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Partnership Demystifies The Home Buying Process

Optimal Blue has entered into a technology partnership with San Francisco, CA.-based Roostify, a digital mortgage platform provider. Optimal Blue’s enterprise mortgage pricing service is now accessible to banks and mortgage originators nationwide that utilize Roostify’s innovative technology to deliver a streamlined home lending experience to their borrowers and partners. This strategic alliance of two technology experts will further accelerate and demystify the home loan and closing experience.

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Roostify enables loan officers and borrowers to seamlessly share and track critical information in the mortgage application and closing process through a secure interface that significantly improves client responsiveness and reduces cycles for loan officers. The combination of Optimal Blue’s expertise in pricing, along with the transparency and step-by-step guidance in Roostify’s loan application and closing processes, provides increased efficiency and profitability through accurate and precise tools.

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“Our goal is always to enable lenders to offer the best possible loan application experience to consumers, and we’re excited to further that goal through partnering with an industry leader like Optimal Blue,” explained CEO of Roostify, Rajesh Bhat. “The integration with Optimal Blue is a win for our joint customers, who will be able to close loans faster and more seamlessly. It’s also a win for their customers, who will benefit from a more transparent, streamlined application process and realize a far less stressful home-buying experience.”

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“Lenders have an insatiable appetite for innovative, market-leading solutions that drive ease, transparency and efficiency to the mortgage process,” said Mark Coupland, Vice President of Business Development at Optimal Blue. “We’re extremely excited to see Roostify connecting with the Optimal Blue platform in such a way that the tools driving pricing and product decisions, as well as workflow, will be interwoven into a unique experience within Roostify that provides tangible value for both the lender and consumer.”

The Roostify platform — accessible from anywhere, including mobile devices –– provides shorter loan processing times by allowing lenders to eliminate manual application origination tasks, documentation, and status communication, reducing the time required to close a loan. In addition, applicants can pull data into the application directly from their financial institutions, circumventing mistakes that can delay or derail a loan decision.

Gellert Dornay, President and CEO of Axia Home Loans explained, “Roostify is a key component in giving our clients the ability to quickly and confidentially submit financial information to begin the process of an entirely new mortgage experience, while Optimal Blue’s automation tools significantly increase our efficiency and profitability. The integration of these services will further streamline and improve our clients’ mortgage experience, addressing increasing customer demand for greater transparency, confidentiality and ability to expedite! This all fits perfectly into Axia Home Loans’ strategy to improve the process for our clients to make educated decisions around sustainable homeownership.”

Optimal Blue Transitions To New Ownership

Optimal Blue has been acquired by GTCR, a private equity firm. It was also announced that Founders and co-CEO’s, Larry Huff and Ivan Darius, will be transitioning leadership of Optimal Blue to Scott Happ, Founder and former CEO of Mortgagebot. Happ will join Optimal Blue as Chief Executive Officer at close. Sue Baker, a former Senior Vice President at Mortgagebot, will join Happ as Vice President of Product. The management team will stay in place.

GTCR will work with Happ, Baker and Optimal Blue’s management team to expand the Company’s strong network offerings and further invest in its technology. The transaction is expected to close in the next four weeks. Huff and Darius will remain involved with Optimal Blue as consultants and ensure a seamless transition to Happ.

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GTCR has committed up to $350 million of equity capital to the investment, to pursue growth initiatives at Optimal Blue, as well as complementary acquisitions to provide information and other digital services to the mortgage marketplace.

“I’ve had the great fortune to work with and serve the best customers, employees and partners one could imagine,” said Larry Huff, Co-Founder and Co-CEO. “I also would like to recognize the great partners we have at Serent Capital. Kevin Frick, Lance Fenton, and the others have been incredibly supportive partners and invaluable to the success at Optimal Blue. It has been an incredibly rewarding experience, and I look forward to my continued involvement.”

“Adding industry veterans Scott and Sue and the GTCR resources will turbo-charge the performance of the incredibly talented team assembled at Optimal Blue,” added Ivan Darius, Co-Founder and Co-CEO.

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Strategic Alliance Enhances LO Productivity

Optimal Blue has entered into a technology partnership with SimpleNexus. Optimal Blue’s compliant pricing services, backed by its accuracy rate, will now be available to industry professionals and consumers through the SimpleNexus mobile platform. Having this dynamic blend of resource tools at their fingertips, loan officers will be more efficient in nurturing clientele and facilitating all phases of the loan process.

There has been an unprecedented demand for pricing through mobile platforms, so executives from both companies are confident that this alliance will set the new standard for compliance, convenience, security and mobility. The combination of Optimal Blue’s expertise in pricing, along with the robust capabilities of SimpleNexus’ mobile platform, will provide loan officers and other stakeholders with increased profitability and productivity by providing the necessary tools when and where needed.

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“SimpleNexus enables originators to interact with borrowers and agents, not only during the loan, but before and after as well,” said Matt Hansen, president of SimpleNexus. “This strategic partnership was an ambitious accomplishment. Optimal Blue’s reputation and focus on innovation align perfectly with who we are, so we are confident that lenders and their partners will see increased production when utilizing these technologies.”

“This is the perfect blend of skills and services provided by two best-in-class companies,” commented Mark Coupland, vice president of business development at Optimal Blue. “This will further extend the reach of both companies’ offerings into the loan origination process, benefiting all stakeholders in the process and most importantly, the consumer. This is just the beginning.”

From lead generation to closing, Optimal Blue and SimpleNexus will continue to provide innovative solutions that offer organizational-level compliance, while improving the experience for all parties involved in the mortgage process.

Integration Speaks To TRID Compliance

D+H has completed integrations with both DocMagic and Optimal Blue into its MortgagebotLOS loan origination platform, as well as a compliance readiness platform called Barometer. “We are constantly working to build or integrate the best technology and find new ways to improve the end-to-end experience for our lending clients,” said Bill Neville, president of D+H’s Lending and Integrated Core Solutions business. “But every one of these efforts must be supported by the same foundation of compliance expertise that protects clients now, and into the future. They are part of the company’s overarching commitment to being the industry leader in compliance excellence.”

Optimal Blue is a cloud-based provider of managed-content, product pricing and eligibility (PPE), secondary marketing, point-of-sale, and compliance technology and services to the mortgage industry. The integration will give mortgage lenders seamless access to Optimal Blue’s family of enterprise lending services, including product pricing and secondary marketing functionality which syncs in real time, directly from the MortgagebotLOS environment.

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“Optimal Blue is excited to deliver this comprehensive integration with D+H and MortgagebotLOS. Market and customer demand has been tremendous for this partnership, and we’re pleased to now be able to meet that demand,” said Mark Coupland, vice president of Business Development at Optimal Blue. “Working with the D+H team has been a great experience and it is reflected in the work we have done together. The feedback from our beta testers has been outstanding, and we are now making this available to the entire market.”

D+H also expanded its existing integration of MortgagebotLOS and DocMagic, a provider of fully compliant loan document preparation, compliance, eSign, and eDelivery solutions. Under the agreement, D+H becomes an official reseller of DocMagic products and services.

“We are pleased to have D+H as an approved reseller of our products,” said Steve Ribultan, director of Business Development at DocMagic. “D+H and DocMagic have always worked extremely well together by providing lenders with an efficient, seamless and compliant process that is second to none. As a reseller, D+H is now empowered to independently introduce our solutions to their prospective clients.”

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These integrations provide D+H clients with a fully compliant, streamlined, and comprehensive workflow, moving from the institution, through loan documentation, all the way through to secondary marketing. D+H was able to safeguard compliance for these integrated solutions by tapping its own extensive understanding of TRID, led by the company’s Compliance Legal department and network of Federal and State Counsel.

D+H also saw opportunities to share its understanding of the regulatory space directly with clients, which led to the development of Barometer, a role-specific, scenario-based preparation tool to assist lenders in complying with the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule.

Barometer facilitates learning by testing users’ understanding of the TILA-RESPA rule against real-world scenarios created by D+H experts, and includes video, audio and written content. Barometer was rolled out as a free service to 300 clients and 1,500 end users to help clients prepare for TRID.

“Most financial institutions do not have a single or consistent solution for compliance training and were scrambling to prepare for the arrival of TRID,” said Sue Britton, vice president, Innovation and Commercialization, D+H. “We were glad to be able to offer so many of our clients complimentary access to Barometer. This service combines our insight and expertise with a state-of-the-art learning solution, giving clients the confidence that their teams can succeed with TRID.”

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Optimal Blue Streamlines Secondary Services

Optimal Blue Secondary Services, a provider of web-based hedging, loan allocation and best execution services to the mortgage industry, unveiled the industry’s first automated bulk bid management module. This functionality is available as a component of the Optimal Blue Secondary Services system, a platform that combines real-time market pricing with accurate investor and market eligibility content to optimize profitability and efficiency for Optimal Blue’s mortgage origination clients.

Optimal Blue Secondary Services’ technology already gives originators the tools to scrub their data for logical and eligibility errors, and obtain accurate pipeline valuations daily. In addition, they’re able to understand the factors causing their pipeline valuations to change and maximize their best execution strategy with a real-time, multiple investor, multiple commitment style best execution and loan allocation platform. The automated bulk bidding functionality further enhances this model by enabling originators to tame unwieldy bulk bidding processes that currently force inefficient and potentially inaccurate spreadsheet manipulation. Rather than rely on spreadsheets, originators can now bring bids into the Optimal Blue system, and compare them against each other and also against existing executions without having to wrestle with spreadsheets.

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“The automated bulk bid functionality enables our customers to send and receive bid files automatically, facilitating their ability to analyze multiple investor bid results and any other execution that is available to them in one, real-time best execution platform,” said Don Brown, Managing Director for Optimal Blue Secondary Services. Brown also noted that this innovative functionality expedites the bulk bidding process for Optimal Blue customers and, more importantly, ensures that these originators find their best execution every day, on every trade, and with every loan.

Patrick Ruybal, Risk Management Specialist at All Western Mortgage explained, “The most immediate impact with this new functionality is time savings. The new bulk functionality offers a clear view of a true execution within the Optimal Blue platform, allowing me to hit winning bids in a much timelier manner against market movement!”

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He continued, “Allocating loans into the different execution types is also much more efficient, and I no longer need to create individual bulk commitments for individual loans.” Ruybal now experiences a significantly simplified process of importing his spreadsheet, viewing individual loan prices and then easily allocating everything under one commitment number.

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New Mortgage Pricing App Emerges

Optimal Blue, a cloud-based provider of enterprise lending services to the mortgage industry, recently hosted a gathering of lenders, vendors, industry experts and leaders at their 2015 Client Conference. The conference featured more than 30 industry experts, and over 80 exhibitor and sponsor attendees. Among other things discussed, the company launched a new product. Here’s what happened:

Themed “Instruments of Change,” this year’s conference focused on empowering users through managed-content workflow services. Hundreds Optimal Blue customers were able to preview multiple new innovative services, learn more about the services through in-depth feature discussions, as well as enjoy topical panels and educational sessions.

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“This is my second year attending the Optimal Blue Client Conference and it keeps getting better,” said Juan Rodas, SVP of Secondary Marketing for First Guaranty Mortgage Corporation. “It is very exciting to see all of the new things that Optimal Blue is working on, and to engage in peer to peer discussions regarding important industry topics. Knowing that our comments and ideas as customers are truly taken into consideration during enhancements and designs makes it a worthwhile conference to participate in.”

An exciting highlight of this year’s conference was the introduction of QuickSearch, a privately branded mortgage pricing app for mobile devices. Backed by the guaranteed accuracy of the premier product and pricing engine, Optimal Blue Banker, QuickSearch allows loan officers to perform real-time pricing searches for their borrower at anytime, anywhere. A configurable quick search form displays the fields that are most important and relevant to the company’s business while configurable results are displayed based on unique product offerings.

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Larry Huff, co-Founder and co-CEO of Optimal Blue, states, “We hope our customers leave the conference feeling connected and informed, with a deeper understanding of our commitment to innovation that drives Optimal Blue, as well as our commitment to quality and providing customers with services that will further drive business efficiency, profitability, and compliance.”

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LendersOne Endorses Optimal Blue

The Lenders One Mortgage Cooperative, a national alliance of community mortgage bankers, correspondent lenders and suppliers of mortgage products and services, recently announced the selection of Optimal Blue as a new preferred vendor. Optimal Blue, a cloud-based provider of enterprise lending solutions to the mortgage industry, provides mortgage banks, community banks and credit unions the ability to navigate the complex mortgage process from capital markets, to consumers, and back.

“Lenders One is focused on delivering opportunities for our members to be innovative in the communities they originate in and with the borrowers they serve. Optimal Blue fulfills that with its highly-regarded suite of technology offerings that’s been proven to simplify the origination process for borrowers and help attract more customers,” said Jeff McGuiness, CEO of Lenders One.

Optimal Blue offers a suite of innovative services that help mortgage banks, credit unions and community banks improve efficiencies, manage compliance, reach consumers and boost secondary market performance. Consumers are looking for a new approach to the lending process according to recent study from PwC’s Experience Radar research group, which found that more than one-fourth of consumers (28%) are looking for a purely online mortgage experience. Meeting that demand is the cloud-based eOriginations platform that extends the simplification of mortgage originations to consumers through an online mortgage application experience, providing transparency and greatly reducing the time and effort required from prospective borrowers.

“Optimal Blue’s innovative technology greatly improves a lender’s ability to originate compliant mortgages efficiently, and to engage consumers who are increasingly interested in applying for mortgages online,” said Larry Huff, Co-CEO of Optimal Blue. “We look forward to working with Lenders One to help its members become more efficient, competitive, profitable, and equipped for success in today’s evolving mortgage origination market.”

Vendors Integrate To Help Lenders Mitigate Risk

D+H Corp. has entered into an agreement with Optimal Blue that will broaden the scope of solutions offered to its MortgagebotLOS loan origination clients, with product eligibility and pricing services, as well as secondary marketing services. Here’s how the integration happened and why it matters for lenders:

“We’re very pleased to partner with a forward-thinking FinTech leader like D+H that shares our focus on the future of web-based financial services, our industry expertise, and our understanding of what clients need in order to thrive in this shifting landscape,” said Larry Huff, co-founder and co-CEO, Optimal Blue.

The integration of these platforms will enable mortgage lenders of financial institutions to seamlessly access Optimal Blue product and pricing functionality without leaving the MortgagebotLOS environment. In addition, secondary marketing and loan lock functionality accessed within Optimal Blue will be consolidated and synchronized with MortgagebotLOS in real time.

“We understand how important it is for our clients to maintain a seamless experience throughout all stages of the origination workflow,” said Bill Neville, president, D+H USA. “By integrating Optimal Blue’s system with MortgagebotLOS, we are making it easier for our clients to optimize their operations so they can focus on what they’re known for — providing outstanding service to their customers.”

Through the use of Optimal Blue’s lending solutions, lenders are able to perform secondary marketing functions, automate lock policies and processes, receive detailed pricing information both real-time and historically, as well as build and maintain loan products, profitability and branch structures. Once each loan has been sourced and priced through Optimal Blue, they may be processed within MortgagebotLOS for submission to preferred lenders. Users can also opt to pre-qualify borrowers through select lenders by leveraging Optimal Blue’s automated underwriting capabilities. Lenders leveraging Optimal Blue’s pipeline risk management, best-execution, loan allocation and hedge advisory services will also have seamless and real-time loan data from MortgagebotLOS.

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Fair Lending Analysis Does Not Have to be Complex!

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Fair Lending is confusing! The biggest question most lenders have is, how do I prove to an examiner that we do not have pricing disparity?

As a leading pricing engine in this country we heard this loud and clear from our clients and found a way to organize pricing data, equalize the interest rates, demonstrate a strong compliance management system over pricing disparity and recall this information for research or an exam.

Here is how it works:

  1. You pricing engine is configured to standardize your pricing policy. It also houses the reasons why a loan was priced a certain way, based on known variables such as risk adjustments and time-price differential in market shifts.
  2. The unknown or generally undocumented variables come from the borrower decisions. This means that based on the exact same borrower, the decision that they make can result in an interest rate difference of 1%. So it only makes sense that two borrowers who are similar in financial profile could have a different rate not based on pricing disparity, but based on the decision they made. The Optimal Advantage system locks down those decisions at the time of lock in.
  3. The Fair Lending analysis is done at the time of lock in, versus waiting until the loan closes and the mistake is already made or the reasons are a mystery.
  4. The time burden for analysis is very minimal because of the structure of the best practices workflow and the use of automation.
  5. The equivalent rate feature is a patented process that automates the equalization of your borrower rates with a push of a button! As a pricing engine we have the data to mathematically make all loans equal by accounting for risk adjustments and time price differentials.
  6. Finally, the historical database is a “real time” search of what was available for your client or any other scenario during that day in history. The ability to run this search combined with the ability to run a comparable search is a time-saver in an exam.
  7. All of this combined into a best practices workflow, turns fair lending analysis into an easier task for the mortgage company by saving time, personnel, money and increased regulatory scrutiny.

The response so far for Optimal Advantage and the Patent Pending Equivalent Rate has been overwhelmingly positive from our lender clients, their examiners, and consultants. To download a Free copy of our White Paper on Equalizing Rates, which is written by Ivan Darius, PHD and David Skanderson, PHD, please scan the QR Code or go to: ww.optimalblue.com/fair-lending-white-paper.

To speak with Tammy directly please email her at tbutler@optimalblue.com

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Gaining A Pricing Edge

What do lenders need these days? Among other things, as much real-time data as possible. Lenders want access to fully adjusted competitor pricing, including all loan-level pricing adjustments, margin and loan officer compensation. A new product by Optimal Blue that offers up market pricing intelligence hopes to fill this industry need. Here’s how:

Specifically, Optimal Blue Insight is a real-time price benchmarking service, which provides retail pricing information for 470 lenders across 280 metropolitan areas nationwide. “Optimal Blue Insight enables lenders to compare their retail pricing against the rest of the market for all loan types and loan scenarios,” commented James Rowe, Managing Director, Data and Analytics. “It provides actual consumer facing prices – not survey responses – which is an important competitive edge for optimizing volume and profitability.”

Lenders have up to the minute access to fully adjusted competitor pricing, including all loan level pricing adjustments, margin and loan officer compensation. And the pricing is segmented so users can see high, medium and low volume lenders in each market.

“Optimal Blue Insight has proven itself to be a valuable tool for managing our lending strategies. It provides comprehensive pricing information, and helps us validate our competitiveness in the markets we serve,” said AJ Swope, SVP, Secondary Markets, Primary Residential Mortgage, Inc.

Optimal Blue’s Product Eligibility and Pricing Services provide lenders, originators and consumers with decision-making capabilities, resulting in increased workflow productivity. The company’s enterprise lending platform connects almost 200 investors with 3,000 financial institutions, and touches nearly 1 in every 6 new mortgages.

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