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Purchase Loans Represent 65% Of Total Loans

Home loans for purchases continued to gain momentum in April, representing 65 percent of total loans, according to the latest Origination Insight Report released by Ellie Mae. Refinances represented 35 percent of total loans in the month.

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The average time to close all loans dwindled to 42 days in April, down from 43 days in March and a substantial decline from 51 days in January. The time to close a refinance declined to 41 days in April, down from 43 days in March, and the time to close a purchase dropped to 42 days in April, down from 43 days the month prior.

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The average 30-year note continued to rise in April to 4.41 percent, up from 4.39 percent in March, and the percentage of Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs) increased to the highest point since November of 2014 to 5.9 percent, up from 5.6 percent the month prior.

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“The purchase market continued its rise in April, representing 65 percent of total closed loans,” said Jonathan Corr, president and CEO of Ellie Mae. “We also saw the time to close loans shrink for the third consecutive month to 42 days, a substantial decrease from the 2017 high of 51 days in January. Ellie Mae customers are realizing efficiencies as they embrace technology to improve the homebuying experience.”

The Origination Insight Report mines its application data from a 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.

Ellie Mae also distributes data from its monthly Ellie Mae Millennial Tracker, which focuses on mortgage applications submitted by millennials during specific time periods. Ellie Mae defines millennials as applicants born between the years 1980 and 1999. The Millennial Tracker will continue to be released on the first Wednesday of each month.

About The Author

Tony Garritano
Tony Garritano is chairman and founder at PROGRESS in Lending Association. As a speaker Tony has worked hard to inform executives about how technology should be a tool used to further business objectives. For over 10 years he has worked as a journalist, researcher and speaker in the mortgage technology space. Starting this association was the next step for someone like Tony, who has dedicated his career to providing mortgage executives with the information needed to make informed technology decisions. He can be reached via e-mail at tony@progressinlending.com.
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It’s Not One Or The Other

Fifty-seven percent of homeowners applied for and completed their latest mortgage completely in person, while more than one-quarter of homeowners (28 percent) applied for their most recent mortgage using a combination of online and in-person interaction, according to the 2017 Borrower Insights Survey of homeowners and renters conducted by mortgage automation provider Ellie Mae. Another 11 percent of homeowners applied for their latest mortgage completely online with no in-person interaction.

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When asked what factor would have improved the mortgage process, approximately 40 percent of homeowners indicated they would have liked a faster process with fewer delays. Twenty percent indicated that a shorter, easier to understand application would be preferable, while 11 percent asked for more communication with their lender throughout the process.

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Millennials were the most likely generation of homebuyers to begin their mortgage application online and finish it with an in-person interaction with their lender (30 percent). Gen X (28 percent) and Baby Boomer (20 percent) borrowers weren’t far behind in using this online and in-person approach.

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“There’s no question that technology is playing a larger role in the home buying experience,” said Joe Tyrrell, executive vice president of corporate strategy at Ellie Mae. “As we expected, many homeowners are seeking a faster and more streamlined experience. And it’s not just a millennial phenomenon; it’s homebuyers of all ages and both genders.

“But what’s even more telling is that homeowners still want a personal interaction with their lender. They want someone who can answer important questions, and make them feel confident that everything will be handled correctly and on time. While 27 percent of millennials identified the speed of the process as the top area to improve their experience, surprisingly 23 percent cited more face-to-face interaction as the second-greatest opportunity for improvement. By leveraging technology, lenders can provide a more high tech experience to simplify and speed the overall process, while still having the high-touch interactions when and where homebuyers want,” Tyrrell said.

The Ellie Mae survey found that today’s homebuyers most value speed, security and simplicity when applying for a home loan – all of which are enabled by technology. Millennials and women were the most likely to cite security as the most important factor when they applied for a loan. Gen X and Baby Boomer buyers were more likely to value the speed of the process. All three generations equally valued simplicity.

About The Author

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

QuickInsured, an independent insurance agency specializing in the mortgage industry, announced that its homeowners insurance quote service is now available through Ellie Mae’s Encompass. The seamless integration allows lenders to order QuickInsured’s solutions directly through Encompass to drive quality and efficiency in the loan origination process.

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Obtaining home insurance quotes and selecting a carrier is often a time-consuming process for consumers, and can complicate and delay mortgage closings. QuickInsured offers an automated solution that enables borrowers to receive an instant home insurance quote while finalizing the terms of their loan. With the integration, Encompass users are now able to expedite this process for their borrowers so quotes are delivered in seconds. The technology is device agnostic, so on-the-go borrowers can easily generate and bind their quote from a handheld device.

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Ellie Mae is a provider of on-demand software solutions and services for the residential mortgage industry. Ellie Mae’s Encompass all-in-one mortgage management solution provides one system of record that enables banks, credit unions and mortgage lenders to originate and fund mortgages and improve compliance, loan quality and efficiency.

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“QuickInsured is delighted to partner with Ellie Mae,” said QuickInsured CEO, Jerry Batt. “Our secure, seamless integration with Encompass enables our clients to simplify the process of ordering and securing homeowners insurance for borrowers, so they can more efficiently process mortgage loans and grow their business. We look forward to a long, successful relationship with Ellie Mae.”

Batt added, “It’s imperative that mortgage companies to find ways to reduce closing times with loan origination costs on the rise. The time it takes for a borrower to manually receive homeowners insurance quotes and decide on a policy can delay closings, causing headaches for both the borrower and the originator. QuickInsured developed a product to relieve the stress this can cause by enabling borrowers to receive a competitive, bindable quote from an A-rated carrier in a matter of seconds. Also, the technology is device agnostic, so on-the-go borrowers can easily generate and bind their quote from a handheld device.”

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Ellie Mae Launches Updates To Encompass

Ellie Mae has updated its Encompass LOS. Encompass 17.2 enhancements are designed to help lenders of all sizes close more loans, shorten time to close and ensure compliance with regulatory standards. Specifically, the new major release of Encompass includes support for 2018 HMDA collection and reporting changes that expand data capture related to applicants, property and loan features. Additionally, the new major release of Encompass offers secondary marketing enhancements and updates to Encompass Product and Pricing Service.

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“With this major release of Encompass, we’re providing the innovative capabilities that enable our banks, credit unions and mortgage lenders to originate and fund mortgages with complete compliance, loan quality and efficiency,” said Jonathan Corr, president and CEO of Ellie Mae. “While data collection under the new Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) begins in January of 2018, this release gives clients support in advance for the new fields to provide greater time to educate, train and prepare.”

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Encompass 17.2 enhancements include:

Support for 2018 HMDA Collection and Reporting Changes

Encompass 17.2 enables collection of the new data set required for loans with a final disposition in 2018 and beyond in a single system of record. A HMDA LAR (Loan Application Register) compliant with the new guidelines published in the CFPB rule is featured in the solution, as well as substantial automation to reduce lender processing time and risk in creating their reports. Also included is the optional expanded Demographic Information Addendum.

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Ellie Mae has a substantial number of tools and resources available to help clients prepare and train internal teams on the new HMDA Reporting Changes.

Secondary Marketing Enhancements

Criteria Based Auto-Lock: Encompass 17.2 includes new functionality to enable more lock desk controls to mitigate risk and reduce exposure. The new criteria based auto-lock allows for control of which lock scenarios should not be allowed to be auto-locked.

Bulk Pricing for Trade Management: To further enhance support for capital markets, Encompass 17.2 includes enhancements for individual loan pricing on bulk trades for correspondent buyers and sellers. It also supports a weighted average bulk price that can be applied to all loans in the bulk.

Encompass Product and Pricing Service Enhancements

Encompass 17.2 introduces support for additional investor pricing, support for Planned Unit Development (PUDs), the ability to identify geography locations using geocoding, and support for VA maximum guarantee to reflect the GSE conforming limits.

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Integrations Foster Innovation

Compliance has kept vendors busy. With less time to innovate themselves, more and more vendors are opting to embark on innovative integrations to further a more lights-out process. For example, Credit Plus’ credit reports are now available through Ellie Mae’s point-of-sale solution, Encompass Consumer Connect, an extension of their Encompass LOS. The integration allows Encompass Consumer Connect users to verify and share their credit reports with lenders.

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Encompass Consumer Connect enables lenders to provide a state-of-the-art, completely branded and unique self-service online loan origination experience to homebuyers.

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“We’re excited to be at the forefront of this initiative and one of the first Ellie Mae partners included in this consumer-friendly interface. Encompass Consumer Connect will make the mortgage process easier to navigate for borrowers,” said Greg Holmes, National Director of Sales and Marketing at Credit Plus.

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Credit Plus provides insight to mortgage professionals so they can make smart lending decisions. Headquartered in Salisbury, Md., the company is a third-party verifications specialist offering more than 160 products and services for mortgage professionals, including credit reports, scoring tools, Deposit and Asset Verifications, Employment Verifications, Tax Return Verifications, fraud prevention tools, Undisclosed Debt Verifications, flood reports, appraisals, Lost Sales Analysis and more.

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Time To Close Shrinks

In February, time to close all loans for Millennial borrowers decreased to 44 days, the shortest average time to close since March 2016, according to the latest Millennial Tracker released by Ellie Mae. The average time to close a purchase loan for Millennials decreased from 46 days in January to 42 days in February, while time to close a refinance loan also decreased to 52 days in February, down from 58 days the month prior. Similarly, the average time to close FHA loans decreased from 47 days in January to 43 days in February. Average time to close VA loans decreased dramatically from 57 days to 41 days.

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As U.S. housing trends toward a buyer’s market, purchases accounted for 86 percent of all closed loans for the month of February, a slight uptick from 84 percent in January, while refinances fell two percentage points to 14 percent of all loans to Millennial borrowers. Share of conventional loans stayed steady from the month prior, representing 61 percent of loans, while FHA loans increased to 36 percent in February, up from 35 percent the month prior.

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FICO scores across all loan types continued to fall in February to an average of 723, down from 724 in January and their peak of 726 from August through October 2016. For purchases, the average FICO score was 747 for a conventional loan, 690 for an FHA loan and 745 for a VA loan.

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“Purchase loans are increasing, indicating that Millennials are continuing to enter the first-time homebuyer market,” said Joe Tyrrell, executive vice president of corporate strategy for Ellie Mae. “In addition, we saw time to close decrease from 49 days in January to 44 days in February, which indicates that our lenders are seeing more efficiency as they embrace mortgage automation.”

In February, the hottest housing market for Millennials was in the state of Texas. The top markets by percentage of Millennial loans closed in the state included Odessa, Midland and Beaumont-Port Arthur.

About The Author

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

Fifty-seven percent of homeowners applied for and completed their latest mortgage completely in person, while more than one-quarter of homeowners (28 percent) applied for their most recent mortgage using a combination of online and in-person interaction, according to the 2017 Borrower Insights Survey of homeowners and renters conducted by mortgage automation provider Ellie Mae. Another 11 percent of homeowners applied for their latest mortgage completely online with no in-person interaction.

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When asked what factor would have improved the mortgage process, approximately 40 percent of homeowners indicated they would have liked a faster process with fewer delays. Twenty percent indicated that a shorter, easier to understand application would be preferable, while 11 percent asked for more communication with their lender throughout the process.

Featured Sponsors:

 
Millennials were the most likely generation of homebuyers to begin their mortgage application online and finish it with an in-person interaction with their lender (30 percent). Gen X (28 percent) and Baby Boomer (20 percent) borrowers weren’t far behind in using this online and in-person approach.

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“There’s no question that technology is playing a larger role in the home buying experience,” said Joe Tyrrell, executive vice president of corporate strategy at Ellie Mae. “As we expected, many homeowners are seeking a faster and more streamlined experience. And it’s not just a millennial phenomenon; it’s homebuyers of all ages and both genders.”

“But what’s even more telling is that homeowners still want a personal interaction with their lender. They want someone who can answer important questions, and make them feel confident that everything will be handled correctly and on time. While 27 percent of millennials identified the speed of the process as the top area to improve their experience, surprisingly 23 percent cited more face-to-face interaction as the second-greatest opportunity for improvement. By leveraging technology, lenders can provide a more high tech experience to simplify and speed the overall process, while still having the high-touch interactions when and where homebuyers want,” Tyrrell said.

The Ellie Mae survey found that today’s homebuyers most value speed, security and simplicity when applying for a home loan – all of which are enabled by technology. Millennials and women were the most likely to cite security as the most important factor when they applied for a loan. Gen X and Baby Boomer buyers were more likely to value the speed of the process. All three generations equally valued simplicity.

About The Author

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

Indecomm Global Services, a provider of mortgage technology, training, and outsourcing services, announced that its income calculation and analysis platform, IncomeGenius, is now available through Encompass LOS. The seamless integration allows lenders to perform an income analysis with IncomeGenius directly through Encompass to drive quality and efficiency in the loan origination process.

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IncomeGenius is a web-based SaaS solution that uses Optical Character Recognition (OCR) to automate the income calculation process. The integration of documents and data from Encompass to IncomeGeniusis is an effective way for clients to improve their underwriting process. It simplifies the task of calculating income for borrowers and highlights problem areas requiring the underwriter’s attention. Lenders see a dramatic improvement in efficiency, especially with those that include tax returns. This replaces traditional Excel calculations and macros, resulting in significant timesavings for underwriters, and boosts their throughput with more loans processed in a day.

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“Indecomm Global Services is delighted to partner with Ellie Mae,” said Rajan Nair, CEO, Financial Services, Indecomm Global Services. “Our secure, seamless integration with Encompass enables our clients to simplify the process of ordering an income calculation through IncomeGenius, so they can more efficiently process mortgage loans and grow their business. We look forward to a long and successful relationship with Ellie Mae.”

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Indecomm offers consulting, outsourcing, learning, and technology solutions to its clients in the financial services, hi-tech, life sciences, education, and publishing verticals. Indecomm combines technology platform-driven outsourcing solutions with a flexible delivery model. Indecomm helps its clients improve profitability, gain time-to-market advantage, and achieve immediate return-on-investment. Indecomm was founded in 2003 and has been consistently ranked amongst the Global Top 100 IT and ITeS providers for over a decade. With over 3,500 associates worldwide, Indecomm services its clients from global delivery centers and offices in the United States, Costa Rica, the United Kingdom, India, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Mauritius, and the Cayman Islands.

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Average FICO Scores Drop In January

As the 30-year note continued to rise in January, average FICO scores on refinances dropped across conventional, FHA and VA loans. While average FICO scores decreased from 726 in December to 722 in January, conventional refinance FICO scores dropped to 732 in January, down from 739 in December and 743 in November. FHA refinance FICO scores dropped to 651 in January, down from 654 in December. VA refinance FICO scores dropped two points to 707 in January.

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Home loans for purchases dipped slightly in January, decreasing to 53 percent from 54 percent the month prior, according to the latest Origination Insight Report released by Ellie Mae. Refinances represented 47 percent of closed loans in the month, up slightly from 46 percent the month prior.

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Closing rates for all loans decreased slightly to 72.2 percent, down from the high of 73.2 percent in December. Refinance closing rates decreased to 67.9 percent, down from 69.6 percent the month prior and purchase closing rates decreased from 77 percent in December to 76.8 percent in January.

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The average time to close all loans increased to 51 days in January up from 50 days the month prior, a likely carry over from holiday seasonality. Similarly, the time to close a refinance increased to 53 days while time to close a purchase held at 48 days.

“Rates continued to increase in January and with that we began to see an uptick in adjustable rate mortgages, a trend that we will watch throughout the year,” said Jonathan Corr, president and CEO of Ellie Mae. “Additionally, FICO scores began to drop slightly across the board while closing rates remained high as homebuyers locked in rates to close their loans.”

The Origination Insight Report mines its application data from a sampling of approximately 75 percent of all mortgage applications that were initiated on the Encompass mortgage management solution. Ellie Mae also distributes data from its monthly Ellie Mae Millennial Tracker, which focuses on mortgage applications submitted by millennials during specific time periods. Ellie Mae defines millennials as applicants born between the years 1980 and 1999. The Millennial Tracker will continue to be released on the first Wednesday of each month.

About The Author

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

Informative Research, a diversified provider of data-driven risk management solutions for lenders and mortgage servicers for over 70 years, has integrated its SoftQual solution with Ellie Mae’s flagship Encompass loan origination software (LOS) platform. Unique to the mortgage industry, SoftQual provides full credit file information at the prequalification stage of the mortgage process, including FICO, without affecting borrowers’ credit scores. Traditional credit report “hard pulls” can be saved for later, once the borrower has moved beyond the prequalification stage.

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Without leaving the LOS system, Encompass users and their prospective borrowers can now benefit from SoftQual’s real time information, whether leveraged online, on the phone, or in person with prospects. “For the first time, lenders can evaluate borrowers with authentic full file information within Encompass, empowering them to create and extend offers to consumers without delay,” said Patrick Kelly, Informative Research’s senior vice president of business development. “This means that prospects are far more likely to become borrowers, lenders can enjoy much higher pull-through rates, and all parties benefit from reduced costs and higher service levels.”

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Before Informative Research redefined the prequalification process with SoftQual, lenders were hard pressed to create firm offers without pulling complete credit reports, something consumers are generally reluctant to approve due to privacy concerns and potentially negative effects on their credit scores. SoftQual eliminates those issues through its instantaneous production of complete credit file information with zero impact on borrowers’ FICO scores.

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“When lenders have the information they need to prequalify prospective borrowers with great accuracy, they can extend firm offers that reflect their most attractive rate and fee scenarios,” Kelly said. “SoftQual gives them everything they need to know about borrowers’ credit profiles in seconds without ever having to leave the Encompass environment, and that provides a stunning competitive advantage for Encompass users.”

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