Industry Briefs Aug. 11, 2020

Record July Issuance Volume Lifts Ginnie Mae MBS Outstanding to $2.118 Trillion

Ginnie Mae, Washington, D.C., said issuance of its mortgage-backed securities totaled an agency record of $70.04 billion in July, providing financing for more than 261,000 homeowners and renters. 

A breakdown of July issuance includes $66.16 billion of Ginnie Mae II MBS and $3.88 billion of Ginnie Mae I MBS, which includes $3.69 billion of loans for multifamily housing. Ginnie Mae’s total outstanding principal balance of $2.118 trillion represents an increase from $2.080 trillion a year ago.

Black Knight: Forbearance Plans Down Another 101,000

Black Knight, Jacksonville, Fla., reported active forbearance plans fell by 101,000 from the week prior, driven in part by the estimated 500,000 plans that were set to expire at the end of July entering the last week of the month.

Black Knight reported more than two-thirds of loans that remain in active forbearance have had their plans extended. With the bulk of forbearance extensions being for an additional three months, an “echo wave” of forbearance expirations has been generated.

“Given the typical three-month extensions, 2.2 million are now set to expire in September, meaning another wave of forbearance extensions and removals may very well be seen in late September/early October,” Black Knight said.        

The report said forbearances declined across all investor classes over the past week, with GSE loans falling the most both by volume (-56,000) and on a percentage basis (-4%). FHA/VA loans saw the first decline in four weeks, falling by 32,000 (-2%), while portfolio-held and private labeled security loans declined by a more modest 13,000 (-1%). As of August 3, 4 million homeowners were in active forbearance, the lowest such share since the last week in April and representing 7.5% of all active mortgages, down from 7.7% the week prior. Together, they represent $852 billion in unpaid principal. 32% of Americans Entered August with Unpaid Housing Bills, San Francisco, said for the fourth straight month, one-in-three Americans failed to make a full, on-time housing payment.

The report, by Igor Popov, Chris Salviati and Rob Warnock, said late and unpaid housing bills are accumulating, putting financial strain on many families and deepening concerns of near-term evictions and foreclosures. However, they noted landlords are showing a willingness to negotiate payment plans with their tenants in order to keep their properties occupied. Among renters with unpaid housing bills, 49 percent have either negotiated, or are in the process of negotiating, an arrangement with their landlord.

In the first week of August, 11 percent of survey respondents made a partial payment of their monthly rent or mortgage bill, while an additional 22 percent have yet to make any payment whatsoever. This continues a trend that has now lasted four months; the combined rate of missed and partial first-week payments has ranged from 30 to 33 percent going back to May. “This is creating a deep sense of housing insecurity for those struggling to keep up financially,” the authors said.

Roostify Enhances Credit Services Product to Speed Results

Roostify, San Francisco, enhanced its Credit Services product.

Through this new integrated service, Roostify customers can select tri-merge, single bureau, soft and hard credit pulls directly from the Roostify platform. Loan officers can then view detailed findings and refresh reports, as needed and from anywhere, using either a desktop or mobile device.

Verus Resumes Non-QM Purchases

Verus Mortgage Capital, Washington, D.C., began purchasing non-QM loans again after a short pause at the beginning of the pandemic. It is actively investing in new origination and pre-pandemic loans.

VMC is one of the largest non-QM issuers and provides lenders with non-delegated, delegated with pre-funding review or bulk loan delivery options. It purchases loans in all 50 states and its expansive offerings include LTVs up to 90%; cash out up to $500k; full and alternative documentation; and foreign national. Verus is a mortgage investor that uses its experience to help lending partners grow their non-QM business.

Docutech’s ConformX, Solex Platforms Chosen by Kind Lending to Streamline Wholesale Mortgage Process

Docutech, Scottsdale, Ariz., announced that Santa Ana, Calif.-based Kind Lending LLC added Docutech’s ConformX document generation engine, Solex eDelivery and eSignature platform and digital-to-print fulfillment services to its offerings.

ConformX creates document packages and currently supports more than 30% of the nation’s total mortgage volume, representing more than $500 billion in loan value. The Solex platform, which includes eDelivery, eSignature, eClosing and eVault, has enabled lenders to eClose more than 100,000 mortgages.

New SimpleNexus eClosing Feature Supports Hybrid Closings

SimpleNexus, Lehi, Utah, released SimpleNexus eClosing, a new feature that enables lenders to conduct hybrid closings for purchase and refinance loans.

Hybrid closings are approved throughout the United States and are available now in SimpleNexus. Thirty-eight U.S. states also allow full eClosings in which all loan closing documents are eSigned and eNotarized. SimpleNexus will support full eClosings with the planned roll-out of remote online notarization later this year.

Radian Launches MyRadian

Radian Group Inc., Philadelphia, launched MyRadian, a digital platform for customers to access their Valuation and Asset Management services in one convenient location with a single login.

MyRadian allows customers to access the entire suite of Radian Valuation and Asset Management services through a simple, unified user experience. The system is designed to speed up order delivery by streamlining communication and giving customers full visibility into their order status. Key features and capabilities include 24/7 product ordering; ability to review and download deliverables; customized task workflows; secure messaging; and access to software as a service applications.

Rocket Companies Files Initial Public Offering

Rocket Companies Inc., Detroit, announced plans to commence the roadshow for its proposed IPO. Rocket Companies filed a registration statement on Form S-1 with the Securities and Exchange Commission to offer 150,000,000 shares of its Class A common stock to the public.

Rocket Companies also intends to grant the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase additional shares of Class A common stock from Rocket Companies. The initial public offering price is expected to be between $20 and $22 per share. Rocket Companies has applied to list its Class A common stock on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “RKT.” The offering is subject to market conditions, and there can be no assurance as to whether, or when, the offering may be completed or as to the actual size or terms of the offering.

The offering will be made only by means of a prospectus, which will be filed with the SEC and will be available on the SEC’s website at  

Top of Mind Networks Partners with MobilityRE

Top of Mind Networks, Atlanta, added real estate market intelligence, collaboration and analytics tools from MobilityRE to its flagship SurefireCRM.

With MobilityRE’s Mortgage Market Intelligence, SurefireCRM customers can assess current marketplace productivity and act on competitive intelligence to build the networks that best support their marketing strategies. Lenders can identify which real estate agents are closing the most loans of a given type within a given geographical area. Lenders can even track agent activity in real time, receiving alerts as realtors post new listings.

Zillow Launches Digital Tools for Safer Home Shopping

Zillow, Seattle, accelerated rollout of its self-tour technology to help shoppers and agents follow social-distancing recommendations and feel safe while touring a home in person. 

Zillow also augmented its 3D Home virtual tours with floor plans that include room dimensions to help shoppers understand the layout of a home and visualize how their furniture would fit in the space. Nearly 80 percent of buyers said they are more likely to view a home if the listing includes a floor plan they like, and more than 70 percent said a “dynamic” floor plan visualization would help them determine whether the home was right for them. 

Yardi Matrix Launches Student Housing Platform

Yardi Matrix, Santa Barbara, Calif., will now report on the student housing sector.

The new research area comes as student housing owners and investors are navigating an uncertain environment caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. With many colleges and universities still making final decisions about what campus life and enrollment will look like in fall 2020, housing providers are anxious to see how this unprecedented situation will impact revenue streams and investment health.

Quarterly Yardi Matrix reports focused on the student housing market will be available beginning this summer. Market coverage will include more than 2,000 universities and colleges nationwide, including the top 200 investment-grade universities across all major collegiate conferences. Reports will also include shadow markets, meaning campus-proximate housing that often is rented by college students, though it may not be categorized as traditional student housing.

M&T Realty Capital Corp. Becomes Freddie Mac Multifamily Targeted Affordable Housing Lender

M&T Realty Capital Corp., Baltimore, is now an approved Freddie Mac Multifamily Targeted Affordable Housing Optigo lender.

The Optigo program provides financing for multifamily properties in underserved areas affordable to families with low and very-low incomes including cash loans, bond credit enhancements, tax-exempt loans and others.

Freddie Mac’s TAH program provides specialty financing products that enhance permanent financing options for developers and owners of affordable housing properties.

Roostify Makes Conditional Approval Available Inside Lending Platform

Roostify, San Francisco, announced ability for a consumer or loan officer to request a “Conditional Approval” directly through the Roostify lending platform.

Once the consumer completes the necessary fields in the loan application, using either a desktop or mobile device, they can request the Conditional Approval with a single click. The capability seeks to deliver on Roostify’s goal of improving “speed to certainty” in the home lending experience for both consumers and banks. A conditional commitment at this point in the process gives the consumer confidence that the home of their dreams is within reach.

Computershare Consolidates Mortgage Services Under New Brand

Computershare announced consolidation of its U.S. mortgage services businesses under its Computershare Loan Services brand.

The change means that a full range of services that cover every stage of the mortgage lifecycle will now operate directly under the Computershare Loan Services name, including mortgage fulfilment services, including underwriting, processing and closing, which helps clients scale their business (previously known as LenderLive); residential valuation services, providing traditional appraisals and property inspections to lenders and broker price opinions, risk analysis and data analytics to investors (previously known as Property Solutions); and business-to-business marketing for mortgage servicing for the financial and investment banking industries (also known as Specialized Loan Servicing or SLS).

Indecomm Releases BotGenius

Indecomm Global Services, Edison, N.J., released BotGenius, a collection of software robots that are pre-programmed to emulate human computer interaction functions for specific standardized processes, tasks and workflows in the mortgage industry.

BotGenius robots are a part of Indecomm’s Automation Continuum framework for the mortgage industry, which helps lenders of all sizes automate the middle-office functions. The collection of robots automates the most repetitive and routine tasks, currently being performed employees.

Homespire Mortgage Provides New Loan Support for Healthcare Workers During COVID-19 Pandemic

Homespire Mortgage, Gaithersburg, Md., announced its Homeownership for Healthcare Heroes Program, an initiative to recognize and support healthcare workers during the coronavirus pandemic.

Homeownership for Healthcare Heroes Program will waive all lender fees for qualified borrowers on all mortgage loan purchase options (an average estimated savings of $1,520). Eligible program participants include doctors, nurses and administrative professionals, as well those working in doctor’s offices, nursing homes and as home healthcare professionals.

This company-wide program will be available for the remainder of the year on all qualifying applications submitted during this time.

Gateway Opens 10 New Mortgage Centers

Gateway Mortgage, Jenks, Okla., opened 10 new mortgage centers in Colorado, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah. Gateway now has more than 150 mortgage centers across the United States and is licensed in 40 states.

The 2020 office openings include Firestone, Greeley and Loveland, Colo.; Altus and Ardmore, Okla.; Benbrook, Corpus Christi and San Antonio, Texas (two locations); and Farmington, Utah.

Embrace Home Loans Hiring Loan Officers, Underwriters, Processors

Embrace Home Loans, Middletown, R.I., is recruiting loan officers, underwriters and loan processors.

Embrace is hiring in three origination channels: Direct-to-Consumer; Financial Institutions Group; and Retail. The company is also considering strategic growth by opening branches in new markets within its East Coast footprint. In addition to expanding its sales teams, Embrace is adding operations staff to meet the continued growth in production. It is seeking branch-based processors, remote underwriters and closers, who would be located in the company’s Middletown headquarters.

Gateway Selects CLARIFIRE to Enhance Loss Mitigation Efforts

Clarifire, St. Petersburg, Fla., announced Gateway Mortgage, Jenks, Okla., selected CLARIFIRE as its loss mitigation platform. Gateway plans to leverage CLARIFIRE’s automation capabilities and versatility to reduce its manual processes and increase the efficiency of its servicing operations.

A SaaS-based, intuitive workflow application, CLARIFIRE uses business rules to automate complex processes and distribute critical information and documents to users quickly, allowing them to respond faster to borrower needs. CLARIFIRE also enables investors, agencies, servicers, banks, borrowers, attorneys and others to collaborate through a single, secure application.

DocMagic, Simplifile Team to Advance eClosing Adoption, eNotarizations and eRecordings

DocMagic Inc., Torrance, Calif., partnered with Simplifile, Provo, Utah, to deliver new process efficiencies that further digitize the closing process, including post-closing automation.

DocMagic’s Total eClose platform is a single-source platform that eliminates paper and offers advantages over piecemealed providers that only address components of the overall eClosing process. The integration between Total eClose and Simplifile’s Collaboration and Post Closing services includes access to Simplifile’s eEligibility data for eNotarization acceptance. Further, loan closings done through DocMagic’s Total eClose platform can now be automatically routed to the settlement agent thorough Simplifile for electronic closing coordination, thus streamlining access to DocMagic’s Total eClose room for the eClosing.

Nexsys Technologies Partners with Lemonade on Homeowner Insurance Verification Process

Nexsys Technologies, Detroit, partnered with insurance company Lemonade to simplify the homeowners insurance verification process. Using Clear HOI, Nexsys users can leverage a tool that digitizes the previously manual communication between mortgage lenders and homeowners insurance companies.

Clear HOI created a digital connection between insurers and mortgage lenders – removing unnecessary delays and eliminating potential errors. With the Lemonade integration, mortgage lenders will be able to use the tool with more clients.

OpenClose Integrates with Access Business Technologies

OpenClose, West Palm Beach, Fla., integrated with Access Business Technologies’ MortgageExchange interface platform, a secure cloud-based environment that enables multiple platforms and applications to share data between disparate systems. Now, OpenClose and ABT can conduct business with more lending entities.

ABT’s MortgageExchange extracts mortgage loan data fields and properly places all information into the connecting fields within other applications (using respective APIs when available). Each integration is customized between OpenClose and ABT to model the customer’s business workflow, designed to eliminate data input redundancy, prevent errors and save time.

SLK Global’s SmartProp Integrates with SharperLending EPN Settlement Services Platform

SLK Global Solutions, Dallas, announced its property search platform SmartProp is integrated with Sharperlending’s EPN settlement services platform. The integration will help credit unions & independent mortgage lenders boost their process efficiency and ensure enhanced security while providing a seamless user experience in title & tax searches.

The SharperLending platform provides lenders with a secure, single source to order and pay for products and services needed to close a loan. EPN’s technology and SLK’s SmartProp platform help credit unions and independent mortgage lenders by accelerating the entire loan process while delivering savings.