NestReady Selects Claudia Dorman As East Coast Sales Manager

NestReady, a technology firm that has developed platforms to bring all parties in the homebuying process together enabling lenders to own the customer end-to-end journey, has tapped Claudia Dorman as the new East Coast sales manager. Dorman is tasked with helping grow NestReady through new customer acquisition and interacting directly with decision makers of financial institutions. 


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Dorman was most recently vice president of national sales at Informative Research. Prior to that, she was the national account director of global mortgage services at CoreLorgic. In her two-decade career, she has developed valuable experience in account development, vendor relations, creative marketing initiatives, new market identification, operations management and value-based consultative sales.  


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“Claudia brings a breadth of knowledge and experience that we are excited for her to leverage,” said Mauro Repacci, CEO of NestReady. “Her joining our team is one of the many steps we are taking to showcase our commitment to expand our footprint and implement our innovative technology to lenders across North America. Adding such an experienced individual will help us build on our success in providing lead-edge technology to the financial industry.” 


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Dorman is highly-accomplished and focuses on helping clients build their businesses. She earned the 2015 and 2016 CoreLogic Circle of Excellence: Top Performer Awards. Dorman started her career in the mortgage industry as a loan officer, which gives her a unique understanding of the importance of building relationships as well as the challenges of originations.


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“As NestReady transforms the real estate industry, I’m excited to further drive the company’s goal of revamping the homebuying journey through the use of a seamless, end-to-end platform,” Dorman said. “Like NestReady, I value innovation and exceeding expectations. I look forward to working closely with the rest of the team.”

Founded in 2012, NestReady is a technology firm that uses integrated software platforms to create an end-to-end digital homebuying experience that positions lenders at the center of the journey. NestReady’s platforms allow financial institutions to provide a complete homebuying experience on their website and empowers each loan officer with their own home search engines. Its technologies use machine learning and AI to deliver insights and transparency related to the customer lifecycle and a lender’s portfolio. Through the use of predictive analytics models, mortgage lenders can use this data to take action in a timely manner.

30-Year Fixed Rate Drops, Refis Tick Up Slightly

According to the March Origination Insight Report from Ellie Mae, the 30-year note rate dropped for the third straight month to 4.77 percent, down from 4.86 percent in February and 5.01 percent in January. The percentage of refinances on all loans increased to 35 percent, up from 34 percent the month prior.


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“As we enter the busy spring home buying season, we are seeing activity tick back up across the board with the 30-year note rate decline,” said Jonathan Corr, President and CEO of Ellie Mae. “We will continue to watch closing rates as they have stayed at or above 75 percent through the first quarter of 2019, a possible indication of buyers’ conviction.”


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Other statistics of note in March included:

The percentage of FHA refinances increased to 23 percent in March, up from 20 percent in February.


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Time to close all loans continued to decrease. Time to close all loans was 42 days in March, down from 43 in February and 45 in January. The time to close a purchase loan dropped to 45 days in March, down from 47 in February and 49 in January.

The percentage of Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs) decreased to 7.4 percent, down from 7.6 percent in February.


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The Origination Insight Report mines data from a robust sampling of approximately 80 percent of all mortgage applications that were initiated on the Encompass all-in-one mortgage management solution. Ellie Mae believes the Origination Insight Report is a strong proxy of the underwriting standards employed by lenders across the country.

In addition to the Origination Insight Report, Ellie Mae also distributes data from its monthly Ellie Mae Millennial Tracker on the first Wednesday of each month. The Ellie Mae Millennial Tracker focuses on mortgage applications submitted by borrowers born between the years 1980 and 1999.

REASI Launch Takes Aim At Antiquated Real Estate Escrow Process

REASI is targeting the inefficiencies of traditional escrow; introducing a blockchain-based application to digitize the process. In so doing, the developer aims to eliminate many of the inefficiencies and vulnerabilities of an important phase in the traditional real estate transaction.


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REASI is a mobile application which enables real estate brokers to close home transactions from their smartphones or tablets. Vendors and customers collaborate in real time using a secure workspace where closing documents and client escrow deposits are integrated. One of the first technologies to elevate the escrow function to a single, cloud-based platform, REASI uses blockchain to digitize and streamline the traditionally cumbersome process. The result is a transparent, convenient and simplified escrow process.


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REASI Co-Founder and CEO John Kang believes that innovation in the escrow process is long overdue, especially when it comes to the severe chokepoints common to traditional escrow. “The way we as an industry do escrow is completely out of alignment with consumer and participant expectations,” he said.  “Unfortunately, the existing model takes what should be a background function and, by means of unnecessary delay, error and vulnerability to fraud, plunks it in the middle of what really should be a painless transaction. As a result, the buyer, the seller, the REALTOR…all spend way too much time and money worrying about something that shouldn’t even have to be noticed.”  


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Kang further asserts that REASI puts escrow back where it belongs—in the background—by eliminating avenues to wire fraud; simplifying the process and eradicating unnecessary errors. “REASI was designed to help all parties achieve their true goal–a completed real estate transaction—without unnecessary cost, delay or stress. We want the buyer to get the keys faster; the seller to move the property faster and the REALTORS and mortgage lenders to have satisfied clients as a result.”


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REASI is the developer of a unique, application-based platform which simplifies the processes that power the real estate transaction. REASI digitizes home buying, using blockchain as its autonomous escrow agent.  By streamlining home closings, REASI reduces frustration for a $10 billion escrow industry plagued by expensive fees and wire fraud.  With REASI, REALTORS become one-stop-shops for home buyers, offering ironclad security and a better customer experience.  The technology seamlessly unites complex escrow requirements, buyer deposits and legal documentation in a fraction of the time of the antiquated traditional escrow process. 

WebMax Partners With Ellie Mae To Improve Loan Efficiency

WebMax, a digital mortgage solution provider, has integrated with Ellie Mae. While WebMax provides digital mortgage solutions that significantly impact a lender’s greatest needs, Ellie Mae has the ability to help ensure the highest levels of compliance, quality and efficiency.


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Kelcey Brown, Chief Strategy Officer and EVP of WebMax says, “WebMax is excited to form an official partnership with Ellie Mae; We feel that through Ellie Mae’s support, our Encompass integration will be enhanced significantly, and will be able to provide our customers with seamless bi-directional connectivity with the loan origination system and a superior digital mortgage experience.”


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The recent partnership provides WebMax clients a quick and secure transfer of data between Ellie Mae’s Encompass Platform and WebMax’s digital mortgage application, Start. The direct bi-directional integration with Ellie Mae allows lenders on WebMax’s platform to access their entire loan pipeline, meaning they can see where their loans stands during every stage of the approval process. Additionally, they can run credit and pricing, view appraisals, and send pre-approval letters from their mobile device in real-time through the Encompass platform.


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The partnership between Ellie Mae and WebMax will help lenders reduce origination costs, increase loan volume, and decrease closing times. In turn, lenders will prove to be more efficient and productive throughout the loan approval process, allowing them additional time to formulate relationships with borrowers and realtors. This will result in increased satisfaction for homebuyers due to a more seamless process.


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WebMax believes that home buyers need a simpler, faster way to acquire a mortgage. In order to achieve this, WebMax provides digital mortgage software solutions designed to deliver a superior consumer borrowing experience while reducing the loan manufacturing cost. With products spanning the entire digital mortgage process, from the first borrower click to the last lender approval, WebMax seeks to make sense of the digital-first regulatory-ridden mortgage Industry for borrowers and lenders alike.

RoundPoint Is Selected As Subservicer By Reliant Bank

RoundPoint Mortgage Servicing Corporation (“RoundPoint”), one of the nation’s top 10 non-bank mortgage servicing companies, announced it has been selected as a subservicing partner for Reliant Bank. Its parent company is Reliant Bancorp, Inc.  (Nasdaq: RBNC).


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RoundPoint services loans for a variety of community banks, credit unions, private equity firms, and mortgage banks and is committed to providing a world-class customer experience to borrowers. Reliant Bank’s selection of RoundPoint as its subservicer is confirmation of this commitment.


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“Reliant Bank has experienced tremendous growth and success, and we are delighted to have been selected as its subservicing partner. This relationship helps Reliant excel at providing comprehensive mortgage solutions while RoundPoint focuses on what we do best – expertly performing our subservicing responsibilities,” said Allen Price, Senior Vice President of Business Development for RoundPoint.


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Kevin Brungardt, Chief Executive Officer for RoundPoint, added, “As we continue providing a world class subservicing execution to publicly-traded institutions, we seek partnerships with like-minded organizations that seek to promote and foster homeownership with innovative solutions. Our relationship with Reliant is a perfect example of this partnership objective.”


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Jacqueline Weed, VP Operations and Correspondent Lending, with Reliant Bank stated, “We chose RoundPoint Mortgage Servicing because of its best-in-class systems, customer-centric operating model, and robust reporting tools. We look forward to deepening our relationship with RoundPoint as we continue to expand our mortgage product offerings.”

Founded in 2007, RoundPoint Mortgage Servicing Corporation is a national co-issue servicer, loan subservicer, and residential mortgage lender. As one of the nation’s largest non-bank mortgage servicers, it currently services nearly $90 billion worth of mortgage assets and is authorized to service loans in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The company is headquartered in Charlotte with an office in Dallas.

Continued Slowing In Top 100 Housing Markets

A new report from Veros Real Estate Solutions (Veros) predicts that properties in the nation’s 100 largest markets will appreciate at a rate of 3.7 percent over the 12 months ending March 1, 2020. According to the VeroFORECAST for first quarter 2019, this continues a projected slowing that first appeared in the previous quarter’s report. 


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Among the states where predictions raise concern are Louisiana, which has half of the ten markets at the bottom of the report’s 100 most-populous markets, and California. The Golden State is expected to continue softening significantly with forecast appreciation for both the Los Angeles and San Diego markets falling well under five percent. The Bay Area is expected to fare only slightly better, with appreciation just above five percent, well below its double-digit readings in the recent past.


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Other states where VeroFORECAST projects depreciation or significantly lower appreciation are Illinois, Connecticut, Utah, North Dakota, and Southwest Florida, as well as many New York City boroughs and the major Texas markets of Dallas-Ft. Worth and Houston.


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Veros, an award-winning industry leader in enterprise risk management, collateral valuation services and predictive analytics, provides these quarterly VeroFORECAST reports by subscription to its clients and in a summary overview to industry media. The current report is based on data from 349 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs), which include 13,545 zip codes, 984 counties, and represent 82 percent of U.S. residents.


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After a steady rise over many quarters, the forecast has come down from +4.5 percent six months ago to +3.9 percent last quarter and now to +3.7 percent for this quarter. Although this is a big decline over such a short period of time, it is not cataclysmic.

While the further drop is seen as “significant,” according to Eric Fox, Veros VP of Statistical and Economic Modeling and the report’s author, he cautions it does not signal an impending crash.

“We do not see a significant depreciation,” Fox said, “but simply a slowing down of most markets. The overall housing market is still expected to remain healthy as the fundamentals remain solid including historically low interest rates and a strong economy with low unemployment rates.”

Nevertheless, he adds, “The strength of the past few years is expected to dissipate somewhat in most markets.”

LRES Names New CTO

LRES, a national residential and commercial mortgage services company providing valuations, REO asset management, and HOA solutions for the mortgage and real estate industry, announced Scott Spencer as its Chief Technology Officer. In this role, Mr. Spencer will drive efficiencies by delivering technological applications, tools, and services that streamline and enhance the company’s current capabilities.


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Mr. Spencer is an accomplished senior technology leader, highly regarded for his ability to deliver innovative online, data, reporting, and analytical products across the customer lifecycle in the real estate and mortgage services industry.


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He previously served as Vice President and Divisional CTO of First American Mortgage Solutions, where he successfully led an IT organization in supporting and driving digital transformation across five separate lines of business. Prior to First American, Mr. Spencer held a leadership position at CoreLogic, where he served as a Senior Vice President.


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“Scott’s experience in IT leadership, enterprise architecture, digital transformation, cloud solutions, as well as analysis and reporting of Big Data will play a crucial role for the growth and expansion of the company. The organization is pleased to welcome him to the executive team,” said Roger Beane, CEO of LRES.


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“In our environment, nearly everything is technology; Scott’s role is pivotal in rounding out our executive team as well as leading the deployment of our continuing technology initiatives,” added Mark Johnson, President of LRES.

“It is a privilege to be working alongside the LRES executives and our team of knowledgeable associates to meet the company’s strategic goals,” said Mr. Spencer.

eNotes Are On The Rise In A Big Way

Intercontinental Exchange, an operator of global exchanges and clearing houses and provider of data and listings services, and its subsidiary MERSCORP Holdings, Inc. (“MERS”) announced that the number of eNotes added to the MERS eRegistry during the first quarter of 2019 exceeded the total number of eNotes registered for all of  2018. An electronic note, or eNote, is the functional equivalent of a paper promissory note when created in conformity with eCommerce law requirements, and upon origination, is registered on the MERS eRegistry.


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MERS member institutions, including lenders and originators, registered about 19,000 eNotes in the first quarter of 2019, compared to the 17,000 eNotes registered in all of 2018. In comparison, the number of eNotes registered in the first quarter of 2018 was 375.


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This also increases the number of outstanding active eNotes to 109,000, representing approximately $28 billion of residential mortgages. Rapid growth of eNotes is a key indicator that the residential lending industry continues to drive toward greater digitization of the production process. eNotes are an essential component of a digital mortgage strategy, as they do not require notarization, are enforceable in all 50 states, and easily integrate into an electronic closing process that improves the consumer experience and lowers lenders’ costs.


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The MERS eRegistry is the mortgage industry’s system of record for identifying the Controller (holder) and Location (custodian) of the authoritative copy of an eNote, or who in the traditional paper world of mortgages, is the holder of the original note with the rights to enforce same. This gives consumers, lenders, and investors the confidence to move toward a digital process because authenticity of electronic copies can be verified by an independent third-party.


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“As the industry continues to migrate toward a fully-digital process, the early movers gain efficiencies and can remain most competitive in the market,” said Christopher McEntee, President of ICE Mortgage Services. “We’re excited about the rapid adoption of eNotes, and we expect to see a continual rise as more participants invest in next generation infrastructure.”

To see a complete list of the companies integrated with the MERS® eRegistry, visit mersinc.org/eRegistry.

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Lender Launches Digital Platform

Lender Price, a provider of digital lending technology for the financial industry, and Mountain West Financial, a regional mortgage lender based in Southern California, have successfully rolled out Digital Lending Platform (DLP), Lender Price’s online borrower portal. 


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Digital Lending Platform (DLP) is a borrower engagement platform that automates and streamlines the mortgage loan application process. The platform integrates with loan origination systems (LOS) to create a seamless environment between the borrower, loan officer and the lender’s operation staff, resulting in a smoother, more transparent and faster mortgage closing process.


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“Our borrowers want a convenient and easy to use way to engage with us online,” said Mike Douglas, CEO of Mountain West Financial, a retail and wholesale mortgage lender. “The reason we chose Lender Price is because their platform gave us the flexibility to create a process that doesn’t have a lot of ‘fluff’. We built an efficient workflow that encourages borrowers to complete the application while also ensuring that information was captured in our LOS in real-time.” 


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DLP features digital verification services for assets, employment and credit reports, which intelligently fill out loan application data and drive more complete and accurate borrower submissions. DLP provides intuitive tools that allow mortgage lending institutions to create their own borrower experience without any technical know-how.


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“Our clients include several large banks and mortgage lenders that insist on controlling the borrower experience,” said Dawar Alimi, CEO of Lender Price. “We built tools that are specifically designed for non-technical people to create complex workflows within DLP. By giving our clients both the flexibility and control they want, we’re providing a sustainable platform because it can change and adapt to their needs over time.”

The deep integration between DLP and Mountain West’s loan origination system provides borrowers visibility throughout the entire origination process. Loan status updates, document uploads and even pricing engine access were built into the LOS integration.

“Our borrowers are happier and it’s a tremendous time saver for our loan officers,” said Douglas. “We’ve rolled out to more than 150 loan officers across 30 branches and it’s been extremely successful for us. We know this is going to transform the way we do business.”

Pulte Mortgage And Finicity Partner To Speed Up The Process

Pulte Mortgage has partnered with Finicity — a provider of real-time financial data access and insights, to provide its borrowers with a faster, simpler and more secure way to navigate the home financing process. Pulte Mortgage is a wholly-owned subsidiary of PulteGroup, Inc. that finances new home construction for customers of Pulte Homes, Centex, Del Webb, DiVosta, and John Wieland Homes and Neighborhoods brands.


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As anyone with a mortgage knows, securing a home loan has historically been a manual, paper-intensive process—especially when it comes to verifying borrowers’ assets. Through Finicity’s verification platform, up to 24 months of bank, brokerage and 401k data can now be accessed to confirm assets within minutes—eliminating the need for borrowers to find, copy and scan reams of paper verifications. This can reduce the mortgage origination time by more than a week, giving borrowers more control of the process, without a lot of the hassle.


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Although the mortgage process has drastically improved over the past decade for borrowers and lenders alike, it hasn’t always been this way. “The mortgage lending industry has changed dramatically over the decades, but never more so than over the past 10 years,” said Debra Still, president and CEO of Pulte Mortgage. “The average loan file used to be about 300 pages, but today’s regulatory and compliance demands have pushed this figure to more than 800 pages. The need for ever-increasing volumes of supporting data puts an incredible burden on the borrower, which is why we strategically invest in integrated technology solutions, like Finicity, to reduce the time and complexity associated with securing a mortgage.”


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The partnership with Finicity is just the latest in Pulte Mortgage’s commitment to advance technology solutions that make it easier and more transparent for borrowers navigating the mortgage process. In addition to their new instant asset verification feature through Finicity, Pulte Mortgage customers can upload essential documentation from their mobile device with just the snap of a picture; e-sign key regulatory disclosures with the swipe of a finger; and leverage a personalized digital dashboard to stay up-to-date on their loan’s progress when and where they want. These digital enhancements strengthen data security by leveraging advanced authentications, bank-level encryptions and secure borrower connections.


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“Today’s consumers have come to expect simple and rapid experiences enabled by digitization,” said Steve Smith, CEO of Finicity. “Pulte is an innovator that is embracing digital solutions to further deliver a superior borrower experience by giving their loan consultants more time to engage with their buyers.”

“Whether it’s your first house or your last, building a new home is an exciting process,” added Still. “It is a time where you get to create a space that is uniquely personalized for your lifestyle and taste. That is why we are continuously working to simplify home financing for our customers, so they can spend more time focusing on building their dream home.”