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Joe Langner Moves To Blue Sage

Joe Langner, a mortgage technology veteran and former COO at Ellie Mae, has been named CEO of Blue Sage, developers of the mortgage industry’s first browser-based, end-to-end digital lending platform. Langner will be responsible for implementing the company’s strategic vision and establishing Blue Sage as the industry’s platform of choice for lenders seeking to provide every borrower a fast, efficient and unique mortgage experience.

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Langner has more than 25 years of executive experience in the financial services and software industries. A former COO, executive vice president and chief sales officer at Ellie Mae, Langner played a significant role in Ellie Mae’s initial public offering and helped transform Encompass, the company’s loan origination software (LOS), into an industry leader. Most recently, he served as president of PC Lender, a provider of SAAS mortgage lending solutions. Langner’s previous roles include general manager and executive vice president for Sage Inc., a leading, global ERP & CRM provider, and senior vice president at Dun & Bradstreet, where he oversaw the expansion of the company’s brand into the small business market.

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Blue Sage is a complete end-to-end digital lending platform built with the mortgage consumer experience in mind. A browser-based system with consumer-facing desktop and mobile applications, Blue Sage handles product pricing, underwriting and decision-making from the point-of-sale stage all the way to the closing and funding of the loan. Blue Sage enables direct lenders, retail lenders, wholesale lenders and correspondent lenders to increase capture rates, lower costs, ensure compliance and differentiate themselves by creating a modern, digital consumer experience.

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“Given Blue Sage’s recent growth, we needed a veteran mortgage technology leader who understood the challenges today’s lenders face and the demands of today’s mortgage consumer,” said Carmine Cacciavillani, founder and chairman of Blue Sage. “Joe has superior knowledge of the mortgage lending landscape and has successfully helped countless lenders adopt technology to improve efficiency and compliance. I can think of no one more equipped to take Blue Sage to the next level and revolutionize the way mortgages are produced.”

“Today’s mortgage lenders are at a crossroads, as very few are equipped with the type of all-in-one technology that allows them to truly give consumers the borrowing experience they are seeking,” said Langner. “Blue Sage has literally reinvented mortgage production, allowing borrowers and lenders to seamlessly collaborate and create a fast, intuitive digital mortgage process.  I joined Blue Sage because I know what lenders need from a technology solution, and Blue Sage is it.”

Progress In Lending
The Place For Thought Leaders And Visionaries

Refinances Remain Steady With Slight Uptick In Interest Rates

The percentage of refinances remained steady at 35 percent of total loans, despite a slight uptick in interest rates according to the August Origination Insight Report from Ellie Mae. Additionally, overall closing rates climbed to 71.7 percent, the highest since January of 2017 and up from 70.6 percent in July.

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“As the summer season drew to a close, refinances held steady at 35 percent of all closed loans coupled with a slight increase in interest rates to 4.27, up from the 2017 low of 4.25 in July,” said Jonathan Corr, president and CEO of Ellie Mae.

Other statistics of note in August included:

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>>The percentage breakdown of all closed loans remained steady for the third consecutive month with conventional loans representing 64 percent of all closed loans, FHA loans representing 22 percent of all closed loans, and VA loans representing 10 percent of all closed loans.

>>While the average FICO score on all closed loans remained steady at 724 in August, average FICO scores for FHA refinances increased three points to 649. The average FICO score for conventional purchase loans decreased to 752 in August and FICO scores for VA refinances increased two points to 702, up from 700 in July.

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>>Closing time for all loans fell to 42 days in August. Time to close a refinance decreased to 41 days, down from 42 days the month prior. Time to close a purchase loan remained at 43 days in August.

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.

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.

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.

StreamLoan Integrates Mobile-First Digital Application With LOS

LendingQB (LQB), a provider of lean lending loan origination software in collaboration with San Francisco-based StreamLoan, the mobile-first Point-of-Sale (POS) platform, have come to market with a new solution to provide lenders with a fully automated digital system, creating a best-in-class lender, borrower, and real estate agent experience.

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As a result of this integration, borrowers, loan officers, lender support teams, and real estate agents are empowered to start and manage a 1003 application and loan file, automate the collection of financial documents, share the financial needs list and underwriting conditions, review, approve, and push documents directly into LQB, and collaborate using chat in real-time across mobile and desktop platforms – driving speed, education, communication, and accuracy into the home purchase process.

There are many “mobile friendly” applications on the market, however they fall short in delivering the native mobile app experience customers expect and demand. StreamLoan offers native iOS and Android while delivering a responsive web to cover desktop, laptop, and tablet users.

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This is a first-of-its-kind integration between an LOS and a POS. “Pronto by StreamLoan addresses the emotional friction created in the home buying process with a higher level of communication and transparency with our borrowers,” said Jason Madiedo, President and Chief Executive Officer of Alterra Home Loans. “Our loan officers & their teams can now service their clients with Pronto, while utilizing the full potential of LQB.  This integration allows us to get back to the human side of lending, which is what our industry has been waiting for.  It would have required us licensing products from several software vendors, integrating them, to even come close to what the StreamLoan platform delivers.”

“Lenders must deliver the best customer experience to compete.  Further, our customers can close more loans in less time with fewer resources,” said Stephen Bulfer, CEO and co-founder of StreamLoan.  “There is a reason the average cost of manufacturing a mortgage is almost $8800 today.  Through our partnership with LendingQB, lenders gain efficiencies in their lending processes, create consistent processes, and are equipped to grow their business,” Bulfer continued.

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LQB’s platform provides mortgage lenders with a holistic model for optimizing business performance. The core LendingQB LOS is a fully web browser-based system that manages the entire mortgage lending process intuitively and efficiently. StreamLoan Mobile Office extends this capability to lenders, further expediting the origination process and allowing interaction with borrowers and other parties to the loan.

“Every lender faces a unique business challenge that can be addressed with the proper technology,” said Tim Nguyen, President at LendingQB. “With a configurable LOS like LendingQB, lenders can streamline their processes to create operational efficiency. By integrating our advanced technology directly with StreamLoan, loan officers are now equipped to process more applications in a consolidated manner, while also creating a more transparent experience for the borrower and the referring real estate agent.”

Progress In Lending
The Place For Thought Leaders And Visionaries

Partnership Automates The Calculation Of Title Settlement Fees

OpenClose has integrated with Timios, Inc., a national provider of title and settlement services to banks, financial institutions and mortgage lenders. The integration allows users to efficiently draw all title and settlement fees directly from within OpenClose’s LenderAssist LOS, eliminating data entry, saving time and ensuring fees are fully accurate and TRID compliant.

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Timios leads the title and settlement industry in pricing accuracy, successfully bringing the first RESPA compliant, free, instant guaranteed GFE calculator to market, and again delivering TRID compliance guaranteed pricing ahead of the industry. The company guarantees that all title settlement fees with Timios are disclosed accurately in the Loan Estimate (LE) for TRID compliance from the day of origination through the transmittal of the final disclosure to the consumer. OpenClose users can now leverage Timios’ proprietary pricing engine, instantly and seamlessly populating all relevant information within its LOS.

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“Timios is a natural fit with OpenClose, as our comprehensive solutions work very well together, providing transparency via their centralized fulfillment model to simplify the calculation of settlement fees,” says Vince Furey, SVP of lending solutions at OpenClose. “Further, both of our customer support models are very hands-on and responsive, which is a significant attraction to our mutual customers.”

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Trevor Stoffer, CEO of Timios added, “Timios is proud to partner with OpenClose to deliver the best pricing solution to lending partners throughout the country. Like OpenClose, Timios has built a reputation as an industry leader for innovation, and OpenClose is a natural partner in driving transparency and simplification into real estate transactions. OpenClose users will never face another loss from mistakes because Timios’ pricing data is instant, accurate, and guaranteed.”

Timios, Inc. is a California-based corporation and the country’s fastest growing title and settlement services company. Since its founding in 2008, Timios has serviced more than $30 billion in escrow closings and expanded into new markets throughout the country. In addition to fee calculations, Timios also offers a wide variety of title insurance products, escrow and settlement services, realtor and REO purchase, appraisal and valuation products and services.

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.

Radian Integrates With Path To Offer MI

PathSoftware’s  Path LOS is now integrated with Radian Guaranty Inc., the mortgage insurance (MI) subsidiary of Radian Group Inc.

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This direct connect integration allows Path users to obtain rate quotes and order MI on both a delegated and non-delegated basis, and submit documents without leaving their LOS. MI premiums are also auto-populated into the appropriate fields in Path to help streamline the MI ordering process, improving efficiency and productivity.

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“We’re proud to partner with a forward-looking loan origination platform like Path to make it even easier for lenders to do business with us,” said Brien McMahon, chief franchise officer at Radian. “This integration enables us to deliver real-time quotes and simplify the MI ordering process for current and prospective customers.”

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Path was designed to simplify and streamline mid- to enterprise-level, multi-channel loan origination. As a portal with a single point of entry, all loan data, lock data, products, pricing, automated underwriting system findings, loan estimate and closing disclosure documents emanate and are reconciled within one system. In addition, the LOS’s configurable workflows, with role-based functionality, provide visibility into every loan at every stage—so financial institutions can ensure their business rules are followed.

“Direct integrations with our partners are essential to streamlining the mortgage origination process for our customers,” said Doug Mitchell, director of sales and support at PathSoftware. “By partnering with Radian, our clients can now easily order MI directly from one of the nation’s top providers.”

Progress In Lending
The Place For Thought Leaders And Visionaries

Fiserv To Acquire The Assets of PCLender

Fiserv has acquired the assets of PCLender, LLC, a leader in next generation enterprise internet-based mortgage software and mortgage lending technology solutions. This acquisition will enhance the Fiserv suite of mortgage origination services, which enable Fiserv clients to deliver the experience today’s consumers and mortgage lenders expect. Financial terms will not be disclosed.

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Mortgage lenders operate in an evolving marketplace in which they are challenged to deliver a more efficient lending process in tandem with a compelling borrower experience. Fiserv is working to simplify today’s lending experience for financial institutions and borrowers, delivering powerful tools to originate, process, underwrite and deliver loans in a secure, paperless environment.

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“Rapidly evolving consumer expectations require a seamless approach to banking experiences, including mortgage origination,” said Jeffery Yabuki, President and Chief Executive Officer, Fiserv. “PCLender provides Fiserv with a full digital suite of mortgage origination solutions for banks, credit unions and mortgage lenders. We welcome the existing clients and talented team members to our company.”

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A complement to the existing Fiserv lending solution suite, these assets provide a set of simple, easy-to-use internet-based mortgage solutions for banks, credit unions and mortgage lenders. This fully managed, end-to-end solution simplifies origination, document collection and compliance reporting, streamlining consumer direct and retail mortgage and HELOC loan origination. The technology offers a feature-rich user experience and improved operational efficiency for mortgage lenders with existing resources. Supporting lenders of all sizes, PCLender provides solutions for lenders funding up to 5,000 loans per month.

“Joining Fiserv accelerates our ability to scale our solution, while simplifying solutions for every phase of the loan process to benefit our clients,” said Lionel Urban, Chief Executive Officer, PCLender. “We look forward to leveraging our combined expertise to deliver greater client value and an enhanced experience for their customers.”

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.

LOS Upgrade Embraces Innovation And Configurability

Wipro Gallagher Solutions (WGS), a Wipro Limited company, has released the latest version of its Loan Origination System (LOS), NetOxygen v5.0. NetOxygen v5.0 provides users such as loan officers, processors and administrators with more simplified innovation and configuration tools to meet lenders’ evolving needs and support next-gen lender transformation.

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In the first of a series of significant advancements designed to simplify innovation, NetOxygen v5.0 streamlines access to its Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) through the development of a Loan Gateway Service. The Loan Gateway Service enables direct data sharing between third-party partners and NetOxygen, accelerating the development and deployment of future-ready lending models.

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NetOxygen v5.0 also accelerates and simplifies configuration through a suite of easy-to-use self-service tools available to business users. The business tools enable lenders to address necessary and urgent business changes such as fee schemes, conditions, products, and user maintenance without intervention from the IT team.

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“The NetOxygen Loan Origination System has always offered innovation through unmatched flexibility and configurability, and we consider this flexibility to be of even greater importance to lenders in today’s highly competitive market”, said Scott Dunn, Head of Product Management and Compliance, Wipro Gallagher Solutions, Wipro Limited. He added, “Only now, NetOxygen offers the same level of innovation with greater simplification to minimize complexity, speed up the deployment of new features, and fuel future growth.”

Additional advancements to NetOxygen include greater configurability to the Rate Exception Screen, which supports a data-driven secondary marketing strategy by allowing for more granular exceptions based on key loan performance indicators such as loan quality, sale-ability, customer loyalty, and campaigns.

NetOxygen v5.0 also enhances workflow logic to improve transparency around performance and increase efficiencies within a lending operation. Clients can now use custom and granular workflow filters within NetOxygen to create more sophisticated business processes and assign work to the right business user or group based on specialization. The same logic enhances the NetOxygen Compensation Manager giving lenders the ability to track compensation based on specific loan characteristics and parameters. The enhancements have the potential to significantly improve accuracy, employee experience, and productivity within a lending operation.

NetOxygen v5.0 also incorporates hundreds of features and functions that cover standard and mandatory business and industry requirements such as Uniform Closing Disclosures (UCDs), expanded browser compatibility and additional enhancements for construction, wholesale, correspondent and consumer lending, and updates to reflect changes to Desktop Underwriter (DU) and Loan Product Advisor (LPA).

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.

Partnership Enables Efficient Home Equity Lending And LOS Integration

FirstClose, a provider of end-to-end technology solutions for refinance and home equity lenders nationwide, today announced a partnership with Pensacola, Fla.-based Pen Air Federal Credit Union. The partnership integrates FirstClose into Pen Air’s loan origination system (LOS), LoansPQ. A MeridianLink solution, LoansPQ integrates loan origination, core processing and internal banking software in almost any configuration.

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The integration with FirstClose provides the credit union access to an end-to-end refinance and home equity lending solution, as well as a vendor management system that eliminates duplicate data entry. Pen Air is able to easily order instant property reports, AVMs, desktop valuations, property condition reports and flood reports directly from its LOS. In addition, FirstClose will handle all closing and recording responsibilities on behalf of the credit union.

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“FirstClose’s unique, comprehensive solution provides an effortless way to process all home equity loans and home equity lines of credit,” said David Lancaster, VP of Lending, at Pen Air. “We pride ourselves on providing our members with the best possible service, and we’re looking forward to working closely with FirstClose to achieve this.”

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“We already value our partnership with Pen Air and look forward to helping Pen Air reduce closing times, cut costs and increase efficiencies,” said Tim Smith, co-founder and president of FirstClose. “Our goals align with Pen Air’s in that we are focused on providing the most accurate property information in an efficient and easy-to-use way.”

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.

LOS Expands Its Offering And Brand Awareness

OpenClose, a multi-channel loan origination system (LOS) and mortgage software solutions provider, has unveiled a new corporate website to better position the company’s expanded enterprise-class solution set, customer profile focus and long-term value proposition. Here’s the value proposition:

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“We’ve grown exponentially over the past five years, and as such, had a need to ensure that the positioning of OpenClose as a company and its products are in line with our corporate mission, business strategy, customer commitment and ongoing technology innovation efforts,” explains JP Kelly, president of OpenClose. “This new website is designed to clearly convey our comprehensive solution offering and our ability to cater to top 20 lenders that have multiple business channels and complex operations.”

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OpenClose offers a 100 percent browser-based LOS platforms that has multi-channel automation capability. The company’s LenderAssist LOS and other solutions were all engineered from the ground up using the same code base, and it has been owned and operated by the same principles since the company was founded in 1999. Unlike many LOS vendors, LenderAssist’s comprehensive end-to-end functionality was not created by way of multiple acquisitions, which typically rope together disparate technologies that can be prone to issues; or, via integrations with many third party vendors that are done in order to make up for system deficiencies.

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Vince Furey, SVP of lending solutions at OpenClose, stated:  “We have been boarding top-tier, very large lending entities that are successfully leveraging our LOS as a centralized platform to automate all business channels and workflows. Our new positioning showcases the immense power that OpenClose’s enterprise-class mortgage software solutions offer and how they are very flexible, scalable and well-supported by our staff. While we have the proven scalability to support the largest national lenders, OpenClose is really the ideal solution and long-term technology partner for any size lending organization.”

Key aspects of OpenClose’s value proposition include: quick implementations; custom-configurable with easy set up; seamless workflow-driven automation with no manual intervention; fully web-based with no installs whatsoever; fully SaaS and Cloud-based technology; proven scalability; single code; hands-on implementations and system training; and second to none, boutique-style customer support.

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.

Calyx Launches New Portfolio Underwriting Capability

Calyx Software has launched Portfolio Underwriter, an automated underwriting system (AUS) from LoanScorecard. This service is now available to Point and PointCentral clients. Portfolio Underwriter allows portfolio lenders to customize credit decisioning and safely originate non-agency loans that they intend to put on their balance sheets.

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It captures a portfolio lender’s program guidelines within its engine and delivers a rules-based underwriting decision in seconds. Results of the decision are documented in a findings report. This report includes program-specific, conditional underwriting criteria utilized in the data analysis.

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Portfolio Underwriter seamlessly integrates with Calyx Point and PointCentral loan origination systems. The connection facilitates bidirectional data flow and provides a single system of record for all loan documentation. Centralization of processes and documents streamlines preparation for audits, board reviews and regulatory submissions.

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The solution helps portfolio lenders by:

>>Providing a mechanism to safely and easily communicate underwriting criteria for new niche products.

>>Conducting extensive loan file data checks and in-depth credit report reviews.

>>Allowing them to manage exceptions based on valid compensating factors on the loan, rather than loan officer “discretion.”

>>Ensuring consistent, transparent credit policy application to demonstrate Fair Lending and improve efficiency.

“Manually underwriting portfolio loans not only exposes lenders to Fair Lending issues, but is also time consuming and costly,” said Ben Wu, Executive Director at LoanScorecard. “By incorporating automated technology like Portfolio Underwriter, portfolio lenders using Point and PointCentral can improve efficiency by streamlining decisioning for their unique programs and focus on more complex transactions.”

“The predominant focus of Fair Lending violations is how and why loans were approved; therefore, it is critical to have an AUS in place to demonstrate the standard practice of quality underwriting,” said Bob Dougherty, Vice President of Business Development at Calyx Software. “While lenders are certainly familiar with agency AUSs, they are also aware of gaps in automated decisioning for their portfolio products. Portfolio Underwriter helps lenders who originate portfolio loans automatically determine the appropriate response for their institution—ensuring compliance with Fair Lending at the point of sale and in the underwriting process.”

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.