Posts

Act! CRM Introduces Marketing Automation Built For The Financial Services Industry

Swiftpage, the provider of Act! CRM software has launched the next generation of Act! which marries proven CRM with powerful marketing automation. The new Act! represents a significant step forward, both for Swiftpage and the broader financial services market, and is available in English in North America, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand this week.


Featured Sponsors:

 

 


The new Act! is purpose-built for SMBs and includes rich customer management, dynamic sales pipeline management, powerful marketing automation, actionable business insights, and integrations with hundreds of business optimization applications.


Featured Sponsors:

 


“Just like big enterprises, in order to stay competitive, small businesses are always looking for ways to improve customer engagement, drive retention, and increase loyalty through repeat business,” said H. John Oechsle, president and CEO of Swiftpage. “With the introduction of Act! Marketing Automation to the portfolio, we are now able to provide our customers with the ultimate toolset to drive business growth.”


Featured Sponsors:

 


What’s New in Act!

Powerful Marketing Automation

Act! subscribers now have access to a single integrated platform combining CRM and marketing automation, allowing them to optimize all the ways they communicate with prospects and customers to maximize engagement and drive business growth. Act! Marketing Automation delivers comprehensive campaign management, a visual workflow designer to map out the perfect customer journey, real-time response metrics, and time-saving CRM workflow to fuse marketing and sales efforts.

Dynamic Sales Pipeline Management

Users can now manage their sales pipelines more effectively and intelligently with dynamic pipeline management tools, including an interactive sales funnel, in context KPIs, an actionable sales pipeline with drag-and-drop capabilities, and advanced filtering.

Subscriber Exclusive Enhancements

Act! delivers a number of additional valuable subscriber-exclusive enhancements driven by customers.

The Act! Growth Suite

For new users, Swiftpage’s SMB-focused Act! Growth Suite, delivers Act! Marketing Automation and Act! CRM, on a single, integrated platform, at a great introductory price. Active Act! CRM subscribers will also benefit from an introductory price when taking advantage of the new, integrated Act! Marketing Automation as a part of their current subscription.

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.

Mortgage Payoff Statements Becoming Gateways To Fraud

Fraud perpetrators are increasingly initiating wire fraud scams by targeting the industry practice of emailing or faxing payoff requests to title and escrow companies, according to a new white paper from CertifID.  As a result, the company is observing a breathtaking increase in the use of “spoofed” mortgage payoffs and fraudulent payoff statements to pull off wire fraud schemes.


Featured Sponsors:

 

 


This disturbing trend is analyzed in Mortgage Payoffs Under Siege, a free, online white paper published by CertifID CEO/Co-Founder Thomas Cronkright, author of multiple reports on the burgeoning wire fraud trend. According to the white paper, over $1 trillion in mortgages are paid off each year; with most done so by wire. Traditional mortgage wire fraud scams usually began with a fraudster deceiving a buyer or key party to the transaction into believing that imposter was a key party to the transaction (such as the seller); then changing already established wiring instructions (with the funds then being diverted to the scammer).  Now, fraudsters are deceiving title companies by issuing counterfeit mortgage payoffs and wire instructions from the start.


Featured Sponsors:

 


“Fraudsters now understand that it’s not that hard to ‘spoof’ or imitate an authentic payoff statement—and that statement is the ultimate authority for title or escrow companies awaiting official wire instructions,” said Cronkright.  “As a result, the agent’s guard is down and, once the fraudulent payoff statements are received by fax or email, the funds are quickly and mistakenly wired directly to the criminals.”


Featured Sponsors:

 


Cronkright notes that this new wrinkle directly attacks the conventional best practice which marks any change to wiring instructions as a red flag. “Now, the fraudulent directions are often the first instructions the escrow or title agent even sees.”

The white paper describes five emerging examples of payoff fraud, including how the schemes work and what title and lending professionals can do to identify and prevent them.

The white paper can be downloaded at no cost at https://certifid.com/white-paper-payoff-fraud/.

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.

Yes, The Mortgage Industry Does Care

After the financial crisis many thought that mortgage lenders were evil. Any time I told anyone what I did for a living they would give me a dirty look. But nothing is farther from the truth. For example, an elderly widow is feeling extra thankful this holiday season, thanks in part to friends and employees of Mortgage Network, Inc., a prominent local lender.


Featured Sponsors:

 

 


One of the largest independent mortgage bankers in the eastern U.S., Mortgage Network partnered with Rebuilding Together Boston and the Massachusetts Mortgage Bankers Association to rebuild the home of the local Dorchester, Massachusetts woman. The work included new kitchen cabinets and appliances, new doors, windows, landscaping, plumbing, electrical work and a rebuilt porch, roof and ceiling.


Featured Sponsors:

 


The woman, named Bernice, is 78 and has limited mobility, had struggled to maintain her home after the death of her husband. She lives on a fixed income and had been victimized by dishonest contractors by paying for home repairs that were never completed.


Featured Sponsors:

 


“Once we heard Miss Bernice’s story, our entire office jumped at the chance to help to bring her home back to life and put a smile back on her face,” said Brian Koss, executive vice president of Mortgage Network. “Best of all, her house has new health and safety features as well, including new railings and electrical work, so she will be able to enjoy the comfort of her home for years to come.”

It was the third straight year Mortgage Network has partnered with Rebuilding Together Boston and other local lenders to help a Dorchester homeowner with critical home repairs. Rebuilding Together Boston is just one of many community organizations Mortgage Network supports every year. Among many other events, the company sponsors or co-sponsors the Tour de Greenbelt, a bicycle ride to raise funds to protect local farmland, wildlife habitat and scenic landscapes; the HOPE International “Drive Out Poverty” golf tournament in York, Pennsylvania to help fight global poverty; and a “Polar Express” themed holiday event to raise money for local schools in Beverly, Massachusetts.

“As we approach the Thanksgiving season, all of us at Mortgage Network feel particularly honored to be able to help members of our community in need like Miss Bernice,” added Koss.

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.

AI-Driven Lead Distribution For Mortgage Lending

ProPair, a mortgage-industry technology start-up based in Silicon Valley, launched an AI-based lead distribution solution that eliminates the uncertainty of the lead assignment process while optimizing results and ensuring fairness in the assignment process. Using artificial intelligence to correlate lead data with information about individual loan officers, ProPair facilitates the lead assignment process to allow lenders to distribute leads to maximize the performance of the entire loan team.


Featured Sponsors:

 

 


ProPair is led by former mortgage industry executive, CEO Ethan Ewing and an engineering PhD, CTO Devon Johnson. The company uses AI-driven software to automatically match prospects and loan officers based on dozens of different factors. Capturing and analyzing multiple information sources provides a level of visibility not previously possible, making lenders more efficient and delivering better overall outcomes. ProPair also improves loan officer performance by assigning prospects based on the likelihood of success rather than seniority or guesswork. The result is more closes and a more fair system for all loan officers.


Featured Sponsors:

 


“I am passionate about helping companies in the mortgage industry maximize the impact of their sales professionals,” explains Ewing. “By providing an AI-driven software solution to lenders massive data assets, we can replace gut instinct and spreadsheets with hard science and increase close rates and ROI in the process.”


Featured Sponsors:

 


Designed with the everyday needs of lending organizations in mind, and optimized in conjunction with mortgage industry leaders, ProPair’s AI-based platform replaces outdated manual processes with data-driven lead assignments that improve productivity across the board. “ProPair has fundamentally changed how we look at our lead distribution methods,” says Dan Stevens, SVP Mortgage Strategy at NBKC Bank. “In the not too distant future, we will look back at the days before working with ProPair and wonder why we used gut feelings to make so many important decisions around our leads.”

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.

Increase Monthly Loan Volume Through Advanced Automation

PenFed, one of the nation’s largest credit unions, has selected LoanLogics’ LoanHD platform to accelerate loan quality reviews and loan file deliveries to investors. LoanHD enables real-time, highly automated mortgage quality assurance and control that improves productivity compared to manual internal audits and third-party audit services.


Featured Sponsors:

 

 


PenFed, a federal credit union with 1.7 million members and $23.5 billion in assets, chose LoanLogics to help them increase their capacity for growth in their correspondent lending business, according to Ben Sizemore, PenFed’s senior vice president of mortgage transformation. By automating a substantial number of tasks and streamlining loan deliveries, Sizemore expects LoanHD will enable a significant expansion of the credit union’s monthly loan volume as their business grows.


Featured Sponsors:

 


“PenFed has always been committed to using technology to operate more efficiently, which makes LoanLogics the perfect partner to scale our mortgage business,” Sizemore said. “We anticipate LoanHD will enable us to increase our loan throughput by automating processes and continue to deliver our loan document packages to meet investor and regulatory requirements,” he said. “LoanHD also meets our standards for robust quality controls that enable us to lower operating costs.”


Featured Sponsors:

 


LoanHD automatically harvests data from loan documents and third-party sources and automates virtually every quality control task, providing a “red light, green light” approach to loan manufacturing and acquisition that reduces the cost of compliance at every stage. It includes a library of customizable business rules and checklist-driven auditing processes that encompass pre-underwriting, pre-funding and post closing reviews, due diligence and loan boarding as well as specialized audits for HMDA, TRID and other regulatory and agency requirements.

Sizemore said LoanLogics’ reputation as a regtech leader in the mortgage industry made the decision to choose LoanHD easy. “The company’s superior technology and expertise allow us to quickly and simply enhance automation for our correspondent and third party channels, increasing our efficiency for the delivery of high quality services for our members.”

“We’re honored to be working with the team at PenFed to grow its mortgage volume,” said LoanLogics CEO, Brian Fitzpatrick. “By verifying and validating loan data prior to loan review, regtech solutions like LoanHD can significantly automate audit tasks and lower costs which deliver huge benefit to credit unions and their members. We look forward to helping PenFed gain greater efficiencies and control loan quality for years to come.”

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 Migrates Its Property Database To The Cloud

ATTOM Data Solutions and Managed Microsoft Partner Denny Cherry & Associates Consulting (DCAC) jointly announced the successful completion of a 50 Terabyte migration to Microsoft’s Azure platform. The engagement included:


Featured Sponsors:

 

 


>>Consolidation of multiple legacy SQL Server databases

>>Migration to Azure

>>Conversion to SSIS catalogued project model

>>Sizing and choosing the correct VM for the Azure environment.


Featured Sponsors:

 


Post migration, ATTOM Chief Technology Officer Todd Teta estimates the company is now saving 30% of their budget on infrastructure.

ATTOM’s Chief Data Officer Richard Sawicky commented, “We now have the flexibility to scale, expand, and consolidate all of our operations and be nimble as we take on new projects, new datasets, and better serve our customers on a modern platform capable of enrolling a lot of the Azure functionality.


Featured Sponsors:

 


DCAC principal and Microsoft MVP Joey D’Antoni commented, “The ATTOM migration was quite challenging as there were lot of moving pieces. Richard and I worked really hard to ensure we had a solid checklist for migration, and outside of a single small error we saw immediately after migration, the process was seamless.”

“There were a ton of moving parts, and Joey D’Antoni and Denny Cherry were there to quarterback us through it all,” Sawicky added.  “There is no way that we would be sitting here 100% in Azure without those guys.”

Co-Issue Trading Solution Emerges

Blue Water Financial Technologies has developed an electronic co-issue pricing and trading platform, MSR-X. Blue Water is introducing  the first of its kind, cross investor and fully integrated web-based technology solution for co-issuing purposes that allows lenders and investors to view portfolios and transactional data in real time.


Featured Sponsors:

 

 


A Technology Driven Financial Innovation

“This technology is long overdue in the industry. MSR-X is a game changer – it’s a true one-stop shop for liquidity,” said Al Qureshi, Senior Managing Partner at Blue Water. “Our founding principles seek to integrate technology and price transparency to drive better outcomes for our clients and MSR-X is a testament to that. This platform will drastically change how MSRs are transacted in the secondary market. Originator demand has been strong and we’re confident this innovation will solidify its foothold in the marketplace.”


Featured Sponsors:

 


Addressing Cost Pressures for Originators while Creating Liquidity

The platform brings greater efficiencies to the co-issue process and lowers costs for both investors and originators by reducing any manual input of pricing and increasing the immediacy of information. Buyers and sellers can access MSR-X via the web and view information in real-time. MSR-X uses a single platform across investor types to mitigate timing risk, providing a real-time way to adjust pricing for changes in rates. Further, cost-minded originators can use the platform to reduce margin exposure, lower costs and streamline their secondary market operations.


Featured Sponsors:

 


Upending the Traditional Broker Model

With the introduction of MSR-X, Blue Water also switches the paradigm in terms of the way business was previously conducted. Originators don’t pay to participate, rather, the investors do. In return, the investors obtain transactional data, they have better yield certainty through the purchase process and much of the administrative paperwork has been simplified. Investors can dynamically manage their appetite for MSR and even upload a daily grid based off of the types of MSR they would like to purchase. Originators are able to access buyer-side liquidity with no cost. “I see offering liquidity and price transparency in a free venue for originators as something your typical originator just can’t afford to overlook – especially in this rate cycle,” said Jason Sweeney, Director of Business Development at Blue Water.

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.

Lenders Could Be At Financial Risk Despite Protection With Home Flood Insurance

As flooding across the U.S. continues to be a serious issue, the effect of loss or damage to homes has dramatically increased. And because most properties are financed, that home serves as collateral to lenders. This in turn means that lenders have a greater financial stake when properties are damaged by flood waters. What makes this situation worse is when the homeowner abandons the home and/or stops making mortgage payments.


Featured Sponsors:

 

 


Homes and businesses in high-risk flood areas with mortgages from federally regulated or insured lenders are required to have flood insurance. While flood insuranceis not federally requiredfor homes in a moderate- to low-risk floodarea, lenders may still requireflood insurance. Flood insurance is the only way lenders can protect an investment in case of a loss. Lenders need to be aware that properties in their portfolios can move into a covered flood area, which means it would need flood insurance to cover potential loss.


Featured Sponsors:

 


Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) applies precise standards and the most accurate hazard information to develop Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM) that show flood zones. However, limitations in the scale or topographic details of the source maps used to prepare a FIRM may result in small elevated areas to be included in a SFHA. Because of this, lenders could face a significant loss if the property is flooded and does not have flood insurance due to Letter of Map Conversion.


Featured Sponsors:

 


In order to change the flood hazard designation for properties in these areas, FEMA has set up a process called the Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) for properties on naturally high ground, Letter of Map Revision (LOMR), a modification to FIRM or flood boundary and floodway map (FBFM) and the Letter of Map Revision Based on Fill (LOMR-F) for properties elevated by placement of fill. These determinations officially amend an effective FIRM. Lenders need to be aware of a property that no longer requires flood insurance as they need to provide a refund to owners if they continue to pay it.

If LOMA, LOMR, or LOMR-F prove the property is correctly shown outside the SFHA, the mandatory federal flood insurance requirement is no longer applied. Again, lenders can require flood insurance as a condition of the loan, but premiums are lowered for structures outside the SFHA. And if lenders remove the flood insurance requirement altogether, a refund of the premium paid could be issued or the policy canceled.

FEMA does not charge a fee to review a LOMA request, but requesters are responsible for providing the required mapping and survey information specific to their property. For FEMA to remove a structure from the SFHA through the LOMA process, federal regulations require the lowest ground touching the structure, or Lowest Adjacent Grade (LAG) elevation, to be at or above the Base Flood Elevation (BFE).  Lenders can send homeowners who want to file a request for conditional and final map revisions to the FEMA LOMC Clearinghouse.

FEMA does recommend flood insurance coverage even if it’s not required by law or a lender. Mortgaged homeowners are eligible to pay much less for the flood insurance if their property is removed from the SFHA through this LOMA, LOMR or LOMR-F. Lenders need to be aware of the flood zone status of the properties in their portfolios and know where to send borrowers who want to challenge those designations.

About The Author

Priscilla Anand

Priscilla Anand has been with LERETA for more than six years and is a GIS technical manager. Since 1986, LERETA has provided the mortgage and insurance industries the fastest, most accurate and complete access to property tax data and flood hazard status information across the U.S. LERETA is committed to giving customers extraordinary service and cost-effective property tax and flood solutions. LERETA’s services are designed to increase efficiency, reduce penalties and liabilities and improve processes for mortgage originators and servicers. LERETA’s dedicated teams of real estate tax and flood professionals along with LERETA’s experienced management team allow the company to lead the industry in service and technology.

Direct Integration Simplifies The Antiquated Complexities Of Updating Post-Trade Details

Resitrader, an Optimal Blue company and the leading online digital exchange for whole loan trading in the secondary mortgage market, integrated its fully automated trading platform with LendingQB. The streamlined interface enables participants to quickly and efficiently update loan-level trade information from the Resitrader platform into LendingQB immediately following completion of a trade. Resitrader creates a trade ticket for every trade between sellers and buyers, as well as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. LendingQB users can import price, commitment, and investor loan numbers across multiple trades with a single click.


Featured Sponsors:

 

 


The integration includes data elements as specified by the originator, and the seamless integration also allows the user to generate and leverage custom fields applicable to their unique business processes and need. With one click, data is securely transported in real time and accepted by the LendingQB platform.


Featured Sponsors:

 


“The ‘one-click’ feature is highly regarded by our clients,” said Linn Cook, Director of Sales and Marketing with LendingQB. “The ability to easily move data from trading to their LOS has saved an incredible amount of time and streamlined the archaic process of manual, duplicate entry.”


Featured Sponsors:

 


The integration between LendingQB and Optimal Blue’s loan trading platform is considered an exciting first step of many new digital integrations between the firms and their respective platforms. With this initiative complete, the firms have now turned their attention toward fully integrating LendingQB with Optimal Blue’s hedge advisory and product eligibility and pricing engine.

“Our partnership with LendingQB further demonstrates our commitment to an open platform across the industry,” explained John Ardy, Vice President of Resitrader by Optimal Blue. “We look forward to expanding integrations with LOS and hedge-advisory firms to cover the full spectrum of the mortgage loan process; and we believe the relationship with LendingQB is one of many that will support the initiative for Optimal Blue and our network of strategic alliance partners to provide the highest level of satisfaction to our 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.

Ellie Mae Expands HELOC, Dynamic Data Management And Mortgage Insurance Support

Ellie Mae has launched a new major release of Ellie Mae’s Encompass digital mortgage solution. The latest release will help lenders of all sizes originate more loans, lower origination costs and shorten the time to close with compliance, efficiency and quality. Key highlights include enhanced HELOC support, Encompass Dynamic Data Management and Mortgage Insurance Support for the Ellie Mae Total Quality Loan Program.


Featured Sponsors:

 

 


“Ellie Mae is offering a complete digital mortgage solution to help our customers succeed in today’s competitive marketplace,” said Jonathan Corr, president and CEO of Ellie Mae. “With this new release we’re offering innovation, enhancements and support so our lenders can grow their businesses with HELOCs, operate more efficiently using Encompass Dynamic Data Management, provide a more streamlined mortgage process with centralized service ordering, and achieve complete compliance.”

Key highlights for the Encompass 18.4 release include:

Enhancements for Expanded HELOC Support: The 18.4 release includes the first phase of a comprehensive solution expansion to streamline the application and underwriting of HELOC loans. To support the unique investor requirements for calculating HELOC payments, both initial and qualifying, Encompass now includes a set of configuration options for both, including support to calculate interest-only and amortizing payments on the basis of a selected rate, a fraction of principal balance, or a percentage of principal balance.


Featured Sponsors:

 


Mortgage Insurance Service for Ellie Mae Total Quality Loan (TQL): Ellie Mae TQL leverages secure, single sign-on and necessary, best-of-breed services to automate processes, and applies quality checks throughout the mortgage lifecycle to reduce resource costs and operational friction. Enhanced integrations with Arch MI, MGIC and Radian offer a more streamlined mortgage insurance (MI) ordering process. Encompass MI Service gives customers automated ordering, side-by-side rate quote comparisons, and an automated allocation model. The new service also offers faster processing, increased visibility into order history, and the ability to monitor key data changes and alert Encompass users when to re-order a rate quote or MI certificate.

Encompass MI Service within Ellie Mae TQL improves operational efficiencies by allowing automated ordering and reduces manual steps needed such as re-authentication. Customers can reduce risk by monitoring material data changes in the loan file through a single source of record that maintains all transactions and communication inside of Encompass. Additionally, the process helps to ensure that the information is accurate, organized and securely transmitted.


Featured Sponsors:

 


A New Way to Automate Data Entry: To increase productivity and enhance accuracy, Ellie Mae is releasing a new scenarios-based rule engine for Encompass designed to automate data entry across any form used during the loan origination process. The new engine, Encompass Dynamic Data Management, brings Ellie Mae one step closer to its vision of automating everything automatable in the mortgage industry and helps lenders deliver a digital mortgage experience to borrowers.

“Encompass Dynamic Data Management is an amazing new feature that provides Encompass Administrators an incredibly powerful set of tools for automating data input in Encompass,” said Adam Ard, Implementation and Development Lead, New American Funding.  “We are extremely excited for the release of Encompass Dynamic Data Management functionality because of the dramatic improvements it provides in flexibility, maintainability, visibility and control of systematic data automation.  This will greatly benefit companies of all sizes with its intuitive settings structure and seamless end user experience.”