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DIMONT Adds Auto Finance Industry Veteran

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

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

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

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

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

About The Author

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

DIMONT Expands Auto Insurance Claims Division

DIMONT launched the strategic expansion of its auto insurance claims division. With 21 years of claims experience in the mortgage industry, DIMONT has leveraged that knowledge in its auto division and is already seeing positive results with clients maximizing their recoveries on repossessed portfolios.

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DIMONT’s processing is made more efficient by a proprietary technology system that tracks the claims progressions from start to finish, and provides total portfolio reporting throughout the process.

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In the past four months, DIMONT entered into partnerships with three new lenders to provide their auto claims services, including one of the largest lenders in the auto finance industry. The company has also joined the American Financial Services Association (AFSA) and will be exhibiting at its 34thIndependents Conference and Expo on April 18-21 in Las Vegas. DIMONT will be stationed at booth 217.

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“We’ve watched lenders repeatedly miss opportunities for revenue while working with auto claims, and we want to help avoid that,” said Denis Brosnan, president and chief executive officer of DIMONT. “Our specialists in claims recovery, commitment to customer service and focus on strategic partnerships enable us to pave a clear path into the auto industry.”

About The Author

Progress In Lending
The Place For Thought Leaders And Visionaries

What The Mortgage Industry Can Learn From The Automotive Industry

What do having a car and getting a mortgage have in common? Surprisingly, more than you would think.

Outside of both requiring some form of financial commitment over a long period of time, the automotive and financial industries have had to face the double-edged sword of technology. On one hand you have the efficiencies created by automating processes; those save companies money by trimming the amount of time necessary to complete a task. Then on the other side of the sword is the financial savings gained from eliminating salaries of the people who are no longer in the positions that were replaced by technology. Hence, the painful result of technology implementation.

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For so long in the mortgage industry, we have been saying that the adoption of technology has been slower than other industries. We have attributed it to several things from mistrusting technology to misunderstanding it to the proverbial wait-and-see mentality. I contend there are some lessons that we mortgage professionals can learn from the automotive industry regarding implementing technology.

United Auto Workers membership was at 1.5 million in 1979. In 2006, that number had dwindled to 540,000. The decline in membership from 1979 to 2006 was due to the increased use of technology by Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) such as Ford, Chrysler, General Motors and their suppliers. The technology sword was at work slicing these large workforces down.

Now consider the fact that CIOs at the top 50 banks say their technology budgets are going to increase by 10 percent in 2016, according to a recent SourceMedia study. I am sure this is based on a financial institution’s desire to improve efficiencies and beef up security protocol as well as help meet regulatory requirements. Interestingly enough, I think part of that expenditure will also be made on efforts to attract millennial home buyers – the very group that has been immersed in technology practically from the womb but who have also been the “victims” of technology efficiencies that have minimized their job market. The mortgage industry will continue to increase budgets in adapting technology until all the tasks that can be automated are actually automated. The question now becomes: when will this happen and how many jobs will be affected?

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From the current technology adoption trends in the mortgage industry, certain areas still need technology intervention, especially in the compliance arena. Compliance is not new to this industry. It has been a part of how business has been done for decades. However, since the Dodd Frank Act of 2010 and the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), not to mention the additional oversight from other federal agencies, new mortgages should now have stricter compliant rules. Effectively using technology can easily solve the issues created by needing to be compliant. Similarly, there are other tasks that technology can also still improve, such as document management etc.

So, in regards to learning from the use of technology in the automotive industry, we can and must use it to create efficiencies while saving time and money. However, the one caveat that the housing industry has that the automotive industry did not is the need – that will never go away – for some home buyers to speak to a human, not a bot, during the life of a loan. As long as mortgages continue to be the largest expenditure some people will make in their lifetime (other than college for their children, but that is another topic for discussion), there will be a real need to talk to someone who is knowledgeable about the loan at some point. Whether it is checking to see if documents were received or if a payment was properly accounted for or an issue with an escrow account, dialog will need to happen. These are the issues that consumers want to have reassurance; a “live” person whose name they can write down and who can be held accountable for making a note of the borrower’s interaction.

There is no doubt that technology will help lenders be more productive and decrease the need for human resources. While this decrease may seem drastic initially, over time it will level off. Just like in the automotive industry, the need for efficiency will outweigh the need to maintain a huge job force. But we can rest assured that there will always be a need for human interactions in the mortgage process. Can you imagine the financial equivalent to an automated parking feature? No, neither can I.

About The Author

[author_bio]

Pramod Karachur
Pramod Karachur is project manager at IndiSoft, a technology company that specializes in systems for the financial industry. In his six years at IndiSoft, Karachur has implemented various grant programs, worked with multiple servicers such as Wells Fargo and Bank of America and thousands of non-profit and for-profit counseling agencies. He can be reached at pramod.karachur@indisoft.us.

Auto Lending On The Rise

According to Equifax, the total balance of auto loans in December 2014 is $975 billion, representing 33.2% of total outstanding non-mortgage consumer debt. The total is an all-time high and an increase of 9.3% from same time a year ago. In addition, the total number of auto loans outstanding is nearly 71 million, a 6.5% increase from December 2013.

“The automobile industry had a strong year in 2014, selling more than 16.4 million new cars,” said Dennis Carlson, Deputy Chief Economist at Equifax. “Auto lending is at a record high of more than $975 billon, accounting for nearly one third of all non-mortgage consumer debt. Further, while write-offs have increased slightly from last year, delinquency rates remain near record lows. Consumers are excited about both the quality and craftsmanship of the vehicles available today as well as the great financing available. The improving economic situation has finally afforded consumers the opportunity to rekindle their love affair with the automobile.”

“2015 is going to be an even more revved up year for the industry and for Automotive Services at Equifax, as we enter the New Year with a market full of eager-to-buy consumers and lenders who are armed with a more complete view of consumers’ financials than ever before. We’re excited to have our team of auto experts at the National Automotive Dealers Association (NADA) convention this week to discuss our latest solutions for the industry, and look forward to taking the successes we saw in 2014 to new heights this year.”

Other highlights from the most recent Equifax data include:

Auto

>> The total number of new loans originated year-to-date in October is 21.2 million, an eight-year high, while the total balance of new auto loans is $434.1 billion, an increase of 7.1% from same time a year ago;

>> The total number of new loans originated year-to-date in October for nonprime borrowers, or consumers with risk scores of 640 or lower, is 6.5 million, representing just under 31% of all auto loans originated today;

>> Similarly, the total balance of newly originated nonprime auto loans in that same time is $119.0 billion, an eight-year high and representing 27.4% of the total balance of new auto loans;

>> In December, serious delinquencies on auto loans represent 1.10% of total outstanding balances, a slight increase over the previous month, but a decrease of 6% from December of 2013;

>> Additionally, annualized write-offs represent 2.64% of total outstanding balances, a 5.3% increase over December of 2013.

Progress In Lending
The Place For Thought Leaders And Visionaries

Consumer Balances And Write-Off Performance

According to the latest Equifax National Consumer Credit Trends Report, non-mortgage credit balances in November 2014 totaled $3.1 trillion, the highest level in more than five years. By vertical, year-over-year balance increases include:

>> Auto: 9.6% ($965.0 billion);

>> Retail-issued credit cards: 4.8% ($71.0 billion); and

>> Bank-issued credit cards: 4.7% ($611.7 billion).

In addition, the total balance of non-mortgage write-offs year-to-date for November 2014 was $73.4 billion, the second-lowest level in eight years. Similarly, the total balance of home-finance write-offs year-to-date in November was $91.2 billion, also the second-lowest level in eight years.

“The Great Deleveraging has clearly ended and U.S. Consumers are back in the borrowing business, but how they borrow has greatly changed from prior to the Great Recession,” said Amy Crews Cutts, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist at Equifax. “Today, while auto loans make up 30.9% of non-mortgage consumer debt –  just as they did in December 2007 at the Recession’s start – student loans have grown from 20.2% to a whopping 37.3% and bank- and retailer-issued credit cards are down to 21.9% of consumer debt from 31.4%.”

Cutts continued, “One way to read this change is that consumers now value investment (in their education and durable goods like cars) over immediate consumption, which is good for our economy over the long run.  But, with the exception of new car production, sluggish consumption slows economic growth in the short-term, partially explaining the slower-than-hoped-for economic recovery.”

Other highlights from the most recent Equifax data include:

Auto Loans:

>> The total number of outstanding loans year-to-date in November was more than 70.0 million, the highest level in more than five-years;

>> Auto loan serious delinquencies, defined as loans 60 days or more past due, stood at 1.04% in November as a share of balances, a decrease from 1.15% from the same time a year ago;

>> The total number of new auto loans originated between January and September 2014 was 19.2 million, an increase of 4.7% versus the same period a year ago; in that same time, the total balance of new credit originated was $391.6 billion, an increase of 7.0%.

Retail-issued Credit Card:

>> The total number of new retail card accounts issued January-September was 28.5 million, a year-over-year increase of 2.5% and the highest since 2007;

>> The total balance of new credit originated in that same time was $48.1 billion, a six-year high and an increase of 3.4%;

>> In November, write-offs as a percentage of total balances were 7.44%, a year-over-year decrease of 0.34 percentage points (34 basis points).

Bank-issued credit card

>> Total new credit originated year-to-date in September was $183.9 billion, a six-year high and an increase of 25.9% from same time a year ago;

>> The total number of new cards issued year-to-date in that same time was 37.7 million, also a six-year high and an increase of 20.1%;

>> The write-off rate as a percentage of total balances outstanding in November was 3.47%, down from the 3.94% rate for November 2013;

>> The total number of bank-issued credit cards outstanding in November was more than 359.6 million, a five-year high and an increase of more than 4.7% from November of 2013.

Home Finance

>> Delinquent first mortgages, those 30 days or more past due, represented 4.54% of outstanding balances in November, a decrease from 5.87% from the same time a year ago;

>> The total balance of seriously delinquent first mortgages (90 days past due or in foreclosure) was $198.8 billion in November, a decrease of more than 29.8% year-over-year and the lowest level in more than five years;

>> Total balances on home equity installment loans was $139.9 billion in November, a decrease of 15.9% from the same time a year ago, while the total number of loans outstanding dropped to 4.6 million;

>> Total balances outstanding on home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) in November 2014 was $515.4 billion, a decrease of 3.6% from same time a year ago and a five-year low. The total number of HELOCs outstanding fell to 11.1 million, the lowest total in 10 years;

>> Delinquent balances (30 days or more past due) on HELOCs represented 2.37% of outstanding balances in November, down from 2.70% a year ago.

>> Delinquent balances on home equity installment loans fell 0.77 percentage points from November 2013 to 2.45% in November 2014.

Progress In Lending
The Place For Thought Leaders And Visionaries

Let’s Learn From The Auto Industry

The best people are always open to new ideas. They’re always learning. So, I like to bring in topics on other industries that I think you might learn a bit from. In this case, I learned that the auto industry is doing some interesting things that the mortgage industry might try.

I was told that Fiserv’s Automotive Loan Origination System (LOS) was used by dealers and lenders to process more than 13.6 million credit applications in 2013, an increase of 16.5 percent over the previous year. More than 4.6 million contracts were funded on Auto LOS – a 14.3 percent increase over 2012 — of which nearly 900,000 were electronic contracts (e-contracts). 2013 was the first full year that e-contracting capabilities were integrated into the company’s end-to-end solution for automotive loan origination.

This substantial volume of credit applications and funded contracts reflects the slow return to health of the U.S. automotive industry, which registered robust growth in sales and financing for both new and used cars and trucks. The growing adoption of e-contracting mirrors the automotive industry’s transition to new technology and digital lending. E-contracting systems enable auto dealers to submit an electronically signed contract to a lender, greatly reducing the time needed to approve and fund loans, minimizing errors and leading to improved customer satisfaction. Are you listening Mr. Mortgage Lender?

“Increasing automobile sales and the recovering economy contributed to the impressive growth of credit applications and contracts supported by our Automotive Loan Origination System,” said Kevin Collins, president, Lending Solutions, Fiserv. “Captives and their dealers realized the role that technology can play in reducing costs, improving customer satisfaction and facilitating faster decision-making. This led to the impressive volume gains and growing adoption of e-contracting processes.”

By using e-contracting through Automotive LOS from Fiserv, auto dealers have been able to realize same-day or next-day funding and approval of contracts, a significant improvement over the laborious and slow paper-based contract process.

Fiserv technology gives lenders access to tools that help them better understand their borrowers’ financial situation, and offers a holistic view of their entire lending portfolios so they can make smarter lending decisions and close more deals. The efficient and error-free execution of e-contracts helps lenders reduce costs by eliminating paper, deliver high-quality service and remain competitive in today’s auto finance market.

Fiserv’s Automotive Loan Origination System is a solution for automotive loan origination, from electronic application capture through credit processing, funding verification, validation and booking of new loans and leases. The system assures a fast and efficient origination process, enforces compliance, mitigates risk and promotes profitable growth by lowering processing costs without sacrificing quality for quantity.

Mortgage lenders just might learn a thing or two from what these auto lenders are doing in my humble opinion.

About The Author

[author_bio]

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.

Dissecting The Financial Markets

According to the latest Equifax National Consumer Credit Trends Report, the total number of open retail-issued credit cards is greater than 183 million, the most since September of 2009. Further, total balances on retail-issued credit cards surpassed $56 billion, a year-over-year increase of over 6.4%. Here’s what the report said about housing and other financial sectors:

New Credit:

>> At $46.6 billion, the total limit of new credit issued January-August of 2013 is an increase of 11.6% over the same period last year;

>> In that same time, 24.6 million new card accounts were issued, the highest since 2008, and an increase of 8.8% over same time a year ago; and

>> Year-to-date lending through August 2013 to subprime credit borrowers, defined as those with Equifax Risk scores below 660, increased 15.8% over the same time a year ago—8.2 million loans were originated, a six year high;

Write-Offs and Delinquencies:

>> Retail-issued credit card write-offs were down nearly 14% compared to October 2012 (from 8.24% to 7.09%); and

>> In that same time, 60-day delinquency rates for retail cards fell slightly, from 3.52% to 3.48%.

“The holiday season is almost upon us and retailers are eager to capture the hearts and wallets of the American consumer,” said Equifax Chief Economist Amy Crews Cutts. “Retail cards are a great way to do both. Retailers can leverage these cards to drive traffic to their stores through special offers to cardholders and can encourage larger purchases by offering favorable interest-rate promotions for big ticket items. As long as consumers resist the urge to overspend, these cards can be a great way to save money when holiday shopping.”

Other highlights from the most recent Equifax data include:

Bank-Issued Credit Card:

>> At $128.7 billion, the total limit of new credit issued between January-August 2013 is a five-year high for that year-to-date period and an increase of 9.1% over the same time a year ago ($117.9 billion);

>> The total number of new loans year-to-date in August 2013 is 27.6 million, a five-year high and an increase of 7.3% from same time a year ago;

>> The total number of existing loans in October 2013 is more than 312 million, the highest since December 2009;

>> The total outstanding balance on bank-issued credit cards ($537.2 billion) has increased year-over-year for four consecutive months. This marks the first time in more than five years that such an increase has occurred;

>> From October 2012-2013, 60-day delinquency rates decreased 13.6% (from 2.18% to 1.88%); and

>> In that same time, write offs decreased 18.4% (from 4.81% to 3.92%).

Auto:

>> The total number of loans outstanding in October 2013 is nearly 62 million, a 5 year high;

>> By source, loans funded by banks, savings and loans or credit unions are at $411.6 billion, while the total number of loans is 29.9 million — all-time highs for both;

>> The total outstanding balance for loans funded by auto finance companies is $435.1 billion, while the total number of existing loans is more than 32 million, its highest level since January 2009; and

>> The total balance of auto loan originations year-to-date in August 2013 is 327.3 billion, an increase of 15.6% from same time a year ago and the most new credit originated for that time period in more than eight years.

Home Finance:

>> The total balance of first mortgages in October 2013 is $7.6 trillion, a decrease of 1.7% from same time a year ago;

>> The total balance of first mortgage severe delinquencies (90-days past due or in foreclosure) is less than $300 billion for the first time in more than five years and a decrease of more than 30% from same time a year ago;

>> In October 2013, the total balance of home equity revolving loans is $494.1 billion, a decrease of 7.3% from same time a year ago and a five-year low. Similarly, the total number of loans outstanding in October is less than 10.5 million,

>> The total balance of severely delinquent home equity revolving loans in October 2013 is less than $9 billion, a decrease of more than 20% from same time a year ago; and

The total balance of home equity installment loans is $134.3 billion, a decrease of 4.8% from same time a year ago, while the total number of loans outstanding is 3.8 million; for both, these are more than 8-year lows.

About The Author

[author_bio]

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.

Are People Over Spending Again?

*Are People Over Spending Again?*
**By Tony Garritano**

TonyG***People buying things they could not afford with credit instead of available cash was a leading contributing factor to the mortgage meltdown. Americans are too comfortable about going into debt. Here’s what’s happening today: According to Equifax’s latest National Consumer Credit Trends Report, the total balance of bank credit cards increased slightly over the year ending July 2013 (from $533.3 to $536.5 billion), realizing the first year-over-year increase in 5 years.

****For other verticals, year-over-year changes in balances include:

****>> Student loan: increased 11.3% (from $794.6 billion to $884.2 billion);

****>> Auto: Increased 10.9% (from $745.3 billion to 826.8 billion);

****>> First mortgage: decreased 0.9% (from $7.79 trillion to $7.72 trillion);

****>> Home equity installment: decreased 4.1% (from $142.3 billion to $136.5); and

****>> Home equity revolving: decreased 8.9% (from $553.2 billion to $504.1 billion).

****“Only two major consumer credit segments are currently growing: auto financing and student loans,” said Equifax Chief Economist Amy Crews Cutts. “In all other segments, consumers are reducing their debt burdens, either negatively, through foreclosures and bankruptcies or positively, through payoffs – payoffs are dominating in most cases today. We expect mortgage balances to begin rising again over the next several months as new home purchase loans overtake foreclosures and payoffs.”

****Other highlights from the most recent data include:

****Bankcard:

****>> Serious delinquencies represent 1.86% of outstanding balances in July 2013, a decrease of more than 11% year-over-year;

****>> The total of new credit opened between January-May 2013 is the highest since 2008 and an increase of more than 6% from same time a year ago ($72.9 billion to $77.7 billion);

****>> From January-May 2013, the total number of new loans also increased more than 6% from same time a year ago, from 15.6 million to 16.6 million; and

****>> Both new loans and new credit year-to-date in May 2013 are five-year highs.

****Student Loan:

****>> The total number of student loans originated January-May 2013 is 4.2 million, a decrease of 9.3% from same time a year ago;

****>> In that same time, the total balance of new credit is $24.3 billion, an increase of nearly 4% from same time a year ago;

****>> More than 60% of new student loans in May 2013 were distributed to borrowers between the ages of 24 and 39, a modest decrease from the same period last year; and

****>> The total amount of write-offs year to date in July 2013 is $11.6 billion, an eight-year high and an increase of more than 58% from same time a year ago.

****Home Finance:

****>> The total balance of home finance write-offs year-to-date in July 2013 is $96.3 billion, a decrease of more than 22% from same time a year ago and the lowest since 2007;

****>> First mortgages in severe delinquency (30-days past due) represent 6.24% of outstanding balances, a decrease of 22% from the same time last year;

****>> Similarly, the total balance of first mortgages 90-days past due or in foreclosure is less than $310 billion, a five-year low and a decrease of more than 25% from same time a year ago; and

****>> By loan type, severely delinquent balances (90-days past due or in foreclosure) for home equity revolving ($8.3 billion) and home equity installment ($4.4 billion) in July 2013 are five-year lows.

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 LOS Has To Do Everything

*The LOS Has To Do Everything*
**By Tony Garritano**

***I promised you an LOS Scoop this week so here it is: Like I said earlier, it’s not another acquisition, but I think it is significant. The LOS has to be the rock that keeps the lender in business. As such the LOS of today has to both do more and offer more. It’s a tough job, but the good LOS is up to the challenge. Here’s what Associated Software Consultants, Inc. (ASC), is doing to expand the functionality of its PowerLender offering:

****The LOS offers business rule flexibility, SaaS deployment and it is also a single platform for mortgage, consumer and commercial lending. Now the LOS also offers indirect lending capabilities with its latest integration with DealerTrack.

****With the DealerTrack integration, PowerLender accepts all the pertinent loan application information indirectly from a lender’s network of auto dealers. PowerLender’s decisioning tools return a credit decision, an approved loan amount and related information back to the dealer. The loan record in PowerLender is automatically created and populated with the borrower information submitted from the dealer.

****PowerLender underwrites, processes, funds loans, and prepares all required documentation. This allows lenders to easily grow their Dealer Network, in addition, it allows them to buy and sell leads as well. PowerLender automates tasks to speed workflow. Validation tools help lenders make the right decisions fast while powerful customization tools allow lenders to offer new loan products to dealers.

****“This integration is yet another testament to our commitment in delivering a single dynamic platform for mortgage, consumer and commercial lending,” said Dave Stricklen, director of sales at ASC. “ASC is driven to deliver a consistent user experience for lenders through a single platform to best meet the ever changing needs of lenders across the country.”

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.