Industry Briefs Aug. 20, 2020

Freedom Mortgage, RoundPoint Finalize Merger

Freedom Mortgage Corp., Mount Laurel, N.J., and RoundPoint Mortgage Servicing Corp., Charlotte, N.C. completed their previously announced merger. RoundPoint is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Freedom Mortgage, a full-service mortgage company and provider of VA and government-insured lending.

Founded in 2007, RoundPoint services and subservices $75 billion in unpaid principal balance of mortgages comprised primarily of agency loans. As a result of the merger, Freedom Mortgage’s combined owned and subserviced mortgage servicing rights portfolio is now $310 billion of UPB. The merger also provides Freedom Mortgage with an active subservicing platform and broadens the scope of the company’s co-issue origination network.

Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC served as financial advisor to RoundPoint and Sidley Austin LLP served as legal counsel. Classic Strategies Group served as financial advisor to Freedom Mortgage and Zukerman Gore Brandeis & Crossman LLP served as legal counsel.

FHA Launches Technology Module for Single-Family Appraisals

The Federal Housing Administration announced upcoming release of its FHA Catalyst: Electronic Appraisal Delivery module on the FHA Catalyst platform. FHA Catalyst: Electronic Appraisal Delivery will allow lenders to electronically submit, track and manage single-family property appraisals.

The FHA Catalyst: Electronic Appraisal Delivery module enhances electronic appraisal report submission features while maintaining industry standard appraisal data sets in use today throughout the housing finance industry. In its initial release, the module can be used by lenders to electronically submit appraisal reports and updates for FHA Single-Family Title II forward mortgages.

FHA-approved lenders may begin using the FHA Catalyst: Electronic Appraisal Delivery module beginning September 4. FHA encourages lenders to request access to the module for their users as soon as possible by contacting the FHA Resource Center by emailing or by calling 1-800-Call FHA (1-800-225-5342).

Mortgage Network Opens Two Offices in Pennsylvania

Mortgage Network Inc., Danvers, Mass., s opened new offices in Lancaster and Harrisburg, Pa.

The company opened a new office in Harrisburg at 750 East Park Drive, Suite 104. Bruce Barilar, who has 21 years of housing industry experience, will lead the new office. Mortgage Network also moved its existing Lancaster branch to 180 Good Drive in West Lancaster. The office will be led by Kevin Downs.

ValueLink Integrates with Accurate Group

ValueLink Software partnered with Accurate Group, a provider of appraisal, title data, analytics and digital closing platforms, to deliver Accurate Group’s desktop and hybrid products, including its ValueNet suite.

Through this integration, both ValueLink and Accurate Group plan a seamless experience for their customers enabling them to deliver reliable, fast, and cost-effective valuations while helping lenders mitigate risks.

Fitch Adds CoreLogic, Black Knight as ‘Acceptable’ AVM Providers

Fitch Ratings, New York, reviewed two additional automated valuation model vendors whose products are included in Fitch-rated U.S. residential mortgage-backed securities transactions, bringing the total list of covered entities to seven. The new additions, CoreLogic and Black Knight, are focused data analytics providers with substantial experience in the mortgage sector. Fitch has seen standards for CoreLogic and Black Knight similar to the other ‘acceptable’ vendors, including effective quality control and oversight processes for sourced data and internal testing.

Fitch’s assessment of AVM providers is focused on each vendor’s model testing results, review of management and staff experience, data sourcing, technology effectiveness and quality control procedures. Based on each vendor’s model testing results, Fitch maps forecast standard deviation scores to the Percent Predicted  probability metric to determine thresholds for using the provider’s AVM product in RMBS. The PP metric is the most common and standard measurement used by the industry for comparing FSDs and confidence score indicators.

Black Knight Inc. was founded in 1962 as an integrated software, data and analytics solutions provider to assist and automate several of the business processes across the homeownership life cycle. Through its subsidiary Black Knight Data and Analytics LLC, the company offers multiple AVM products. The primary sources of the company’s AVM data are public records and Multiple Listing Service data.

CoreLogic was founded in 1984 as a global property information, data analytics and services provider. As a provider of AVMs, the company’s primary sources of data are public records and proprietary information. The company’s team of economists, scientists and statisticians develop the mathematical formulas that are used in the various AVM models to derive estimated market values.

7 Mortgage Implements OpenClose’s LOS & POS to Support Its Network of Credit Union Members

7 Mortgage, Knoxville, Tenn., a credit union service organization, announced it went live with OpenClose’s origination system (LOS) allowing its partner credit unions to efficiently and effectively complete mortgage loans via a centralized platform.

A subsidiary of ORNL Federal Credit Union, 7 Mortgage launched OpenClose’s LenderAssist LOS and ConsumerAssist POS in July. 7 Mortgage now offers an array of new features, including a digital mortgage point-of-sale platform; a comprehensive, 100 percent browser-based LOS; a flexible, natively built product and pricing engine; business intelligence and analytics software; mobile device functionality extension; and a RESTful API suite for simple, cost effective integrations.

CBC Mortgage Agency Encourages Small-Balance Lending with Additional Lender Incentives

CBC Mortgage Agency, Cedar City, Utah, a nationally chartered housing finance agency and a leading source of down payment assistance for first-time homebuyers, is taking steps to increase financing availability in low-priced communities by making small-balance mortgages more lucrative for its network of correspondent lenders.

For loans up to $120,000, CBCMA’s correspondent lenders will earn up to an additional 200 basis points, or 2 percent, of the loan amount as additional profit. On a $100,000 loan, the contribution works out to $1,750. The contributed percentage is highest on loans $85,000 or less. The additional payments are on top of existing contributions CBCMA already makes for low-balance transactions, which range from 1.50 percent to 2.50 percent on CBCMA’s Edge and Advantage loan programs. CBCMA provides down payment assistance programs directly to consumers through its network of correspondent lenders across the country. A majority of its borrowers are minorities.

Insellerate Launches Mobile Platform

Insellerate, Newport Beach, Calif., launched a mobile app that delivers lead management, lead distribution, click to call, inbound call routing, first call automation and two-way compliant text messaging and provides access to critical loan information without having to use a laptop or log into their LOS system. 

The app also empowers loan officers by intelligently distributing leads, managing pipelines, prioritizing their day, automating best practices and personalizing the borrower’s journey all from their mobile application. The Insellerate platform has full CRM & Engagement functionality with built-in lead management and automated marketing. Lenders can improve both the borrower and loan officer experience with multi-channel communication, leveraging tools such as phone, SMS text messaging, email, direct mail, and customer monitoring.

Marcus & Millichap Launches Redesigned Company Website

Marcus & Millichap, Calabasas, Calif., launched its redesigned company website,  

The redesign includes enhanced property search functionality to access $16 billion in exclusive listings, with virtual document sharing in secure deal rooms to enhance transaction efficiency; redesigned, streamlined interface enabling faster connection to nearly 2,000 investment professionals in more than 80 offices across the U.S. and Canada; improved functionality to access over 1,000 research products annually, covering over a dozen property types and all major markets throughout the U.S. and Canada; and expanded mobile capabilities to elevate the user experience on any device.