Black Knight Financial Services made headlines last week with a new program geared to give small and midtier lenders a new LOS option. In my conversation with Black Knight they wanted to clarify some incorrect reporting that happened elsewhere indicating that they are offering a new LOS to small and midtier lenders. Black Knight believes that this new strategy will be even more impactful. Here’s the details:
Black Knight is offering LoanSphere Empower Now!, a version of Empower, the company’s LOS that will enable regional and mid-market lenders, as well as independent mortgage bankers, to reap the benefits of the full Empower LOS with a greatly streamlined implementation process, resulting in reduced timelines and cost.
“The program that we’ve created is a way to bring the power of Empower to the midtier and small lender market,” said Jerry Halbrook, president of Black Knight’s Origination Technologies division. “We preconfigured Empower based on best practices for small and midtier lenders so we can offer it at a better price point. We’ve been testing this with several clients and we are ready to take it to market.”
Empower Now! enables lenders to implement Empower functionality, which has been configured based on the industry’s most common lending practices. Lenders can then add configurations and additional feature functionality, which will allow them to remain on the same system as their business grows, and to adjust system parameters to meet their specific compliance needs.
Additionally, Empower Now! is seamlessly integrated with Black Knight’s LoanSphere MSP servicing platform, which is leveraged directly by approximately 70 servicers that represent hundreds of other lenders and financial institutions throughout the country. Black Knight is targeting lenders that do as little as 400 to as many as 2,000 loans a month. When asked about the implementation timeframe, Halbrook confirmed that the implementation will take an average of four months and an additional two months of testing. In contrast, most LOS companies that cater to this market tout implementations as quick as 30 days.
Similarly, other companies like Dorado, Framework, Palisades and others have tried to take an enterprise-level LOS and scale it back to make it more accessible to the small and midtier lender. Those efforts have failed.
So, how will what Black Knight is proposing now buck this trend? “Those companies did code changes to make that work, and in doing so, had to manage different code,” answered Halbrook. “All Empower clients run on the same code, so we can offer maximum configuration. Also, none of those companies had the power of Black Knight. We have business intelligence, e-signing, data management, etc. to provide all of our lenders, so we offer a lot more value end to end.”
Black Knight also thinks that this will solve a big industry problem, namely the pain that lenders have to go through when they grow out of their LOS. As the small and midtier lenders on Empower Now! grow they can turn on added features and functions without having to switch their LOS every few years. This surely is a big announcement. We at PROGRESS in Lending wish every vendor well. We want to promote innovation and automation in any way that we can. We’ll be sure to keep you informed about how the industry responds to Empower Now! in the coming days and months ahead.
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