Understanding The News: Perfecting Loan Validation Processes

*Perfecting Loan Validation Processes*
**Validating MERS Electronically**

***Aklero Risk Analytics Inc., a provider of mortgage quality control software and services via their automated data and document validity assurance platform, has unveiled DQx for MERS Data and Document Validation Module. The module is part of Q-Close, their Loan Quality Management Platform, and provides an automated method to validate the accuracy of data resident in the MERS Electronic Registry. Here’s what you need to know:

****“We developed this offering in response to the requirements outlined in the MERS Quality Assurance Procedures issued in September requiring servicers to validate the accuracy of the data held on the MERS’ system against source documents,” said Richard J. Downing, Executive Vice President of Sales for Aklero.

****As a result, lenders are required to attest that they have performed a three-way document to data validation, including comparing the data on the MERS system against the bank’s data and against the “true data,” or original documents, a process that ensures a high degree of accuracy.

****“Aklero is the only firm in the mortgage industry that has automated the process of comparing the data that populates original documents to the records the servicers and MERS maintain,” said Julia Hernandez, Senior Vice President of Professional Services for Aklero. “People make mistakes, but, by relying on the original documents, especially those from the closing, our solution provides a more accurate and comprehensive audit.”

****That approach enables Aklero to review the documents and identify discrepancies. For servicers, the benefit of using this module is that Aklero can validate thousands of loans overnight, while in the same amount of time, servicers that cling to expensive manual processes complete far fewer loans files.

****Based in Fort Washington, Penn., Aklero provides mortgage quality control and risk analytics solutions for the mortgage lending industry. Its proprietary Q-Close Loan Quality and Mortgage Risk Analytics Platform provides loan audits and automated deficiency detection, allowing users to quickly and efficiently find, fix and understand problems in mortgage loan files. Augmenting its technology platform the company also provides forensic analysts, mortgage quality control audits, due diligence loan reviews and a variety of operational solutions and customizable products and services that can be tailored to suit clients’ needs. Aklero’s customers include mortgage lenders, institutional investors, investment banks, government agencies, community banks, credit unions, mortgage insurance companies and other financial institutions. After an in-depth evaluation that pitted the firm against its competitors, the American Banker Association, named Aklero its exclusive provider of mortgage quality control services.

Progress In Lending

The Place For Thought Leaders And Visionaries

Market Analysis: A Time For Giving

*A Time For Giving*
**By Tony Garritano**

***This is certainly the time for giving. I challenge everyone reading this to think about how they can give back to their family, to their community, to mortgage lending. In this vein, PROGRESS in Lending has learned that to support the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation during the organization’s annual holiday collection campaign, Nationwide Title Clearing (NTC) hosted a toy drop-off at its Palm Harbor offices. This is the second year NTC has served as a collection center for Toys for Tots.

****Employees of the mortgage post-closing services provider and members of the community were invited to bring new, unwrapped toys to NTC’s offices, where the gifts were picked up by a local Toys for Tots representative last week in preparation for distribution to underprivileged children throughout Tampa Bay. In addition to the gifts contributed by employees and area residents, Nationwide Title Clearing also donated toys to the cause. Through combined efforts, the drive collected more than 200 toys.

****The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation is an IRS-recognized 501(C)(3) not-for-profit public charity, which serves as the fundraising, funding and support organization for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program. As stated by the organization, the goal of the program is “to deliver, through a shiny new toy at Christmas, a message of hope to needy youngsters that will motivate them to grow into responsible, productive, patriotic citizens and community leaders.”

****John Hillman, CEO of Nationwide Title Clearing, noted that NTC shares that commitment to supporting deserving children and families. In addition to the company’s participation in the annual Toys for Tots campaign, NTC has also been involved in other community relief efforts, including last year’s participation in the Homeless Emergency Project (HEP) in Clearwater. NTC employees and management collected items of necessity that were donated to homeless individuals, along with clothing and household goods that were sold through the HEP Thrift Store to raise funds for the organization’s charitable programs. Many NTC personnel have continued the help into this year by volunteering their time to assist in the HEP kitchens, which serve shelter residents in the local area. Other recent NTC projects include collecting used video games and gaming equipment on behalf of a local charity that donates the items to hospitalized children.

****While NTC’s clientele in the residential mortgage banking industry are located throughout the country, Hillman explained that the company’s corporate culture is focused on giving back to the community in which the organization and its employees reside. “All of us at Nationwide Title Clearing – from senior-level management to our professionals and support staff – believe it is important to stay grounded in the local community. We’re committed to lending our support to those in unfortunate circumstances and helping them attain a better quality of life,” he asserted. “I believe that philanthropy leads to prosperity; so by helping others in the community, we can make life in the Tampa Bay area better for everyone.”

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

Life-Cycle Lending: Talking Operational Efficiency

*Talking Operational Efficiency*
**By Harvey Foster**

***Today I want to discuss operational efficiency from three different but equally important perspectives, each with strong implications for lenders. Fiserv is pleased to offer this information to enable you to be more knowledgeable in your evaluation of adopting a common loan origination platform and the strategy’s potential in terms of the borrower experience, your staff resources and your IT/hardware costs. Here’s what you should think about:

****The Customer Perspective

****In terms of both profitability from cross-sell opportunities and enhancing the borrower experience, lenders must consider the customer-centric perspective as critical for growing the organization’s loan portfolio.

****>> The multi-platform scenario – In this scenario, a borrower currently has a mortgage loan and a boat loan with the financial institution. Because the two original loans were processed on two separate platforms, customer data is stored in two places. More often than not, the platforms do not communicate with each other, so customer data-sharing is minimal, if not impossible. Gathering loan product scenarios from multiple origination systems is extremely complex and time consuming. Each application produces its own loan product information and the lender must then try to synchronize and deliver that data in real time to the consumer for true comparison. This not only curtails the lender’s ability to serve the customer but also inhibits the ability to spot product trends and cross-sell opportunities. If the customer now needs to finance an equipment purchase for a small business, he or she may have to start from the beginning in terms of completing the application, since the system used to originate business loans cannot access data from the previous loan transactions. This results in repetitive data entry, hinders timely and wise credit decisioning and increases the possibility for errors. In addition, it limits cross-sell opportunities because there is not one true snapshot of the borrower’s total relationship with the financial institution.

****>> The single-platform scenario – In this scenario, the lender utilizes a common platform to handle all processing for the borrower’s three loan originations. Borrower information is stored on one system, eliminating the need to share data between different platforms. When the borrower comes to the lender for another loan, virtually all financial information is already available to the lender through a search capability, simplifying the origination process for both borrower and lender. Data integrity issues are eliminated, and the borrower experience is a positive one. And, as cross-sell opportunities come about, the financial institution has a holistic snapshot of the borrower’s entire portfolio so it can make the most prudent – and potentially most profitable – product offers.

****The User Perspective

****Operational efficiency is directly tied to how internal staff is able to utilize technology resources.

****>> The multi-platform scenario – For lenders utilizing different platforms for different loan products, there is no common look and feel between systems. The Consumer Loan Department may have to learn one platform for equity loans and another for mortgage loans. The user experience suffers because staff members must create “work-arounds” or use manual processes to manage all accounts. Production personnel also have to be trained on multiple systems in order to support more than one type of portfolio. Origination volume suffers because of the extra time required to work with different systems and in different departments.

****>> The single-platform scenario – One platform means one look and feel. Multiple loan products are processed from the same system, so staff is trained once and empowered to work efficiently between lending verticals. The financial institution is able to standardize processes and procedures, and staff feels more comfortable and capable of contributing across loan departments. The single-platform approach leverages operational efficiency. Business users can set up processes across channels, users, departments and products with the requisite controls and history tracking to safely implement changes, and individual users can enjoy a streamlined productivity tool. The business rules management incorporated in a common system increases flexibility by letting lenders establish security and processes according to the needs of their business, and deploy capabilities and functions according to user roles and responsibilities.

****The Technology Perspective

****Technology that separates loans into distinct functional silos can be a barrier to driving down operational, implementation and support costs. With the fierce competition in today’s lending markets, implementing an efficient software deployment strategy can mean the difference between growing the portfolio and just surviving.

****>> The multi-platform scenario – Using multiple platforms makes managing the enterprise lending operation much more complex. Each distinct platform runs on a different operating system and database. The consumer platform may run a .NET Application, Oracle Database and a Citrix Server configuration, while the commercial system runs an AIX-based Java Application, IBM DB2 Database and an Internet Explorer deployment. The mortgage system may run on a C++ platform. As a result, IT resources must be staffed to support all three hardware platforms and their existing operating system applications. Just maintaining the three diverse systems for updates, compliance/regulatory demands and ongoing integration hampers the lender’s ability to keep up with market changes and conditions. In addition, staffing, training, operational cost, processing efficiency and the overall borrower experience are adversely affected.

****>> The single-platform scenario – Having one platform typically simplifies processing automation by providing tools designed to respond to industry and business changes quickly and efficiently. Usually, system tools allow the lender to establish security and create rules to ensure process consistency. Reducing disparate technology systems and redundant interfaces creates efficiencies because the same processes are applied to all loans. For instance, when compliance initiatives require updates, it is a one-time process. All testing to verify compliance with the new requirements is also performed only once. IT staff supports one platform, one operating system, and one database. Seamless data transfer assures consistent and accurate customer data throughout the origination process, regardless of loan type.

Harvey Foster joined Fiserv in September 2011 as Product Manager for Common Origination Platform, the flagship origination solution offered by Fiserv. He has more than 35 years of experience in the banking and software solutions industries holding positions as client services manager, conversion support manager, education manager, and senior product analyst for commercial and consumer loan products.

Market Analysis: UCDP Integration Doesn’t Have To Be Hard

*UCDP Integration Doesn’t Have To Be Hard*
**By Tony Garritano**

***Many are worried about the new appraisal delivery transition, but it doesn’t have to be hard. Vendors and AMCs are there to help. For example, InHouse Inc., a provider of appraisal technology for banks, lenders, credit unions and other mortgage originators, is successfully integrating lenders and appraisal management companies (AMCs) to the Uniform Collateral Data Portal (UCDP) in a matter of a few weeks, and without the long term contract required by many others.

****“InHouse is helping lenders connect and deliver appraisals electronically to the portal in record time,” asserts Jennifer Creech, president and chief executive officer of InHouse. ”We can help lenders and AMCs integrate to UCDP in about half the time it would take them to do a manual interface with the GSE website, or in two to three weeks,” Creech added.

****As part of the new GSE appraisal submission requirements, appraisals must be supplied in MISMO XML format or as a first-generation PDF.  InHouse’s Connexions technology can easily convert first-generation PDFs into the MISMO format for faster submissions. In addition, Connexions validates the compliance and tracks the status of all appraisals.

****Lenders and vendors can choose between 26 providers when it comes to integrating to UCDP, though InHouse is one of only 13 providers offering access to the UCDP directly, versus through the GSE’s web-based interface, which requires a more time-consuming integration project.

****AMCs, loan origination systems and lenders seeking access to the UCDP directly may leverage InHouse’s integration and electronically submit appraisals to the GSEs. Doing so eliminates the manual upload process in the user interface. InHouse is offering a very competitive one-time integration fee of $5,000 without a long term commitment, and a per transaction fee of $2.00.

****All AMCs, appraisers and lenders on the InHouse Connexions platform are able to submit appraisals to the GSEs in accordance with the new appraisal submission standards in effect for loans originated after December 1, 2011 and delivered on or after March 19, 2012.

****Partnering with InHouse for direct access to the UCDP gives lenders and AMCs a much more efficient option, Creech said. “The integration time is reduced to two to three weeks, and it’s very cost-effective for the lender or AMC compared to packages offered by competitors. “There’s no need to code to the complicated UCDP specs. Lenders and AMCs only need to send a MISMO file through, and InHouse takes care of the rest,” she added.

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

Understanding The News: Help Is On The Way

*Help Is On The Way*
**E-Appraisal Partnership Forms**

***ACI, a leading innovator in valuation technology for the mortgage industry, announced that StreetLinks Lender Solutions has integrated with ACI’s eServices, an appraisal delivery service to help ensure compliance with client/lender and investor requirements. eServices combines appraisal compliance and quality rules with electronic delivery as a standard feature accessible from the appraiser’s ACI desktop software. ACI’s approach helps ensure that appraisal data complies with both the Uniform Appraisal Dataset (UAD) and MISMO XML requirements before the appraiser completes the appraisal report.

****“ACI uses integration services from its appraisal software to create customized delivery solutions. The new StreetLinks eService provides a connection for us to seamlessly receive native XML directly from appraisers’ computers with the assurance of our quality and compliance standards,” said Tony Ebeyer, chief strategy officer for StreetLinks. “The ACI system is intuitive and allows for additional flexibility in processing and managing appraisal reports. That’s why thousands of StreetLinks appraisers will rely on it every month.”

****Prior to delivering the appraisal report to StreetLinks, the new eService performs an in-depth quality control review using ACI’s PARLogic review rules. The comprehensive library of both industry best practices and job-specific business rules checks the appraisal report for compliance with StreetLinks’ policies. Once the appraiser has satisfied the requirements, the file is delivered to StreetLinks for further processing and eventually delivered to either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

****“As a result of this technology collaboration with StreetLinks, we have developed a comprehensive pre-delivery UAD audit and XML delivery service that makes the process for the appraiser simple and efficient,” said George Opelka, senior vice president for ACI. “The upgrade provides greater accuracy, which benefits all parties — appraisers, management companies, the GSEs, and borrowers.”

****ACI’s appraisal solutions are tailored to the needs of the organizations ACI serves. The ACI client base features many of North America’s premier lenders, national appraisal companies, and real estate brokerage firms. From connecting appraisers nationwide to streamlining quality control, ACI enables organizations to process appraisals and manage.

Progress In Lending

The Place For Thought Leaders And Visionaries

Powering Today’s Lenders: Let’s Put The Spotlight On The Lender

*Let’s Put The Spotlight On The Lender*
**By Daniel Liggett**

***This is the first article in our ‘Lender Spotlight’ series where we share stories from actual lenders about how they select and implement technology initiatives. Each story is told by the decision-makers themselves and describes in detail, the thought process behind their choices. This week’s ‘Lender Spotlight’ focuses on Florence Savings Bank in Ware, Massachusetts.

****Too often during searches for new lending technology, the majority of the focus is placed on the functionality and capability of the product, and the importance of vendor quality is either undervalued or overlooked.

****This can be highly detrimental to a lending organization in search of enterprise-wide technology because the quality of whom you deal with can be the determining factor in the degree of success that is achieved with the technology.

****Florence Saving Bank, a $1.1 billion lender in Central Massachusetts performed quite a bit of due diligence before deciding on an LOS. We, like many others, were bogged down with regulation changes and could no longer tolerate the maintenance, inefficiencies and limitations of their antiquated LOS of ten years. We wanted a flexible, online solution that could handle both mortgage and consumer lending. Vendor quality was of concern after experiencing a decline in support over the lifetime of their LOS.

****Jeff Smith, Vice President at Florence Savings, and his team prepared a detailed list of functionality that they required. They looked at nearly a dozen LOSs, choosing three or four to review in depth. None of them handled all of our requirements, nor did any differentiate themselves from the other.

****We then began hearing success stories from lenders using an LOS, available from an area reseller, that wasn’t even on Florence Saving’s initial list of candidate systems. We grew more interested as the varying lenders we encountered described the RemoteLender LOS provided by Specialized Data Systems. The more we listened, the more we were intrigued that this single LOS was able to meet the varying needs of the different lending operations and I was especially surprised when each lender repeatedly cited SDS’s high level of service as a determining factor in their success.

****Armed with this feedback, we then performed an in-depth technical review of RemoteLender and also scrutinized SDS to determine their viability, experience and capability as a vendor. It was important to Florence that SDS could handle the implementation and customization of the LOS, as well as all phases of ongoing maintenance, including monitoring compliance issues.

****After passing the most exhaustive review of any technology in its history, we chose RemoteLender. SDS went to work assessing the banks’ requirement, developing a phased implementation project plan and refining RemoteLender to fit our lending model.

****We received great support from SDS during the rollout phase. We had weekly scheduled conference calls to keep us on task and set forth milestones to monitor our progress. With SDS being essentially a ‘local’ vendor, they are here for us to provide the support and business services that we need to achieve our goals.

****SDS handles all of the custom reporting and integrations, and since RemoteLender is deployed online, SDS continues to maintain all hosting functions (through a third-party) including all IT, security, backup and connectivity tasks.

****Our RemoteLender is not like any other banks’ system, it does what we want it to do the way we want it. We are fortunate to have SDS as our vendor because we plan to keep RemoteLender for 10-15 years.

****The key to a long-lasting LOS is performing the due diligence on the vendor as well as on the functionality. The quality of the vendor and the level of service they provide are essential to getting the most from your technology and achieving your lending goals in the most cost-effective manner.

****Next week’s ‘Lender Spotlight’ focuses on an Eastern Connecticut lender who chose PowerLender deployed in-house.

Daniel Liggett serves as Director of Client Services for Associated Software Consultants’ PowerLender Loan Origination & Processing System. He has more than 20 years experience in mortgage lending and loan automation systems. Danny oversees the configuration, training, support and project management efforts for loan origination and secondary marketing at ASC and serves as a development and marketing advisor.

Market Analysis: What Do We Really Know About Shadow Inventory?

*What Do We Really Know About Shadow Inventory?*
**By Tony Garritano**

***Estimates about how large the shadow inventory is and how long it will take to dispose of vary. What we know for sure is that the inventory is huge and it will put a crimp in industry recovery for some time. PROGRESS in Lending has learned that according to CoreLogic, the current residential shadow inventory as of October 2011 remained at 1.6 million units, representing a supply of 5 months. This was down from October 2010, when shadow inventory stood at 1.9 million units, or 7-months’ supply, but approximately the same level as reported in July 2011.  Currently, the flow of new seriously delinquent loans into the shadow inventory has been offset by the roughly equal flow of distressed (short and real estate owned) sales. Here’s what else the CoreLogic research revealed:

****CoreLogic estimates the current stock of properties in the shadow inventory, also known as pending supply, by calculating the number of distressed properties not currently listed on multiple listing services (MLSs) that are seriously delinquent (90 days or more), in foreclosure and real estate owned (REO) by lenders. Transition rates of “delinquency to foreclosure” and “foreclosure to REO” are used to identify the currently distressed non-listed properties most likely to become REO properties. Properties that are not yet delinquent but may become delinquent in the future are not included in the estimate of the current shadow inventory. Shadow inventory is typically not included in the official metrics of unsold inventory.

****Data Highlights:

****>> As of October 2011, shadow inventory remained at 1.6 million units, or 5-months’ supply and represented half of the 3 million properties currently seriously delinquent, in foreclosure or in REO.

****>> Of the 1.6 million properties currently in the shadow inventory (Figures 1 and 2), 770,000 units are seriously delinquent (2.5-months’ supply), 430,000 are in some stage of foreclosure (1.4-months’ supply) and 370,000 are already in REO (1.2-months’ supply).

****>> Florida, California and Illinois account for more than a third of the shadow inventory. The top six states, which would also include New York, Texas and New Jersey, account for half of the shadow inventory.

****>> The shadow inventory is approximately four times higher than its low point (380,000 properties) at the peak of the housing bubble in mid-2006.  A healthy housing market should have less than one-month’s supply of shadow inventory, which would be an easily absorbed stock of distressed assets with little or no discernable impact on house prices, unless the inventory was geographically concentrated.

****>> Despite 3 million distressed sales since January 2009, a period when home prices were declining at their fastest rate, the shadow inventory in October 2011 is at the same level as January 2009.

****>> Because shadow inventory is often concentrated in suburban and exurban submarkets, where distressed sales compete with new construction sales, it is one of the reasons why new home sales continue to be weak. In normal times, new home sales account for 12 percent of all sales, but they are currently running at 7 percent of all sales.

****>> Based on current estimates of the visible inventory (both distressed and non-distressed), the shadow inventory is approximately half of all visible inventory listings. For every two homes available for sale, there is one home in the “shadows” (Figure 3).

****“The shadow inventory overhang is a large impediment to the improvement in the housing market because it puts downward pressure on home prices, which hurts home sales and building activity while encouraging strategic defaults,” said Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic.

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

Life-Cycle Lending: Optimizing Technology Across Verticals

*Optimizing Technology Across Verticals*
**By Harvey Foster**

***Lagging technology is a key cause of higher operational costs and organizational inefficiency, which negatively affect both profit margins and the borrower experience. For lenders using numerous lending platforms to manage various loan products, the challenges associated with aging technology are only multiplied. In uncertain markets, IT budgets are quickly eaten up on maintenance and compliance initiatives, with little left over for new products, services and capabilities.

****Maintaining different technology platforms across lending silos also breeds duplication of effort, redundant processing and IT support, and inefficient use of valuable staff resources. Since each platform is unique, there is virtually no standardization of processes, procedures or best practices.

****Disparate Lending Platforms Deliver Operational Inefficiencies

****Lenders that utilize different loan origination systems to support mortgages, business loans and consumer products cannot help but find operational inefficiencies lurking around every corner. Multiple platforms inhibit enterprise-wide customer views and data utilization. As a result, cross-sell opportunities are missed, communication both internally and with the borrower is ineffective, and customer data retrieval and verification are inconsistent.

****Lending platforms often utilize entirely different processes and procedures, severely limiting the ability to have a collaborative lending strategy on an enterprise scale. A multiple-platform approach also triggers inconsistent decisioning, which lengthens the loan origination process and impacts profitability. This approach can even affect the borrower experience, as inefficient processing dashes customer expectations for “right now” loan options, approvals and documentation. Further, since each system requires maintenance and support, there is significant – and costly – duplication of effort, driving up operational costs and wasting manpower.

****Challenges Posed by Inefficient Technology

****In a poll conducted by Fiserv in late 2009, 40 percent of respondents indicated that they have the right business strategy but need to better leverage technology. When asked if their technology enables them to keep pace with the current lending environment, nearly one-third said they wished they were better at leveraging opportunity.

****The figures are telling and suggest some of the circumstances faced in the executive suite relative to lending strategy going forward.

****>> Chief Operating Officer – Developing, enhancing and maintaining efficient organizational processes can be severely challenging for organizations. The reporting and monitoring of operational metrics for multiple lending platforms is labor intensive and cost prohibitive. The effort required to promote best-practice processes across verticals can divert attention away from more beneficial duties, such as fine tuning day-to-day performance to promote company growth, increased profitability and future expansion.

****>> Chief Information Officer – Directing data information and integrity throughout the organization can be problematic. Each lending system has its own technology, making the infrastructure and networks extremely difficult to manage and maintain. Disparate loan systems may not link together, making the validation and certification of customer data exponentially more challenging for the CIO and the organization.

Harvey Foster joined Fiserv in September 2011 as Product Manager for Common Origination Platform, the flagship origination solution offered by Fiserv. He has more than 35 years of experience in the banking and software solutions industries holding positions as client services manager, conversion support manager, education manager, and senior product analyst for commercial and consumer loan products.

Market Analysis: Ellie Mae Isn’t Wasting Any Time

*Ellie Mae Is Wasting No Time*
**By Tony Garritano**

***Usually when a technology vendor acquires another vendor you see a slow transition whereby eventually one product becomes more robust and the other is grandfathered. However, Ellie Mase is getting to work fast on making the most out of its acquisition of DataTrac. PROGRESS has learned Ellie Mae’s second major release of its Encompass360 mortgage management solution is now live. This release contains new functionality and enhancements designed to further increase compliance, efficiency and ease of use. It also introduces Encompass Originator, an integrated front-end technology solution specifically for users of DataTrac mortgage software. Here’s the scoop:

****The upgrade’s major enhancements include:

****>> Functionalities for complying with the new data delivery requirements, including the Uniform Loan Delivery Dataset (ULDD) and Uniform Collateral Data Portal (UCDP)

****>> Integration with DataTrac, through Encompass Originator

****>> New secondary marketing functionalities for Encompass360 Banker Edition clients

****>> New document recognition functionality with bar coding for all e-disclosure and closing documents

****>> New and expanded status online communications options

****>> Ability to process borrower credit cards in the appraisal solution center

****>> Numerous additional client-requested enhancements

****Encompass360 now supports ULDD requirements, enabling users to export one or more loan files to be submitted to the GSEs. The new UCDP service, which uses an integrated systems interface to the GSEs’ UCDP, allows users to submit electronic appraisal data files, receive status and findings, correct and modify appraisal file submissions, and request overrides should an appraisal not be accepted by the UCDP.

****This upgrade’s trade management and secondary marketing enhancements enable more flexibility with detailed viewing and tracking of mortgage-backed securities and assignment of trades. Rate lock and secondary registration enhancements include lock extensions and expanded functionality for buy side profit and price concessions.

****Among the many additional upgrades are enhancements to Encompass360’s electronic document management capabilities, which include additional bar coding, destination scanning from network scanners to eFolders, and eSigning of non-disclosure documents. New status online communications now further support and extend clients’ brands by enabling consistency and structure across outbound communications to borrowers and partners. Numerous compliance-focused changes have also been made to support USDA loans, and changes have been made to the HUD-1, the statement of denial, and other forms.

****Further, Encompass Originator provides single-click access between Encompass360 and DataTrac, creating a front-end/back-end origination solution built on the two technologies. With this integration, users of both solutions can now easily submit loans directly from Encompass360 to DataTrac, without having to re-key, import or export any data.

****Encompass Originator includes all of Encompass360’s front-end capabilities, including all the new upgrade enhancements. Now DataTrac clients can have access to Encompass CenterWise, Ellie Mae’s secure web and electronic document management service; a secure e-folder for paper-free document signing and exchange; numerous integrations with third party solution providers; easy-access customizable pipeline views; HUD integration; powerful tracking and alert systems; built-in compliance management tools designed to enhance RESPA and MDIA compliance; appraisal ordering and management, customer relationship management and more, all from the same company.

****“The industry’s changing regulations and procedures are putting a lot of new demands on lenders, and this upgrade provides the tools to respond to many of those demands, whether from regulators or investors,” said Jonathan Corr, COO of Ellie Mae. “At Ellie Mae, our clients feel comfortable about voicing their needs because they know we take action. This upgrade reflects the changing needs of our clients, while continuing our mission to build the most streamlined, easy-to-use technology for transacting the highest quality loans.”

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

Market Analysis: The Impact Of HARP 2.0

*The Impact Of HARP 2.0*
**By Tony Garritano**

***I’ve been talking to a lot of people about HARP 2.0. Will it help? Will it hurt? Will it have any impact at all? The jury is out depending on who you talk to. Regardless, Urban Lending Solutions, a provider of residential and commercial outsource fulfillment and settlement services to the mortgage origination and servicing industry, has shifted internal resources to provide more support to lenders and servicers that will capitalize on the new streamlined Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP).

****“This is going to be a great opportunity for the nation’s homeowners,” said Mike Forgas, President of Urban Lending Solutions. “The new guidelines will allow more borrowers to qualify and this will lead to an increase in refinance activity. Banks may not be staffed to handle this increase and they are reaching out to qualified partners to help support and streamline the HARP 2.0 refinance process. We have been very successful supporting our existing clients with the HARP process.”

****The original goal of the HARP program was to allow underwater borrowers to refinance. However, strict guidelines prevented many homeowners who wanted to refinance from qualifying. Under HARP 2.0, these restrictions have been relaxed and the processing has been streamlined. Many industry experts expect the program to result in a wave of new refinances. However, industry guidance from the former GSEs has thus far been sketchy, leading many lenders to seek out professional support for their upcoming HARP 2.0 programs.

****“This is an excellent opportunity for banks to meet their annual corporate diversity goals at the same time they significantly expand their refinance business, if they partner with a qualified Minority Business Enterprise,” said Thomas “T.J.” Lewis, Corporate Diversity and Business Development Executive for ULS. “We have a proven team that is already working with some of the nation’s largest lenders and servicers and we are an MBE. It makes us a perfect choice for this program.”

****“Our experienced team of mortgage professionals will allow us to help our lender partners move quickly to secure this new business,” said Penny Nelson, Vice President of Mortgage Services Operations for ULS. “We have Urban University, and a dedicated training team that allows us to get our staff up to speed very quickly on the bank’s technology platform.”

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