Industry Briefs June 23, 2020

Black Knight: Homeowners in Active Forbearance Down Again

Black Knight, Jacksonville, Fla., said homeowners in active forbearance fell again last week. Overall, the number of active forbearance plans is down 57,000 from the previous week and 158,000 from the peak the week of May 22.

Black Knight said as of June 16, 4.6 million homeowners remain in forbearance plans, representing 8.7% of all active mortgages, down from 8.8% the previous week. Together, they represent just more than $1 trillion in unpaid principal. Some 6.8% of all GSE-backed loans and 12.1% of all FHA/VA loans are currently in forbearance plans.

The report said at today’s level, mortgage servicers still need to advance a combined $3.4 billion/month to holders of government-backed mortgage securities on COVID-19-related forbearances. That’s on top of the $1.4 billion in T&I payments they must make on behalf of borrowers.

ANTIC Launches REalSearch Automated Decision Engine

Agents National Title Insurance Co., Columbia, Mo., launched REalSearch, an automated title data search and decision engine. REalSearch uses artificial intelligence and machine learning combined with sound underwriting guidelines to search both traditional and non-traditional property data sources.

The REalSearch report augments the traditional search and exam process and can be combined with a traditional title production platform to reduce exam time and increase accuracy. In many instances, files are clear to close with no further work by the agent. The logic in the workflow is paired with current Agents National Title Insurance underwriting rules to produce a product that is backed by a national underwriter.

CFPB Launches Pilot Advisory Opinion Program

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau launched a pilot advisory opinion program to publicly address regulatory uncertainty in the Bureau’s existing regulations. 

The pilot AO program will allow entities seeking to comply with regulatory requirements to submit a request where uncertainty exists. The Bureau will then select topics based on the program’s priorities and make the responses available to the public. In the interest of providing clear rules to regulated entities, the Bureau has made iterative improvements to its guidance processes, including issuing more robust compliance aids and frequently asked questions as well as providing clarifications to individual entities. This pilot advisory program builds on those efforts, recognizing that the public would “benefit from a process that provides clarifications broadly and not just to requesting  individuals or entities.”

The pilot program will focus on four key priorities:

•           Consumers are provided with timely and understandable information to make responsible decisions;

•           Identify outdated, unnecessary or unduly burdensome regulations in order to reduce regulatory burdens;

•           Consistency in enforcement of Federal consumer financial law in order to promote fair competition; and

•           Ensuring markets for consumer financial products and services operate transparently and efficiently to facilitate access and innovation.

Docutech’s Solex eClosing Chosen by LendingQB

Docutech, Scottsdale, Ariz., announced LendingQB, a provider of SaaS loan origination technology solutions, integrated Docutech’s Solex eClosing platform to enable digital closing with eClosing, eNote and eVault functionality.

Solex eClosing is an integrated eClosing platform that enables each mortgage closing transaction to be “e” in accordance with state and county regulations and investor preferences, through an intelligent eEligibility evaluation. Approved by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae for eClosing, eNote and eVault functionality, the Solex eClosing platform provides lenders with eSigning efficiencies from initial document generation through post-closing, integration with the MERS eRegistry for all eNote management transactions, and Remote Online Notarization.

IDS Inks Partnership Agreement with Mortgage Builder

International Document Services Inc., Salt Lake City, expanded its partnership to become the exclusive integrated document preparation vendor of Mortgage Builder, a provider of g mortgage loan origination and servicing software. The newly rebuilt integration now fully incorporates the IDS eSignature platform and custom form generation capability.

The partnership includes migration of Mortgage Builder’s client base to idsDoc, IDS’ flagship document preparation platform. In addition, the integration supports new data points to meet more recent demands and upcoming needs, including TRID documents, eClosing process fields and impending URLA updates.

Avison Young Allows Employees to Work Remotely Through 2020

Returning to the office will be voluntary for Avison Young employees who can perform their duties remotely through December 31.

Avison Young Chair and CEO Mark Rose said the extended remote-work flexibility balances the desires of people eager to get back into the office and those who need to continue working remotely, while prioritizing safe, healthy work environments.

Rockpoint Group Closes Fund with $5.8B in Commitments

Real estate investment management firm Rockpoint Group, Boston, closed its latest opportunistic vehicle, Rockpoint Real Estate Fund VI, with $3.8 billion in total equity capital commitments.

The fund exceeded its $3 billion fund target.

Rockpoint Group also closed its latest lower-risk vehicle, Rockpoint Growth and Income Real Estate Fund III, with $2.0 billion in commitments.

Both funds included investment from public and corporate pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, endowments, foundations and other investors from the United States, Asia, Canada, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East.

Construction Employment Rises in 45 States, D.C.

Construction employment rose in 45 states and the District of Columbia in May following the loss of nearly one million construction jobs nationwide in April, The Association of General Contractors said.

“The widespread uptick in construction employment in May is welcome news following a month in which industry employment shrank in all but one state,” said AGC Chief Economist Ken Simonson. He said Paycheck Protection Program loans allowed many firms to recall or add employees in recent weeks. But only about one-fifth of firms reported winning new or expanded projects, while nearly one-third of firms say an upcoming project has been canceled, he said.

Simonson noted nearly one-fourth of contractors reported a project that was scheduled to start in June or later had been canceled.

Of the 45 states with construction job gains over the month, Pennsylvania had the largest increase (77,400 jobs or 48.9 percent). Michigan had the largest percentage increase (51.4 percent, 50,500 construction jobs). Construction employment declined from April to May in five states. Hawaii lost the largest number and highest percentage of construction jobs (-700 jobs, -1.9 percent).

Freddie Mac Prices $1 Billion Multifamily K-Deal, K-110

Freddie Mac, McLean, Va., priced a new offering of Structured Pass-Through K Certificates backed by underlying collateral consisting of fixed-rate multifamily mortgages with predominantly 10-year terms. The company said it expects to issue $1 billion in K-110 certificates, which should settle on or about June 25.

Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC and J.P. Morgan Securities LLC served as Co-Lead Managers and Joint Bookrunners. Brean Capital LLC, Goldman Sachs and Co. LLC, Siebert Williams Shank & Co. LLC and Wells Fargo Securities LLC co-managed the process.