levels of achievement.

Tell us how your company maintains its culture in a work-from-home environment, or how you plan on bringing employees back into the office, if applicable. 

What makes Homeside unique is that your style of doing business is totally up to you. Each of our branches and teams bring their own unique personality and energy to the business. We love to celebrate this individuality and provide a landscape for everyone to thrive. We do this by encouraging branches to develop their own sense of team unity, whether that be a golf outing, team zooms or region-wide happy hours.

Things you are most proud of that don’t have to do with sales. 

Here at Homeside, we believe in our employees. Their goals, their dreams, their aspirations… We adopt them as ours. Success for us is our team succeeding and we’ve never been prouder of the people who have got us to where we are today. The owners truly care about each and every one of our employees and their families and to us: That’s what makes our company great.

Fun fact about Homeside. 

Each one of Homeside’s owners have made a living as originators. This has enabled us to really stay competitive through all highs and lows of the industry since they truly understand programs, pricing, and the way of business.

Is there anything else you’d like to share along these lines?

If you’re interested in joining Homeside, we’d love to chat with you.

(For more information on having your firm’s extracurricular activities, employee growth, and your charitable side featured, contact Chrisman LLC’s Anjelica Nixt.)

CFPB vs. Transunion

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This week the CFPB filed a lawsuit against TransUnion, two of its subsidiaries, and longtime executive John Danaher for violating a 2017 law enforcement order. (“I am concerned that TransUnion’s leadership is either unwilling or incapable of operating its businesses lawfully.”) Here is one industry vet’s reaction to the CFPB’s Transunion enforcement action.

“Perhaps it is time to reconsider the whole purpose behind the credit bureaus. With blockchain technology, smart phones, and data interfaces among financial institutions, what is preventing control of personal credit data being in the hands of the consumer instead of these private companies? That is, do we even need to give private companies a license to hold consumer credit data and the right to charge to sell that data (or get hacked giving access to Russia, China, and the dark web)?

“If the bureaus want to sell my data, they should have to pay me for it.  A single government owned bureau that some politicians and consumer advocates are promoting would be an even worse idea. Meanwhile, until Congress can figure out how to do its job and legislate a credit system for the 21st Century, the CFPB’s aggressive enforcement is the next best alternative to get these companies to act like responsible utilities instead of abusive government-sanctioned monopolies.”

Vendor tidbits

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There are some amazing products out there. Now, if only they’d drive down the cost of originating a residential loan!

Recent Fannie Mae guideline changes now allow an alternative to title insurance when closing on a home loan, an Attorney Opinion Letter. Voxtur released its Attorney Opinion Letter (AOL) program, a fully compliant alternative to title insurance. Supported by a transactional liability insurance policy issued by an AM Best “A” rated carrier that follows the life of the loan. Voxtur’s AOL can save the consumer 20% to 70%, depending on the state, of the cost of a traditional title.

Mortgage Coach and ReverseVision have integrated to help consumers compare ‘forward’ and reverse mortgage financing options. Lenders can produce a Reverse Total Cost Analysis (TCA), an interactive presentation that allows loan originators to give consumers side-by-side comparisons of how reverse mortgages perform against forward mortgages over the lifetime of the loan. Consumers can easily share Reverse TCA presentations with financial advisors and family members via text and email, which allows those involved in the long-term care of borrowers to feel informed and confident.

FormFree® and Take3Tech have integrated make AccountChek® automated asset, income, and employment verification available within LoanMAPS™, an all-in-one loan origination platform that encompasses an LOS, POS, CRM, compliance monitoring and report generation.

 FormFree® announced a partnership with Take Three Technologies (Take3Tech) to make its AccountChek® automated asset, income, and employment verification solutions available within LoanMAPS™. Loan originators can text or email borrowers a request to electronically verify asset, income and employment data without leaving the LoanMAPS user experience. Once borrower permission is granted, AccountChek uses securely encrypted, direct-source data to automatically populate underwriter-friendly verification of asset (VOA) and verification of income/employment (VOIE) reports, which are made available within LoanMAPS.

How hard it is for many traditional homebuyers to buy a home in this market? New American Funding has the solution, homebuyers becoming cash buyers. To accomplish this solution,

New American Funding is partnering with Buyer Accepted, which recently launched a nationwide cash buyer program, to turn traditional homebuyers into cash buyers.

Through this partnership, Buyer Accepted will buy a homebuyer’s chosen home with cash and then sell it to the borrower with financing provided by a New American Funding mortgage.

Pavaso®, has released its new, optimized signing experience with many new features and process improvements, and a cleaner look and feel, closing agents and participants will complete digital closing sessions even faster than before. With the recent acceleration of eClosing adoption, innovation within the real estate industry is at a pinnacle. As one of the first eClosing providers, Pavaso continues to benefit from its team of industry veterans and some of the original architects who started this digital transformation journey back in 2011.

SitusAMC announced the launch of its Warehouse Administration Services, a comprehensive suite of technology-enabled turnkey services to help warehouse lenders setup, execute, enhance, and scale their warehouse businesses while improving efficiency and reducing costs. Building on the company’s position as a proven technology leader in the warehouse financing space, SitusAMC currently supports more than 70 percent of the warehouse market through its ProMerit and WLS warehouse lending technologies, including 16 of the largest ranked financial institutions in the U.S. Together, the systems currently support more than $2 trillion in warehouse funds.

Class Valuation, a leading national Appraisal Management Company, has formed a strategic partnership with DataMaster, an appraisal software company, and McKissock Learning, a national appraisal educational provider, to help appraisers navigate the recent policies and trends affecting their profession. “Together these industry leaders will work to inform, educate, and empower the appraiser community to work more efficiently and increase their earning potential.” The next Pro-Series Webinar is, “DataMaster – Reducing Risk and Avoiding Bias.” Learn how DataMaster technology can mitigate unintentional biases in your valuations. April 20 from 11AM-12:30PM ET. Presenter: Jared Preisler, SRA, Chief Appraiser and Director of Product Development, DataMaster for Appraisers.

MISMO®announced the availability of the MISMO e-Eligibility Exchange, developed in partnership with and powered by Snapdocs, to further accelerate industry-wide adoption of digital closings and help maximize the digitization of closing processes. The e-Eligibility Exchange offers organizations the ability to quickly assess the different factors that impact e-Eligibility, including comprehensive information on investor and other counterparty requirements, eNotarization regulations, county eRecording acceptance, settlement agent readiness, and title underwriter restrictions. To date, contributors to the Exchange include the ALTA Registry from the American Land Title Association (ALTA), Deutsche Bank, First American, Freddie Mac, Freedom Mortgage, Mr. Cooper, the National Notary Association (NNA), the Property Records Industry Association (PRIA), and Stewart Title.

Appraisal software company, Reggora partnered up with ICE Mortgage Technology to create a best-in-class appraisal management experience for mortgage lenders. This means that Encompass customers will be able to access the full power and user interface (UI) of Reggora. Lender users will be able to view and manage their complete appraisal pipeline within Encompass and LO Connect. This integration is key to solving many of the efficiency challenges that lenders face today, additional information can be found in the News Release.

Consumers are clamoring for more digital solutions that are simple, safe, and secure. The recent integration of Paymints.io, with Notarize is designed to eliminate the need for paper checks and mitigate risks involved in a paper-based real estate transaction, bringing the benefits of digital closings to the forefront. Paymints.io users will now be able to see if a transaction is eligible for digital closing, including online notarization, from within the platform.

Trive Capital (“Trive”), the Dallas-based private equity firm, announced its recent formation of Trive Capital Real Estate in partnership with a team of talented real estate investors led by Troy Daniel. The value-add real estate strategy will focus on off-the-run acquisition and development opportunities in the multifamily and industrial sectors, with flexibility to pursue assets in other sectors opportunistically. The Trive Capital Real Estate team is actively pursuing investment opportunities ahead of a formal fund raise.

LoanLogics announced the launch of LoanBeam Wage, an automated tool that enables lenders to calculate wage earner borrower income utilizing a combination of advanced machine learning with layered optical character recognition (OCR) technologies to automatically extract and interpret the variety of income data contained in a borrower’s unstructured paystub and W2 income documents, with no human involvement. In minutes, sales teams can see a single, summarized view of a borrower’s income that separates data into fixed and variable income streams. Underwriters can also review the borrower’s source income documents at any time and calculate any adjustments to a borrower’s income with an audit trail of all changes.

Mortgage Companies experiencing “Big Data” struggles may find a resolve with the Staircase launch or Staircase Persistence, a fully managed, cloud-based data lake and immutable ledger that leverages AWS Blockchain technology to help lenders store and manage mortgage data through a single REST API. Staircase Persistence helps companies manage the complexity of data points used by their different partners by grouping data into sets, such as transactions, collections, blobs, and client accounts. Data stored through Staircase Persistence can later be used for machine learning-trained data extraction and other mortgage processes, as well as translating data into different languages.  When combined with other Staircase products, Staircase Persistence allows lenders and their partners to share verified, high-confidence data while enabling faster automated workflows.

This week, home equity investment provider Hometap, recently announced expansion into three new states: South Carolina, Utah, and Nevada. By investing alongside homeowners, Hometap offers debt-free cash in exchange for a share of the home’s future value — all without any monthly payments or interest over the life of the investment. With these expansions, Hometap is now available in a total of 18 states, including major markets such as New York, California, Florida, and Virginia.

Dave Barry! “They are snapping up Miami real estate the way the “Jaws” shark snapped up teenaged swimmers. This is good if you want to sell your house, but bad if you want to buy a house and you find yourself bidding against a New Yorker, because they can be aggressive: SELLER: Our asking price is $450,000. YOU: I think I can swing that. NEW YORKER: I’ll give you three million dollars. SELLER: Sold! NEW YORKER: What the heck, make it five million.”

Visit www.robchrisman.com for more information on our industry partners, access archived commentaries, or to subscribe to the Daily Mortgage News and Commentary. If you’re interested, visit my periodic blog at the STRATMOR Group web site. The current blog is, “Lenders Continue to Pivot” about how lenders and MLOs continue to shift to a purchase-centric focus. The Commentary’s podcast is live and at any place you obtain your podcasts (like Apple or Spotify).

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(Market data provided in partnership with MBS Live. For free job postings and to view candidate resumes visit LenderNews. This newsletter is for sophisticated mortgage professionals only. There are no paid endorsements by me. For up-to-date mortgage news visit Mortgage News Daily. For archived commentaries, or to subscribe, go to www.robchrisman.com. Copyright 2022 Chrisman LLC. All rights reserved. Occasional paid job & product listings do appear. This report or any portion hereof may not be reprinted, sold, or redistributed without the written consent of Rob Chrisman.)