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:

National Lender Continues To Grow Through Strategic Planning

Planet Home Lending, LLC, a national lender and servicer, opened 26 active distributed retail branches and brought on 165 mortgage loan originators in 2018. Planet Home Lending also enjoyed additional growth in 2018 in its other channels.


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“We have taken a very deliberate approach to how we conduct business and how we want to grow our business,” said Michael Dubeck, CEO and president of Planet Home Lending. “The industry continues to fluctuate based on rates; however, we are proving that it is possible to be stable and provide consistency to your clients through offering a variety of loan products.”


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Planet Home Lending enjoyed several other successes last year:

  • Planet Management Group grew its private client Sub-Servicing Portfolio by 300 percent

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  • The correspondent division expanded its client base by 40 percent
  • Planet Renovation Capital expanded to serve nine states and added a new loan origination system
  • Planet Home Lending’s Retention Retail operation opened a new office in Mt. Laurel, N.J.
  • The company rolled out 66 loan programs and products

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  • To support the new branches, Planet added the Surefire CRM and launched Skymore™, a personal digital mortgage assistant
  • Partnering with the National Forest Foundation to donate three trees for every loan closed in 2019

The company also was able to trim the origination costs in its retention division and saw significant growth in its distributed retail loan volume.

“Approaching the industry from the standpoint of what can we do better, and what can we improve, has been the foundation for our continued success,” Dubeck added. “We are focused on making sure we provide the best service using the right tools to meet the needs of consumers.”

Founded in 2007, Planet Home Lending is a privately held, national residential mortgage lender with multiple business channels uniquely positioned to provide competitive products and services. The company is an approved originator and servicer for FHA, VA, and USDA as well as a Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae Seller/Servicer, a full Ginnie Mae Issuer and approved sub-servicer, and a Standard & Poor’s-and Fitch-rated special and prime residential servicer. Planet Home Lending, LLC is an Equal Opportunity Lender.

Vendorly Collaborates With Shared Assessments

Vendorly, a vendor oversight platform for financial institutions, has collaborated with Shared Assessments, a source in third-party risk management, to license the Standardized Information Gathering (SIG) Questionnaire. The SIG Questionnaire is available for Vendorly customers to access the industry-standard list of questions, based on the risk profile of their vendor engagement.


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Built on best practices by the Shared Assessments member community, the SIG Questionnaire provides standardization and efficiency in performing third-party risk assessments. Vendorly customers no longer need to rely solely on internal expertise in knowing the difference between frameworks (i.e. ISO or NIST) and instead can rely on the standardized questionnaire to help define how to mitigate risk. With over 50,000 vendors actively managed on the Vendorly platform, the addition of the SIG functionality showcases Vendorly’s commitment to raising the standards of third-party risk management (TPRM). The SIG effectively becomes the standard for all questionnaires, helping to satisfy the universe of a TPRM professional’s risk control areas.


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“Vendor management is becoming increasingly complex, covering more and more areas,” said Jim Vaca, Senior Vice President, Vendorly. “By recognizing the pain points experienced by the customers and vendors we work with, we felt a need to bring additional efficiency to both. So often our clients and prospects ask for guidance on the right questions to ask, even something as simple as how long the questionnaire should be. The standardization of questionnaires is long overdue and we are excited to be offering the Shared Assessments SIG Questionnaire to our clients.”


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“We commend Vendorly for joining the community of third-party risk practitioners working to create assurance in vendor relationships,” said Catherine A. Allen, Chairman & CEO, The Santa Fe Group | Shared Assessments. “By adopting and contributing to the Shared Assessments standard, Vendorly is working to create standard assessments that are reliable, relevant and efficient.”


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Vendorly is a SaaS vendor oversight platform designed to help financial institutions manage their vendors and meet their evolving vendor oversight obligations. The Vendorly platform can help to streamline vendor due diligence, document maintenance, monitoring and audits. Vendorly is part of the Altisource Portfolio Solutions S.A. (NASDAQ: ASPS) family of businesses.

Churchill Mortgage Promotes Liliana Nigrelli To Chief Compliance Officer

Churchill Mortgage, a lender that provides conventional, FHA, VA and USDA residential mortgages across 46 states, announced the promotion of Liliana Nigrelli to Chief Compliance Officer.


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In her role as Chief Compliance Officer, Nigrelli will be responsible for managing Churchill’s compliance team as it ensures the lender meets all state and federal regulations, tracks new or potential regulatory changes, and supports Churchill’s sales and operations teams. Nigrelli previously served as Churchill’s Vice President of Compliance. During her eight years at the company, she has successfully guided the lender through more than 80 state audits, in addition to overseeing multiple federal and agency audits.


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Nigrelli’s success is not limited to her work within the compliance department. She has also been recognized and commended by her fellow Churchill employees for her willingness and effort to support every team, from facilities staff to individual loan officers. In 2017, Nigrelli was awarded Churchill’s coveted ‘Broomsweeper’ award, which recognizes one employee who has gone above and beyond in helping fellow staff and is based on a company-wide vote of all employees. 


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“Our compliance team works to safeguard Churchill customers while ensuring our sales teams’ have the proper support to conduct their jobs with full confidence they are following all state and federal regulations,” said Nigrelli. “It’s a pleasure to accept this new role. I’m proud of the compliance team we’ve built and their great work each and every day.”


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“Promoting Liliana to Chief Compliance Officer is an integral step in our efforts to promote greater levels of transparency and reliability for our loan originators and sales teams,” said Matt Clarke, COO and CFO of Churchill Mortgage. “We value Liliana’s dedication to building a cohesive compliance team and the knowledge she brings to the table, but more than those, we value her dedication to ensuring Churchill is a world-class lender in not only sales and operations, but compliance as well.”

Richey May Acquires Amata Solutions

Richey May, an accounting and advisory firm serving the financial services and real estate industries, has fully acquired Amata Solutions, a provider of customized planning and business intelligence tools for mortgage lenders. The acquisition comes three months after Richey May made an investment in the firm. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.  Amata Solutions is now part of Richey May Technology Solutions, Richey May’s technology consulting division launched last year.


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Benjamin Duke, Amata Solutions’ founder, has taken the role of executive director, data analytics with Richey May Technology Solutions, where he will be responsible for developing and delivering business analytics solutions for mortgage lending clients.  


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Amata Solutions provided planning, forecasting and business intelligence tools that empower lenders to make more confident, strategic business decisions based on real-time data. The tools it developed can be applied to all areas of the mortgage business and can be integrated across a mortgage lender’s platforms, including their customer relationship management (CRM) software, loan origination system (LOS) and general ledger software (GL). 


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 “We were confident that our clients would love Amata Solutions when we partnered with the firm three months ago, but we may have underestimated how much,” said Ken Richey, co-founder and partner of Richey May. “This acquisition puts Richey May in a perfect position to help mortgage lenders address tighter margins and lower volume so they can stay several steps ahead of their competition.”    


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“Since partnering with Richey May, we have been busier than ever,” said Duke. “There was so much synergy between Richey May’s consulting services and our products and services that it simply made sense to go ‘all in’ and join forces. Today, with our combined expertise and resources, Richey May is able to serve all of a lender’s accounting, consulting and data analytics needs more completely than any other company.”  

A division of Richey May, Richey May Technology Solutions offers a full spectrum of technology solutions, from cloud services and cybersecurity to marketing technology, and from governance, risk, controls and privacy to technology management consulting. 

Indecomm Demystifies Mortgage Income Calculations

Indecomm Global Services announced new features scheduled for release in its IncomeGenius income calculation automation software. The new features, scheduled for release in Q1 of 2019, aim to demystify the income calculation process for loan originators, loan processors, and underwriters, addressing changes to 2018 tax forms due to 2018 Tax Reform, and expanding software functionality for even easier ease of use prior to underwriting with additional support for wage earners.


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The goal is to:

>>Offer new features that further simplify mortgage income calculations for Loan Officers and Processors 

>> Get accurate income calculations obtained prior to underwriting 

>>Users are able to easily identify additional income 

>>Provide support for 2018 Tax Reform, including new tax forms and calculation adjustments 

New features will be released in Q1 2019, with first release scheduled for 1/28/2019. 

Registration is open for free the “Ask Me Anything” webinar on 2018 Tax Forms to help educate industry on the IRS changes to mortgage income calculations. 


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Indecomm Global Services, a leading provider of business process as a service (BPaaS), software as a service (SaaS) technology, and learning solutions for the mortgage industry, announced new features scheduled for release in its IncomeGenius income calculation automation software. The new features, scheduled for release in Q1 of 2019, aim to demystify the income calculation process for loan originators, loan processors, and underwriters, addressing changes to 2018 tax forms due to 2018 Tax Reform, and expanding software functionality for even easier ease of use prior to underwriting with additional support for wage earners. 


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This quarter’s first release of IncomeGenius will be available on January 28, 2019 and includes features aimed to make calculations easier for loan originators and loan processors. IncomeGenius now gives originators and processors the ability to add potential additional income with the click of a button. IncomeGenius provides full transparency to the users into all aspects of the income calculation. This clarity improves confidence in the accuracy of the calculations for mortgage underwriters and visibly demonstrates the time savings provided by IncomeGenius. Additionally, this release includes additional support for the changes in tax forms as part of the 2018 Tax Reform. The new release makes it easier for IncomeGenius® users to transition over to the most significant changes to the tax forms in many years. 


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To further support the industry’s questions around 2018 tax reform and its impact on income calculations, Indecomm is hosting two free webinars addressing the 2018 Tax Form changes with multiple interactive “Ask Me Anything” question and answer sessions. The webinar is titled “2018 Tax Forms and Income Calculations” with open, free registration for the next available session:

  • Friday, January 25, 2019 | 12:30 pm to 1:15 pm ET

Register Now – https://indecomm.webex.com/indecomm/k2/j.php?MTID=t45aa0a856185746f1836b432d876b3ed

Indecomm is expanding the income calculation capability of IncomeGenius by adding functionality to automate calculations for wage earners with paystubs and W2 Forms. This new functionality will be availability in an upcoming Q1 2019 release and will allow for an option of a third year of calculation from tax returns, as well as income analysis for wage earners. 

“When changes in the industry occur that impact our clients’ business, we diligently work to improve and innovate our products and services to address those concerns and ease the burden the changes may cause,” said Rajan Nair, CEO, Financial Services, Indecomm Global Services. “The upcoming new feature releases in our IncomeGenius income calculation software simplifies calculations for originators and processors and provide support surrounding IRS changes.” 

To learn more about IncomeGenius®, visit mortgage.indecomm.com or email marketing@indecomm.net to schedule a demo. 

To register for the next upcoming free webinar, click on the registration link below: 

  • 2018 Tax Forms and Income Calculations 

Friday, January 25, 2019 | 12:30 pm to 1:15 pm ET 
Register Now – https://indecomm.webex.com/indecomm/k2/j.php?MTID=t45aa0a856185746f1836b432d876b3ed

Firm Expands Its Mortgage Technology Footprint

Consolidated Analytics announced that it is expanding its enterprise sales team by adding mortgage operation’s expert Randy Loghry as senior vice president of mortgage origination and technology advisory services.  Loghry will drive the origination advisory practice with a focus on technology utilization strategy for digital transformation, process optimization and loan origination software (LOS) and point-of-sale (POS) selection.  


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“Randy is a foremost expert in leading mortgage lending and automation technologies,” said Steve Faulkner, division president at Consolidated Analytics. “His expertise delivers a distinct time-to-market advantage to our clients who are navigating the complexities of vendor selection and implementation of digital transformation and process optimization projects.”


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As former chief operating officer of leading LOS provider Mortgage Cadence and founder of Mortgage Technology Advisors, a successful mortgage technology consulting practice, Loghry has spent the last decade evaluating, selecting and implementing mortgage technology solutions for some of the industry’s most respected lending institutions.


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“The market’s demand for rapid implementation of origination tech has prompted the development of this new tech advisory team,” said Arvin Wijay, CEO at Consolidated Analytics. “Powerful technology must be paired with exceptional processes to maximize the return on investment and Randy will ensure that our clients get the most out of their investment spend.


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Founded in 1996, Consolidated Analytics, Inc. is a diversified provider of solutions to the mortgage services industry. Extending through all channels of origination, risk management, secondary, servicing and portfolio management the Consolidated Analytics companies provide innovative, comprehensive and fairly-priced products and services in the areas of valuation, due diligence, fulfillment, advisory and risk management.

Lender Pledges To Plant Three Trees Per Closed Loan In 2019

Planet Home Lending, LLC, a national mortgage lender and servicer, has partnered with the National Forest Foundation (NFF) in a project that helps define the company’s brand while sequestering  its carbon footprint. Planet Home Lending pledges three trees for each closed loan in 2019, up to 25,000 trees. The NFF will plant the trees in national forests where they are most needed across the country.


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“We strive to be good corporate citizens, valuing and beneficially affecting our communities, society and the planet,” said Michael Dubeck, CEO and president of Planet Home Lending. “This tree-planting partnership with the National Forest Foundation allows us to define, promote and enhance the green aspect of our company while showing that it is possible to be fiscally successful and environmentally conscious.” 


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Planet Home Lending’s partnership with the NFF is a part of the company’s larger Planet with a Purpose initiatives. “This company was founded on the idea that we have a responsibility to the planet and the communities we serve,” Dubeck said. “Partnering with the National Forest Foundation will help our employees, customers and business partners feel good about the positive effect we collectively make on our planet with every loan we close.” 

The NFF is a nonprofit chartered by Congress to work with the USDA Forest Service and communities to promote the health and public enjoyment of the National Forest System. Since 2001, the NFF’s tree-planting program has planted more than 13.5 million seedlings in national forests across America, where they’re most needed. The NFF currently has approximately 150 corporate and small business partners in addition to Planet Home Lending that include Coca Cola, Blend, REI, Lands’ End and Southwest Airlines.


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“We are incredibly proud to partner with Planet Home Lending,” said Wes Swaffar, director of reforestation and partnerships at the NFF. “Partnerships like these with companies that are passionate about the environment help us work toward our goal of planting 50 million trees in our national forests.”


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NY Bankers Association Endorses Digital Point-Of-Sale

The New York Bankers Association (NYBA), through its wholly owned subsidiary, the New York Bankers Service Corporation (NYBSCO), announced today that it has identified and endorsed Promontory Fulfillment Services LLC (PFS) as a best-in-class provider of mortgage fulfillment services and of advanced digital point-of-sale solutions. 


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PFS enables banks to offer a full range of mortgage products—conventional, jumbo, non-agency and HELOCs—without the need to build and maintain a mortgage operation. PFS underwrites loans using client-provided overlays then processes and closes the loan in the bank’s name. The PFS process and post-closing highlights ongoing compliance reviews. PFS then delivers the loans to the client or sub-servicer.


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PFS also offers clients a digital point-of-sale solution — Borrower Wallet —that allows consumers to apply, upload documents and e-sign digitally. The process empowers customers to manage their mortgage experience, with optional assistance from a loan officer  — empowering community lenders to deliver a customer experience comparable to mega lenders. 


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“Mortgage lending has become increasingly challenging for community banks given current market conditions and the regulatory environment,” said Michael P. Smith, NYBA’s president and chief executive officer.“Our endorsement of PFS will give bankers new options as they navigate the mortgage market and all of its opportunities.”“We are delighted to be endorsed by NYBA,” said Ken Janik, managing director, business head of Promontory Fulfillment Services LLC. “Our fulfillment solution enables banks to offer mortgages as a cornerstone product without maintaining fixed-cost infrastructure. PFS’ Borrower Wallet point-of-sale solution significantly improves the customer experience and loan pull-through for retail lenders.”


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Churchill Mortgage Supports Homebuyers With New ‘Rate Secured’ Program

Churchill Mortgage has launched its “Rate Secured” program to lock eligible borrowers into an interest rate for 90-days after engaging with the lender, whether or not they have a home or property already selected. Churchill provides conventional, FHA, VA and USDA residential mortgages across 46 states.


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Homebuyers today are increasingly challenged by rising interest rates, which can entice them to prematurely purchase a home before they are ready or avoid entering the market altogether. Following the success of its Certified Homebuyer Program, Churchill has introduced its Rate Secured program to give borrowers increased peace of mind as they navigate the home buying process. If the borrower does not find a home within that timeframe, they can then easily reset the rate for another 90 days, and more importantly, if interest rates should decrease during the lock time, the borrower will receive the lower rate at closing.  


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“More than ever, borrowers need services such as these to help them make smarter mortgage decisions,” said Tom Gillen, SVP of Secondary Marketing for Churchill Mortgage. “Coupled with our Certified Homebuyer Program, Rate Secured allows borrowers to shop for their dream home with the confidence that their loan will close seamlessly, and at a rate they can plan around.”


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“In today’s rising interest rate environment, buyers are more hesitant to enter the market and are appropriately cautious towards any future changes” said Mike Hardwick, founder and president of Churchill Mortgage. “Through Churchill’s ‘Rate Secured’ program, we are empowering borrowers to better plan their home searches by eliminating any surprises relative to their financing – all of which helps ensure a smarter mortgage process and better borrower experience.” 


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Founded in 1992, Churchill Mortgage is a privately-owned company by its more than 350 employees. A full-service and financially sound leader in the mortgage industry, the company provides conventional, FHA, VA and USDA residential mortgages across 46 states. As heard on personal finance expert and author Dave Ramsey’s nationally syndicated radio show, the lender’s mission is to help borrowers achieve debt-free homeownership and build wealth through a smarter mortgage plan, regardless of their starting point. Churchill Mortgage is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Churchill Holdings, Inc.

United Wholesale Mortgage Makes Significant Changes To Rates And Pricing

United Wholesale Mortgage (UWM), the No. 1 wholesale lender in America for four consecutive years, has made a major change to its pricing philosophy, now providing mortgage brokers with the best rates and pricing in America.


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UWM has been consistently competitive in terms of rates, regularly ranking near the top of most rate comparisons, but was recognized by mortgage brokers more for its fast and easy processes than offering the best pricing. Now, UWM’s rate sheet is expected to outshine all of its wholesale competitors, in addition to continuing to set the gold standard for service, process, technology and partnership tools.


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“Perception has always been that a lender can’t deliver it all – the best service, great technology, a true partnership, and have the best pricing too – but now they can have it all,” said Mat Ishbia, President and CEO of United Wholesale Mortgage. “We’ve shattered expectations. If a mortgage broker has a borrower with a 640+ FICO, it should be a UWM loan.”


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UWM has removed all state adjustments and many Loan Level Price Adjustments (LLPA), as well, offering the best pricing on every loan with a 640 FICO and above.


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The major pricing improvement follows other recent pricing initiatives that UWM has brought to market, including its Jumbo Bank Buster program (cheapest jumbo rates) and its lower Borrower-Paid M.I. rates.

UWM finished 2018 with $41.5 billion in total loan volume, an all-time high for the company, making up nearly a quarter of the entire wholesale industry’s market share. That production represents a 40% year-over-year growth, making UWM the fastest-growing lender in the nation. Additionally, UWM is the No. 1 non-bank purchase lender in the country and ranks fourth overall among the top-producing mortgage lenders, overall, in America.