Jan. 15: LO jobs, borrower satisfaction tool; vendor updates; more bank fines over servicing flaws

The AllRegs “Ask-A-Regulator” program is back, this time with a focus on state licensing questions and answers. “Our compliance team is gathering questions to take to the NMLS Conference in February to get answers directly from the regulators, and report back. Everyone who submits a question will get a copy of the full Q&A document following the conference. Here’s the link to submit a question: http://engage.elliemae.com/ask-a-regulator-licensing.”

No one is asking about if rates are going to go down, but I am often asked about products. And if you have a question about whether an investor offers a certain product, you can always enter the state and the program at www.mortgageelements.com and see which wholesale and correspondent investors turn up.

Employment & products

Prime Mortgage Lending continues its strong, steady growth all the way from the east coast to the west coast with the recent addition of two new branches. We are delighted to have branch managers Felipe Gonzalez, a loan officer with a rock-solid reputation, located close to the nation’s capital in Alexandria, Virginia and Yvette Agostini, an extremely talented veteran in the mortgage industry, located in sunny Palm Desert, California join the Prime team! Prime Mortgage Lending offers 401K with company match, group health and life insurance, in-house processing and underwriting, 24-hour underwriting, advanced technology and IT support, and an aggressive compensation package. Prime Mortgage Lending is currently hiring talented Loan Officers with a proven track record, that are ready for growth. We’d like to talk to you! Call 877-307-5667 today to start a conversation about joining the growing Prime team or visit www.GoPrime.com.

With so many moving parts in the loan process, it’s not always clear when (and how) lenders should go about providing updates. According to data from STRATMOR’s Borrower Satisfaction tool, MortgageSAT, the way the borrower receives loan updates impacts the likelihood that the borrower will recommend the loan officer. For example, borrowers who are contacted by phone are much more likely to recommend their LO or Processor than are borrowers who receive written communications. In this month’s MortgageSAT Tip, STRATMOR’s Mike Seminari shares tips on how to communicate updates in ways that increase the likelihood of the borrower recommending the loan officer.

Borrower satisfaction is critical, as is a lack of complaints over your servicing procedures. Just ask these big banks who were fined by the Federal Reserve over their servicing flaws.

Plenty of vendors hope to improve borrower satisfaction for their clients, cut costs, decrease compliance risk, etc., etc. Let’s play some catch up with vendors and what they’ve been doing, using the vendor’s own words.

Vendor news

Notarize and Westcor Land Title Insurance Company announced a partnership to expand online notarization to real estate transactions in 16 states across the country. The two companies will enable borrowers, independent title agents and lenders to benefit from 100% online closings utilizing Notarize’s platform offerings: Notarize for Mortgage and Notarize for Title Agents. For the full press release and Notarize’s blog post, click here.

Credit Plus announced that trended credit data is now available from Experian and has been incorporated into Fannie Mae’s Desktop Underwriter (DU) Version 10.0 as of December 18, 2017. Trended credit data is a two-year historical perspective on a consumer’s utilization of credit accounts, giving lenders the ability to determine if a borrower tends to pay off revolving credit lines each month or if they tend to carry a balance month-to-month while making minimum or other payments. In addition, seasonal and sudden changes in revolving credit behavior will be revealed. The trended data will be included on virtually all active tradelines, not just revolving accounts, and will include credit cards, Home Equity Lines of Credit, student loans, car loans and mortgages.

Finastra has added several credit unions to its growing client portfolio, based on its ability to provide a complete suite of lending, enterprise, and retail solutions. Among the latest credit unions added to the client roster are TruMark Financial Credit Union located in Pennsylvania, Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union and Evansville Teachers Federal Credit Union located in Indiana. Financial institutions face the significant challenge of being able to offer their customers a clean and easy to navigate user experience. The solutions from Finastra automate manual processes and expedite the loan approval experience for credit union members. The resulting improvements help credit unions to capture greater market share and drive revenue growth. 

Ellie Mae announced the launch of Encompass Direct Mail. The extension of Ellie Mae’s Encompass CRM allows lenders – whether they utilize Ellie Mae’s Encompass CRM or not — to target direct mail campaigns that match their business needs to “segmentable” audience demographics, and then track response rates. If lenders utilize Encompass CRM, they can now take advantage of Encompass Direct Mail by simply selecting the mailer that matches their business needs and identifying their target audience. The solution leverages the contacts already in Ellie Mae’s Encompass all-in-one mortgage management solution, making it simple to access the necessary data, to deploy the mailers and target prospects with a tailored marketing message.

In today’s climate of security breaches, fraud internet scams, the protection of Consumer’s personal information should be top priority. Secure Insight recently conducted a survey regarding knowledge of data security requirements and internal control procedures. Questions were posed to settlement professionals and mortgage industry executives nationwide. When individuals were asked if they attended or participated in any industry data privacy and security education and training in the previous 12 months, 84% responded affirmatively. When asked if they had experienced or witnessed any data security breaches (email scams, wire fraud schemes, identity theft) in connection with any closing transactions they handled in the previous 12 months, 32% responded yes, 65% weighed in with no with 3% declining to answer. Finally, in response to the question “Do you presently carry cyber-liability insurance coverage?” 57% of title and settlement firms responding answered yes but a staggering 43% said no.

DataVerify announce that its joining forces with Finicity, a provider of application program interface (API) for real-time financial data aggregation and insights, to provide real-time asset verification for mortgage lenders. With this integration, lenders will now be able to access Finicity Verification of Assets (VoA) reports through the DataVerify’s DRIVE platform as part of their loan review process. They can now quickly access and verify a borrower’s financial information in a matter of clicks, and make smarter, faster lending decisions.

DocMagic Inc. opened a 12,000 square-foot print fulfillment center minutes from its Torrance, California headquarters. DocMagic added the high tech “supercenter” to support lenders’ growing need for secure, compliant paper documents as the mortgage industry transitions to a 100 percent digital mortgage process. The new fulfillment center uses biometric authentication and video monitoring to provide auditable assurance that only authorized individuals access the building and specific areas within the structure. Inside, advanced technology automates nearly every step of the paper process. Once the documents are ordered, a printer automatically feeds the paper documents directly into an automated system that scans and reads the barcodes to assure that all documents are present. The documents are then inserted into envelopes, sealed and stamped—all without human intervention. The system logs and stores all actions, so lenders can review them and produce detailed information about any document’s activity, at any time. The result of this high-tech process for handling paper is a drastic reduction in the risk of errors, omissions and compromised data.

The Mortgage Collaborative has added FundingShield to its Preferred Partner network. FundingShield’s services to TMC members include, WAVs or Wire Account Verification Services, which customers can leverage wire verifications instantly from FundingShield’s proprietary dataset of over 40,000 verified settlement party wire accounts. Also offered is The Guardian Service, which is a loan closing transaction level monitoring system that provides a loan level certificate of assurance confirming good settlement, valid CPL coverage and forms, wire account confirmation, approved and authorized closing parties, licensing of agents and more on every closing.

The Mortgage Collaborative has added United Capital Markets, Inc. (UCM), an outsource provider of dynamic MSR hedging. UCM will provide TMC Lender Members strategic advice to bank-owned and private mortgage companies focusing on MSR investment strategies, balance sheet optimization and the capital stack. TMC also has added Loan Vision to its preferred partner network. Built on Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Loan Vision has transformed mortgage accounting, quickly establishing itself as the leading option for lenders looking for an industry specific, scalable financial software. With the ability to integrate directly with an organization’s LOS, Loan Vision tackles several of the most common business challenges found in mortgage bank accounting departments today. Through far greater access and visibility into loan-level and cost center performance data such as branch, LO, and product type, lenders can make far more educated decisions about the direction of their organizations.

Fundingshield operates in the mortgage market leveraging technology tools to prevent wire fraud from cyber threats and bad actors in the settlement process and provides tools to automate and manage thousands of credits, counterparty, service provider and other third-party relationships mortgage lenders, real estate firms and law firms must manage. FundingShield has been asked to join The Mortgage Collaborative. 2018 will be another breakout year of growth as it will be going into the consumer realm working to protect homebuyers’ payment security around their down payments.

Res/Title provides accurate closing cost quotes and coverage anywhere in the country without having to leave Encompass eliminating Loan Estimate variance and compliance issues. This works well for “out of area” loans as Res/Title guarantees quotes on transfer taxes, municipal recording fees, title insurance premiums and settlement agent fees.

Global DMS has integrated with Black Knight’s LoanSphere Exchange platform, an online, collaborative technology that connects more than 25,000 mortgage industry service and solution providers. This integration provides a gateway that helps support easy, secure lender access enabling lenders to order, check the status in real-time, review and upload completed appraisal files into the LOS. The bi-directional integration streamlines data exchange and facilitates ease of communication between the platforms, eliminating the re-entry of data from initial ordering through review, thus reducing errors, ensuring compliance, cutting costs and dramatically speeding up the appraisal process.

TRK Connection announced that Wisconsin-based Waterstone Mortgage Corporation has chosen the Insight Risk & Defect Management (RDM) platform to conduct its internal quality control (QC) audits. Built to be device-agnostic, Insight’s intuitive interface and sophisticated QC auditing tools streamline the loan defect management and remediation process. In addition, integrated action planning and business intelligence reporting from Tableau empower lenders to more effectively track, report and trend loan defects and proactively mitigate future risk.

LendingQB announced a new partnership with Blend. Through this partnership, Blend’s technology platform will integrate with LendingQB’s Web-based loan origination system (LOS), enabling lenders that work with LendingQB to easily deploy a digital mortgage experience for borrowers and loan officers. Blend’s digital mortgage platform completely streamlines lenders’ workflows, ensuring compliance and helping improve time-to-close metrics by providing a more accurate, holistic view of a borrower’s financial profile. In turn, borrowers receive a modern, transparent experience that allows them to complete an application from any device and get approved much more quickly.

Capital markets  

The bond markets are closed today in honor of Martin Luther King Day. If a lender accepts a rate lock today for 30 or 45 days, how can that lender hedge that lock, e.g., protect the lender from moves in interest rates today? They can’t. So, any lender taking locks today will have either estimated today’s production last Friday, and sold agency mortgage-backed securities, or make their pricing today very conservative to discourage locks. Fortunately, we have not been in a volatile rate environment.

There is no scheduled news today, and tomorrow we only have Empire Manufacturing out from New York. Wednesday things pick up with the usual MBA apps data from last week, the Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization duo, some home builder stats, and the release of the Beige Book by the Federal Reserve with a read on its 12 districts.

Thursday the 18th we’ll see weekly jobless claims, the Housing Starts and Building Permits couplet, and Philly Fed survey. Friday ends in a whimper with a collection of sentiment and expectation numbers from the University of Michigan.

Today honors the birth of Martin Luther King. But this short clip of his last speech gives you an idea as to his oratory power.

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, “Servicing: All It’s Cracked Up to Be?” If you have both the time and inclination, make a comment on what I have written, or on other comments so that folks can learn what’s going on out there from the other readers.


(Market data provided in partnership with MBS Live. For free job postings and to view candidate resumes visit LenderNews. Currently there are over 300 mortgage professionals looking for operations, secondary and management roles. For up-to-date mortgage news visit Mortgage News Daily. For archived commentaries, or to subscribe, go to www.robchrisman.com. Copyright 2018 Chrisman LLC. All rights reserved. Occasional paid job listings do appear. This report or any portion hereof may not be reprinted, sold or redistributed without the written consent of Rob Chrisman.)

Rob Chrisman