We’re not necessarily looking to break technology news, but we are looking to put it all into greater context for you. Right now we’re hearing:

Mobile Property Inspection Technology Emerges

Accurate Group, a provider of technology-driven real estate appraisal, title data, analytics and e-closing solutions, today announced the next-gen release of its market-leading mobile app for property inspections. The GroundWorks app is the first of its kind in the industry, combining a crowdsourcing model, localized expertise and mobile technology to accelerate the delivery of more accurate interior and exterior property condition reports.

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The application connects Accurate Group’s nationwide network of pre-screened real estate property inspectors with lenders and servicers requesting property inspections. The app empowers inspectors with the ability to review, accept and respond to requests for property condition reports from any iOS or Android mobile device. Property inspectors in the GroundWorks network benefit from more business and a robust set of mobile tools for creating and delivering accurate property condition reports.

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Banks, mortgage lenders, loan servicers and credit unions benefit from faster turnaround on property inspection requests, plus the increased accuracy and insight that only a local, on-the-ground property inspector can deliver.

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The app enables local property inspectors to respond to incoming requests for property condition reports, use built-in GPS technology to pinpoint property location and leverage integrated camera support and sketch tools to capture property details. The app also allows inspectors to instantly capture relevant property specifications – essentially building the property condition report in real-time, all with the GroundWorks app. This ensures timely, accurate details are captured and delivered.

“Real estate lenders and servicers are always looking for ways to lower the cost per loan without sacrificing quality, accuracy and compliance. Accurate Group is leading the industry by applying the latest technologies – mobile, crowdsourcing, automation – to accelerate and improve appraisal management and valuation processes,” stated Scott Waxman, chief appraiser and president of Accurate Group’s ValueNet and GroundWorks divisions. “GroundWorks is changing the game in the real estate industry – we’re raising the bar on both interior and exterior property inspection turnaround times and delivering the level of accuracy that only local, on-the-ground expertise can deliver.”

Olympia Federal Savings Expands Construction Lending

Olympia Federal Savings has chosen Built Technologies to bring their construction loan administration to the digital age. Oly Fed is known for providing modern online banking and innovative lending programs, and is migrating their manual construction loan process to Built’s online platform for real-time collaboration, faster disbursements, risk mitigation and more efficient processing.

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Oly Fed customers can apply for construction loans online and monitor the project inspection and draw process with a digital, consistent experience. They can request draws easily, schedule inspections with a few clicks, and see the key performance metrics of their loan with intelligent reporting. The technology is a win-win for customers and Oly Fed staff, since it also dramatically reduces the manual labor involved in traditional construction loan administration.

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“The transition to a digital construction lending experience gives us the ability to provide even more customers with personal service,” said Richard Pitts, EVP, Chief Lending Officer of Oly Fed. “There is increased demand for these loans and modern financial technology gives us the ability to serve our community even better than before.”

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“We’re excited to welcome Olympia Federal Savings”, said Chase Gilbert, CEO of Built. “With their 110-year history and status as a leading portfolio lender, it’s a great compliment to be chosen as part of their customer service mission.”

New Tool Speeds Up Turn Times And Brings Efficiencies To The Appraisal Scheduling

Global DMS has rolled out eTrac Pre-Scheduler, a newly released tool that that streamlines appraisal appointments, allowing lenders and AMCs that are leveraging eTrac to easily set predetermined appraisal dates, apply specific parameters, and broadcast appraiser communications.

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eTrac Pre-Scheduler empowers users with the ability to easily select multiple appraisal appointment dates per appraisal order, automatically search for applicable appraisers that are available to complete the order, and then present potential assignments to eligible appraisers along with the order and specified dates. The appraiser can then quickly accept the order by agreeing to one of the required dates, which can conveniently be done from their cell phone via email and/or text message.

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The end result is that the entire process of coordinating and completing appraisals becomes quicker, easier, and more efficient. In addition, Pre-Scheduler flexes with unique business processes or special requests from borrowers and clients, as users have the ability to define what appraisers must agree to before accepting orders.

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“Appraisals typically take the longest of all loan fulfillment processes to complete, which extends underwriting times, increases costs, and also opens up the potential for deal fallout,” says Vladimir Bien-Aime, president and CEO at Global DMS. “Appointments are sometimes set at the vendor’s discretion and can lead to unexpected delays and issues; however, the addition of Pre-Scheduler to eTrac establishes more control and better organization to prevent problems. Ensuring that appraisal orders are efficiently assigned, accepted, and completed is paramount to making the process expeditious and cost effective.”

U.S. Bank’s Home Mortgage Group Upgrades Its Origination Process

U.S. Bank, the fifth-largest commercial bank in the United States, has selected Sapiens DECISION Manager, a business decision management solution, as a strategic component of its modernized mortgage platform.

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The Sapiens DECISION solution will enable the bank to quickly and cost effectively deliver solutions to its mortgage customers.

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“Sapiens has a proven ability to model a business solution and deliver high quality results in record time,” said Harold Westervelt, managing director of Sapiens DECISION. “We look forward to helping the Home Mortgage group at U.S. Bank achieve their business goals.”

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A number of the world’s leading financial institutions are using Sapiens DECISION to author, manage and automate their operational, policy and regulatory decisions. An integrated solution designed to leverage, enhance and augment existing technology, DECISION drives consistency and reusability to ensure that the operational decisions that impact performance are accurately and consistently adhered to – minimizing risk, rework and resource requirements.

FirstClose Partners With Chicago Title Insurance Company To Provide Wider Range Of Services

FirstClose, a provider of technology solutions for mortgage lenders nationwide, today announced a partnership with Chicago Title Insurance Company.

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Through this integration, the FirstClose Report now provides financial institution clients with Chicago Title’s property search, legal and vesting products and services. The property search report includes items such as the last grantee of record, a legal description of the property, a list of mortgages and liens on record, the permanent index number and the latest transfer deed on file. This report can be used with residential or commercial properties.

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In addition, FirstClose and Chicago Title’s full legal and vesting services include the last grantee of record, a legal description of the property in text format and the latest transfer deed on file.

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“Our comprehensive title products and services enhance FirstClose’s home equity and refi suite of offerings to add efficiencies and further expedite closing times for lenders,” said Thomas Curry, vice president of Chicago Title.

“We are thrilled to be working with Chicago Title and know that this partnership will only improve our product offering and allow us to better serve our clients,” said Tedd Smith, chief executive officer of FirstClose. “Giving our clients options when it comes to products and services has always been a key part of our business. Partnering with a powerhouse like Chicago Title will help us continue to drive our business forward.”

Credit Interlink Integrates Income Verify With LendingQB For Faster Verifications

Credit Interlink, a provider of SaaS mortgage origination technology solutions, has integrated its Income Verify, with LendingQB, a provider of SaaS loan origination technology solutions, to facilitate quicker and more efficient 4056-T verifications.

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Thanks to certification through Fannie Mae’s Day One Certainty, Income Verify has direct access to tax transcript verifications through the IRS in order to expedite the time needed to process requests within LendingQB’s LOS. Likewise, the solution better prevents the risk of fraud through its secure interface, creating a more cost-effective way to collect borrower data.

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“In a world growing more dependent on digital technology, borrowers have come to expect the lending process to replicate experiences they experience in other areas,” said Mark Yoder, Vice President of Business Development, Credit Interlink.  “With Income Verify, borrowers are able to provide their information up front and loan officers are able to verify it without adding unnecessary delay to the origination process, all in a secure manner.”

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LendingQB’s web browser platform provides mortgage lenders with core LOS capabilities using modern web-optimized technology, enabling robust integrations to other web platforms such as Credit Interlink. Using LendingQB’s API framework, Credit Interlink is able to extend the capability of lenders, expediting the origination process and allowing more direct interaction with borrowers and other parties to the loan.

“Credit Interlink’s streamlined approach to data verification, credit and fraud is innovative and perfectly fits the ever-changing mortgage industry,” said David Colwell, vice president of strategy at LendingQB. “By utilizing Income Verify, our lenders are able to verify borrower data in a fast and safe manner, enabling them to reduce the time needed and the overall cost to originate loans.”

Creating A Frictionless Digital Lending Process

We have learned that Finicity, a provider of real-time financial data aggregation and insights, has signed an integration agreement with Blue Sage Solutions, a cloud-based digital mortgage lending platform. Under terms of the agreement, Blue Sage will integrate Finicity’s Verification of Assets (VoA) solution into its multi-channel digital lending platform to accelerate the credit decisioning process for mortgage lenders.

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Finicity’s credit decisioning solutions allow lenders to free up resources, improve accuracy and reduce mortgage fraud, all while giving borrowers a paperless and hassle-free experience. By partnering, Blue Sage and Finicity can provide mortgage lenders with validated insights of a borrower’s assets in seconds.

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“Our goal is to find top-notch partners who are also committed to creating a frictionless experience for lenders and borrowers through a digitized process,” said Steve Smith, Finicity CEO. “We’re excited to work with Blue Sage to accelerate the process of verifying a borrower’s assets, which has traditionally been a painful paper chase that takes several days or longer.”

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Blue Sage’s digital lending platform allows mortgage lenders and borrowers to collaborate together in real-time to communicate, exchange required information and track progress. Since Blue Sage operates as a cloud-based platform, both parties can access VoA reports at virtually any time during the process.

“We look forward to working with Finicity as an asset verification provider,” said Joe Langner, CEO of Blue Sage. “The company’s credit solutions align well with our mission to empower mortgage lenders with best-in-class, consumer-centric tools to achieve an excellent origination performance—every time.”

Finicity is an authorized, integrated provider of asset verification reports within Fannie Mae Desktop Underwriter (DU). This gives lenders a certified asset report through Fannie Mae’s Day 1 Certainty initiative. Finicity is also part of the Single Source Validation (SSV) pilot, meaning Fannie Mae will utilize transaction data from Finicity reports to validate assets, income and employment. A broader rollout of SSV is planned later this year and will build on Fannie Mae’s Day 1 Certainty initiative.

Finicity is also an authorized Freddie Mac asset validation report provider, and Freddie Mac and Finicity are working together on new methods to validate income from payroll deposit data from bank statements.

Nation’s Top Credit Union Adopts CertifID For Wire Fraud Prevention

Citing its ongoing commitment to protect its members and the integrity of the mortgage process, Lake Michigan Credit Union (“LMCU”) has adopted Michigan-based CertifID as a solution to prevent wire fraud in its mortgage and retail operations.

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LMCU, a top five mortgage originator among all US credit unions, will utilize CertifID, a unique wire fraud prevention platform designed to safely authenticate the identities of parties and share banking information in a secure manner. CertifID uses patent-pending digital device analysis, identity authentication sequencing, and multi-factor verifications which is guaranteed up to $500,000 – an industry first. LMCU will leverage the solution to verify identity and confirm bank credentials before mortgage funds are sent. It will also protect members in its branches by using the technology to confirm the member is dealing with the right person before funds leave their account.

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“We are seeing more wire fraud activity and are concerned about the safety of our members who walk into branches holding fraudulent wiring instructions without knowing it,” said Eric Burgoon, Chief Lending officer of LMCU. “CertifID provides the real-time identity verification and account confirmation that allows our staff to send funds electronically with trust. They also stand behind each transfer up to $500,000 – this is something we’ve needed in the industry for some time.”

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CertifID is a real-time identity platform for real estate, mortgage and title industry professionals to authenticate parties in a transaction and securely transfer bank account information. It has the unique ability to protect the entire transaction ecosystem from fraud. “It’s an honor to add LMCU to our great list of enterprises that are taking a stand against fraud,” said Tom Cronkright II, Co-Founder and CEO of CertifID. “Our goal is to remove wire fraud from transactions so that our enterprise clients can focus on delivering great customer experiences without the threat of loss. We applaud LMCU for joining us in this journey.”

CertifID’s patent-pending technology harnesses billions of digital records and Internet metadata to confirm the identity of an individual and the device he or she is using in the course of the transaction.

Integration Achieves Real-Time Automation Of Pipeline Management And Rate Locks

Optimal Blue, a provider of secondary marketing automation and services to the mortgage industry, recognizes enterprise SaaS digital mortgage solution provider, Capsilon, as its first strategic partner to complete certification with the highly anticipated Pipeline & Lock Management APIs. By debuting these innovative system-to-system API interfaces in the mortgage industry, Optimal Blue has enabled Capsilon’s digital mortgage platform to fully support the creation, management, registration, and locking of first-lien mortgages instantaneously with Optimal Blue. As a result of this advanced integration, a completed application and pre-approval are done in half the time of the traditional back-and-forth processes, empowering loan officers to be more competitive in today’s purchase market and win more business from real estate agents.

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“Pipeline and rate lock management is a crucial step in the mortgage process and involves many parties, from the consumer to the loan officer, to the secondary marketing department,” explained Bob Brandt, Vice President of Marketing and Alliances at Optimal Blue. “In exposing Optimal Blue’s industry-first pipeline and lock automation functionality to leading point-of-sale experiences like that of Capsilon, we have taken a major step forward to eliminate traditional inefficiencies and advance the industry’s digital mortgage agenda.”

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Just one year ago, Optimal Blue released its first set of API transactions as part of a groundbreaking initiative to knock down the traditional vendor integration barriers that have held the mortgage industry back. This approach aimed to enable Optimal Blue clients to integrate real-time, compliant product and pricing data with the leading mortgage technology systems they rely upon throughout the loan lifecycle, and further automate key functions like pipeline management, rate locks, and more. Since that first release, Optimal Blue’s robust partner ecosystem has experienced substantial growth, integrating more than 45 mortgage technology vendors and driving millions of transactions each month.

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In addition to the Pipeline & Lock Management APIs, Capsilon has thoroughly leveraged Optimal Blue’s Scenario Pricing APIs throughout their digital mortgage platform. These APIs enable Capsilon to natively integrate the highly sophisticated product and pricing strategies of Optimal Blue clients into their captivating user experiences and workflow management capabilities. Optimal Blue’s Scenario Pricing APIs support both Best Execution Search Results and Complete Search Results methods for Capsilon, returning the loan officer’s best-fit mortgage financing alternatives for every loan scenario supported by the lender in real time.

“We are thrilled to be the first industry partner to become certified on Optimal Blue’s powerful Pipeline & Lock Management APIs. This integration enables loan officers to do more of their day-to-day work within the intuitive and user-friendly Capsilon platform, helping them increase efficiency and more quickly convert leads into loans,” expressed Jim Obsitnik, Chief Operating Officer of Capsilon. “This is a collaboration of like-minded technology leaders that have consolidated best-of-breed solutions in the marketplace, ultimately providing a tremendous value to joint clients and the mortgage industry as a whole.”

Enhanced Offering Provides Much-Needed Differentiator For Lenders

Mortgage Coach, creator of point-of-sale borrower conversion software, has partnered with Optimal Blue, a provider of secondary marketing automation. Through direct integration with Optimal Blue’s API platform, every Mortgage Coach application now seamlessly connects real-time, compliant product and pricing data with the compelling financial analyses Mortgage Coach is known for.

Through this collaborative effort and newly expanded product offering, Mortgage Coach and Optimal Blue enhance their long-standing strategic partnership and take their industry value proposition to a whole new level.

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“Without ever leaving the Mortgage Coach app on their mobile device, loan officers can create informative, side-by-side comparisons highlighting multiple loan programs and comprehensive pricing information in just seconds,” explained Bob Brandt, Vice President of Marketing & Strategic Alliances for Optimal Blue. “Combining the sophisticated product and pricing data at the heart of every mortgage transaction with a compelling user experience — and doing so whenever, wherever it matters most — is a game changer for the industry.”

The benefits are not exclusive to lenders and loan officers. Today’s consumers immerse themselves with the details behind major financial decisions and pride themselves on deeply understanding their alternatives. Mortgage financing is no exception. When provided with a comparative, in-depth analysis of the financial impact of their best financing alternatives in a highly consultative environment, consumers are more engaged with their loan officers and more likely to move forward with a loan.

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“In today’s price compression marketplace, converting every prospect into a borrower is the most important aspect of achieving increased profits for mortgage lenders,” said Joe Puthur, President of Mortgage Coach. “This new innovation gives lenders the instantaneous benefit of earning more commitments at a lower cost of acquisition.”

Mortgage Coach, the company’s flagship platform, is the technology behind the Total Cost Analysis (TCA), a report that illustrates the long and short-term impact of any loan program on the borrower’s financial situation. The TCA incorporates real time rates, fees, closing costs, and program information and presents its findings using simple yet powerful graphical elements like charts and graphs. The TCA provides a level of clarity that is virtually impossible to achieve without the Mortgage Coach platform.

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“The difference between using a TCA to explain mortgage options and using any other method is like the difference between having a film described to you versus watching it in high definition with Dolby sound,” explained Mike Hardwick, President of Churchill Mortgage. “Having been in partnership with Mortgage Coach and Optimal Blue for several years now, we’re happy to have helped thousands of borrowers make a better, more informed decision. These new capabilities will provide greater clarity, transparency, and confidence to any borrower – in a way that is faster for every loan professional.”