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Built Technologies Deepens Banking Industry Expertise

Built Technologies, a FinTech company focused on bringing construction lending into the digital age, has added two seasoned banking industry executives with Billy Olson joining as director of builder financial solutions and Natalie Myrick as director of mortgage solutions. Olson and Myrick bring decades of experience on the lending side with prominent banks, Wells Fargo and Umpqua Bank respectively.


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“Billy and Natalie are critical additions to our team at Built as they deepen our banking expertise and help us better understand the lender’s perspective,” said Chase Gilbert, CEO and co-founder of Built Technologies. “The Built platform has served over $18 billion of construction loan volume with financial institutions—large and small—across the U.S. Billy and Natalie understand the challenges lenders face because they’ve lived it first-hand. Now with Built, they will help our clients maximize our platform and ultimately improve the construction lending process for lenders, builders, borrowers, and everyone involved.”


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Olson, who joins Built as director of builder financial solutions after nearly two decades at Wells Fargo, will aid in the development of borrowing base product functionalities and serve as the voice of the firm when speaking with potential clients. Most recently, he served as vice president of loan administration for a dedicated homebuilder lending group within Wells Fargo managing 40 thousand homes under construction annually. Previously, Olson held positions within Wells Fargo’s specialized real estate group dealing with residential and commercial construction. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Northwood University.


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As director of mortgage solutions, Myrick will lend her expertise in developing streamlined processes and procedures that ensure Built’s CTP clients are successfully implemented and getting the most out of the platform. She brings nearly a decade of experience on the lender side with a leading West Coast financial institution, Umpqua Bank. She most recently served as vice president of construction servicing for Umpqua where she managed the bank’s lending process and systems.  Before that, she held a series of positions in investor reporting and loss mitigation at Umpqua. Myrick holds both an MBA and bachelor’s degree.


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Built is a provider of secure, cloud-based construction loan administration software and the only platform to be endorsed by the American Bankers Association. Built’s collaborative platform brings the draw management process online, helping to reduce construction loan risk, increase loan profitability, transform the borrower experience, simplify compliance, and provide lenders with data never accessed before. Built serves community, regional, and national lenders coast-to-coast.

The New Digital Mandate

Providing mortgage borrowers with a digital experience is no longer a competitive advantage but the new reality for mortgage lenders, according to the findings of a new study by STRATMOR Group, a leading mortgage advisory firm. 

In the January issue of its Insights Report, STRATMOR shares key findings from its 2018 Technology Insight Study. The study, which examines the wide range of system technologies that lenders are now using, found that more than three-quarters of mortgage lenders currently give borrowers the ability to sign disclosures online, while nearly as many lenders allow borrowers to upload documents and respond to loan conditions online.


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“Today’s borrowers expect a digital experience, and lenders that do not empower consumers to upload and execute loan documents online are not only in the minority, but are falling far behind their peers,” says Garth Graham, senior partner at STRATMOR Group. “Still, while lenders are deploying and utilizing digital capabilities on the front end of the origination process, there are great opportunities to gain efficiencies on the back end.”

Participants in the STRATMOR study included independent and bank-owned or -affiliated mortgage companies ranging in size from under $250 million in annual production to those that ranked among the 10 largest in the industry in total origination volume.  The study contains comprehensive mortgage technology data, analyzed and quantified by STRATMOR’s team of data experts.


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In the four years since STRATMOR first began its extensive technology survey, the primary driver of lenders’ technology investments has shifted from regulatory concerns to a focus on improving customer service, Graham says. “Today we have an environment that is about stealing market share and succeeding with the tougher purchase transactions,” he says. “Customer satisfaction and maintaining relationships have replaced regulatory mandates as the top concerns. That means meeting the needs of borrowers and referral sources.”  

Graham says that when considering new technology, most lenders don’t consider the impact it will have on their customers. “That’s a mistake,” he said. “Lenders need to measure borrower satisfaction at a deep level to quantify the impact that any technology will have on their customers. And they need to do so before making the investment in new technology.”


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STRATMOR’s Technology Insight Study is the only independent technology survey in the mortgage industry that gathers data on how lenders feel about their mortgage technology experience, capturing their experiences with their technology from lead generation through post-closing and delivery. 

“The study offers lenders much needed non-vendor-provided data on the technologies at work in the mortgage marketplace,” STRATMOR CEO Lisa Springer says. “This information is vital to lenders that are considering updating or changing an existing system to meet the needs of today’s borrowers.”


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Other key findings of the study include: 

>>76 percent of respondents provide the ability for borrowers to execute disclosures online compared to 61 percent in 2017. 

>>72 percent provide the ability for the borrower to upload documents and respond to conditions online.

>>72 percent of respondents use agency solutions for loan delivery data (ULDD) validation, compliance and loan salability.

>>Ellie Mae’s Encompass was the most used POS technology for the fourth year in a row, followed by Blend.

>>Only 18 percent of respondents said they do not use a company-sponsored lead management tool. The rest use one or more of 24 third-party systems sharing the CRM market, with Top of Mind, Salesforce and Velocify holding the top three spots.

>>Optimal Blue was the leading product and production engine (PPE) among respondents.

>>The study also found that among the different technologies that lenders use, lenders were most likely to stay with their current production pipeline hedging, LOS and PPE technologies rather than switching to competing products.  

“While lenders are generally satisfied with their LOS, we found that many will stay with a ‘good enough’ LOS because the cost of implementing a new solution is so high in terms of licensing, development and training, not to mention the intangible costs of employee resistance to change,” Graham says. 

Credit Plus Launches CloseCAPTURE To Help Lenders Reduce Loan Fallout

Credit Plus, a provider of data and verifications for all stages of the mortgage lending process, has developed a suite of products, CloseCAPTURE, to assist mortgage lenders in reducing costs and closing more loans.


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“In anticipation of a tougher mortgage market this year, we wanted to provide our lender customers with a grouping of products to help them work smarter and capture more business,” said Greg Holmes, Managing Partner at Credit Plus. “We’re always looking for innovative ways to answer our customers’ needs and we believe CloseCAPTURE will go a long way toward addressing the challenges 2019 may present.”


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CloseCAPTURE was developed to ensure lenders are taking full advantage of all of the product benefits available to them. Some of the top issues CloseCAPTURE is designed to combat include:


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>>Rising credit report costs


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>>Applicants whose credit scores are close but don’t quite qualify

>>Applications that fall out and might have closed somewhere else

>>Obtaining quality leads for prospecting

>>Loan portfolio retention

With this flexible program, lenders can select solutions that address all of the above challenges or just one or two. 

Credit Plus provides verification services from pre-application to post-close that give mortgage professionals greater confidence when making lending decisions.

With the Credit Plus Collection, its suite of verification services, lenders can successfully close more loans and better manage their risk. Credit Plus’ expertise in the mortgage industry enables it to quickly assess current and future needs, and provide new solutions for a rapidly changing environment. Credit Plus moves mortgage professionals forward.

DataBank Acquires PNC’s Pittsburgh Data Center

DataBank, a provider of enterprise-class data center, connectivity and managed services, has acquired PNC Bank’s data center located in North Fayette Township near Pittsburgh, PA. This marks DataBank’s second data center in the Pittsburgh market and includes a long-term lease with PNC Bank, which will become the facility’s anchor tenant. PNC Bank, the sixth largest commercial bank by assets in the U.S., offers a wide range of financial services, consumer banking, lending products, and specialized services for corporations and government entities.


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The secure three-story facility is 115,000 sq. ft. and, as part of the long-term lease, PNC Bank will occupy the entire second floor. DataBank will operate the facility to meet FedRAMP certification under the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) compliance standard.  In addition, DataBank will implement a significant expansion and augmentation to the facility’s power and cooling systems to accommodate additional tenants on the third floor and provide an incremental 25,000 of RSF and 2.75MW of 2N power.


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“We are thrilled to be able to expand in the incredibly innovative and growing Pittsburgh market with PNC as our anchor tenant in our second data center location,” stated Raul K. Martynek, CEO, DataBank. “We believe there is a shortage of high quality, enterprise-grade colocation options in the market and this new Pittsburgh facility will meet that need.  We look forward to serving PNC Bank’s data center requirements and those of similar enterprises in the area.” 


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“We chose to partner with DataBank because of their operational expertise and dedication to customer service. PNC is excited to be working with DataBank as a long-term partner,” commented Frank Walters, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Realty Services.


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Pittsburgh is renowned for its concentration of advanced high-tech organizations including Carnegie Mellon University and its world-class robotics program, the University of Pittsburgh with its multi-disciplinary research centers, the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center, as well as burgeoning AI-driven sectors such as autonomous vehicles and world class biomedical research organizations. PIT2 will offer high capacity infrastructure services to support these organizations along with: 

Ample Power: FirstEnergy’s West Penn Power provides dual utility power feeds from a substation directly across the street from the facility enabling long-term growth and an incremental 2.75MW of sellable UPS.

Campus Expansion Potential: Significant expansion capacity with almost 10 acres of adjacent owned land.

Network Diversity Options: Four fully diverse on-net fiber providers with multiple fiber routes to DataBank’s PIT1 location, which has more than 20 fiber providers and acts as the primary interconnection point and Meet Me Room in the market.  

With PIT2, DataBank expands its data center count to 19 facilities in 9 markets, including the pending acquisition of LightBound in Indianapolis.  For more information, please visit www.databank.com.

Castle & Cooke Mortgage Expands North Salt Lake Branch

Castle & Cooke Mortgage, LLC, an independent mortgage lender with locations across the United States, announced that Jessie Van Wagoner (NMLS# 1576482), loan officer, joined its North Salt Lake branch (NMLS# 1437513). Previously, he worked on Castle & Cooke Mortgage’s corporate production team and focused on borrower retention.


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Van Wagoner will continue to work with borrowers so they may realize their dream of home ownership and will report to branch manager, Dan Hubrich.


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Van Wagoner has been a loan officer for Castle & Cooke Mortgage since 2017. As a loan officer, he has been able to help more than 200 individuals and families achieve their home financing goals in the past 2 years. He specializes in Conventional, FHA, VA and USDA loans, as well as jumbo loans and down payment assistance programs. Van Wagoner is available to provide an exceptional mortgage experience to a wide array of homebuyers.


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“Jessie’s drive and commitment to homebuyers is second to none,” said Dan Hubrich (NMLS #198767), branch manager for the North Salt Lake branch of Castle & Cooke Mortgage. “His integrity and responsiveness will be integral to the growing success of the North Salt Lake branch.”


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Prior to joining Castle & Cooke Mortgage, Van Wagoner worked as a general contractor in residential and commercial construction for 10 years. This experience translated to an interest in home repairs and remodeling that he still holds today. When not assisting clients, Jessie enjoys the outdoors – camping, hunting, fishing and playing golf – and spending time with his family, raising his two boys.

“I am excited for the opportunity to educate and provide quality service to homebuyers in the North Salt Lake area,” said Van Wagoner. “I look forward to helping them find a great mortgage for their needs.”

Van Wagoner can be reached at jvanwagoner@castlecookemortgage.com or at the Castle & Cooke Mortgage North Salt Lake branch at 1010 N. 500 E. Ste. 320, North Salt Lake, UT 84054.

Richey May Acquires Amata Solutions

Richey May, an accounting and advisory firm serving the financial services and real estate industries, has fully acquired Amata Solutions, a provider of customized planning and business intelligence tools for mortgage lenders. The acquisition comes three months after Richey May made an investment in the firm. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.  Amata Solutions is now part of Richey May Technology Solutions, Richey May’s technology consulting division launched last year.


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Benjamin Duke, Amata Solutions’ founder, has taken the role of executive director, data analytics with Richey May Technology Solutions, where he will be responsible for developing and delivering business analytics solutions for mortgage lending clients.  


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Amata Solutions provided planning, forecasting and business intelligence tools that empower lenders to make more confident, strategic business decisions based on real-time data. The tools it developed can be applied to all areas of the mortgage business and can be integrated across a mortgage lender’s platforms, including their customer relationship management (CRM) software, loan origination system (LOS) and general ledger software (GL). 


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 “We were confident that our clients would love Amata Solutions when we partnered with the firm three months ago, but we may have underestimated how much,” said Ken Richey, co-founder and partner of Richey May. “This acquisition puts Richey May in a perfect position to help mortgage lenders address tighter margins and lower volume so they can stay several steps ahead of their competition.”    


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“Since partnering with Richey May, we have been busier than ever,” said Duke. “There was so much synergy between Richey May’s consulting services and our products and services that it simply made sense to go ‘all in’ and join forces. Today, with our combined expertise and resources, Richey May is able to serve all of a lender’s accounting, consulting and data analytics needs more completely than any other company.”  

A division of Richey May, Richey May Technology Solutions offers a full spectrum of technology solutions, from cloud services and cybersecurity to marketing technology, and from governance, risk, controls and privacy to technology management consulting. 

Originators Weigh In On Industry Risks And Challenges

Altisource Portfolio Solutions S.A. (“Altisource” or the “Company”), a provider of real estate, mortgage and technology services, released its 2018 report, “The State of the Originations Industry.” The report showcases results from the annual Origination Solutions Survey, a survey of over 200 decision makers in the mortgage origination business.  


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Mortgage origination professionals (29 percent) cited increased purchase business competition as the biggest challenge in today’s mortgage market; 25 percent said margin compression due to regulatory mandates and 24 percent pointed to elevated interest rates. With the increased purchase business competition, there are fewer loan transactions for which to compete. This is primarily driven by a tightened inventory of existing and new construction, which helped drive home price appreciation. The combination of higher interest rates and higher home prices has impacted affordability, which has made it harder for consumers to upgrade to more expensive housing and limited the inventory of starter homes. As the available purchase business declines, capturing this business relies on the originator’s ability to quickly respond to requests and originate loans faster, with great customer experience.


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When looking at the most promising market opportunity, the mortgage origination professionals surveyed ranked construction loans as the most promising (25 percent) and non-QM loans (not including jumbo loans) (20 percent) as the second most promising. Construction activity should increase over the next year due to the robust demand in the overall housing market and the historical shortage of existing housing supply. The non-QM market is predicted to grow by 400 percent over the next year1 and while this growth only represents an increase of $5 billion-$8 billion in annual production, the appetite for this asset class is still growing and the non-QM opportunity should be watched.


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“The survey uncovered many industry insights, including risks and challenges present in the market,” said Justin Vedder, Chief Operating Officer, Origination Solutions, Altisource. “The biggest challenge identified, with respect to the mortgage market, is the economic environment today and into the near future. With that said, originators can take certain steps to stay competitive. For example, consider outsourcing some or all fulfillment, closing and processing operations, join a peer network, continue to look for new talent while also focusing on the retention of top performers, add new loan programs but offload the risk and operational cost to a third-party and be bold with piloting programs that will generate higher margin revenue.”


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Click here to download the full report, “The State of the Originations Industry.”

MBA Board Of Directors Rallies To Support Opens Doors Foundation In 2018

The MBA Opens Doors Foundation (Opens Doors) has received more than $1.13 million in donations in 2018 from members and member companies of the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Board of Directors, including a year-end $53,200 gift from MBA Chairman Christopher M. George, Founder, President and CEO of CMG Financial. That single gift represents the equivalent of one month’s mortgage or rental payment made on behalf of each of MBA’s 38 board members.  


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“With total gifts from the MBA Board topping $1.13 million in 2018, more than 800 families across the country will be helped by our 38-member board,” said Robert D. Broeksmit, CMB, MBA President and CEO, and Opens Doors board member. “I could not be more proud of their commitment to this very important cause.”


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The generous contributions given by corporate and individual donors have made real progress towards surpassing Opens Doors’ 2019 fundraising goal. Thanks in large part to the annual appeal made by Debra W. Still, CMB, President and CEO of Pulte Mortgage, and Chairman of the Foundation’s Board of Directors, 30 companies have pledged a contribution of $25,000 or more for 2019.  


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“MBA members and the mortgage industry continue to show compassion and enthusiasm in supporting the Opens Doors mission,” said Still. “Every donation goes a long way in meeting the increasing demand for support from families across the country with critically ill children. I am beyond grateful not only for Chris’ generous donation, but for the continued kindness and generosity of the MBA Board and our donors.”


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Opens Doors Foundation President Deborah Dubois has laid out an ambitious agenda for growing the number of families served through the Foundation’s Home Grant Program in 2019.

“In order for Opens Doors to grow, we need to engage in ways that show current and prospective donors just how meaningful and impactful their gifts are for vulnerable families,” said Dubois. “Every contribution toward a family’s home is one less thing to worry about when the family’s child is sick.”

Support from MBA allows the Foundation to pass on 100 percent of donations to families in need of assistance. Potential grant recipients are identified through the Foundation’s ongoing relationship with children’s hospitals in Akron, Ohio; Boston, Massachusetts; Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas; Denver, Colorado; Houston, Texas; Northern and Southern California; and Washington, D.C. 

Indecomm Demystifies Mortgage Income Calculations

Indecomm Global Services announced new features scheduled for release in its IncomeGenius income calculation automation software. The new features, scheduled for release in Q1 of 2019, aim to demystify the income calculation process for loan originators, loan processors, and underwriters, addressing changes to 2018 tax forms due to 2018 Tax Reform, and expanding software functionality for even easier ease of use prior to underwriting with additional support for wage earners.


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The goal is to:

>>Offer new features that further simplify mortgage income calculations for Loan Officers and Processors 

>> Get accurate income calculations obtained prior to underwriting 

>>Users are able to easily identify additional income 

>>Provide support for 2018 Tax Reform, including new tax forms and calculation adjustments 

New features will be released in Q1 2019, with first release scheduled for 1/28/2019. 

Registration is open for free the “Ask Me Anything” webinar on 2018 Tax Forms to help educate industry on the IRS changes to mortgage income calculations. 


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Indecomm Global Services, a leading provider of business process as a service (BPaaS), software as a service (SaaS) technology, and learning solutions for the mortgage industry, announced new features scheduled for release in its IncomeGenius income calculation automation software. The new features, scheduled for release in Q1 of 2019, aim to demystify the income calculation process for loan originators, loan processors, and underwriters, addressing changes to 2018 tax forms due to 2018 Tax Reform, and expanding software functionality for even easier ease of use prior to underwriting with additional support for wage earners. 


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This quarter’s first release of IncomeGenius will be available on January 28, 2019 and includes features aimed to make calculations easier for loan originators and loan processors. IncomeGenius now gives originators and processors the ability to add potential additional income with the click of a button. IncomeGenius provides full transparency to the users into all aspects of the income calculation. This clarity improves confidence in the accuracy of the calculations for mortgage underwriters and visibly demonstrates the time savings provided by IncomeGenius. Additionally, this release includes additional support for the changes in tax forms as part of the 2018 Tax Reform. The new release makes it easier for IncomeGenius® users to transition over to the most significant changes to the tax forms in many years. 


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To further support the industry’s questions around 2018 tax reform and its impact on income calculations, Indecomm is hosting two free webinars addressing the 2018 Tax Form changes with multiple interactive “Ask Me Anything” question and answer sessions. The webinar is titled “2018 Tax Forms and Income Calculations” with open, free registration for the next available session:

  • Friday, January 25, 2019 | 12:30 pm to 1:15 pm ET

Register Now – https://indecomm.webex.com/indecomm/k2/j.php?MTID=t45aa0a856185746f1836b432d876b3ed

Indecomm is expanding the income calculation capability of IncomeGenius by adding functionality to automate calculations for wage earners with paystubs and W2 Forms. This new functionality will be availability in an upcoming Q1 2019 release and will allow for an option of a third year of calculation from tax returns, as well as income analysis for wage earners. 

“When changes in the industry occur that impact our clients’ business, we diligently work to improve and innovate our products and services to address those concerns and ease the burden the changes may cause,” said Rajan Nair, CEO, Financial Services, Indecomm Global Services. “The upcoming new feature releases in our IncomeGenius income calculation software simplifies calculations for originators and processors and provide support surrounding IRS changes.” 

To learn more about IncomeGenius®, visit mortgage.indecomm.com or email marketing@indecomm.net to schedule a demo. 

To register for the next upcoming free webinar, click on the registration link below: 

  • 2018 Tax Forms and Income Calculations 

Friday, January 25, 2019 | 12:30 pm to 1:15 pm ET 
Register Now – https://indecomm.webex.com/indecomm/k2/j.php?MTID=t45aa0a856185746f1836b432d876b3ed

ARMs Hit Eight-Year High

According to the December Origination Insight Report from Ellie Mae, the percentage of Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs) reached 9.2 percent, the highest percentage in 2018 and since Ellie Mae began tracking data in 2011. This is up from 8.9 percent the month prior and the 2018 low of 5.5 percent. 


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The increase in ARMs continues to be correlated to the 30-year rate, which rose to 5.17 for loans closed in December, up from 5.15 the month prior. For FHAs, the 30-year rate increased to 5.20, Conventional rates increased to 5.19 and VA rates rose to 5.01.


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“With the strong demand for housing and the rapid increase in property value appreciation, more consumers are turning to Adjustable Rate Mortgages in order to gain additional flexibility when competing for a home,” said Jonathan Corr, president and CEO of Ellie Mae. “This is another key indication of how demand has outpaced supply in the housing market as consumers pursue their dream of homeownership.”


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Other statistics of note in December included:

>>The time to close all loans increased to 47 days in December, up from 46 days in November. Time to close a purchase loan decreased to 47 days, while time to close a refinance increased to 44 days. 


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>>The percentage of purchase loans rose to 71 percent of total loans in December, up from 70 percent the month prior.

>>Overall FICO scores dropped one point to 726. LTV held at 79 for the fifth month and DTI held at 26/39.

The Origination Insight Report mines data from a robust sampling of approximately 80 percent of all mortgage applications that were initiated on the Encompass all-in-one mortgage management solution. Ellie Mae believes the Origination Insight Report is a strong proxy of the underwriting standards employed by lenders across the country.

In addition to the Origination Insight Report, Ellie Mae also distributes data from its monthly Ellie Mae Millennial Tracker on the first Wednesday of each month. The Ellie Mae Millennial Tracker focuses on mortgage applications submitted by borrowers born between the years 1980 and 1999.