Industry Briefs (June 11, 2020)

HUD, USDA Mark National Homeownership Month

HUD issued a news release this month marking National Homeownership Month, recognizing the importance of homeownership and its impact upon the lives of American families, local neighborhoods and the national economy.

“Each June we commemorate the importance of homeownership,” said HUD Secretary Ben Carson.  During the coronavirus outbreak, among our highest priorities at HUD has been to keep people secure in their homes. Representing more than 15% of gross domestic product, housing is critical to our economy, valuable to American families, and the bedrock of HUD’s mission. For most American families, their home is both their largest investment and biggest expense, and serves as the cornerstone of health and security, particularly during this challenging time.”

Meanwhile, the USDA Single-Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program is recognizing some of its top lending partners as part of Homeownership Month. National and state rankings have been posted to the Single Family Guaranteed page of the Rural Development website.

USDA reported in the current fiscal year alone, the program has already closed more than 82,000 loans for more than $13 billion.

The Section 502 Guaranteed Loan Program assists approved lenders in providing low- and moderate-income households the opportunity to own adequate, modest, decent, safe and sanitary dwellings as their primary residence in eligible rural areas. Eligible applicants may purchase, build, rehabilitate, improve or relocate a dwelling in an eligible rural area with 100% financing. The program provides a 90% loan note guarantee to approved lenders in order to reduce the risk of extending 100% loans to eligible rural homebuyers – so no money down for those who qualify.

During Homeownership month, RD will also be highlighting its single close construction program, which offers the issuance of its Loan Note Guarantee at the initial closing, prior to a shovel going into the ground.

OpenClose Integrates with Cyberlink

OpenClose, West Palm Beach, Fla., and Cyberlink Software Solutions, announced an integration in which OpenClose will use Cyberlink’s eRAM MERS Transaction platform to automate MERS loan registrations and transfers.

Cyberlink’s eRAMP MERS Transaction Management integration processes bulk loans that OpenClose lender customers need to register or transfer with MERS. eRAMP data then updates OpenClose’s LenderAssist LOS, which includes registration confirmation dates as well as transfer of rights confirmation dates.

Black Knight: COVID-19-Related Forbearance Plans Falls for First Time

Black Knight Inc., Jacksonville, Fla., said its McDash Flash Forbearance tracker shows the 4.73 million loans in forbearance represent 8.9% of all active mortgages and account for a little over $1 trillion in unpaid principal. An estimated 7.1% of all GSE-backed loans and 12.3% of FHA/VA mortgages are now in forbearance.

According to Black Knight CEO Anthony Jabbour, improvement was seen in the number of homeowners in forbearance for the first time since the CARES Act has gone into effect. “After rising sharply in April and then leveling off toward the end of May, the number of American homeowners in forbearance plans has now decreased for the first time since the crisis began,” he said.

Black Knight reported a net 34,000 fewer homeowners in forbearance as of June 2. The decline was actually greater among government-backed mortgages, which saw 43,000 fewer total forbearance plans than last week, but this was partially offset by an increase of 9,000 new plans on mortgages held in bank portfolios and private-label securities. 

SimpleNexus Enhances Platform to Enable Multiple Borrower Loans Management

SimpleNexus, Lehi, Utah, announced a platform enhancement that merges management of multiple loans with the same applicant into one user-friendly interface. The new “multi-loan” functionality improves the loan experience for loan originators and borrowers, enabling both parties to start, submit and access multiple loan applications via web browser or mobile app experience.

The multi-loan feature enables borrowers to navigate between multiple loans and applications, sign individual loan eConsent and disclosures forms, upload documents and complete tasks associated with each loan file. To further streamline the borrower experience, LOs can customize the borrower task list and requested documents for each loan; request eConsent, asset verification or credit authorization on a per-loan basis; and move or copy documents between different loans for the borrower.

AppraisalWorks Launches Real Estate Appraisal Management Technology Platform

AppraisalWorks, Cleveland, Ohio, launched its flagship appraisal management technology platform. The AppraisalWorks platform is designed to streamline the real estate appraisal process, helping lenders, servicers and appraisal management companies achieve lower costs, faster turn times and greater transparency.

AppraisalWorks gives lenders and servicers a single, web-based technology platform for managing their own appraisals. Lenders and servicers can manage all appraisals and loan types from a single interface. With both the Community and Enterprise Versions of AppraisalWorks, lenders gain access to a nationwide, pre-screened network of licensed or certified appraisers. In addition, lenders have the option to onboard in-house appraisers and appraisal management companies.  

FirstClose Launches Automated Ordering Feature in FirstClose ONE

FirstClose Inc., Austin, Texas, launched automated ordering as the latest addition to its flagship FirstClose ONE platform. The new feature is designed to allow lenders to automate current underwriting guidelines and streamline loan fulfillment.

With automated ordering, lenders can configure their account with key loan characteristics such as loan amount, loan to value and FICO. Once this information is configured, the system will automatically select the correct products or services to order for each loan. This level of automation saves the lender processing time, eliminates keystrokes and increases efficiencies.

Ginnie Mae MBS Outstanding Increases to $2.152 Trillion

Ginnie Mae, Washington, D.C., said issuance of its mortgage-backed securities totaled $63.44 billion in May, providing financing for more than 235,000 homeowners and renters.

A breakdown of May issuance includes $60.51 billion of Ginnie Mae II MBS and $2.94 billion of Ginnie Mae I MBS, which includes $2.77 billion of loans for multifamily housing. Ginnie Mae’s total outstanding principal balance of $2.152 trillion is an increase from $2.068 trillion a year ago.

For more information on monthly MBS issuance, UPB balance, REMIC monthly issuance and global market analysis visit Ginnie Mae Disclosure.

Indecomm Launches New Brand Identity, Website

Indecomm Global Services, Edison, N.J., launched a new visual identity and website to reflect the evolution of the company’s technology solutions, products and services.  

The brand launch includes an updated logo, graphic style and website, with a new layout and categorization of products. The new logo, a lotus flower, represents renewal, wisdom, purity and transformation. While there is a new logo, the company’s tagline and its commitment to it, remains Partnerships at Work.

The new website can be accessed at  

Genworth Survey: COVID-19 Forces Americans to Confront Vulnerability, Make Positive Changes

Genworth, Richmond, Va., said the COVID-19 pandemic has served as a wake-up call to Americans about their vulnerability to unforeseen illness and mortality, and has already inspired three out of four adults to make changes in their plans for the future, according to a survey designed to gauge the impact of COVID-19 on Americans’ lives and their thoughts about long term care and financial security.

Among the survey findings:

•           A majority of Americans said the pandemic has forced them to confront their own (53 percent) as well as their loved ones’ (65 percent) vulnerability to unforeseen illness.

•           The pandemic caused one in three Americans to unexpectedly become caregivers overnight. These new caregivers said they had to carve out about nine hours a week, a typical work shift, to provide care for their children or older family members, or the dependents of front-line workers.

•           With unemployment at historic highs1 and retirement savings subject to fluctuations in the stock market, 24 percent said they are less confident in their financial futures.

•           The pandemic is taking an emotional toll on Americans, with respondents most often reporting anxiety (49 percent) and stress (53 percent) as a result of the abrupt disruptions in their lives and plans for the future.

As a result of the COVID-19 crisis, 73% of survey respondents said the pandemic has changed their attitude about planning for the future.  Among the changes they have resolved to make:

•           Improving their health and well-being (37%)

•           Planning better financially (34%). In fact, 39 percent said they were more willing to prioritize saving for the future than they were pre-pandemic. 

•           Making sure they are financially prepared to pay for future long-term care in the setting of their choice (32%).  One out of three Americans said they have already started taking action by thinking, researching, talking to loved ones and/or financial professionals about how they would pay for long term care services they might need. As borne out by previous surveys, most respondents said they preferred to receive long term care at home.

•           Carving out more time for their families (26%)

•           Living more in the moment and not worrying about the future (23%).