Mortgage Vet Forms Innovative New Firm

PROGRESS in Lending has learned that Jorge Sauri, the mortgage technology veteran behind the MortgageDashboard loan origination system and former founder at Arc Systems, one of the very first subprime automated underwriting systems, has launched LendSmart. The new company will provide cloud-based process automation, initially for mortgage lenders to revolutionize the Point of Sale by facilitating AI-driven mortgages.

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“FinTech is no longer the domain of traditional technology developers,” Sauri said. “Our industry is currently being disrupted, both in terms of technology development and in the delivery of banking services, by new entrants who are changing the way customers interact with financial services companies. Consumers are embracing these consumer-centric solutions. To compete, lenders will have to play and win this new game. LendSmart offers borrower-focused POS technology that uses Artificial Intelligence to ensure transactions are driven to completion in a manner that maximizes consumer satisfaction while it reduces overall origination costs.

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The LendSmart POS is the firm’s first offering and provides all of the information today’s borrowers are seeking. It includes integrated document management and process automation to get quality loan files started quickly. The company is currently signing integration agreements that will allow the technology to put more control of the application process into the hands of consumers, who have shown they are eager to accept it. In fact, consumers are demanding it.

“The industry has finally embraced the concept of the digital mortgage,” Sauri said. “Fortunately for us, American consumers have been ready for it for some time. It’s time to deliver it. We will be the company that provides the financial technology to make that happen.”

About The Author

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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

Have You Heard?

The story broke yesterday, but just in case you haven’t heard yet, Optimal Blue, a provider of pricing, point-of-sale, compliance and secondary marketing automation services for the mortgage industry, has acquired one of its competitors, LoanSifter, Inc., a provider of product eligibility and pricing, point-of-sale and marketing solutions for mortgage lenders. Here’s the story:

The sale price was not disclosed. Optimal Blue is clearly looking to establish itself as the dominant standalone pricing solution having acquired another competitor, Sollen, just recently. And this is probably a smart move given that major pricing vendors like ARC Systems, NYLX, and Commerce Velocity have all either been acquired or gone out of business. Similarly, leading LOS companies realize that this function really needs to be a core part of their system and firms like Ellie Mae, Calyx Software and Mortgage Builder have all acquired pricing vendors themselves and have successfully integrated them into the core LOS offering. The days of the standalone pricing vendor having a viable business may just be behind us.

As a result of the Optimal Blue acquisition of LoanSifter, LoanSifter’s operations, employees and customer relationships will immediately become a fully integrated part of Optimal Blue. The new company will have more than 1,500 customers, 200 employees and three offices nationwide with headquarters in Plano, Texas. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Founded in 2004, LoanSifter provides content and technology that is used daily by tens of thousands of mortgage professionals to search loan products and guidelines from more than 185 investors. LoanSifter offers a diverse suite of services to mortgage bankers, credit unions, community banks and brokers, including a managed-content pricing engine, point-of-sale solutions, marketing and automated quoting.

Larry Huff and Ivan Darius, co-CEOs of Optimal Blue said, “This is a rare opportunity to combine the strengths of two organizations with exceptional track records and capabilities and focus on the same mission, which is to more effectively provide innovative products and services to our combined customers.”

“LoanSifter’s commitment to innovation has helped lenders grow their business and streamline their origination process,” said Bruce Backer, former president of LoanSifter. “That commitment continues with this acquisition.”