Industry Briefs

Covius Acquires Clayton Services’ Due Diligence, Surveillance Businesses from Radian

Covius Holdings Inc., Denver, a provider of technology-enabled platforms to the financial services industry, announced it acquired Clayton Services LLC, a provider in loan due diligence and credit risk management surveillance services, from Radian Group Inc.

The transaction does not include Five Bridges Advisors, Green River Capital, Red Bell Real Estate, Radian Title Insurance (fka Entitle Direct) or Radian Settlement Services Inc. (fka ValuAmerica.) These businesses will be remaining with Radian.

Founded in 1989, Clayton pioneered the concepts of due diligence and surveillance. To date, it has reviewed more than 17 million loans and currently monitors the performance of more than $2 trillion in loans, securities and mortgage servicing rights. Clayton clients include mortgage originators, securities issuers and investors, government lending agencies and warehouse lenders.

Covius said 550 Clayton associates, primarily in the company’s Tampa and Denver locations, will be joining Covius, as will Clayton’s senior due diligence and surveillance management teams.

Sentry Bank Selects CSI’s Core Services

Sentry Bank, St. Joseph, Minn., selected Computer Services Inc., Paducah, Ky., a provider of financial technology platforms, as its core processing partner and provider of digital banking platform for customers.

Sentry Bank will use CSI’s NuPoint platform to increase customer engagement and use of online products. Additionally, the bank said that CSI’s core and full-featured digital banking services have reduced the number of outside vendors on which it relies, enabling bank employees to focus more of their time on strengthening their relationship with customers.

CoreLogic Acquires Location Inc.

CoreLogic, Irvine, Calif., announced completion of the company’s acquisition of Location Inc., a provider of geographic data sciences and predictive, location-based analytics for businesses across the U.S. and Canada. 

Location Inc.’s proprietary RiskSuite and NeighborhoodScout platforms provide market insights, projections and risk assessments for the insurance, real estate and finance sectors. Its suite of claims risk products, including non-weather WaterRisk and FireRisk, as well as HailRisk, predicts loss costs for these perils. CrimeRisk, the company’s high-resolution crime analytics, offers crime risk data on the market and is used by insurers across North America to help in mitigating risk and uncertainty in the underwriting workflow.

CardTapp, Top of Mind Partner

CardTapp, Atlanta, announced an integration with Surefire by Top of Mind Networks, a provider of customer relationship management and marketing automation software for the mortgage lending industry. The integration brings together Surefire’s new Power Calls capability with CardTapp’s digital assistant platform to increase loan officer productivity and enable speedier borrower outreach.

CardTapp’s digital assistant technology connects loan officers, referral partners and borrowers to simplify communications and deliver services just in time. Surefire’s new Power Calls feature improves speed and ease with which loan officers reach out to borrowers, enabling them to convert more leads into loans. Surefire’s tech stack enables a rich, bidirectional connection between the applications, with fully automated delivery of a loan officer’s personal Cardtapp app to potential borrowers as leads arrive in Surefire.

HUD Appoints Former MBA Chairman Rob Couch, CMB, to Oversee Island Disaster Recovery Funds

HUD announced Robert M. Couch, CMB, as the Federal Financial Monitor to oversee grant administration and disbursement process of disaster recovery funds to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Couch will join HUD as a career member of the Senior Executive Service. He previously served as HUD’s General Counsel from December 2006 to November 2008 where he acted as the chief legal advisor to the Secretary, Deputy Secretary and other principal staff, providing advice on federal laws, regulations, and policies affecting HUD programs. Mr. Couch also served as President of Ginnie Mae, Commissioner on the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Housing Commission and as a member of President George W. Bush’s Task Force on the Status of Puerto Rico. He served as elected Chairman of the Mortgage Bankers Association in 2004.

Ginnie Mae MBS Outstanding Increases to $2.118 Trillion

Ginnie Mae said issuance of its mortgage-backed securities totaled $54.74 billion in December, providing financing for nearly 215,000 homeowners and renters.

A breakdown of December issuance includes $52.18 billion of Ginnie Mae II MBS and $2.56 billion of Ginnie Mae I MBS, which includes $2.18 billion of loans for multifamily housing. Ginnie Mae’s total outstanding principal balance of $2.118 trillion is an increase from $2.042 trillion a year ago.

Monster Lead Group Unleashes ‘The Monster Way’

Monster Lead Group, Owings Mill, Md., launched The Monster Way, an eight-week demand generation program for lenders looking to scale their business.

The Monster Way combines technology and data platforms with direct marketing, sales process automation and call training into a scalable business model delivered by Monster’s team. At the end of 8 weeks, MLOs “graduate” and Sales Managers receive a Monster Playbook with their tailored scripts, templates and training materials.

STRATMOR: Seven Commandments for Optimizing Customer Experience

In the latest issue of its monthly Insights Report, STRATMOR Group, Greenwood, Colo., provides tactics lenders can follow to improve the borrower experience.

The January Insights Report features STRATMOR MortgageSAT Director Mike Seminari’s article, “The Seven Commandments for Optimizing the Customer Experience,” in which he discusses critical findings from STRATMOR’s MortgageSAT Borrower Satisfaction Program. According to data from the program, which measures the experiences of more than 130,000 borrowers annually, monitoring and improving key areas of the loan process can turn unhappy customers (who are highly likely to badmouth their lender) into promoters (who are highly likely to recommend their lender) at an impressive rate.

The report can be accessed at https://www.stratmorgroup.com/insights/.

Zillow Offers Partners with Additional Home Builders

Zillow, Seattle, announced new partnerships with regional home builders across the country to give home shoppers an easier and more convenient way to purchase homes. The partnerships help home sellers move into their new construction home without the hassle and stress of selling their existing home traditionally, by using Zillow Offers.

Zillow is partnering with homebuilders in select markets across the U.S., including The Providence Group in Atlanta, NewStyle Communities in Charlotte, N.C., Kindred Homes in Dallas and San Antonio, Saratoga Homes in Houston, Avex Homes in Orlando, Fla., Woodbridge Pacific Group in Riverside, Calif., Caviness & Cates, Drees Homes and Stanley Martin Homes in Raleigh, N.C., and Minto Communities in Florida.

When home shoppers buy a new construction home from one of Zillow’s homebuilder partners, they can sell their existing home directly to Zillow, on their own timeline, through Zillow Offers.

Docutech’s ConformX, Solex Platforms Integrate with MortgageFlex System’s Platform 

Docutech, Scottsdale, Ariz, announced an agreement of integration for document and digital mortgage capabilities with MortgageFlex Systems, a loan origination software and servicing provider. Once live, the integration will enable lenders using MortgageFlexONE to generate loan documents through Docutech’s ConformX document engine and enable relevant documents for eDelivery, eSign and eClose through Docutech’s Solex platform.  

MortgageFlexONE is an intuitive system operating on a modern, relational database. The system enables support for both mortgage and consumer lending operations through the entirety of the origination process. Paired with a variety of interfaces, users have heightened security with PPE technology, a graphical workflow tool and a reporting dashboard building tool. 

CSI Banking Priorities Executive Report 2020: Digital Strategies, Open Banking at Top of Bankers’ Minds

Computer Services Inc., Paducah, Ky., announced findings from its fifth annual Banking Priorities Executive Report, a survey of 227 U.S. banking executives to identify the most pressing issues facing the industry.

The report indicates bankers perceive interest rate variability (41% of respondents) and application programming interfaces and open banking (19%) as the issues that will most affect the industry in 2020.

While regulatory issues such as data privacy and BSA/AML modernization registered highly, bankers across the country cited investing in technology as a key priority, particularly as related to digital-only strategies. An overwhelming 96% of banks surveyed will either increase technology spending in 2020 or maintain their 2019 spending level. Within that majority, 64% will spend more.

In addition, while survey respondents indicated cybersecurity readiness as one of their strong suits, many pointed to social engineering (41%) as a major risk. Eight in 10 will use workforce education and awareness to combat this evolving security threat, while seven in 10 will rely on tech-centered methods such as penetration testing and cybersecurity risk assessments.

OptifiNow Leverages ReverseVision API to Streamline Reverse Loan Origination at Open Mortgage

ReverseVision, San Diego, a provider of Home Equity Conversion Mortgage and private reverse mortgage sales and origination technology, announced its recently released Loan Import API has been leveraged by OptifiNow for mutual lender client Open Mortgage.

The integration links OptifiNow’s cloud-based SaaS sales and management platform with ReverseVision’s RV Exchange loan origination platform, enabling Open Mortgage to expedite loan production, drive performance and better nurture customer relationships for its reverse lending channel. The OptifiNow platform offers a central command station from which lenders can manage sales and performance functions via customer relationship management, intelligent sales automation, sales enablement, business intelligence and application programming interface modules.

MetaSource: 2019 QC Audits Show Lenders Still Struggling for Consistency in Regulatory, Agency Compliance

An annual review of tens of thousands of post-close quality control mortgage audits conducted by MetaSource, Salt Lake City, in 2019 shows lenders still struggling to consistently meet requirements related to closing disclosures and calculations.

The top trouble spots center on provisions of the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures (TRID) rule that govern fee increases that vary from original estimates and deadlines for delivery of disclosure documents. Such tolerance and timing violations in the closing disclosure process made up the top two defects identified in the MetaSource study of 2019 audits.

“What I see is mostly what we’ve been seeing for years,” said Brady Meadows, Strategic Account Manager at MetaSource. “Lenders are having the same problems year after year.” He said the findings show how difficult it can be for lenders to maintain practices that ensure consistent results. “Lenders seem to be comfortable with their risk exposure regarding TRID findings,” he said. “But effective QC processes are an opportunity to improve practices that create unnecessary risks.”

CrossCheck Compliance LLC Added to Kroll Bond Rating Agency’s List of Approved Third-Party Review Firms

CrossCheck Compliance LLC, Chicago, a provider of regulatory compliance and due diligence services, announced the firm has been reviewed and added to the Kroll Bond Rating Agency’s published list of accepted third-party review firms whose review diligence grading, results and reports conform to KBRA’s US RMBS Rating Methodology.

KBRA is registered as a Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Organization by the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission.

Georgia Bankers Association Endorses Mortgage Platforms from Promontory MortgagePath

The Georgia Bankers Association teamed up with Promontory MortgagePath LLC, New York, to provide an efficient way for banks to build or expand their residential lending businesses.

GBA has endorsed Promontory MortgagePath’s mortgage fulfillment services and proprietary point-of-sale technology, Borrower Wallet, for their ability to helps banks satisfy customer demand for a modern mortgage experience without incurring the expense and burden of supporting an entire mortgage operation.

HUD Proposes New Rule to Encourage Housing Development

HUD announced a proposed rule that would recognize additional sets of standards and model building code editions that, when followed in the design and construction of new multifamily housing, will ensure compliance with the accessibility requirements of the Fair Housing Act.

Under the proposed rule, HUD will incorporate more recent editions of currently recognized safe harbor standards and model building codes. HUD will amend its regulations to include the 2009 edition standards of the American National Standards Institute, as well as the 2009, 2012, 2015 and 2018 editions of the International Building Code, as safe harbors for compliance with the accessibility requirements of the Fair Housing Act.    

Actovia Acquires CrediFi

Actovia, Jackson Township, N.J., a provider of commercial real estate intelligence and data, acquired CrediFi, Tel Aviv, Israel, a data provider that operates on a national level in support of the same market sector.

Since its founding in 2009, Actovia has provided commercial real estate intelligence to banks, mortgage and real estate brokerage houses, investors and managers. Actovia officials said the acquisition of CrediFi, launched in 2014, enhances Actovia’s information-gathering capabilities and broadens the geographical scope of its operations.