Industry Briefs June 30, 2020
Roostify Partners with Factual Data to Provide Access to Consumer Credit in Mobile or Desktop
Roostify, San Francisco, announced a partnership with Factual Data as part of an expansion that will allow loan officers to run borrower credit and view findings within the Roostify platform.
Loan officers can make credit and product decisions earlier in the loan lifecycle, even from a mobile device, so the loan process can continue without costly delays associated with switching between multiple software systems. Simple administrator configuration options allow lenders to choose between credit inquiry types for single-bureau, joint, or tri-merge reports, which extends lenders’ ability to adapt the credit service to their unique business needs.
Hubzu Expands Full Foreclosure Auction Services to More States
Hubzu, Luxembourg, an online real estate marketing platform, began conducting full-service online foreclosure auction sales in Ohio. With that expansion, Hubzu now provides marketing for foreclosure auctions nationwide and full-service (live cry and marketing) foreclosure coverage in 17 states with more on the way.
The Hubzu online platform is an asset management disposition platform for residential foreclosure, short sale, REO, deed in lieu, CWCOT and retail property auctions. Hubzu simplifies the purchase and sales process for buyers, sellers and brokers of foreclosure and other properties with transparent bidding and streamlined transaction support. The Hubzu platform helps improve third-party sales by increasing exposure of each property through extensive, multichannel marketing and optimized disposition strategies.
FHFA Releases 1st Quarter Foreclosure Prevention/Refinance Report
The Federal Housing Finance Agency released its first quarter Foreclosure Prevention and Refinance Report, showing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac completed 26,910 foreclosure prevention actions, bringing to 4.4 million the number of troubled homeowners who have been helped during conservatorships. Of these actions, 3.7 million of the foreclosure prevention actions have helped troubled homeowners stay in their homes.
Newly initiated forbearance plans rose to 170,533 in the first quarter, up from 6,975 in the fourth quarter. A majority of the forbearance actions occurred as a result of the Enterprises’ response COVID-19 impacts. Of the 16,773 loan modifications completed, 38 percent reduced borrowers’ monthly payments by more than 20 percent; 64 percent were extend-term only; and 23 percent were modifications with principal forbearance.
The Enterprises’ serious (90 days or more) delinquency rate decreased to 0.64 percent at the end of the first quarter. This compared with 3.29 percent for Federal Housing Administration loans, 1.80 percent for Veterans Affairs loans and 1.67 percent for all loans (industry average).
Mastercard to Acquire Finicity
Mastercard, Purchase, N.Y., announced it entered into an agreement to acquire Finicity, a North American provider of real-time access to financial data and insights. The purchase price is $825 million, and Finicity’s existing shareholders have the potential for an earn-out of up to an additional $160 million, if performance targets are met.
Mastercard sad addition of Finicity’s complementary technology and teams strengthens the existing Mastercard open banking platform to enable and safeguard a greater choice of financial services, reinforcing the company’s long-standing partnerships with and commitment to financial institutions and fintechs across the globe.
DataTrace Launches TaxSource
DataTrace Information Services LLC, Irvine, Calif., launched TaxSource, a property tax reporting platform that delivers full national coverage with the most current tax status and rapid results through technology and data resources.
TaxSource simplifies the tax reporting process through a centralized platform with access to tax records across the country, delivering a consistent, standardized format from any jurisdiction.
ServiceLink Debuts Platform for Real Estate Inspections
ServiceLink, Pittsburgh, Pa., launched EXOS Inspect, enabling homeowners to complete fast, easy and secure video inspections for critical aspects of the lending and servicing process.
EXOS Inspect is a new mobile app that enables borrowers to conduct their own home inspections when a traditional appraisal inspection is not required. The app, developed in partnership with two of the largest global technology firms, can be used to support home equity lending and collect data for portfolio management processes including loss mitigation, loan modification and private mortgage insurance removal. By ensuring lenders, investors and servicers have the most up-to-date property information, EXOS Inspect enables them to make more informed decisions, while increasing efficiency and elevating the consumer experience.
eNotaryLog Becomes MISMO® Certified
eNotaryLog, Tampa, Fla., said it became the first remote online notary platform to be MISMO® certified. MISMO created RON standards to promote consistency across mortgage banking industry practices and state regulations to allow the use of audio-visual communication devices to notarize documents in a virtual online environment.
eNotaryLog achieved this certification by adhering to stringent regulatory and industry compliance guidelines, denoting its advanced knowledge of MISMO standards and best practices.
Mortgage Sentinel Introduces Secret Shopping Concept to Mortgage Industry
Mortgage Sentinel, Philadelphia, is a partnership between Lodestar Software Solutions and RDAssociates for a “secret shopper” service for the mortgage industry. The service uses proprietary research techniques, in-depth analyses and hands-on training to improve the interactions between mortgage originators and potential borrowers.
Mortgage Sentinel specialists will work with mortgage lenders in advance of quality assurance or “secret shopper” audits to understand all policies and procedures in place to support compliance efforts. Its expert compliance team will focus on particular areas of concern and company specific requirements in order to customize the QA process. From there, the Mortgage Sentinel team will collect data by contacting members of the client’s customer facing staff as potential borrowers. The subsequent conversations will be captured, with the cumulative data analyzed against the criteria established at the beginning of the project.
Evolve Mortgage Services Added to Fitch Ratings’ List of ‘Acceptable’ Third Party Review Providers
Evolve Mortgage Services, Frisco, Texas, has been designated as an ‘Acceptable’ third-party review firm by Fitch Ratings for loans included in residential mortgage-backed securities that Fitch rates. With the latest designation by Fitch, Evolve is now an ‘Acceptable’ TPR provider for all five major rating agencies.
Evolve’s management team and staff have expertise in loan level due diligence reviews to identify credit, compliance and valuation risk as well as knowledge of RMBS securitization best practices. The firm has an underwriting platform that integrates with advanced technology to provide due diligence on a variety of loan types, including: Non-QM, jumbo, business purpose and agency loans.
IDS Expands Settlement Agent Roles in Solitude Solution Platform
International Document Services Inc., Salt Lake City, updated and expanded several features within its eClose platform Solitude Solution to streamline the closing ceremony and better support the settlement agent’s role in the closing process.
Settlement agents now have the ability to view the signing progress alongside borrowers in the eSign Room, making it easier for agents to answer questions that may arise during the closing ceremony. Additionally, settlement agents have access to view all documents in the closing package, rather than just those assigned to the agent as a task.
Transformational Mortgage Solutions, SupportLink3 Partner
Transformational Mortgage Solutions, Austin, Texas, a management consulting firm providing a full-range of mortgage lending advisory services to owners and c-level executives, and SupportLink3, Dallas, a specialized sales and marketing advisory firm, jointly announced that they have aligned to bring a higher level of expertise to mortgage lenders and service providers that helps maximize organization potential and capitalize on marketplace opportunities.
TMS focuses on assisting lenders with executive leadership coaching and consulting services that streamline processes, boost loan volume, improve the bottom line, optimize operational performance, ensure customer satisfaction, and execute efficiency assessments from origination through servicing. The firm also provides c-level coaching and business strategies that ultimately create a more collaborative, cohesive, and consistent corporate culture.
SL3 complements TMS’ services by providing financial services-based companies a cost-effective alternative to incurring the expense of employing in-house resources that extend sales, business development, and other topline generating activities. In addition, SL3 offers management team guidance, marketing assistance, technology support, executive search placement, and M&A strategies.
Finastra Launches LIBOR Transition Calculator Service
Finastra, London, U.K., announced availability of Fusion LIBOR Transition Calculator, a service that enables banks to calculate Alternate Reference Rates or Risk-Free Rates.
The calculator service works independently of Fusion Loan IQ, Finastra’s commercial lending platform. Built on FusionFabric.cloud, Finastra’s open innovation platform, the calculator’s open API facilitates the integration with systems that don’t yet have a solution in place for calculating ARR/RFR rates, thereby significantly reducing operational risk.
LoanLogics White Paper: Digital Labor is Future of Mortgage Industry
LoanLogics, Trevose, Pa., released a white paper explaining how mortgage lenders can “employ” digital labor more effectively with human staff, more flexibly as their digital workforce grows and more strategically using verified loan file data to power even more sophisticated automated solutions.
The white paper, “A Field Guide for the Care and Feeding of Digital Labor,” defines and lays out best practices for implementing a digital workforce. It also explains how digitizing work will reshape the lending process and answers important questions for lenders thinking about leveraging digital labor, such as how to prepare their organizations, technology architecture considerations that should be evaluated and how to use and share data across their IT infrastructure.
To download a copy of the white paper, visit https://loanlogics.com/wp-digitallabor.html?utm_campaign=PR.
FHFA House Price Index Up 0.2 Percent in April; Up 5.5 Percent from Last Year
U.S. house prices rose in April, up 0.2 percent from the previous month, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency House Price Index. House prices rose 5.5 percent from April 2019 to April 2020. The previously reported 0.1 percent increase for March 2020 remains unchanged.
For the nine census divisions, seasonally adjusted monthly house price changes from March 2020 to April 2020 ranged from -0.5 percent in the South Atlantic division to +0.8 percent in the West South-Central division. The 12-month changes were all positive, ranging from +5.0 percent in the Middle Atlantic division to +6.8 percent in the Mountain division.
“U.S. house prices posted another positive monthly increase in April,” according to Lynn Fisher, Deputy Director of the Division of Research and Statistics with FHFA. “We expect the normal spring bump in sales was pushed off by the COVID-19 shutdowns and may extend into the summer months as states reopen and real estate sales pick back up.”
Idaho Housing Selects CLARIFIRE to Automate Loss Mitigation Processes
Clarifire, St. Petersburg, Fla, announced the Idaho Housing and Finance Association selected CLARIFIRE as its loss mitigation platform. A provider of funding for affordable housing opportunities for Idaho communities, Idaho Housing will rely on CLARIFIRE to increase the efficiency of its loss mitigation services.
Clarifire accelerates the implementation process of CLARIFIRE due to COVID-19 demands, giving the organization the ability to automate its manual processes and streamline loss mitigation efforts in bulk within the next 60 days.
RedfinNow Resumes iBuying in Four Metros
Redfin, Seattle, resumed buying homes through RedfinNow in four additional markets: Dallas, San Antonio, Los Angeles and Orange County, Calif. RedfinNow, which buys homes directly from homeowners and resells them to homebuyers, paused making offers on homes on March 17 due to economic uncertainty at the outset of the coronavirus pandemic. On May 7, RedfinNow resumed buying homes in three initial markets: Austin, Denver and the Inland Empire in California.
With a full-service brokerage of local agents and an iBuying service, Redfin allows sellers to compare the costs and benefits of listing on the open market to a RedfinNow cash sale, so sellers can make the choice that fits their needs.
IndiSoft, Hope Now Hold July 9 Webinar on Homeowner Assistance
IndiSoft and Hope Now will host a July 9 national webinar to address the need for collaboration on the part of servicers, non-profit housing and state agencies to provide immediate and long-term assistance to consumers dealing with housing issues as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Servicers will learn how to effectively collaborate with HUD-certified housing counselors nationwide. Housing counselors will hear the latest updates from state regulators and attorneys regarding homeownership preservation programs and compliance risk. Housing finance and/or state regulators will learn about the latest technology and strategies from mortgage experts to facilitate borrower engagement.
Panelists will include Eric Selk, executive director of Hope Now; Shannon Chambers, director of Home Means Nevada; Joanne Cordero, president of Springboard CDFI; Hans Rusli, CEO of IndiSoft; and Kristin A. Schuler-Hintz, partner with NV McCarthy & Holthus.
The webinar runs from 2:00-3:00 p.m. ET. For more information and to register, click https://app.livestorm.co/indisoft/helping-homeowners-combat-covid-19-collaborative-industry-solutions-available.
Black Knight: Homeowners in Active Forbearance Rise for 1st Time in 3 Weeks
Black Knight, Jacksonville, Fla., said homeowners in active forbearance rose last week after three consecutive weeks of declines. Overall, the number of active forbearance plans rose by 79,000 from last week – erasing roughly half of the improvement seen since the peak of May 22 – with rises seen over each of the past five business days.
Black Knight said as of June 23, 4.68 million homeowners are in forbearance plans, representing 8.8% of all active mortgages, up from 8.7% last week. Together, they represent just over $1 trillion in unpaid principal. Some 6.9% of all GSE-backed loans and 12.5% of all FHA/VA loans are currently in forbearance plans. Another 9.6% of loans in private label securities or banks’ portfolios are also in forbearance.
Black Knight said at today’s level, mortgage servicers would need to advance up to $3.5 billion/month to holders of government-backed mortgage securities on COVID-19-related forbearances. That’s on top of up to $1.4 billion in T&I payments they must make on behalf of borrowers.
Cherry Creek Mortgage Partners with Covered Digital Insurance Marketplace
Cherry Creek Mortgage Co., Denver, announced an integration with the Covered Digital Insurance Marketplace. With this partnership, CCMC’s homeowner and homebuyer customers can purchase home insurance, shopped and compared from more than 25 top national and regional carriers.
Customers can find the right coverage for the right price and deliver the needed documents to Cherry Creek Mortgage for the closing process. Customers can take advantage of digital features such as Chat with an Agent, Schedule a Call, and Call Me Now to speak with one of Covered’s certified insurance agents enhancing the CCMC customer experience during the lending or refinancing process.
Fitch Ratings: Coronavirus Grinds U.S. RMBS Non-QM Originations to Virtual Halt
Fitch Ratings, New York, said residential mortgage non-QM originators largely halted loan production in the second quarter as a reaction to nationwide economic shutdowns caused by COVID-19.
Despite the general stall of non-agency lending, Fitch said it saw an increase in private-label securitization issuance, especially in the last week. This has contributed to a number of updated reviews in Fitch’s report. The report reflects a total of 59 reviewed entities.
Fitch said while non-agency production has been limited, diversified mortgage originators with multiple lending avenues, specifically to the GSEs, have managed to maintain operational stability. In addition to a favorable interest rate environment, continued support from the Federal Reserve to purchase Agency MBS bonds has allowed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to continue acting as an effective exit strategy for conforming loan originations.
Agencies Finalize Amendments to Swap Margin Rule
Five federal agencies finalized changes to their swap margin rule to facilitate implementation of prudent risk management strategies at banks and other entities with significant swap activities.
The agencies are the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System; Farm Credit Administration; Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.; Federal Housing Finance Agency; and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.
Under the final rule, entities that are part of the same banking organization generally will no longer be required to hold a specific amount of initial margin for uncleared swaps with each other, known as inter-affiliate swaps. Inter-affiliate swaps typically are used for internal risk management purposes by transferring risk to a centralized risk management function within the firm. The final rule will give firms additional flexibility to allocate collateral internally and support prudent risk management and safety and soundness.
Inter-affiliate swaps will remain subject to variation margin requirements, and initial margin will still be required if a depository institution’s total exposure to all affiliates exceeds 15 percent of its Tier 1 capital.