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:

Millennials’ View Of Home Buying Turns Negative

Millennials’ perceived value in buying a home dropped below 50 percent, down significantly from post-Brexit high, according to the latest ValueInsured quarterly Modern Homebuyer Survey:

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In the third quarter of 2018, 48 percent of all millennials believe buying a home in America today is a good investment; this is a record low, down from 54 percent in the second quarter. The previous high was 77 percent two years ago.

Fifty-eight percent of millennials now agree buying a home is the best financial decision they can make for themselves and their family, another survey low in ten quarters.

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Just over six in 10 millennials (61 percent) now believe buying a home is more beneficial than renting, again a survey low, down from a high of 83 percent two years ago.

While 76 percent of all homeowners believe now is a good time to sell a home, only 39 percent of millennials who want to become homeowners believe now is a good time to buy a home.

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The ValueInsured Housing Confidence Index for millennials registered a score of 56.9 on a hundred-point scale in Q3 2018. It is the lowest level recorded, down 1.7 points from Q2, and down 10.1 points from a year prior.

In addition to reporting a steady slide in their conviction for home buying, more millennials now associate owning with sacrifices:

Nearly one in four (23 percent) believe they need to delay having children in order to afford buying a home

Thirty-two percent do not believe they can afford a healthy and balanced diet while saving for a home at today’s high prices

Thirty-one percent seriously consider relocating to another city to afford buying

“Conventional wisdom assumed millennials were buying homes later because they chose to get married and have children later,” says Joe Melendez, CEO and founder of ValueInsured.  “New research now suggests homeownership may be the cause, not the effect, of delayed family formation. It is an alarming trend, and we see more acute evidence in expensive housing regions.”

Among millennials who are still interested and motived to become homeowners “in the near future,” their anticipation is often filled with anxiety. Among motivated first-time buyers, 49 percent are concerned rising mortgage rates could make homes currently within their budget become unaffordable later; 67 percent are concerned they will not save enough for a home they would actually like to live in; and 52 percent believe a home they buy now will likely drop in value within one year. Sixty-eight percent are concerned about another housing crisis; and 64 percent admit they will likely experience buyer’s remorse after reaching their homeownership goal.

Their trepidation could be explained by the high stakes these millennials plan to undertake. Eighty-five percent in the survey expect their home down payment to represent over half of their total personal assets.

“Most homebuyers experience a healthy amount of jitters before such a milestone purchase – that’s normal,” Melendez said. “But the new normal is highly anxious, inexperienced buyers bungee jumping in without knowing if their safety harnesses will work. That is an unhealthy, bordering on dysfunctional trend that our industry needs to mitigate to ensure we do not lose an entire generation of future homeowners.”

Technology Helps Planet Home Lending Boost Correspondent Productivity By 300%

LoanLogics, a provider of loan quality technology for mortgage manufacturing and loan acquisition, has helped increase Planet Home Lending’s correspondent division productivity by 300 percent. By using LoanLogics IDEA for indexing loans and LoanHD platforms for loan reviews, Planet Home Lending has raised the division’s monthly loan volume and reduced the time needed for loan reviews, without adding staff.

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Planet Home Lending began using LoanLogics’ technology at the beginning of 2017, and has since tripled its acquisition of correspondent loans, from roughly 300 loans per month to over 1000 loans per month. With the help of LoanLogics’ technology, Planet Home Lending also significantly reduced loan file review time from three to seven days at the beginning of 2017 to currently only 24-48 hours.

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Planet Home Lending evaluated several technology vendors for indexing and data extraction capabilities before settling on LoanLogics, according to Rob Jannotte, senior vice president, production technologies, with Planet Home Lending. “The technology from LoanLogics clearly stood above the rest in terms of indexing, but their data extraction and audit rules automation tools were far and away superior to other vendors.”

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LoanLogics IDEA (Intelligent Data Extraction and Automation) accelerates the indexing of loan files and transforms digital images, as well as scanned documents, into searchable, comparable data elements.The LoanHD platform displays these data elements as LoanFacts, enabling 100% data comparison of extracted data and loan origination system data to provide full transparency as part of the mortgage loan review process.

Planet Home Lending’s implementation of LoanLogics’ technology went very smoothly, according to Jannotte. “We were up and running in 60 days, which I attribute to the expertise and flexibility of LoanLogics staff and just the right amount of training,” he said. During the testing phase, Planet staff was able to see proof that files were being indexed correctly. They could also see the accuracy of the data extraction.

In all ways, Planet Home Lending’s expectations were far exceeded by LoanLogics’ technology. “In my 20 years of experience implementing mortgage technology, the LoanLogics collaboration is without a doubt one of the most successful technology implementations,” Jannotte said.

“The Planet Home Lending implementation and use of LoanLogics’ technology is a great success story,” said Brian Fitzpatrick, CEO of LoanLogics. “We are continually innovating and updating our technology to help mortgage lenders cut the costs and time spent on loan indexing and loan reviews, which significantly improves lenders’ productivity and ROI.”

Mortgage Companies Are Hiring For Success

In order to remain competitive and excel in the current mortgage market, mortgage lenders and technology providers are hiring high-powered executives to take their businesses to the next level. Here are some recent examples of this trend:

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Alexis Anderson, (daughter of industry tech icon Tim Anderson) was recently appointed as Director of Marketing with MortgageFlex Systems based in Jacksonville, Florida.  She will be responsible for all corporate digital marketing and PR for the firm.  She graduated Cum Laude from the School of Communications at the University of Alabama with a major in Public Relations and specific focus and studies on Digital Marketing Communications and Design.

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Also, Mortgage Network Inc., one of the largest independent mortgage lenders in the eastern U.S., is pleased to announce that Chris Horley has joined the company as manager of its new Newport, Rhode Island branch office. Horley (NMLS# 7836) brings to Mortgage Network 23 years of mortgage banking experience in the Rhode Island area. Most recently, Horley served as a senior loan officer for Citizens Bank. He is a lifetime Rhode Island resident and has lived the past three years in Newport. He is an active affiliate member of the Newport County Board of Realtors and the Newport Chamber of Commerce.

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Roostify, a digital lending platform provider, announced that Eric Amblard has joined the company as Chief Financial Officer. Amblard comes to Roostify from EverString Technologies, where he also served as CFO. “Roostify has undergone considerable recent growth, including a funding round and continued push into enterprise accounts,” said Rajesh Bhat, CEO, Roostify. “Eric’s extensive financial and operational experience with growth-stage enterprise SaaS companies will be a great asset to the leadership team as Roostify continues to scale. Eric will also manage the company’s internal regulator, compliance and contract teams. Eric has already brought a great energy into the role and we are extremely excited to have him on board.” Amblard comes to Roostify with over a decade of broad operating experience scaling B2B SaaS companies.

Lastly, LERETA, LLC, a national provider of real estate tax and flood services for mortgage servicers, has selected Rick Holcomb as senior vice president of its tax outsourcing operations. In his new position, Holcomb oversees LERETA’s tax outsourcing, call center and customer care teams. Holcomb comes to LERETA with more than 25 years of experience focusing on all facets of servicing, insurance and tax with a core emphasis on strategic planning, customer relationships, process improvement and operational management. “LERETA has invested significantly in technology and integrated solutions focused on transforming the tax service industry,” said Jim Micali, COO at LERETA. “Adding Rick will enhance our leadership team, and his overall industry experience also brings significant value to our current and future clients.” Most recently, Holcomb was vice president of operations at CoreLogic. He began his tax service career at First American Real Estate Tax Service and had increasing responsibilities throughout the operational departments. He also worked for Midland Mortgage, a division of MidFirst Bank in Oklahoma.

Lenders One Names Michael Kuentz CEO

Lenders One Cooperative, a national alliance of independent  mortgage bankers, announced that Michael Kuentz has been promoted to the role of Chief Executive Officer of Lenders One by its Board of Directors. Mr. Kuentz previously held the title of President. In his new role, he will assume responsibility for Lenders One’s day-to-day operations and strategic execution as well as continue to lead and manage the cooperative’s sales effort.

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“Michael and I have worked closely over these past two years and I could not be more pleased with his promotion,” said Bryan Binder, Lenders One’s outgoing CEO. “The state of our cooperative is extremely strong, and our value proposition and opportunity set are both as attractive as they have been in many years. This strength combined with our incredibly talented management team gives me great confidence that the future of the cooperative has never been brighter and the timing is right for Michael to take the helm.”

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“As independent mortgage bankers in today’s environment, it is essential to come together, collaborate on innovation, share resources and reduce expenses,” added . “of independent mortgage bankers and the market leader in innovation, Lenders One is always looking for new ways to deliver value to our members. I am highly confident that Michael will continue to be a strong leader both for Lenders One and across the mortgage industry.”

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Mr. Kuentz has 20 years of sales and management experience in the mortgage industry and, since joining the cooperative two years ago, has led the Lenders One sales team. During this period, Lenders One has seen exceptional growth, and Mr. Kuentz has played an integral role in helping to deliver creative solutions for the cooperative’s members, preferred vendors and investors.

Prior to joining Lenders One, Mr. Kuentz served in senior roles for Equifax, Inc. (NYSE: EFX), including Senior Vice President of Verification Services and Senior Vice President of Mortgage Services. Mr. Kuentz joined Equifax in 2001 as part of its acquisition of Rapid Reporting where he was a partner.

Millennial Home Purchases Continue To Rise

Mortgages to Millennial borrowers for new home purchases continued their ascent in June, accounting for 91 percent of closed loans, according to the latest Ellie Mae Millennial Tracker report. In May, 90 percent of closed mortgages to members of the generation were for new home purchases, up from April’s 89 percent, and January’s annual low of 81 percent. This is in correlation with the Census Bureau’s latest quarterly homeownership and vacancy report that shows homeownership across Millennials age 35 and younger increased slightly, representing 36.5 percent of all homeowners, compared to 35.3 percent in the first quarter of 2018.

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Conventional loans remained attractive among Millennials, representing 69 percent of all loans closed in June, a slight uptick from 68 percent in May. FHA loans represented 27 percent of all closed loans to this generation, down one percentage point from the month prior. This is significantly higher than the Ellie Mae June Origination Insight Report data which showed FHA loans represented 20 percent of closed loans in the month for borrowers of all ages.

Average Millennial borrower FICO scores across all loan types rose slightly in June to an average of 723, up from 721 which held steady March through May. For purchases, the average FICO score was 746 for a conventional loan, 681 for an FHA loan and 744 for a VA loan.

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“As it remains a competitive, purchase-centric market, we will continue to keep a close eye on the purchase trends amongst Millennials,” said Joe Tyrrell, Ellie Mae’s executive vice president of corporate strategy. “This new generation of homebuyers wants the capability of an on-demand mortgage, and we are working to provide borrowers a convenient and secure digital mortgage offering that makes the homebuying process a seamless experience.”

Across all loan types, it took Millennials an average of 42 days to close on their loans in June, a day longer than in March, April and May. Purchases took an average of 41 days and refinances took an average of 45 days.

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In June, the hottest housing markets for Millennials were primarily in the Midwest. The top markets by percentage of Millennial loans closed included Clarksburg, W.Va. (65 percent), Watertown, S.D. (65 percent), Boone, Iowa (64 percent), and Dickinson, N.D. (61 percent).

The Ellie Mae Millennial Tracker is an interactive online tool that provides access to up-to-date demographic data about this new generation of homebuyers. It mines data from a robust sampling of approximately 80 percent of all closed mortgages dating back to 2014 that were initiated on Ellie Mae’s Encompass mortgage management solution.

Partnership Empowers Lenders To Cultivate Client Relationships

Total Expert, the company that created an enterprise-grade Marketing Operating System (MOS) specifically for financial services organizations, has partnered with Mortgage Coach, the developer of the Total Cost Analysis (TCA), a borrower conversion platform for mortgage lenders.

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The Total Expert and Mortgage Coach integration is a unique offering to loan officers, positioning them to create customers for life by pairing the Total Expert marketing automation capabilities with Mortgage Coach’s loan comparison, Total Cost Analysis. The partnership further expands the ability for lenders to centralize all marketing assets created and deployed into the Total Expert MOS for full oversight and on-demand reporting.

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“Mortgage loan officers are working every day to stay front and center with their clients – and our integration with Mortgage Coach makes this a seamless, automated process with beautiful, user-friendly client deliverables,” said Joe Welu, founder and chief executive officer of Total Expert. “We aim to empower loan officers to build their personal brand within their respective enterprises, grow their business and ultimately create lifelong relationships with their customers. Mortgage Coach is a best-of-breed partner, and together, we can provide lenders with solutions for long-term success.”

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Loan officers who use both Total Expert and Mortgage Coach can educate their clients and prospects about their mortgage loan, provide value-added content and further nurture their relationship. The seamless integration provides alerts, email reporting and engagement indicators within the Total Expert platform to keep loan officers informed when a borrower engages with their Mortgage Coach content.

“Mortgage lending is a relationship-business and our integration will give loan officers the tools they need to create customers for life,” said Dave Savage, chief executive officer of Mortgage Coach.  “We are impressed with how Total Expert’s MOS continues to push the boundaries of what’s possible in financial services digital transformation,and we look forward to our partnership with a true industry innovator.”

Altisource Names Justin Vedder COO Of Origination Solutions

Altisource Portfolio Solutions S.A. (“Altisource” or the “Company”) (NASDAQ: ASPS), a provider of services and technologies to the mortgage and real estate industries, announced the appointment of Justin Vedder as Chief Operating Officer, Origination Solutions.

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In his new role, Mr. Vedder will be responsible for the growth of Altisource’s Origination Solutions business which brings together the integrated and consultative products, services and solutions needed by mortgage market participants of all sizes throughout the loan origination and secondary market execution process. Lenders and investors can leverage Altisource’s full suite of data-enabled products and solutions as well as the insights of an experienced team to help maximize efficiency and gain a competitive edge in today’s increasingly competitive loan origination marketplace. Altisource’s integrated end-to-end solutions are built on a scalable platform aimed to help businesses improve controls and drive efficiencies.

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Altisource’s Origination Solutions Platform includes Trelix Mortgage Fulfillment Services, CastleLine Insurance Services, the Lenders One cooperative, Granite Risk Management, Mortgage Builder Loan Origination System, Springhouse Valuations, and Premium Title and Settlement Services.

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Previously, Mr. Vedder served as Vice President of National Sales, Origination Solutions where he was instrumental in growing the Origination Solutions customer base and driving long-term strategic client relationships. Prior to joining Altisource, he was the Executive Vice President of CastleLine where he assisted in the development and launch of the Certified Loan Program. He is a renowned thought leader in the industry and has spoken nationally on various topics including mortgage fraud, loan production and defects, repurchase management, auditing of lenders, insurance and various other mortgage banking-related matters. Mr. Vedder’s appointment follows the departure of Bryan Binder and Jason Garmise, who joined Altisource in 2015 through the acquisition of CastleLine. Mr. Binder and Mr. Garmise will be leaving the company to pursue a new business venture.

“With over 17 years of sales and management experience in the mortgage and insurance industries, Justin has a proven track record of driving business development, innovating new solutions for large and sophisticated clients, and exceeding revenue targets,” said William Shepro, Chief Executive Officer of Altisource. “Justin’s business acumen, combined with his indispensable role in shaping the way customers leverage Altisource’s extensive offerings by utilizing the ‘One Altisource’ model, are great indicators of the potential growth he can help deliver while leading the Origination Solutions initiative.”

IndiSoft Taps Mark Sweeney For Chief Technology Officer

IndiSoft, a provider of technology solutions for the financial services industry, has tapped Mark Sweeney for the chief technology officer position. He is responsible for all technical and product strategy, development and support.

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“We are excited to have someone of Mark’s caliber join the IndiSoft team,” said Hans Rusli, CEO of IndiSoft. “We felt that Mark is a great fit for this role based on his experience and commitment to the evolution of technology in business. He is an innovative leader recognized for establishing and continually improving client relationships and developing application strategies.”

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Sweeney has more than 30 years of experience in the technology industry. He was previously senior vice president of service delivery at Bank of America and executive vice president of applications development at Countrywide Home Loans. Sweeney has proven experience in managing large technology organizations and delivering enterprise systems.

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“Mark’s organizational leadership, experience with governance processes, employee satisfaction and organizational metrics programs makes him ideal for this position,” said chairman and founder of IndiSoft, Sanjeev Dahiwadkar.

Partnership Delivers A Relationship-Driven Digital Mortgage Experience

HomeServices Lending, LLC — a subsidiary of HomeServices of America, a Berkshire Hathaway Affiliate — selected Maxwell as their technology partner to streamline the mortgage lending process and provide a relationship-driven digital mortgage experience for the hundreds of loan officers, thousands of real estate agents, and tens of thousands of homebuyers who are served by HomeServices of America every year.

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“We started by looking for an online application tool with secure document upload capabilities. What we uncovered was a partner that has a much larger vision to transform mortgage lending. Now that we’re working with Maxwell, we’re excited to bring attention to how HomeServices intends to differentiate ourselves in the marketplace,” said HomeServices Lending president and CEO, Maureen Sammon.

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With this strategic partnership, HomeServices Lending reaffirmed their commitment to meet the evolving needs of homebuyers, needs that have mortgage lenders across the country scrambling to adapt to the demand for a more efficient, relationship-driven digital process.

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“Our teams are doing a better job of meeting clients’ needs with Maxwell. Consumers require more help from us than ever before and that relationship goes beyond being a mere transaction,” said Harris Laskey, vice president of national sales at HomeServices Lending. “Maxwell’s solution naturally complements HomeServices’ offerings by powering our front-line loan officers and their teams to deliver a fast and delightful experience that outshines the competition.”

Maxwell empowers mortgage lenders across the nation with a modern digital workspace that digitizes and automates the home-buying experience, integrating with thousands of financial institutions and leading mortgage technology providers to streamline the lending process and offer a hassle-free experience for every homebuyer on any device.

“We are beyond pleased to partner with the outstanding team at HomeServices,” said John Paasonen, CEO and Co-Founder of Maxwell. “We built Maxwell on the premise that technology should empower humans, not replace them — a mantra that HomeServices not only believes in, but uses to guide their own business. In every relationship, we go beyond the typical vendor-client relationship to establish partnerships with mortgage lenders, like HomeServices Lending, who share our dedication to working together to craft an experience that’s truly exceptional.”

Lender Optimizes Account Onboarding And Consumer Loan Experiences

West Jordan, Utah-based Mountain America Credit Union, has selected Docutech’s ConformX dynamic document generation engine, Solex eSign and eClose, and print fulfillment services to streamline new account onboarding, and consumer, home equity and short-term mortgage refinance lending process for its branches across the U.S.

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Through Docutech’s ConformX, Mountain America Credit Union will be able to dynamically generate document and disclosure packages for their new account and consumer loan offerings including personal accounts, trusts, business accounts, credit cards, auto loans, student loans, home equity, and short-term mortgage refinance products. Through Solex, the credit union will also be able to offer the convenience of eSign and eClose capabilities online and via in-branch signature pads. The use of these technologies will better enable Mountain America to deliver robust omni-channel financial services, optimize member experience and increase operational efficiency.

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“Docutech understands the legal and compliance nuances of each state,” said Bret Butterfield, VP of Home Equity lending at Mountain America. “Because Docutech will have our member’s loans covered from a compliance standpoint, including eClose and electronic notary services, we can concentrate more of our time on satisfying and elevating our member’s experience.”

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Jade Beckman, VP of Consumer Loans at Mountain America added, “Docutech took much of our regulatory and compliance burden from us by streamlining the document process. This tool has made the whole process much simpler. Document updates that used to take weeks to change are now updated in a day.”

“Mountain America is one of the largest credit unions in the U.S. and given its passion for improving the lives of its membership, we are honored to stand by Mountain America in this pursuit. Docutech is most known in the industry for our ability to streamline and improve compliance for the mortgage lending process. However, our ability to improve the account onboarding and consumer lending process is of increasing interest as credit unionscontinue to diversify their offerings,” said Amy Brandt, CEO of Docutech. “Though Docutech’s technology, Mountain America’s members will be able to reduce the amount of time spent from application to closing – it’s an efficient and enjoyable experience for both the member and thecredit union.”