Oct. 29: Vendor products for the primary and secondary markets; Saturday Spotlight; TRUE (previously Softworks AI)

Benjamin Moore released its 2023 Color of the Year, Raspberry Blush. The saturated red-orange “enlivens our surroundings while awakening our senses with charismatic color.” Too bad that there isn’t a mortgage product with a similar description. “This bold intermediate ARM product appeals to discerning borrowers with its stable payment schedule with a small shift down the road…” Speaking of shifts, is the residential lending industry watching one unfold, summed up by this note from a veteran appraiser. “Are investors concerned about waivers and alternative valuation products that do not use an appraiser? Why is there no collective outrage on how the GSEs and others are offering products with procedures and guidelines that undermine the economy with risky products that, in the long run, are not faster, better, or cheaper?” That is a complicated situation, as it has been in the past. Investors want assurances and checks and balances, as long as they don’t have to pay for them. Fannie and Freddie are pressured by lenders to make things frictionless, and in turn lenders are pressured by borrowers for speed and ease. Lenders know that Freddie and Fannie make sure, through seller servicer reps and warrants, that the lender is fully in a position to buy loans back later on if they go bad, or even if the borrower is making their payments but something was missed during processing or underwriting.

 

Saturday Spotlight: TRUE 

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TRUE creates accurate data that powers automation

  

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)

 

TRUE uses AI to create accurate data that powers automation and optimizes every step of the lending lifecycle – without humans in the loop. It helps lenders to rapidly process loans, drastically reduce costs and risk, and radically improve the customer experience.

 

Previously Softworks AI, earlier this year we changed our name to TRUE to better reflects our values and purpose: providing the exceptionally accurate data that powers lending automation.

 

TRUE is the only vendor in our industry that operates an AI lab dedicated to lending intelligence. Our technology has one purpose: find what is true in data to make lending easier, quicker, and less costly.

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

 

TRUE is continually looking at ways to help people – through local fund raising, supporting regional charities, and lending a hand in times of crisis. Recently, TRUE held a food pantry campaign at the MBA Annual Conference in Nashville, TN. For every visitor to the TRUE booth, we donated 4 meals to the Second Harvest Food Bank. Over 700 meals were donated.

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? 

 

Our approach to employee mentoring and growth is organic and highly practical. Managers consider their colleagues as individuals, not just workers, and proactively help them to develop a rewarding career by ensuring they are constructively challenged, feel supported, and have fun.

 

It’s uncomplicated, but we believe that authenticity and communication are the backbone of personal and career growth. If something is too difficult, employees know managers will roll up their sleeves and get involved. We also conduct team building exercises and share knowledge through interactive sessions with both internal and external speakers.

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

 

TRUE has a culture of transparency and trust. Whether in the office or remote, every team member is encouraged to be open, contribute, and help fellow employees. We don’t have a mandatory work-from-office policy, but we know that collaboration improves problem solving so we encourage employees to connect – whether in the office or over video. And we make being in the office easy and fun, with paid parking, sushi on Mondays and pizza on Wednesdays.

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

  

That’s easy: we are most proud of seeing our AI transform business outcomes for our customers. AI gets a lot of hype, but our singular focus on machine learning models that turn complex data into lending intelligence means we have a clear and measurable impact.

 

TRUE customers have cut lending decision times from weeks to days, or even hours. Their operations can flex to changing demand without disruption. Borrowers have a better, faster experience. Seeing our technology help these things happen is very satisfying.

Fun fact about TRUE

We revel in ambiguity, which is not what you might expect from data geeks! The data we handle is often unstructured and incomplete, so ambiguity is inevitable. It’s both science and art to turn it into reliably accurate lending intelligence and this is the challenges that drives us. It enables us to think differently than others and stay focused on big outcomes. You could call us lending geeks: it’s become part of our DNA.

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

 

Yes, watch this video.

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

Vendors and third-party providers… who can keep track?

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Leading up to, and during, the MBA’s annual national conference, vendors were running amok offering up new products. Let’s take a random look at what they’ve been up to lately.

Lenders One® Cooperative, a national alliance of independent mortgage bankers, banks and credit unions, and managed by a subsidiary of Altisource Portfolio Solutions S.A., announced the grand opening of its first three mortgage lender in-store branch locations at select Walmart stores in Florida and New Jersey. On October 7th in Newton, NJ, Lenders One opened its first Walmart-based in-store branch location. Powered by Family First Funding, LLC, a retail mortgage lender licensed to do business in 35 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, offering high quality mortgage banking services to residential and business customers. Two additional Walmart-based in-store branch Lenders One locations will open soon, or have opened: An Orlando, FL location powered by Family First Funding and a Boonton, NJ location powered by MLB Residential Lending, LLC.

Secure Insight is proud to announce the launch of its consumer and realtor designed fraud search engine. Consumers and real estate agents can now harness the power of the SI nationwide risk database of thousands of risk-assessed attorneys, title agents, escrow officers and notaries to help them make better choices for deal partners. The searches result in a specially designed report that gives these key drivers in the closing process access to information they have not been able to receive in the past. For a limited time, these reports are FREE.

Doing more for less is important in this market. Having your team sharing daily, real-time, easy to convey market/economic insights is an ideal way to engage clients, members and partners. Mortgage Market Guide has been helping thousands of America’s top producers for over two decades. If you would like to explore MMG and options for your team, branch or enterprise, reach out to Chief Market Analyst Bill Bodnar.

Optimal Blue, a division of Black Knight, Inc. (NYSE:BKI), announced the release of CompassEdge – a revolutionary hedging and loan trading platform that is the first of its kind in the capital markets sector. The result of Optimal Blue’s multi-year effort to combine its industry-leading CompassPoint, Optimal Blue Secondary Services and Resitrader solutions, CompassEdge is uniquely designed to support the needs of every originator – regardless of range, size or type. CompassEdge merges and builds upon the strengths of each preceding solution to offer world-class analytics, ease-of-use and true best execution in one, unified platform.

MortgageFlex, one of the industry’s original mortgage technology developers and creator of the MortgageFlexONE LOS, released the industry’s first true web-based cloud servicing system built upon the most modern tech stack currently available. This second-generation servicing system platform includes the first and only bi-lingual servicing portal and mobile app.

“Mortgage servicers are looking for a modern servicing system that will allow them to comply with all regulatory requirements in a profitable manner without being locked into a long-term contract,” said Craig Bechtle, COO of MortgageFlex Systems. “Our updated system offers all the functionality the modern mortgage servicer needs without holding their data hostage, charging them additional fees for important functionality, or locking the servicer into a long, unescapable contract.” Learn more about this advanced servicing platform on the MortgageFlex website.

Tavant announced an integration with Experian’s Enhanced Instant Form Fill for Mortgage with Tavants’ FinXperience, its intuitive platform of point-of-sale experiences, and FinConnect, Tavant’s intelligent lending data and enterprise mortgage services integration hub. Both are VΞLOX products and implementable across all lending channels, including retail, wholesale, and others. These integrations will allow lenders to increase automation, reduce manual data entry, decrease their time to completion and improve the overall application conversion rate providing their borrowers with more elegant and comfortable user journeys. Lenders, with the consumers permission, are able to automate data entry and prefill borrower information on the Uniform Residential Loan Application (URLA) thereby providing a more simple and seamless experience for borrowers and loan officers.

Big Purple Dot, provider of an ecosystem of mortgage marketing technologies has tapped CoreLogic® to launch a mortgage recruiting platform that provides detailed production data on loan originators (LOs) and a customer relationship management (CRM) service to help lenders in their recruiting efforts. “Our new product performs a deep dive into each loan originator’s production metrics, providing unrivaled mortgage insight and technology to help loan originators not only hire but to also effectively forecast and operate their business,” Big Purple Dot CEO Roxana Davidoff said. According to Big Purple Dot, an independent mortgage banker has already used the platform to recruit originators and has since generated an additional $450 million in volume from those originators. The mortgage banker used a single text message CRM campaign.

ACES Quality Management® (ACES), the leading provider of enterprise quality management and control software for the financial services industry, announced that mortgage lending and servicing start-up Valon has selected ACES’ flagship audit platform ACES Quality Management & Control® Software to support the company’s mortgage servicing quality control (QC) audits, completing implementation within 28 business days. Unique only to ACES, its Flexible Audit Technology® gives independent mortgage lenders and financial institutions the ability to easily manage and customize ACES to meet their business needs without having to rely on IT or other outside resources. For more information, visit www.acesquality.com or call 1-800-858-1598.

OptifiNow, a provider of custom CRM solutions for the mortgage industry, announced the release of OptifiNow TPO, a ready-made version of their sales and marketing platform designed for wholesale and TPO lenders that include an array of features that makes it easy for wholesale lenders. Providing a CRM that works the way they work to accelerate their sales and marketing process. Account Classification is one example of OptifiNow TPO’s dynamic processes, which tracks loan submission dates from an LOS to rate the overall performance of broker accounts. Using this feature, account executives and sales teams know exactly where their efforts will lead to increased submission volume instead of wasting time on accounts that are already submitting loans.

 

MISMO®, the real estate finance industry standards organization, announced the release of an enhancement to the Industry Loan Application Dataset (iLAD), an industry standard for the exchange of loan application information. The iLAD 2.2.0 dataset has achieved “Candidate Recommendation” status, which means it has been thoroughly reviewed by a wide range of organizations and industry participants and is available for use across the industry.  The most recent version of the iLAD was updated to include the new USDA Guaranteed Underwriting System (GUS) Specification which is based on MISMO’s v3.4 Reference Model. As a result, new data points and enumerated values were added to better support evolving industry loan origination and underwriting business processes.

 

I’m excited to share an opportunity regarding the Knowledge Coop’s new membership platform. The Knowledge Coop offers all state and federal Continuing Education courses in an engaging and exciting video format that you’re sure to actually enjoy. Want to give yourself a sharper competitive edge? They also offer in-depth training on specific topics like VA Loans and FHA within their Coop Academy. Get access to industry experts and connect with other mortgage professionals all in one space. Use Code Chrisman10 for 10% off your first year of membership at trythecoop.com.

In this episode of SitusAMC’s “In Conversation” podcast, Justin Vedder talks with Rob Chrisman of the Chrisman Commentary about the latest market and economic trends and the impact on origination, securitization, secondary market activity, servicing and asset management, and mortgage insurance products. Rob shares his outlook and timetable for when he expects the market to normalize.

 

Real Estate Connection (REC) has launched REC Connect, an end-to-end Software as a Service (SaaS) Relator Management Software solution that enables Lenders to take control of their purchase pipeline by connecting Buyers leads or pre-approved buyers with Local Agents that work in a team-like fashion with the mortgage company during the home purchase process. Incorporating all aspects of Realtor Assignments, Coverage Areas, Realtor Updates, Milestone Tracking & Pipeline Status, and facilitates group Communication between Loan Officers and Realtors. Through one platform, REC Connect seamlessly integrates with leading Point of Sale (POS) or Customer Relationship Management systems (CRMs) to achieve increased efficiency, higher retention, and consistent process between the lender, buyer, and realtor.

(In keeping with Halloween-themed subject matter…)

A father told his three sons when he sent them to the university: “I feel it’s my duty to provide you with the best possible education, and you do not owe me anything for that. But I want you to appreciate it. As a token, please each put $1,000 into my coffin when I die.”

And so it happened. The sons became a doctor, a lawyer, and a financial planner, each very successful financially.

When they saw their father in the coffin after his death, they remembered his wish.

First it was the doctor who put ten $100 bills onto the chest of the deceased.

Then came the financial planner, who put a twenty $50 bills in there, too.

Finally, it was the heartbroken lawyer’s turn. He dipped into his pocket, took out his checkbook, wrote a check for $3,000.

He put it into his father’s coffin and took the $2,000 cash.

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. Secondary Marketing: What They Do All Day” is the current blog. 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.)

Rob Chrisman