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Adjustable Rate Mortgages Reach A High

 According to the November Origination Insight Report from Ellie Mae the percentage of Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs) reached 8.9 percent, the highest percentage since Ellie Mae began tracking data in 2011.


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The increase in ARMs is directly correlated to the 30-year rate, which rose to 5.15 in November, up from 5.01 the month prior. For FHAs, the 30-year rate increased from 5.05 in October to 5.19 in November. Conventional rates increased from 5.03 in October to 5.17 in November, and VA rates rose from 4.83 to 4.99.


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“As interest rates continue to rise, we are seeing the percentage of Adjustable Rate Mortgages rise in lockstep, and this month they’ve risen to the highest percentage we’ve seen since we began tracking data,” said Jonathan Corr, president and CEO of Ellie Mae. “As expected, we are also continuing to see the percentage of refinances remain low—30 percent in November—due to higher interest rates.”


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Other statistics of note in November included:

The time to close all loans increased to 46 days in November, up from 45 days in October. Time to close a purchase loan increased to 48 days, up from 46 days in October, while time to close a refinance remained at 43 days for the second consecutive month.

The percentage of purchase loans rose to 70 percent of total loans in November, up from 68 percent the month prior.

Overall FICO scores remained steady at 727 in November for the third month. LTV held at 79 for the fourth month, and DTI held at 26/39 for the second month.

The Origination Insight Report mines data from a robust sampling of approximately 80 percent of all mortgage applications that were initiated on the Encompass all-in-one mortgage management solution. Ellie Mae believes the Origination Insight Report is a strong proxy of the underwriting standards employed by lenders across the country.

In addition to the Origination Insight Report, Ellie Mae also distributes data from its monthly Ellie Mae  Millennial Tracker on the first Wednesday of each month. The Ellie Mae Millennial Tracker focuses on mortgage applications submitted by borrowers born between the years 1980 and 1999.

Ellie Mae Strengthens Identity, Employment And Income Verification Services

Ellie Mae has made enhancements to Encompass Consumer Connect that include identity, employment and income verification. These enhancements help lenders engage with homebuyers and provide a more streamline application process to help foster interest, engage borrowers and convert opportunities.


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The enhancements include the integration of Experian’s CrossCore platform, which enables lenders to use a passive, multi-layered approach to establish identity and assess risk, providing a positive experience for borrowers. Mortgage lenders can combine historical data, such as demographic information, and first-party fraud risk assessment with step-up authentication methods to verify an individual during the application process. Upon submission of the loan application, the data is immediately sent to the identity verification provider and a report is generated and sent to the Encompass® eFolder within one hour of submission.


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Since the launch on July 9, 2018, Encompass Consumer Connect continues to add key functionality which now includes support for Verification Services that provides lenders the ability to automate borrower identity, employment and income verification to achieve Day 1 Certainty from Fannie Mae to close loans faster.


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In addition to providing a seamless digital experience for homebuyers, Encompass Consumer Connect helps lenders close loans faster. Since the launch of Encompass Consumer Connect, Ellie Mae has seen significant momentum including more than 500 clients with more than 2,000 unique sites and more than 140,000 applications in progress. Some lenders are seeing a three-day reduction in turn times from application to underwritten loan.

“At Experian, we are constantly innovating to modernize the mortgage process and support the industry’s evolution,” said Michele Pearson, general manager of Experian Mortgage. “We’re proud to work with Ellie Mae to maximize the power of data and analytics to more quickly and accurately authenticate prospective borrowers, while helping businesses make smarter lending decisions.”

Encompass Consumer Connect gives Ellie Mae Encompass lenders the ability to offer a consumer web experience that goes beyond a mere online application. It is truly a state-of-the-art, completely customizable, branded and engaging digital mortgage experience for homebuyers – accessible from any device.

“Lenders are looking for more efficient ways to engage homebuyers and with these updates to Encompass Consumer Connect, we’re making it easier for borrowers to complete their loan applications,” said Joe Tyrrell, executive vice president of corporate strategy at Ellie Mae. “Our recent enhancements to Encompass Consumer Connect offer identity, employment and income verification and an integration with Experian that simplifies and expedites key verification activities for an improved borrower experience.”

Dave Ard Joins Ellie Mae As SVP Of Enterprise Sales

Dave Ard has joined Ellie Mae as senior vice president of enterprise sales. In this role, Dave will manage the enterprise team of account executives and relationship managers responsible for providing digital mortgage technology to the largest lenders across the United States.


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Prior to joining Ellie Mae, Dave held various leadership and management roles at First American Mortgage Solutions. Most recently he served as senior vice president, sales and business development where he led the client executive team of representatives across top clients and designed and implemented the “Solution Executive” framework where he hired and led a team of solution and business development representatives to drive solution-level focus and accountability. He also led and integrated the partner and channel sales effort across multiple product lines and acquisitions. Before First American Mortgage Solutions, Dave held roles at CoreLogic, including senior vice president of Business Development, Client Executive and Senior Vice President of Mortgage Analytics. Dave began his career at Intel Corporation. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Managerial Economics from the University of California, Davis.


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“Dave has a proven history of leading successful sales teams and knows the mortgage market well,” said Jeff Benjamin, senior vice president of sales and client management, Ellie Mae. “Going forward, Dave will be responsible for driving the sales and relationship management strategy with a focus on the largest lenders as Ellie Mae drives toward our North Star of automating everything automatable for the residential mortgage industry. It is an opportunity to help these lenders succeed and grow Ellie Mae’s market share.”


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“This is an exciting time to join Ellie Mae,” said Dave Ard. “The digital mortgage is a game-changer for all lenders as they strive to compete in today’s changing market. The Enterprise segment has so much to gain from the efficiencies, cost savings and fast return on their technology investment as they turn to Encompass to close more loans, close loans faster and reduce their cost of origination. I look forward to working alongside a great team to bring the promise of Ellie Mae’s true digital mortgage to the country’s largest lenders.”

Millennials Undeterred From Purchasing Homes Despite Rising Interest Rates

Millennials were not deterred from purchasing homes in October as the market continued to tighten, interest rates rose, and average loan amounts decreased. According to the latest Ellie Mae Millennial Tracker the average loan amount to Millennial borrowers for all closed loans was $189,686 in October, down from $192,005 in September, yet higher than last October’s average of $186,567. When men were listed as the primary borrower, the average closed loan in October was $198,864, compared to a much lower $188,607 when women were the primary borrower.


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Even with rising mortgage rates, purchase loans still accounted for 88 percent of closed loans to Millennial borrowers in October, four percentage points higher than a year ago. Of all closed loans to this demographic, 68 percent were conventional loans, while 27 percent were for FHA loans, 2 percent were VA loans and 3 percent were undisclosed.


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“Although housing prices and interest rates are still rising at a faster pace in 2018 than they have in previous years, those trends are not yet stopping Millennials from purchasing homes and putting down roots,” said Joe Tyrell, executive vice president of corporate strategy for Ellie Mae. “It is important for lenders to educate Millennials on the value of FHA loans that bring lower down payments and can allow these new homebuyers to stretch their dollar a little further even with rising interest rates.”


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Additional findings from the October 2018 Ellie Mae Millennial Tracker include:

>>Interest rates on all loans rose to 4.96 percent, the highest percentage point since Ellie Mae started tracking this data in 2016, up from 4.87 percent in September, and up from 4.13 percent a year ago.

>>Refinances slowly began to rise in the fourth quarter, representing 11 percent of all home loans to Millennial borrowers.

>>Across all home loans, it took an average of 42 days to close last month. A year ago, it took one day longer at 43 days to close. Purchase loans took an average of 41 days to close last month, compared to an average of 42 days to close a year ago. Refinance loans closed in 48 days last month, on average, compared to 45 days in 2017.

>>The average FICO score for Millennial borrowers remained flat for the third consecutive month at 722, slightly down from 723 in July.

>>The average age of all Millennial borrowers remained flat at 29.7 from the previous month, and essentially flat from 29.3 in October 2017.

>>Millennial males (both single and married) were listed as the primary borrower on 60 percent of closed loans in October. Women were listed on 32 percent and the remainder did not specify a gender.

Ellie Mae Gets New CFO

Dan Madden will join Ellie Mae as executive vice president and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) on December 20, 2018, reporting to Jonathan Corr, Ellie Mae’s President and CEO.


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Dan currently serves as Chief Financial Officer for Revel Systems, a cloud-based POS platform, where he leads the growing organization’s finance team. Prior to joining Revel, Dan was the Chief Financial Officer at Cepheid, a publicly traded leading molecular diagnostics company, and VP Finance & Corporate Controller at Symmetricom, where he led the company’s finance, accounting, and investor relations functions. Previously, Dan held financial leadership positions at Sonic Solutions, Advanced Fibre Communications, and McKesson. Dan began his career with Ernst & Young and holds a bachelor of science in Business Administration from California State University, Sacramento.


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“Ellie Mae is leading the industry as we drive toward our mission of providing the true digital mortgage to lenders of all sizes,” said Jonathan Corr, president and CEO, Ellie Mae. “Dan’s extensive financial, operational and strategic experience coupled with his knowledge of technology and SaaS businesses will be a huge asset to Ellie Mae as we continue to grow. We look forward to having Dan’s leadership and expertise on our team.”


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“I am excited to join Ellie Mae at such a pivotal time for the company,” said Madden. “Ellie Mae has been an industry leader for two decades and I’m thrilled to join the seasoned team as we continue on the path together toward transforming the mortgage industry.”

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Closing Rates Rise In October

Closing rates for all loans increased to 72.2 percent in October, the highest point in 2018 according to the October Origination Insight Report from Ellie Mae. This is up from 71.7 percent the month prior. Closing rates on refinances increased slightly to 64.9 percent in October, up from 64.4 percent the month prior, and closing rates on purchases held steady at 76.4 percent for the second consecutive month.


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In October, the average 30-year interest rate for all loans increased to 5.01 percent, also the highest in 2018 and up from 4.91 percent in September. The percentage of Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs) increased to 8.2 percent in October, up from 7.2 percent in September.


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“As interest rates continue to rise, the percentage of Adjustable Rate Mortgages is increasing as homebuyers are looking to take advantage of the best rates from their lenders,” said Jonathan Corr, president and CEO of Ellie Mae. “Additionally, FICO scores remain the highest we’ve seen in 2018, indicating that lenders are not yet loosening credit availability to attract the shrinking refinance market. We’ll continue to watch this trend into the winter months.”


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Other statistics of note in October included:

>>The time to close all loans increased to 45 days in October, up from 44 days in September. Time to close a purchase loan increased to 46 days, up from 45 days in September, while time to close a refinance increased to 43 days in October, up from 42 the month prior.

>>The percentage of purchase loans dropped to 68 percent of total loans from 71 percent the month prior. Refinances represented 32 percent of total loans in October.

>>Overall FICO scores remained steady at 727 in October for the second month. LTV held at 79 for the third month while DTI increased to 26/39.

The Origination Insight Report mines data from a  sampling of approximately 80 percent of all mortgage applications that were initiated on the Encompass all-in-one mortgage management solution.

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Partnership Enhances Digital Mortgage Efficiency

Ellie Mae and SimpleNexus, a provider that is bringing the home mortgage process to mobile devices through their dynamic digital mortgage platform, have announced an official integration partnership.


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The partnership provides SimpleNexus’ 180 clients and 18,000 LO’s fast and secure data transfer between the Ellie Mae’s Encompass Lending Platform and SimpleNexus’ Mobile Originator tools. The direct system-to-system integration with Ellie Mae enables loan officers on the SimpleNexus platform to access to their entire loan pipeline, order credit, run pricing, view appraisals, and send pre-approval letters from their mobile device, all while syncing in real-time with Encompass.


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“We are excited to provide Encompass users with this secure and powerful integration enabling the originator to do their job on-the-go, helping lenders improve relationships with Realtors while getting more loans in the door,” stated Matt Hansen, SimpleNexus Chief Executive Officer.


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The partnership between Ellie Mae and SimpleNexus ultimately helps lenders reduce costs and drive efficiency in operations, improve loan officer productivity and provide convenience and transparency to borrowers and real estate partners during the loan process.

SimpleNexus enables mobile origination, with fifteen of the top 25 retail mortgage lenders in the U.S. using their digital mortgage platform. This latest integration with Ellie Mae delivers the fastest real-time Encompass data transfer speeds available in the industry and further establishes SimpleNexus as a best-in-class digital mortgage solution.

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Ellie Mae Expands HELOC, Dynamic Data Management And Mortgage Insurance Support

Ellie Mae has launched a new major release of Ellie Mae’s Encompass digital mortgage solution. The latest release will help lenders of all sizes originate more loans, lower origination costs and shorten the time to close with compliance, efficiency and quality. Key highlights include enhanced HELOC support, Encompass Dynamic Data Management and Mortgage Insurance Support for the Ellie Mae Total Quality Loan Program.


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“Ellie Mae is offering a complete digital mortgage solution to help our customers succeed in today’s competitive marketplace,” said Jonathan Corr, president and CEO of Ellie Mae. “With this new release we’re offering innovation, enhancements and support so our lenders can grow their businesses with HELOCs, operate more efficiently using Encompass Dynamic Data Management, provide a more streamlined mortgage process with centralized service ordering, and achieve complete compliance.”

Key highlights for the Encompass 18.4 release include:

Enhancements for Expanded HELOC Support: The 18.4 release includes the first phase of a comprehensive solution expansion to streamline the application and underwriting of HELOC loans. To support the unique investor requirements for calculating HELOC payments, both initial and qualifying, Encompass now includes a set of configuration options for both, including support to calculate interest-only and amortizing payments on the basis of a selected rate, a fraction of principal balance, or a percentage of principal balance.


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Mortgage Insurance Service for Ellie Mae Total Quality Loan (TQL): Ellie Mae TQL leverages secure, single sign-on and necessary, best-of-breed services to automate processes, and applies quality checks throughout the mortgage lifecycle to reduce resource costs and operational friction. Enhanced integrations with Arch MI, MGIC and Radian offer a more streamlined mortgage insurance (MI) ordering process. Encompass MI Service gives customers automated ordering, side-by-side rate quote comparisons, and an automated allocation model. The new service also offers faster processing, increased visibility into order history, and the ability to monitor key data changes and alert Encompass users when to re-order a rate quote or MI certificate.

Encompass MI Service within Ellie Mae TQL improves operational efficiencies by allowing automated ordering and reduces manual steps needed such as re-authentication. Customers can reduce risk by monitoring material data changes in the loan file through a single source of record that maintains all transactions and communication inside of Encompass. Additionally, the process helps to ensure that the information is accurate, organized and securely transmitted.


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A New Way to Automate Data Entry: To increase productivity and enhance accuracy, Ellie Mae is releasing a new scenarios-based rule engine for Encompass designed to automate data entry across any form used during the loan origination process. The new engine, Encompass Dynamic Data Management, brings Ellie Mae one step closer to its vision of automating everything automatable in the mortgage industry and helps lenders deliver a digital mortgage experience to borrowers.

“Encompass Dynamic Data Management is an amazing new feature that provides Encompass Administrators an incredibly powerful set of tools for automating data input in Encompass,” said Adam Ard, Implementation and Development Lead, New American Funding.  “We are extremely excited for the release of Encompass Dynamic Data Management functionality because of the dramatic improvements it provides in flexibility, maintainability, visibility and control of systematic data automation.  This will greatly benefit companies of all sizes with its intuitive settings structure and seamless end user experience.”

TD Bank Makes Moves To Go Digital

TD Bank has deployed their initial rollout of the Encompass digital mortgage solution, continuing Ellie Mae’s push upmarket into the largest lenders and banks in the United States. TD Bank is leveraging Encompass to streamline origination and call center vendor integrations onto one platform, speed up deployment of new online products, and significantly reduce the bank’s loan cycle time.

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TD Bank selected the Encompass platform because of their desire to improve the customer experience by leveraging an all-in-one system that will consolidate processes on a single, efficient, and easy-to-manage ecosystem. Encompass will enhance the bank’s ability to audit in-process loans, significantly reduce time to close, deploy new products faster and without gaps in services, and increase the bank’s overall nimbleness and flexibility. In addition, customers will now be able to access their disclosures online.

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TD Bank leveraged Ellie Mae’s Professional Services Organization for the implementation of Encompass. The implementation process required consensus from stakeholders across the organization reaching far beyond Encompass users, from technology groups in the United States and Canada, to downstream data systems to feed the bank’s diverse reporting needs. Ellie Mae’s proven implementation methodology with hundreds of Enterprise-class customers enables lenders to minimize costs, lower risks and accelerate team member adoption, leading to faster ROI. Ellie Mae’s Custom Solutions experience in delivering customized integrations built on top of the Encompass platform was leveraged by TD to collaboratively build out enhancements to further improve user efficiencies.

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“We are thrilled to announce that TD Bank has officially completed its initial rollout of Encompass,” said Jonathan Corr, president and CEO of Ellie Mae. “We’ve worked together to successfully transition TD from a legacy origination system to an agile solution equipped to handle the complexities and loan volume experienced by a leading national bank. We value the opportunity to partner with TD Bank to help them grow the mortgage lending arm of their business.”

“At TD, we place a strong and steadfast emphasis on continually enhancing both the customer and employee experiences,” said Rick Bechtel, EVP, Head of U.S. Mortgage Banking, TD Bank. “By leveraging Ellie Mae’s Encompass platform, we’re able to provide our customers with a simplified process, online access to documentation, and a substantial reduction in their loan closing time, all of which will dramatically enhance the mortgage lending experience. Simultaneously, Encompass will provide our employees with tools that increase efficiency and streamline processes – a huge win for the employee experience, as well. We could not be more excited to bring TD to the forefront of digital mortgage technology, and our Encompass deployment is the first step.”

Millennial Home Purchases Continue To Rise

Mortgages to Millennial borrowers for new home purchases continued their ascent in June, accounting for 91 percent of closed loans, according to the latest Ellie Mae Millennial Tracker report. In May, 90 percent of closed mortgages to members of the generation were for new home purchases, up from April’s 89 percent, and January’s annual low of 81 percent. This is in correlation with the Census Bureau’s latest quarterly homeownership and vacancy report that shows homeownership across Millennials age 35 and younger increased slightly, representing 36.5 percent of all homeowners, compared to 35.3 percent in the first quarter of 2018.

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Conventional loans remained attractive among Millennials, representing 69 percent of all loans closed in June, a slight uptick from 68 percent in May. FHA loans represented 27 percent of all closed loans to this generation, down one percentage point from the month prior. This is significantly higher than the Ellie Mae June Origination Insight Report data which showed FHA loans represented 20 percent of closed loans in the month for borrowers of all ages.

Average Millennial borrower FICO scores across all loan types rose slightly in June to an average of 723, up from 721 which held steady March through May. For purchases, the average FICO score was 746 for a conventional loan, 681 for an FHA loan and 744 for a VA loan.

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“As it remains a competitive, purchase-centric market, we will continue to keep a close eye on the purchase trends amongst Millennials,” said Joe Tyrrell, Ellie Mae’s executive vice president of corporate strategy. “This new generation of homebuyers wants the capability of an on-demand mortgage, and we are working to provide borrowers a convenient and secure digital mortgage offering that makes the homebuying process a seamless experience.”

Across all loan types, it took Millennials an average of 42 days to close on their loans in June, a day longer than in March, April and May. Purchases took an average of 41 days and refinances took an average of 45 days.

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In June, the hottest housing markets for Millennials were primarily in the Midwest. The top markets by percentage of Millennial loans closed included Clarksburg, W.Va. (65 percent), Watertown, S.D. (65 percent), Boone, Iowa (64 percent), and Dickinson, N.D. (61 percent).

The Ellie Mae Millennial Tracker is an interactive online tool that provides access to up-to-date demographic data about this new generation of homebuyers. It mines data from a robust sampling of approximately 80 percent of all closed mortgages dating back to 2014 that were initiated on Ellie Mae’s Encompass mortgage management solution.