Posts

Reaching Out To Brokers And Other TPOs

Altisource Portfolio Solutions S.A. has launched Wholesale One, a new cooperative for the wholesale mortgage industry. The organization will provide a platform for mortgage brokers, wholesale lenders and related vendors to provide quality loans to consumers nationwide. Here’s how it will work:

The new cooperative will assist mortgage brokers and other third-party originators with tools to improve their businesses. Cooperative benefits are designed to help lower costs for third-party services and streamline the financial execution of a wide variety of loan products.

“The cooperative model is a proven structure for supporting efficient business practices, consistently helping deliver compliant solutions and bringing best practices to the forefront of the industry,” commented Joseph Davila, President of Altisource Mortgage Services. “Our unique ability to connect buyers with services along with our expertise in process solutions lend themselves well to the cooperative environment. The launch of Wholesale One is an exciting new way for Altisource to further develop our mortgage marketplace.”

Altisource has tapped mortgage industry veteran, Greg Murray, to lead the new cooperative as Chief Executive Officer. Wholesale One will benefit from Murray’s extensive background in the third-party originations space and decades of leadership experience at Citigroup, Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase & Co.

“This $100 billion market is facing a variety of funding, compliance and operational challenges, so the timing is ideal to step in and deliver a crisp, streamlined execution platform to help ensure product diversity remains available for today’s home buyers while enabling compliant growth for the mortgage broker community,” commented Murray.  “The proprietary technology and originations expertise at Altisource, combined with the collective buying power inherent in a cooperative, means there is truly an opportunity to help third-party originators navigate an evolving market while helping to alleviate business process and compliance challenges.”

Altisource acquired mortgage cooperative Lenders One, servicing technology provider Equator and LOS Mortgage Builder. So, this combined portfolio coupled with their prior internal resources, makes this expansion a next logical step for the company. Personally, I expect to see the company make more similar moves as time goes by.

About The Author

[author_bio]

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.

Servicing Vendor Expands Its Compliance Footprint

Everyone has their eye on compliance these days. For example, mortgage servicing software provider Equator has enhanced its product suite with its new Loan Management module to assist mortgage loan servicers with compliance and transparency across their businesses and technologies.

The new Loan Management module strengthens a mortgage servicer’s existing technology, making it easier to administer rules, assign loans, reconcile portfolios and take snapshots of decisions. The module simplifies compliance for mortgage servicers by creating detailed audit trails and compliance checks that are documented, stored and easily accessible for review. It can be used throughout the entire lifecycle of default from delinquency through liquidation.

“Our new Loan Management module makes it easier and faster for mortgage servicers to comply with the changing regulatory environment by providing a transparent, flexible process which is based on our deep industry experience developed over the last ten years,” said John Vella, Chief Operating Officer of Equator­, an Altisource business. “We are excited to have a customizable solution that can span the servicing spectrum and integrate with all the existing servicing systems.”

Equator supports a wide range of servicers, asset managers, real estate agents and vendors in the mortgage industry with over 40% of all distressed real estate processed through its platform. The Loan Management module is the latest product delivered by Equator, expanding Equator’s end-to-end platform including Loan Modification, Short Sale, Deed in Lieu, Foreclosure, Bankruptcy and REO modules.

About The Author

[author_bio]

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.

What’s Next For Mortgage Builder?

Several times in the past we’ve seen good midtier technology companies that offer quality service and have a decent market share get acquired by larger companies. What happens next? The midtier company loses its identity and struggles in most cases. Is this what’s in store for Mortgage Builder now that they have been acquired by Altisource?

I don’t think so. The Altisource acquisition of Mortgage Builder has the beginnings of a great success story. For Altisource, they are getting more involved in the mortgage space. They want to have an end-to-end LOS. They want to control the entire mortgage lifecycle. That’s a good thing for Mortgage Builder because they will be the only LOS in the Altisource portfolio and Altisource doesn’t know much about the LOS, so Keven M. Smith, Chief Executive Officer of Mortgage Builder, will remain a big player. He’s not looking for an exit strategy.

“I built the company from the ground up,” he said. “Being privately held has been great, but some of the acquisitions that we want to do and the extensions to our product require that a bigger company be behind us. There are also offerings within Altisource like Lenders One, for example, that we look forward to being more involved with.

“This is not a cash-out deal, this is the next step in the lifecycle of Mortgage Builder,” Smith continued. “All of the staff are being brought over. As time goes on we are looking to expand. We will add more staff and look to get more entrenched in Altisource offerings. Altisource doesn’t have an LOS so the fact that we would be here long term running the company was a selling point for them.”

In fact, if you look the Equator acquisition, Altisource has a clear track record established. The Equator staff and corporate identity remains in tact. The company was acquired for its expertise in loss mitigation and its involvement with Altisource has enabled the Equator staff to grow their business.

“It’s harder to grow as a privately held LOS,” noted Smith. “We at Mortgage Builder are looking to be a larger company and grow. I don’t have a rich uncle to go to and get money from to do the acquisitions that we want to do. We want to be the premier LOS player.”

Mortgage Builder recently acquired a PPE/CRM provider and a servicing software provider. Now that the company has Altisource behind it more acquisitions will undoubtedly follow. Mortgage Builder will also be able to accelerate plans to improve its existing technology to prepare lenders for what comes next in the world of mortgage lending. All indications are that the acquisition was a good fit for a larger company looking to offer a complete lending technology solution and a solid midtier LOS looking to grow.

When asked where he sees Mortgage Builder in the next five years, Mr. Smith replied, “We want to be in first place by a mile and a half. We want a more robust end-to-end solution with increased market share. We want to grow.”

About The Author

[author_bio]

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.

Pairing Automates Asset Management

*Pairing Automates Asset Management*
**New Technology Offering**

pair***Carrington Technology Solutions, LLC and Equator, a provider of default servicing technologies, have partnered to provide financial institutions, institutional investors and large-scale property management companies with a scalable, end-to-end, single-family asset management suite dedicated to efficiently maximizing the performance of multiple-property portfolios. Through an exclusive agreement, RentPointe, Carrington’s proprietary software application specifically designed to meet the complexities of managing diverse portfolios of single-family rental properties, is being integrated into Equator’s EQ Investor Platform.

****RentPointe offers a specific advantage to property management companies tasked with managing multiple properties and groups of individual property managers. Delivering RentPointe as a software as a service (SaaS) solution through Equator will introduce this and other key advantages to a broader market and provide Equator’s EQ Investor Platform users with a robust, comprehensive system to more effectively meet their acquisition, property management and asset disposition needs.

****Equator’s EQ Investor Platform provides due diligence, acquisition, asset transfer, REO rental and REO disposition through its virtual Equator Marketplace to agents, vendors, tenants and investors via various market-specific portals. Integrating RentPointe within this platform provides multiple user-specific benefits, including a higher, more efficient workflow, access to Equator and Carrington data for net present value modeling, full transparency and audit compliance, in addition to providing an electronic marketplace for real-time management of vendor orders. Access to and delivery of RentPointe information will flow through Equator’s existing interface, creating a seamless experience for the end-user.

****“Understanding the growing need for a product that is both tailored to portfolio management and has the ability to manage multiple property managers, we designed RentPointe to be a ‘manager of managers’ software solution,” said Brent Rasmussen, Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer for Carrington Technology Solutions, LLC. “Offering RentPointe through this partnership presents a win/win as it marries Carrington’s operational expertise with Equator’s reputation as a leading technology solutions provider for the real estate and mortgage industries. Having worked closely with Equator in the past, both as a customer and as an integration partner, I’m confident that teaming up with them once again will result in a positive impact on the market.”

****“RentPointe was built from the ground up to meet our needs for managing geographically-dispersed portfolios of single-family rental units,” said Carrington Holding Company CEO Bruce Rose. “Over the past seven years, we have used the solution to optimize rental collections, provide in-depth analytics and effectively manage a portfolio of nearly 20,000 U.S. properties. Understanding the impact a solution such as this can have on the industry, we are pleased to be able to offer RentPointe to the growing market for single-family rentals.”

****RentPointe’s core portfolio management capability provides a fully scalable, Internet-based technology to manage every aspect of a rental property’s lifecycle – from acquisition through rehabilitation and lease-up to ongoing management. Vendor management, reporting and business analytics modules are included along with electronic document upload capability to enable lease and rental agreements, invoices and vendor contracts to be securely stored and reviewed online as necessary.

****John Vella, Chief Operations Officer for Equator, said, “Over the past few years, we’ve noticed an increasing demand for an application that allows people to more efficiently manage their single-family rental assets – and we’ve seen, first-hand, how Carrington has been able to do just that with RentPointe as a proprietary solution. By partnering with Carrington in this way, we are able to offer RentPointe to our existing customer base and quickly bring to market a solution the industry desperately needs.”

****Beyond its core capabilities, RentPointe offers these mobile and additional modules:

****>> User configurable workflow and task management

****>> Mobile access

****>> Customer electronic forms and documents

****>> Customer letter automation and print service

****>> HOA and property tax tracking and payment automation

****>> Electronic document storage and management

****>> Integrated accounting package with reconciliation and check modules

****The product, which is currently in pilot testing, will be available for commercial distribution on April 1.

Automating The Foreclosure Process

*Automating The Foreclosure Process*
**By Tony Garritano**

***Certainly dealing with the boat-load of foreclosures is an issue that isn’t going to go away. So, how do servicers keep up? There are good technology solutions on the market today that can help and there are new applications being launched literally everyday. For example, Equator, a default servicing technology provider, has launched EQforeclosure, a streamlined, transparent platform for managing the entire foreclosure process. EQforeclosure provides the foreclosure and bankruptcy teams at mortgage servicers with direct access to attorneys and other parties without the need of an outside third-party vendor directing the process. Here’s how it works:

****Until now, processing foreclosures and bankruptcies has been extremely difficult due to complex paperwork and extensive legal requirements, which can vary greatly by state and jurisdiction. As a result, many institutions have had little choice but to rely on third party vendors to manage the process. EQforeclosure presents a new option that facilitates compliance, tracking and reporting requirements. With EQforeclosure, servicers can customize the process to meet their individual needs, allowing for pre-foreclosure rule changes, state-by-state status configuration, and flexible report cards.

****“As we’ve seen from recent media reports, there have been some hard lessons learned by servicers and attorneys who process foreclosures through a third-party,” Equator CEO Chris Saitta said. “With EQforeclosure, we’ve eliminated the need for third-party involvement. The result is a much smoother, much more transparent workflow that leads to safer and faster outcomes.”

****Equator surveyed servicers and attorneys throughout the U.S. on what they needed in a foreclosure solution, prior to developing EQforeclosure. Like other Equator modules, EQforeclosure provides servicers with access to all of its attorney networks, 26,000 vendor companies nationwide through the EQmarketplace—the Equator platform used to electronically order and receive services in a secure, web-based environment. EQmarketplace integrates seamlessly with all major servicing and vendor platforms, and facilitates thousands of transactions daily, including REO sales, deed-in-lieu transactions, short sales and more.

****“The demand for a better foreclosure solution has skyrocketed with longer foreclosure timelines, increasing requirements from government entities, and the need to avoid ‘headline exposure,’” Equator COO John Vella said. “EQforeclosure gives servicers a much cleaner process that meets the strict demands of today’s environment. With EQforeclosure, Equator has truly become an end-to-end provider of default technology in the mortgage industry.”

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.

On The Move: Filling Key Positions

*Filling Key Positions*
**The Latest New Hires And Promotions**

***We need leaders. Our industry has gotten a black eye and we need some innovators that are not afraid to shake things up. For this reason, it’s good that David H. Stevens has agreed to stay on as President and CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association. Recently, Stevens indicated he planned to leave the association in order to accept a position at SunTrust Mortgage, a long-standing active MBA member. Those plans have now changed. Here’s the story on Stevens and another high-profile executive move at Equator:

****First, over the past several weeks, MBA’s leadership, members and staff impressed upon Dave the important role he was playing for the industry and his unique qualifications to lead the association. “The importance and significance of MBA’s voice during this critical time coupled with Dave’s experience and talents encouraged us to do all we could to retain him,” said MBA Chairman Michael W. Young.

****“The past few weeks have been extremely difficult for me personally and professionally. After serious thought and consideration, I simply cannot leave the MBA at such a critical time for the industry and the association.” Stevens said. “Frankly, at the end of the day, stepping away now when so much progress is being made and so much still left to be done, did not feel right.”

****“The officers and management of MBA could not be more pleased and supportive of Dave’s decision to stay.” said MBA Chairman-Elect, Debra W. Still. “Dave’s leadership and influence over the past year have been invaluable to our members and our industry. We are all looking forward to continuing the good work and forward momentum of the MBA with Dave at the helm.”

****“Going through this experience left me encouraged by the tremendous opportunity that lies within our industry and reinforced the essential component mortgage finance will continue to play in helping our nation’s economy recover.” Stevens noted.

****Second, Equator, a default servicing technology provider, has appointed Chris Crocker as vice president of real estate to oversee Equator’s solutions for real estate professionals. Crocker was selected as a key component of the company’s plan to increase use of its technologies that enable real estate agents and brokers to receive and fulfill transactions while managing property sales with greater efficiency and growing their businesses.

****Crocker is an experienced real estate professional in the residential and commercial sides of the business. He most recently served as vice president of operations for the southwest region of NRT, LLC, the parent of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, where he oversaw more than 100 Coldwell Banker branches and 6,000 real estate agents. Crocker was responsible for marketing, operations, mergers and acquisitions, training, and internal process improvement, as well as spearheading strategic partnerships and technology development within NRT and Realogy Corporation. Realogy is a global provider of real estate and relocation services that owns the Coldwell Banker, Sotheby’s International Realty, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, CENTURY 21 and ERA real estate brands.

****Crocker’s prior roles include vice president of corporate services for NAI Capital Commercial Real Estate, where he represented the Los Angeles affiliate of the world’s largest global commercial real estate services organization with more than 5,000 agents in 55 countries. A licensed real estate salesperson in California, he previously served on the California Association of Realtors’ Board of Directors as well as the C.A.R. Strategic Planning and Finance Committee.

****“We are in the midst of a major effort to build out and expand our solutions for real estate professionals,” said Chris Saitta, CEO of Equator. “This is a huge initiative for us and we’re very fortunate to have a leader like Chris, who has a depth and breadth of experience that few in the industry have. We’re looking forward to seeing his impact as we move toward our goals for our real estate agent solutions.”

On The Move: Hiring Mind Share And Market Share

*Hiring Mind Share And Market Share*
**Strategic Hires Dominate The News**

***Many may see this as a time to retrench. But that won’t prepare your company for the future. Companies like Equator get that message. “From government modification and refinance programs to shadow inventory, the servicing segment is facing challenges it couldn’t have imagined five years ago,” said Chris Saitta, CEO of Equator. “There is a great opportunity for us here and we are confident that Anna and Chuck will play a big role in helping us further our growth and expansion.” As a result, here’s the scoop on the new hires at Equator and a top lender:

****First, Equator, a default servicing technology provider, added two senior executives. Anna James was appointed vice president of marketing and Chuck Harkins has been selected as director of operations. The addition of these two executives is part of the company’s plan to further serve its client base and the marketplace; grow market share among lenders, servicers and real estate agents; and further solidify its position as industry’s leading default servicing technology provider.

****Ms. James, who brings more than 15 years of marketing experience to her post, will lead the company’s marketing efforts. Prior to joining Equator, Ms. James was an independent marketing consultant, whose clients include both global retailing and consumer apparel brands. In her multiple executive positions with Windermere Services Company, a real estate franchising company supporting over 300 franchises, 5,000 real estate agents, she grew the print and online direct mail program to $1.2 million in sales per year, and helped make it the most visited independent website in the real estate industry at that time. Her career includes positions with Tamarac, Inc., Amazon.com, and Zip2 Corporation.

****New Director of Operations Chuck Harkins is responsible for managing Equator’s growth from an operational perspective and ensuring that the company’s policies, procedures, and processes are consistent with the expectations of its clients. Mr. Harkins brings 18 years of experience in the mortgage and real estate industries to his post. He was previously executive vice president and chief risk officer at Occasio Rescap, a California-based real estate investment firm that specializes in distressed residential assets in California and Arizona. At Occasio Rescap, he oversaw and implemented initiatives such as a comprehensive pricing model for valuing distressed assets, investor reporting, and policies and procedures for the acquisition, due diligence, and settlement of trades. Mr. Harkins has held several executive positions in Lending Operations and Capital Markets with Option One Mortgage Corporation in Irvine, California, where he was responsible for credit policy, valuation, product development, risk-based pricing and performance analytics.

****Second, Carrington Holding Company, LLC has brought on Bill King as its Chief Investment Officer and Head of Asset and Risk Management. In this newly-created position, Mr. King will assume responsibility for its two investment-focused business units, Carrington Capital Management, LLC, an alternative asset management firm focused on control-based investing in the US real estate, mortgage and fixed income markets, and Carrington Investment Services, LLC, a registered broker-dealer with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

****Mr. King brings 20 years of experience in securitized products, and a broad range of trading knowledge including mortgages, asset-backed securities, collateralized-debt obligations and commercial mortgage backed securities. Immediately prior to joining Carrington, Mr. King was head of Securitized Products at Citadel LLC. Prior to that, Mr. King was co-head of Global Securitized Products at JP Morgan, where he previously held other executive positions, including head of US Securitized Products, head of Mortgage Trading and head of pass-through trading.