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New Foreclosure And REO Auction Platform Launches

ServiceLink, a national provider of transaction services to the mortgage and finance industries and the largest provider of integrated services throughout the default cycle, announced today the launch of its newest offering, ServiceLink Auction.

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ServiceLink Auction will provide a results-driven, full service auction platform providing foreclosure and REO auction services that are fully integrated with ServiceLink products and technologies. It will be complemented by ServiceLink’s end-to-end default services and managed through ServiceLink’s Default Services division.

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ServiceLink Auction is powered by the recent acquisition of Hudson and Marshall completed by ServiceLink’s parent company, Fidelity National Financial (FNF), a leading provider of title insurance, technology and transaction services to the real estate and mortgage industries.  Hudson and Marshall, a full service auction company, is one of the top auction providers in the country and has been in business since 1965.

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“With ServiceLink Auction, we are providing a service for our customers who have been looking for auction alternatives,” said Chris Azur, CEO of ServiceLink. “This service complements our default offerings and allows us to be the single service provider that the industry can count on to provide timely liquidity and optimal market value in the disposition of assets.”

This new platform, and the addition of CWCOT auction services, will also broaden ServiceLink’s HUD Suite of Services, with services tailored for the disposition of HUD delinquent portfolios including CWCOT title, post-sale HUD title, valuations and property preservation.

“As the industry leader in quality, compliance and an overarching commitment to customer excellence, ServiceLink is committed to consistently meeting the needs of our changing industry,” Azur said. “In partnership with Hudson and Marshall’s long-history of auction leadership and innovative technology platforms, we are certain that ServiceLink Auction will become the go-to resource for servicers.”

“The partnership with ServiceLink provides an even greater reach for Hudson & Marshall’s innovative disposition offerings,” said Trixy Castro, CEO of Hudson & Marshall. “It’s a great match and we are excited about the impact we can make together on the real estate industry.”

About The Author

Tony Garritano
Tony Garritano is chairman and founder at PROGRESS in Lending Association. As a speaker Tony has worked hard to inform executives about how technology should be a tool used to further business objectives. For over 10 years he has worked as a journalist, researcher and speaker in the mortgage technology space. Starting this association was the next step for someone like Tony, who has dedicated his career to providing mortgage executives with the information needed to make informed technology decisions. He can be reached via e-mail at tony@progressinlending.com.
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DIMONT Adds Auto Finance Industry Veteran

DIMONT, a provider of insurance claims adjusting and collateral loss mitigation services to the residential mortgage and auto lending industries, today announced that Mark Floyd has joined the firm as a board member, with a special focus on the automotive finance industry.

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Floyd is a seasoned auto finance executive, with more than 30 years of experience in banking and subprime lending. Most recently, he served as vice chairman and chief executive officer of Dallas-based subprime lender, Exeter Finance. He also held senior management positions at AmeriCredit Corp., including chief operations officer and president of dealer services, and executive vice president of strategic alliances. Prior to AmeriCredit, he served as president of the National Asset Placement Corp. and excelled in various leadership positions at banking institutions throughout Dallas.

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In his role as a DIMONT board member, Floyd will assemble and lead an advisory panel designed to provide guidance in client/services development within the automotive finance industry.

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“Mark has a proven track record of successfully building and leading a growing business platform,” said Denis Brosnan, president and chief executive officer of DIMONT. “We look forward to utilizing his expertise to help grow DIMONT’s solutions for the auto finance industry. His outstanding reputation in the industry, coupled with his wealth of experience and relationships, will help strengthen our presence as a best-in-class insurance claims service provider to auto lenders.”

“I look forward to building upon DIMONT’s strong foundation in the residential mortgage industry and expanding their reach into the auto finance space,” said Floyd. “Lenders will benefit tremendously from DIMONT’s products, service and dedication to excellence.”

About The Author

Tony Garritano
Tony Garritano is chairman and founder at PROGRESS in Lending Association. As a speaker Tony has worked hard to inform executives about how technology should be a tool used to further business objectives. For over 10 years he has worked as a journalist, researcher and speaker in the mortgage technology space. Starting this association was the next step for someone like Tony, who has dedicated his career to providing mortgage executives with the information needed to make informed technology decisions. He can be reached via e-mail at tony@progressinlending.com.
marketanalysis

The Mortgage Collaborative And LendingQB Partner

The Mortgage Collaborative, an independent mortgage cooperative, serving a membership of 105 lender members, with an aggregate annual origination volume of over $170 billion, and LendingQB, a provider of lean lending loan origination technology solutions, today announced a partnership to provide network members access to LendingQB’s suite of services.

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The Mortgage Collaborative selected LendingQB as the exclusive Loan Origination Software (LOS) partner of network due to the technology and operational expertise the company can provide its members. Network members who decide to work with LendingQB will find a 100% web browser-based system that manages the entire mortgage lending process intuitively and efficiently.

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“Lenders require technology that can efficiently support their unique business objectives,” said Rich Swerbinsky, EVP, National Sales & Strategic Alliances for The Mortgage Collaborative. “Partnering with LendingQB allows The Collaborative to offer our members a proven and innovative LOS platform that provides the technological backbone for a nimble and efficient mortgage process.”

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LendingQB provides mortgage lenders with a holistic model for optimizing business performance by delivering advanced technology coupled with powerful best practices that enable rapid user adoption and software effectiveness. LendingQB’s open API enables robust integrations with more than 200 best-of-breed partner integrations, providing lenders with a flexible solution that can best serve its organizational needs.

“The Mortgage Collaborative’s network brings together lenders and select vendors for the purpose of sharing resources, industry knowledge and expertise,” said Tim Nguyen, President, LendingQB. “We decided to partner with The Mortgage Collaborative because of the values and leadership the organization brings to the industry. Our partnership with The Mortgage Collaborative underscores the commitment we have to delivering meaningful and practical solutions that improve the mortgage lending experience for lenders and their customers. We look forward to building a deep and meaningful relationship with The Mortgage Collaborative and their members.”

About The Author

Tony Garritano
Tony Garritano is chairman and founder at PROGRESS in Lending Association. As a speaker Tony has worked hard to inform executives about how technology should be a tool used to further business objectives. For over 10 years he has worked as a journalist, researcher and speaker in the mortgage technology space. Starting this association was the next step for someone like Tony, who has dedicated his career to providing mortgage executives with the information needed to make informed technology decisions. He can be reached via e-mail at tony@progressinlending.com.
marketanalysis

Texas Homeowners Held Hostage By Lobbyists

Aaron Anderson, CEO of Accumatch, a provider of property tax tracking services for non-escrowed loans, tax reporting and payment services for escrowed loans, and redemption services for delinquent portfolios, issued a statement today in favor of HB 2832, a bill currently working its way through the Texas legislature. The bill, if signed into law, would require that mortgage servicers be notified before their borrower enters into a contract with a property tax lender.

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“A predatory industry has developed around the fact that borrowers in Texas sometimes fall behind on their taxes,” Anderson said. “Instead of offering these buyers a helping hand and helping them get back on track, these companie put them further behind. Now that a law has been proposed that will allow a servicer or tax collector to come to the borrower’s rescue, a powerful lobby is working to see that the law is never passed.”

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HB 2832 would amend the state’s tax code such that property owners that intend to enter into a contract with a property tax lender would provide notice to the mortgage servicer not later than the 10th day before the property owner executes a contract with a transferee. Further, the new law would allow a property owner to authorize another person to pay the taxes imposed by a taxing unit on the owner’s real property by filing paperwork with the collector for the taxing unit. This would give the mortgage servicer the flexibility to help the borrower work out a solution. It would also grant disabled persons relief.

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Accumatch has spent that last few years working with County Clerk’s throughout the state of Texas to develop a database that tracks tax lien transfers across the state. The database the company developed along with all of the records it has accumulated is made available to its banking and servicing clients across the state at no charge. The tool allows servicers to identify tax lien transfers even if they have not been previously notified.

“The majority of tax collectors already provide a payment plan for borrowers that need help paying their taxes,” Anderson said. “Mortgage servicers would rather modify a mortgage and pay the property taxes on behalf of the homeowner than lose their lien position to a predatory third party. The number of homeowners that are trapped into a second or even third tax lien transfer once they have entered into the first should cause elected officials of our state to take pause and evaluate what is truly in the best interest of their constituents.”

About The Author

Tony Garritano
Tony Garritano is chairman and founder at PROGRESS in Lending Association. As a speaker Tony has worked hard to inform executives about how technology should be a tool used to further business objectives. For over 10 years he has worked as a journalist, researcher and speaker in the mortgage technology space. Starting this association was the next step for someone like Tony, who has dedicated his career to providing mortgage executives with the information needed to make informed technology decisions. He can be reached via e-mail at tony@progressinlending.com.
marketanalysis

Purchase Loans Represent 65% Of Total Loans

Home loans for purchases continued to gain momentum in April, representing 65 percent of total loans, according to the latest Origination Insight Report released by Ellie Mae. Refinances represented 35 percent of total loans in the month.

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The average time to close all loans dwindled to 42 days in April, down from 43 days in March and a substantial decline from 51 days in January. The time to close a refinance declined to 41 days in April, down from 43 days in March, and the time to close a purchase dropped to 42 days in April, down from 43 days the month prior.

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The average 30-year note continued to rise in April to 4.41 percent, up from 4.39 percent in March, and the percentage of Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs) increased to the highest point since November of 2014 to 5.9 percent, up from 5.6 percent the month prior.

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“The purchase market continued its rise in April, representing 65 percent of total closed loans,” said Jonathan Corr, president and CEO of Ellie Mae. “We also saw the time to close loans shrink for the third consecutive month to 42 days, a substantial decrease from the 2017 high of 51 days in January. Ellie Mae customers are realizing efficiencies as they embrace technology to improve the homebuying experience.”

The Origination Insight Report mines its application data from a 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.

Ellie Mae also distributes data from its monthly Ellie Mae Millennial Tracker, which focuses on mortgage applications submitted by millennials during specific time periods. Ellie Mae defines millennials as applicants born between the years 1980 and 1999. The Millennial Tracker will continue to be released on the first Wednesday of each month.

About The Author

Tony Garritano
Tony Garritano is chairman and founder at PROGRESS in Lending Association. As a speaker Tony has worked hard to inform executives about how technology should be a tool used to further business objectives. For over 10 years he has worked as a journalist, researcher and speaker in the mortgage technology space. Starting this association was the next step for someone like Tony, who has dedicated his career to providing mortgage executives with the information needed to make informed technology decisions. He can be reached via e-mail at tony@progressinlending.com.
marketanalysis

ARMCO Enhances ACES Technology To Support Upcoming HMDA Changes

ACES Risk Management (ARMCO), a provider of financial quality control and compliance software, announced that it has upgraded its ACES Audit Technology solution with over 15 new enhancements. The enhancements include support for the HMDA changes scheduled for 2018, at-a-glance dashboards, and heightened automation for the system’s ACES Intelligent Questionnaire (ACES IQ), which has been shown to reduce QC audit times by an average of 30 percent.

ACES Audit Technology also includes new at-a-glance dashboards that provide users with a high-level view of the loans and exceptions in their queue in an easy-to-read format. ACES Dashboards’ visual charts and graphs help users to quickly identify issues and determine pipeline status in real-time. Its live audit-level filtering enables users to customize the experience according to their unique goals and demands.

“Industry requirements keep expanding and the number of audit questions are increasing,” said McCall. “In response, we made considerable improvements to ACES IQ technology, which include pre-set and user-defined audit questions, to help lenders streamline efficiencies.”

ACES IQ has been enhanced to include multiple layers of automation, including audit, loan and borrower level dependencies, supported by data-driven triggers that will support an efficient and streamlined workflow. With this enhancement, ARMCO clients are reporting reductions in post-closing audit times of up to 30%.

“When you combine a contracting market with a regulation-heavy environment—and that’s exactly what the mortgage industry is facing right now—lenders need operations that aren’t just powerful, but also lean,” said Avi Naider, CEO of ARMCO. “This update enhances quality and compliance, while also providing the efficiency and speed for a leaner, more economical process.”

About The Author

Tony Garritano
Tony Garritano is chairman and founder at PROGRESS in Lending Association. As a speaker Tony has worked hard to inform executives about how technology should be a tool used to further business objectives. For over 10 years he has worked as a journalist, researcher and speaker in the mortgage technology space. Starting this association was the next step for someone like Tony, who has dedicated his career to providing mortgage executives with the information needed to make informed technology decisions. He can be reached via e-mail at tony@progressinlending.com.
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LendingQB Earns High Marks In Vendor Satisfaction, Customer Support In Annual STRATMOR Report

LendingQB has earned high marks for its vendor satisfaction and customer support in STRATMOR Group’s most recent Technology Insights survey report.

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Per STRATMOR’s LOS Technology Insights survey, LendingQB included roughly 11% of the respondents amongst loan origination software (LOS) providers, making it the second largest in terms of this survey’s overall lender respondents. Likewise, LendingQB earned an end user effectiveness rating of 93% and exceeded functionality expectations for 22% of its respondents – top marks that surpassed even proprietary systems. Overall, LendingQB achieved a vendor satisfaction score of 96% and the highest marks for user experience among the major LOS providers included in the report.

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“Lenders need more than LOS technology, they need a vendor that is committed to their success,” said Tim Nguyen, President of LendingQB. “We have almost two decades worth of experience in providing SaaS technology to businesses, so we know better than anyone the importance of customer support in a SaaS environment.”

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LendingQB’s LOS is completely web-based and designed to provide lenders a flexible, innovative workflow. Its open-architecture application protocol interface (API) enables lenders to select the tools that best help their efficiency. In addition to the technology, LendingQB provides lenders with a combination of workflow analysis, best practices and training to help fully adopt and optimize the LendingQB LOS.

“The STRATMOR Group Technology Insights survey findings are based on 266 participants ranging in size from under $250 million to $10 billion in annual volume. These results reflect lender opinions on how they view their success with LOS technology when vendors are actively engaged in helping them meets their business objectives,” Nguyen said. “LendingQB’s lean lending strategies, best of breed integrations, and focus on ‘adoptimization’ reflects the level of support lenders need and value in addition to reliable technology.”

Learn more at http://www.lendingqb.com/TopRatedLOS.html.

STRATMOR Group is a mortgage industry advisory firm that offers a range of programs designed to provide lender CEOs and senior executives in sales, marketing, technology and operations with comprehensive performance benchmarking data and a full spectrum of expert mortgage lending consulting services. The firm serves more than 250 companies operating in the sector and provides consulting on strategies and actions to improve growth and profitability, reduce risk or position themselves to make an acquisition or sell the company. For more information, visit http://www.stratmorgroup.com.

LendingQB is a provider of Lean Lending solutions. The Lean Lending solution consists of a 100 percent web browser-based, end-to-end mortgage loan origination system, best of breed integrations with key industry partners and ‘adoptimization’ services that result in faster cycle times and lower costs per loan. For more information, please call 888.285.3912 or visit http://www.lendingqb.com.

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Black Knight Updates Its LOS To Tackle Industry Issues

Black Knight Financial Services, Inc. has made several significant enhancements to LoanSphere Empower, the company’s loan origination system (LOS) that supports the retail, wholesale and consumer-direct lending channels. Empower’s features and functionality help lenders increase efficiencies, maintain regulatory compliance, mitigate risk and improve customer service. Key enhancements delivered in version 7.0 of the Empower LOS include:

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>>Updates to support the expanded data collection requirements in the CFPB’s final rule for the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA). This includes borrower demographic information, loan costs, automated underwriting system evaluation information and property information, as well as the Legal Entity Identifier and Universal Loan Identifier.

>>Establishes the architectural standards and protocols to support multi-device user experience, including the Representational State Transfer Application Program Interface (REST API) framework that enables lenders to access Empower functionality and data from various mobile devices.

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>>An enhanced user interface to help increase lender productivity using a more intuitive navigation and a simplified screen presentation.

>>New capabilities for home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) that allow clients to configure special introductory promotional rates and perform mass repricing of HELOCs in the pipeline.

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Empower 7.0 also includes technology integrations that help further streamline lenders’ processes, such as:

>>Access to quick, reliable property tax data through Black Knight’s Tax for Loan Estimation and Tax for Closing Disclosure products

>>A new LoanSphere Loan Boarding optimized file for servicing

>>LoanSphere Expedite to support eSign and eDelivery capabilities

>>Additional support for managing fraud-risk detection through PitchPoint

“Empower 7.0 offers dynamic, innovative capabilities to help clients deliver an exceptional customer experience, increase productivity and address regulatory requirements,” said Jerry Halbrook, president of Black Knight’s Origination Technologies division. “This is just one example of how Black Knight continues to make significant investments in Empower to provide clients with a sophisticated loan origination system that has superior capabilities.”

The Empower LOS delivers the functionality to electronically capture and process data for every facet of loan origination and can be hosted by Black Knight at its data center or self-hosted by a lender. To support regional and mid-market lenders, as well as independent mortgage bankers, Black Knight offers Empower Now!, a version of Empower that greatly streamlines the implementation process, resulting in reduced timelines and costs. Empower is seamlessly integrated with Black Knight’s LoanSphere MSP, a comprehensive, end-to-end loan servicing system that encompasses all aspects of servicing, from loan boarding to default, for first mortgages and home equity loans.

About The Author

Tony Garritano
Tony Garritano is chairman and founder at PROGRESS in Lending Association. As a speaker Tony has worked hard to inform executives about how technology should be a tool used to further business objectives. For over 10 years he has worked as a journalist, researcher and speaker in the mortgage technology space. Starting this association was the next step for someone like Tony, who has dedicated his career to providing mortgage executives with the information needed to make informed technology decisions. He can be reached via e-mail at tony@progressinlending.com.
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Big eClosing News Out Of North Carolina

Jason and Karen Boccardi made history last week when they refinanced the mortgage on their Winston-Salem property. It was not the home that was historical, or anything about the closing paperwork—just the opposite—it was that there was no paperwork.  Here’s what happened:

Last Friday, the Boccardis became the first people in North Carolina history, along with their lender, North State Bank, to execute a 100 percent electronic mortgage closing, called an “eClosing.” A few such totally electronic closings have been done around the nation. Government regulators say the North Carolina one is different in that it was not done as just a one-time test, but as the start of a new 21st Century way to do mortgage closings.

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“This was our first North Carolina eClosing,” NC Secretary of State Elaine F. Marshall said Tuesday, “it is not our last. We want this to become a regular option for lenders and their customers because of the many advantages eClosing offers versus the slower, traditional paper-based system.”

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Secretary Marshall has been a leading advocate for modernizing traditional business practices in North Carolina to better compete at the national and international levels. She and her agency have led the charge along with many North Carolina county registers of deeds to do more paper-free electronic recordings of government-required filings and land records.

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As the notary public regulator in North Carolina, the Secretary of State’s office has developed the standards and curriculum for the electronic notary status, often called eNotary. A notary public with this status can attach a digital version of their notary stamp to electronic legal transactions, making them legally the same as paper-based filings requiring a notarized document.

“The eNotary is essential to moving legal filings into the digital age,” Secretary Marshall said. “People and institutions still want to know that a notary was there in the room confirming the signer’s identity even if the filing is moving through cyberspace instead of being a pile of paper.”

The electronic, notarized mortgage was insured by Investors Title Insurance Company of Chapel Hill. DocMagic and World Wide Notary were the electronic solution providers that were used.

Secretary Marshall stressed that eClosings have all of the regular features and safeguards that people see when they execute a mortgage on paper. “For eClosings we require the physical presence of that notary plus the

access to legal expertise—there is zero drop in standards for an eClosing—it is just faster, far more convenient and in my opinion more secure.”

The historic eClosing last Friday featured a test of the different elements by having the event take place in a North State Bank office in Hickory for a property in Winston-Salem, with the attorney for the Boccardis from the Hunoval Law Firm participating via an interactive video link from Charlotte.

“We stress tested the whole thing as hard as we could,” Secretary Marshall said. “It was still far quicker and easier to do than a traditional closing.” Marshall added that many government officials, digital service venders and lenders have worked for years to make sure that the way digital records are recorded in North Carolina is safe, secure and reliable.

“We have actually been electronically recording many filings such as land records this way in North Carolina for years now, and there has never been any security issue,” she said. “We are simply bringing the system to the level where people buying homes and applying for mortgages can use it.”

Marshall said with eClosings now a feature in North Carolina, it put the State in a more competitive business climate compared to areas that only offer paper filings.

“This is a win-win-win scenario,” she added. “The lender gets their work done quick and easy, the borrower gets in and out on a schedule that fits for them, and the land records get recorded instantly at the county register of deeds. There are no couriers or copiers or travel delays.”

North State Bank is currently the only lender to have done a fully paperless eClosing. The bank has been an active participant for the past year, vetting the system as it prepared to do a live closing. North State Bank President Ken Sykes attended the closing on Friday.

“We stand ready to work with all other North Carolina lenders to get them up to speed on this,” Marshall said. “One thing we all noted during this closing was that even though we tried to make it into a real ceremony—it was still so fast and easy that we had a hard time not being finished in just a few moments.”

About The Author

Tony Garritano
Tony Garritano is chairman and founder at PROGRESS in Lending Association. As a speaker Tony has worked hard to inform executives about how technology should be a tool used to further business objectives. For over 10 years he has worked as a journalist, researcher and speaker in the mortgage technology space. Starting this association was the next step for someone like Tony, who has dedicated his career to providing mortgage executives with the information needed to make informed technology decisions. He can be reached via e-mail at tony@progressinlending.com.
marketanalysis

Loan Performance Remains Strong

Data from CoreLogic shows that, nationally, 5 percent of mortgages were delinquent by 30 days or more (including those in foreclosure) in February 2017. This represents a 0.5 percentage point decline in the overall delinquency rate compared with February 2016 when it was 5.5 percent.

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As of February 2017, the foreclosure inventory rate, which measures the share of mortgages in some stage of the foreclosure process, was 0.8 percent compared with 1.1 percent in February 2016. The serious delinquency rate, defined as 90 days or more past due including loans in foreclosure, was 2.2 percent in February 2017, down from 2.8 percent in February 2016.

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Measuring early-stage delinquency rates is important for analyzing the health of the mortgage market. To more comprehensively monitor mortgage performance, CoreLogic examines all stages of delinquency as well as transition rates that indicate the percent of mortgages moving from one stage of delinquency to the next.

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Early-stage delinquencies, defined as 30-59 days past due, were trending slightly higher in February 2017 at 2.14 percent compared with 2.08 percent in February 2016, an increase of 0.06 percent year over year. The share of mortgages that were 60-89 days past due in February 2017 was 0.7 percent, unchanged from a year earlier.

Since early-stage delinquencies can be volatile, CoreLogic also analyzes transition rates. The share of mortgages that transitioned from current to 30-days past due was 1 percent in February 2017, up from 0.8 percent in February 2016. By comparison, in January 2007, just before the start of the financial crisis, the current to 30-day transition rate was 1.2 percent and it peaked in November 2008 at 2 percent.

“Serious delinquency and foreclosure rates continue to drift lower, and are at their lowest levels since the fourth quarter of 2007,” said Dr. Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic. “Moreover, the past-due share dropped to 5 percent, the lowest since September 2007. However, current-to-30-day past-due transition rates ticked up in February, and 30-day-to-60 day delinquency rates held mostly steady, recording only a 0.06 percent increase.”

“While national-level delinquency rates declined, the serious delinquency rate remained elevated in many mid-Atlantic and northeast states led by New York and New Jersey,” said Frank Martell, president and CEO of CoreLogic. “February-to-February increases in both 30-day-or-more delinquency rates and in serious delinquency rates were also observed in Alaska, Louisiana and Wyoming relating to the impact of the downturn in the global oil market.”

About The Author

Tony Garritano
Tony Garritano is chairman and founder at PROGRESS in Lending Association. As a speaker Tony has worked hard to inform executives about how technology should be a tool used to further business objectives. For over 10 years he has worked as a journalist, researcher and speaker in the mortgage technology space. Starting this association was the next step for someone like Tony, who has dedicated his career to providing mortgage executives with the information needed to make informed technology decisions. He can be reached via e-mail at tony@progressinlending.com.