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Integration Helps Ensure TRID Compliance

ClosingCorp’s SmartFees service is now integrated with PCLender’s Loan Origination Software (LOS). SmartFees provides an automated fee solution that gives users fast access to TRID-compliant closing costs with an audit trail and data-backed guarantee. Here’s how it works:

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The integration demonstrates both companies’ commitment to support lender solutions designed to expedite Loan Estimate (LE) and Closing Disclosure (CD) production. The integration of ClosingCorp’s service within the PCLender LOS will allow PCLender users to create LEs or GFEs directly from their LOS.

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“Unlike other options in the market, the ClosingCorp service allows lenders to generate actual rate and fee data from the providers they currently do business with, as well as others from across the country,” said Lionel Urban, chief executive officer of PCLender. “Our integrated solution will help increase productivity and show proof of compliance with best-in-class closing costs and easy-to-use technology.”

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“Having accurate, complete closing cost data streamlined directly into an LOS system, like PCLender’s, allows loan officers to have the most accurate, compliant information at their fingertips to take to their customers,” said Bob Jennings, chief executive officer for ClosingCorp. “Both ClosingCorp and PCLender are dedicated to providing solutions that help automate the residential real estate transaction process while helping our lender clients improve cycle times, increase efficiencies and remain compliant at all times.”

Vendor Names New CEO

ClosingCorp, a provider of residential real estate closing cost data and technology for the mortgage and real estate services industries, announced today that Bob Jennings has been named as the company’s new Chief Executive Officer.

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Jennings was previously executive vice president of RealEC Technologies a division of Black Knight Financial Services, the industry leader in web-based technology solutions designed to support lenders’ loan quality programs, minimize loan repurchase risk and drive efficiencies in the mortgage transaction process. During his tenure, RealEC streamlined operations and grew revenues exponentially, moving from a niche player in 2006 to an industry utility leveraged by the top mortgage lenders in the U.S.

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“Bob has exactly the management, sales and operational experience we were seeking and a history of identifying opportunities, cultivating partnerships, building effective teams, and closing groundbreaking agreements, that Closing Corp needs at this juncture” said Staffan Encrantz, chairman of the board of ClosingCorp. “He possesses a rare team building capability and entrepreneurial spirit, that together with his strong customer orientation and negotiating abilities has the potential to generate significant revenue growth. We are very excited that Bob has agreed to join ClosingCorp, and we very much look forward to working with Bob as he takes over the leadership of ClosingCorp and its development.”

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Jennings said, “I’m thrilled to be joining the company at such an important time. ClosingCorp is an innovator in rate and fee management and a company that is forging the way to become the ultimate utility,” said Jennings. “With new technology offerings and the opportunity to expand ClosingCorp’s footprint, the company is on a clear path toward unparalleled success. I am honored to lead the organization on this journey.”

Jennings, 43, began his career with IBM Corporation in finance before moving into sales and sales management. He holds a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Business Administration, Villanova University and a Master of Business Administration (MBA), University of Florida – Warrington College of Business.

Vendor To Offer Small And Midtier Lenders New Tools

ClosingCorp now offers a selection of packages for mid- to smaller-sized lenders. These packages provide reduced rates to lenders that close 200 loans or less each month and are using one of the key loan origination systems (LOSs) integrated with ClosingCorp’s closing cost data solutions or web service.

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Lenders can choose among four distinct, preset packages of services to help streamline the loan estimate process:

>> Transfer tax & recording fees (non-guaranteed)

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>> Title, settlement, transfer tax & recording fees (non-guaranteed), with access to ClosingCorp’s network of service providers to fulfill quotes and orders.

>> Additional real estate services that borrowers can shop for (not including AMC or inspection) as well as title, settlement, transfer tax & recording fees (non-guaranteed), with access to ClosingCorp’s network of service providers to fulfill quotes and orders.

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>> Full access to all ClosingCorp provider fees (guaranteed), as well as ability to access to ClosingCorp’s network of service providers to fulfill quotes and orders.

“Lenders are spending increasingly more time and money to comply with the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule (TRID),” said Carol Crawford, senior vice president of marketing communications and inside sales at ClosingCorp. “Our new offerings allow us and our integrated partners to provide an ‘out-of-the-box’ solution at an even more competitive rate to help mid- to smaller-sized lenders remain compliant and profitable.”

New Partnership Makes Fees More Transparent

ClosingCorp’s DART service is now available through Qualia, a cloud-based settlement software that streamlines every step in the title and escrow process. DART provides guaranteed recording fee, transfer tax and filing instruction data for every residential property in the nation.

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DART is designed specifically to meet the growing needs of title and settlement agents. With more than 4,000 taxing jurisdictions and more than 80,000 related taxes, fees, customs, rules and regulations, DART provides immediate access to the precise recording fee, transfer tax and recording instruction data that is crucial to title and settlement operations. DART’s highly sophisticated engine calculates buyer/seller splits, commonly called “Who Pays” rules, and has a strength or confidence level based on collected data of statutory and customary practices by geographic location. The integration will allow law firms and title agents to automatically calculate document recording fees and transfer taxes directly from within Qualia.

“Qualia’s main goal is to create an incredibly user-friendly software that cuts out all of the unnecessary headaches currently involved in the title and settlement process,” said Nate Baker, chief executive officer of Qualia. “We are excited to complete this integration so that our users can complete 100% of their work without ever leaving their software.”

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“With this integration, Qualia’s client base now has access to accuracy-guaranteed data, which is compiled by our data analysts who continually research and document all nuances associated with these critical costs. Users can also access key forms and helpful documents to accelerate and improve the closing transaction which delivers on Qualia’s and ClosingCorp’s promise to bring efficiency to the closing process,” said Kamel Boulos, chief technology officer and interim co-CEO of ClosingCorp.

DART was originally introduced in December 2011. The system’s unique geocoding feature automatically selects the correct county and tax authority by street address. The product is available as a standalone website or via Web services integrations.

ClosingCorp Names Chief Innovation Officer

Pat Carney has been named chief innovation officer (CInO) at ClosingCorp. In his new position, Carney will be charged with exploring and driving innovative solutions that impact the business and industry segments to deliver new growth opportunities and cultivate and commercialize market breakthroughs.

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As CInO, Carney will oversee the strategy behind the company’s technology partnerships and will look holistically at the user experience based on heightened customer needs and expectations. Responsible for product ideation, Carney will work closely with the product development team and all players within the mortgage ecosystem—including title and settlement, real estate, mortgage and technology partners—to drive creativity and implement forward-thinking solutions.

Carney most recently was senior vice president of strategic partnerships at ClosingCorp. Prior to joining ClosingCorp, Carney was chief operations officer and chief strategy officer at reQuire, a web-based lien release tracking and reporting service. He also founded 360 STS, a consulting firm that assists title companies with ALTA Best Practices, as well as developing new products for enabling workflow, automation and compliance. Earlier in his career, Carney founded four successful title companies, was a performance consultant for a large national underwriter, and served as chief technology officer and director of Marketing at large title companies.

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“ClosingCorp is focused on accelerating innovation to streamline the mortgage disclosure and closing processes,” said James Bolger, chief financial officer and interim co-CEO. “The cross-functional nature of the role, and the broad skillsets required, necessitate someone with a balance of technical, managerial and real world experience, and Pat is that person.”

“Over the past two years, ClosingCorp has experienced significant double digit growth. I’m excited about the opportunity to build on this momentum and bring a stronger focus on innovation both within our company and for our clients,” said Carney. “I look forward to turning fresh ideas into great products.”

Even Consumers Hate TRID

Most in our industry hate the new CFPB rules, and we are not alone because consumers don’t like it either. ClosingCorp, a provider of residential real estate closing cost data and technology for the mortgage and real estate services industries, released the findings of a new national consumer survey of repeat homebuyers that provides insight into how the new TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) rule is impacting the customer experience in getting and closing a residential mortgage.

The survey interviewed 1,000 repeat homebuyers who had purchased a home both before and after the new TRID rule took effect on Oct. 3, 2015. Here are some of the findings:

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>> 64 percent of respondents said it was easier getting a mortgage under the old rules, than under TRID.

>> In terms of the time it took to get and close a mortgage, 57 percent said it took more time under TRID than it did previously.

>> However, a similar percentage (63 percent) said that the new “Know Before You Owe” forms for loan estimates and closing disclosures were easier to understand than the old forms.

>> 68 percent said the new forms did a better job preparing them for the closing costs they would have to pay (6 percent disagreed). Similarly, 65 percent of the respondents said that the costs and fees were “explained better” in their most recent experience.

>> However, slightly more than half (51 percent) of the respondents said there were more “unexpected costs, fees and surprises” in their most recent experience.

“There’s been a lot of speculation about TRID’s impact and its value to consumers,” said Brian Benson, chief executive officer of ClosingCorp. “Our new study of consumers who have bought homes and gotten mortgages both the new and the old way suggests that TRID is making it easier for consumers to understand the costs and fees that they’ll face at closing. But at the same time, the new rules are adding time and anxiety to the closing process and more than half of the respondents still said they encountered ‘unexpected costs, fees and surprises’.

“The findings suggest that our industry has more work to do to get comfortable with the TRID forms and processes, and to educate consumers and their advisors. Our clients and partners believe technology and integrated data and communications will provide the long-term solution to these challenges.”

And here I thought TRID was supposed to improve the consumer’s experience. I guess I was mistaken.

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Integration Provides Lenders Access To Real Rate, Fee And Tax Data

ClosingCorp’s Loan Estimate Service is now integrated with INTEGRA Software Systems’ web-based Epic and Destiny Loan Origination Systems (LOSs). ClosingCorp’s Loan Estimate Service currently provides users with validated fee information to populate the new Loan Estimate (LE) mandated by the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) rule. Additionally, the solution still delivers the required RESPA-compliant Good Faith Estimate (GFE) data for applicable loan types.

The service incorporates client-specific business rules to deliver correct fee and tax information in each estimate and notifies users should transfer tax, recording fees or vendor estimates change. It also provides a complete audit trail, Settlement Services Providers List (SSPL) support and an ability to flag estimates from affiliates that must be managed to the new zero variance requirement.

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ClosingCorp provides fully-managed, vendor-verified rates and fees from nearly 20,000 unique real estate service providers covering every geographic area in the nation. The company also guarantees the accuracy of the loan estimates.

“ClosingCorp and INTEGRA are dedicated to providing solutions that help automate and streamline the residential real estate transaction, helping its lender clients remain compliant while improving efficiencies and control,” said Brian Benson, CEO of ClosingCorp. “The ability for our clients to quickly access and accurately quote multiple fees from a range of service providers in real time is essential to streamlining the application disclosure process and is critical for compliance with TRID.”

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“At a period when real time information is crucial, ClosingCorp is providing a service that everyone originating mortgages will want,” said Rick Allen, senior vice president of INTEGRA operations. “Our user acceptance testing for TRID is complete, and our clients are ready to generate the new integrated disclosures with confidence. INTEGRA Software Systems is proud to have a tightly integrated interface to ClosingCorp’s service.”

Let’s Get Realistic About Closing Costs

ClosingCorp has launched Lumen Snapshot. The new tool enables lenders to provide prospective borrowers with realistic closing cost data in real-time during the “shopping” and/or pre-qualification stages of getting a loan. Additionally, Lumen Snapshot can be used to help determine loan program suitability and as a quality assurance tool pre- and post-close.

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Lumen Snapshot uses pre-calculated median closing cost data based on geographic area and loan scenario to deliver estimates to consumers in seconds. The database is powered by the company’s proprietary repository of fully managed, vendor-verified rates and fees from nearly 20,000 unique real estate service providers across the nation. As an API, the solution can be integrated into lenders’ consumer direct websites, loan calculators, product and pricing engines and loan origination systems to better educate borrowers and increase loan pull-through rates.

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“Lumen Snapshot is designed to help lenders engage and inform prospects in the early stages of a mortgage decision. It can enhance the functionality of consumer direct channels and increase the effectiveness and credibility of retail LO presentations,” said Brian Benson, chief executive officer at ClosingCorp. “Moving the conversation about closing costs up earlier in the sales cycle will potentially improve the quality of lead conversion rates and customer satisfaction. Using our unique database built from a nationwide inventory of actual rates and fees as a foundation also demonstrates a lender’s commitment to the principles of ‘Know Before You Owe’ to regulators and auditors.”

Integration Delivers TRID-Compliant loan Estimate

Closing Corp, a provider of closing cost data and technology for the mortgage and real estate services industries, announced today that its Loan Estimate Module is now available through Empower, Black Knight Financial Services’ loan origination system (LOS). The Loan Estimate Module currently provides users with access to RESPA-compliant data, audit trails and a data guarantee for the Good Faith Estimate (GFE). Beginning with the CFPB’s revised go-live date of Oct. 3, the module will be able to provide validated fee information to populate the new Loan Estimate (LE) mandated by the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) rule.

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ClosingCorp provides fully managed, vendor-verified rates and fees from nearly 20,000 unique real estate service providers covering every geographic area in the nation in addition to its proprietary data asset for accurate recording fees and transfer taxes. The integration of ClosingCorp’s Loan Estimate Module within the Empower LOS will incorporate client-specific business rules to deliver correct fees in each estimate and immediately notify loan officers when transfer tax or recording fees are scheduled to change. This integration will enable loan officers to enhance their regulatory readiness and provide consumers with accurate and comprehensive information about the total cost of the transaction. It also provides a complete audit trail and an enhanced ClosingCorp Guarantee.

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“While many lenders and their network of settlement providers have wisely invested in improved collaboration tools, there is still much to consider. To be truly ‘TRID-Ready’ you need to be able to verify the upfront accuracy of the fees that are being quoted, and those upfront fees need to be in sync with the fee logic used to create the final Closing Disclosure, or you run the risk of being out of tolerance and causing delays at the closing table,” said Brian Benson, chief executive officer at ClosingCorp. “It is increasingly difficult for lenders to do that on their own, or to expect settlement providers to navigate this for them. Lenders need focused resources, like ClosingCorp, to capture, verify, standardize and guarantee this information in the proper form for it to be consumed. Due to its high market share, the integration with the Empower LOS was extremely important because it provides more loan officers with the market’s most accurate rates and fees available in the appropriate form to support TRID compliance.”

“ClosingCorp and Black Knight are dedicated to providing solutions that help streamline the loan closing process and support a better overall experience between lenders and settlement agents,” said Richard Gagliano, managing director of origination solutions for the Black Knight Origination Technologies division. “Not only will this support our clients’ TRID initiatives, but it will also help improve operational efficiencies and control.”

ClosingCorp Gets New CFO

ClosingCorp, a provider of residential real estate closing cost data and technology for the mortgage and real estate services industries, announced today that James Bolger has joined the company as chief financial officer.

In this position, Mr. Bolger will lead and manage ClosingCorp’s financial affairs including fiscal reporting, budget planning, capital financing and shaping the company’s growth strategy. He will report directly to Brian Benson, chief executive officer of ClosingCorp.

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Mr. Bolger brings over a decade of experience in leading the financial operations of mortgage finance companies. Prior to ClosingCorp, Mr. Bolger was chief financial officer of PTI Marketing Technologies, a cloud-based intelligent marketing solution provider, where he was responsible for all aspects of financial operations, including mergers and acquisitions, tax and treasury. Prior to PTI, Mr. Bolger held senior financial positions at Accredited Home Lenders and GreenPoint Credit Corp.

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“We’re delighted to welcome Jim to ClosingCorp,” said Benson. “Jim has a proven track record of helping companies harness financial information to empower decision-making and deliver a better service experience to its clients. Moreover, his past experiences as a senior financial executive at high-growth, public and private companies in the mortgage finance space will be vital to our continued success.”