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What Are The LOS Firms Up To?

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Every LOS has been busy tackling TRID for some time now. Well, that threat is behind us. So, I started to think: What are the various LOS players up to now? Here’s what I found:

First, Ellie Mae recently launched three new solutions. The Ellie Mae Compliance Management System, Ellie Mae’s next generation Encompass CRM and the Encompass Mobile solutions were unveiled at the Ellie Mae Experience 2016 user conference.

The Ellie Mae Compliance Management System allows lenders to establish compliance policies, procedures and responsibilities, educate management and staff, easily qualify vendor partners and quickly track and respond to customer complaints. Designed for mortgage lenders, banks and credit unions of all sizes who need to demonstrate compliance with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and other regulatory requirements, the Ellie Mae Compliance Management System is a unified system-of-record for all mortgage compliance data. It leverages Encompass and Mavent Compliance Service, which performs more than 370 federal, state and local consumer protection compliance reviews during the loan lifecycle, and AllRegs Online, a library of federal and state compliance resources to help lenders employ the correct policies and procedures and stay current with the latest regulatory changes. Additionally, it offers the following new components:

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>> Policy & Education Manager: A comprehensive learning and content management system to help employees stay compliant with current regulations, agency guidelines and organizational best practices. Assign educational modules, track progress and create reporting to ensure your board, management and staff understand your organization’s policies, procedures and responsibilities.

>> Vendor Manager: A one-stop resource library of due diligence documentation and resources for Ellie Mae’s broad network of vendor partners.

>> Complaint Manager: A best-in-class service to manage consumer complaint resolutions, processes and best practices, including contacts, customers and tracking of communication history, as well as case management of customer complaints.

Ellie Mae’s next generation Encompass CRM provides automated one-to-one marketing, compliance and business intelligence needed to capture and keep the attention of referral partners, prospects and customers. Lenders can dramatically increase marketing effectiveness through personal, individually tailored communications while increasing the effectiveness of campaigns utilizing robust business intelligence. Specifically, Encompass CRM offers:

>> Automated One-to-One Marketing: Unique, detailed and tailored marketing campaigns, automatic prospect assignments based on individual situations, and access to a library of more than 200 email template campaigns, newsletters, videos and direct mail specifically designed for mortgage targets, as well as the ability to customize your own content.

>> Business Intelligence: Enables lenders the ability to benchmark against competition, identify of areas for improvement and the ability to capitalize on opportunities through detailed reporting that shows productivity, ROI and LO/branch performance.

>> Compliance & Control: Offers sophisticated, legally reviewed compliance and the best data security in the industry—SOC 2 Type II audit certification, along with improved compliance through one system of record.

Encompass Mobile is a robust, scalable mobile platform that is an extension of Encompass. Encompass Mobile lets users seamlessly interact with Encompass from iPhones, iPads and Android devices without having to download special apps or install client software. Encompass Mobile:

>> Offers real-time access to pipelines, anywhere, from any device,

>> Enables the ability to take applications, order credit, and lock a rate using data from the Encompass Product & Pricing Service, and

>> Was designed with the highest levels of data access and application security built-in.

“As we continue to drive toward our mission of automating everything automatable in the residential mortgage industry, these best-in-class solutions extend and enhance our already powerful Encompass offering and add value for lenders of all sizes,” said Jonathan Corr, Ellie Mae president and CEO. “Through the launch of our next generation Encompass CRM, the Ellie Mae Compliance Management System and Encompass Mobile, we’re enabling our customers to ensure compliance while operating more efficiently and effectively.”

Second, Calyx Software has developed separate versions of its Pricer Product & Pricing Engine for portfolio lenders with their own rate sheets (Custom Pricer) and originators looking for investor pricing supplied by Calyx (Investor Pricer).

Both versions are used seamlessly with Calyx Point, eliminating multiple logins, loan program templates, and the need to rekey data. The bidirectional data flow simplifies processes and improves accuracy and efficiency. Users can locate the best deals for their clients, see the street price for borrowers, and lock or float rates and their loans all online within the software they use every day.

Bob Dougherty, vice president of mortgage operations, Merchants Bank, N.A. who has used Pricer for years, particularly appreciates the product’s ease of use and the automated accuracy he can count on. “Having all loan products in one place, with the ability to check the loan levels for each and see any adjustments, keeps our team on track at all times. Pricer has sped up production and reduced error, which helps our originators be more efficient and profitable.”

Loan originators can price scenarios instantly and correctly in both versions without using paper, and only eligible rate cards and programs are visible to users. Rate and fee information, including Loan Level Price Adjustments (LLPAs), are automatically imported into loan files. Pricer also sends, tracks and preserves every rate quote and lock request.

“The latest enhancements to our Pricer solution are designed to better match the specific needs of both buyers and sellers in today’s more complex, post-TRID, post-QM market,” said Dennis Boggs, executive vice president, Calyx Software. “Our product and pricing engine gives originators the broadest view of what is available.”

Lastly, Advantage Credit Inc., a leading provider of credit reporting services to the mortgage industry, is pleased to announce that all credit and settlement services are now available through LendingQB, a 100% web browser-based, end-to-end mortgage loan origination system (LOS).

Users of LendingQB will now be able to seamlessly access all of Advantage Credit’s services without leaving the platform, giving users the ability to close loans much more quickly and efficiently. Integrated services include credit reports, tradeline supplements, undisclosed debt verification, identity verification, AVM, tax return verifications, verification of employment, verification of deposits and flood certificates.

While navigating within a loan file, LendingQB users order multiple services through a unified interface, consolidating what was previously an array of time consuming tasks. When orders are complete, any returned documents are stored electronically and data associated with the service is automatically populated onto the loan file. The interface also displays a total cost for all Advantage Credit services so that fee information is completely transparent to the user.

What can we learn from what these LOS players are doing? There is an emphasis on mobile computing, lights-out processing and tighter integrations. What does this mean? The major LOS systems are moving on and automating more of the mortgage process each and every day.

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There Is No One-Size-Fits-All Technology

Good vendors realize that no one technology tool fits all lenders. So, they look to offer a more innovative product set. For example, Calyx Software has developed separate versions of its Pricer Product & Pricing Engine for portfolio lenders with their own rate sheets (Custom Pricer) and originators looking for investor pricing supplied by Calyx (Investor Pricer). Here’s why:

Both versions are used seamlessly with Calyx Point, eliminating multiple logins, loan program templates, and the need to rekey data. The bidirectional data flow simplifies processes and improves accuracy and efficiency. Users can locate the best deals for their clients, see the street price for borrowers, and lock or float rates and their loans — all online within the software they use every day.

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Bob Dougherty, vice president of mortgage operations, Merchants Bank, N.A., who has used Pricer for years, particularly appreciates the product’s ease of use and the automated accuracy he can count on. “Having all loan products in one place, with the ability to check the loan levels for each and see any adjustments, keeps our team on track at all times. Pricer has sped up production and reduced errors, which helps our originators be more efficient and profitable.”

Loan originators can price scenarios instantly and correctly in both versions without using paper, and only eligible rate cards and programs are visible to users. Rate and fee information, including Loan Level Price Adjustments (LLPAs), are automatically imported into loan files. Pricer also sends, tracks and preserves every rate quote and lock request.

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“The latest enhancements to our Pricer solution are designed to better match the specific needs of both buyers and sellers in today’s more complex, post-TRID, post-QM market,” said Dennis Boggs, executive vice president, CalyxSoftware. “Our product and pricing engine gives originators the broadest view of what is available.”

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New Integration Enhances Loan Pricing

Mortech has completed a new integration between Mortech’s product and pricing engine (PPE) and secondary marketing solutions, and Calyx’s Point and PointCentral (Point) loan origination software (LOS). Through this integration, Point users can access Mortech’s mortgage product and eligibility information and compare loan pricing scenarios from over 400 supported investor rate sheets all within the Calyx interface.

“In today’s competitive market place, closing loan transactions quickly and efficiently is critical and lenders are increasingly looking for technology solutions to help streamline the loan process,” said Doug Foral, general manager at Mortech. “By aligning the Mortech and Calyx Software offerings, we are providing our customers with the mortgage automation solutions they seek to optimize their day-to-day workflow, bringing simplicity to the complex mortgage environment and ultimately, delivering a technological solution to allow our customers to close more loans more quickly.”

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The new integration provides instant access to Mortech pricing, including loan specific rate, profit and adjustment information, along with automating the lock request process by seamlessly transferring borrower scenario data between Marksman and Point. The enhanced integration removes manual data re-entry, reduces the possibility of human error, and improves loan-processing automation through multi-system interoperability.

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“At Calyx, we’re continually enhancing our software and adding quality technology partners to our network to offer a competitive edge to our mortgage banking and broker clients,” said Dennis Boggs, executive vice president of business development at Calyx Software. “Integrating Mortech’s product and pricing engine into our platform will simplify the searching process for our users and provide them access to pricing from Mortech’s extensive portfolio of supported wholesale and correspondent programs.”

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Calyx Automates TRID Compliance

Calyx Software has released a new version of PointCentral. With this new version, mortgage lenders using PointCentral can originate loans and deliver TRID-compliant Loan Estimates and Closing Disclosures immediately. With integrated access to essential loan origination tools, and both new and enhanced calculation features, PointCentral 9.2 delivers additional functionality and TRID-compliant results to lenders in plenty of time for the extended October 3 deadline.

PointCentral Version 9.2 automates the new Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure forms and includes several new functions like simple interest calculation, Down Payment Assistance (DPA) functionality, zero percent interest calculation, principal reduction and much more. By collecting input from customer advisory groups, and conducting extensive testing, Calyx has improved not only the calculation areas but the overall user experience.

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Doug Chang, President of Calyx said, “Because we’ve been in the industry more than 25 years, Calyx has weathered many regulatory changes. Based on our experience, we understood it was imperative to have the new TRID-compliant Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure in our customers’ hands as quickly as possible. That’s why we released a Point version with the new Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure in May. Although moving the TRID effective date from August 1 to October 3 was beneficial to the industry overall, our customers did not need to rely on the extension because we offered them the opportunity to prepare for TRID well in advance.”

As a total solution, PointCentral 9.2 provides customers with vital tools to manage compliance with a configurable rules engine, lock and confirm data with a pricing and underwriting engine, connect seamlessly to more than 200 top mortgage service providers, and have questions answered quickly with free, unlimited live support.

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“Getting an early start was certainly key to getting PointCentral 9.2 TRID-ready well in advance of the deadline. We think lenders are really going to enjoy using the enhanced solution PointCentral 9.2 delivers,” said Dennis Boggs Executive Vice President of Business Development.

Integration Enables Compliance And Data Integrity

Doc prep GuardianDocs is now seamlessly integrated with Calyx Software. Now users of Calyx Point can order and complete initial disclosures and closing packages without leaving Point. Utilizing Calyx’s DirectConnect integration portal, GuardianDocs has created a complete interface for Calyx Point that streamlines the ordering process and supports the generation and fulfillment of application disclosures and the closing package. GuardianDoc’s complete and seamless interface alleviates the need to log out of the LOS and go to a production website to re-key critical information to complete the document order.

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When lenders order the disclosures and closing documents within Calyx Point, all data is transferred to GuardianDocs. In the case of missing information required to prepare the documents, integrated messaging alerts the lender of the missing data and lets them enter it in the messaging utility in the Calyx system. If nothing is missing, the documents come back complete and are instantly placed into Calyx’s eLoan file document repository. The entire ordering process can be completed in three to four minutes, according to lenders using the GuardianDocs-Point interface. In comparison to using a partial interface, lenders can expect to reduce their doc drawing time by at least 60 minutes per file.

“Data integrity is essential to create compliant documents and to have a true system of record; the LOS should house the source data, rather than your doc provider’s website. This will take on even greater importance in the new TRID environment,” said Jonathan Kunkle, president of GuardianDocs. “Our partnership with Calyx has allowed us to build a DirectConnect interface that streamlines document ordering and management, removes duplicative data entry, and eliminates steps that can create errors. As a result, users will see significant productivity gains and have greater assurance of compliance.”

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Dennis Boggs, executive vice president of business development for Calyx said, “GuardianDocs has developed the tightest integration of any vendor using our DirectConnect platform. We are pleased to work with a cutting-edge document services and technology provider like GuardianDocs to build an advanced interface that allows our lender clients to order and complete their initial disclosures and closing packages without ever having to leave our system.”

Partners Seek Valuation Accuracy

Veros, a provider of the automated valuation model (AVM) VeroVALUE and a reseller of other top-performing AVMs, has been integrated into San Jose, California-based CalyxSoftware’s Pointsoftware. Calyx Software is a provider of loan marketing, originating and processing software. Through the integration, Veros provides immediate access to VeroVALUE and other respected AVMs for Point users, along with formulated AVM cascades that use popular industry AVMs in succession to increase user hit rates.

VeroVALUE is a consistent high performer in industry tests, bringing perspective and accuracy to valuation efforts in support of lending decisions, portfolio analysis and risk reduction strategies. Veros also offers a variety of AVMs from other companies, all vetted to meet Veros’ high standards.

“In talking with VeroVALUE users, I was pleasantly surprised to learn the accuracy of their AVM when compared to other AVM vendors they tested,” said Dennis Boggs, executive vice president, business development for Calyx Software. “One user said, ‘We feel safer using VeroVALUE due to Veros’ conservative approach. The other vendors we tested didn’t apply any standard deviation and their results were all over the place – up to 30% off compared to the appraised values,’” Boggs related. “With the new VeroVALUE interface, users will now have improved ease in ordering from within Point, save time by not having to re-enter data, and have the value returned in a PDF file that is automatically saved in Point’s Document Storage,” he said, adding, “We love that.”

AVMs have long been a staple of the lending industry, providing fast, objective and inexpensive valuation information for a variety of uses. Evolved modeling techniques and a wealth of available data have combined to make AVMs much more accurate and reliable, increasing their importance in mortgage transactions in recent years.

“Partnering with Calyx to make highly accurate AVMs from Veros and others immediately available is a very positive development for Point users,” said David Rasmussen, senior vice president of operations for Veros. “Lenders, brokers and other Calyx users are able to make better and faster decisions to improve loan performance and reduce risk by using technologies from Calyx and Veros,” he said. “We are delighted to be part of their reliable network.”

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Chase Moves To Automate QM Compliance

Good automation is improving the mortgage process each and every day. For example, Chase just recently announced that it will accept the LoanScoreCard Abridged Funding Request Form starting April 1, 2014, as indicated in the Chase Correspondent Bulletin issued today. Based on feedback from their correspondents, Chase will accept this in lieu of the longer traditional Chase Funding Request Form for users of the LoanScoreCard QM engine. Here’s why:

Correspondents can complete the much shorter Abridged Funding Request Form and include it along with the LoanScoreCard QM Findings Report in the closed loan package delivered to Chase — saving significant time for the originating correspondent. This advantage is unique to users of LoanScoreCard.

“We’re excited to work with Chase, one of the top correspondent investors in the U.S. And we’re thrilled to have them in our growing network of institutions that accept LoanScoreCard QM Findings,” Allen Meigide, director of operations at LoanScoreCard, said.

Running LoanScoreCard up front eliminates the need to spend valuable time and resources on non-qualified loans while assuring the originator their loans meet QM guidelines.

LoanScoreCard’s QM solution offers quantified Findings Reports that demonstrate whether a file is considered a Qualified Mortgage, with a secondary determination for either Safe Harbor or Rebuttable Presumption for that QM type in a potential Ability-to-Repay violation claim.

Thousands of institutions rely on LoanScoreCard for their QM assessment. With roughly 8,000 QM Findings rendered a day, users are able to retain their QM Findings with their loan files to evidence QM compliance.

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Technology And QM Readiness

We talk a lot about how the new Qualified Mortgage (QM) rules will change how mortgages are done. Well, in this case technology has QM-readied the Freedom Mortgage Wholesale Division. By extending Freedom’s Wholesale website capabilities, brokers now have access to a QM assessment tool that provides accuracy and improved efficiency while saving time for both the originator and the wholesaler. Here’s what was done:

Freedom Mortgage has more than 4,000 brokers and is ranked among the top five mortgage wholesale lenders in the country. Their associates are now able to run LoanScoreCard’s QM Findings Report prior to submitting a loan. Running the QM solution up front eliminates the need to spend valuable time and resources on non-qualified loans while assuring the originator that their loans meet QM guidelines.

LoanScoreCard’s QM solution offers quantifiable Findings Reports that determine whether a file is considered a Qualified Mortgage, with a secondary determination for either Safe Harbor or Rebuttable Presumption for that QM type in a potential Ability-to-Repay violation claim.

“It’s an invaluable tool that allows our brokers to run the Points and Fees Test on our website. This software enables our brokers to validate the loan prior to submission and provides a platform for a comprehensive loan review with Freedom Mortgage,” said Mike Patterson, senior vice president at Freedom Mortgage.

Allen Meigide, director of operations at LoanScoreCard, explained, “LoanScoreCard’s QM Findings Report takes the guesswork out of QM compliance, providing not only a comprehensive report but also the retainable evidence now required.”

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.”

Making Progress On QM

*Making Progress On QM*
**By Tony Garritano**

TonyG***QM compliance doesn’t have to be hard. It can be automated. In fact, vendors that are getting it right early are getting recognized. For example, LoanScoreCard, a provider of automated underwriting engines and compliance solutions, has been reviewed by Wells Fargo and provides the data needed to complete their pre-purchase points and fees review. The LoanScoreCard QM Findings Report can now be submitted to Wells Fargo in lieu of its Fee Details Form.

****“We are honored to be the first acceptable vendor alternative,” said Allen Meigide, director of operations at LoanScoreCard. “We were the first QM solution on the market, and our customers will be pleased with the time saved in leveraging our QM Findings on loans delivered to Wells Fargo.”

****“The LoanScoreCard QM Findings is quick and user friendly. The findings clearly outline how a loan complies with QM requirements,” said Chirag Amin, Buffalo operations & underwriting manager at Premium Mortgage. “With an ever-so-quickly changing environment, these findings help streamline our process and efficiency to the upcoming mortgage environment we all will be facing.”

****LoanScoreCard has rendered more than 35,000 QM Findings Reports to date and is available to users of major Loan Origination Systems. It can also be directly accessed via browser at LoanScoreCard.com or integrated into any proprietary system through web services. Brokers, lenders, wholesalers and investors stand to benefit from having a LoanScoreCard QM Findings in every file.