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Bogota Savings Bank Uses Tech To Enhance The Customer Experience And Gain Efficiency

We here at PROGRESS in Lending champion technology advancement. We like to report on success stories. As such, Bogota Savings Bank, a $650-million New Jersey-based bank, will move to Fiserv to streamline operations and better serve customers. In reaching its decision, Bogota Savings was especially drawn to the integration between Fiserv core account processing technology and key capabilities such as digital banking and payments, which will facilitate a streamlined user experience for both customers and employees.


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“By integrating online banking, online account opening and other solutions with the core platform, Fiserv enables us to gain faster and better access to the information we need to deliver a superior customer experience and eliminate two-thirds of our existing third-party services,” says Kevin Pace, executive vice president, Bogota Savings Bank. “Having information available in one place and updated in real time helps our back office, marketing and frontline staff be more efficient as well.”


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Bogota Savings Bank is looking forward to replacing inefficient manual processes and time-consuming batch operations with the customizable, real-time processing available in the DNA account processing platform from Fiserv. These new capabilities will enable the bank to stay in step with consumers who are looking to manage their finances as quickly and easily as possible.


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“DNA offers a tremendous amount of flexibility and control over how we want to operate by providing access to all of its data fields,” Pace added. “No matter what we need to do, it seems there’s a way to do it – usually in minutes or hours rather than days or weeks.”

In addition to core account processing, Bogota Savings Bank will leverage a range of solutions from Fiserv for digital banking, debit processing, payments, source capture, item processing, online account opening, and more.

DNA is an open, real-time account processing platform built for collaboration. A modern platform developed using contemporary, standards-based components, DNA provides a 360-degree view of customer relationships and facilitates streamlined processes within the financial institution.

“Understanding where technology and consumer expectations intersect is essential to delivering innovative, intelligent capabilities that meet real needs,” said Todd Horvath, president, Bank Solutions, Fiserv. “By upgrading to contemporary technology Bogota Savings Bank is positioning themselves to deliver on their customers’ high expectations.”

QRL Leverages DocMagic’s eVault Technology To Purchase eNotes

QRL Financial Services (QRL), a nationwide provider of residential mortgage lending services for community banks and credit unions, has leveraged DocMagic’s eVault technology to purchase eNotes.


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Implementing an eVault means QRL can increase new business by extending its reach to lenders that are ready to implement eClosings and sell eNotes. In addition to providing improved service, they will competitively position themselves for the future. The deal will make QRL one of the first investors outside of the GSEs to begin purchasing eNotes.


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“QRL is a farsighted organization, and by implementing eVault technology now, they stand to capitalize on marketplace opportunities as eNotes continue to gain adoption,” stated Dominic Iannitti, president and CEO of DocMagic. “We tend to partner with early adopters like QRL, who will reap the benefits of their industry insight. We look forward to the success they realize by utilizing our eVault and supporting technology.”


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Because QRL is using DocMagic’s SmartDocs, all documents retain a tamper evident seal to ensure data and document integrity. Using static documents, that don’t include SmartDoc transactional (XML) metadata, means some organizations have the difficult, costly and time-consuming task of confirming that data and documents are in sync.

“Offering a truly paperless solution is the future. Consumers will expect and demand a closing experience that is more timely, convenient and informative,” says Alex Rivera, managing director at QRL Financial Services. “QRL’s ability to purchase and service eNotes will allow the credit unions and community banks that we service to stay ahead of the technology curve as they compete with the larger institutions in the race to improve the mortgage experience.”

The solution will also create greater secondary market process efficiencies because of reduced cycle times. QRL will be able to fund faster with fewer post-closing document issues.

FirstBank Puerto Rico Streamlines Operations, Automates The REO Process

RES.NET, a technology platform allowing mortgage bankers, investors, vendors, consumers and other parties to communicate around a real estate transaction, has successfully developed and deployed a Buyer’s Marketplace for FirstBank Puerto Rico. The new marketplace showcases the bank’s diverse portfolio of available assets and engages a much broader audience of potential buyers and investors than traditional tools available in the market. It was created in Spanish to accommodate the widest range of buyers.

Shortly after FirstBank Puerto Rico selected RES.NET as the operating platform to assist with the disposition of its OREO (other real estate owned) properties, the devastation from Hurricane Maria presented a new set of unforeseeable challenges for the bank and the island as a whole. The bank and RES.NET issued a call to action, expediting the development and deployment timeline, quickly launching the marketplace in its native language to contribute to the rebuilding efforts of the community.


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“Following Hurricane Maria, it became urgently important to streamline the bank’s OREO process and workflow, while simultaneously enhancing the visibility of the bank’s available assets to a broader audience of potential buyers and investors,” said Bianca Torres Román, VP, FirstBank Puerto Rico. “Within just one month of launching the new Buyer’s Marketplace, the unique number of visitors seeking information on our available properties more than tripled. Today, we are now reaching prospective buyers not just in Puerto Rico and the immediate region, but across the United States as well.”

The custom buyer’s site features a diverse range of assets available including land, commercial, residential, multi-family, retail, apartment units and apartment complexes. The site translation into Spanish enables prospective buyers and investors to easily navigate and independently search properties by territory, municipality, ZIP code and price range. Features include multiple photos of properties including photos of the interior, highlighted features providing information on specific desirable amenities from pools, to views or topography, and the ability for buyers or investors to contact the bank directly and/or make an offer. Prospects can view the available properties, or by navigating through FirstBank’s site.


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“Prior to partnering with RES.NET on the development of the Buyer’s Marketplace, we were limited in terms of the information and features we could highlight, as well as our ability to showcase a property,” Torres continued. “The traditional methods of marketing property in Puerto Rico are primarily through social media outlets, agent to agent exchanges and select online resources. Those methods have limited functionality, restricting the ability to upload photos, and in some cases, simply highlight a property’s specific location.”

In addition to the Buyer’s Marketplace, the bank has implemented RES.NET’s REO, Agent, Vendor, and Property Preservation portals to automatically track and manage its whole portfolio. Bank employees can now manage the entire process from the time a foreclosure has been conducted through the sale and closing to a new buyer. What was previously managed through a manual process has been improved through the automation of workflows, work cues, offer management tools and agent interaction, and notification features.


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Torres added, “With RES.NET, the complete portfolio can be viewed via the dashboard, providing real-time data and a more holistic view of our assets. Having access to this data is invaluable and helps ensure we are positioned for success in the future. Launching the Buyer’s Marketplace in combination with deploying our operating platforms is a pivotal moment for the bank’s OREO success.”

“I am very pleased with the work we’ve accomplished together with the team at FirstBank Puerto Rico,” said Keith Guenther, CEO and founder of RES.NET, a wholly owned subsidiary of USRES. “It is the combined dedication of both our teams that allowed this large-scale development and implementation to occur in less than six months. We worked closely with the bank’s staff to scope and develop this customized marketplace to assist the bank in connecting with potential buyers within Puerto Rico, as well as outside of the territory. This visibility of its available assets to a broader audience is an important step in the rebuilding efforts. Any effort that reduces the probability these properties remain vacant ensures the future stability of the region.”
 

LERETA Selects Eric Christensen As Chief Strategy Officer

LERETA, LLC, a national provider of real estate tax and flood services for mortgage servicers, has tapped Eric Christensen as the chief strategy officer for the company. Christensen is responsible for product development, corporate strategy, marketing and M&A transactions.


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Christensen, who most recently was the founder and managing director of Credit Data Solutions, has spent his career developing knowledge around financial software, predictive modeling and analytics, credit risk technology and decisioning software. His expertise extends in fraud management, competitive strategy, business planning, sales and marketing as well as risk management and regulatory relations.


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“Eric’s deep and varied experience in the financial industry makes him perfect to help usher LERETA into a new era where technology and people help provide the best level of service to our customers,” said John Walsh, CEO of LERETA. “We welcome his knowledge and passion for bringing positive change to the industry.”


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Before Credit Data Solutions, Christensen had different executive positions at several financial services companies, including Interthinx/Strategic Analytics, FICO, Fannie Mae, E*Trade and LoanPerformance/CoreLogic. In addition to his success, Christensen has a Certified Mortgage Bankers (CMB ®) designation through the MBA.

Taking eClosing End-To-End

Pavaso has unveiled a new, complete suite of eClosing tools for mortgage lenders that includes Remote Online Notary and SMART Note capabilities. The Pavaso Platform now provides a one-stop digital closing shop that empowers all parties involved in mortgage transactions to consistently increase efficiency, eliminate errors, improve workflow and create more informed consumers, leading to faster, more efficient closings.

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Powered by Pavaso’s eClosing platform, Pavaso’s full suite of eClosing products enable lenders, title companies, agents and borrowers to electronically eDeliver early disclosures, eSign documents, remotely eNotarize documents, eClose loans, execute full eNotes and deliver closed loan files to an eVault.

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Pavaso CEO Mark McElroy said, “Our unified and collaborative portal in addition to tools like Remote Online Notary and Pavaso SMART Note will not only help lenders attain the digital transformations they are looking for—they will also help lenders deliver the ultimate customer experience.”

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The Pavaso Platform includes Remote Online Notarization (RON), Pavaso’s newest tool that enables remote closings to be conducted anywhere, on any device, in as little as 15 minutes. With RON, Pavaso commissions qualified, experienced closing agents to remotely notarize documents, helping lenders, title companies and consumers experience a faster and more convenient closing.

“Never have we seen so much excitement over a technology like RON, which satisfies a key requirement for lenders that wish to make a digital transformation,” said Pavaso’s vice president of partner relations and government affairs, Nancy Pratt. “RON is already being used in four states that allow remote notarizations. With more states adopting remote notarizations, we expect demand for RON will continue to grow. This year alone, five more states have adopted legislation around this technology.”

The suite also includes Pavaso SMART Note, a tool that generates compliant, tamper-sealed SMART Doc eNotes to increase collateral control.

In addition to RON and Pavaso SMART Note, the Pavaso Platform includes:

Digital Close Enterprise – A unified, powerful array of closing products that enables collaboration between all stakeholders to conduct seamlessly complete digital closings.

Digital Close – Provides homebuyers and sellers access to review documents anytime, anywhere, and from any device prior to the closing, so they can close loans quickly.

Pavaso eSign – A modern, convenient way to eSign documents from anywhere with ease on any device.

eDelivery – Enables parties to electronically deliver all required compliant documents to other stakeholders, from early disclosures to the final closing package.

PavasoDocs – A complete SMARTDoc library of loan documents that ensures compliant, secure, data-portable loan files throughout every stage of the closing process.

Pavaso eVault – Securely stores all Pavaso SMART Notes and ensures the accuracy of all documents delivered.

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Top Lender Selects New LOS

PrimeLending, a PlainsCapital Company and top 10 mortgage lender that originated more than $14.5 billion in mortgage loans last year, has chosen the Blue Sage Digital Lending Platform as its new mortgage origination platform. Here’s why:

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The Blue Sage Digital Lending Platform is a completely cloud-based, highly scalable solution capable of supporting any mortgage channel, including retail, wholesale and correspondent lines of business.

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“We are laser-focused on delivering the best mortgage experience and, in our opinion, Blue Sage gives us a tremendous advantage now and in the future,” said Tim Elkins, CIO, EVP of PrimeLending. “Because of Blue Sage’s unique combination of mortgage industry expertise and open architecture capable of seamless integration and automation capabilities, we will be substantially better positioned to evolve and improve efficiencies over time. Blue Sage was a great fit – there is simply nothing else on the market like it.”

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The Blue Sage Digital Lending Platform is event-driven. The platform handles pricing, underwriting and decision-making from the point-of-sale stage all the way to the closing and funding of the loan. Because Blue Sage can be easily integrated with third party services due to its APIs and integration options, an unlimited number of third party vendor services, such as appraisals, title and flood insurance can also be ordered online through the Blue Sage platform. Blue Sage also includes mobile applications and CRM tools geared to helping loan officers increase sales.

“We are beyond thrilled that a powerhouse lender like PrimeLending has placed its trust in the Blue Sage platform,” said Joe Langner, CEO of Blue Sage. “Based on its large origination volume, a lender the size of PrimeLending can achieve enormous savings by leveraging our digital mortgage technology. We look forward to a long and productive relationship with PrimeLending.”

Perfecting The Borrower Experience Is All The Rage

As the industry is securely in a purchase market, improving the borrower experience is a key differentiator for lenders looking to close more loans. Prominent mortgage industry executives gathered in Washington, DC at the 8th Annual PROGRESS in Lending ENGAGE Event sponsored by Get Credit Healthy, QuestSoft and Optimal Blue, to really drill down on this industry trend. How can lenders offer a better borrower experience? Here’s what was said:

In talking about other companies outside of mortgage that do it right, Denis Brosnan, CEO at DIMONT, said, “My Dad is Amazon’s best friend. So, when people in this industry say that older folks won’t do things online, they’re wrong. What people don’t want is to call a call center. The biggest thing is to reach out to people. You need to be a professional advisor.”

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“When you think about the customer experience, you really need to white board and draft out the entire process first,” noted Elizabeth Karwowski, CEO at Get Credit Healthy. “From there you need to ask what else can you be doing to get the borrower more engaged. Bring in other folks from outside the industry to give their perspective. We have to create a better journey for the borrower.”

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“Borrowers are with you for 30 days, but LOs are with you for life,” added Joe Wilson, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer at SimpleNexus. “We need to ask: How can LOs create a better experience for borrowers? You have to enable LOs and others within your organization to think more about the borrower if the process is ever going to improve.”

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“We can start by doing a better job with the upfront validation piece,” concluded Eric Christensen, Chief Strategy Officer at LERETA. “The industry has done a great job at the point-of-sale, but that’s where it stops. You can’t just offer the borrower a good experience there and stop. We need to perfect the whole process, including the backend, as well.”

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ComplianceEase Adds New Home Equity Audit Functionality

ComplianceEase has updated its flagship platform—ComplianceAnalyzer—so it is now able to audit home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) for state licensing requirements in most states.

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ComplianceAnalyzer with TRID Monitor has been able to audit both closed-end and open-end mortgages for federal, state and local requirements, including TRID compliance, and for state predatory lending issues for some time. ComplianceEase has now enhanced the system to allow non-banks, banks and credit unions to audit all liens in most states in which they are licensed. Currently, the system covers more than 80 licensing types in the 42 states that account for more than 90 percent of home equity originations in the United States.

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Depending on the state license, the system can test HELOC originations for:

>> Interest rates

>> Restricted fees

>> Late fees

>> Grace periods

>> Prepayment penalties

“According to TransUnion, approximately 5.5 million HELOCs were originated in the last five years, and that number could rise to 10 million over the next five years,” said John Vong, president of ComplianceEase. “With rising home prices creating equity, one estimate says that 44 million homeowners now have more than $6 trillion in ‘tappable’ equity and could be candidates for home equity lines and loans.”

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Vong added, “Not surprisingly we are seeing a growing interest from banks and now non-banks in this category. From a compliance perspective, however, the patchwork of different state regulations for both real estate and consumer lending has presented challenges for lenders with multi-state footprints. Our new enhancements to ComplianceAnalyzer mean that lenders can now use their preferred system for first mortgage compliance to reduce exposure to potential state licensing rules for HELOCs as well.”

Who Cares About The Digital Mortgage Anyway?

As the focus turns to increasing efficiency, reducing cost and maintaining compliance, the mortgage industry has become keenly focused on going digital. Prominent mortgage industry executives gathered in Washington, DC at the 8th Annual PROGRESS in Lending ENGAGE Event sponsored by Get Credit Healthy, QuestSoft and Optimal Blue, to really drill down on this industry trend. Why is the digital mortgage such a big deal? Here’s what was said:

Doing a digital mortgage means that you are originating a more compliant loan. “We have 10% post closing QC now, but that’s archaic,” says Leonard Ryan, President at QuestSoft. “We have pushed all that compliance to the frontend. We are not doing that to stop the loan, we’re doing it to get things done right as early in the process as possible. That’s what a digital mortgage does for you.”

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“If you think about it, there are a lot of disparate systems in the mortgage space that all have different functions and purposes,” added Michael Kolbrener, Chief Technology Officer at PromonTech. “A mortgage is the biggest financial transaction that people will do in their lifetime. So, you have to approach it from the standpoint of creating the most efficiency. All of the systems should work together to get and validate the data needed to do that loan. We are in a data business, so we need to use technology that is truly data driven.”

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“Also, we’re dealing with people. A mortgage is very personal and a digital mortgage does not negate that,” continued Jim Obsitnik, COO at Capsilon. “Here at Capsilon we look at the process end-to-end and the common thread is the data. There are a lot of native data sources that we can access. Data is key. You need to drive ROI for the borrower, for the lender, for the LO, for the investor, for everyone. The digital mortgage allows you to achieve that goal.”

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So, how do you do that? “Artificial Intelligence or AI is very new to the mortgage industry, but it’s going to play a critical role,” pointed out Alok Bansal, Vice President and Business Head at Wipro Gallagher Solutions. “We talk a lot about the borrower experience in mortgage today, but this industry is really playing catch up. Take Uber for example, they have automated the entire taxi/transportation process and it’s all transparent to the end user. AI is going to help that happen for mortgage lending.”

The last part of the puzzle is eClosing ad eNotarizing. When will that get broad industry adoption? It’s happening today according to Kelly Purcell, EVP. Marketing and Business Development at NotaryCam. “I’ve been on the eSigning bandwagon since the beginning. D-Day for eSigning really happened back in 2000, but eSigning still didn’t go mainstream right away. We had to educate the industry and move adoption one lender at a time and it was painful at times. Sometimes I felt like I was working at a not-for-profit. I see eNotarization and eClosing the same way. We have reached D-Day and now we’re educating the industry. The difference is that lenders really want to listen and move on this. Full digital mortgages are happening and it is for the betterment of everyone.”

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Wells Fargo Takes On eNotes

Wells Fargo Home Lending has entered into an agreement with eOriginal, a digital solution provider for the mortgage industry, to enable the acquisition of eNotes through Wells Fargo Funding, their correspondent channel. As the nation’s leading residential mortgage aggregator, Wells Fargo’s launch of eNote capabilities represents a major step forward in the continuing digitization of the mortgage industry.

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“Our expansion in the digital lending space is larger than just our ability to purchase eNotes. It’s a move to broaden our approach to serving consumers and clients as we transform our mortgage business,” said Michael DeVito, Head of Wells Fargo Home Lending. “We’re committed to delivering innovative solutions throughout the mortgage lending process. With eOriginal providing eVault services, we’re aligned with a company that has earned the trust of the digital lending community.”

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“Lenders transitioning into digital mortgage can move forward knowing a trusted technology partner is aligned with the industry’s leading aggregator,” said eOriginal CEO Brian Madocks. “This agreement with Wells Fargo facilitates a new, essential outlet for lenders to deliver loans with eNotes into the secondary market. The capability will make digital mortgages accessible to a broad spectrum of lenders who can realize the advantages of going digital, such as increased efficiency and improved execution while reducing risk.”

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Wells Fargo will begin purchasing eNotes from a select group of lenders, to be followed by a broader market offering throughout 2019. This is the second significant digital initiative launched by Wells Fargo Home Lending in 2018. Earlier in the year, Wells Fargo introduced an online mortgage application for its retail origination consumers.