Correspondent Lending Made Easier

As more lenders look to increase their correspondent lending channel, the smart ones are turning to technology to boost this emerging line of business. For example, Data-Vision Inc., a provider of Internet lending technologies that enables mortgage lenders to quickly and affordably implement Web portal and e-lending capabilities, and Associated Software Consultants, Inc. (ASC), developer of the PowerLender Loan Origination System, today announced that Farmington Bank has successfully launched its new Correspondent Lending Portal (CLP). Here’s how it all came together:

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“Being able to provide an electronic lending portal to our correspondents is imperative in today’s banking market,” stated Jim Wilson, senior vice president and director of residential and consumer lending at Farmington Bank. “The CLP solution allows us to streamline processes and significantly increase production while driving cost efficiencies.”

Data-Vision’s Correspondent Lending Portal (CLP) offers a real-time cloud-based link between Farmington Bank and its correspondent lenders. Deeply integrated with PowerLender by Associated Software Consultants (ASC), Data-Vision’s CLP provides a robust solution for pricing, registration, and ongoing communications for correspondent lending. By working directly with ASC and Farmington Bank, a joint client, Data-Vision was able to offer a system that benefits both Farmington Bank and their correspondents.

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Data-Vision President, Randy Schmidt, stated, “The collaboration with ASC was exceptional, which allowed us to deliver this powerful solution to Farmington Bank. The CLP solution delivers real-time pricing, immediate registrations, pipeline management, secure messaging and document exchange. This allows for faster and more complete data transfer with less overall maintenance and better communication between all parties.”

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Vendor Tries To Advance Origination

VirPack has unveiled its Originator Portal product. The innovative web portal enables lenders that use VirPack’s Document Management and Delivery System (DMDS) to provide originators new web-based capabilities that improve originators’ efficiency and make borrower’s non-public personal information (NPI) more secure.

The Originator Portal is a web-based, intuitive, customizable tool that provides a downloadable list of the documents required for a particular loan, based on predefined rules. With a single click, an originator can upload a required document or a batch file of loan documents in a secure manner directly to the lender. Originators can also access a list of outstanding documents as well as monitor a loan file any time they want, from wherever they are, in a secure manner.

“VirPack created the Originator Portal to increase efficiencies for originators and reduce the time they spend on a loan during the origination process, enabling them to close more loans and generate more revenue for themselves and the lenders that provide the web portal to them,” said Cy Brinn, chief operating officer at VirPack.

Moreover, because VirPack’s advanced Document Management and Delivery System is integrated with the Originator Portal, TPOs can communicate through a secure message feature with lenders and other business partners, and loan data is synchronized with the data in the loan origination system. Lenders using DMDS can more easily and efficiently comply with regulations and cooperate with audits because an electronic audit trail is created and that makes it faster to review and audit an mortgage transaction.

“The Originator Portal was developed with the aim of extending the benefits and efficiency gains from VirPack’s Document Management and Delivery System as well as improve the efficiency of the document management and communication process with originators,” said Brinn.

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Mortgage Lead Generation

Don’t you just love it when business just flows? Well, the refinance wave is over and now most lenders will have to work harder to keep that wave of new business flowing. But technology can help. For example, LendingQB officially unveiled a consumer web portal that keeps a lender’s pipeline flowing with lucrative leads. Here’s how it works:

The new web portal is complimentary, custom-branded and securely encrypted. It allows a lender’s customer to apply for loan approval online, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This portal works for lenders even when they’re not working. Convenient accessibility to necessary information gives the lender a competitive edge and empowers the customer to initiate the application submission. The portal also streamlines the process and reduces the lender’s burden to track down and collect new consumer information. Now LendingQB lenders can easily and successfully differentiate themselves from their competitors by elevating its customer’s online experience to get faster results on loan application status. The new portal features include:

>> No more e-mailing unsecured documents.  Consumers can safely upload and store information within the portal and request a letter of approval within a 24 hour time frame after submitting the necessary documentation.

>> Immediate, real-time results.  Essential for lean lenders, the portal can be configured to automatically pull credit reports & Desktop Underwriting after forms have been submitted online.  A pre-approval letter can then be provided for customers.

>> PriceMyLoan engine.  This pricing engine configures and produces accurate loan cost results.  For example, LendingQB’s GFE feature produces closing costs & APR values.

“Our consumer portal allows lenders to issue pre-approvals 24/7.  Given how important pre-approval letters are for purchase transactions, this new portal position lenders to be constantly accessible to consumers and their real estate agent partners,” said Binh Dang, LendingQB president.

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Start At The Beginning

*Starting At The Beginning*
**By Tony Garritano**

TonyG***We often think about a mortgage starting at the point-of-sale with a broker or a loan officer. It actually starts with the real estate broker though. So, when we talk about automation, it needs to start there, at the true beginning of the process. For example, RES.NET now enables real estate brokers to generate custom checklists to enhance transparency and communication among their agents and customers. Here’s how this works:

****Art Acosta, broker owner of Chino, Calif.-based ERA Regency Realtors, one of the nation’s top producing agencies, said, “My team has been using RES.NET for many years, and we have seen the company’s commitment to continually adding new features according to our needs. RES.NET is making the resale transaction process more expedient and simple, empowering my agents to provide exceptional customer service. The checklist gives us the back office support we need and ensures we always have the appropriate documents on hand for compliance and auditing purposes.”

****Through RES.NET, brokers can establish unique checklists for each transaction type and create lists for agents based on their specific role as a traditional resale, listing or short sale agent.  After a broker’s initial checklist is built, agents specify their property type and role in RES.NET’s Agent Portal, which then automatically configures a checklist based on the broker’s requirements. Any responsibility, from completing disclosure documents to performing walk-throughs to marketing tasks, can be included on a checklist, giving brokers complete oversight of activities, due dates, status updates, documents and other key data. Brokers can also designate specific triggers within checklists to ensure required steps are completed on time. All documents are archived for brokers to quickly access to fulfill compliance and auditing requirements.

****“We have worked closely with brokers to identify their business needs and determine how we can use technology to optimize and streamline transactions,” said Todd Mobraten, COO and President of RES.NET. “Brokers largely needed a complete back-office management solution, and now RES.NET’s checklists and transparent system ensure they have ultimate control of their businesses. They can supply agents with the best possible technology to improve their performance while focusing on customer service instead of managing daily tasks and deadlines.”

****In total, RES.NET’s Agent Portal is one of the platform’s six portals that connect all participants of a real estate transaction, including banks, servicers, brokers, agents, vendors and consumers.

LRES Updates Appraisal Web Portal

*LRES Updates Appraiser Web Portal*
**New Features Released**

portal***PROGRESS in Lending has learned that LRES, a national provider of commercial and residential valuations and asset management for the mortgage, banking, credit union and real estate industries, has launched new features to its vendor portal website designed to enable licensed appraisers the ability to manage their residential and commercial property appraisal orders more efficiently.

****The updated vendor portal website offers smoother workflow and transition to various site features, more organized work queue based on priority of orders, dashboard with order counts by status and the ability to search/sort, order payment history and detail and an interactive mapping system. Workflow management features include the ability to search and view completed orders/work files by dates, addresses, order numbers, payment status, etc. The vendor portal website also now emphasizes special instructions/order due dates and provides unlimited access to engagement letters.

****“LRES places a premium on the strength of its vendor network, so we constantly look for ways to improve their user experience and work more efficiently,” said Roger Beane, CEO of LRES. “The new features added to our vendor portal website create a more productive environment and user-friendly experience for our valued partners.”

****Orange County, Calif.-based LRES is a national commercial and residential financial services provider offering property valuations, asset management and technology solutions for clients. With more than 10 years of continued growth, LRES offers complete and customized solutions and managed business processes for the origination and default markets.

Lender Looks For New Talent In New Ways

*Lender Looks For New Talent In New Ways*
**Recruiting And Training**

***Churchill Mortgage, a lender providing conventional, FHA, VA and USDA residential mortgages across 26 states, announced its partnership with Ron Quintero, CEO of the Real Estate Radio Network, a nationwide alliance of real estate professionals reporting on the current real estate market. Through this partnership, Quintero will help support the lender in recruiting, training, motivating and retaining loan officers.

****With Quintero’s strategic guidance, Churchill Mortgage has also created, a centralized training portal to support branch managers in recruiting and training local talent. The website features employee testimonials and informational videos about Churchill’s lending philosophy, in addition to information about applying for open positions.

****“I’m excited for the opportunity to work with a mortgage company that is not only celebrating its 20th anniversary, but continues to excel despite the challenging economic environment,” said Quintero. “Churchill Mortgage truly sets the industry standard in mortgage lending, and I look forward to supporting their recruitment efforts.”

****Churchill Mortgage continues to maintain steady growth and is currently on track to reach $1 billion in loans. In 2011, the lender increased staff by more than 11 percent, and continues to recruit industry talent and open new branches across the nation.

****“Ron’s professional insight and proven methods give us a tremendous advantage in preparing our employees for the evolving mortgage landscape as well as recruiting new staff,” said Mike Hardwick, president of Churchill Mortgage. “As we continue to grow, Churchill aims to recruit the industry’s top professionals, and we look forward to Ron’s support as we maintain our commitment to being the nation’s most trusted financial advisor.”

Preserving Home Ownership

*Partnership Looks To Preserve Home Ownership*
**Hope LoanPort Makes News**

***Hope LoanPort (HLP), the national, non-profit, Web-based mortgage solution tool used for streamlining loss mitigation applications, has partnered with GMAC Mortgage to launch Homeowner Connect ( As a consumer direct Web portal, Homeowner Connect will standardize the entire communication life-cycle of loss mitigation activities between mortgage servicers and borrowers. Homeowners, who may be struggling with their mortgage, will have the ability to connect with valuable free resources, such as information on options via government and industry programs – all in one place and from any computer with internet access.

****GMAC Mortgage sponsored this effort and will proactively notify its borrowers at-risk of foreclosure about the availability of this option. Additionally, GMAC Mortgage customers will be able to securely apply for foreclosure alternatives, through Homeowner Connect, directly online. They will have the ability to submit their application, track their status, and upload all required documents.

****HLP will also partner with MortgageKeeper Referral Services, a Web-based database application containing over 6,000 non-profit and government agencies in 20 different service categories. MortgageKeeper’s application will help homeowners using HLP to access local solutions for their unique situations—potentially enhancing their qualification for a foreclosure alternative.

****“GMAC Mortgage has been a pioneer in the industry and a great partner since the creation of Hope LoanPort. A great deal of insight was provided by GMAC’s team in the creation of this free, user-friendly utility. We expect Homeowner Connect to be a real game changer in the industry as a powerful tool in assisting homeowners facing foreclosure,” said Cam Melchiorre, President and CEO of Hope LoanPort.

****“GMAC Mortgage is committed to preserving home ownership whenever possible,” said Dana Dillard, Senior Vice President, GMAC Mortgage. “In that spirit, we’re proud to support this initiative with Hope LoanPort to provide useful tools and education to borrowers.”

****Homeowner Connect was created in response to the National Mortgage Settlement, which called for a consumer-centric web portal. Additionally, Homeowner Connect aligns with requirements found in the OCC Consent Orders, the joint-GSE Servicing Alignment Initiative, as well as many new state policies symbolized by the recent passage of the California Borrowers’ Bill of Rights. With this broad based industry appeal, HLP is actively working with other mortgage servicers to participate in Homeowner Connect after the initial roll out to GMAC customers. Participation is open to both servicers already using the HLP Housing Counselor Portal, and new participants with HLP.

****The Web design and development for Homeowner Connect is through IndiSoft, the developer of RxOffice, a technology development company for default servicing in the financial services industry.

Understanding The News: A New Tool For LOs Emerges

*A New Tool For LOs Emerges*
**Fixing The Transparency Issue**

***PROGRESS in Lending has learned that Mortech, Inc., a mortgage technology software company specializing in solutions for mortgage bankers and secondary market teams, has released a new technology allowing loan officers the ability to exchange real-time mortgage application data directly with their borrowers. The secure consumer-facing portal, called Connect, is available completely free to users of Mortech’s MarksmanLMPplatform. The tool increases overall transparency. Here’s how:

****“Transparency and open communication are the keys to rebuilding trust with today’s homebuyer. And that’s exactly what the new Connect technology provides,” said Don Kracl, president of Mortech. “At the same time, originators are under pressure to expend fewer resources on every loan they close. The Connect platform makes that easy by opening up a communication line directly with the borrower and allowing them to provide more of the required information on their own.”

****Connect offers the following benefits in one tool without requiring originators to buy a new technology platform:

****>> Enhanced communication between consumers and lenders. Lender personally invites consumer to the Connect platform

****>> Eases the burdens for lenders associated with collecting 1003 loan application data from borrowers.

****>> Accelerates the application process for borrowers – full application inside Connect comes pre-populated with data already collected from any previous online short form applications.

****>> Allows lenders to access and exchange consumer data bi-directionally in LOS platform and other technologies (all data from 1003 app is stored inside MarksmanLMP).

****>> Provides borrowers with the ability to check mortgage rates for their specific lender.

****>> Gives consumers access to rate calculators: “How Much Can I Afford? Should I Refinance?” etc.

****>> Provides helpful information to consumers about the mortgage process.

****>> Creates new communication channels between lenders and Realtors for status updates.

****Connect is powered by, also owned by Mortech and is seamlessly integrated into Mortech’s MarksmanLMP platform. Each originator portal is automatically branded for individual companies.

Understanding The News: The Hunt For Accuracy

*Decisioning Vendor Promotes Quality*
**New Portal Speaks to Precision**

***Optimal Blue, the developer of a Web-based platform that couples decisioning technology with content management for the mortgage industry, has launched its online broker origination portal and investor credit overlay tools. Comprehensive in scope, the origination portal incorporates a seamless integration with Fannie Mae’s Desktop Underwriter (DU) application, enabling lenders and originators to make informed credit decisions on conventional conforming and FHA loans. In addition, the rollout also includes investor credit overlays, showing users the underwriting and purchase stipulations unique to each investor merged with the DU findings.

****In this market providing the right access to tools at the point-of-sale is critical. It’s imperative that mortgage lenders have real-time information, from accurate, real-time product and pricing to accurate decisioning and underwriting technology. This engine has incorporated access to decisioning for brokers, retail loan officers and lenders, providing genuine efficiency gains that help originators and lenders increase pull through and further automate the workflow while protecting lenders again repurchase risk.

****According to Larry Huff, co-CEO of Optimal Blue, “Having DU in this space hasn’t been a competitive differentiator to date, but as more lenders focus on boosting their origination portal’s and back office capabilities , being able to offer them collectively with Fannie Mae’s Desktop Underwriter along with the investor overlays has been extremely appealing. In one view, customers can see the loan stipulations alongside the individual investor’s credit overlays. For processing, secondary marketing, underwriting and shipping departments, this is tremendously compelling – it provides a high level of confidence as to whether the loan will be purchased.”

****Optimal Blue’s eligibility has always been a core competency, so it was a natural progression for the company to focus on enhancing that aspect of the engine. Optimal Blue’s staff worked diligently to incorporate eligibility on the credit overlays at the investor level. For any lender, not being able to sell a loan can have significant financial ramifications. These investor credit overlays provide confidence that loans have been underwritten properly and can be sold.

****Huff continued, “Within one platform, originators and lenders have accurate, real-time pricing and eligibility, access to DU decisioning, and the most comprehensive credit overlays and secondary marketing tools in the industry.”

****The last year has been significant for Optimal Blue, having restructured its engine, released Loan Originator Compensation functionality, and now, releasing the DU integration and investor credit overlays. According to executive management, the company is continuing to work on several significant and complementary developments and plans to release those in the next few months.