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BSI Financial Services Launches New Mobile App for Borrowers

BSI Financial Services, a mortgage-centric financial services company providing mortgage servicing and special servicing, has released a new mobile app that enables borrowers to manage their mortgage loans using tablet and mobile devices. The technology was designed and built in-house by BSI Financial software engineers.

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“Offering borrowers digital access to their loan information affords them greater choice and control in managing their loan obligations,” said Gagan Sharma, president and CEO of BSI Financial. “The functionality available in our mobile application satisfies a growing demand for convenience in financial management while providing us a foundation for future innovation,” he added.

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Using BSI Financial’s mobile app, borrowers can verify loan payments, view transaction history and identify future payment dates and amounts. They can also make one-time or ongoing loan payments using Automated Clearing House (ACH) functionality.

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Requests for loan verification and pay-off statements can be made using the app, with the option of fax or postal mail delivery.

Borrowers in default can monitor events and milestones in the loss mitigation process and communicate with their BSI Financial representative.

“These real-time capabilities enable us to resolve loans in loss mitigation faster than traditional phone-and-mail processes,” explained Sharma.

Progress In Lending

The Place For Thought Leaders And Visionaries

LOS Eyes Workflow And User Experience Updates

Wipro Gallagher Solutions (WGS), a Wipro Limited company, has released the latest version of its Loan Origination System (LOS), NetOxygen v5.1. “We are constantly updating our system to keep pace with the evolving industry landscape, while adding innovative efficiencies to enhance lenders’ speed, productivity and accuracy throughout the entire lending process,” said Scott Dunn, Head of Product Management and Compliance, Wipro Gallagher Solutions. NetOxygen v5.1 takes this agenda forward through many features that have been introduced in the LOS, that include:

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>>NetOxygen v5.1 provides a loan overview feature to offer users a bird’s eye view of various attributes of a loan in the form of a dashboard. It also provides users the ability to look at various conditions associated with the loan and indicates the category of a condition, when a condition is due and the status of the condition.

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>>As part of WGS’ continued focus to expand its list of service providers, it has added several interfaces to fully integrate with Fannie Mae’s Day One Certainty and help lenders process loans in a more automated and streamlined fashion, while enabling a quicker time to close.

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>>NetOxygen v5.1 offers several new self-service tools to enable lenders to perform certain configuration tasks by themselves, thereby boosting operational efficiency and reducing time to market. These features include product and pricing setup, conditions configuration, configurable fee matrices and a user management tool.

>>This version features a well-defined API that allows more seamless integration of third-party applications and several technology updates designed to enhance performance of operations and the user experience.

>>In addition to the system’s numerous workflow feature updates, the 5.1 version integrates a combined correspondent and wholesale portal to offer a more simplified experience pertaining to the processing of loans that originate from the correspondent and wholesale channels.

>>NetOxygen v5.1 Platform also supports the WGS SaaS offering which provides regional and mid- market lenders lower cost of entry, scalability and reduced time to market. NetOxygen’s SaaS offering will keep lenders up-to-date with upgrades and security patches while ensuring best-in-class system uptime.  It offers a pay-as-you-go variable cost model to help lenders reap the benefits of the platform without significant upfront investments. Clients on the SaaS offering will be able to take advantage of the all the powerful features of NetOxygen including multichannel support, self-service tools, and expanding partner ecosystem.

>>Finally, NetOxygen v5.1 fully complies with the latest industry regulatory changes. The expanded set of reportable fields as set out in HMDA 2018 is fully supported, and the new version incorporates changes to the format and number of fields within the HMDA Loan Application Register (LAR). This updated version is also fully compliant with the Uniform Closing Dataset (UCD) mandate, providing a common dataset for loan deliveries to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as part of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Closing Disclosure. Other compliance changes include Military Lending Act updates, Desktop Underwriter version 10.1 updates, a revised Cash Flow Analysis worksheet (Form 1084) and Single Housing Guaranteed Income Limits table updates.

“Our innovations are designed to not only meet the regulatory and workflow demands of our valued customers, but also give them a competitive edge to fuel future growth,” said Alok Bansal, Vice President and Business Head of Wipro Gallagher Solutions. “We are very excited about our SaaS offering that will substantially improve lenders’ efficiencies and help them drive digital transformation with the NetOxygen platform,” he added.

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.

ATTOM Acquires Onboard Informatics

ATTOM Data Solutions has acquired Onboard Informatics, a provider of neighborhood data and data-enabled turnkey products to the real estate industry.

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“Onboard has a long and accomplished track record as an innovator in enhancing and democratizing neighborhood data assets, paralleling our own mission of powering real estate transparency,” said Rob Barber, CEO at ATTOM Data Solutions. “This acquisition will benefit existing customers of both companies — and the entire marketplace — by providing complementary datasets in a one-stop data shop.”

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Onboard’s neighborhood data is being integrated into the ATTOM Data Warehouse, which blends property tax, deed, mortgage, foreclosure, environmental risk, natural hazard, and neighborhood data for more than 155 million U.S. residential and commercial properties. A persistent, unique ID assigned to every property record in the ATTOM Data Warehouse — the ATTOM ID — will be used to link the new Onboard neighborhood data with all other datasets, and the combined data will be available through ATTOM’s flexible delivery solutions, including bulk file license, APIs and customized reports in a one-stop data shop.”

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“This acquisition by ATTOM will enable Onboard’s customers to conveniently access robust tax, deed and mortgage data, that, when combined with Onboard’s neighborhood data, completes the full property data picture needed to improve decision-making, increase lead generation and grow revenue,” said Marc Siden, CEO and Co-founder of Onboard Informatics.

Founded 15 years, ago, Onboard Informatics fuels sales and feeds decision-making for some of the largest U.S. brands, including Century 21, Coldwell Banker and Weichert. Its data products include area data (neighborhood, metro and residential boundaries along with school attendance zones), point of interest data (restaurants, banks, shopping and more), and community data (crime, population, education, weather and commuter times).

“Not only will our customers now be able to access a broader set of property-related data from one vendor, they’ll also have more flexible options for consuming that data through the various ATTOM data delivery solutions including the ability to consume neighborhood data as bulk files,” said Jonathan Bednarsh, president and co-founder of Onboard Informatics.

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.

Five Factors To Consider In 2018 That Could Cause Housing To Be Stuck In A Rut

With the roller coaster 2017 housing year behind us, let’s look beyond the numbers and examine some lessons learned and look at areas that if addressed properly could mean even more success for 2018. Looking at the big numbers including purchase volume and prices, you would have to conclude it was a great year from a new purchase perspective. But there are undercurrents that indicate we have perhaps cannibalized today for the future.

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Like the rush of refi’s from the past few years that have steadily fallen in 2017 – currently at the lowest levels in 16 years– we may have reached a peak in new purchases – at least for a while. Why? The housing industry could be facing a bit of a rut. Consumers who can afford today’s homes have likely already locked in and those who have not, may choose to sit it out for a while. Let’s take a deeper look at the issues we might continue to face in 2018.

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1.) Potential home sellers do not want to become homebuyers

Housing inventories have been at a record low for the better part of 2017. We have what’s been dubbed the best sellers’ market ever with 79 percent of the homeowners in America say “now is a good time to sell,” according to the latest ValueInsured Modern Homebuyer Survey. But, with home prices are at a record high; many potential sellers simply do not want to be buyers after they sell their homes. In fact, some homeowners who would want to sell admit to “feeling stuck,” with 63 percent saying now is a good time to sell but not to buy due to those same high home prices and 61 percent of all homeowners who want to sell soon say they are “waiting until prices to buy are better to make a move.” At today’s high home prices – and many overvalued according to other industry data– it is less expensive for many homeowners to just stay put. This is particularly true based on the fact the industry had record high refinance volumes just last year. This points to the fact that many potential sellers have recently refinanced making it unlikely that they will be willing to give up their historically low mortgage rates.

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2.) Renting is no longer an attractive alternative for homeowners

In the not-so-distant past, if home sellers got sticker shock from the home prices, they would consider selling and then renting. This is particularly true in cases of empty nesters who wanted to downsize, and enter retirement or a new phase of their life that included traveling more and being at home less. But rents now are also at a record high, and people lose the flexibility and control of homeownership. Studies have shown once converted to homeowners, Americans rarely go back to renting believing that it is a better lifestyle or financial alternative. It is true that in times when rents are more affordable, homeowners could have the option to sell at a hefty profit and rent for a while until they purchased another home. But at today’s high rent prices, interim renting may no longer seem like a good strategy. After all, according to ValueInsured’s latest survey, 81 percent of all Americans and 89 percent of homeowners say owning is more financially beneficial than renting.

3.) There are other expenses competing for a buyer’s budget

This has always been historically true, but likely more so today and in the months to come with reports of millennials financing everything from bedsheets to concert tickets. And do not forget about those expensive avocado toasts and bachelor parties on top of spending on such items as iPhones and other electronics as well as cable bills to watch Game of Thrones and student loan debt. At the same time, wage growth remains sluggish and nowhere near the growth rate of home prices. Compared to their parents, today’s homebuyers have more essentials and exponentially far more non-essentials competing for their budget. When value for the dollar is not there for new homebuyers, they suffer from buying inertia before committing to a mortgage.

4.) Homebuyers remember

At least some do. There are certainly homebuyers buying at today’s record high prices, but there are also others who have retreated and remember well their own personal experience in 2007/2008 or at least that of a loved one, neighbor or co-worker. The sad truth is it certainly would not take the “six degrees of Kevin Bacon” for any homebuyer today to recall anyone they know who suffered greatly – or even had their entire personal wealth wiped out – in the last housing crisis. In many of the country’s top real estate markets, you do not need to go further back than six years – or in some cases two years – to remember the last market correction. Some people might say a short memory is important for getting back up and trying again after a failure but that may only be true if you do not have your entire life’s savings and your family’s future on the line. Regardless of academic or policy talking heads saying a bubble is unlikely, this more fiscally conservative generation remembers, with nearly 6 in 10 Americans (59 percent) believing another 2008-style housing crisis could happen again in their lifetime and 65 percent of all millennial homebuyers saying they are concerned about buying high. So they wait to buy a home.

5.) Lack of innovation

Now in 2018 – three quarters of a century since most of our grandparents got their first home mortgage – assuming a digital mortgage or slick online portal is innovative for our industry is simply laughable, and a disservice to our customers. It has been at least 17 years since we all expected everything to be simple, digital and quick – it’s the price of entry, already baked in, even if you want to sell groceries. Today’s parents routinely watch their toddler walk up to a poster and attempt to swipe and change the picture, only to be puzzled when the image is not dynamic. Our industry needs to go beyond eye candy to meet the emotional needs of buyers. Homebuyers do not necessarily understand the buying process from all the logistical, technical standpoints – nor should it be their job to do so – but their everyday experience prepares them to expect consumer empowerment, convenience, turn-key gratification and a brand relationship mostly devoid of loyalty. Homebuyers will price shop their home loans, just as they do everything else, until they see real differentiation and consumer empowerment. So glossing over the process is not the answer.

Loan officers and real estate brokers need to bring value-adds to preempt cold feet, calm buyers’ jitters in today’s bubbling market and offer long-term solutions that give buyers greater control of their homeownership experience beyond matching – or shaving – points and rates. This is the first line of opportunity to rebuild trust and confidence in the mortgage industry.

We have our work cut out for us in the coming years. More immediately with the promised regulatory and economic changes, our industry will be tasked with drastically changing the home buying process, interactions with and offerings to consumers. The next generation of homebuyers is looking for trusted advisors who can look out for not only their current transaction but their financial future. And when you can deliver that, expect a repeat serial buyer customer and more referrals to come because the next generation of consumers also relies heavily on reviews and referrals to make their purchase decision. With your phone (likely an iPhone X, not a desk phone) ringing off the hook (or rather, social media notification going off), with innovation and progress in lending, at least your business will not be stuck in a rut.

About The Author

Joe Melendez

Joe Melendez is founder and CEO at ValueInsured. During his career, Melendez has specialized in building substantial relationships and developing strong business alliances that help bring innovation to the financial market. His focus at ValueInsured is to reignite the home purchasing process by focusing on the specific need to protect the homebuyer’s down payment.

Integration Furthers Digital Construction Lending

Built, a provider of secure, cloud-based construction lending software, is being integrated with Black Knight’s LoanSphere platform. Black Knight is a provider of integrated software, data and analytics solutions that facilitate and automate many of the business processes across the homeownership lifecycle. The Built integration will provide digital management on any construction loan using loan data from Black Knight’s two core LoanSphere systems: the LoanSphere Empower loan origination system and the LoanSphere MSP servicing system.

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Demand for construction loans has increased with owner-occupied products and renovation markets poised for continued growth. In the past, the administrative burdens of construction loans have been a significant barrier for many lenders because of the manual processes required for spreadsheets, phone calls, email threads and other loan-related communications. With the integration between Black Knight and Built, any construction loan can be digitally managed throughout the loan life cycle – from origination through servicing.

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“We are excited to add Black Knight to our Strategic Alliance Network. Both Empower and MSP are industry-leading enterprise solutions, and this integration will provide a complete, seamless experience from loan origination through construction,” said Built President and CEO Chase Gilbert. “As construction lending heats up across the country, the timing of this integration couldn’t be better for the industry.”

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LoanSphere is Black Knight’s end-to-end platform of integrated software, data and analytics supporting the entire mortgage and home equity loan lifecycle – from origination to servicing to default. The platform delivers business process automation, workflow, rules, and integrated data throughout the loan process, providing a better user experience, cost savings and support for changing regulatory requirements.

“Both lenders and servicers will benefit greatly from Built’s integration with LoanSphere, which connects lending functions and data to help clients reduce risk, improve efficiency, and drive financial performance,” said Black Knight President Joe Nackashi. “Built’s technology complements these capabilities by offering real-time data access to improve the overall experience between mortgage professionals, builders and their borrowers.”

Progress In Lending

The Place For Thought Leaders And Visionaries

Docutech’s Harry Gardner Elected Chair Of ESRA Board Of Directors

Harry Gardner, executive vice president of eStrategies for Docutech, was named chair of the board of directors for the Electronic Signatures and Records Association (ESRA) for 2018. Gardner has participated in ESRA’s activities since its inception and joined the organization’s board of directors in January of last year.

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ESRA was founded in 2006 with the mission to lead and advocate the use of electronic records across multiple industries. The organization strives to develop and promote progressive eSignature-related public policy as well as inform and educate its members, lawmakers and the general public on changing regulations. ESRA currently comprises approximately 40 member-companies and organizations of electronic signature and document technology providers and users across the globe.

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“I’m honored to have been elected to serve as chair of the board of directors for 2018 and pleased to help ESRA as we move forward in this very critical year,” said Gardner. “Of course, improvement is always the main goal. We’re constantly looking to build up ESRA’s membership and to further expand our legislative and educational impact to see the full realization of the value proposition of eSignature technology across industries.”

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Gardner joined Docutech in 2016, building on more than 18 years of mortgage technology experience and standards development leadership. A leading player in the development of and education around mortgage technology standards, Gardner has written articles for many publications, including a series inMortgage Banking Magazine as the “eMortgage Evangelist.” At Docutech, Gardner collaborates with the leadership team to define and execute the electronic document and eSignature product strategy.

Progress In Lending

The Place For Thought Leaders And Visionaries

Next-Generation Valuation Management Software Platform For Commercial Lending Launches

Global DMS launched EVO-Commercial (EVO-C). The new platform is 100 percent configurable, fully customizable, quick and easy to implement, eliminates numerous steps in the workflow process, lowers system maintenance costs and empowers end-users as well as management teams, among many other efficiency gains.

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“EVO-C solves a number of major pain points and challenges that have been ailing the commercial lending space for years,” says said Vladimir Bien-Aime, president and CEO at Global DMS. “Commercial lenders have grown accustomed to dealing with manual processes or limitations of outdated, inflexible technology that prevents them from optimizing their valuation processes. The feedback we have received from commercial lenders thus far is that EVO-C eclipses and outperforms the current solutions which they are continually burdened with.”

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The EVO-C platform delivers immediate ROI to lender clients by reducing the cost to acquire, manage and review collateral valuations reports. The solution creates a competitive bidding environment where vendors are encouraged to focus on quality, communication, cost and turnaround time. Managers are easily able to monitor their pipelines in real-time for overall performance to drive down costs, remove road-blocks and create a positive experience for their customers.

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Key EVO-C Benefits:

>>Implementations can be completed in just days or weeks – not months

>>EVO-C is so intuitive and easy to understand that minimal training is required

>>Completely workflow-driven powered by a highly configurable business rules engine that does not require development or IT resources to update

>>Detailed custom reports can easily be created by business users and dynamically output on an ad hoc basis for management

>>Drag and drop capability allows for multiple large files to swiftly be transferred and auto-populated, saving immeasurable amounts of time

“We spent a great deal of time working closely with lenders to perfect a breakthrough platform that is loaded with features and functionality, which commercial lenders have never seen before,” said Michael Quaranto, chief information security officer and vice president of technology at Global DMS. “EVO-C was engineered to be hands down the most flexible, configurable and extensible commercial lending valuation management platform available on the market. We are extremely excited to demonstrate the jaw-dropping power EVO-C offers.”

Global DMS is an established enterprise-class software provider that also offers a widely-used, residential lending valuation management platform, eTrac, which seamlessly automates all aspects of the process. eTrac supports lender compliance with changing state-based rules, federal laws, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Dodd-Frank Act.

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.

Early-Stage Mortgage Delinquencies Rise After Hurricanes

According to data from CoreLogic, nationally, 5.1 percent of mortgages were in some stage of delinquency (30 days or more past due including those in foreclosure) in October 2017. This represents a 0.1 percentage point year-over-year decline in the overall delinquency rate compared with October 2016 when it was 5.2 percent.

As of October 2017, the foreclosure inventory rate, which measures the share of mortgages in some stage of the foreclosure process, was 0.6 percent, down 0.2 percentage points from 0.8 percent in October 2016. The foreclosure inventory rate has held steady at 0.6 percent since August 2017, the lowest level since June 2007 when it was also at 0.6 percent.

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Measuring early-stage delinquency rates is important for analyzing the health of the mortgage market. To monitor mortgage performance comprehensively, CoreLogic examines all stages of delinquency as well as transition rates, which indicate the percentage of mortgages moving from one stage of delinquency to the next.

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The rate for early-stage delinquencies, defined as 30-59 days past due, was 2.3 percent in October 2017, down 0.1 percentage points from 2.4 percent in September 2017 and up 0.1 percentage points from 2.2 percent in October 2016. The share of mortgages that were 60-89 days past due in October 2017 was 0.9 percent, up 0.2 percentage points from 0.7 percent in both September 2017 and October 2016. The serious delinquency rate, reflecting loans 90 days or more past due, in October 2017 was 1.9 percent, unchanged from September 2017 and down 0.4 percentage points from 2.3 percent in October 2016. The 1.9 percent serious delinquency rate in June, July, August, September and October of this year marks the lowest level for any month since it was also 1.9 percent in October 2007.

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“After rising in September, early-stage delinquencies declined by 0.1 percentage points month over month in October. The temporary rise in September’s early-stage delinquencies reflected the impact of the hurricanes in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico, but now the impact from the hurricanes is fading from a national perspective,” said Dr. Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic. “While the national impact is waning, the local impact remains. Some Florida markets continue to see increases in early-stage delinquency transition rates in October, reaching 5 percent, on average, in Miami, Orlando, Tampa, Naples and Cape Coral. Texas markets such as Houston, Beaumont, Victoria and Corpus Christie peaked at over 7 percent in September, but are on the mend and improving in October.”

Since early-stage delinquencies can be volatile, CoreLogic also analyzes transition rates. The share of mortgages that transitioned from current to 30 days past due was 1.1 percent in October 2017, down from 1.3 percent in September 2017 and up from 1 percent in October 2016. By comparison, in January 2007, just before the start of the financial crisis, the current-to-30-day transition rate was 1.2 percent and it peaked in November 2008 at 2 percent.

“While the national impact of the recent hurricanes will soon fade, the human impact will remain for years. For example, the displacement and rebuilding in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina extended for several years and altered the character of the city, an impact that still remains today,” said Frank Martell, president and CEO of CoreLogic. “The reconstruction of the housing stock and infrastructure impacted by the storms should provide a small stimulus to local economies. This rebuilding will occur against a backdrop of wage growth, consumer confidence and spending in the national economy which should continue to provide a solid foundation for real estate demand in the storm-impacted areas and beyond.”

Progress In Lending

The Place For Thought Leaders And Visionaries

Banking On Technology

As we have seen, technology does make a difference. It makes the mortgage process more efficient and these days lenders need to strive for maximum efficiency. We can also see the value of technology when investors start funding these newer industry players. For example, Roostify announced the completion of a $25 million Series B round of financing. The round included new investments from Cota Capital, Point72 Ventures, and Santander Innoventures, the venture capital arm of Banco Santander, as well as additional funding from previous investors JPMorgan Chase, Colchis Capital, and a subsidiary of USAA. The new funds will power the company’s ambitious growth goals, including a deeper presence in the enterprise space, rich product enhancements, and expansion into new markets.

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“We were immensely impressed with what Roostify has accomplished in the last four years,” said Bobby Yazdani, Cota Capital’s Managing Partner. “Roostify has evolved not only their own offering and product focus, but the market as a whole, helping the lending industry transform itself for the digital age. We’re pleased to be a part of that transformation, and look forward to seeing Roostify and the industry continue to move forward.”

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Launched in 2014 with the aim to speed up the mortgage process and eliminate paper-bound inefficiencies, Roostify has grown into an enterprise-class digital lending platform used by lenders across the US to accelerate, simplify, and reduce costs around the origination process. Roostify’s cloud-based, API-enabled, partner-friendly solution allows lenders to offer their clients a seamless, branded experience from searching to closing their home loan. With the additional resources provided by the Series B financing, company leadership plans to accelerate delivery of its roadmap and drive market expansion.

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“Four years ago, Roostify was a pioneer in moving the consumer home lending experience online. We sought to deliver an offering that we would experience ourselves for our own home purchases,” said Rajesh Bhat, co-founder and CEO of Roostify. “Since then, a digital strategy has evolved from an ambition to a business imperative for our customers. Lenders now realize the value of providing consumers with a transparent, mobile, and seamless experience to obtain a loan without needless stress-inducing delays and red tape. We have developed a solution that allows lenders of all sizes to give their teams a tool to digitally engage with clients and to bring the loan origination experience to the consumer.”

Roostify has made several recent moves to expand the platform beyond the core loan application and processing experience. The company recently announced an integration with LendingTree, which enables consumers to shop for a loan and then get that loan with their preferred lender in just a few clicks, and previously introduced the new Decision Builder tool to improve education for consumers and lead quality for lenders.

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.

Refinances Remain Ready Among Millennials

Refinances among Millennial borrowers regained their popularity in the fourth quarter of 2017, according to the latest Ellie Mae Millennial Tracker. December was the third straight month refinances accounted for 15 percent of all closed loans for Millennial borrowers – the highest percentage of refinances for this demographic since February 2017’s annual high of 17 percent. The percentage of closed purchase loans remained at 84 percent, decreasing from June 2017’s peak of 90 percent.

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Specifically, the percentage of Conventional refinances remained at 19 percent, holding steady since October, while FHA refinance loans stayed at six percent from the month prior. The percentage of Conventional purchase and FHA purchase loans also remained the same from November to December at 80 and 94 percent, respectively.

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“With seasonality and low inventory levels at the end of the year, Millennial borrowers continued to take advantage of refinance options during the fourth quarter,” said Joe Tyrrell, executive vice president of corporate strategy at Ellie Mae. “Many may have been driven by a desire to take advantage of low interest rates given uncertainty about potential rate hikes in the new year.”

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Other statistics of note for Millennial borrowers in December included:

>>The average 30-year note increased slightly from 4.18 in November to 4.22 in December, still lower than 2017’s highest monthly average of 4.34 in April.

>>The average time to close all loans held at 44 days in December.

>>Average time to close a refinance held at 45 days, while the time to close a purchase also remained flat at 42 days, the same since June 2017.

>>Average FICO scores for all closed loans fell one point from the month prior to 722.

The top Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) for Millennials by percentage of mortgage loans closed in December included Casper, Wyo. (71 percent), Williston, N.D. (63 percent), as well as Victoria, Texas and Mount Pleasant, Mich. (both 61 percent).

The Ellie Mae Millennial Tracker is an interactive online tool that provides access to up-to-date demographic data about this new generation of homebuyers. It mines data from a robust sampling of approximately 80 percent of all closed mortgages dating back to 2014 that were initiated on Ellie Mae’s Encompass mortgage management solution. Searches can be tailored by borrower geography, age, gender, marital status, FICO score and amortization type.

Progress In Lending

The Place For Thought Leaders And Visionaries