Industry Briefs Nov. 5, 2020
Top of Mind Integrates with Floify
Top of Mind Networks, Atlanta, a provider in customer relationship management and marketing automation software for the mortgage lending industry, announced its integration with digital mortgage point-of-sale platform Floify, Boulder, Colo.
The integration streamlines data flow between the CRM and POS systems, enabling automatic contact creation and loan milestone syncing. The combined platform allows loan originators to deploy Surefire CRM workflows and content to prospects and in-process loan applicants for higher application conversion and loan pull-through rates.
TransUnion Unveils Simpler Income/Employment Verification Process
TransUnion, Chicago, unveiled a seamless and real-time service for lenders and other businesses to access verified income and employment data.
TransUnion Income and Employment Verification provides lenders and other verifiers with access to verified income and employment data directly within the credit report. This removes unnecessary overhead of separate integration efforts and related costs, and improves the consumer experience. TransUnion Income and Employment Verification is initially launching in collaboration with a leading payroll provider in the U.S., which will provide immediate access to tens of millions of active employment records. Data is updated every pay cycle to supply the most recent view of a consumer’s employment status and income.
STRATMOR Group: 2020 Mortgage M&A Deals Are Game Changers
Unprecedented margins mortgage lenders are realizing in 2020 are resulting in a record year for mergers and acquisitions, according to the latest Insights Report from STRATMOR Group, Greenwood Village, Colo.
Since January, the mortgage industry has witnessed two of the biggest deals in its history: United Wholesale Mortgage’s $16.1 billion merger with a SPAC (special acquisition company), and Intercontinental Exchange’s $11 billion acquisition of Ellie Mae. Meanwhile, Quicken Loans’ owner Rocket Companies raised about $1.8 billion in an August initial public offering. In early October the Wall Street Journal pegged the company’s valuation at about $45 billion.
More recently, Guild Holdings, an originator and servicer of residential mortgages, announced the closing of its initial public offering of 6,500,000 shares of its Class A common stock at a price to the public of $15.00 per share. The company raised roughly $100 million, creating a valuation of $1 billion.
“These are amazing deals in themselves, but what they mean for the rest of the industry is noteworthy,” writes STRATMOR Senior Partner Garth Graham in his October Insights Report article, Timing is Everything: Four Must-Know Realities About the Mortgage M&A Market. “The M&A deals we’re seeing this year are game changers,” Graham says. “They are record-breaking deals that have investors outside the industry putting money into mortgage banks that are generating solid profits.”
Promontory MortgagePath Launches Initiative to Help Minority-Owned Financial Institutions Expand Mortgage Credit Access to Underserved Communities
Promontory MortgagePath LLC, Danbury, Conn., launched an initiative to support minority depository institutions’ efforts to expand access to credit and homeownership in underserved communities. Through this initiative, Promontory MortgagePath will partner with minority-owned banks and credit unions, including community development financial institutions, to offer exclusive pricing, resources and joint-marketing opportunities to participating institutions.
The initiative aims to accelerate the ability of minority-owned banks and depositories to help their communities. Promontory MortgagePath plans to work with the Community Development Bankers Association to identify strategic partners to participate in the initiative. MDIs and CDFIs that join the initiative will leverage Promontory MortgagePath’s technology, U.S.-based mortgage fulfillment services and robust joint marketing program at an aggressive discount, fast-tracking their efforts to deepen and broaden their reach and expand access to homeownership in their communities.
CFPB Settles with Washington Federal Bank, Low VA Rates LLC
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau settled with Washington Federal Bank N.A., a federally insured national bank, to address the Bureau’s finding that it reported inaccurate Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data about its mortgage transactions for 2016 and 2017.
The Bureau found that Washington Federal, headquartered in Seattle, violated HMDA, its implementing regulation, Regulation C and the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010 by failing to report accurate data about its mortgage-loan applications to the Bureau. Washington Federal is currently subject to a 2013 consent order with the Bureau based on the Bureau’s previous findings that Washington Federal violated HMDA and Regulation C.
The Bureau also issued a consent order against Low VA Rates LLC to address the Bureau’s finding that Low VA Rates sent consumers mailers for mortgage loans guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs that contained false, misleading and inaccurate statements. Low VA Rates’ conduct violated the Consumer Financial Protection Act’s prohibition against deceptive acts and practices, the Mortgage Acts and Practices – Advertising Rule (MAP Rule), and Regulation Z.
The action marks the ninth and last case stemming from a Bureau sweep of investigations of multiple mortgage companies that used deceptive mailers to advertise VA-guaranteed mortgages. The Bureau commenced this sweep in response to concerns raised by the VA about potentially unlawful advertising in the mortgage lending market.
Classic Properties Selects Adwerx for Online Advertising
Adwerx, Clarks Summit, Pa., announced its newest brokerage firm to join the Adwerx Enterprise Automation Platform: Classic Properties.
In addition to advertising for each new listing, every one of Classic Properties’ 100+ agents will receive an automated retargeting campaign. Benefiting both the buyers’ and sellers’ agents, this strategy generates increased visibility and maximizes online exposure as the agents’ ads follow potential clients who have visited the agents’ web pages. Agents can unlock streaming TV advertising through a branded, self-service portal that allows them to purchase additional advertising campaigns on top of the complementary listing and retargeting ads they’ll receive through the Adwerx program.
First American DataTree Earns Patent for FlexSearch
First American DataTree, Santa Ana, Calif., a national provider of property data and document images, announced the United States Patent and Trademark Office issued U.S. Patent #10,783,367 for FlexSearch, a property data search engine that instantly searches against any word, phrase, name or item in any recorded document nationwide.
Based on a proprietary model of data acquisition and manufacturing, First American DataTree covers the U.S. housing stock and more than 7 billion recorded document images. FlexSearch returns search results performed against billions of documents at once.
IMM Partners with Integra Software Systems
IMM, Rahway, N.J., and Integra, a provider of lending technology, partnered to better power mortgage, consumer and commercial lending automation. Together, IMM and Integra will streamline loan-associated processes needed to provide lending technology.
Through this partnership, IMM will deliver e-signature capabilities for Integra’s EPIC LOS, which processes loans for mortgage, consumer and commercial lending channels. In addition, IMM eSign’s integration with Integra’s browser-based platform will allow consumers to remotely sign secure documents.
CFPB Issues Final Rule to Implement Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a final rule to restate and clarify prohibitions on harassment and abuse, false or misleading representations and unfair practices by debt collectors when collecting consumer debt.
The rule focuses on debt collection communications and gives consumers more control over how often and through what means debt collectors can communicate with them regarding their debts. The rule also clarifies how the protections of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, passed in 1977, apply to newer communication technologies, such as email and text messages.
The rule further clarifies that the FDCPA’s general prohibition on harassing, oppressive, or abusive conduct applies to telephone calls as well as other communication media, such as email and text messages, and provides examples demonstrating how the prohibition restricts emails and text messages. It also generally restates the FDCPA’s prohibitions regarding false, deceptive or misleading representations or means and unfair or unconscionable means.
To address one of the topics on which the Bureau received a great deal of feedback, the Bureau is not finalizing the proposed safe harbor for debt collectors against claims that an attorney falsely represented the attorney’s involvement in the preparation of a litigation submission. That provision was proposed to bring greater clarity to this issue but, after receiving questions and comments from many stakeholders concerning the proposal, the Bureau has decided not to finalize that provision.
“With the vast changes in communications since the FDCPA was passed more than four decades ago, it is important to provide clear rules of the road,” said CFPB Director Kathleen L. Kraninger. “Our debt collection rulemaking provides limits on debt collectors and provides clear rights for consumers. With this modernized debt collection rule, consumers will have greater control when communicating with debt collectors.”
The final rule can be found at https://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/documents/cfpb_debt-collection_final-rule_2020-10.pdf.
CoreLogic: ‘Zeta’ Causes Up to $4 Billion in Insured Losses
CoreLogic, Irvine, Calif., said its analysis of insured wind losses for residential and commercial properties in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama are estimated to be between $2.2 billion and $3.5 billion resulting from Hurricane Zetaa. Insured storm surge losses are estimated to be an additional $0.3 billion to $0.5 billion.
“Natural disasters are increasing in frequency and severity across the board,” said Tom Larsen, principal, insurance solutions at CoreLogic. “It is imperative for mortgage lenders and insurance carriers to start investing in this technology to better protect homeowners and accelerate local economic recovery.”
Desert Financial Credit Union Selects IndiSoft’s RxOffice Quality Control Platform
Desert Financial Credit Union, Phoenix, Arizona’s largest credit union with more than 340,000 members, implemented IndiSoft’s RxOffice Compliance platform to provide support for residential mortgage originations and servicing quality control.
CSI Partners with Hawthorn River for Digital Loan Origination
Computer Services Inc. partnered with Hawthorn River to offer community banks a digital loan origination platform that streamlines workflows and automates manual lending processes for consumer and commercial loans.
Hawthorn River Lending is an end-to-end digital loan origination platform providing a single-point platform that processes a wide range of loan types and offers a vast array of automated features. In addition, the platform optimizes compliance through real-time monitoring, data validation and alerting.
Hawthorn River deep integration with CSIbridge, CSI’s open application programming interface platform that allows banks and third-party providers to securely access data for ancillary services, which further enhances productivity through real-time data inquiries and single-click booking.