Residential Briefs

Fannie Mae: Housing Expected to Remain Supportive Through 1st Half 2020

Fannie Mae, Washington, D.C., said expected easing trade tensions, stimulative fiscal policies and continued consumer spending spurred an upgrade to its 2020 forecast for real GDP growth of 1.9 percent.

Fannie Mae said housing added to growth in the third quarter for the first time in more than a year and a half, it expects momentum to continue into the fourth quarter and the first half of 2020. Consumer spending is expected to remain the primary driver of economic growth for the forecast horizon, with business fixed investment poised to benefit in the new year as additional corporate expenditures work to meet sustained consumer demand. Housing should also continue to function as a positive contributor to growth in the near term, said Fannie Mae Chief Economist Doug Duncan, as indicated by both new and existing single-family home sales advancing in the third quarter, as well as pending home sales, permits and starts. However, persistent supply and affordability constraints continue to hold back household formation, inhibiting housing market activity.

Fitch Ratings Taps Red Bell’s Automated Valuation Model For RMBS Ratings

Red Bell Real Estate LLC, Philadelphia, a wholly owned Radian subsidiary, was named among a group of automated valuation model providers by Fitch Ratings, to supply AVMs in support of Fitch’s rating of residential mortgage-backed securities transactions.

Fitch’s announcement came as it published new RMBS rating criteria and a report, AVMs Can Play a Helpful Role in U.S. RMBS. Fitch will now allow AVMs to be used as secondary valuations for due diligence where a full appraisal is already present. AVMs may also be used as the primary valuation for second liens and seasoned performing loans.

ClosingCorp: 15,000 Mortgages at Risk from California Wildfires

ClosingCorp, San Diego, estimated the residential mortgage industry has more than $7 billion in loan value and more than $60 million dollars in service fee and transfer tax revenue at risk as a result of recent California wildfires.

ClosingCorp based its estimate on “in-flight” residential mortgage applications in the FEMA designated affected areas for the Easy, Getty, Kincade, Saddleridge and Tick fires. An “in-flight” mortgage application is defined for this analysis as mortgages that are due to close between October 24, 2019 when the initial fire was declared by FEMA and the end of the year.

Snapdocs Raises $25 Million Series B Round

Snapdocs Inc., San Francisco, raised $25 million in Series B funding, led by F-Prime Capital and with participation from previous investors Sequoia Capital, which led Snapdocs’ Series A, Freestyle Capital and Founders Fund.

With this funding, Snapdocs will continue to develop its artificial intelligence offerings and platform so that homebuyers can close on homes faster and with less stress. As part of the funding round, David Jegen of F-Prime Capital will join Snapdocs’ board of directors. Snapdocs’ platform currently powers more than 10 percent of all U.S. residential mortgage transactions, totaling $150 billion in real estate transactions annually.

Fitch Ratings: No Rating Impact for U.S. RMBS Prepayment Shortfalls

Fitch Ratings, New York, said modest interest shortfalls in U.S. residential mortgage-backed securities related to loan prepayments will have no effect on credit ratings since the shortfalls are not credit related. The recent shortfalls have been driven primarily by the recent jump in voluntary prepayments in the sector, but have been disproportionately common in transactions with non-traditional servicing fee structures.

Fitch said shortfalls have affected classes rated up to AAAsf and in some post-crisis transactions. Of the post-crisis classes that incurred an interest shortfall, the average amount of the shortfall in the most recent remittance report was $4,916, or less than half of 1 basis point of the bond balance. Fitch said it does not expect the prepayment interest shortfall amounts to be material, or to occur when voluntary prepayments return to a level more consistent with long-term averages. Credit ratings do not consider the likelihood or occurrence of a prepayment interest shortfall.

Plaza Home Mortgage to Offer Reverse Jumbo Mortgages up to $4 Million

Plaza Home Mortgage Inc., San Diego, launched a proprietary Reverse Jumbo mortgage program that will offer refinance loan amounts of up to $4 million with no FHA mortgage insurance requirement.

The fixed-rate program is available through Plaza’s Wholesale channel in California and Hawaii. It covers a wide range of property types including single-family, 2-4 units, townhomes and condominiums, and has no minimum or maximum draw amounts. The program can also be used to refinance seasoned home equity conversion mortgages to jumbos or jumbos to HECMs. The guidelines are very similar to Plaza’s other HECM offering in terms of credit, income and age requirements.

Kentucky Bankers Association Endorses Promontory Fulfillment Services for Mortgage Services

Promontory Fulfillment Services LLC, New York, announced the Kentucky Bankers Association endorsed its mortgage fulfillment services and proprietary point-of-sale technology, Borrower Wallet.

PFS’ tech-driven mortgage fulfillment platforms are designed to help banks, especially community banks, compete in the mortgage business without incurring the expense and burden of supporting an entire mortgage operation. They enable banks to determine their own product and loan pricing strategies while PFS provides POS technology and process.

RealtyBid Offers ConveyancePrep Services for FHA Servicers

Covius, Denver, announced its RealtyBid online auction platform is now offering pre-conveyance prep services for REO properties within HUD’s Claims Without Conveyance of Title program.

As part of the ConveyancePrep program, RealtyBid will routinely perform title curative services, identify HOA delinquencies and liens and, if requested, coordinate evictions on CWCOT properties listed on the site for “second chance” auctions. If the properties sell at auction, addressing these issues in advance can accelerate the closings. If the properties don’t sell, title and HOA issues will already have been identified and resolved in preparation to convey them back to HUD.

Guaranteed Rate Selects LBA Ware’s CompenSafe

LBA Ware, Macon, Ga., announced Guaranteed Rate Cos. improved internal processes and enhanced the loan originator experience with implementation of CompenSafe. One of the largest retail mortgage lenders in the United States, Guaranteed Rate deployed CompenSafe nationwide to improve its automated compensation process for nearly 1,500 LOs and other bonus-eligible employees.

According to Ken Kane, Chief Accounting Officer for Guaranteed Rate, the switch from manual, spreadsheet-based incentive calculation to an automated platform tailor-made for the mortgage industry has enabled Guaranteed Rate Companies to scale more efficiently. It’s also freed the lender’s accounting staff to spend less time preparing compensation statements and more time on compensation review, which helps the company reduce risk and provide a better experience for LOs.

Freddie Mac Credit Protects $69 Billion in Single-Family Mortgages in Third Quarter

Freddie Mac, McLean, VA., said its Credit Risk Transfer program transferred $2.5 billion of credit risk on $69 billion of single-family mortgages from taxpayers to the private sector in the third quarter. This brings the year-to-date total of credit risk transferred to $7.3 billion on $196 billion of single-family mortgages.

Through its flagship offerings, Freddie Mac issued six STACR and ACIS transactions in the third quarter–three on-the-run deals (DNA and HQA) and three seasoned deals (ARMR and FTR). As a result of STACR and ACIS on the run transactions this quarter, Freddie Mac transferred between 80 percent (high LTV HQA series) and 90 percent (low LTV DNA series) of the credit risk on the underlying reference pools, helping to reduce capital required under the Conservatorship Capital Framework. Since the first CRT transaction in 2013, Freddie Mac’s single-family CRT program has cumulatively transferred $51 billion in credit risk on nearly $1.4 trillion in mortgages.

Stearns Lending Powers Customer Experiences with Total Expert

Stearns Lending LLC, Minneapolis, implemented the Total Expert Marketing Operating System to personalize marketing and engagement efforts, boost loan officer productivity and drive business growth. The Total Expert MOS helps Stearns Lending loan officers and Account Executives leverage customer data, so they can build stronger relationships and improve the customer experience.

The Total Expert MOS will drive marketing and sales for the entire Stearns Lending enterprise, including Certainty Home Loans, Citywide Home Loans, Stearns Home Loans, Stearns Wholesale and six joint ventures, including BKCO Mortgage, Compass Home Loans, The Gibraltar Group Mortgage, Home Mortgage Alliance, KBHS Home Loans and Results Mortgage. Within each organization, loan officers can create and coordinate automated, scalable outreach to prospects and customers alike, delivering data-driven messaging across a variety of channels and transforming their experience within the brand.

Ginnie Mae MBS Outstanding Increases to $2.101 Trillion

Ginnie Mae, Washington, D.C, said issuance of its mortgage-backed securities totaled $60.046 billion in October, providing financing for more than 229,000 homeowners and renters.

A breakdown of October issuance includes $57.450 billion of Ginnie Mae II MBS and $2.596 billion of Ginnie Mae I MBS, which includes $1.737 billion of loans for multifamily housing. Ginnie Mae’s total outstanding principal balance of $2.101 trillion is an increase from $2.019 trillion in October 2018.

Qualia Raises $55M Series C

Qualia, San Francisco, raised $55 million in Series C financing led by Tiger Global, increasing its total funding to $95 million, alongside existing investors Bienville Capital, 8VC and Menlo Ventures.

The company will use the funds to hire talent in their product, engineering and go-to-market teams, with a focus on accelerating growth and building strategic partnerships. The funding positions Qualia to expand its role as the central technology infrastructure for all real estate transactions and empower digital transformation for partners.

Finance of America Mortgage LLC Partners with LBA Ware’s CompenSafe

LBA Ware, Macon, Ga., announced Finance of America Mortgage LLC upgraded its incentive compensation process with CompenSafe. With CompenSafe’s near real-time loan origination system data integration, FAM is automating incentive compensation for its more than 1,500 loan originators and other bonus-based employees.

The lender engaged LBA Ware to deploy CompenSafe because the flexible platform could replace its existing homegrown compensation platforms, which it inherited from the conglomerate’s several major acquisitions.

Mid America Mortgage Completes In-House Conversion of Mortgage Servicing Operations

Mid America Mortgage Inc., Addison, Texas, completed transition of its servicing operations to its newly formed in-house servicing department. As of November 4, Mid America’s national servicing portfolio, which currently comprises more than 35,000 loans from across the Mid America family of brands, will be managed by an internal staff of 40 employees located in the firm’s headquarters.

In keeping with its corporate goal of running a completely digital mortgage environment, Mid America has made investments in technology to digitize its servicing division by eliminating paper and encouraging paperless billing and electronic payments.

First American Launches Endpoint, Invests $30 Million

First American Financial Corp., Santa Ana, Calif., launched Endpoint, a mobile-first title and escrow company that provides a closing experience for buyers, sellers and their real estate agents.

Developed as a new stand-alone company, Endpoint combines First American’s title and settlement expertise with a startup to provide a digital real estate closing experience from start to finish. First American has invested $30 million to drive the company’s development and growth. Designed and developed in collaboration with BCG Digital Ventures, the global corporate venture, investment and incubation arm of the Boston Consulting Group, Endpoint delivers its title and escrow service through a suite of web, iOS and Android apps.

IndiSoft to Continue Supporting HLP Platform; HLP to Stop Providing Services at Year-End

In light of HLP’s recent industry announcement that it is closing operations by Dec. 31, IndiSoft LLC, Columbia, Md., the underlying technology provider for HLP’s collaborative platform, is notifying the mortgage banking industry that it will continue to support the platform.

HLP has been a reseller of IndiSoft’s patented and HUD Certified RxOffice Case Management System, and IndiSoft is actively working with all stakeholders on a transition plan to ensure uninterrupted service and a smooth cutover on Jan. 1.

Appraisal Logistics Integrates with SimpleNexus

Appraisal Logistic Solutions LLC, Washington, D.C., a provider of appraisal management, technology and compliance platforms for the residential/commercial mortgage industry, announced the company’s AIM-Port technology platform is now integrated with SimpleNexus’ digital mortgage platform for loan officers, borrowers and real estate agents.

AIMPort is a single source platform developed to bring management and operations teams, technical tools and vendor partners together. The platform improves workflow efficiency and accuracy in a cost-effective manner to support the lender’s own vendor process. The SimpleNexus app enables borrowers to apply for a home loan, upload supporting documents and view loan status from any mobile device. Loan officers are alerted as soon as a borrower applies, enabling them to move loans forward, including ordering appraisal products, at any time.