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.

Market Analysis: Are You Happy With Your LOS?

*Are You Happy With Your LOS?*
**By Tony Garritano**

***As the mortgage industry and economy begin to recover, lenders are increasingly reevaluating their technology options. According to a QuestSoft survey of 461 lenders nationwide, 18.7 percent of mortgage lenders are considering changing their loan origination software (LOS) in the next 12 months. This is the highest percentage looking to switch in the six years QuestSoft has been conducting its annual survey. Here’s the scoop:

****When QuestSoft, a leading provider of mortgage compliance software, began conducting their annual compliance and technology survey in 2008, the number of lenders considering replacing their LOS remained consistently around ten percent each year (22 of 207 lenders in the survey’s first year). However, last year, the percentage of lenders jumped to 17.75 percent, with a new high of 18.7 percent looking to change this year.

****“One of the factors in seeing more LOS changes is the reduced expense of implementation and conversion offered by hosted software companies,” said Leonard Ryan, president and founder of QuestSoft. “Another factor may be the result of acquisitions. As LOS vendors have merged, acquired customers may be using the change as an opportunity to evaluate their platforms.”

****Ryan added that many lenders also said they place a high priority on LOS providers that have comprehensive compliance functionality. QuestSoft currently integrates with more than 40 leading LOS platforms, and the LOS systems integrated with QuestSoft’s flagship product, Compliance EAGLE, are able to provide a simple interface that automates the evaluation of a loan file against a suite of more than 300 federal and state compliance regulations representing more than 10,000 pages of standards.

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.

Market Analysis: Get Creative To Avoid Buy-Backs

*Get Creative To Avoid Buy-Backs*
**By Tony Garritano**

***Everyone is trying to be risk averse. Nobody wants a buy-back. And investors are cracking down. Loans have to be ironclad these days. As a result, technology providers are trying to come up with new ways to support their lender clients. For example, origination vendor Ellie Mae is adding a loan buy-back insurance option to its Total Quality Loan (TQL) program. Here’s how it works:

****TQL is an initiative designed to further enhance the loan quality, compliance and salability of loans that are originated through Ellie Mae’s Encompass360 mortgage management software system. TQL offers a suite of fraud detection, valuation, validation and risk analysis services, tailored to individual aggregator/investor requirements. Ellie Mae’s technology enables correspondent lenders to share the findings and data from those services with investors and other stakeholders in the industry supply chain.

****Correspondent lenders participating in TQL can now choose to insure and be covered for losses of up to $100,000 per loan. Underwritten by affiliates of Lloyd’s of London and Liberty Mutual Group, the insurance policy protects lenders from losses due to borrower and appraisal fraud and regulatory non-compliance. For example, the policy covers a seller against claims based on misstatement of income or assets, employment and occupancy fraud, as well as collateral and valuation fraud. Similarly, it protects against loss if a loan is found to be non-compliant with various regulations, such as Federal Truth in Lending Act Tolerance Tests (HOEPA); Federal, State and Local High Cost Thresholds Review; Fannie Mae Points & Fees, and “HUD-HOEPA” Mortgage Thresholds Reviews.

****The coverage begins at the date of origination and lasts for three years. The policy’s coverage automatically transfers with ownership of the loan so that any party who owns the loan at the time a fraud or compliance error is discovered may file a claim under the policy directly rather than force the loss back to the original lender. While there is a cost to the lender for this coverage, this can be offset by lower loan reserves that are available to lenders with insured loans. Ellie Mae receives an administrative fee for each closed loan covered under a policy.

****The program is designed to offer enhancements to traditional programs available in the marketplace. If a fraud or compliance error is discovered, the party suffering a loss can file a proof of loss and determine whether or not it is covered before the amount of the loss has been determined. This allows efficient repurchase, scratch and dent sale or foreclosure options to be assessed with the knowledge that coverage exists. Often, insurance providers’ practices have prevented policyholders from learning whether or not coverage exists until other options for recourse have been completed (or lapsed).

****Arthur J. Gallagher Risk Management Services, Inc., a subsidiary of Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. (NYSE: AJG), one of the world’s largest insurance brokerage and risk management services firms, is the broker for the program. Justin Vedder, area senior vice president at Arthur J. Gallagher Risk Management Services in San Francisco explained, “This program is a validation of Ellie Mae’s TQL process. TQL customers adhere to rigorous origination standards and follow best practices and as a result automatically qualify for this exceptional coverage.”

****“Over the past several years, the GSEs and investors have put back approximately one hundred billion dollars worth of loans to originators,” said Richard Roof, Ellie Mae’s senior vice president of Business Development. “Our TQL program is a direct response to the industry’s demand for increased quality assurance. It is designed to give investors and sellers greater confidence in the assets that are being originated. Adding optional buy-back protection is simply a cost-effective extension of this concept and further mitigates risk.”

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.

Market Analysis: Being Automated Does Pay Off

*Being Automated Does Pay Off*
**By Tony Garritano**

***Who says technology doesn’t pay off? Well, it does. Just take servicing for example. It’s a tough space, but for those that automate, they’re doing well. To this point, Wingspan Portfolio Advisors, a Dallas-based diversified servicing company, is leveraging technology and servicing know-how to track ahead of the industry averages in speeding short sales to successful conclusions. The secret to accelerating the short sale process is in keeping the objectives of all parties aligned and the communications clear, finds Robert Shiller, senior vice president of Wingspan’s Enhanced Servicing Solutions, the company’s unit focusing on foreclosure alternatives. While the industry as a whole still takes up to six months to complete a short sale, Wingspan’s average is four to six weeks. Here’s how they do it:

****Even with recent improvements, only 30% of short sales tend to complete nationally, according to some published estimates, while Wingspan is experiencing an 80% success rate. Starting this June, loans held or insured by government-sponsored enterprises must receive responses to offers within 30 days, but this does not ensure improvements in success rates.

****Wingspan Portfolio Advisors speeds up short sales for servicers, real estate professionals and attorneys. It uses its short sale acceleration program for its component and special servicing clients, and offers it for real estate professionals through the Wingspan Real Estate Network (WREN). Attorney-involved short sales benefit through American Home Remedy, a partnership Wingspan recently announced with Jacksonville, Florida-based Realty Legal Service and Home Counsel Group.

****Working closely with primary servicers struggling to handle large volumes of loans on the brink of foreclosure, Wingspan presents short sale offers that have been pre-screened for errors and other issues that traditionally stall the process. Wingspan specialists present offers to servicers, work out junior lien problems and keep track of all required processes using Wingspan’s technology platform. The Web-based platform is used by servicers, investors, mortgage insurers and other stakeholders to understand what is required of them and stay updated on each short sale’s progress via online dashboards.

****“The technology is a great advantage as it keeps everyone on the same page and on track,” says Shiller. “Paper files sitting on desks waiting for decisions largely disappear, replaced with paperless offers that we have vetted, made error-free, and that fall within the economic realities that servicers have shared with us. At the same time, we are able to screen for fraud, get accurate values and condition reports, and eliminate the usual delays.” As a result, the Wingspan short sale can take up to 70 percent less time to complete.

****Ed Delgado, chief operating officer of Wingspan Portfolio Advisors, believes with short sale volumes on the increase, speed to decision and execution are becoming increasingly vital to any successful liquidation strategy. “Real estate agents and brokers have motivated buyers looking for good deals on homes, many of them first-timers. The more we can ease their path to ownership while providing a foreclosure alternative for distressed borrowers, the fewer the neighborhoods that will suffer from extended vacancies and blight,” he says. “At the same time, distressed borrowers are able to reenter the ranks of homeowners much sooner than if foreclosure devastates their credit, and this potentially means millions more home sales over the next three to five years. Short sales benefit everyone, including servicers and investors, with reduced loss severity.”

****Lenders and investors improve sales amounts by 24% using short sales, according to a recent study by McGeough Lamacchia Realty of compiled MLS data for short sale and lender owned (foreclosure) homes sold in 2010 and 2011 in five major markets around the country.

****“We’re demonstrating that short sales can be much faster and far more successful than in times past,” says Shiller. “It is a viable strategy that gets the market moving, finds good borrowers for the existing inventory out there, and minimizes the collateral damage of foreclosure.”

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.

Market Analysis: Mortgage Builder Is Making News

*Mortgage Builder Is Making News*
**By Tony Garritano**

***The industry is still talking about the Avista acquisition. However, Avista isn’t the only prominent LOS making headlines. I talked with the executives at Mortgage Builder yesterday and they have some exciting plans for this year. When I’m able, I will tell you all about it. Stay tuned. But today I want to talk about a recent integration that Mortgage Builder completed that will really improve the appraisal space. Here’s the scoop:

****Mortgage Builder has completed a technology integration with InHouse Inc. of Jacksonville, Florida, the providers of the InHouse Connexions appraisal management platform. The integration came as a result of requests by Mortgage Builder clients that the InHouse technology be integrated with the Mortgage Builder LOS, as they preferred the appraisal management capabilities and flexibility InHouse offers. With the integration in place, Mortgage Builder users can conveniently access InHouse Connexions and its full menu of appraisal options.

****“InHouse Connexions was clearly the choice of several clients, including one of our largest,” says Kelli Himebaugh, corporate vice president at Mortgage Builder. “As soon as we started working with them, it was easy to see why lenders were wanting InHouse to be available directly from within their favorite LOS. The Connexions platform offers the ability for lenders to use their own appraisal panels, order from appraisal management companies (AMCs), or access InHouse’s own AMC when convenient,” she says. “The cloud-based technology provides full reporting and complete control over the appraisal effort with maximum flexibility.”

****Jennifer Creech, InHouse president and CEO, agrees that the integration with Mortgage Builder makes a great deal of sense for both companies because of their similar philosophies and reputations. “InHouse is a company with a flair for technology innovation,” she says. “Mortgage Builder is a proven technology company that has always invested in innovation and service enhancements to improve the experiences of its clients.  We’re following a similar path, and we’re finding that lenders strongly desire the control over their businesses that a wide menu of options provides,” she notes. “Mortgage Builder’s clients are tremendously loyal and the company’s service is legendary. InHouse and Mortgage Builder make a great team.”

****Both companies see flexibility as a key ingredient for success in today’s mortgage technology. Mortgage Builder offers an end-to-end LOS system in which everything is integrated, from product and pricing engines to electronic document management. Many features, including compliant loan documents, are available at no cost, and delivery options are completely flexible. Lenders can opt for Software as a Service cloud-based delivery, more traditional installed business models, or combinations of both. They can even choose to pay for services only when loans close successfully. InHouse provides a similarly flexible blend of options on the appraisal management side, allowing clients to identify and use appraisal companies in some areas and AMCs in others, all with fast, automated ordering and delivery. Full performance metrics and reporting on the overall appraisal effort brings complete transparency, and InHouse has one of the few direct connections to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s UCDP (Uniform Collateral Data Portal).

****“Both companies clearly believe in giving clients the most for their technology investment,” says Mortgage Builder’s Himebaugh. “We are fortunate to be working with their fine team and our clients will appreciate the array of benefits our integration with InHouse brings to the table.”

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.

Market Analysis: The Future Of The Correspondent Channel

*The Future Of The Correspondent Channel*
**By Tony Garritano**

***Everyone asks: Is correspondent dead? I respond: Sure, a lot of the bigger players may be pulling back or exiting, but that doesn’t mean the space is gone. In my estimation, it just needs retooling. It needs a fresh approach. New entrants will reinvent how correspondent lending is done. What correspondent really needs is technology to create a more trusted process. I was told of a company offering technology to do just that. The purpose of this new automated solution is to help this sector of our industry shoot back to life. Here’s the scoop:

****Genpact Limited, a business process and technology management provider, has released virtual correspondent and private-label origination applications for its Quantum Mortgage Operating System (MOS). The applications are leveraged with Genpact’s Mortgage Business Process as a Service offering (BPaaS), which combines the technology with Genpact’s business process services, data analytics and mortgage domain expertise.

****The virtual correspondent and private label applications combine Quantum MOS’ data-centric loan automation platform with Genpact Mortgage Services’ BPaaS offering to increase effectiveness and reduce the loan cycle time by as much as 30%. The applications can be set up in either a delegated or non-delegated model, enabling users to customize the workflow to best suit the needs of each lender.

****“Lenders who can push enterprise software to their correspondents while also leveraging business process services in the back office will be able to realize lower costs and quicker closing times,” said Roger Hull, vice president of Genpact Mortgage Services. “Genpact’s Quantum MOS private-label and virtual correspondent applications utilize a correspondent web portal, underwriting apps and automated quality control processes to increase accuracy, ensure compliance and improve risk transparency.”

****The private-label origination and virtual correspondent applications are hosted within Genpact’s Quantum MOS, which uses a data-driven approach to automate every step of the loan process. The platform combines automated decision-making, highly efficient processing, and file transparency to provide valuable data and insights for more accurate underwriting.

****“To be profitable in today’s market, lenders must eliminate as much waste in the pipeline as possible without sacrificing quality,” said Rob Pommier, vice president of Genpact Mortgage Services. “Genpact’s Quantum MOS applications enable our lenders to leverage the mortgage ecosystem to quickly, accurately and effectively originate, close and trade high quality mortgage assets through their correspondent channels.”

****You see what I mean, it just takes a little creativity and the willingness to reshape the process to get correspondent rolling again. Stay tuned for some more excited news coming from Genpact. I hope to be able to share it with you soon.

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.

Market Analysis: Wipro Embraces Mobile

*Wipro Embraces Mobile*
**By Tony Garritano**

***No, I haven’t heard of another LOS acquisition, but I was recently treated to a demo of a new offering. I thought it was very slick. As it turns out, more LOS companies are trying to harness the power of mobile technology. Franklin, Tenn.-based Wipro Gallagher Solutions (WGS), a provider of end-to-end lending solutions for financial institutions, introduced Enterprise Mobile Origination (e.MO), a native iOS lending productivity suite for the iPad, designed to enable sales teams in the field to run and originate new loans of all types. Here’s the scoop:

****The e.MO application integrates with any loan origination system (LOS), including WGS’ NetOxygen LOS, and provides all the tools to keep sales informed and connected to the customer. The application monitors leads and manages all associated contacts through the entire lending process. It maintains lead status, follows up on additional requirements, and requests credit and AVM results while creating a lead. Its alert and notification system monitors borrower activity via user-friendly iPad push notifications for the duration of the lead throughout the entire lending lifecycle.

****The e.MO application positions loan originators as consultants to their customers with its mapping and house price index (HPI) designed to offer well-informed decisioning support to borrowers based on the ability to map their property of choice and compare real estate opportunities in the geographical area.

****e.MO’s built-in calculators compare items, including fixed rate versus variable rate products, loan terms and payments while in the field with a borrower and engages leads with graphical representations of their buying power. Its reporting dashboard easily communicates information to loan officers and compares lead generation using charts representing lead status, lead completion and performance levels within the branch, region and country.

****Other e.MO tools include a product filter that leverages the product and pricing engine of choice and provides significantly reduced turnaround time for the origination process with information readily available on the iPad. Loan information is immediately available to processors, underwriters, funders and closers through the LOS via seamless real-time integration with e.MO.

****“Tablets are shifting the way business is conducted for the entire lending lifecycle, yielding a net effect of improved customer service and satisfaction,” said Narayan Bharadwaj, business head for WGS. “We already offer NetOxygen on the cloud and the extension of our solution to a mobile device further strengthens our value proposition in line with our overall strategy to provide multi-channel, product-agnostic enterprise lending solutions to make the lending process as convenient as possible for borrowers.”

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.

Market Analysis: Reaction To The Avista Acquisition Starts Rolling In

*Reaction To The Avista Acquisition Starts Coming In*
**By Tony Garritano**

***As you all know, D+H, the parent company of point-of-sale vendor Mortgagebot, acquired loan origination system Avista Solutions for $40 million. I broke the news yesterday. Since the scoop, I’ve gotten a lot of reaction from various industry experts. It’s great to hear your thoughts. Now that we’re about 24 hours removed from the news breaking, I thought that I would share what people are saying about this deal. I also got a chance to talk with Matt Cotter, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Mortgagebot. Here’s the industry reaction to this big acquisition:

****“Avista is a perfect fit,” said Cotter. “Our customers have been asking us to get into the LOS space for years. The challenge is that we are focused on the point-of-sale and to build an LOS would distract us. So, the acquisition made perfect sense. Also, Avista is a Software as a Service-based product, which fits with our culture.

****“For D+H, this continues their process of diversifying their revenue and geographic footprint. Avista will act as a subsidiary. Mark Phlieger and his entire team at Avista will stay. Mark reports into Scott Happ of Mortgagebot, who reports into D+H. This acquisition is about growth and adding value.”

****Personally I have known Mark Phlieger for many years. He is certainly a friend. Good for him that he started the company and built it to the point that it could be sold for a nice price tag. He did a great job. Also, kudos to Mortgagebot and D+H for acquiring an LOS as part of their strategy to expand in the U.S. mortgage space. To me, it sends a message that both companies are committed to our space.

****So, what happens now that the acquisition is done? “Priority No. 1 is to get the files from Avista and Mortgagebot talking back and forth. From there, we’ll do a tighter integration. It’s a high priority. Historically there has been best-of-breed applications where you have great functionality but you trade off with the integration process. We want to provide an end-to-end solution that is best-of-breed.”

****Celebration aside, some of the reaction that I have gotten since breaking this story has been mixed. Off the record, several origination vendors are a bit fearful. Now that POS Mortgagebot has an LOS in Avista, many LOS vendors see Mortgagebot as competition. They know that the end goal will be, as Cotter suggests, to come to market with one offering at some time in the future. Some of these vendors have said off the record that they may not integrate to Mortgagebot as tightly and may look to some of Mortgagebot’s competitors instead. They don’t want Mortgagebot trying to sell their clients on switching off of their LOS of course.

****In my talk with Matt Cotter, he was understanding and sympathetic to their concerns. He told me, “We have hundreds of joint clients with many of the LOS systems. For us it is important that we continue to work with every LOS. We are going to have to make sure that we deliver on our commitments and ease their concerns over time.”

****What’s the big takeaway from this deal? “This is best-of-breed plus an all-in-one approach,” answered Cotter. “These are two systems that are functionally rich that will eventually be combined into one system. The products will be end-to-end, but they’ll also stay stand alone to compete on their own merits. The customer will decide what they want. As a theme, both Avista and Mortgagebot focus heavily on the midtier. Both products are also SaaS, and that’s something we believe in.”

****I’ll keep you posted on next steps. In the meantime congratulations to Avista, Mortgagebot and D+H. The mortgage industry is worth investing in. The people in this space are dedicated. This deal validates our industry’s clout and relevance.

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.

Market Analysis: Breaking LOS Acquisition News

*Big LOS Acquisition News*
**By Tony Garritano**

***I don’t usually do this because I know that you don’t like getting multiple e-mails a day and I don’t want to spam you. However, this warrants an extra e-mail, believe me. I always expected more consolidation in the LOS space. It’s been too slow as far as I’m concerned. Sure, we saw DataTrac get acquired recently, but that’s it. Now the big news starts my friends. Today I learned that Avista Solutions has been acquired. Here’s the scoop:

****Davis + Henderson Corporation today announced that it has acquired Avista Solutions, Inc. of Charleston, South Carolina, a leading provider of Software as a Service (SaaS) mortgage loan origination software to community banks and credit unions in the United States.

****The acquisition adds to D+H’s customer base and expands the range of integrated technology solutions D+H offers to the North American financial services industry by complementing the SaaS consumer point of sale (POS) mortgage origination platform it delivers to more than 1,100 U.S. banks and credit unions through its Mortgagebot subsidiary. Like Mortgagebot, Avista’s loan origination system (LOS) technology is delivered via the Internet as a service and revenues are generated on a subscription-fee basis under long-term contracts.

****“This acquisition is fully aligned to D+H’s “follow your customer” approach – in fact, customers have told us unequivocally that they want us to extend our offering with an LOS platform,” said Gerrard Schmid, CEO of D+H. “With Avista, we’ve added an innovative, fast growing LOS business featuring proven capabilities that are highly synergistic to those we offer through Mortgagebot. Together, we now support the entire mortgage origination process for U.S. lenders and provide customers with a comprehensive suite of products that enable efficient, effective growth from origination through to closing. We are pleased that Avista’s team, including Mark Phlieger, its founder and CEO, are joining D+H to drive future growth.”

****Founded in 2001, Avista is a profitable and growing financial technology business with over 150 financial institution customers and a technology suite that includes a complete loan origination system with integrated product and pricing engine, document imaging, workflow capabilities, and a comprehensive network of seamlessly integrated third party mortgage service providers.

****“We believe that a combination of our innovative LOS technology and D+H’s industry leading mortgage point of sale solutions will allow us to jointly reach more customers, more rapidly, and with a more effective one-stop value proposition,” said Mark Phlieger, CEO of Avista. “Speaking on behalf of our team at Avista, I am excited by the prospects of taking our business to the next level.”

****The purchase price is $40 Million (USD) payable in cash, and funded from D+H’s existing credit facilities. The addition of Avista is expected to provide accretion for D+H shareholders in 2012, on an Adjusted net income basis.

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.

Market Analysis: Advancing The Cause Of Paperless Processing Further

*Advancing The Cause Of Paperless Processing Further*
**By Tony Garritano**

***Anyone who has purchased a home is familiar with the stack of paper that has to be signed to finalize the loan transaction. Less known are the challenges lenders face to get the loan to the closing table–complex interactions behind the scenes, multiple participants needing access to the same file and regulation requirements for data transparency. PROGRESS in Lending has learned that Xerox Mortgage Services is helping lenders simplify the process with new features for its BlitzDocs intelligent collaboration network. Here’s the scoop:

****To help both internal and external participants work together more effectively, BlitzDocs’ new advanced workflow capabilities automatically queue loans to accelerate the process from origination to closing. In addition, using the new manager dashboard, lenders can track loan status and better manage productivity and workload across various people and processes.

****BlitzDocs now also provides annotation capabilities that allow lenders to easily edit, sign and comment on paper-based images and electronic documents rather than printing out documents to hand write notes or add signatures. BlitzDocs supports multiple versions of annotated documents so lenders can choose what is viewed by third parties and which version is sent to investors. Lenders also benefit from an audit trail showing who made the notes and when.

****“The enhancements made to BlitzDocs are well thought out and take our paperless collaboration to the next level,” said Jennifer Edwards, vice president of Town and Country Banc Mortgage Services, Inc. “BlitzDocs continues to help us simplify our processes and allows us to connect with all necessary parties from origination to post-closing.”

****Lenders working with Xerox Mortgage Services benefit from an extensive network of BlitzDocs certified partners and providers, now including Medallion Analytics and MRG Document Technologies.

****“To save time and adapt to industry regulations, lenders are recognizing that basic imaging is not enough – they need to extend collaboration beyond their own business,” said Nancy Alley, vice president and general manager of Xerox Mortgage Services. “Xerox is driving this industry change with new technology and a growing network of partners that make it easier for loan participants to work together to meet borrower needs and stay one step ahead of changing regulations.”

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.

Market Analysis: Are You Afraid Of The GSEs?

*Are You Afraid Of The GSEs?*
**By Tony Garritano**

***We have seen the GSEs launch a number of requirements that try to ensure loan quality. They are cracking down for sure. Most lenders are fearful, but they don’t have to be. Technology is always there to help. For example, PROGRESS in Lending has learned that Interthinx has released its new Watchlist Review Module, a stand-alone application that allows/enables lenders to check all loan participants against several industry lists to ensure compliance with Fannie Mae’s Loan Quality Initiative (LQI) as well as rules from the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA). Here’s the scoop:

****“Much of the risk involved in the mortgage loan transaction rests with the loan participants,” said Gayle Shank, vice president of product management at Interthinx. “Knowing whether these individuals — including the personnel involved in the closing — are on any industry lists is a critical due-diligence step that federal regulators expect lenders to take. Those who fail to do so greatly increase the risk associated with a loan transaction.”

****Shank pointed out that the BSA requires lenders to screen closing participants against industry watchlists but said that lenders lacked a comprehensive way to do so. The new Watchlist Review Module solves that problem by screening individuals and companies against all exclusionary lists at the same time. “It’s a great time-saver for lenders because it eliminates the need to visit and search various individual websites,” she noted.

****The module uses name-matching software combined with algorithms to identify matching records. The system provides a customizable, intuitive report through a single-source interface.

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.