Industry Briefs Oct. 24, 2020

Black Knight Introduces Customer Service Platform for One-Call Resolutions

Black Knight Inc., Jacksonville, Fla., launched a Customer Service platform that provides an enhanced customer service experience for both customer service representatives and consumers.

The platform, integrated with Black Knight’s MSP servicing system, gives customer service representatives highly personalized information about customers’ loans, homes and neighborhoods through an intuitive, easy-to-use graphical user interface so they can respond to customer questions more quickly, accurately and efficiently.

The platform also integrates with Black Knight’s Servicing Digital platform, an interactive, user-friendly web and mobile platform for consumers that provides customized, timely information about their mortgage loans and homes. Black Knight clients who pair Customer Service with Servicing Digital will have a view of what their borrowers are seeing on their mobile device when they call in.

Mint, Rocket Mortgage Partner on Refinance Technology

Financial empowerment app Mint by Intuit Inc., San Diego, and Rocket Cos., Detroit, announced a partnership in which Rocket Mortgage is now integrated into the Mint app via API to create a fast, simplified refinance experience for homeowners.

As part of this integration, Mint users can pre-fill information such as current mortgage information that they’ve added to their Mint profile. They are then able to search for, apply and lock-in mortgage refinance rates with Rocket Mortgage in as few as eight minutes, instead of days or weeks – all powered by the Rocket Mortgage API.

Loan Simple Launches Wholesale Mortgage Lending Channel

Loan Simple Inc., a national mortgage lender and servicer, announced its expansion into wholesale mortgage lending and launch of its new campaign “The Simple Way to Home.”

Loan Simple touts three simple key promises: 1) A dedicated, customizable team for every broker partner, 2) Technology guaranteed to give partners time back in their day, 3) A one doc sign-up to make getting started with them easy.

TransUnion, FinLocker Partner to Give Consumers Data Control to Secure Loans

To help consumers take more control of their data and more quickly secure the right loans at the right time, TransUnion, Chicago, announced an equity investment in FinLocker’s $20M Series A-1 financing round, as well as entrance into a commercial partnership agreement.

The partnership will allow consumers to collect and permission their financial information needed to secure a mortgage, among other loans. This can allow consumers to receive a loan decision much faster and even make a home-buying offer equipped with a loan commitment from their lender ahead of time. 

Fannie Mae: Economic Recovery Continues at Slower Pace

Despite a light rebalancing of third and fourth quarter estimates, full-year 2020 economic output is still expected to contract 2.6 percent, according to the latest commentary from the Fannie Mae Economic and Strategic Research Group. Its estimate of third quarter real GDP growth was revised upward 1.2 percentage points to 31.6 percent annualized, while fourth quarter growth was revised downward 1.3 percentage points to 4.9 percent annualized.

Fannie Mae said the housing sector continues to be highly supportive of economic growth and is expected to remain so over the forecast horizon. With forward-looking indicators, including pending sales and new construction, demonstrating strength, the ESR Group now forecasts third quarter residential fixed investment growth at 58.0 percent annualized, a level that, if realized, would surpass pre-COVID figures. As such, annual home sales, mortgage origination volume, and home price growth – as measured by the FHFA index – are all expected to significantly outpace 2019 levels.

“The economy continues to recover, albeit at a slowing pace,” said Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae Senior Vice President and Chief Economist. “Our view is that the combined decline of GDP in 2020 will likely be regained in 2021 for net zero growth over the two-year period. This suggests that if the labor force grows as expected, then the unemployment rate must also end 2021 higher than pre-crisis levels.”

Verus Mortgage Capital Launches Loan Scenario Tool

Verus Mortgage Capital, Washington, D.C., launched a new loan scenario tool on its website,

The scenario tool allows mortgage lenders to enter information including their borrower’s credit score, LTV, loan amount, property type and more. All relevant Verus non-QM loan program results will be displayed.

Irongate Inc. Realtors Expands Digital Advertising Strategy with Adwerx Enterprise Automation Platform

Irongate Inc. Realtors is now using fully customized and automated digital brand ads from Adwerx. The Adwerx Enterprise Automation Platform generates personalized and company branded digital ads that will fast-track awareness of every new available listing from each of Irongate Inc. Realtors’ seven sales offices.

Digital ads for new listings launch as soon as properties go on the market. These ads appear on Facebook, popular mobile apps, and across premium websites that consumers and potential home buyers visit on a daily basis, including local and national news outlets. This helps to instill confidence and optimism amongst sellers seeking a swift transaction. Additionally, it automates the work of digital marketing promotions, allowing agents to focus on acquiring new listings and providing enhanced quality client service.

QuestSoft Updates Fair Lending RELIEF to Include Analysis of Consumer Lending 

QuestSoft, Laguna Hills, Calif., said its latest enhancement to Fair Lending RELIEF is a new module that allows lenders to analyze non-HMDA consumer lending activity.

Fair Lending RELIEF gives lenders the ability to easily import consumer data for enhanced fair lending risk analysis. The program also gives users the option of automatically assigning proxy designations to thousands of records — done in seconds — as well as view the results of probability calculations for individual records. 

Clear Capital Automates Collateral Underwriting Review Process with ClearCollateral Review

Clear Capital, Reno, Nev., launched ClearCollateral Review, a system that automates collateral underwriting in compliance with internal credit policies and GSE guidelines. The system centralizes all analytical tools and data required to review an appraisal and leverages machine learning to eliminate manual tasks, freeing up lenders to focus on a better borrower experience.

ClearCollateral Review eliminates the process of manually reviewing PDF appraisals by mapping data from the report and delivering it in a centralized summary, allowing lenders to quickly review a data snapshot when performing a low-risk appraisal review. ClearCollateral Review positions collateral underwriting as a competitive advantage allowing lenders to close loans more quickly while improving customer satisfaction.

CoreLogic Launches New Automated Valuation Model

CoreLogic, Irvine, Calif., launched Total Home ValueX, a new automated valuation model that eliminates the need for multiple AVMs. Building on the existing Total Home Value suite, the new, single model methodology dramatically increases home value accuracy and hit rate for all AVM applications. 

Total Home ValueX provides current market values for the U.S. residential housing stock. The model leverages CoreLogic’s property records that capture 99.9%+ of U.S. properties and span 50+ years, as well as MLS data and newly added data sources not traditionally used in AVMs to support diverse use cases and markets spanning mortgage, real estate, ReTech, FinTech, PropTech, government, insurance and consumers.

FHFA: Temporary Policy Allowing Purchase of Qualified Loans in Forbearance Extended to Nov. 30

The Federal Housing Finance Agency approved an extension of the current temporary policy that allows for the purchase of certain single-family mortgages in forbearance that meet specific eligibility criteria as set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The policy is extended for loans originated through November 30.

Earlier this year, FHFA and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced the Borrower Protection Program to ensure that borrowers are protected during the coronavirus national emergency and to facilitate related information sharing. To ensure that borrowers are qualifying for mortgages they can afford, FHFA will continue sharing aggregated data with the CFPB on loans that enter forbearance before delivery to the Enterprises. The data sharing will allow FHFA to fulfill its obligation under the so-called “Qualified Mortgage Patch” to ensure that loans sold to the Enterprises are complying with the intent of Dodd-Frank’s ability to repay provisions.

Eligible loans will continue to be priced to mitigate the heightened risk of loss to the Enterprises from said loans. These prudential measures also ensure fulfillment of the Enterprises’ charter requirements to only purchase loans that meet the purchase standards imposed by private, institutional mortgage investors.

FHA Launches New Automated Underwriting System for Single-Family Forward Mortgages

The Federal Housing Administration launched its new automated underwriting system for use by lenders originating mortgages for FHA insurance. Built on the FHA Catalyst technology platform, the new FHA Catalyst: Single Family Origination Module –AUS allows lenders to electronically submit loan application data for single family forward mortgages from their loan origination systems directly to the module and receive mortgage insurance eligibility scoring decisions generated from FHA’s TOTAL Mortgage Scorecard.

The new AUS accepts the Mortgage Industry Standards Maintenance Organization (MISMO) 3.4 dataset used in the new, industry-wide Uniform Residential Loan Application.

Planet Home Lending Expands West Coast Footprint

Planet Home Lending LLC, Meriden, Conn., opened five new branches on the West Coast. The lender opened branches in Los Angeles and Roseville, Calif.; Reno and Henderson, Nev.; and Tacoma, Wash.

Planet Home Lending LLC, is an approved originator and servicer for FHA, VA and USDA, as well as a Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae Seller/Servicer, a full Ginnie Mae Issuer and approved sub-servicer, and a Standard & Poor’s- and Fitch-rated special and prime residential servicer.

Community Development Bankers Association Endorses Promontory MortgagePath’s Mortgage Fulfillment Services, POS Technology

Promontory MortgagePath LLC, Danbury, Conn., said the Community Development Bankers Association endorsed its mortgage fulfillment services and proprietary point-of-sale technology Borrower Wallet.

CDBA recognized Promontory MortgagePath’s platforms for helping community development financial institutions expand access to homeownership, particularly in the low- and moderate-income markets they serve.

FHA Extends COVID-19 Forbearance Request Timeline through Dec. 31

The Federal Housing Administration extended the date for single family homeowners with FHA-insured mortgages to request an initial forbearance from their mortgage servicer to forbear their mortgage payments for up to six months.

Homeowners experiencing a financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic may now request an initial forbearance through the end of this year, December 31. Previously, homeowners with FHA-insured mortgages needing assistance had until October 30, to request a COVID-19 forbearance from their mortgage servicer.

Stark Company Realtors Launches Adwerx Enterprise Automation Platform

Stark Company Realtors, Durham, N.C., implemented the Adwerx Enterprise Automation Platform, including automated online ads for new listings, the use of website retargeting and access to streaming TV services.

The Adwerx Enterprise Automation Platform further boosts awareness of the agents themselves through impactful brand radius and retargeting technology. These campaigns elevate the agent’s profile by optimizing visibility and keeping them top-of-mind with potential clients by ensuring brand ads featuring the agent’s photo and contact information reach potential buyers and sellers within a geographic area of the agent’s choosing, as well as with any prospect who visits an agent’s website.

‘The Big Data Revolution:’ Ellie Mae Study Shows How Data, Analytics Make Mortgage Industry More Efficient

A new eBook from Ellie Mae, Pleasanton, Calif., analyzes how lenders are using data and analytics to increase efficiency, make better lending decisions, control costs, identify and mitigate risks, establish repeatable and measurable processes and uncover new business growth opportunities.

Ellie Mae’s Data & Analytics survey found that two out of five (39%) lenders could not say how much their companies spent on data and analytics in 2019. That shows how inconsistent the industry’s current use of data is to inform strategic business decisions. Lenders large to small are starting their data journeys from different points, have access to different resources, barriers to adoption, and abilities to implement a data and analytics strategy. Ellie Mae also found it is far more common for large lenders to have a clearly defined data and analytics strategy (60%), compared to small and mid-size (55%) lenders, who are more likely to be in the early evaluation stage of their data journey.

To download the Ellie Mae Data & Analytics eBook, and for more information, visit

Gateway Opens New Mortgage Center in Texas

Gateway Mortgage Group, Jenks, Okla., opened a new mortgage center in Texas to meet increased demand from local communities for home financing.

The new opening in Keller, brings Gateway’s footprint to 11 in the DFW Metroplex. Gateway has more than centers in the Texas and more than 150 mortgage centers across the United States.

REMN Wholesale Implements OptifiNow CRM and Marketing Automation Platform

OptifiNow, Seal Beach, Calif., announced REMN Wholesale implemented the OptifiNow platform to drive their sales and marketing efforts. OptifiNow’s integrated CRM and marketing automation platform will enable REMN Wholesale to manage their national sales team more efficiently and execute a unified marketing strategy.

OptifiNow’s contact manager simplifies the task of monitoring key accounts and scheduling appointments for REMN account executives. Integrated email marketing tools allows REMN marketing teams to launch manual and automated campaigns. OptifiNow configured the platform for REMN’s wholesale channel, but is equally adept in both retail and consumer direct environments.

Covius Expands Clayton Services’ Offerings

Covius Holdings Inc., Denver, announced it is adding commercial real estate due diligence capabilities to Clayton Services’ offerings. Covius currently provides CRE due diligence under the Covius Real Estate Services brand. CRES will now go to market as Clayton Commercial Real Estate Services.

Covius acquired Clayton from Radian Group in January and earlier this year integrated Covius’ residential due diligence group into Clayton. Nathan Collins, Managing Director of CRES since 2015, will continue to lead the commercial group. Clayton’s commercial due diligence offerings now include support for securitizations, loan servicing, loan pool sales transactions, PPP loans under the CARES Act and insurance policy analysis.

Marcus & Millichap Enters into Definitive Agreement with Mission Capital

Marcus & Millichap Inc., Calabasas, Calif., entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Mission Capital in a transaction expected to close in the fourth quarter. 

Founded in 2002, Mission Capital is a capital markets advisor with teams specializing in sale of loans and consultative/due diligence services as well as debt and equity placement across all property types. The firm’s loan sale and consulting clients include commercial and investment banks, hedge funds, special servicers, government agencies and private equity firms. The debt and equity team specializes in structured finance and equity advisory for institutions, developers and private real estate investors. The addition brings 40 capital markets professionals to MMI including producers, analysts and support personnel with offices in New York, Florida, Texas and California. 

Homespire Mortgage Releases HomespireGO

Homespire Mortgage, Gaithersburg, Md., launched a digital mortgage web and mobile app experience, HomespireGO. The platform connects loan officers with borrowers and real estate agents through technology.

Powered by SimpleNexus, a digital mortgage platform, HomespireGO allows borrowers to apply for a mortgage from any device, anytime, anywhere, safely and securely. This digital mortgage experience provides loan officers and borrowers with instant access to one another and the ability to eSign and send documents securely using the app’s sophisticated document capture technology. The platform also delivers real-time loan status updates to borrowers and agents, from application to closing.

FirstClose Launches Digital Lending Platform

FirstClose Inc., Austin, Texas, launched the FirstClose ONE Digital Lending Platform, a web-based home equity calculator and branded application management platform.

DLP modernizes the lending process to help lenders deliver actionable data into their digital lending strategies.  The DLP expands the Equity IQ lead capture platform, which gives consumers instant access to their home equity position and PDF access to a detailed home equity report which includes local neighborhood comparable homes used in its value assessment. Transparently consumers can review Loan Product offerings, check rates and browse the estimated monthly payments based on the CLTV qualification requirements all without officially applying.