Daily Mortgage News & Commentary

Aug. 13: HELOC news and products; vendor updates and rollouts around the nation; Saturday Spotlight: Click n’ Close

Huh? The U.S. Post Office has proposed raising its rates temporarily during the holiday season? Sending that fruitcake will cost more this year! While we’re on a favorite topic of many (food), the world is full of curious things. For pasta lovers, if there are leftovers, aside from many who believe they taste better the next day, did you know that simply reheating your pasta (and probably potatoes and other starchy foods) after chilling it in the fridge makes it much healthier, protecting you against sharp spikes in blood sugar? (And still other foods, some will tell you, taste better the next day as their flavors blend… like cake.) And you say that you never learn anything from this Commentary? How about learning that lenders reported that lock activity fell off slightly this week as the late summer vacation season is having an impact. Or that homebuilders are now worried about oversupply after a pandemic building binge that’s left a lot of houses, and no buyers. Yup: this article is about how there is a record number of not only unsold homes under construction, but also total homes under construction.

Saturday Spotlight: Click n’ Close

______________________________________

In 3-5 sentences, describe your company. 

While the Click n’ Close name is relatively new to the market, our organization has been in operation under various names since 1940, and the key to our longevity and success has been our ability to retain our entrepreneurial spirit and lead the market in innovation, including our adoption of eClosings and eNotes under the Mid America Mortgage banner.

Recently, we have shifted our operations to focus on supporting the wholesale and correspondent lending channels while maintaining our presence in retail through our reverse mortgage and Section 184, or Native American, loan programs. Our culture of innovation and risk management mindset has enabled us to deliver new products to market that address the challenges facing both borrowers and third-party originators (TPOs), such as our one-time close construction loans, Power Buyer bridge loan program and proprietary down payment assistance (DPA) programs.

Most recently, we announced our eNote program to help emerging mortgage bankers take advantage of the operational and cost savings digital mortgages can deliver as they solidify their footing in the market. We also plan to launch several new loan products throughout 2022 to continue providing TPOs and correspondents with competitive home financing solutions for today’s challenging market.

  

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

Click n’ Close encourages employees to volunteer and donate and strives to lead by example. Last October, we donated $250,000 to Services of Hope, a 501© (3) organization that assists and supports the Dallas community. We also contribute to ASPCA, KERA and St. Jude, and our Native American lending arm 1st Tribal donates to the American Indian College.  Last year, we did a food drive with the North Texas Food Bank and contributed more than $10 million towards low-income housing efforts.

 

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? 

At Click n’ Close, we believe our employee’s physical well-being is equally as important as their professional well-being. Thus, in addition to internal/industry training and professional development, we also provide a one-hour Yoga and one-hour HIIT class led by a trainer each week that is available to all employees via Teams so that our remote employees can participate as well.

  

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. 

Concerning the office/remote working experience, our employees have found efficiencies in the remote work arrangement, which translate to greater efficiencies for the company. To be sure, there are still employees who value the camaraderie and working cohesion the traditional office experience provides. But the COVID environment, in concert with our web-based operating system, has provided flexibility for our employees, empowering them to find that optimal medium.

 

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

We’re incredibly proud of the culture and entrepreneurial spirit we’ve built at Click n’ Close. While adaptability has been a hallmark of our success, our consistent and ongoing commitment to serving the needs of the low to moderate-income homebuyer population through our command of government lending has been especially gratifying. This very commitment to the underserved, coupled with our technical depth in GNMA lending, has culminated in a potent public-private partnership and characterizes our mission to serve those in the lower rungs of the American socioeconomic ladder, thereby providing a shot at the American Dream to ALL Americans.

Fun fact about Click n’ Close. 

Click n’ Close has our own proprietary LOS that has been utilized in-house for the last 20 years. We are looking at making this available publicly in the near future, continuing the spirit of innovation and efficiency in the mortgage industry.

 

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

Our LOS isn’t the only tech innovation we’ve got up our sleeve, so stay tuned!

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

 

Recent HELOC news and ads

______________________________________

Lenders have plenty of incentives to offer HELOCs and other types of home-equity loans. Tappable equity, the amount available for homeowners to access while retaining at least 20% equity in their homes, rose again for the 10th consecutive time, hitting $11.5 trillion according to Black Knight. Industry capacity remains relatively high, there’s plenty of built-up home price appreciation and many of the borrowers are locked into low interest rates on their first liens, indicating that they’re unlikely to refinance and that they have gone through the mortgage underwriting process relatively recently. With all that in mind, I thought I’d post the most recent batch of ads run through the Commentary in hopes of perhaps helping an originator help their borrower.

Flagstar is constantly expanding its offerings to give you what you need, when you need it. Like a stand-alone HELOC with a minimum 680 score and I/O options. And a Jumbo One-Close construction product which now offers ARMs and higher loan limits up to $3 million. Flagstar also just rolled out its Advantage Non-QM product which includes ARM options, LTVs up to 90%, loan limits from $100,000 to $3 million, and more flexible guidelines including a higher DTI up to 55%. Plus Bank Statements are coming soon. To learn more or start a conversation, visit Flagstar.com/why or contact John Gibson.

Symmetry Lending has landed in Hawaii! We’re now delivering the industry-leading turn times and delivery confidence of Concurrent, Post-Close, and Stand-Alone Symmetry HELOCs to the Paradise of the Pacific! Regardless of where you live, the Symmetry HELOC is more than just a great product to help your client, it’s also a client retention tool. Rates go up and down, but clients remain loyal when they receive the best value. Add the value of Symmetry HELOCs to your lending toolkit today. Visit Symmetry’s Credit & Income Guide and Pricing Guide or call your Area Manager!”

Mortgage solutions provider Maxwell asked five experts for their thoughts on the second half of 2022 resulting in a forward-looking game plan to help lenders best position themselves to compete in a tightening market. It’s available in two formats for free download: a 16-page report and an hour-long webinar recording. For expert advice on how to allocate spend to bolster your bottom line, launch new loan channels and products like HELOCs, hone your mortgage process to achieve peak efficiency, and more, don’t miss Maxwell’s industry outlook. Click here to download 2H 2022 Outlook: Managing Rising Rates, Declining Volume & the Possible Recession Ahead.

SiteXPro℠ for Home Equity Leads! In today’s challenging origination market, you need a fast, cost-effective way to find reliable home equity leads. SiteXPro™, offered by Black Knight, provides instant, affordable access to a powerful online lead-generation tool. SiteXPro helps you quickly and easily identify targeted HELOC and other mortgage leads based on current, reliable information. The solution offers a variety of search-and-filter options so you can create lead lists to your specifications. Generate lead lists by geography, property type, current mortgage amount, LTV and more. Then access the AVMs on SiteXPro to help verify if there’s sufficient equity in a property for a home equity product. Sign up for a free 30-day trial of SiteXPro* and start getting instant, affordable access to the leads you need. *Available to new customers only. 30-day trial includes access to standard package of reports/solutions and does not include access to third-party products.

Buyers are finally gaining bargaining power as the volume of June home price drops increased 132% YoY. ComeHome by HouseCanary playbook helps end pre-approved buyer fallout. BREAKING HELOC BARRIERS: It’s easy to say HELOCs are hot with record home equity. But historically it’s been harder to get HELOCs done fast for borrowers and safely for lenders. Not anymore. ComeHome, HouseCanary’s home search and valuation platform Wall Street uses to bulk buy homes and loans, is your fast, safe HELOC solution. Evaluate leads and pre-underwrite immediately with granular mortgage and property analytics, which include industry gold-standard AVMs, and win customer trust with sharp consumer Home Value Reports.

FirstClose’s one-of-a-kind Digital HELOC solutions for lenders reduces operational touchpoints and improves the lending experience for borrowers. Lenders using the FirstClose EquityIQ solution, including Digital HELOCs, have experienced: a 35% increase in online applications, a 25% increase in pull-through, and an 80% reduction in turn time (app to funding).

Guaranteed Rate launched fully digital Personal Loans. The company’s new Personal Loans “provide a frictionless digital solution to personal loans, with an application that takes just 10 minutes to complete and funds up to $50,000 received within hours. The launch of Guaranteed Rate’s Personal Loans comes after a wave of recent strategic hirings and product announcements, such as its recently launched HELOCs.”

Vendor and third-party developments

______________________________________

Vendors do a lot more than make up new names or capitalize their middle letters. Let’s take a random look at who’s doing what.

 

Terri Davis wrote in about Notarize laying off 75 percent of its legal team. “I would hate for anyone to take away that Notarize is not wholly committed to remaining the most compliant RON vendor in the land. So, for clarity’s sake, I wanted to share some additional context with you.

“In June 2022, Notarize laid off 25% of our workforce. It was a major restructure, particularly of the sales and go-to market functions. Notarize is active across multiple verticals, not just real estate. Our ‘legal team’ went from 41 to 17. The way Notarize was previously structured, the teams that were classified as ‘Legal’ were more than a legal department, it also includes Information Security, Data Protection/Privacy, Government Affairs, Commercial Transactions, and Product Compliance.

“Backoffice services that were scaled and used to support a previously much-larger sales team were reduced to match our new focused go-to-market effort. The strategy and direction of Notarize have both shifted greatly, and those roles were unfortunately eliminated because of our new lean and focused environment. Notarize still has a legal team that matches our current needs and a top-notch Government Affairs team, who remains actively involved where necessary. We’re exceptionally proud of all the great work we did for the last seven years to advance legislation to allow for remote online notarization in 40+ states. There are now only a few states remaining and we are actively working on federal legislation that has strong support and momentum.” Thank you, Terri.

Secure Insight, the New Jersey-based wire and closing fraud SaaS company that provides analytics to lenders in the mortgage process, has announced a new free consumer and realtor portal for its risk reports. The company has developed a separate search engine function and customized report for consumers seeking to verify an attorney’s credentials and risk status, and for real estate agents seeking to protect their reputation in the referral of attorneys, title agents and escrow officers. The searches and reports are free of any cost. In addition to the search portal, all Secure Insight clients can receive the consumer report as well, without any additional cost, which they can choose to disclose to borrowers as a value-added service. The company also announced the debut of “Simon” the Secure Insight risk prevention owl, a mascot that adorns the consumer reports and will be a feature in the public marketing of these risk reports to the public. SI CEO Andrew Liput stated, “consumers deserve to be empowered with the same analytics as lenders to assist them in choosing who to hire to manage their real estate transaction, and these reports will provide more information to assist them in avoid being the victims of fraud and malfeasance.” Liput also remarked that “real estate agents, having long been a referral source for attorneys, title agents and escrow officers, will now be able to prevent the type of reputational impact that can derail their careers when they refer someone who causes a consumer and a lender to suffer losses due to the failure of a referral to perform professionally.” (Contact the company at info@secureinisght.com.)

The developer of no code/low code software for mortgage servicers and their vendors, OrangeGrid has launched its loss mitigation initiative designed with ability to quickly scale up when facing sudden increases in default servicing requirements. According to ATTOMs recent Foreclosure Market Report there were a total of 30,881 properties in the United States with foreclosure filings in May 2022 including default notices, scheduled auctions, or bank repossessions. The solution enables servicers to use a single solution to conduct all its loss mitigation process and production management needs. It also creates an eco-system of convergence for all data from a variety of sources, including many popular legacy systems, used in the servicing of mortgage loans.

CubiCasa, a global-reaching real estate software company headquartered in Oulu, Finland, will now be providing a free floor plan option for its mobile floor plan scanning technology in the United States, available on the App Store and Google Play Store. By removing the hurdles associated with acquiring a floor plan, CubiCasa is equipping agents with the tools needed to make their listings more attractive and competitive to potential buyers, despite changing market conditions.

MISMO®, is seeking public comment on three key industry resources to help accelerate the industry’s digital transformation. The updated MISMO Business Glossary is a business-friendly collection of terms and definitions representing content from MISMO and non-MISMO sources. The MISMO eMortgage Glossary has been updated to include approximately 20 new terms and definitions that have been created since prior publication in 2020.  Updated eModification Reference Flyer, which is a resource for mortgage servicers to help identify whether an investor currently accepts electronically signed loan modification agreements. These public comment periods provide notice to workgroup participants and industry professionals, prior to final release, in order to review the details and disclose any applicable Patent Rights (as defined by MISMO’s 2018 Intellectual Property Rights Policy). Disclosures and comments should be directed to info@mismo.org.

Mortgage Cadence, an Accenture (NYSE: ACN) company, announced the release of version 2.0 of its new Mortgage Cadence Platform (MCP) loan origination system, which represents a significant milestone in loan origination technology evolution. While MCP has been available for new customers since its launch late last year, with the release of 2.0, the company has officially retired their legacy enterprise lending platform and migrated all existing enterprise customers to the new platform. “It’s exciting to be able to focus on the future and free our team to build out our next generation technology to meet our lender partner’s needs” said Seth Hooper, Chief Product Officer at Mortgage Cadence. “It’s very empowering and we’ve already had a tremendous response to the new platform.”

Reggora announced it is one of eight companies selected to join the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) 2022 REACH cohort. The program, launched in 2013, focuses on companies that provide solutions for the residential real estate sector. Being selected by NAR to participate in a program like REACH further emphasizes the company’s commitment to improving the real estate buyer and seller experience. Read the press release for details.

I’d grow my own food if only I could find bacon seeds.

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 titled, “The All-Cash Phenomenon.” The Commentary’s podcast is live and at any place you obtain your podcasts (like Apple or Spotify).

qoɹ

(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.)