Keeping Everything Connected

*Keeping Everything Connected*
**By Tony Garritano**

TonyG***Every day we hear more and more about companies closely integrating their products. Everyone wants to offer the lender a seamless experience. For example, Wipro Gallagher Solutions, a Wipro Technologies company and provider of origination lending solutions for financial institutions, has launched its “Lend Value” suite of enterprise loan origination solutions, which are designed to deliver consistency and optimization across the entire lending value chain; from back-end processing to the front-end customer experience.

****The Lend Value suite of solutions encompasses its flagship NetOxygen Loan Origination System, Enterprise Mobile Origination (e·MO) app and the LendCentric user portals, all of which seamlessly interact to synchronize lending activity within a centralized data repository.

****The LendCentric Launch Pad allows the borrower to remain actively engaged throughout the loan process from application intake through supporting document upload. As a result, the lender experiences significant uplift in customer experience as the borrower is kept up to date with the progress of their application. The LendCentric Business portal enables partners and correspondent lenders to effectively communicate with lenders, which speeds the loan approval process and improves loan quality through increased transparency. Finally, the Enterprise Mobile Origination app enables sales teams to produce loans from any location using their tablet device. Data received from digital, online and back-office workstations are instantly updated across all channels.

****By pairing the NetOxygen LOS with value enhancing technologies, lenders can use a single source of rules, products and pricing data to make quicker and more accurate pipeline and portfolio decisions anywhere and at any time. This single source of setup data can be used across all platforms reducing administrative costs and ensuring customer convergence.

****“Lending activity is often fragmented across multiple devices and technology products. By delivering a suite of solutions that instantly communicates with a single source of truth, lenders can achieve a holistic view of the operation, truly optimize their processes and deliver targeted products to their customers,” said Narayan Bharadwaj, general manager and business head at Wipro Gallagher Solutions.

The LOS That Does It All

*The LOS That Does It All*
**By Tony Garritano**

TonyG***These days the loan origination system has to do it all. That’s why I found the Mortgage Builder acquisition of LoanXEngine so unique, because it is now an LOS with an embedded PPE and CRM tool. And as the battle for the borrower heats up in a purchase market, having a good CRM tool will be important. Now I’ve learned that Mortgage Builder is advancing this acquisition further. Here’s the scoop:

****Specifically, Mortgage Builder has made significant upgrades to LoanXEngine. LoanXEngine 7.0, the new and improved version, represents the culmination of the platform’s six years of experience in the mortgage space.

****LoanXEngine, launched in 2007, was acquired by Mortgage Builder in October of 2012 as the front end component to round out the company’s full mortgage lifecycle array of offerings, joining Mortgage Builder’s Architect loan origination system and its Colonnade loan servicing system. With LoanXEngine providing lead management, CRM and PPE functions, Mortgage Builder is one of the only technology firms providing “front-end to end-to-end” solutions for lenders of all sizes. LoanXEngine is also available as a standalone cloud-based platform, easily used with other LOS systems.

****LoanXEngine 7.0’s enhancements include:

****Updated FHA mortgage insurance premium changes;

****Closing cost filtering support features to allow lenders to customize fee charges according to the requirements of individual states, lenders, loan amount ranges, conventional and government loan products and other considerations;

****Redesigned and improved non-qualifying product reporting, including detailed failure to qualify reasons and website links for further investigation;

****Enhanced mobile device viewing, for tablet and mobile phone viewing ease;

****Improved wholesale channel home page and workflow for greater functionality for third party originators; and

****Integration with LendingTree’s LoanExplorer, the all-new version of the company’s popular consumer-facing mortgage comparison and leadsource engine.  LoanXEngine is among the very few PPEs selected to work with them on this product.

****“We’re very excited about LoanXEngine 7.0,” says Kelli Himebaugh, corporate vice president of Mortgage Builder Software. “It represents a whole new class of PPEs for the mortgage industry, with its highly innovative lead management, CRM and improved functionality in products and pricing. With LoanXEngine, lenders of all sizes have access to the best front end technology available today,” she says. “It is part of the complete mortgage lifecycle suite of products that let lenders handle every step, from prospect quotes through origination, secondary marketing and servicing, all on a common platform that is easy to use,” she explains.

The New End-To-End Is A Tighter Best-Of-Breed

*The New End-To-End Is A Tighter Best-Of-Breed*
**By Tony Garritano**

tight***We always talk about the end-to-end vs. best-of-breed because every lender ideally just wants to deal with one vendor. The problem is that one vendor can’t be good at everything. So, as data standardization has evolved, the new end-to-end may just be best-of-breed players so tightly integrated that the lender never knows they’re leaving one system and going to another. For example, PROGRESS has just learned that Data-Vision, Inc., a leading pioneer in Internet lending technologies, has an enhanced integration with LOS Associated Software Consultants, Inc. (ASC). Here’s the scoop:

****Data-Vision’s LoanQuoter and ASC’s PowerLender LOS platform communicate through powerful web services to provide critical online lending solutions to the point-of-sale. These web services enhance the customer experience in many ways.  For example:

****>> Up-to-date rate and eligibility information is available to borrowers looking to prequalify or apply.  By entering only a few pieces of information into a secure LoanQuoter webpage, PowerLender immediately returns current pricing information for all products and programs for which the borrower is eligible.

****>> Data entered by a potential Borrower on a lender’s consumer-facing LoanQuoter webpage is transferred seamlessly into PowerLender and automatically populates the loan application. There’s no need to re-generate or re-enter the data. This saves times and reduces errors while improving the customer experience.

****>> Wanting to check the status of a loan, a borrower logs into the lender’s LoanQuoter web portal to see how the loan is progressing. Via web services, this enhanced solution delivers immediate, up-to-the-minute status reports to the borrower.

****“We are honored to be strategic partners with Data-Vision,” said Dave Stricklen, director of sales at ASC. “PowerLender’s ability to provide web services to Data-Vision transcends its role as an LOS, it now becomes a flexible, expandable, secure service that can be used around the clock and provide immediate information without tying up valuable lender resources.”

****Data-Vision President, Randy Schmidt, added, “We have been strategic partners with ASC for a long time and are honored to be working with them to enhance our seamless integration with their PowerLender platform. We are committed to constantly working with our partners to improve their clients user experience while adding value to the lending process.”

****The bottom line is that in today’s lending environment, borrowers demand more online lending tools from their lender, and Data-Vision has a proven track record of delivering innovative online  solutions to the hundreds of financial institutions that it serves. The strategic partnership with ASC delivers an enhanced borrower experience across all lending channels through a dynamic online lending platform that improves customer satisfaction in the most cost effective manner.

The LOS Conversions Continue

*The LOS Conversions Continue*
**By Tony Garritano**

TonyG***As I’ve been saying on and off for over a year now, loan origination system (LOS) conversions are at record highs. With the industry in regulatory flux, more and more lenders are open to switching their LOS if there is a better system on the market that can help them cut cost, gain efficiency and stay ahead of new rules and res. For example, I learned this morning that ELFCU, Eli Lilly Federal Credit Union, based in Indianapolis, Indiana, is converting to Mortgage Cadence’s Symphony platform this spring. Here’s why:

****Symphony offers cloud-based architecture and ushers mortgage loans from origination through closing, including documents, imaging and secondary marketing.??“The traditional multi-system approach to originating mortgage loans inherently introduces inefficiency and inaccuracy. In addition, managing compliance has become increasingly difficult,” said Elaine Rinehart, Assistant Vice President, Business Analysis and Applications.

****“Symphony from Mortgage Cadence covers all the bases in one complete system that our members, loan officers and mortgage teams can access for quick approvals and up-to-the-minute information from any internet-connected device,” she continued.?? Mortgage Cadence offers a complete product suite, wrapping traditionally separate point-of-sale, loan origination, secondary market, and document systems into one.

****“Incorporating Symphony’s automation and workflow features into our mortgage operation provides countless benefits. Eliminating paper checklists and introducing system-generated and delivered disclosures and closing documents are just two of the many system characteristics that will quicken our lending pace and improve the financing experience for our members,” Rinehart stated.

****“Producing quality, compliant loans is just like manufacturing anything else. The process requires tools, technology and all-inclusive systems that ensure processes and rules are consistently followed,” said CEO of Mortgage Cadence Michael Detwiler.

****Eli Lilly Federal Credit Union has served the employees of Eli Lilly and Company since 1930. With more than $1 billion in assets and 60,000 members from its original sponsor and recently added Select Employee Groups, ELFCU provides a variety of financial solutions. Yet ELFCU is not just a credit union. As financial wellness providers, their employees promise to help members achieve financial wellness in life with their own money management plan.

The Hunt To Be End-To-End

*The Hunt To Be End-To-End*
**By Tony Garritano**

TonyG***The desire to offer a truly end-to-end solution continues. However, as this movement continues more vendors are tightly integrating, as well. So, maybe the new end-to-end is more tightly integrated best-in-class providers. For example, I learned today that valuation vendor Global DMS has integrated with LendingQB’s browser-based loan origination system (LOS). Here’s the bigger picture behind this partnership:

****This integration is part of a major initiative to advance valuation compliance by tightly integrating the company’s eTrac platform with LOS vendors. As a result, the entire appraisal ordering and management process becomes seamless, efficient, cost effective and fully compliant with state and federal regulations.

****Without having to leave LendingQB’s LOS, lenders are now able to access Global DMS’ eTrac platform to handle all of their valuation needs, including automated valuations, ordering full appraisals, automated appraisal reviews, and delivery to the Uniform Collateral Data Portal (UCDP) and institutional investors. This new seamless interface establishes system-to-system transaction processing that dramatically speeds up the ordering and appraisal management process for lenders by eliminating duplicate data entry, providing real-time appraisal process status updates and robust communication functionality between lenders and their valuation vendors.

****“Our interface to Global DMS’ eTrac system utilizes a three-point integration to allow our clients to easily order and manage appraisals; check real-time order status; and receive completed  appraisal files back into the LendingQB LOS E-Docs Platform,” said Binh Dang, president of LendingQB. “Most LOS platforms and valuation software systems don’t integrate seamlessly with one another, which makes it difficult for lenders and their appraisal management companies (AMCs) to share crucial data and communicate effectively.”

****Dang added: “Because appraisal quality and processes are highly regulated and scrutinized by federal regulators and the agencies, these issues have resulted in costly errors, longer cycle times and substantial compliance penalties. However, our new integration to Global DMS streamlines the appraisal ordering and management processes to improve effectiveness, reduce costs and mitigate the compliance risk associated with appraisals.”

****Company officials say that this initiative is more than technology that connects lenders to valuation products, AMCs and appraisers; it’s an entire movement focused on loan quality that ensures stability of the mortgage system through sound collateral valuations.

****“Due to numerous new and changing government regulations, appraisal independence has obviously become a major concern for lenders to keep apace and avoid penalties,” said Vladimir Bien-Aime, chief executive officer at Global DMS.  “Our solutions are proven to keep lenders in compliance, reduce costs, increase revenue, operate more efficiently and mitigate risk.  Having trusted integration partners like LendingQB only provides more value for our mutual clients.”

Technology Success Stories Matter

*Technology Success Stories Matter*
**By Tony Garritano**

***Sharing success stories where technology really helped a lender is important. In this case, Ohio-based Consumers National Bank is utilizing LendingQB’s Web-based loan origination system (LOS) to operate its entire mortgage lending business. LendingQB was selected specifically to launch the bank’s mortgage business in April 2012. Since that time, Consumers National Bank has been able to grow its fledgling operations while keeping technology costs low and adding only minimal support staff.

****Consumers National Bank made the implementation of technology a top priority before it launched its mortgage practice, opting to first implement LendingQB’s end-to-end LOS as the backbone of its lending operation prior to hiring staff. This allowed the bank to work with LendingQB’s implementation team to evaluate their technology and business objectives, and then configure a seamless workflow that avoided manual touch points to maximize employee productivity.

****“We wanted a single platform that had the flexibility to adapt and scale with our lending practice as we expanded the business and brought on more employees,” said Mike Stoffer, VP of mortgage services at Consumers National Bank. “By working with the team at LendingQB, we have been able to create a highly efficient lending process from the point-of-sale (POS) through underwriting, processing, closing and secondary marketing. My employees continue to be amazed at the power of the LendingQB system, how intuitive it is to use and how much easier it makes their jobs.”

****LendingQB’s Edoc paperless system and seamless integrations with ComplianceEase and DocMagic allows Consumers National Bank to operate entirely within the LOS environment, automating critical processes and accelerating the flow of loan processes in an efficient manner.

****“It almost seems implausible that we can do everything we need to operate our business from cradle to grave through a simple web-browser,” Stoffer added. “Initial disclosures, closing documents, compliance checks, e-signatures – I’ve been in this business a long time and LendingQB has radically changed the way mortgage lenders are able to manage their business. Even LendingQB’s support is unlike anything I’ve seen before. They provide a chat module that resides within the system itself so that my staff can ask questions on the spot and get a response instantly. This is the most responsive technical team I have worked with in my career and that’s really made a difference. They are truly a long-term partner that listens to and works with my team.”

****Consumers National Bank reports that the LendingQB system has improved employee productivity and communication, provided complete visibility through detailed reporting, cut origination costs and positioned the bank well for future growth in mortgage lending. Further, LendingQB has enabled Consumers National Bank to become a 100 percent paperless operation.

****“Consumers National Bank is an innovative organization dedicated to smart growth,” said Binh Dang, president of LendingQB. “We worked with them to configure LendingQB to model their specific workflow. Our best practices allowed them to maximize usage of our system before they originated a single loan, which has proven to be key to their success. Now, as they grow their mortgage lending unit, they’ll be able to scale at a lower cost per and provide their customers with superior service at a better price.”

Market Analysis: ServiceLink Acquires A Truly Innovative Tech Company

*ServiceLink Acquires A Truly Innovative Tech Company*
**By Tony Garritano**

***The acquisition scoops don’t stop. PROGRESS in Lending launched its Innovations program last year. We want to recognize, reward and encourage innovation. One of our first winners was DRI Management Systems. Today we have learned that ServiceLink, a prominent end-to-end origination, servicing and default solutions provider for 15 of the top 20 mortgage lenders and servicers, has acquired Newport Beach, California-based DRI, the terms of which were not disclosed. In conjunction with the acquisition, ServiceLink also announced the launch of ServiceLink Fusion, the company’s new servicing workflow platform, which was designed and implemented in response to specific feedback from the company’s servicing clients and incorporates technology gained through the acquisition.

****“In response to increasing regulatory oversight, our clients have asked for a way to successfully centralize their servicing workflow management and we listened,” said Laura MacIntyre, ServiceLink’s Senior Vice President of Servicing Solutions. “ServiceLink Fusion is truly a ground-breaking workflow platform, developed and configured in the default space and is ready to accept additional configurations across the loan servicing continuum.”

****ServiceLink Fusion uses the newly-acquired DRI workflow platform to provide loan servicers with the industry’s first comprehensive, end-to-end workflow management solution. For the last four years, DRI has been intensely focused on developing and configuring an entirely new workflow and content management platform for the loan servicing industry. This platform, which uses a common database and common user interface (UI) framework, is in production and is presently configured to support eight key functional areas within default. While use of ServiceLink Fusion is not limited to default, existing configurations include loss mitigation, pre-foreclosure, foreclosure, bankruptcy, claims, third party service ordering, litigation, default administration, and real-estate owned (REO) management. ServiceLink’s Fusion platform enables clients to manage operational risk, while reducing the limitations and constraints that result from hard-coded point technology solutions, databases, and other interfaces. As a result, compliance with new regulatory mandates, such as providing a Single Point of Contact (SPOC) has become relatively simple. Integrating with ServiceLink’s existing loan origination system (LOS), Commerce Velocity’s Spectrum, the ServiceLink Fusion team now delivers solutions spanning the entire loan life cycle, from origination through servicing and disposition.

****“For more than two decades, DRI has led the way in defining the default technology space,” said Duke Olrich, DRI Management Systems President and CEO. “We are excited to join forces with such a forward-thinking industry leader and look forward to working with ServiceLink’s servicing solutions team to deliver new technology for the industry.”

****“ServiceLink is committed to providing comprehensive services, solutions and technology that surpass our customers’ expectations and business requirements, and ultimately enhance the way in which they do business,” said Chris Azur, ServiceLink President. “ServiceLink Fusion is a significant example of that commitment and we are excited to bring to market the industry’s first truly comprehensive workflow platform specifically designed to support the servicing industry.”

Market Analysis: What’s Next For Mortgagebot?

*What’s Next For Mortgagebot?*
**By Tony Garritano**

***Last year we reported that Mortgagebot was acquired by Canadian company D+H. Just a few weeks ago we broke the news that D+H has now also acquired LOS Avista Solutions. So, what happens now? Mortgagebot continues to enhance its offering, that’s what. How does this point-of-sale mainstay go even further? Here’s what they’re up to now:

****Mortgagebot has introduced a new consumer lending module to PowerSite, its integrated point-of-sale solution (IPOS). The company, which already manages mortgage lending websites for more than 1,100 banks and credit unions through PowerSite, takes the IPOS’ capability one step further by adding consumer loan origination in a frictionless, easy-to-use platform for end users. Lenders who have deployed the product are already reaping benefits—operational efficiency, automated compliance, and affordable scalability—in their consumer lending operations.

****Matt Cotter, senior vice president of sales and marketing, says the new module is a natural extension of the company’s long-standing focus on facilitating lending efficiency. “All the experiences and best practices that Mortgagebot amassed in the last twelve years are now available to lenders in their consumer lending space,” he says. “Now, another superior advantage of PowerSite is its seamless integration and comprehensive management of mortgage and consumer loans, one that maximizes efficiency and ease-of-use for end users across the board. Our parent company, D+H, also furthers its mission as the leading provider of technology and managed services to the North American financial services industry—including lending institutions of all asset sizes.”

****Christopher Ercole, senior vice president and chief lending officer at National Institutes of Health Federal Credit Union, says PowerSite’s new module is a natural fit to its business operations. The $500 million-asset credit union, which has been using PowerSite for the past eight years to manage its mortgage loan operations, looks forward to improving its consumer lending online applications.

****“Our credit union has already had great success with Mortgagebot’s online application system [for mortgages],” says Ercole. “We view consumer lending as an integral part of our business model and are looking to the new module to grow our consumer lending business.”

****In fact, Mortgagebot designed the new module in response to market demand and feedback from clients who were already using PowerSite to optimize and support their mortgage operations. These clients desired an innovative, convenient solution to handle the consumer lending side of their businesses. Since the launch, five clients from a focused group have integrated the new functionality and boosted the quality of their lending operations.

****Liberty Bank, a $3.4 billion-asset institution based in Middletown, Conn., which has been using PowerSite for its mortgage lending since 2004, immediately experienced improvements—including hassle-free, automated compliance—bringing its consumer lending up to par with its mortgage lending operations. The bank had previously eliminated paper applications from its mortgage and home equity loans through the deployment of PowerSite; removing paper applications from its consumer lending operations was the next logical step in the effort to streamline processes.

****Brian Hedge, assistant vice president and consumer loan operations manager says the biggest advantage emerging from the new module includes data entry at the point-of-sale and immediate processing of loans. “With an automated application process, we eliminate paper applications and the associated issues, which include missing information, illegible writing, and lost paperwork.”

Technology Spotlight: Calming The Chaos With End-To-End Automation

*Calming The Chaos With End-To-End Automation*
**Omega Financial Services, Inc. Profiled**

***PROGRESS reported on the launch of a new LOS a while back in the form of LendingQB. We said that we would keep you updated on its progress and we don’t break our promises. As more lenders look to migrate toward a more end-to-end solution, systems like LendingQB are gaining traction. For example, Omega Financial Services, Inc., a retail and wholesale mortgage banker, has implemented LendingQB’s Web-based loan origination system to automate each of its business channels. LendingQB’s platform will reduce Omega’s cost per loan, maximize productivity across operations and decrease its existing technology costs. Here’s how:

****Acting as an advisor to Omega, Joe Cilento, a mortgage industry veteran and consultant, guided the selection and implementation of Lending QB’s LOS platform after performing a company-wide review of operations.

****“I have conducted numerous mortgage technology evaluations and implementations; the rollout of LendingQB’s Web-based platform was one of the smoothest I’ve been involved with,” said Cilento. “The extensive level of support that LendingQB provided and their ability to easily configure tailored workflows are the main reasons Omega’s implementation was so successful.”

****LendingQB’s LOS integrates Omega’s entire workflow and lending functions to enable the straight through processing (STP) of loans. From the point-of-sale (POS) through closing and funding, LendingQB consolidates all of Omega’s lending activities onto a single platform. Regardless of employees’ roles, LendingQB contains Omega’s users to a single database and software environment to ensure the same data is being used in different departments. The result is fewer manual touch points, which turns Omega’s lending practices into a profit optimization workflow.

****“We were previously using a well-known LOS that has been trying to assemble an end-to-end solution, but we found the system inadequate to handle our needs from soup-to-nuts so we began looking for a solution that could,” said Armando Morell, information systems director at Omega Financial Services, Inc. “We retained mortgage consultant Joe Cilento to help us perform the evaluation process and concluded that most LOSs try to achieve an end-to-end solution by way of integrating with multiple best-of-breed vendors because they are lacking key functionality in a number of different areas. Of all the solutions we looked at, there wasn’t an all-in-one Web-based LOS on the market that could seamlessly automate every single area of the lending process like LendingQB is able to.”

****Once Omega’s LOs and brokers run product and pricing scenarios in LendingQB’s retail or broker portal, they can pull credit and the automated underwriting system (AUS) returns an instant, accurate decision that analyzes investors’ entire underwriting manuals, which carries the same weight as a human underwriter’s decision. The loan then seamlessly moves through Omega’s workflow with minimal human intervention. Omega says the efficiencies gained using LendingQB’s end-to-end LOS will optimize employee performance, reduce their cost per loan and also attract top tier sales talent. In addition, Omega’s LOs, brokers and AEs can use LendingQB’s mobile application for smart phones, which allows them to check rates, return product eligibility and pricing, and manage their pipeline from the field.

****LendingQB’s platform is comprised of LO, broker, and consumer direct point-of-sale Web portals for all lending channels; product and pricing engine; proprietary AUS; loan processing; electronic documents, closing; secondary marketing; and interim servicing. LendingQB also accompanies business intelligence (BI) and data analytics functionality along with detailed reporting that helps lenders locate and translate their data into actionable information, enabling them to make informed business decisions that establishes a competitive advantage and leads to greater profitability.

****“Paramount to running an efficient lending operation is the seamless connection of every workflow the lender uses to eliminate unnecessary human interaction and thus improve productivity,” said Binh Dang, president of LendingQB. “The only way to achieve this is to implement an all-in-one platform that uses a single database and is discriminating with outside integrations, as too many interfaces and separate databases creates data integrity issues and hampers efficiency and accuracy.”