By Tony Garritano
What’s going on in the mortgage market? What trends should you be aware of? Tony tells you in this daily column.

Vendor Gets $20 Million Capital Investment

SimpleNexus, a vendor known for bringing the home mortgage process to mobile devices through their digital mortgage platform, raised $20 million in growth capital from Insight Venture Partners to accelerate continued growth and expansion.

Featured Sponsors:

 

 
SimpleNexus provides a private-label digital mortgage platform and mobile app that connects mortgage lenders with borrowers and real estate agents, allowing all parties to easily exchange data and documents through the lifecycle of a mortgage loan. The online application is custom branded to the lending institution and includes individual pages for each loan officer to share.

Featured Sponsors:

 
“Our unprecedented growth clearly demonstrates the leading role SimpleNexus occupies in the digital mortgage movement and an industry wide embrace of our mobile-first technology that is making the mortgage process more efficient,” stated Matt Hansen, SimpleNexus founder & CEO. Matt added, “As we historically have been self-funded, we know that this new partnership with Insight Venture Partners will catalyze our growth, and provide our executive team with the additional resources to drive market expansion.”

Featured Sponsors:

 
SimpleNexus now has 15 of the top 25 retail mortgage lenders in the US using its enterprise digital mortgage platform.  Over $100 billion in transactions have flowed through the platform, and over 450,000 borrowers have used the SimpleNexus app.

“In the mortgage industry – and across financial services more broadly – we continue to see acute needs for improving the customer experience, empowering agents on the front line, and streamlining processes to reduce costs on the back end,” said Paul Szurek, Vice President, Insight Venture Partners. “The impressive traction that SimpleNexus has gained in this marketplace is a testament to the immediate and lasting value their mobile tools deliver for loan originators and borrowers alike. We look forward to welcoming them to our portfolio and driving further growth for their best-in-class solutions.”

With SimpleNexus, a loan officer becomes a Mobile Originator™. Through its smartphone app, loan officers are able to view new loan applications instantly, pull and view credit reports, run live pricing scenarios via Optimal Blue, see a live CRM feed and send pre-approval letters—all of this from the palm of their hand, as the app connects real-time with their LOS.

“Rather than replace the role of the loan officer, our custom digital solutions improve the borrower experience by cultivating the human to human interaction, which remains a core focus of SimpleNexus as we develop technology to support loan officers,” said Joe Wilson, SimpleNexus Chief Marketing Officer.

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.

Survey Finds That 59% Of Respondents Do Not Have A Fully Comprehensive Vendor Management Program

Vendorly polled banking and mortgage professionals on their organizations’ vendor management processes, challenges and technology capabilities. According to the study, there is a need for the implementation and enhancement of vendor management programs within the banking and mortgage industry. Three in five respondents (59 percent) said their organization does not have a fully comprehensive vendor management program in place. Of those respondents, one-third (33 percent) said their organization’s vendor management program needs improvement.

Featured Sponsors:

 

 
Vendor Management Staffing Conditions and the Need for Improved Operations

When asked about the biggest challenge their organization faces within vendor management, more than one-third (36 percent) of respondents identified employee capacity to handle workload or vendor management as the greatest challenge. It is not surprising that the biggest vendor management challenge may depend on the size of the company’s vendor management team. Among survey respondents, 40 percent said their organization has three or more full-time employees dedicated to their vendor management program with 39 percent stating they have less than three.

Featured Sponsors:

 
Nearly half of respondents (44 percent) said their organization is responsible for managing at least 100 vendors. With this volume of vendors to manage, it is no surprise that the second biggest challenge cited by professionals was knowing who their vendors are and tracking them (27 percent). Vendor inventory size and management may also influence reporting frequency. When asked how often their organization monitors and assesses vendor performance, 30 percent of respondents said annually.

The Growing Importance of Technology for Efficiency and Enhancing Vendor Management Processes

The need and desire for proper technology is evident among those surveyed. Nearly half (47 percent) said their organization does not have a technology solution in place to help manage vendors. A large majority (90 percent) believe technology would positively impact their vendor management program and process. Of those respondents, more than half (59 percent) said automation would help increase the efficiency of their program, 41 percent said technology would improve reporting capabilities to executive management and regulators, and 36 percent said it would improve effectiveness of vendor management by mitigating vendor risks.

Featured Sponsors:

 
“The importance of technology to drive efficiency, increase due diligence and further improve an organization’s vendor oversight processes is becoming a realization for many,” said Jim Vaca, Senior Vice President, Vendorly. “However, as the survey results show, even though many have identified the need for a vendor management solution, a surprising number have yet to adopt or implement the technology. Our solutions allow for financial institutions to move away from historic and inefficient vendor management processes and transition toward a multifaceted vendor oversight program to help them achieve more efficient management of the process using much less human capital than otherwise would have been required without our technology.”

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.

Black Knight Looks To Revolutionize Mortgage Servicing

Black Knight, Inc. has introduced LoanSphere Servicing Digital, a powerful and innovative new solution to help mortgage servicers deepen customer relationships and increase retention. LoanSphere Servicing Digital delivers detailed, timely and highly personalized information to customers about the value of their homes and how much wealth can be built from these real estate assets. A consumer-centric solution, this interactive tool gives customers the ability to easily perform tasks and find information related to their mortgages, while providing a platform for continual engagement between servicers and their customers.

Featured Sponsors:

 

 
“Our goal with LoanSphere Servicing Digital is to give our servicing clients an engaging, consumer-centric tool for customer retention,” said Anthony Jabbour, CEO of Black Knight. “For many people, a house is the single greatest asset they’ll ever own. With that in mind, and employing a ‘design thinking’ approach, we’ve developed a solution that lets our clients provide their customers with ongoing, detailed information about their loans and homes, as well as the tools to help manage the wealth they have built in their homes.”

Featured Sponsors:

 
Offering useful information specific to a customer’s mortgage, property and local housing market, LoanSphere Servicing Digital gives customers the tools to make more informed financial decisions related to their homes. In delivering this information, Black Knight draws upon the servicer’s data via the company’s comprehensive, end-to-end LoanSphere MSP system, as well as Black Knight’s industry-leading property records database; advanced analytics; and automated valuation models. The app – which features loan, home and neighborhood dashboards – presents information in a clear, intuitive design, with easy-to-use navigation that has been built for and tested by consumers.

Featured Sponsors:

 
“Increasing engagement and providing tools that add value are key to deepening the servicer-customer relationship,” said Joe Nackashi, president of Black Knight. “By providing anytime, anywhere access to an array of customer-specific information and functionality, LoanSphere Servicing Digital enhances the consumer’s servicing experience and adds value on an ongoing basis, which results in higher retention rates.”

LoanSphere Servicing Digital provides customers with easy access to specific information about their mortgages, such as type of loan, interest rate and estimated PMI drop date. It allows mortgage customers to make payments, view detailed payment history and perform other self-service functions within the application. Customers can also explore various “what-if” scenarios, including options for building equity more quickly or the relative benefits of paying down or refinancing their loan. In addition, LoanSphere Servicing Digital provides up-to-date and valuable neighborhood information, such as recent sales, local school data and demographics, as well as transaction and lien history on the property.

The white-labeled solution can be branded to match the servicer’s brand identity, and will be offered as both a native mobile app and responsive web design. By providing loan and home information to customers wherever they are, when they need it most, LoanSphere Servicing Digital helps servicers regularly engage customers with insightful, value-add information that enhances the borrower relationship and supports customers’ financial well-being.

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.

Technology Allows Lenders To Calculate Their “True Cost” Of Origination

Promontory MortgagePath, through its Promontory Fulfillment Services (PFS) unit, has developed a new online Cost Savings Calculator that lets banks, credit unions and mortgage companies quickly compute its own operational cost of residential mortgage loan origination and compare that to PFS’s outsourced solution.

Featured Sponsors:

 

 
The Cost Savings Calculator requires only a minimal amount of information:

>>Number of loan units the institution originates per month.

>>Number and annual salary of full time loan-production staff (processors, underwriters, closers and administrative staff).

>>Number and annual salary of support staff (compliance/legal, secondary marketing and technology).

The calculator enables the institution to calculate its own cost of origination and shows what a similar cost would be if PFS managed their fulfillment process. The calculator only focuses on operational costs once the loan has come into the institution and does not factor in loan officer compensation, because it assumes the client will continue to prospect for the loans. In addition to the cost analysis, the calculator will also identify areas of the operation, such as compliance, which may be under-staffed and could create potential compliance risks.

Featured Sponsors:

 
“The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) publishes a wealth of data on the cost of origination, and today the average is above $8,000 per loan, when LO compensation is factored in,” said Ken Janik, head of operations, Promontory Fulfillment Services. “But these are averages and they may or may not be the right benchmarks for different sized banks with different overhead structures and business models. Our calculator uses each institution’s own numbers and instantly delivers a client-specific answer.”

Featured Sponsors:

 
Bruce Witherell, chief executive officer of Promontory Mortgage Path added: “In the last few months we have seen a number of mid-tier banks exit the mortgage origination business because they couldn’t justify the low margins or stand the cyclicality of mortgage lending. Our new calculator lets executives do their own math, and in minutes, come to their own conclusions about their true processing costs. They can also see how they can competitively continue to offer mortgages as a product without maintaining a mortgage operation.”

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.

Pavaso And First Title Partner To Help Enhance Digital Closing Adoption

Pavaso has partnered with First Title & Escrow, Inc. (“First Title”), a technology-focused national settlement services firm, to provide clients with a comprehensive digital closing program. Pavaso, a leading mortgage technology provider, is the developer of the industry’s only truly digital mortgage enterprise solution platform.

Featured Sponsors:

 

 
Headquartered in the Washington D.C. Metropolitan area, First Title provides title and settlement services nationally. The company prides itself on being a technology-focused provider, committed to applying the latest in digital advancements to create the best possible consumer experience.

Featured Sponsors:

 
“The fully digital mortgage is here, and we couldn’t be more excited to partner with Pavaso,” said Stephen Papermaster, President of First Title. “With this partnership, First Title is among the first to offer fully digital closing services to our clients.”

Featured Sponsors:

 
Pavaso’s technology is simplifying the closing process for home buyers across the country and delivering an accurate, compliant, consistent closing in 15 minutes or less. The collaborative platform brings title documents and lender documents together for digital signature and allows consumers to have access to all documents anywhere, on any device prior to closing. Pavaso’s Digital Close platform provides flexibility in closing by producing hybrid closings as well as complete eNote and eVault transactions.

“We are finding that mortgage lenders and their customers are beginning to expect the digital closing option, and service providers unable to deliver that are falling behind the curve,” said Mark McElroy, CEO, Pavaso. “First Title, however, has long been among the early adopters when it comes to new and consumer-focused technology. As a result, this partnership is a natural fit which will only accelerate the ongoing digital transformation industrywide.”

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.

Millennial Homebuyers Exercised Their Purchase Power

Millennial homebuyers across the country exercised their purchase power in April as competition for limited housing inventory continued. Eighty-nine percent (89 percent) of mortgage loans made to Millennial borrowers during the month were for new home purchases, up one percentage point from the month prior, and the highest percentage since May 2017, according to the latest Ellie Mae Millennial Tracker.

Featured Sponsors:

 

 
Interest rates also continued to rise in April to 4.73 percent, on average, up from 4.63 percent the month prior. This is the highest interest rate recorded since Ellie Mae began tracking Millennial loan data in January 2014.

Featured Sponsors:

 
As interest rates crept up, average loan amounts to Millennials fell. The average amount was $194,300 in February, $192,055 in March and $188,171 in April.

Featured Sponsors:

 
“Most Millennials are buying a house because there are major changes happening in their lives such as starting a family, getting a new job, or because they’ve decided that they want to build equity and stop renting,” said Joe Tyrrell, executive vice president of corporate strategy for Ellie Mae. “We believe Millennial home purchases will continue to climb this summer and while interest rates may slightly impact the size of homes borrowers can get for their money, we don’t foresee it impacting their desire to buy.”

Overall, conventional loans represented 67 percent of all closed loans to Millennial borrowers, while FHA loans held steady at 29 percent from the previous month. VA purchase loans for Millennial borrowers represented 79 percent of all VA closed loans in April, steady from the month prior, and up from 66 percent in February.

The time it took for Millennial homebuyers to close a loan remained flat month-over-month. Purchase loans took an average of 39 days to close and refinance loans took an average of 44 days. FHA purchase loans took an average of 40 days to close, compared to 41 days in March. VA purchase loans averaged 49 days-to-close, compared to 45 days the month prior.

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.

Improving The Digital Closing Process

We have learned that Pavaso has partnered with OS National LLC (OSN), a provider of title and settlement services, to deliver a complete digital closing program. Pavaso, a mortgage technology provider, is the developer of a digital closing platform.

Featured Sponsors:

 

 
As a provider of residential and commercial title and settlement services, OSN provides a high-touch, high-tech service experience for every person in the real estate transaction through its national platform and network of retail outlets across the U.S.

Featured Sponsors:

 
“We are excited to partner with Pavaso as the title partner of choice for digital mortgage solutions,” said Michelle Esparza, National Sales Executive, OS National. “At OS National, we believe in providing the best possible service backed by proven technology that drives the title and mortgage industry forward. Partnering with Pavaso supports our core mission to remove paper from our processes and to deliver an exceptional customer experience that exceeds all expectations.”

Featured Sponsors:

 
Pavaso’s technology allows lenders and title companies to deliver a complete, transparent loan package to borrowers, allowing them (or their REALTORs or loan officers) to access the closing documents anywhere, on any device, prior to closing. Pavaso’s Digital Close platform is capable of producing hybrid closings (digital closings which meet state requirements that some documents be “wet signed”)), as well as complete eNote and eVault transactions.

“The digital closing—be it hybrid or fully digital—is now accepted as the standard for lender, REALTOR® and consumer alike,” said Nancy Pratt, Vice President of Partner Relations and Government Affairs, Pavaso. “OS National has long made it a priority to deliver transparency, efficiency and, above all, simplicity, to the consumer at the point of closing; so the match with Pavaso is a natural one. We’re delighted to join OS National—along with the many lenders and REALTORS beginning to demand the digital closing—to move our industry forward.”

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.

You Need To Go To eMortgage Bootcamp

MERSCORP Holdings is holding an eMortgage Boot Camp on Wednesday, June 20, as an add-on to its annual MERS User Conference, which will assist lenders who are interested in learning more about this technology they are reading about every day in industry news.

Featured Sponsors:

 

 
At the eMortgage Boot Camp you will learn about eNotes and the benefits of implementing an electronic mortgage process, how implementing an electronic process will create efficiencies and provide cost savings, and how MERSCORP Holdings and other industry partners can help. You’ll view technology demos, ask questions, and leave with a plan to launch eNotes at your organization. The eMortgage Boot Camp is free with your registration for the User Conference or is available as a stand-alone session.

Featured Sponsors:

 
Register yourself and invite your key stakeholders and executives to this one-day experience that will provide education and opportunities for connection, all while generating the momentum you need to move forward with eMortgages and eNotes. The eMortgage Boot Camp will take place on June 20, 2018 at the Hyatt Regency in Reston, VA.

Featured Sponsors:

 
Learn more or register today at mersinc.org/bootcamp.

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.

Guaranteed Rate Partners With DocMagic To Cut Closing Time

News is out that borrowers can now have a 10-minute closing appointment when reviewing and electronically signing documents in advance. DocMagic, Inc., a provider of fully-compliant loan document preparation, regulatory compliance and comprehensive eMortgage services, announced that retail mortgage lender Guaranteed Rate can now cut closing time by electronically signing mortgage closing documents in advance.

Featured Sponsors:

 

 
Guaranteed Rate has branded the solution FlashClose, which allows customers to opt-in, review and complete most documents in advance of the notary arriving, saving an hour or more at the closing table – with some averaging a mere 10-minute appointment to provide inked signatures.

Featured Sponsors:

 
“Guaranteed Rate is always looking for ways to simplify the process using innovative technology to enhance the customer experience,” says Jim Hettinger, executive vice president of operations for Guaranteed Rate. “With the successful launch of FlashClose, powered through our partner DocMagic, this tool adds speed, convenience and accuracy to the closing process.”

Featured Sponsors:

 
“Guaranteed Rate is a leader in mortgage technology innovation and collaborating with them on this project has created a solid hybrid eClosing approach that saves a lot of time for both borrowers and closing agents,” stated Dominic Iannitti, president and CEO at DocMagic. “The fashion in which Guaranteed Rate is leveraging our technology has resulted in the successful adoption of a sound, compliant, secure hybrid eClosing that is unique to their retail lending business strategy.”

Of note is that DocMagic offers a comprehensive eClosing solution called Total eClose™ that delivers fully paperless closings from start to finish. DocMagic’s proprietary eSign platform is a component of Total eClose and can be accessed and implemented by lenders to help automate the closing process.

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.

An LOS To Satisfy All Lenders

Most loan origination or LOS offerings look to target specific size lenders with different offerings for a top 50 lenders vs. a smaller lender, for example. Wipro Gallagher Solutions (WGS), a Wipro Limited company and provider of loan origination software solutions, has launched its NetOxygen SaaS loan origination solution for mortgage lenders of all shapes and sizes.

Featured Sponsors:

 

 
NetOxygen SaaS brings the power of NetOxygen, an enterprise class loan origination system that helps lenders reduce origination costs and boost production efficiency through automation.  NetOxygen connects to a front end portal and fintech offerings thus providing seamless interactions to improve borrower experience. NetOxygen SaaS enables quicker deployment and scalability to match business growth with an all-inclusive, per transaction pricing, which is based on business outcomes.

Featured Sponsors:

 
NetOxygen SaaS provides comprehensive product coverage across mortgage, home equity, HELOC (home equity line of credit) and unsecured credit lines origination. The platform integrates an extensive vendor ecosystem which provides multiple options for standard services like credit, appraisals, fraud checks, etc. NetOxygen SaaS supports retail, correspondent and wholesale markets, and also enables niche offerings like construction lending for one close, multiple close, homestyle renovation and FHA construction.

Featured Sponsors:

 
Key features of NetOxygen SaaS include:

>>Sophisticated workflow engine, allowing lenders to implement distinct lending policies and procedures;

>>Automated underwriting for improved efficiency;

>>Comprehensive pool of rich APIs, to enable easy integration with other applications;

>>Advanced feature supporting ADR and OCR capabilities;

>>Self-service tools to enable lenders to perform more tasks, with ease and speed.

“NetOxygen SaaS offers an extensible and scalable platform that caters to lenders’ ever-changing business needs and provides an all-encompassing solution to improve end-to-end loan origination,” said Scott Dunn, Head Product Management, Strategy and Compliance, Wipro Gallagher Solutions. “Among the platform’s many differentiators, what stands out is the ability to quickly configure business rules, products, fees and deliver industry leading functionality  for compliance, imaging, reporting, and documents generation in combination with best-in-class providers.”

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.