June 4: Vendor news runs the gamut incl. ownership changes; using prequals to predict volume; Saturday Spotlight: Indecomm
There are 7,000 languages in the world, give or take a few hundred. I mention this because a) one of the vendors below is supplying mortgage documents in different languages, b) the joke today is about fun twists on language, and c) there are 195 countries, which works out to about 35 languages per country. (The United States, by the way, does not have an official language.) Communication and understanding what is to be communicated is critical. So here’s a side bar conversation since it’s Saturday. I have this problem a lot these days, especially on airplanes. I assumed my hearing was going, but it turns out I am not alone: Here’s Why Movie Dialogue has Gotten More Difficult to Understand and Three Ways to Fix It. That aside, a recent Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA, which oversees Freddie and Fannie) memo mandates that lenders use the Supplemental Consumer Information Form (SCIF) in order for those loans to be eligible for sale to Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae. More paperwork! And you always wondered what linguistic majors in college would do for a living… hopefully not become expert witnesses in cases involving something that was translated incorrectly on a legal document.
Saturday Spotlight: Indecomm
Indecomm delivers a borrower experience that is an automated, connected mortgage operation.
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).
Founded more than 25 years ago, Indecomm exists to help mortgage businesses better respond to market cycles and gain control over costs. Backed by a 1500-strong global workforce, Indecomm blends intelligent automation with deep mortgage banking expertise to streamline processes and simplify complex mortgage analyses such as income calculation, mortgage underwriting, quality control, and document management. Indecomm has grown its client base to more than 200+ clients and continues to launch new products to meet client demand for greater efficiencies.
Tell us about what type of volunteer work employees are encouraged to engage in, or charities your company supports, and why.
Indecomm supports causes and organizations that help build better communities, including helping orphaned children and the underserved. Indecomm’s “We Care to Share,” “Mission Smiles” and various other programs support a wide range of initiatives such as food drives, serving lunch, donating clothes, supporting flood victims, blood donation camps, school supply drives, undertaking renovation work at certain orphanages, providing groceries, medicines to some of the orphan childcare centers in and around the cities we operate, and sponsoring education for orphaned children. Indecomm also donates to various non-profit organizations.
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?
Indecomm believes in providing equal employment and advancement opportunities to all individuals based on merit, qualifications, and abilities. Through our Indecomm University program, we hire, train, and educate new graduates in mortgage processes, technology, operations, and automation. This program gives aspiring new professionals the opportunity to gain the knowledge and experience required to advance in the BFSI and fintech sectors. In addition to our internal training program, Indecomm also gives its employees the opportunity to get industry certifications in mortgage banking and pursue specialized training in areas such as RPA, machine learning, and leadership programs.
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.
Indecomm promotes a culture of transparency and innovation. Irrespective of geography or work location, our teams are obsessed with innovating high-impact solutions. Depending on the role, our work environments range from on-site, hybrid, and remote. When in-person collaboration will yield the greatest results, an in-person structure is utilized. Indecomm’s US offices are located New Jersey, North Carolina, and Minnesota where we have a very large mortgage document management hub. Additionally, we have offices in Salem and Bengaluru, India. A significant number of Indecomm product team members work virtually, leveraging collaboration, virtual meetings, and project management tools to align on the product vision and strengthen the innovation mindset.
To ensure engagement across the company, Indecomm’s HR leadership hosts various in-person and virtual events to celebrate team efforts, women leaders, and holiday seasons. The company hosts various health and wellness events such as laughter therapy, financial wellness, and yoga!
Things you are most proud of that don’t have to do with sales.
Indecomm is proud of our company culture which encourages open communication and discussion among and between all levels of the organization concerning any matter of importance to an employee. Our innovation success is a direct result of Indecomm’s open communication strategy, which is augmented by our incredibly diverse talent. The combination of transparency, innovation, and diversity leads to out-of-the-box thinking, healthy debate, and ultimately, product excellence!
(For more information on having your firm’s extracurricular activities, employee growth, and your charitable side featured, contact Chrisman LLC’s Anjelica Nixt.)
Patrick O’Brien with LenderLogix sent, “An interesting topic of conversation that we’ve been having with our lender clients is their ability (or inability) to forecast purchase volume based on their pre-qualification activity. What we find is that most lenders attempt to forecast purchase volume based on the number of credit reports they run over a certain period of time. This of course ends up being a poor indicator, as obviously not every credit report results in a pre-qualified borrower. In fact, most lenders don’t even have a mechanism to measure the number of active pre-qualified prospects they have out looking for homes.
“While most mortgage executives could quickly tell how you many applications or closings they have year-to-date down to the individual loan officer, they couldn’t say how many pre-qualified borrowers they have out on the street. And while they could tell you what a loan officer’s “application to close” pull-thru rate is, they couldn’t tell you what a loan officer’s “pre-qual to-application” conversion rate is.
“Over the last several years this hasn’t been a problem as the unending stream of applicants poured in, however as the number of prospects sharply contracts, successful lenders will be keeping careful watch of how well their loan officers convert precious leads to pre-quals, and pre-quals to applications.
“Why that interests us so much at LenderLogix is that technology plays a key role in keeping the prospect engaged throughout the entire pre-qual process. Do you think America’s largest lender just emails pre-qual letters as attachments to borrowers and hopes the borrower calls them back when they find a house? Not a chance. They OBSESS over keeping that borrower engaged in THEIR ecosystem until that borrower finds a house.
“In light of that, some key questions lenders should be asking themselves: How many active pre-quals do you have outstanding right now? On average, how many of your pre-qualified borrowers end up applying with you? How are those borrowers calculating mortgage payments on houses they’re looking at? How are your loan officers following up on pre-qualifications that are set to expire? If you don’t know the answers to those questions, it’s 2022 and it’s time to find out.” Thank you, Patrick!
Vendors & products
Third party providers are busy out there, trying to help lenders in compliant, cost-effective ways that communicate with a lender’s existing systems. Let’s check in with a random sample! In no particular order…
MCM has just updated its cloud-based Hedge CommanderTM software to provide mortgage bankers with enhanced tools and systems for the pricing, hedging and origination of loans through long-term float down commitments with rate & point caps. Put another way, MCM’s blog addresses its Hedge Commander and its been updated for long-term float down locks (mortcap.com).
The Mortgage Collaborative (TMC), the nation’s largest and only independent cooperative network, added 10 new lender members in May for its second-best new member month in the 8-year history as an organization. TMC also announced the release of the agenda and the open of registration for its next member conference, scheduled for Sept 25-27, 2022, in Chicago, where 600+ attendees are expected. And then TMC will be in San Diego March 5-7, 2023, for its subsequent bi-annual member event.
Founder Chris Bennett tells me Vice Capital Markets will be becoming an employee-owned company later this year. As Chris put it, “I really love what I do, and want it keep doing it forever, but frankly most of what we’ve built in the last decade or more has been the work of other great people here. It’s high time they all had the opportunity to become owners as well.”
Limited English Proficiency (LEP) technology provider Talk’uments now offers digital language services to mortgage lenders in English, Spanish and Mandarin (Chinese), and is promising to introduce services in Vietnamese, Korean and Tagalog by the end of the year. The offerings were announced only days after a recent Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) mandate that lenders use the Supplemental Consumer Information Form (SCIF) in order for those loans to be eligible for sale to Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae. The purpose of the SCIF is to collect information about a borrower’s language preference as well as any homebuyer education or housing counseling the borrower received, so lenders can better understand borrower needs during the home buying process. Lenders will be required to adopt these changes and reporting requirements for loans with application dates on or after March 1, 2023, in order for the loans to qualify for sale to the GSEs. The new FHFA requirement is reminiscent of plans to require a language preference question on the redesigned Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Uniform Residential Loan Application (URLA), which were eventually nixed by the Trump Administration.
Join Lenders One at Secondary and Capital Markets Basecamp in Charlotte, 7/21. Networking opportunities are a pillar of Lenders One benefits, and next week’s Executive Roundtable in Boston is sold out! The next opportunity to gather with your peers and is July 12 at the L1 Basecamp at the Whitewater Center in Charlotte, NC. A unique members-only event, this Basecamp is focused on Secondary and Capital Markets and features Rob Chrisman as the Keynote Speaker. You’ll have the opportunity to network with your likeminded industry leaders, learn about industry trends and participate in activities at the Whitewater Center. If you are a current member, reserve your seats today! Early Bird pricing ends on Thursday, 6/9. If you are interested in how Lenders One membership can benefit your business, contact Tricia Migliazzo to learn more.
Insellerate rolled out a mobile app for TPO for AE outreach, available on both Apple and Android. “In today’s constantly changing lending environment, providing tools that allow your AEs to deliver a superior experience for your TPO channel through timely and relevant content is critical. This app delivers full AE Communication Management, Lead & pipeline management, Lead Distribution, Click To Call, Inbound Call Routing, Two-Way Compliant Texting, Content Distribution, and Outreach tracking. (Schedule your demo today https://calendly.com/tristan-insellerate/30min.)
Partners Credit’s Score Protection tool, used to protect your borrower’s credit scores, and potentially save your loan in the process, continues to satisfy clients. “Following the completion of a bureau tradeline update, Partners Score Protection allows users to merge scores across different credit reports, pulled for the same borrower. Reports pulled within 30 days of each other can be merged with this game-changing new tool at a click of a button. Avoiding hard inquiries for unnecessary additional pulls can help avoid drops in credit scores that can impact your borrower and change the direction of the loan.” (Contact the team with questions.)
Andrew Liput, CEO of Secure Insight warns, “When business is down, fraud rises. Lenders are seven-times more likely to experience a fraud loss when there is a downturn in the market such as the one we are experiencing now. While lenders are struggling to generate more business, criminals are looking for ways to steal their assets. In this period of uncertainty even one fraud loss can cripple a lender’s cash flow and jeopardize their warehouse and investor relationships. Now is not the time to be less diligent but more vigilant. Watch your originations, especially brokered loans. Don’t turn off fraud protections services, turn them up.”
FirstClose, Inc, provider of underwriting workflow automation technology, point-of-sale software, and data services for the U.S. home equity and mortgage markets, closed a $35 million investment from growth equity firm Lateral Investment Management. FirstClose will use the funds to expand its ever-growing financial services footprint to leverage property data intelligence, industry-leading partners, and groundbreaking technology to enable lenders to compete for and close consumer loans unlike any other solution in the industry.
As inflation rises exponentially, higher interest rates are increasing costs for major purchases. The necessity of rapid approval and accuracy in credit verification, or lack thereof, can make a difference in loan terms and affordability. Truework, a one-stop income and employment verification company, has partnered with Plaid on its Plaid Income product providing applicants with improved accuracy, security and speed during the loan application process. Applicants can instantly share their income and employment information with approved lenders digitally for faster approvals.
Direct lender Geneva Financial introduced the rollout of LockAssure™, a program that extends the lock on an interest rate for up to a full 90 days to provide the opportunity and support for their borrowers battling low inventory and bidding wars in today’s real estate market. The program also provides a fully underwritten pre-approval with the property address to be determined (TBD) lending additional power over traditional pre-qualifications when presenting an offer.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued an Interpretive Rule to clarity the scope of State enforcement under Section 1042 and related provisions of the Consumer Financial Protection Act (CFPA). Black, Mann & Graham LLP posted the full memorandum.
And the CFPB issued Circular 2022-03 that explains a creditor’s responsibility to comply with ECOA’s requirement to provide a statement of specific reasons when adverse action is taken against an applicant based on complex algorithms. The full memorandum is available on the Black, Mann & Graham LLP site.
There were three Indian squaws. (Just go with it.)
One slept on a deer skin, one slept on an elk skin, and the third slept on a hippopotamus skin. All three became pregnant.
The first two each had a baby boy.
The one who slept on the hippopotamus skin had twin boys.
This just goes to prove that … the squaw of the hippopotamus is equal to the sons of the squaws of the other two hides.
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