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LOS Acquisition Goes From Rumors To Fact

Rumors have circulated back since before the MBA Technology Show that LOS Mortgage Builder has been for sale. I heard those rumors personally, but have held back reporting until they become fact. As we all know, acquisitions can fall apart. Today I can report that Altisource has announced its intent to buy Mortgage Builder. Here’s why:

With this deal Altisource will further diversify its customer base by providing software solutions to leading mortgage banks, credit unions and financial institutions in the United States. Altisource recently also acquired Equator. The acquisition is expected to close within 30 days and is subject to customary closing conditions. No sale price was disclosed.

William B. Shepro, Chief Executive Officer of Altisource said in a prepared statement, “The addition of Mortgage Builder’s loan origination, servicing and electronic document management software enhances Altisource’s current portfolio which provides customers with one of the most comprehensive real estate and mortgage lifecycle management platforms and services marketplaces available. Mortgage Builder will join the Altisource family of businesses and operate within our Technology Services segment. Together, we will continue to develop innovative technology solutions that meet the evolving needs of the real estate and mortgage marketplaces.”

Keven M. Smith, Chief Executive Officer of Mortgage Builder said in a prepared statement, “Mortgage Builder and Altisource share a commitment to delivering a modern technology platform that enhances compliance while improving loan processing efficiency in both the retail and wholesale production channels.  Joining Altisource will enable us to combine forces toward the common vision of developing the industry’s most advanced and effective real estate and mortgage lifecycle management platform and marketplace. Going forward, our customers and partners will continue to experience the same dedication to innovation and customer support that they have come to expect from Mortgage Builder, enhanced by Altisource’s financial strength, stability and global resources.”

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.

LOS Players Have To Step Up

You Can Download This Entire Article As A PDF HERE

TME-TGarritanoWe all know this story: origination volume is going to decrease this year and interest rates are going to rise. In fact, the extent to which volume decreased in the first quarter was not predicted, it took a nosedive. Also, we’ve now transitioned away from a refi-heavy market to a purchase-heavy market.

What does this mean? It means that lenders are going to have to work harder for every deal. As a result, the good LOS systems are stepping in to help out. Recently we’ve seen prominent LOS players buy CRM systems and roll them into their core offering. Why are they doing this? Lenders need advanced CRM technology to help them win the battle for the borrower.

But it’s not enough to just buy a CRM, you have to tightly integrate it and repeatedly update it. For example, Mortgage Builder recently acquired LoanXEngine and have updated it quite a bit. LoanXEngine 7.0, the new and improved version, represents the culmination of the platform’s six years of highly praised and innovative work in bringing efficiency and cost savings to the mortgage origination sector and its borrowers.

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;

>> 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. “Whether using LoanXEngine, our Architect LOS and the Colonnade LSS together or independently, lenders now have options for excellence they never had before.”

Mortgage Builder is not alone. Ellie Mae also recently acquired a CRM, MortgageCEO and have been aggressively updating it. Ellie Mae launched Encompass CRM, an advanced customer relationship management (CRM) and marketing automation solution.

Encompass CRM, formerly MortgageCEO, is a scalable suite of automated sales and marketing tools that allows mortgage lenders to manage and market contacts in a compliant manner, leverage lead management and lead distribution capabilities and develop and manage relationships with Realtors, third-party originators or other trusted and valued relationships. Encompass CRM streamlines the process of converting leads to loans and eliminates the need to update multiple systems that can create data inconsistencies and introduce compliance and audit concerns for lenders.

Encompass CRM allows mortgage lenders to:

>> Promote compliance in all borrower communications.

>> Build and manage referral partner relationships with Realtors, homebuilders, financial planners, attorneys and others.

>> Manage future, former and current borrower contacts.

>> Manage, nurture and convert mortgage leads within Ellie Mae’s Encompass mortgage management solution.

>> Gain efficiencies with automated marketing campaigns.

>> Generate more purchase leads with online homebuyer marketing tools and interactive websites.

>> Stay in contact with clients across multiple loan channels.

>> Track the effectiveness of marketing and sales campaigns with comprehensive reporting capabilities.

>> Recruit and retain top mortgage professionals.

With Encompass CRM, a loan originator (LO) can quickly create marketing campaigns for prospects, customers and referral sources. Campaigns and emails can be automatically triggered at key milestones in the origination process or over the life of the relationship. Relevant, audience-specific content is available through a library of professional email templates or can be easily created. Online scheduling makes LOs more productive and prompts follow-ups and tasks. All contacts, marketing materials and scheduling can be accessed securely via any mobile device.

Encompass CRM helps lenders demonstrate the steps taken to oversee sales and marketing compliance. In the event of an audit or complaint, a lender will know who created the marketing piece, who approved the marketing piece, who sent it and who received it. This gives lenders much greater insight and visibility into their entire sales and marketing organizations.

Encompass CRM also tracks what prospective clients are doing on company websites, what pages they are visiting and what they are searching. This enables proactive companies to identify potential borrowers at the earliest possible opportunity.

Business managers can use Encompass CRM to build realistic forecasts, gain greater insight into their sales pipeline and monitor the effectiveness of individual and branch performance as well as marketing campaigns.

Unlike standalone CRM systems, Encompass CRM can be integrated into the Encompass platform so that data can move seamlessly and is stored in a single, secure system of record, eliminating data integrity issues. Currently, Encompass CRM is integrated through Ellie Mae’s software development kit. In the future, it will be fully integrated into the Encompass mortgage management software.

“Mortgage lenders are scrambling to make the transition from a refinance to a purchase market, but many do not necessarily have a specific plan of how to get there,” said Jonathan Corr, president and chief operating officer of Ellie Mae. “Advanced CRM and automated marketing tools are no longer nice to have, but rather, are a necessity to be competitive and to thrive. With Encompass CRM, mortgage lenders can be more productive, build relationships and drive purchase conversions. Furthermore, the capabilities within our CRM solution and our single system of record helps our clients stay compliant.”

So, the good LOS systems are expanding their capabilities to help lenders through these changing times.

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.

A New World

You Can Download This Full Article As A PDF HERE

TME-TGarritanoThe mystery surrounding what exactly happened at Ellie Mae to cause its system to go down continues to unravel. What Ellie Mae initially labeled “a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack” is now being called an outage that was “triggered by a confluence of factors involving network, hardware, software and demand for service.” Regardless of what happened, lenders deserve better. So, I went out to another LOS to see how they would handle this situation if it happened to the.

“Ellie Mae is a strong competitor,” said Keven Smith, President and CEO at Mortgage Builder. “We compete with them in almost every deal. We feel badly for the impacted lenders, but we also want to reach out to talk about our strategy. These attacks are nothing new. We’ve had attacks in the past and we’ve prevented them from disrupting our clients’ business.”

In the wake of this disaster, Mortgage Builder decided to be proactive and inform their clients about what would happen if Mortgage Builder found itself in Ellie Mae’s shoes. Can Mortgage Builder fend off what Ellie Mae called a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack? I obtained that letter. Here’s some of what Mortgage Builder said to explain to its clients what Mortgage Builder is doing to ensure their system doesn’t experience the same outage as Ellie Mae’s Encompass did:

“Based on this event we have had a handful of clients this week reach out to ask “can this happen to us” as a Mortgage Builder client. Although it does not entirely mitigate all the risks associated with doing Internet business, we already have in place system functionality and IT infrastructure that should put our customers at ease. We have two types of deployed LOS systems at Mortgage Builder:

>> Client Hosted – these are clients that host MB at their office locations or at a Co-Location facility of their choice. For these clients the software and data would not be affected by a DDoS attack on our MB hosting facility. One important differentiator between MB and most other LOS’s is that document preparation is embedded into the MB system and all interfaces are built directly to the vendor or provider of service and do not route through any middleware product hosted by MB. So in short, an MB DDoS occurrence would not affect a self-hosted MB customer in any way.

>> Mortgage Builder Hosted – These clients are hosted in one of our MB Co-Location facilities.  The Mortgage Builder environment provides multiple redundancies to provide constant uptime in the case of a DDoS attack. There are 5 Internet connections from multiple providers and an engineered routing policy to analyze, react, and mitigate Internet traffic in the event of a DDoS attack. When our Co-Location detects an abnormal spike or malicious network traffic directed at the target host (MB server), the mitigation routing policy is deployed and automatically routes the target’s IP address upstream to prevent saturation of the MB connection. The network returns to normal when the network event is over and the malicious packet stream has subsided. This DDoS defense is protecting our entire network (all products). With its protection your network will remain up, even during a dangerous network event.”

Let’s face it, lenders have been so focused on lowering volume and increased regulation, lenders don’t want to worry about technology. Lenders want to be on browser-based solutions in the cloud or fully Web-based systems and they don’t want to worry about it. That’s fine, but there are things that lenders have to look for in an LOS to make sure that their business is secure.

“We have clients paying per closed loan in a SaaS environment that opt to host the data themselves,” explained Smith. “We can also host the data on our servers as well. Our strategy is such that if our servers are down, the customer is still protected. Also, all of our interfaces go direct to the vendor, not through a platform like the Ellie Mae Network or another third party.”

Mortgage Builder touts that it can also transition clients from one model to another over just a weekend. “We can transition clients to a hosted model or they can transition back to a client-server environment if they feel more secure with that strategy given what happened with Ellie Mae. We can also offer disaster recovery solutions to those lenders that want to self host, but still want that security.”

And it’s not just LOS vendors that need to be prepared to transact in an Internet-based world. As the industry moves to a Web-based, Software as a Service model, these situations will persist. In a Web-based environment the vendor has to work overtime to protect sensitive information and fend off all kinds of issues that may cause the system to go down. The strongest vendors have mastered this skill. In fact, DocMagic, Inc. has said that its customers are expressing concern with the reliability of their mission critical technology systems and are asking for more information about system uptime from their vendors. Here’s what DocMagic tells its clients:

DocMagic has maintained these stats for its own company for many years and publishes its status, including uptime, processing time and bandwidth, in real time, on its website at: https://www.docmagic.com/webservices/status/main.jsp.

“We’ve always shared our uptime record with our customers because it’s just so important,” said Dominic Iannitti, CEO of DocMagic. “With uptime typically between 99.99 and 99.999%, our clients never have to worry about having access to the documents and compliance tools they need to close their loans. This type of uptime is not only possible, it’s critical to the fundamentals of mortgage lending. Companies that take customer service seriously do a good job of achieving the 99.99%+ uptime metric”

Iannitti pointed out that guaranteeing reliability involves investment in infrastructure, superior staff training, constant monitoring and an unwavering commitment to the task. He adds than any lender who has suffered through a service interruption knows exactly how important it is.

At DocMagic, uptime means that all company services are functional and available to its customers. It’s not just a measure of when the servers are turned on. To test this, DocMagic developed a proprietary system that sends complete transaction requests of all types through the system continuously, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. As these requests flow through the system, company technicians monitor over 1,000 data points that impact service delivery and quality. Any potential problems are identified and addressed before they can escalate and pose a risk to the entire system.

Measuring uptime with any method that does not include the actual delivery of the company’s service results in a meaningless metric that will not contribute to high service availability standards. Customers should require service providers to provide uptime information.

“Reliability is one of the most important qualities in a service provider,” Iannitti said. “DocMagic is fully transparent when it comes to service delivery uptime. Achieving the high level of uptime that we do is a major accomplishment, of which our entire organization is very proud. It means we are absolutely the best at what we do and we prove it to our clients every day.”

In the end every vendor is vulnerable to DDoS attacks and other issues, but the better vendors do everything possible to make sure their clients are not impacted.

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 A Good LOS To Do?

The mystery surrounding what exactly happened at Ellie Mae to cause its system to go down continues to unravel. What Ellie Mae initially labeled “a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack” is now being called an outage that was “triggered by a confluence of factors involving network, hardware, software and demand for service.” Regardless of what happened, lenders deserve better. So, I went out to another LOS to see how they would handle this situation if it happened to them.

“Ellie Mae is a strong competitor,” said Keven Smith, President and CEO at Mortgage Builder. “We compete with them in almost every deal. We feel badly for the impacted lenders, but we also want to reach out to talk about our strategy. These attacks are nothing new. We’ve had attacks in the past and we’ve prevented them from disrupting our clients’ business.”

In the wake of this disaster, Mortgage Builder decided to be proactive and inform their clients about what would happen if Mortgage Builder found itself in Ellie Mae’s shoes. Can Mortgage Builder fend off what Ellie Mae called a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack? I obtained that letter. Here’s some of what Mortgage Builder said to explain to its clients what Mortgage Builder is doing to ensure their system doesn’t experience the same outage as Ellie Mae’s Encompass did:

“Based on this event we have had a handful of clients this week reach out to ask “can this happen to us” as a Mortgage Builder client. Although it does not entirely mitigate all the risks associated with doing Internet business, we already have in place system functionality and IT infrastructure that should put our customers at ease. We have two types of deployed LOS systems at Mortgage Builder:

>> Client Hosted – these are clients that host MB at their office locations or at a Co-Location facility of their choice. For these clients the software and data would not be affected by a DDoS attack on our MB hosting facility. One important differentiator between MB and most other LOS’s is that document preparation is embedded into the MB system and all interfaces are built directly to the vendor or provider of service and do not route through any middleware product hosted by MB. So in short, an MB DDoS occurrence would not affect a self-hosted MB customer in any way.

>> Mortgage Builder Hosted – These clients are hosted in one of our MB Co-Location facilities.  The Mortgage Builder environment provides multiple redundancies to provide constant uptime in the case of a DDoS attack. There are 5 Internet connections from multiple providers and an engineered routing policy to analyze, react, and mitigate Internet traffic in the event of a DDoS attack. When our Co-Location detects an abnormal spike or malicious network traffic directed at the target host (MB server), the mitigation routing policy is deployed and automatically routes the target’s IP address upstream to prevent saturation of the MB connection. The network returns to normal when the network event is over and the malicious packet stream has subsided. This DDoS defense is protecting our entire network (all products). With its protection your network will remain up, even during a dangerous network event.”

Let’s face it, lenders have been so focused on lowering volume and increased regulation, lenders don’t want to worry about technology. Lenders want to be on browser-based solutions in the cloud or fully Web-based systems and they don’t want to worry about it. That’s fine, but there are things that lenders have to look for in an LOS to make sure that their business is secure.

“We have clients paying per closed loan in a SaaS environment that opt to host the data themselves,” explained Smith. “We can also host the data on our servers as well. Our strategy is such that if our servers are down, the customer is still protected. Also, all of our interfaces go direct to the vendor, not through a platform like the Ellie Mae Network or another third party.”

Mortgage Builder touts that it can also transition clients from one model to another over just a weekend. “We can transition clients to a hosted model or they can transition back to a client-server environment if they feel more secure with that strategy given what happened with Ellie Mae. We can also offer disaster recovery solutions to those lenders that want to self host, but still want that security.”

In the end every vendor is vulnerable to DDoS attacks and other issues, but the better vendors do everything possible to make sure their clients are not impacted.

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.

Have You Heard?

The story broke yesterday, but just in case you haven’t heard yet, Optimal Blue, a provider of pricing, point-of-sale, compliance and secondary marketing automation services for the mortgage industry, has acquired one of its competitors, LoanSifter, Inc., a provider of product eligibility and pricing, point-of-sale and marketing solutions for mortgage lenders. Here’s the story:

The sale price was not disclosed. Optimal Blue is clearly looking to establish itself as the dominant standalone pricing solution having acquired another competitor, Sollen, just recently. And this is probably a smart move given that major pricing vendors like ARC Systems, NYLX, and Commerce Velocity have all either been acquired or gone out of business. Similarly, leading LOS companies realize that this function really needs to be a core part of their system and firms like Ellie Mae, Calyx Software and Mortgage Builder have all acquired pricing vendors themselves and have successfully integrated them into the core LOS offering. The days of the standalone pricing vendor having a viable business may just be behind us.

As a result of the Optimal Blue acquisition of LoanSifter, LoanSifter’s operations, employees and customer relationships will immediately become a fully integrated part of Optimal Blue. The new company will have more than 1,500 customers, 200 employees and three offices nationwide with headquarters in Plano, Texas. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Founded in 2004, LoanSifter provides content and technology that is used daily by tens of thousands of mortgage professionals to search loan products and guidelines from more than 185 investors. LoanSifter offers a diverse suite of services to mortgage bankers, credit unions, community banks and brokers, including a managed-content pricing engine, point-of-sale solutions, marketing and automated quoting.

Larry Huff and Ivan Darius, co-CEOs of Optimal Blue said, “This is a rare opportunity to combine the strengths of two organizations with exceptional track records and capabilities and focus on the same mission, which is to more effectively provide innovative products and services to our combined customers.”

“LoanSifter’s commitment to innovation has helped lenders grow their business and streamline their origination process,” said Bruce Backer, former president of LoanSifter. “That commitment continues with this acquisition.”

Progress In Lending
The Place For Thought Leaders And Visionaries

The Proactive LOS Will Win Out

As they say, the early bird gets the worm. Similarly, the LOS that stays ahead of market dynamics will win out. For example, Mortgage Builder has upgraded to its LoanXEngine product eligibility and pricing technology in order to help lenders become more efficient in the hedging and secondary marketing aspects of their business. The enhancements come at a time when lenders are dealing with reduced profits and higher origination costs due to increased regulatory requirements and declining loan volume. Here’s the scoop:

LoanXEngine offers full eligibility, best execution pricing, CRM, lead management, rate watch, rate sheet generation and web point-of-sale in one web-based system. LoanXEngine was launched in 2007 by Alan Johnson, who sold the company to Mortgage Builder in late 2012 and serves as executive vice president and head of the LoanXEngine division of Mortgage Builder Software, Inc. The standalone LoanXEngine technology was also integrated into the Mortgage Builder Suite of products in 2013, joining the Architect LOS, the Colonnade LSS and their complementary modules to create a true “front end-to end-to end” mortgage technology platform.

LoanXEngine’s enhancements include upgrades to pricing reports that enable secondary marketers to obtain optimal financial execution in loan sales, whether on a per-loan or multiple loan basis. The latest release also includes a new report created to boost hedging efficiency and results, markedly improving profitability for its users through better secondary marketing outcomes. LoanXEngine’s new Hedge/Pricing Management Report displays current best execution on a loan or searches for pricing on a specific target rate, presenting investors by name, product and all loan level pricing adjustments for transactional precision and speed.

A recent report from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) showed that the third quarter of 2013 saw a 37 basis point drop in loan production profits for its members, the fourth consecutive quarterly reduction. It was especially alarming since it took the average profit per loan from $1528 in the second quarter down to $743, due to skyrocketing costs for quality control and compliance.

“Lenders are struggling to improve profitability, as shown by the report from MBA,” says Alan Johnson, who spent years developing the original LoanXEngine technology. “LOS systems like Mortgage Builder’s Architect can help them become more efficient by streamlining origination and eliminating paper, but improving the secondary marketing side of the business can have dramatic impact on profitability,” he notes. “LoanXEngine’s new capabilities are specifically designed to result in improved hedging and trades to enhance the bottom line at a time when production expenses are at record levels,” he says. “Whether lenders are using Mortgage Builder or another LOS, they can benefit substantially from the new improvements to LoanXEngine, particularly when the CFPB’s QM rules go into effect in January.”

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.

One LOS Takes Compliance Seriously

*One LOS Looks To Ensure Compliance*
**By Tony Garritano**

TonyG***Let’s face it, every lender is afraid of the new rules coming in January. As a result, Mortgage Builder, a provider of loan origination and loan servicing software systems (LOS and LSS), announced at our Third Annual ENGAGE Event significant upgrades to Architect, its flagship LOS platform. Architect was introduced late in 2012 as the newly named and re-architected version of the classic Mortgage Builder LOS, an industry favorite since its introduction in 1998. Here’s what they said:

****The upgrade, the second since its release, contains significant enhancements to address upcoming compliance requirements that go into effect at the start of 2014. Among the multitude of enhancements, the release includes additional screens and automation to address point and fees testing, ATR/QM verifications and ECOA appraisals/valuations. Mortgage Builder included these significant updates to provide its clients with adequate time to familiarize themselves with the new functionality and the necessary time to train staff so they can be ready when the new regulations go into effect in January. In addition, this December there will also be a Mortgage Builder Compliance Conference for clients to review and discuss the new functionality.

****“We understand that these new regulatory changes are a significant source of stress for lenders, so we’ve taken a proactive approach to help our customers prepare,” says Keven Smith, president and CEO of Mortgage Builder. “As with most changes, successfully navigating these new regulations will require having technology that is prepared to accommodate them, in addition to internal planning and training on the part of the lender,” he notes.

****“We are pleased to be bringing these enhancements to our clients well before the regulations go into effect.  In doing so, our clients will have adequate time to prepare, which should alleviate some of the related stress,” Smith says. He adds that the upgrades also include a number of enhancements designed to improve security, convenience, and the overall experience for Architect users. “But at this time, being ready for January’s changes is everyone’s main concern,” he says, “and as their technology partner, it’s important that our clients know we’re doing everything possible to be of assistance.”

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.

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.

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.

Today’s LOS Has To Do Everything

*Today’s LOS Has To Do Everything*
**By Tony Garritano**

TonyG***As we all know the LOS was designed to mimic loan documents initially. Today the LOS does much more and tomorrow the best LOS will do even more. My point is that the LOS can no longer just automated data collection and forms. Case in point, Mortgage Builder, the Southfield, Mich.-based provider of loan origination and loan servicing software systems (LOS and LSS), has officially re-named its loan servicing software platform. Many reporters in this space act as if this is just about putting a new name on an old piece of technology, but it’s much more. Here’s what I mean:

****The LSS platform G/Serv is now formally known as “Colonnade,” reflecting the theme of the company’s signature LOS, Architect, as well as several other components in the Mortgage Builder lineup. By way of background, the company acquired the loan servicing system last year from GCC, Mortgage Builder’s former parent company prior to spinning off 15 years ago. GCC’s servicing platform has been an enduring favorite of mid-tier mortgage lenders and community banks for decades.

****The real story isn’t just in the new name, it’s that this company is reinvesting in its product to offer a full lending solution. Not every private company has the resources to do what Mortgage Builder is doing. “We are investing significant resources in the continued development of Colonnade to enhance its capabilities as a standalone system, as well as a paired platform with the Architect LOS,” says Keven Smith, president and CEO of Mortgage Builder. “We’re finding that more mainstream lenders are interested in retaining servicing to both add revenue and control their own destinies in this uncertain regulatory environment. Cloud delivery makes it simple to implement and train new servicing department personnel, and those are key considerations in this emerging trend toward servicing.”

****“We selected Colonnade as the name of our servicing platform for its connotation of stability and support.” says Kelli Himebaugh, corporate vice president of Mortgage Builder. “Colonnade is designed to provide the structure servicing departments need and do the heavy lifting for them” she notes. G/Serv users will love the new look and feel of the platform, and servicing newcomers will be pleased to discover how far servicing software has come when they experience Colonnade,” she says.

****Colonnade’s new brand name follows Architect, Mortgage Builder’s newly released LOS, Blueprint, Architect’s advanced electronic document management feature, and Surveyance, its enhanced originator portal and mobile device module.

****Mortgage Builder is among the very few companies that offers lenders automation from initial customer contact all the way through to the final payment of the mortgage obligation, Smith points out. “As a privately held company, we are able to invest in constant improvement for our products rather than cater to the demands of shareholders, and that has been central to our success,” he says. “We answer to our customers, and our offerings reflect what they tell us about their needs.  More of them are needing servicing solutions that are cost-efficient, compliant and robustly featured,” he explains, “and that is how we’re delivering Colonnade.”

****Himebaugh stresses the advantages of having both the lender’s LOS and LSS share historical DNA and architectural design features. “Problems arise when origination systems try to communicate with servicing systems, even when integrations have been put in place. Fields don’t match, data elements don’t line up and manual intervention is often required,” she says. “Loans flow seamlessly from Architect into Colonnade, avoiding those issues because they are built to work together. It means that fewer financial and technical resources are required to achieve maximum lending automation efficiency.”

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.

Video Insights: ENGAGE Panelist Discusses The Future Of Mobile Technology

*Video: ENGAGE Panelist Discusses The Future Of Mobile Technology*

***What’s the future of mobile technology in our space? Over 100 mortgage executives gathered at the PROGRESS in Lending ENGAGE Event. They shared their views on the future of mortgage lending. One panelists addressed how mobile technology should be used when it comes to mortgage lending. Specifically, here’s what Kelli Himebaugh of Mortgage Builder had to say on this topic:
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTvKoJdFILg

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