Sep. 2: Homeownership over time; vendor news & products in the primary and secondary markets

As plenty of folks morn the loss of Jimmy Buffett, given that “Margaritaville” was released 45 years ago we are once again reminded that time flies and it is good to keep things in perspective. For example, the Federal Reserve of St. Louis gives us home ownership throughout the years, through various presidential administrations and economic climates. (That is certainly an odd 2020 blip.) The white homeownership rate stands at 74%. Conversely, the homeownership rate for the Asian population is 62%, 50% for Hispanics, and 46% for Black households. (Stats often show Hispanic as a racial group, although this is technically not a race, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.) It makes little sense for lenders not to address this. As part of a recent Fannie Mae National Housing Survey® (NHS) special topic analysis, its Economic & Strategic Research (ESR) Group surveyed renters and homeowners to see how work and housing preferences have evolved since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Leaving the questions unchanged over time to monitor people’s viewpoints, in a new Perspectives blog, Mark Palim, Deputy Chief Economist, and Rachel Zimmerman, NHS Lead, discuss the results and the possible implications for the housing market.

Vendors and third-party providers

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Keeping on with the passing of time theme, over the years we have certainly seen components of loan manufacturing at many lenders shift to outside providers of services. For many things, investors like seeing the (hopefully) impartialness of things like appraisals, credit reporting, and verification. Let’s take a random look at who’s doing what. Dozens of companies are doing all kinds of things in the primary and secondary markets.

Westlake Origination Center is turning leads into sales for mortgage companies and creating a buzz among loan officers struggling to find new clients on their own with little success. WOC creates exclusive leads using custom tailored data algorithms and verified fail-proof tactics to identify and engage with targeted clients, ensuring a steady stream of high-potential leads for businesses. Every exclusive live transfer is a potential client that is qualified and truly looking to buy a home in the LO’s specific area! With a combined 30 years in the industry, WOC’s team works closely with clients to ensure leads convert to sales. Seasoned LOs are currently at a 62 percent application rate after the initial call from a generated WOC live transfer. “Our platform is the result of years of research and development and is designed to be flexible and scalable, so it can adapt to the changing needs of our clients,” said EVP Matt Matsuda. “This has proven to be a game-changer for businesses looking to sell and succeed in today’s highly competitive marketplace.” Connect with Justin Clark at Westlake Origination Center to capture your market share.

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Gallus, the ‘New Kids on the Block’ of the mortgage industry, are revolutionizing Business Intelligence with its cutting-edge solutions. Powered by AWS and Snowflake, Gallus empowers mortgage lenders and servicers to unleash the full potential of their data. But what sets Gallus apart is its user-friendly approach: if you can use Google, you can use Gallus. Watch this quick video to see how effortlessly it works. Moreover, Gallus has just released their highly anticipated second version of the HMDA tool, now equipped with comprehensive 2022 data. Experience the unparalleled power of Gallus by scheduling a call with their Co-founder and CEO, Augie Del Rio. Discover how Gallus can transform your financial results by seamlessly turning data into actionable intelligence.

Snapdocs, the mortgage industry’s leading digital closing provider, has launched Connected Closings, a first-of-its-kind integration between the Snapdocs Digital Closing and Notary Scheduling platforms. With Connected Closings, Snapdocs customers reduce closing times by at least a day and a half, settlement companies return scanbacks two-times faster by eliminating manual tasks, and borrowers electronically sign documents prior to the closing appointment more than 90% of the time. Snapdocs lender and settlement customers using Connected Closings include The Federal Savings Bank and BCHH, a leading provider of real estate title and closing nationwide.

Tavant, Silicon Valley’s leading digital lending solutions provider, announced Arc Home LLC, a leading Non-QM and Non-Agency Wholesale and Correspondent lender, has successfully launched a new Broker platform: SPARC 2.0. Leveraging Tavant’s Touchless Lending® Broker Experience platform, Arc Home now provides a fully automated, frictionless experience for its broker clients and the lending tools they need to be self-sufficient and effectively satisfy borrower expectations. Providing a full assortment of proprietary Non-QM and Non-Agency mortgage solutions and products, Arch Home’s partnership with Tavant provides a fully automated lending process, including integrated third-party services and data-driven processes to ensure a more intuitive experience for brokers, boosting productivity and reducing loan cycle times.

Demand for home equity loans has risen significantly over the last year as an alternative to cash out refinances and with homeowners looking to take advantage of historic levels of equity in their properties. Clear Capital’s ClearAVM™, a nationwide automated valuation model (AVM) that provides accurate estimates of market value for millions of properties, has been integrated with BeSmartee’s Mortgage POS and HELOC product to provide users with value verification during the initial application and/or underwriting process on mortgage and home equity loans. This unique combination streamlines closing, while providing lenders with earlier access to leading property analytics.

LenderLogix, a leading provider of mortgage point-of-sale and automation software for banks, credit unions, independent mortgage banks, and brokers, announced the latest release of the Homebuyer Intelligence Report, a quarterly summary of insights into borrower behavior during the home buying process based on data collected by the LenderLogix suite of tools. The latest report covers data collected during the pre-approval and borrower application process during the second quarter (Q2) of 2023.

The Community Home Lenders of America (CHLA) submitted comments in response to the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) designating non-bank financial companies as systemically important financial institutions (SIFI). In its comments, CHLA emphasized that labeling any small to mid-sized servicers as SIFI would be inappropriate as they clearly do not pose any systemic risk as mortgage loan originators. CHLA also referenced a report they released in March, “CHLA Report on Regulatory Creep” which rebuffed the myth that IMBs are risky and unregulated and explained why small and mid-sized IMBs pose zero taxpayer or financial risk.

docutech’s 07.25.23 Document Update, North Dakota Money Broker Contract updated to North Dakota Money Broker/Residential Mortgage Lender Contract, effective August 1, 2023.

According to Md. Code Ann., Real Property § 4-106(a), mortgages and deed of trusts are not considered valid (except as between the parties) unless the instrument contains an oath or affirmation as to the consideration. Additionally, section (b)(1) requires purchase money mortgages or deed of trusts to have an affidavit of disbursement. Read docutech’s 7.7.23 Document Update for more information.

View docutech Document Update 7.13.23 Global Mapping: Print Supplemental Consumer Information Form (SCIF) for FHA loans for information on FHA’s required use of the Supplemental Consumer Information Form (SCIF, Form 1103) for mortgage applications dated on or after August 28, 2023.

After legal review of Second Mortgage and HELOC documents, docutech decidedly updated associated documents.

Mobility Market Intelligence (MMI), a leader in data intelligence and market insight tools for the mortgage and real estate industries, announced its acquisition of relationship management and mortgage marketing platform provider Bonzo. Founded by former mortgage professionals keenly aware of industry pain points, Bonzo, a reimagined CRM platform for modern mortgage advisors and real estate agents, combines all the tools necessary to acquire, convert and retain clients with a simple, easy-to-use interface that enables loan officers and agents to authentically and efficiently engage with clients and prospects.

New American Funding is partnering with luxury global real estate brokerage The Agency to serve the unique needs of The Agency’s clientele. Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2023, New American Funding is the largest Hispanic-owned mortgage lender in the U.S. The Agency is recognized as one of the fastest-growing luxury boutique brokerages in the world. The Agency has a renowned brand that is featured on international television shows including Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, and Buying Beverly Hills.

With the acquisition of Brace, a fintech company reshaping the digital and remote collaboration for lending and real estate, Stavvy, can now offer homeowners long-sought self-service capabilities that servicers, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and other industry stakeholders have advocated for over the past several years. This not only streamlines servicers’ fragmented workflow but also brings transparency and empowerment to the servicing process for homeowners.

Leading Credit Union Service Organization (CUSO) and wholly owned by Wright-Patt Credit Union, myCUmortgage announced it has partnered with five credit unions from across the United States to empower them in becoming great mortgage lenders. The five credit unions partnering with myCUmortgage in the first half of 2023 include: Adventure Credit Union – Grand Rapids, Mich., Circle Federal Credit Union – Niles, Mich., Members First Credit Union of Florida – Pensacola, Fla., Patelco Credit Union – Dublin, Calif., and Wauna Credit Union – Clatskanie, Ore. Combined, these new partnerships represent 546,371 credit union members and $2.14 billion in assets.

Former Senior CFPB Attorney, Colgate Selden and Top Industry General Counsel, Alan Lindeke announced that they have formed a new law firm, SeldenLindeke LLP, that will cater to the regulatory, transactional, enforcement defense and litigation needs of financial and technology clients nationwide. With offices in Washington, DC and Orange County, California, the firm’s practice will focus on all aspects of federal and state regulatory and licensing laws applicable to consumer and mortgage lending and capital markets clients, including banks, lenders, credit unions, CDFIs, settlement service providers, fintechs, blockchain developers, servicers, technology vendors, investors, and secondary market participants. For more information, email inquiries@seldenlindeke.com or call (888) 854-4244.

Restb.ai, a global leader in artificial intelligence (AI) and computer vision solutions for the real estate industry, announced a strategic partnership with Bradford Technologies, a pioneer in providing innovative solutions for Valuation Professionals. As part of the partnership, Restb.ai’s advanced computer vision and machine learning technology will be integrated into Bradford Technologies’ report quality control processes. Marking a significant step in the enhancement of appraisal modernization, integrating Restb.ai’s cutting-edge AI technology with Bradford’s solutions aims to automate and bolster quality control processes, including detecting image issues such as out-of-focus images and other problematic content.

Restb.ai unveiled its innovative Valuation Product Suite at the 20th Annual Valuation Expo, “Restb.ai is leveraging its deep expertise in the use of computer vision in real estate to pioneer a valuation suite of solutions designed to expedite the modernization of property appraisals. It encompasses advanced Restb.ai technology for Comparable Properties, Data Collection, Form Pre-Population/Validation, and Restb.ai’s proprietary Appraisal Complexity Score. Restb.ai’s latest venture dovetails with a significant shift by Fannie Mae, which now evaluates photos for condition and has been rejecting appraisals when comparables are used without the appropriate adjustments.”

Mortgage Automation Technologies (MAT), a technology company that has developed The BIG Point of Sale, a next-generation web point of sale system, announced that their system is successfully integrated with Halcyon, an innovative technology company specializing in advanced IRS Tax data integrations. Built on the latest loan origination system APIs, this collaboration leverages Halcyon’s direct IRS integration and the BIG Point of Sale consumer web portal to allow consumers to complete a simplified workflow so lenders can access consumers’ income and tax filing information with their permission, no longer bound to data locked into tax transcript PDFs. The integration is now available for demo and implementation.

Although valuing servicing is a key responsibility in secondary marketing, the process isn’t always straightforward. And if you’re still using grids to value servicing assets, you could be compromising transparency, profitability and efficiency. Fortunately, there’s a better way.

Download Optimal Blue’s Complimentary White Paper: Simplifying MSR Valuations. Topics Include Why it’s important to keep a pulse on your MSR portfolio, The difficulty of valuing MSRs as a Level 3 asset, The benefits of using cash flow models with loan-specific granularity,

The value of incorporating broker-managed assumptions into valuation.

Clear Capital, the national real estate valuation technology company, announced the launch of AURA, an automated underwriting risk analyzer that enables loan origination and order management platforms to embed advanced appraisal quality analytics fueled by machine learning and photo AI into their ecosystem to streamline collateral underwriting. The AURA API solution allows technology partners to provide lenders with an aggregated version of all the data necessary to fully analyze the risk of an appraisal and a detailed summary report in addition to automated underwriting capabilities to ensure compliance with internal credit policies, GSE guidelines, and other investor overlays to close loans faster. AURA also helps prevent costly repurchase requests through inclusion of UCDP findings, as well as other investor-specific rules and checklists, presented to the reviewer during the initial review.

The Clear Capital HDI Market Report and Forecast provides insights into market trends and other leading indices for the real estate market at the national and local levels. A critical difference in the value of Clear Capital’s HDI Market Report and Forecast is the capability to provide more timely and granular reporting than nearly any other home price index provider.

View Clear Capital’s July HDI Market Report for details.

Areal AI’s latest white paper, A Final Solution to the Mortgage Automation Problem, addresses the challenges mortgage lenders face in adopting technology for automation.

The paper emphasizes the importance of new AI-powered technologies that can automate tasks, like document management, without replacing existing legacy tools. It introduces a new class of mortgage automation solutions, offering smart task automation, built-in data authentication, high processing speed, and a flexible API-based architecture.

MISMO® announced that it is publishing Version 2.1 of the SMART Doc® 1.02 Standard Mapping and Implementation Guide as final. “The new version of the SMART Doc® 1.02 Standardization Mapping and Implementation Guide will provide helpful guidance to mortgage service providers who are looking to streamline the creation of home equity first lien eNotes,” said David Coleman, President, MISMO. “MISMO remains committed to addressing the industry’s top issues by offering additional resources that further protect and maintain data standards.”

MISMO published Blockchain in the Mortgage Industry, a white paper that outlines findings on how blockchain technology could enhance the way mortgages are originated, serviced, sold, and traded.

Several years ago I had the opportunity to spend a few minutes with Jimmy Buffett, who was very friendly and engaging, and this short CNBC interview last year, where he talks about stock ownership and the writing of “Margaritaville,” seems very representative of him. You wouldn’t know that he was a billionaire.

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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 2023 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