Industry Briefs

ARMCO Launches ACESXPRESS for Early Payment Defaults

ACES Risk Management (ARMCO), Denver, released ACESXPRESS for Early Payment Defaults to bolster lenders’ existing audit programs in light of the recent increases in required monthly EPD audit volume.

Originally launched in 2016, ACESXPRESS works with the ACES Audit Technology platform in an easy-to-implement format for small and mid-sized lenders. ACESXPRESS for EPDs includes minimal setup requirements and the ability to configure within a week; full product support from ARMCO; pre-configured audits, including ACES IQ for conducting EPD reviews; and a library of standard report templates.

Cherry Creek Mortgage to Deliver Natural Language-Based Site Search Experience with Yext Answers

Yext Inc., New York, announced its continued work with Cherry Creek Mortgage Company to enhance the company’s website with Yext Answers.

The natural language processing behind Yext Answers will equip CCMC’s website with a modern search solution capable of understanding complex customer questions about the company’s 325+ mortgage loan officers and more than 200 loan programs. Answers will return dynamic, official answers to each search query, including featured snippets answering common loan program questions and custom calls-to-action such as getting directions to a branch or scheduling an appointment with a loan officer.

Rentec Direct: Rental Collections Continue Downward Dip

Rentec Direct, Grants Pass, Ore., said aggregated anonymous data collected over the past three months shows that rent payments received by landlords nationwide decreased in April and May, and that tenants with online rent payment options were more likely to pay rent.

“As COVID-19 continues to impact markets across the globe, many are left wondering what the future will hold in the rental industry,” said Nathan Miller, President of Rentec Direct. “It’s safe to assume landlords are directly feeling the effects of this global shift.”

The report showed three main trends in rent payment behavior for the month of May:

–Property managers and landlords received fewer rent payments: Rent payments received nationwide by property managers and landlords as of May 8 was 19 percent lower than the number of rent payments received during the same period in March, compared to a 17 percent decrease in April.

–Renters were more likely to pay rent online than by cash or check: Of tenants who paid rent electronically, nationwide rent payments in May were 1.5 percent higher than online payments received for the same period in April. When compared to the 19 percent decrease in total rent payments, it is clear online payment options increase the likelihood of paying rent on time.

–Tenants and landlords continue to explore online rent payment options: On average, Rentec Direct receives 124 applications each month from property managers wanting to activate online rent payment options. In March, this number increased by 24 percent. In April 2020, the number of applications increased by 15 percent. So far in May, interest in online rent payment options appears to be stabilizing.

Black Knight: 4.7 Million Homeowners in Forbearance Plans

Black Knight, Jacksonville, Fla., said as of May 12, 4.7 million homeowners are in forbearance plans, up from a revised 4.5 million one week prior.

Black Knight said the pace of new forbearance plans has slowed considerably, noting an average net increase of just under 26,000 per day over the past week. That’s a reduction of more than 85% of the rate seen in early April.

Together, the 4.7 million represent 8.8% of all active mortgages and more than $1 trillion in unpaid principal. Some 7% of all GSE-backed loans and 12.4% of all FHA/VA loans are currently in forbearance plans.

Covius Announces Funding Suite Integration with Blend

Covius, Denver, announced its credit reporting platform, Funding Suite, is now integrated into Blend, San Francisco, a digital lending platform, accessible to the hundreds of lenders on that platform. 

Funding Suite provides Blend’s customers with a range of credit services for origination and quality control, including credit scores, rescoring, merged reports and supplemental lien and judgment reports. These services can be integrated directly into the lender’s front-end consumer portals or accessed by loan officers and processors. Funding Suite lets users select preferred credit repositories and upgrade to a three-vendor report without having to re-pull a consumer’s file. In addition, Covius’ platform provides cost accounting, business intelligence dashboards and real-time status updates on open orders and interactive maps on credit order locations.

Black Knight Introduces SCOUT Cloud-Based Remote Property Inspection App

Black Knight Inc., Jacksonville, Fla., launched its SCOUT remote property inspection mobile app, a cloud-based application that enables remote property inspections by helping homeowners collect their property data, important details and photos without requiring an appraiser to enter the property.

The information is then sent electronically to the appraisers, who can use their expertise to perform due diligence and analysis and deliver an appraisal using their existing desktop technology. Black Knight SCOUT is a flexible, intuitive property data mobile application that takes users through a series of questions and prompts with instructions. The app can be used on Apple or Android smartphones or tablets, and on average, the entire inspection process takes 15-30 minutes, depending on the property.

Silverton Mortgage Offers Zero Lender Fees to Veterans

Silverton Mortgage Atlanta, said it would offer zero lender fees to eligible individuals on new applications for home financing through its VA loan programs.

Whether purchasing or refinancing, eligible borrowers who finance with a VA loan will see competitive rates, no down payment and no private mortgage insurance. The program also offers a cash-out refinance option, allowing recipients to borrow against their home’s equity to pay off debt, fund education, or make home improvements. By eliminating lender fees, Silverton Mortgage said it can provide additional savings of up to $1,295 on new applications.

“Beeline” Allows for Faster, Easier Home Loans via Machine Learning, Mobile-First Technology

Beeline, Providence, R.I., is a new digital home loan lender allowing the home buying process directly from users’ phones.

Beeline raised $7.6 million in equity capital to date, which will enable the platform to begin its operations in Washington, D.C., Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Texas and Virginia.

Beeline links directly to a user’s personal bank, employment and pay information and tax history, using machine learning to create a ‘purchase-ready’ or ‘refi-ready’ approval. Because of its proprietary back-end technology, Beeline can retrieve actual numbers directly from the third-party source as opposed to estimated information from the user, which in turn allows Beeline to verify loan-related information in real time. This reduces Beeline’s costs, enabling them to offer lower interest rates.

Insellerate Integrates with Ellie Mae Digital Lending Platform

Insellerate, Newport Beach, Calif,  announced its CRM & Engagement platforms are now available through the Ellie Mae Digital Lending Platform. The integration allows lenders to use field-level triggers to create engagement and workflow directly through the Ellie Mae Digital Lending Platform to drive borrower engagement. 

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, chatbots and customer monitoring. The Ellie Mae Digital Lending Platform empowers lenders and investors to engage homebuyers and efficiently originate, close, sell and purchase loans that maximize ROI across their business all from a single system of record. The platform delivers a digital mortgage experience across the entire mortgage workflow for every channel, every loan transaction and every customer type.

NAMMBA Town Hall Series Begins May 22

The National Association of Minority Mortgage Bankers of America will hold the first in its Town Hall Series: State of the Industry, on Friday, May 22 at 1:00 p.m. ET.

This event will bring together industry stakeholders, policy makers and CEOs to discuss the current impact of COVID-19 on the mortgage and real estate industry and will feature a “fireside chat” hosted by NAMMBA Founder/CEO Tony Thompson, CMB. For more information and to register, click https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_bFSz3SYDT3WpWB3ekG6siA.

Fitch Ratings: eMortgage RMBS Activity to Increase Post-Coronavirus

Fitch Ratings, New York, said the likelihood that conducting business remotely will become the new norm is paving the way for the increased use of eMortgages, which if properly originated, will not pose incremental risk to U.S. private label residential mortgage-backed securities.

Fitch anticipates that foreclosure timelines should not be significantly delayed due to the presence of an eMortgage. “The framework for electronic note enforceability has been established and related documents have language stating that the electronic note is a transferable record,” Fitch said. “Affidavits help support the electronic note in court by providing details on compliance with laws, the controller’s rights, and credibility of registration. Furthermore, parties performing foreclosures are expected to have immediate standing via a transaction on the MERS registry instead of waiting to receive an original paper note.”

“Wider PLS adoption will likely be driven further by the efficiency potential of eMortgages and origination-related operational aspects impacted by social distancing expectations in the post-coronavirus environment,” Fitch said.

Home Means Nevada Partners with IndiSoft on COVID-19 Response Initiative

Home Means Nevada Inc., a state-affiliated nonprofit organization that administers certain functions of the Foreclosure Mediation Program, formally launched its COVID-19 response initiative, a multi-agency effort to promote home retention for Nevadans. The Initiative will build on HMN’s work over the past several years in promoting home retention through its Foreclosure Mediation Portal by adding the functionality of The Homeowner Connect to the portal.

HMN has partnered with IndiSoft, LLC, the provider of THOC, to implement the portal enhancements and to facilitate the registration of mortgage servicers in the portal and deployment of additional features to promote greater efficiencies for all users, including consumers, housing counselors, regulators and servicers.

CFPB Extends Comment Period on Time-Barred Debt Rulemaking

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will provide an additional 60 days for the public to comment on its Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on time-barred debt disclosures.  The extension is intended to allow all interested parties with additional time to comment on the rulemaking as a result of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The  deadline was June 5; the comment period will now close on August 4.

The Bureau proposes to prohibit collectors from using non-litigation means (such as calls) to collect on time-barred debt unless collectors disclose to consumers during the initial contact and on any required validation notice that the debt is time-barred. Consumer research conducted by the Bureau found that a time-barred debt disclosure helps consumers understand that they cannot be sued if they do not pay. That can help consumers make better informed decisions whether to pay the debt or not.

To read the Federal Register Notice on the extension click here: https://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/documents/cfpb_debt-collection-supplemental-nprm_second-comment-extension-notice.pdf.

ARMCO Expands Integrated Third-Party Vendor Offerings Within ACES Audit Technology

ACES Risk Management (ARMCO), Denver, announced several enhancements to its ACES Audit Technology platform to aid lenders’ loan defect categorization and post-closing quality control efforts.

Included in the enhancements are additions to the suite of integrated third-party verification providers available within ACES. Users can now order, track and receive credit reports from Data Facts and field reviews from Service1st without leaving the ACES system, which streamlines the quality control audit process and eliminates the unnecessary, time-consuming and error-prone task of rekeying data.

Maxwell Extends Product Offering with New Fulfillment Platform

Digital mortgage provider Maxwell, Denver, announced a new way for small and midsize lenders to scale processing capacity to meet market needs through launch of the Maxwell Fulfillment Platform.

As an extension to Maxwell’s digital mortgage platform, the Maxwell Fulfillment Platform is a technology and outsourced platform to enable lenders to scale their business with access to teams of on-shore processors at off-shore prices. Services delivered through the Maxwell Fulfillment Platform will be available on a white-label basis, with processors functioning as part of a lender’s operations team. Lenders can add processors as needed to accommodate the ebbs and flows of market dynamics, while maintaining full ownership of customer data and delivering a fully branded, streamlined loan experience to borrowers. Qualifying lenders can apply for early access to the Fulfillment Platform beginning today.

Aspen Grove Solutions Publishes Whitepaper on Digital Borrower Engagement as Forbearance Tool

Aspen Grove Solutions, Frederick, Md., published a new Whitepaper, Digital Borrower Engagement…A Critical Tool for the Post-Forbearance Tidal Wave.

Authors Sean Ryan, CEO of Aspen Grove Solutions, and Kevin D. Karty model the impact of COVID-19 on default servicing volumes over the next 18+ months and discuss how digital, user-friendly engagement with the borrower can help ameliorate the three major challenges Services will face – Cost Control, Volume of Loans, and Compliance & Risk. The paper considers how the crisis is a catalyst to digitize Life of Loan Services which will help build loyalty, not just through this crisis, but into the future and enable a better outcome for all stakeholders.

The whitepaper is available at https://www.aspengrovesolutions.com/digital-borrower-engagement-white-paper/.