Mar. 11: Mortgage jobs & new products; cavalcade of vendor updates; rates right back to last week’s levels

Most mortgage bankers know that if they’re attacked by a mob of clowns to go for the juggler.” And most mortgage bankers know whether or not the communities in which they lend are expensive or not. In late February yet another list of the most expensive places to live in the U.S. came out – heck, San Francisco barely made it. Builders are attracted to expensive places, and Zelman and Associates published its January Homebuilding Survey, indicating that 2015 is off to a strong start. Order growth increased 32% year over year, bumping 2015 first quarter order growth to 21%. The homebuilding survey increased to 60.5 from 58.4 in December, reaching its highest level since June of 2014. Traffic metrics have shown the strongest improvement in three years, and improved year over year surpassing builder expectations. About 45% of respondents said they reported better than expected traffic in January, and website traffic was up 19% year over year. Prices have also increased 4% YoY and a 4.3% increase is expected over the next year. For more information, contact Ivy at


There is a unique opportunity out there for 3 qualified individuals. “A sales-focused and culturally sound regional lender is looking to continue its growth by adding hubs in the southwest, southeast and Great Plains regions and is a unique offering unlike any other you have probably heard for many reasons. It will allow the right existing staff to remain intact for both production and operations while offering the Regional Manager an opportunity for corporate profit sharing and a seat on the company Board of Directors. The right cultural fit is more important than any other factor. Aggressive compensation, corporate influence and an opportunity to work in a team first culture have made this offering very attractive to large branches or midsized companies in the past.” Contact Tom Dolan to find out more.


On the vendor side of things, ServiceLink, a leading national provider of transaction services to the mortgage and finance industries, offers ClosingStream an advanced electronic closing platform that will help lenders meet delivery requirements for the updated Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures Rule (TRID), which becomes effective August 1, 2015. “The ClosingStream Platform streamlines the delivery of necessary Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure documents to consumers within the designated timeframes. This online delivery solution saves up to four days over the traditional mail-away disclosure process, and allows consumers to approve the documents upon receipt. ClosingStream also gives borrowers the ability to access, pre-review, and eSign certain loan documents prior to the closing date, from anywhere, at any time, shortening the amount of effort and time required of the borrower on the day of closing. “ClosingStream is an established document delivery solution that has been used to deliver over 2.75 million documents and conduct more than 65,000 electronic closings,” said Al Verkuylen, executive vice president of title and escrow strategy at ServiceLink. For further details, view the ClosingStream informational video on You Tube or contact ServiceLink to schedule a demo.


Check out Roadrunner Solutions exciting free service to help you connect your pre-approved borrowers with local Real Estate professionals that will reinforce your relationship with the borrower. “Roadrunner has a large network of Realtors that will respect the relationship between the LO and their borrower. Roadrunner will improve your closure rate and help deliver the high level of customer service required for the purchase money borrower. If you are a Call Center LO, run a Call Center Platform, originate loans outside of your local area, or just struggle to find quality Realtors, Roadrunner is a great service for you to try with no fees or any cost to the borrower.  Roadrunner has also added website design and support to their product offering. If you would like to find out more e-mail us.”


What else has been happening in the vendor arena? Lender use of vendors has been on the rise for quite some time in order to lower fixed costs. Let’s check on some random developments from the last several weeks. These are quotes from the releases and are in no way a recommendation or promotion.


Appraisal Scope Appraisal Management Platform integrated with Platinum Data’s RealView Appraisal Quality Technology Integration provides Appraisal Scope users with single-click access to the best tool for passing Collateral Underwriter’s scrutiny on the first try, according to Platinum Data’s CEO. Appraisal quality and compliance are two of the mortgage industry’s biggest issues. The focus is on making quality and compliance a given for every appraisal run through the Appraisal Scope system. (For more information, email


Platinum Data Solutions has updated, the industry’s first cost-free automated appraisal quality technology designed specifically for residential real estate appraisers. Starting January 26, 2015, Free Appraisal Review automatically screens for Collateral Underwriter’s findings, including 17 of its 21 “hard stops.” The remaining four of the 21 “hard stop” findings are based on proprietary information held by Fannie Mae’s Collateral Underwriter. Platinum Data’s RealView lender- and AMC-specific appraisal QC technology will also automatically screen for Collateral Underwriter’s findings, including the same 17 “hard stops.” RealView can also be configured to automatically screen for the four remaining findings in a matter of minutes. It takes only a few seconds to screen appraisals for the most common issues that cause lenders to return appraisals to appraisers, and relay its findings to users in an easy-to-understand online report.


Alight, a provider of financial optimization solutions and iEmergent, a provider of mortgage market forecast and analytics, announced a partnership to bring new solutions to the mortgage industry.


Down Payment Resource announced a collaboration with Bank of America Home Loan. This new tool is designed to help its mortgage loan officers (MLOs) identify down payment and closing cost programs for which homebuyers may be eligible. Bank of America’s Down Payment Resource Center will allow consumers and the company’s MLOs to search across all Bank of America-approved homeownership programs. To learn more about programs in their area, prospective homebuyers can visit the Bank of America resource center.


Validox (compliance documentation services), has announced that it will offer all lenders and AMC’s free USPAP reviews of all appraisers on their appraiser panels. This approach will give lenders, banks, credit unions and AMC’s no-cost access to critical appraiser compliance documentation required by the CFPB, OCC, FDIC, FRB, NCUA, FFIEC, FNMA, HUD and state appraiser boards and eliminate the cost and overwhelming task of putting together compliance documentation. The Validox system also offers the essential benefits of document consistency and uniformity that regulators want. Auditor information requests can be quickly grouped and sent in a single email with a direct link to the requested information in Validox. Appraisers who are participating in Validox are joining with Validox to bring a single cost effective solution that will be beneficial to their specific clients, and all other clients they may have in the future.


Ellie Mae announced the release of AllRegs Market Clarity 3.0, a new version of its business information tool featuring new search functions and improved navigation. The new version includes a powerful new user interface that lets users compare and contrast more than 3,000 loan products from 95 different investors, giving them better insight on the differences between products and investors. Market Clarity is a business information tool for the mortgage banking industry that helps lenders and investors manage risk, identify market opportunities and maintain a competitive edge. The tool is web-based and features product templates and detailed investor guidelines. In addition to a more streamlined, intuitive user interface and the new loan product overlay search tool, Market Clarity 3.0 now lets users track changes to loan product guidelines over time. This allows lenders in particular to stay up to date with ever-changing requirements and underwrite loans correctly based on real-time information. For more information regarding Market Clarity, visit the allregs website.


Form Free received official notice that Wells Fargo has approved AccountChek (a FormFree product) for ALL loan types (FHA, VA, Conventional, Non-Conventional, Jumbo etc.) across all channels (correspondent and retail). The Wells Fargo announcement completes the trifecta for Investors including Freddie and Fannie.


VirPack announced that BofI Federal Bank has selected and deployed VirPack’s Document Management and Delivery System. BofI Federal Bank is a nationwide bank that provides financing for single and multifamily residential properties. Brian Swanson, executive vice president and chief lending officer for BofI Federal Bank stated “We’ve leverage this technology because of the advanced, intuitive features that speed up and improve processes. These capabilities mean we’ve been able to avoid the delays that have afflicted many lenders because of new regulations, swollen loan files, and reduced staff levels.” Among the reasons BofI selected VirPack was to be able to annotate documents digitally and without having to print them out. Borrowers will have access to electronic signature technology and that will speed the origination process, make it more accurate, efficient, mobile and less expensive. Also, DMDS enables BofI to electronically recognize and index documents without manual intervention, a feature that reduces the labor and time it takes to identify and file document images by an average of 85-95% per lender.


Accurate Group, a provider of real estate appraisal, title and compliance services, has introduced its EquityClear solution. EquityClear is designed to help lenders streamline and accelerate title and lien clearance to produce more accurate, actionable title data for home equity loans. With EquityClear, Accurate Group facilitates the title search, automates the review of lien and vesting history using both public and non-public data sources, and provides a more accurate and useful title report to the lender. Benefits to lenders include greater efficiency, reduced expense and burden on loan officers and underwriting teams and better decisions on borrower qualification. EquityClear also enables lenders to reduce overall risk by ensuring a standardized process is applied to every loan and that liens are reviewed and cleared by a fully qualified, neutral third party. Borrowers benefit from less documentation and faster loan closings.


Accurate Group announced support for Fannie Mae Collateral Underwriter (CU) in the form of enhanced appraisal processes, updates to its Valuation Compliance Report and comprehensive training and certification of its appraisal review team. In addition, the company has enhanced its proprietary Accurate VCR (Valuation Compliance Report) product to include new rules necessary to ensure all hard stop proprietary messages are addressed.


LendersOne recently announced the selection of Optimal Blue, a cloud-based provider of enterprise lending solutions to the mortgage industry as a new preferred vendor. “LendersOne is focused on delivering opportunities for our members to be innovative in the communities they originate in and with the borrowers they serve. Optimal Blue fulfills that with its highly-regarded suite of technology offerings that’s been proven to simplify the origination process for borrowers and help attract more customers,” said Jeff McGuiness, CEO of LendersOne. Click the link to view its press-release.


a la mode’s Mercury Network and Platinum Data Solutions have announced an agreement to integrate Platinum Data’s RealView appraisal quality tool into Mercury Network’s Appraisal Quality Management (AQM) system. “This integration gives Mercury Network’s users more options to keep pace with the new quality control requirements,” said Phil Huff, CEO of Platinum Data. “Smart lenders know that if GSEs are using their technology to QC appraisals, they had better follow suit.”


Hey, nice rally in bond prices yesterday! Heck, most Treasury prices improved to pre-February employment report levels, as U.S. equity losses and declining yields in Europe encouraged investors to seek safety and yield in U.S. governments, and agency MBS prices tagged along for the ride. Supposedly the European Central Bank’s quantitative easing program had not been properly priced into European sovereign yields, and even yields in France and Germany have fallen dramatically over the past two days. In fact negative nominal yields prevail in all German debt maturities up to 7 years! And the U.S. dollar rose against every other major except for the Yen as negative yields in Europe prompted investors to eschew their euro for dollars and commodity prices declined.


Yup – with no news here we’re focused on overseas news, and the Euro is plunging. For numbers we closed the 10-yr. Tuesday at 2.13% and this morning we’re at 2.14% with agency MBS prices roughly unchanged.



Part 3 of 4 of “Most of our generation was HOME SCHOOLED but we did not know it at the time.”

  1. My mother taught me about WEATHER.

“This room of yours looks as if a tornado went through it.”

  1. My mother taught me about HYPOCRISY.

“If I told you once, I’ve told you a million times. Don’t exaggerate!”

  1. My father taught me the CIRCLE OF LIFE.

“I brought you into this world, and I can take you out…” (Editor’s note: I sure heard that one.)

  1. My mother taught me about BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION.

“Stop acting like your father!”

  1. My mother taught me about ENVY.

“There are millions of less fortunate children in this world who don’t have wonderful parents like you do.”

  1. My mother taught me about ANTICIPATION.

“Just wait until we get home.”

  1. My mother taught me about RECEIVING.

“You are going to get it from your father when you get home!”





(Copyright 2015 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