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Enhancing Electronic Document Management

PROGRESS in Lending has learned that INTEGRA Software Systems has selected Axacore’s Electronic Document Management platform to power the paperless workflow features within their loan origination platforms Destiny and Epic which are used by residential, consumer and commercial lenders. Here’s how lenders benefit:

Building on Axacore’s platform will allow INTEGRA’s existing and new customers access to end-to-end, enterprise grade Electronic Document Management features without needing to manage a third-party vendor.

“Through working closely together on solutions for mutual customers, we have come to know and respect the INTEGRA team and their ‘customer first’ philosophy. With recent regulatory changes, it’s a great time to strengthen and build on this relationship,” said Steve DeBlasio, Vice President of Business Development at Axacore. “The synergy created by having imaged documents and LOS data co-exist is critical for any lender to meet current loan quality standards”, added DeBlasio.

Jerry Pratt, President of INTEGRA, added, “We are committed to providing our customers the best products available with the highest level of integrity. A partnership with Axacore allows us to focus on our core products while leveraging Axacore’s document management expertise”, added Pratt.

Two Transaction Services Firms Link Up

*Two Transaction Services Firms Link Up*
**Investment Made**

link-up***Two privately-held real estate transaction services companies based in Cleveland have formed a strategic partnership. Accurate Group Holdings, Inc. (“Accurate”) has made an undisclosed investment to solidify its partnership with national title and settlement company OPTIMA Lender Services, LLC (“OPTIMA”). The investment and partnership signifies the interest of these privately-held companies to work together more closely to help grow each business.

****“We’re excited to be associated with an industry leader experiencing explosive growth nationally,” says OPTIMA CEO Monique Winston. A newer player in the real estate transaction space, the certified Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) launched in 2011, has already earned recognition and secured major clients. “Although Accurate is larger than we are and has been around longer, they share our high standards of excellence and an interest in utilizing cutting-edge, customer-friendly technology solutions.”

****The two companies also share a commitment to inclusion. “It was great to find a respected MBE partner demonstrating its desire to impact minority- and women-owned enterprises positively,” says Paul Doman, CEO of Accurate. “OPTIMA’s presence in the first mortgage space will further enhance our offerings and broaden our market opportunities. We are proud to partner with OPTIMA to expand our business and our commitment to diversity.”

****OPTIMA is on pace to double its revenue in 2013 and expects to expand its market share by leveraging its newest partner’s cost-effective valuation appraisal capabilities. Accurate continues to experience rapid growth in 2013 and is actively adding capabilities and investing in new opportunities to execute on its aggressive growth plans.

****The Accurate Group provides national real estate transaction services to the financial services industry with a focus on title information, valuation services and loan due diligence services. OPTIMA Lender Services, LLC is one of the few minority-owned and controlled vendor management/national title and settlement companies in the country. It provides clients with third-party services related to residential and commercial loan portfolios, including full title and settlement services on residential and commercial properties for purchase and refinance transactions, as well as certain title and settlement services to support the default and REO process. Additionally, OPTIMA offers title services for post-closing and audit functions to assist in the “clean up/correction” of deficient loan portfolios. OPTIMA clients include government organizations and private financial institutions.

Another Big Technology Partnership

*Another Big Technology Partnership*
**By Tony Garritano**

TonyG***In yesterday’s newsletter I talked about a partnership between Carrington and Equator. Today, I’ve heard of another noteworthy pairing. ServiceLink has partnered with Home CORE, a national network of non-profit service organizations dedicated to providing homeownership opportunities to millions of low-to-moderate income families through down payment assistant programs and the purchase and rehabilitation of foreclosed and condemned properties nationwide.

****In addition to traditional lenders and servicing companies, ServiceLink works closely with private equity groups, investment trusts, and large non-profit organizations like those affiliated with Home CORE to successfully convert their pools of real estate owned (REO) properties into lease, rental or purchase properties. Through its partnership with Home CORE, ServiceLink will help increase affordable home ownership opportunities by managing all of the activities needed to transition these properties into move-in condition, including assisting with due diligence, coordinating and over-seeing rehabilitation and repairs, providing title and closing services and supporting the loan origination process through borrower counseling.

****“Traditionally, non-profit housing programs have a tough time gaining access to affordable housing, which is why the work that we are doing at Home CORE is so important,” said Home CORE National Program Director, Rita Sullins. “By combining the assets and resources of more than 20 leading non-profit organizations, we have the scale to significantly impact housing needs across the country. With that, however, come greater operational challenges in managing this large number of properties spread nationwide. ServiceLink’s end-to-end capabilities make them the perfect partner to support our mission.”

****Stacey Bayley, Senior Vice President, Asset Management with ServiceLink, said, “I believe that by partnering with Home CORE to transform large pools of REO properties into viable homes for America’s low-to-moderate income families, we will have a meaningful positive impact on both our nation’s housing market and economic recovery.”

****Under the guidance of Home CORE and C.S.A.R. Inc., Save a Child Housing Authority, a Denver based nonprofit with a 55-year history of serving families in Colorado communities, became one of the first organizations to be approved and close with one of the national GSE’s investor bulk asset pools in 2012.

Market Analysis: Another Noteworthy Partnership

*Another Noteworthy Partnership*
**By Tony Garritano**

***Last week I heard of a partnership between AllRegs and Mortech. Today I heard of a new partnership that I also think is significant. The StoneHill Group, a nationwide provider of quality control audits, fulfillment, due diligence and FHA insuring solutions for mortgage originators, announced a strategic alliance with MRG Document Technologies (MRG), a provider of mortgage document preparation software and mortgage compliance technology and expertise that maximize profits and reduce costs for mortgage bankers. This alliance has, and will continue to, add value to clients of The StoneHill Group through the use of MRG’s CompliancePlus solution.

****“Mortgage companies, Credit Unions and Banks will benefit from this partnership because the management teams share a passion for quality in the services provided,” said David Green, president of The StoneHill Group. “Our management and staff have direct experience in the origination, underwriting, closing, post-closing, sales, and administration of file assets. It’s a win-win across the board for mortgage loan originators. MRG will deliver accurate, compliant document packages and complete the legal reviews required by state law in TX. StoneHill will do the heavy lifting of reviewing the files and delivery to investors and the GSE’s.”

****The StoneHill Group takes every measure to insure compliance, understanding that being SSAE 16 certified is extremely important to banks, credit unions and independent mortgage companies. It is definitely a positive variable cost alternative.

****MRG’s CompliancePlus represents a robust solution to the escalating demands of the regulatory environment ensuring compliance control integrated with the document preparation process. “By incorporating MRG’s CompliancePlus into services offered by The StoneHill Group, the lender benefits from MRG’s compliance coverage and an integrated DEFENSE of the content and compliance calculations,” said Mike Riddle, Managing Partner.

****Regulatory reform is underway led by the efforts of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and the rules for real estate financing are changing. Lenders that use a service provider which is tightly integrated with a nationally recognized compliance provider for their QC, fulfillment and due diligence requirements are provided safeguards against mistakes and borrower or investor recourse. The partnership of The StoneHill Group and MRG Document Technologies brings confidence and competence to the mortgage banking community.

Market Analysis: A Partnership That Matters

*A Partnership That Matters*
**By Tony Garritano**

***When you’re the leader in a space, who you partner with matters. When the GSEs chose Veros to run the new appraisal portal that was significant. Today I learned about another partnership like this that I think matters. Mortech, Inc., a mortgage technology software company specializing in solutions for mortgage bankers and secondary market teams, announced an exclusive new strategic alliance with AllRegs, the market leader when it comes to providing mortgage information. Under the new agreement, the Mortech Product & Pricing Engine (PPE), a tool built into MarksmanLMP, will be the exclusive PPE recipient of AllRegs’ massive loan product library, which includes loan programs for more than 70 investors, some of whom only share information with AllRegs. Here’s the scoop:

****“We’ve worked with Mortech for a number of years and wanted to create a more strategic alliance with the company,” said Dan Thoms, executive vice president and chief strategy officer at AllRegs. “We’ll be supporting loan originators through Mortech in a number of new ways, including providing educational services and special origination and compliance-focused webinars to their lender customers.”

****“This alliance solidifies MarksmanLMP’s leadership position in the market,” said Don Kracl, president of Mortech. “Marksman’s Lending Management Platform has never been a traditional PPE. In fact, that’s only one aspect of the functionality included. Because we also provide so many other tools to help loan officers qualify opportunities before entering the LOS, it was difficult for simple PPEs to compete. Now with AllRegs providing its exclusive loan library data to only to Mortech, it adds even more value to the MarksmanLMP process.”

****Previously, AllRegs provided its data to a number of PPE providers in the marketplace, but decided earlier this year to concentrate its efforts on a single strategic alliance. AllRegs subscribers will still have complete access to its AllRegs LoanLibrary data, whether they use a commercial PPE or not.

****MarksmanLMP qualifies mortgage leads prior to moving them to the LOS by simplifying, automating and organizing the entire mortgage lending process, from lead acquisition to assessment and marketing to processing. Online window shoppers are converted into customers quickly and easily, freeing up the LOS from the clutter of deals that will never close in the process.

Understanding The News: Stretching Partnerships Even Further

*Stretching Partnerships Even Further*
**Alliances Tighten**

***The mortgage industry is very complex. As a result, more and more companies are looking to other companies to form synergies. For example, PROGRESS in Lending has learned that United Guaranty, a national mortgage insurance company, announced today an expansion of its strategic alliance with Optimal Blue, the award winning comprehensive, Web-based platform that couples pricing and secondary marketing automation with content management for the mortgage industry. Here’s the scoop:

****United Guaranty customers can receive United Guaranty MI rate quotes and pull MI rate history while searching for investor pricing and eligibility in Optimal Blue. Under the agreement, within Optimal Blue, United Guaranty automatically delivers a mortgage insurance quote for up to five products at a time along with locking capability to originators who have a master policy, and an MI premium estimate to lenders who have not established a relationship with United Guaranty.

****“This added functionality gives users mortgage insurance pricing and comparisons to FHA pricing—without leaving Optimal Blue,” said Chris Clement, SVP-Field Production at United Guaranty. “We’re leading the industry in the investments necessary to simplify processes for customers and help loan officers get borrowers in the right loan.”

****In today’s environment, lenders must leverage every advantage to respond to consumers quickly and accurately. Within the Optimal Blue platform, users now have access to United Guaranty’s Performance Premium risk-based MI pricing, enabling them to receive either an instant estimate or a detailed quote. Users can pull a PDF of the MI quote, and because each loan has an MI history, users can also go back at any time if the loan criteria change and a new quote is needed. Users also have the option to lock the detailed quote with UG at any time.

****“Optimal Blue has always prided itself on being able to deliver the most value to mortgage lenders,” explains Lawrence Huff, co-Founder and co-CEO of Optimal Blue. “This partnership exemplifies that philosophy – as it gives customers the ability to not just lock in an MI quote, but to stay within the Optimal Blue platform. We continue to advance our platform to create the most automated workflow, giving our customers accurate data quality, better control and compliance, and improved profitability.”

****“This exclusive partnership with Optimal Blue shows our commitment to provide MI accessibility in all scenarios. This lets originators get a rate quote quickly and easily, cutting the time required to know a loan’s cost,” said Clement. “Providing the MI quote during the eligibility stage lets users know in one location that they’ve met general MI requirements.”