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: Stretching Out

*Stretching Out*
**By Tony Garritano**

***The mortgage market is always changing. So, technology vendors have to keep up. How do they do that? They either buy a company that has something their lenders need that they themselves don’t offer or they opt to build that new piece of technology in-house. Either way vendors have to continually do more and offer more. To this end, PROGRESS in Lending has learned that ISGN Corporation now offers a range of information technology services to companies across the entire spectrum of the mortgage industry with the launch of the IT Services Group. Here’s what the new group is all about:

****ISGN’s IT Services Group assists companies in visioning, implementing, operating and outsourcing IT functions, building an IT strategy that effectively supports their business goals. ISGN offers a range of IT solutions from project consultation to application development and maintenance to IT infrastructure management.

****ISGN brings to projects a highly skilled team of IT personnel, including network engineers, application developers, software architects, user interface designers, business analysts and code testers. ISGN offers a global delivery model providing customers with a flexible engagement model and the ability to leverage a 24-hour clock, thereby shortening development cycle times and increasing overall business productivity.

****Among the first to leverage ISGN’s new service was National Bankruptcy Services (NBS), a mortgage and consumer secured bankruptcy outsourcing firm that manages and administers the complicated bankruptcy administrative processes for servicers and lenders. The software application that ISGN jointly developed with NBS IT and business resources enables NBS to keep track of its clients’ bankruptcy payments and remittances for every serviced account.

****“ISGN is developing a superior custom software application and technology support for NBS that will significantly enhance our ability to manage payment application challenges on bankruptcy loans,” said Larry Buckley, chief executive officer of NBS. “By leveraging ISGN’s deep pool of developers and infrastructure experts, NBS has been able to deploy its resources to our core business process outsourcing operations.”

****Bill Garland, vice president of strategic markets at ISGN, said, “ISGN can work through all the IT layers for our customers and provide technology augmentation and expertise. With our spectrum of IT services, we can provide companies with IT staff or act as an IT contractor and manage the work for them. For companies with small IT departments trying to get their arms around a big project, it can be difficult to recruit IT professionals. This is our business. We have the right people on staff and the right technology resources to handle any IT job.”

****Ankush Dham, director of technology solutions at ISGN, added, “This new solutions-based offering helps companies to create effective and impactful technology strategies. What differentiates us in the marketplace is that our laser-focus on the mortgage vertical provides us with top-tier technology-centric domain experts who are nimble enough to adjust to rapidly changing project requirements and committed to customer excellence. We strive to partner with our customers to eliminate unnecessary complexity and provide simpler technology solutions and strategies to drive business productivity and return on investment.”

****ISGN has been consistently ranked by leading industry publications and research firms as one of the top companies for mortgage process outsourcing. ISGN also holds an ISO 9001:2008 quality management certification and SAS 70 Type II accredited data center certification, ensuring that its procedures are current, documented and effectively controlled.

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: Simplifying LO Comp

*Simplifying LO Comp*
**By Tony Garritano**

***Yes the new Loan Officer Compensation rules are behind us, but compliance is still hard at times. Technology vendors realize that lenders are struggling. As a result, PROGRESS in Lending has learned that Ellie Maehas released Encompass Commissions, an automated solution to calculate, communicate and reconcile loan officer (LO) commissions for banks, mortgage banks and credit unions using Encompass360® mortgage management software solution. Here’s the scoop on the new tool:

****Encompass Commissions is more accurate and efficient than manual processes and provides significantly greater transparency for LOs. It automates every aspect of the variable compensation workload so that sales people can stay motivated and focused on originating and back office staff can save time with more accurate commission calculations.

****Encompass Commissions enables lenders to deliver a 24/7 Web-based commission pipeline, where sales agents can continuously monitor estimates and time disbursements. Now LOs can log in at any time and see their pipeline of earned commissions and understand how they were calculated. This reduces errors before checks are cut and prevents misunderstandings that can damage sales force morale. Encompass Commissions also supports LO compensation compliance policies, documenting and providing a complete audit trail of all paid commissions.

****The solution is fully integrated with Encompass360 so it captures commission data seamlessly and on a real-time basis. Once commissions have been reviewed, managers can export the information easily into payroll and accounting systems.

****Specifically, it:

****>> Pulls data from the Encompass360 database and other sources, such as accounting ledgers, and automatically calculates the commission.  The process reduces human error and back office expenses;

****>> Sets up adjustments and draws using flexible parameters and automatically applies the net adjustment to the appropriate commission cycle;

****>> Accommodates “splits” and can automatically schedule them;

****>> Automates transmittal and LO approval workflow;

****>> Offers a configurable dashboard to help management understand past, current and future commissions pipeline—providing total transparency;

****>> Provides for error resolution prior to cutting and disbursing checks; and

****>> Can be used to test potential compensation plans against past production data to determine how each LO would be affected by the change.

****Encompass Commissions is patterned on DataTrac Commissions, an established solution that has been available since 2009 and is currently being used by a number of DataTrac’s largest clients.

****Matthew Pineda, chief executive officer at Castle & Cooke Mortgage, LLC, Salt Lake City, UT, and an early DataTrac Commissions user, said: “We pay commissions to our LOs twice a month, and before we installed this software, it took four employees the better part of four days a month to manually do the calculations, reviews and payroll adjustments. Now two employees—one in secondary marketing and one in payroll—pull the data directly from our system of record and allocate, review and pay the commissions in just a few hours.”

****Janet Fell, senior vice president, at William Raveis Mortgage, LLC, Westford, MA, said her company ordered Encompass Commissions in anticipation of complying with new federal regulations for LO compensation. “As a mortgage banker, we need to be ready to comply with the new rules that require us to document our LO compensation plan and demonstrate that we have followed it. So in the event of an audit, we’re ready. Encompass Commissions appears to be a cost-effective, affordable way to leverage technology to bring greater efficiency to the commission payment process and automate compliance.”

****“Compensation is a huge factor in attracting top performing loan officers, and it is also one of the areas that has come under significant scrutiny through new regulations,” said Jonathan Corr, chief operating officer at Ellie Mae. “Encompass Commissions automates payments to loan officers accurately and quickly, reducing back-office costs and giving lenders another recruiting and retention tool. At the same time, it documents compliance with new compensation rules and provides an audit trail.”

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: Make Electronic Signing Easy

*Make Electronic Signing Easy*
**By Tony Garritano**

***Who said eSigning has to be difficult? It doesn’t and you can get immediate return on investment both in terms of hard dollars saved, efficiency gained and increased compliance with a host of new rules. Interested? You should be. To this end, PROGRESS in Lending has learned that eSignSystems, a division of Wave Systems Corp., has updated its SmartSAFE, a solution designed to handle lifecycle management of electronically signed, legally-binding documents and records requiring ESIGN and UETA compliance. This new version of SmartSAFE features a redesigned SigningRoom that simplifies the entire eDelivery and eSigning process for all parties. Here’s why you need to be aware of this product:

****This updated offering now includes expanded cross-browser support, which allows users to log into the SigningRoom with all the most popular web browsers. Additionally, the SigningRoom has been optimized for tablets and mobile devices, bringing new convenience to field agents and consumers who need to complete transactions from remote locations.

****“eSignSystems’ SigningRoom provides a centralized, secure environment where parties can login to review and eSign documents from wherever they are at the time they need to conduct their business,” said Kelly Purcell, EVP of eSignSystems. “Powerful new customization options ensure that partners can integrate the SigningRoom directly into their own business processes with a similar user interface. By extending the look and feel of our partners’ existing web infrastructure, eSignSystems ensures a seamless eSigning experience for the end-user.”

****And today customers and integration partners using this product are realizing the benefit. For example, integration partner Compliance Systems Inc., a provider of dynamic document technology to the mortgage space, is praising the new tool. “Given the regulatory environment of today, our customers demand high integrity around the document and data,” said long-time advocate of a more data-driven mortgage process Roger Gudobba, Chief Strategy Officer of Compliance Systems Inc. “That applies to the eSignature piece as well. That’s why eSignSystems is our preferred solution—couple the ease of use of the SigningRoom with the audit trails of the SmartSAFE eVault and it’s a solution that can stand up to the rigorous requirements of electronic transactions.”

****The redesigned SigningRoom, which resides within the SmartSAFE, is more intuitive to use and has improved graphics. This release delivers three options to define the look-and-feel of the SigningRoom branding. Partners can set colors and images to match their existing Web properties, through an easy-to-use configurable Web interface. Secondly, the system supports the easy installation of cascading style sheets (CSSs), which provides graphic designers with complete control over the branding of the SigningRoom. Lastly, new architecture isolates the SigningRoom in a way that lets skilled developers modify and customize the SigningRoom to integrate with their organization’s existing business processes and technology.

****“The SigningRoom is a powerful solution for any organization that requires legal or regulatory proof of document eDelivery, and is even implemented in many cases where documents may not even require a signature,” continued Purcell. “Great focus was put on the expansion of eDelivery based on customer requests and feedback, to meet the growing document lifecycle management issues and regulatory concerns of our partners in the insurance and mortgage industries, as well as the healthcare marketplace.”

****In addition, from the technology perspective the SigningRoom has been refreshed using the latest Web development techniques, ensuring compatibility across a wide array of web-accessible devices. The SmartSAFE now generates expanded alerts around eDelivery actions within the SigningRoom. As an example, through the eDelivery process when a document is reviewed in the SigningRoom, an event is automatically generated and sent to the SigningRoom owner. Another new notification alert tells the SigningRoom owner if a signer opts-out of doing business electronically, allowing for quicker reaction time for paper fulfillment.

****The global economy is increasingly migrating to electronic signing instead of traditional transportation of documents to obtain wet ink signatures. Organizations seek alternatives for document delivery for several reasons: to address stronger regulation of document management; to better protect transmission of personal private information and sensitive data; and to offset postal rate increases and decreased service.  SmartSAFE is not only a cost-saving and more efficient solution to all these needs, but also supports green initiatives. With eSignSystems, document integrity is assured throughout the entire lifecycle of an electronic document, for the strongest confidence that a signed document remains unaltered, legally-binding and easily accessible. So, don’t be afraid of eSigning, embrace it.

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: Getting Ready For ULDD

*Getting Ready For ULDD*
**By Tony Garritano**

***The Uniform Loan Delivery Dataset is a major change in the way the mortgage industry not only delivers loans between lenders and investors, but is also a significant development in how loan data is verified, analyzed and evaluated. By having the individual data elements of each loan available in a standardized digital format to compare and study, investors can more easily review files to ensure greater data integrity in each loan. Analysis and reporting are greatly improved, bringing much-needed transparency and quality to the capital markets, leading to greater liquidity and reduced costs for all stakeholders in the process. Initially applying to loan deliveries involving Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the ULDD effectively sets the stage to become the new industry standard upon implementation. And PROGRESS in Lending has learned that one LOS is already compliant. Here’s the story:

****Mortgage Builder has already received certification from the GSEs that it is in compliance with the new Uniform Loan Delivery Dataset (ULDD) requirements, well ahead of the April voluntary loan delivery date and the July 23rd mandatory delivery deadline. The agencies pushed back the mandatory date from March to July to allow vendors and lenders more time to prepare for the change, but Mortgage Builder clients can familiarize themselves with the changes immediately.

****By being early with its readiness for the ULDD, Mortgage Builder allows its clients greater preparation time to meet the requirements of the new system and its differences. “There are many new data fields and it will take clients some time to become acclimated,” according to Liz Fafette, Mortgage Builder’s vice president of operations. “We have made every effort to make the transition as seamless as possible for users by giving them an advance view of the changes as far back as November, so that helped,” she explains. “The upload websites for Fannie and Freddie are different, but we have worked hard to make the user experience as consistent as possible with the current Mortgage Builder environment.” She notes that more than 600 data fields were involved in the conversion to ULDD, and the newest version of MISMO-standardized XML (Extensible Markup Language, standardized by the Mortgage Industry Standards and Maintenance Organization) made the effort a significant undertaking.

****“ULDD brings greater standardization to the process for each transaction,” observes Keven Smith, president and CEO of Mortgage Builder. “ULDD brings improvements to the existing methods of electronic delivery that we anticipate will reduce issues around completeness and acceptability,” he says. “There is a checking feature that warns of possible problems or conflicts with Freddie or Fannie, and prompts users to fix them before uploading. This saves the GSE and the lender time, and the overall precision of the ULDD package will help boost transparency,” Smith predicts.

****Mortgage Builder was required to demonstrate that its system’s ULDD met the requirements and quality standards for the GSEs through a series of test cases with each agency. Now, with that process complete and Mortgage Builder duly certified, the company is releasing the new version for client download and implementation. “Our technical support staff is available to assist wherever required,” says Liz Fafette, but she feels that the effort put in by her operations department will make the transition remarkably painless. “With the implementation of ULDD by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, the mortgage industry is officially in the digital age,” she says. “We’re glad to help in the effort to bring new levels of data integrity and transparency to the mortgage industry, and Mortgage Builder is ready to go – months ahead of the deadline.”

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: Talking Real Solutions

*Talking Real Solutions*
**By Tony Garritano**

***Just in case you’re wondering, I will not be talking about the President’s plan to prevent future foreclosures. In my view it boils down to election year politics. We’ve had a foreclosure crisis for his entire term, yet he just now is looking to resolve the issue with a serious plan. Instead, I will congratulate the President for his efforts and I hope that I will be able to talk here in this column about the positive change that this new push has enabled real soon. Instead, I want to talk about how mortgage professionals are dealing with new rules and regulations now and seeing success. Here’s one example of how resilient the mortgage industry can be when pushed:

****Property Sciences, a national real estate appraisal firm, is getting through UAD and all the rest by using ACI’s Appraisal.com portal to deliver reports to the Uniform Collateral Data Portal (UCDP).

****“Property Sciences’ integration through ACI’s UCDP Appraisal Submission Service via Appraisal.com has allowed our lender clients to seamlessly deliver appraisals to the agencies and easily manage exceptions through our platform,” said Dean Huynh, vice president of Property Sciences. “Compliance and technology continue to be at the forefront of the mortgage industry. Property Sciences’ integration saves our lenders valuable time and establishes a regulatory-compliant delivery solution.”

****New Uniform Appraisal Dataset compliance requirements from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac went into effect on December 1, 2011. UCDP requires all appraisals be supplied in MISMO XML format or as a first-generation PDF. Appraisal.com provides a seamless interface between systems to facilitate compliant delivery of appraisal reports, allowing appraisal management companies and lenders to focus on workflow and business needs.

****“Our delivery solution for UCDP is designed to integrate to the sender’s system of record so that submissions can be executed automatically as part of the normal appraisal acceptance workflow,” said George Opelka, senior vice president of ACI. “The connectivity through Appraisal.com enables agents and lenders to ensure that Uniform Appraisal Dataset (UAD) compliance is seamless within their existing appraisal management processes.”

****You see, the mortgage industry can solve its issues, including improving the appraisal process, when pushed, it’s just too bad that the industry has to be pushed before acting. However, as the old saying goes: Better late then never.

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: Looking For Quality

*Looking For Quality*
**By Tony Garritano**

***There’s a lot of talk about quality control. But how do you ensure quality? Technology can help. For example, PROGRESS in Lending has learned that mortgage industry professionals now have the ability to quickly verify property improvements through an interface between Byte Software’s loan origination system (LOS) and BuildFax’s national building permit database. Here’s how it works:

****Lenders are employing tighter underwriting standards and more closely scrutinizing collateral value in an effort to comply with industry best practices. The integration to Byte Software allows lenders to access BuildFax’ property intelligence, which delivers the additional layer of documentation needed to enhance loan quality, reduce transactional risk, and approve loans with greater confidence. Byte Software’s LOS offers timesaving automation of these due diligence efforts.

****BuildFax provides insight into pending and completed property improvements and condition not found in tax assessor data. This information can be highly beneficial to lenders as they work to validate loan value. More than 400 lenders already use BuildFax data in their loan approval and quality control processes. The Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) acknowledge permit data as a trusted source for independent, third-party verification of property improvements and condition. In addition, the access Byte Software provides to the BuildFax database enables lenders to easily comply with emerging Uniform Appraisal Dataset (UAD) requirements.

****Joe Herb, General Manager of Byte Software, noted, “The interface will help lenders complete these essential validations quickly, enhancing underwriting and improving their customer’s experience.”

****“Lenders tell us all the time that building permit data helps them validate that a value-changing improvement was done to the subject property – a major benefit in this market environment,” said Holly Tachovsky, President of BuildFax. “Now I can tell those very same lenders, Byte and BuildFax have teamed up to make it easier for lenders to access this data by integrating with BytePro. The interface enables lenders to easily validate the property improvements and conditions on every loan. As a result, lenders can confidently say ‘yes’ to more loans, more often.”

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: It’s All About ROI

*It’s All About ROI*
**By Tony Garritano**

***Why do technology vendors and service providers integrate? There’s a variety of reasons, but the biggest one is to provide their customers with more efficiency and cost savings. For example, PROGRESS in Lending has learned that LendingQB and FirstClose Title have a partnership that combines instant ‘cash to close’ quotes with real-time automated underwriting and loan pricing all within a unified loan origination platform. The integration enables mortgage lenders to reduce closing costs for borrowers and simulatenously populate guaranteed GFE data within the LendingQB loan origination system. Here’s the story:

****FirstClose Title is a national provider of title services with a unique business model. They compare rates from a wide range of major underwriters and provide the lowest price to borrowers and lenders in a transparent manner. “We actively seek out best pricing among major underwriters to deliver pure, unaltered comparative rate quotes,” said Cynthia Waterman, president and CEO of FirstClose Title. “This allows us to present quotes which average $500 to $1000 below competing GFE quotes, providing lenders with a ‘cash to close’ advantage that makes their offer more competitive and secures a relationship with a potential borrower more quickly.”

****The integration between LendingQB and FirstClose Title makes it easy for lenders to generate a GFE quote directly within the LendingQB loan origination system. Lenders can quickly retrieve quotes for title insurance, settlement charges, recording charges, and transfer taxes and automatically populate the data to the GFE on their loan file. Lenders can save between 15 and 30 minutes per loan file using the integration. But more importantly, FirstClose Title guarantees the accuracy of the GFE data, which protects lenders from having to cover costs due to poor GFE data entry.

****“As a loan origination system, our goals are to increase a lender’s efficiency and maintain data integrity,” said Binh Dang, LendingQB’s managing partner. “The integration with FirstClose actually goes beyond these goals and has a direct impact on a lender’s ability to drive revenue. It makes lenders more competitive by improving point of sale pricing and increasing consumer selection.”

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: A Real Foreclosure Fix

*A Real Foreclosure Fix*
**By Tony Garritano**

***The government has and will again come into our space with programs to avert foreclosures. I would assert that some foreclosure will and have to happen regardless of the government’s good intentions. Instead of pushing plans on servicers, the real foreclosure fix is to empower servicers to work with these borrowers in a more meaningful way so workouts last and foreclosures that are inevitable happen and clear the way for faster recovery. How do you do this? For example, PROGRESS in Lending has learned that IndiSoft has released enhancement to its RxOffice Premium Counselor Edition. The enhanced version of the company’s module gives counseling agencies a tool to better manage internal business operations including various kinds of counseling offered and the day-to-day activities at the agency. The module also features the ability to electronically post data to the HUD Housing Counselor System. Here’s the scoop:

****The surge in the number of homeowners needing counseling to make informed housing decisions has increased exponentially during the last two years. RxOffice Premium Counselor Edition can be used by any HUD-approved agency participating in HUD’s Housing Counseling Program. These agencies are required to use a client management system to track their counseling activities and any information or data provided. By using the RxOffice module, agencies have an automated means of collecting, storing and transmitting HUD required information.

****“Timely reporting to HUD in their specific format is an essential part of a counseling agency’s day-to-day process,” said Sanjeev Dahiwadkar, CEO of IndiSoft. “RxOffice Premium Counselor Edition takes this time-intensive process and give agencies the tool they need to quickly and efficiently manage the unprecedented number of consumers who need assistance.”

****RxOffice Premium Counselor Edition is a web-based case management tool that is highly scalable and flexible. The module features a secured, proprietary messaging system to send to and receive messages from other users and can be integrated with email software to auto-file inbound/outbound emails with associated cases.

****In my view we need more technology and less one-size-fits-all government plans to get us back on the road to prosperity.

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: You Got To Have Fun

*You Got To Have Fun*
**By Tony Garritano**

***I want to start today’s column by saying that I am not a football fan, but when I got this today I could not resist sharing it because I know a lot of people love football. Veros Real Estate Solutions (Veros), a collateral valuation technology, enterprise risk management, and predictive analytics provider, said that it can’t predict whether the New England Patriots or the New York Giants will win Super Bowl XLVI on Sunday, Feb. 5. However, its real estate market forecast tool, VeroFORECAST, can provide some insight into the housing market where the stadiums for each team resides for the coming year, ending February 1, 2012. Here’s the story:

****New England Patriots

****Gillette Stadium, home of the New England Patriots, resides in Foxborough, Mass., approximately 21 miles southwest of downtown Boston. VeroFORECAST foresees a relatively stable and flat market with only 0.7 percent depreciation forecasted for the Foxborough area over the next 12 months due to favorable interest rates. Housing supply is currently down by more than half from the peak of the housing crisis and unemployment rates are in the mid six-percent range, which is better than the national average at 8.7 percent. Thus, there is not an expectation of significantly depressed housing prices.

****New York Giants

****MetLife Stadium, home of the New York Giants is located in East Rutherford, New Jersey and is the most expensive NFL stadium ever built, as well as the largest stadium in the NFL in terms of permanent seating capacity. A part of the New York Metropolitan area, East Rutherford is forecast to see depreciation during the next year of 3.6 percent in its market. Housing supply has remained constant for an extended period of time without significant declines. The unemployment rate has stayed near the national average, previously stated to be at 8.7 percent.

****As host city to Super Bowl XLVI, Indianapolis’ housing market is forecasted to appreciate 0.9 percent in the coming year. The market did not experience the big run up in prices associated with many other still struggling markets and housing supply overall appears healthy. Affordability here remains steady with the unemployment rate hovering around the national average. Thus the outlook for home prices looks positive for the future with no significant upward or downward pressures.

****Veros’ most recent VeroFORECAST for the national housing market for the 12-month period ending December 1, 2012 can be found in the company’s online newsroom.

****What a hoot. There’s great information here. I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did.

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: Judging Risk

*Judging Risk*
**By Tony Garritano**

***Lenders today are trying to be more risk averse. But is it working? CoreLogic released its fourth quarter 2011 multifamily applicant risk (MAR) analytics. The fourth quarter MAR Index value increased three points from the previous two years showing a higher renter credit quality through the end of 2011. Here’s the scoop:

****The MAR Index for fourth quarter 2011 is based exclusively on applicant traffic credit quality scores from the CoreLogic SafeRent statistical lease screening model and is updated quarterly to provide property owners and managers with a benchmark against which to compare their portfolio’s performance. With this unique applicant risk index, property managers and owners are able to compare their applicant credit quality trends with that of the average MAR Index trends. This comparison indicates whether their portfolio is performing above, below or at market levels with respect to attracting and securing applicants with higher credit quality and an increased likelihood of fulfilling their lease obligations.

****When compared to the fourth quarter of 2010, the MAR Index increased three points in overall national renter credit quality, indicating a slightly better applicant pool. When comparing applicants for one- versus two-bedroom units, the MAR Index is slightly higher for one-bedroom units at 101, compared with 100 for two-bedroom units in the fourth quarter. The fourth quarter 2011 national MAR Index, which includes studios, one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom units (BR), was 101. This is a three point decrease in overall national renter credit quality from the third quarter value of 104, largely reflecting seasonal fluctuation typical of lower applicant traffic periods of first and fourth quarters.

****Regionally, the South and Midwest had the lowest MAR Index with values of 97. The Northeast continues to have the highest MAR Index with a value of 110. From a Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) perspective, the three MSAs with the leading decreases in the MAR Index were Buffalo-Niagara Falls, N.Y.; Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, Fla.; and Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Ariz.; with decreases of three, one and one point, respectively. The three MSAs with the leading increases in the MAR Index were San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif.; San Antonio, Tex.; and Salt Lake City, Utah; with increases of five points.

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.