And The 2019 Winners Are …

Prominent mortgage executives gathered to see who the Executive Team of PROGRESS in Lending named the top industry innovations of the past year at the Ninth Annual Innovations Awards Event. This honor is the Gold Seal when it comes to recognizing true industry innovation. All applications were scored on a weighted scale. We looked for the innovation’s overall industry significance, the originality of the innovation, the positive change the innovation made possible, the intangible efficiencies gained as a result of the innovation, and the hard cost and time savings that the innovation enables industry participants to achieve. The top innovations winners are:

PROGRESS in Lending has named Capsilon a top industry innovation. Capsilon’s automation software solves one of the biggest issues plaguing the mortgage industry, by ensuring clean data for better, faster decisions that drive operational efficiency. Launched in 2018, Capsilon’s Data Audit is the fastest way to automate the expensive, time-consuming process that all lenders have to ensure they make loan decisions using the correct data. With Data Audit, companies have a single place to see and compare data across sources, including the LOS and supporting documents. The app flags data mismatches for review so staff can instantly spot where supporting documents and data don’t match.

PROGRESS in Lending has named FirstClose a top industry innovation. In 2018 FirstClose delivered an innovative Property & Borrower Data Intelligence Platform. This platform is the first of its kind in the industry, delivering crucial information like loan flood certification, valuation, property photos, deeds, liens, judgments, transaction history, subject property data and tax formation on one platform. Using a single platform that hosts everything lenders need including simplified vendor management in order to fulfill that loan in one place increases efficiency, leading to faster turn times and lower production costs for lenders in 2018.

PROGRESS in lending has named Floify a top industry innovation. Floify is a digital mortgage point-of-sale solution that streamlines the loan process by providing a secure communications and document management portal between lenders, borrowers, Realtors, referral partners and other loan stakeholders. Mortgage professionals use Floify to collect and verify borrower documentation, track loan progress, communicate with borrowers and real estate agents, and close loans faster and easier than ever. Floify was developed from the ground up to solve numerous inefficiencies and security concerns common with traditional mortgage processing. The platform was designed to employ the most secure methods of document collection, verification and cloud-based technology available.

PROGRESS in Lending has named Get Credit Healthy a top industry innovation. The pervasiveness and severity of credit issues is evident from the sheer number of Americans who lack the necessary credit scores and profiles to qualify for most conventional loans and financial products. The problem is a double-edged sword in that it affects both, consumers and lenders, alike. The innovative process developed by Get Credit Healthy simultaneously remedies both of these issues. Get Credit Healthy provides consumers with the tools and resources they need to eliminate debt, compliantly build credit, and instill behavioral changes that lead to sound financial decision making. 

PROGRESS in Lending has named NAMB All-In a top industry innovation. NAMB All-In is a new platform from the National Association of Mortgage Brokers (NAMB) powered by Calyx Software. It provides mortgage professionals with the three essential components they need to conduct business: a point-of-sale solution (POS), a cloud-based loan origination system (LOS), and a single point of access to premier wholesale lenders: Calyx Wholesaler MarketPlace. The POS allows borrowers to initiate a loan application and begin the asset verification process. The LOS helps mortgage brokers manage all incoming online applications, exchange and store documents, and provides simultaneous support for both the current and upcoming Uniform Residential Loan Application (URLA). Calyx Wholesaler MarketPlace enables mortgage brokers to connect with industry-leading wholesale lenders in a single portal and seamlessly exchange data. 

PROGRESS in Lending has named NEXT a top industry innovation. NEXT is the mortgage industry’s only technology-centric summit for women executives. A boutique bi-annual summit, NEXT’s inaugural event took place in January 2018 and attracted nearly 200 women mortgage lending executives. NEXT does not have any institutional backing. The event and its parent, NEXT Mortgage Events, are underwritten entirely by its co-founders Jeri Yoshida and Molly Dowdy. NEXT’s missions are to provide high quality, gender-neutral business intel, help attendees cultivate meaningful and productive relationships with other high ranking accomplished women executives, and to increase visibility and highlight the accomplishments of women mortgage executives, both as individuals and on a collective basis. 

PROGRESS in Lending has named Optimal Blue a top industry innovation. Optimal Blue is the first industry vendor to develop and support an extensive library of RESTful APIs aimed at bringing the mortgage technology vendor community together. Used today by close to 50 mortgage technology vendors generating millions of transactions annually, Optimal Blue’s Optimal Connections API Platform enables any participating technology vendor partner to embed the full power of the Optimal Blue systems into their own user experiences. By embedding Optimal Blue’s Scenario Pricing, Loan & Pipeline, Lock Management, Change Request, Historical Pricing, Post-Lock Management, Configuration, Hedge Analytics, Digital Trading Platform, and/or Investor Due Diligence APIs, any third-party technology platform can creatively leverage and seamlessly integrate the sophisticated functionalities of the most comprehensive and most widely-used secondary marketing automation platform in the mortgage industry.

PROGRESS in Lending has named Sagent Lending Technologies a top industry innovation. The company’s LoanServ Account Connect is the premier borrower self-service web portal for the loan servicing market. Borrowers can use it across all devices – mobile, tablet, desktop – with the same functionality to manage their loans for more than just payments, but true self-service. Servicers use it to drive a lower cost to service and to power an effective brand channel. Account Connect has an intuitive user interface, designed for easy borrower interactions, while its secure, configurable backend is designed to help servicers grow at scale and incorporate new devices and data sources as needed. For servicers, LoanServ Account Connect lowers cost to service and drives better borrower retention and satisfaction and provides all the servicer self-service tools to enhance brand value.

PROGRESS in Lending has named SimpleNexus a top industry innovation. Lenders in 2018 faced significant challenges within the mortgage industry. In 2017, The JD Powers U.S. Primary Mortgage Origination Satisfaction Study stated that the mortgage industry’s promise of technology creating a faster and easier mortgage origination process does not appear to be fully recognized, as mortgage customers are reporting slower purchase processes which found that overall satisfaction with mortgage originators declined in 2017, due in part to a perception of a slower process, despite a significant increase in the number of customers applying online. To specifically address these challenging market conditions and to enhance the overall borrower satisfaction of its clients SimpleNexus delivered its innovative mobile app to lenders in 2018.

Honoring The Most Powerful Women In FinTech

You deserve this recognition. In today’s hyper-connected world, organizations must constantly evolve to offer quick, convenient, and reliable service. The financial services industry is no exception. The rise of Innovative FinTech is a perfect example of how this new reality is reshaping the way we think. And women are playing a pivotal role. They are leading the way. As such PROGRESS in Lending wants to honor The Most Powerful Women in FinTech today. No matter if you are a lender, a servicer, a technology provider, a consultant, etc., we want to recognize your efforts in this important area. So, act now! Be sure to complete Steps One, Two and Three below. Only completed applications will be considered. APPLY TODAY!

 

STEP ONE:

 

Fill out the information below on behalf of yourself or the person you are nominating for this honor. Note: If you are entering yourself for this honor you will have to enter some information twice. Please make sure that all fields are completed.

Your Full Name

Your Company Name

Your Title

Your E-Mail

Please provide the full name of the person applying

Please provide the full work title of the person applying

Please provide the full company name of the person applying

Describe the applicant's past FinTech experience, such as the companies that they've worked for, the projects that they've worked on, etc...

Describe how the applicant sees the role FinTech will play in reshaping financial services

After you have completed Step One by 1.) filling in every field and 2.) hitting the Send Button move on to Step Two in order to make payment.

STEP TWO:

 

Click the Buy Now Button to pay the small processing fee of $125

Once you have 1.) filled in every field in Step One, 2.) hit the Send Button in Step One and 3.) made payment in Step Two your application is completed. All three tasks must be completed in order for us to consider your application. 

STEP THREE:

 

All winners will be notified shortly after the June 7th deadline.

STRATMOR Adds A New Principal

Seth Sprague, CMB, has joined STRATMOR Group as a principal. An executive with more than 20 years of mortgage experience, Sprague brings to STRATMOR significant subject matter expertise in mortgage servicing rights (MSRs), servicing, cash flows, liquidity and mortgage profitability strategies.


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“We are delighted to have someone of Seth’s caliber and reputation join our team,” said Lisa Springer, senior partner and CEO of STRATMOR Group. “In today’s challenging times, understanding the value of servicing and how it integrates into an organization’s long-term business strategy is of paramount importance. We believe our clients will greatly benefit from Seth’s servicing know-how and unique industry knowledge. By being able to advise lenders on liquidity and servicing strategies, he adds very important expertise to STRATMOR which will bring tremendous value to our clients.”


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Sprague’s career has focused on the MSR asset management with an emphasis on valuation, cash flows and profitability of servicing at a variety of firms, including Bank of America and KPMG. Most recently, he served as executive vice president of Trading and Analytics at PHOENIX, a provider of mortgage servicing rights analytics, transactions and advisory services to over 250 clients, where he was responsible for client development and a variety of industry outreach efforts. Prior to joining PHOENIX in 2013, Sprague served as senior vice president and servicing asset manager at SunTrust Mortgage, where he managed the mortgage servicing rights (MSR) portfolio valuation process as well as periodic MSR transactions for over 10 years.  


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“Today’s environment requires data driven solutions and optimized performance,” said Sprague. “STRATMOR’s suite of proprietary data and industry subject matter experts provides clients optimal opportunity to prosper and grow. I am thrilled to help leverage these resources into practical solutions for our clients, so they may survive and thrive in the ever-changing mortgage environment.” 


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In 2018, Sprague was appointed as secretary of the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Certified Mortgage Banker (CMB) Society. He also serves on several other MBA committees, including the Financial Management Steering Committee, the Council on Residential Mortgage Servicing for the 21st Century, the BASEL Committee and the Servicing Compensation Working Group. Since 2007, Sprague has been an instructor with the MBA School of Mortgage Banking program, where he teaches “Servicing/MSR Day.” He is also as an instructor at the MBA School of Mortgage Servicing. More recently, Sprague has taught a course on the Secondary Market for The National Association of Minority Mortgage Bankers of America.

Sprague is a frequent speaker at various MBA and other industry conferences, often speaking on liquidity and the overall challenges present in the mortgage industry. He holds an MBA from the University of Colorado-Denver and has an undergraduate degree from the University of Richmond with a concentration in Accounting.

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MBA Tech Conference 19-Networking Event

PROGRESS in Lending Association invites you for a special night of networking and technological innovation during the MBA Technology Conference in Dallas. This will be the mortgage technology party of the year.

This “Most Outrageously Fun” networking event will take place at Dallas’ KUNG FU SALOON located at 2911 Routh Street, Dallas, Texas 75201. Kung Fu Saloon is home to 18+ vintage arcade games like Galaga, Centipede, Ms. Pacman, NBA Jam, Mortal Kombat, Golden Tee, Big Buck Hunter and plenty more. The fun continues with shuffleboard, foosball, ping pong, skee ball lanes, Giant Jenga, Giant Connect Four and board games. Kung Fu Saloon has stocked its place with a delectable collection of unequalled music, food, games, and beverages for you to enjoy, as you’re being yourself.

Join us on March 24th, starting at 7:00 p.m. Guests will enjoy a premium open bar, hors d’oeuvres, refreshments, games, etc. For the ninth year in a row, this event will be the premier networking event at the 2019 MBA Technology Conference, which will include a whole lot of fun and the announcing of the Progress In Lending Innovation Award Winners.

RSVP Now

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ISGN Unveils New Name

ISGN Solutions, a provider of productized solutions for the mortgage and financial services industries, has changed its name to Sourcepoint. Here’s why:


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The new name reflects both the company’s heritage and focus. As a member of the Firstsource family, Sourcepoint draws from the tools, talent, and backing of its publicly traded parent company which serves Fortune 100 Healthcare, BFSI and media companies. Sourcepoint’s daily focus is on leveraging its tools, capabilities and people to help point its customers forward.


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“April will be the three-year anniversary of our acquisition by Firstsource,” said Erik Anderson, President and CEO of Sourcepoint. “During that time, and despite significant market volatility, we have thrived – more than doubled our size, deepened our relationships with existing clients, added great new clients, overhauled our leadership and management teams, and developed an entire suite of new products and services. Most importantly, along the way, we have discovered the early contours of a company that is uniquely positioned to help our clients succeed.”


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Anderson continued, “To celebrate the ending of one chapter and the start of a new one, we believed now was the right time to unveil a new name and a new brand that would symbolize who we are becoming and who we aspire to be.”


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The firm’s flexible, individualized delivery model distinguishes it from competing companies because it allows Sourcepoint to quickly adapt and conform to clients’ existing processes, cost-effectively enabling them to stay ahead of the rapidly changing mortgage market.

“After we strategically productized our unique set of solutions, we realized we needed a new name and brand identity that better represents who we are today and what we accomplish for our clients,” said Steven Schachter, EVP of Sourcepoint. “Sourcepoint exists because our client’s success is the whole point of what we do.”

Sourcepoint, formerly ISGN Solutions, is a provider of expertly crafted, productized solutions spanning the mortgage loan lifecycle. For more than 10 years, Sourcepoint’s team of industry professionals has been utilizing state-of-the-art technology to help their clients stay ahead of the curve and excel in today’s competitive business environment. The company works with many leading mortgage companies throughout the U.S. including a majority of the top 20 mortgage banks and servicers.

Lender Launches Pacific Northwest Expansion

Churchill Mortgage is a lender providing conventional, FHA, VA and USDA residential mortgages across 46 states. The lender announced it is expanding operations and recruitment efforts in Portland and the Pacific Northwest.


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As one of the most competitive housing markets in the nation, Churchill’s Pacific Northwest expansion will ensure local borrowers have access to tools and strategies designed to help them make a smarter mortgage decision. Leading Churchill’s expansion efforts is Executive Vice President of the Northwest Region, Kevin J. Hanna, who brings more than 15 years of proven experience in the mortgage industry with an emphasis on management of retail and wholesale sales and operations. Hanna is an Oregon native and prior to joining Churchill served as president of Directors Mortgage.


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“Churchill Mortgage believes in putting people over profits and strives to provide a world-class experience for not only its borrowers, but its real estate and industry partners as well,” said Hanna. “I look forward to furthering our ideals and leading Churchill’s growth efforts throughout the Pacific Northwest.”


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“The Pacific Northwest’s housing market continues to demonstrate significant growth and opportunity for mortgage lenders and homebuyers alike,” said Matt Clarke, COO and CFO of Churchill Mortgage. “With Kevin’s leadership, Churchill will launch a significant expansion in the Pacific Northwest and serve as mentors to homebuyers as they look to achieve the true American dream of debt-free homeownership.”


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Churchill also announced the addition of Travis Olson as Senior Vice President of the Northwest Region and Jeff Miller as Vice President of the Northwest Region. Olson is a proven sales leader, coach and recruiter having led numerous branches and regions through periods of significant growth in his more than 25 years of industry experience. Miller, a 19-year industry veteran, will support all dynamics of Churchill’s Pacific Northwest expansion including operations, marketing and overall strategy.

Ellie Mae Program Gets Early Adopters

Ellie Mae announced the early-adopters of the Ellie Mae Integrated Partner Program. The Integrated Partner Program was first announced in October of 2018 and already includes a number of Independent Software Vendors and Developers, further growing the capabilities offered on the Ellie Mae Encompass Digital Lending Platform.


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The program provides Ellie Mae lenders with innovative, sanctioned and easily implemented integrations for the mortgage lending process. Some of the early adopter solutions include quality assurance (QA) and quality control (QC), business analytics, robotic process automation (RPA), document management, customer relationship management (CRM) and optical character recognition (OCR).


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This program means more efficient workflows and business processes can be easily implemented to help lenders engage and acquire more prospective homebuyers, originate and close loans more efficiently, lower the cost of origination and fund and sell loans faster to ensure a steady flow of capital. 


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Through the Integrated Partner Program, partners leverage Ellie Mae’s APIs to develop secure widgets, apps and next-generation integrations including business rule analyzer, lock reconciliation, data extract and pipeline highlighter.


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The Integrated Partner Program early adopters include:

AI Foundry– AI and ML-based cognitive business automation and Agile Mortgages solution 

Capsilon, Capsilon IQ – Intelligent Process Automation, leveraging Data and Document extraction technology

Digital Risk, LuminateT – Automatic Document Recognition, OCR and RPA solutions

focusIT, Pulse CRM for Mortgage Professionals: A lead and marketing management system 

Silverline, a Salesforce Platinum Partner – Salesforce/Encompass Digital Lending Platform integration

Tabrasa  – marketing automation, CRM, real-time market insights, print and custom branded merchandise solutions  for mortgage clients

TRK Connection, cloud-based Insight Risk and Defect Management – Quality Control audit platform

Whiteboard Technologies, LLC, Powered by The Mortgage Playbook, is the scalable CRM for LO’s, Teams and Enterprise

“We are excited to offer more trusted integrations via our Encompass Digital Lending Platform through Ellie Mae’s Integrated Partner Program and Marketplace,” said Parvesh Sahi, senior vice president of business development, Ellie Mae. “For our partners, this new program provides the opportunity to build and deploy fully tested, scalable API integrations to more efficiently reach our network of lenders. For our lenders, integrations with these leading edge business software and systems providers enable a more efficient workflow, furthers mortgage innovation and delivers on the promise of a true digital mortgage.”

For more information about Ellie Mae’s ISV Partner Program or to become a member, visit https://explore.elliemae.com/independent-software-vendors

About The Author

OpenClose Integrates With Continuity Programs’ CRM

OpenClose has completed an integration with Continuity Programs, Inc.’s cloud-based MyCRMDashboard.com customer relationship management (CRM) software. This new interface provides OpenClose’s LenderAssist LOS customers the ability to seamlessly interact with Continuity Programs’ platform.


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“We constantly look for opportunities to help our customers do business faster, smarter and cheaper including arming loan officers with cutting-edge tools to close more deals,” said Vince Furey, CRO at OpenClose. “We are pleased to offer our customers Continuity Programs’ robust and modern CRM solution to help mortgage origination teams achieve greater sales success.”


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Continuity Programs’ MyCRMDashboard.com is a turnkey solution that centralizes contacts in an organized, easily-accessible fashion. It gives loan officers powerful tools to generate, track and convert high quality borrower leads while keeping in touch with prospects, customers and referral partners, effortlessly. The CRM is feature rich, automating often mundane and time-consuming daily tasks while delivering the analytics and reporting that enables lenders to assess performance with KPIs, monitor customer satisfaction, improve the borrower experience and increase customer retention.  


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OpenClose’s LenderAssist LOS is an enterprise-class platform that offers a suite of modules to automate complex areas of the entire mortgage manufacturing process. The company recently added a comprehensive digital POS solution, closing the loop between POS and LOS and creating the mortgage industry’s only consolidated digital POS and LOS platform delivered by a single vendor that is truly browser-based and has multi-channel automation capability. The complete solution is helping OpenClose customers slash the cost to manufacture loans.


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“Integrating with MyCRMDashboard.com empowers loan officers with many easy-to-use tools to make them as successful as possible amid tough marketplace conditions,” stated Kirk King, president of Continuity Programs, Inc. “Integrating our mortgage CRM software with OpenClose’s LOS makes it easier for lenders to seamlessly extend this functionality to their loan officers via LenderAssist.”

Continuity Programs leveraged OpenClose’s RESTful API to rapidly develop and deploy the integration between MyCRMDashboard.com and LenderAssist. TheRESTful API suite offers simplicity, reliability, better communication, seamless data exchange and performance optimization. Lender implementations of MyCRMDashboard.com are quick and non-disruptive, with Continuity Programs doing the heavy lifting for customers and providing all training.

Both OpenClose and Continuity Programs offer completely web-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions that are mobile-ready, providing users with fingertip access while in the field or office.

New Home Purchase Mortgage Applications Rise In January, But Remain Flat Year-Over-Year

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) Builder Application Survey (BAS) data for January 2019 shows mortgage applications for new home purchases remained unchanged from a year ago. Compared to December 2018, applications increased by 43 percent. This change does not include any adjustment for typical seasonal patterns.


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“After two lackluster months, new home sales surged almost 30 percent in January to the fastest pace since our survey began in 2013,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. “ The healthy job market, faster wage growth, moderating price gains and lower mortgage rates,  all helped home sales recover. Additionally, builders seem to be seeing improvement in their labor shortages, as government survey data showed increases in construction hiring and openings in December.”


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MBA estimates new single-family home sales were running at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 713,000 units in January 2019, based on data from the BAS. The new home sales estimate is derived using mortgage application information from the BAS, as well as assumptions regarding market coverage and other factors.


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The seasonally adjusted estimate for January is an increase of 29.2 percent from the December pace of 552,000 units. On an unadjusted basis, MBA estimates that there were 54,000 new home sales in January 2019, an increase of 45.9 percent from 37,000 new home sales in December.


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By product type, conventional loans composed 68.7 percent of loan applications, FHA loans composed 18.6 percent, RHS/USDA loans composed 0.5 percent and VA loans composed 12.2 percent. The average loan size of new homes decreased from $334,944 in December to $334,532 in January.

MBA’s Builder Application Survey tracks application volume from mortgage subsidiaries of home builders across the country. Utilizing this data, as well as data from other sources, MBA is able to provide an early estimate of new home sales volumes at the national, state, and metro level. This data also provides information regarding the types of loans used by new home buyers. Official new home sales estimates are conducted by the Census Bureau on a monthly basis. In that data, new home sales are recorded at contract signing, which is typically coincident with the mortgage application.

MISMO Seeks Input On New Standardized Loan Application Dataset

MISMO, the mortgage industry’s standards organization, is seeking industry participants to collaborate on developing a standardized loan dataset that will correspond with the new Uniform Residential Loan Application (URLA). The dataset is geared for general industry use for business-to-business exchanges that need to reflect the data included in the URLA. The development of a standard data exchange is intended to improve accuracy and consistency for industry participants exchanging application information with their business partners.


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“To avoid inefficiencies that result in lost time and money, the industry needs a standardized data exchange that reflects the information contained in the URLA,” said Rick Hill, Executive Vice President of MISMO and Vice President, Industry Technology at the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). “By acting now and leveraging the power of MISMO’s resources and its collaborative environment, we have the power to create the new dataset by next year – the time lenders implement the new loan application form.”


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MISMO’s Standardized Loan Application Dataset Workgroup will review current loan application data formats to identify a new dataset for use on all loan applications and supporting documents based on its 3.4 standards. In addition to creating a dataset for exchanging loan application information, the Workgroup will create a sample file and mapping document, an implementation guide and a library of use cases to help lenders adopt the new information exchange when they are ready.


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Any standards created by the Workgroup will be made available for public comment prior to being finalized. Workgroup participants do not have to be members of MISMO to join, but only MISMO members will be able to vote on the new standards.


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Individuals who would like to participate in this collaborative, industry-wide effort should send an email titled, “Join Standardized Loan Application Dataset Workgroup” to info@mismo.org. More information about the Standardized Loan Application Dataset Workgroup and other MISMO workgroups is available at mismo.org