Industry Briefs July 9, 2021: A Gaggle of Acquisitions

ATTOM Acquires GeoData Plus

ATTOM, Irvine, Calif., acquired GeoData Plus, an application for in-depth property research, valuation and prospecting tools.

The acquisition will provide customers with insight into the marketplace to make more informed and educated decisions. GeoData Plus has served as a source for appraisers, real estate professionals and lenders in providing valuations, comparable sales and public record data.

Building upon an already existing partnership of sourcing property data from ATTOM, the application includes detailed property reports with features such as sales comps, liens, violations, property photographs, digital maps, zoning maps, aerial photographs and integration with appraisal software. ATTOM said collaboration of the companies will further strengthen its competitive positioning in the enterprise data licensing marketplace, the consumer and the investor real estate search market.

LERETA Sold to Flexpoint Ford, Vestar Capital Partners

LERETA LLC, Covina, Calif., a national provider of real estate tax and flood services for mortgage servicers and its equity holders, reached an agreement to sell the company to private equity firms Flexpoint Ford and Vestar Capital Partners. The transaction is expected to close within 30 days.

LERETA CEO John Walsh and the current senior management team will continue to lead the company. “This transaction will enable us to accelerate our already strong growth, step up our investments in technology and scale our operations to address the changing needs of the mortgage servicing industry,” he said.

Financial details were not disclosed. Rothschild & Co served as the lead financial advisor to LERETA and its board of managers, and Kirkland & Ellis, LLP served as legal counsel to LERETA.  American Discovery Capital also served as a financial advisor to LERETA and its board of managers. Raymond James served as financial advisor to Flexpoint Ford and Vestar Capital Partners. Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz served as legal counsel to Flexpoint Ford. Kirkland & Ellis, LLP served as legal counsel to Vestar Capital Partners.

Evolve Mortgage Services Acquires E-Notary Seal

Evolve Mortgage Services, Frisco, Texas, a provider of on-shore outsourced mortgage services, closed its acquisition of E-Notary Seal LLC, Dallas, which enables mortgage borrowers to remotely sign and notarize a document from anywhere on any device.

Evolve has integrated a library of SMART Docs, e-Sign, eNotary, eVault and e-Registry, services. In addition to digitizing the home purchase process for homebuyers, the Evolve platform is a collaborative system that can be used to complete other types of property transactions, including loss mitigation.

E-Notary Seal has a platform designed for public notaries that enables mortgage lenders and title insurance companies to close loans online. It enables users to quickly obtain a remote online notarization in all 50 states and allows users to securely sign, notarize and send documents within minutes. The acquisition enables Evolve to provide closings for title and mortgage companies through a single digital process.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

LoanLogics Acquired by Affiliate of Sun Capital Partners

LoanLogics, Jacksonville, Fla., a digital mortgage solutions provider, announced an affiliate of Sun Capital Partners Inc., a private investment firm focused on defensible businesses in growing markets, completed acquisition of the company. Terms of the private transaction were not disclosed.

Since 1995, Sun Capital has invested in more than 425 companies worldwide with revenues in excess of $50 billion across a broad range of industries.

LoanLogics creates and validates digital mortgage assets and automate processes across the mortgage workflow. Its technology automation for mortgage document processing and data-driven mortgage audit software is designed to improve efficiency, enhance transparency, streamline commerce and reduce risk while providing quality assurance and loan portability for lenders, investors, insurers and servicers.

Financial Technology Partners served as sole strategic and financial advisor to LoanLogics and its Board of Directors.

Fannie Mae: Consumers Increasingly Adamant It’s a Good Time to Sell, Bad Time to Buy a Home

Nearly two-thirds of homeowners say it’s a bad time to buy a home, while more than three-fourths say it’s a good time to sell, according to the Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index.

The index was largely unchanged in June, decreasing by 0.3 points to 79.7, despite even greater volatility among its underlying components. The “Good Time to Buy” and “Good Time to Sell” components once again produced the most notable results. On the buy-side, 64 percent of respondents said it’s a bad time to buy a home, up from 56 percent last month; while on the sell-side, 77 percent of respondents said it’s a good time to sell, up from 67 percent last month. The components more closely associated with household finances were largely flat month over month but remain elevated compared to this time last year, particularly the component regarding job security. Year over year, the overall index is up 3.2 points.

“Consumers…continued to cite high home prices as the predominant reason for their ongoing and significant divergence in sentiment toward homebuying and home-selling conditions,” said Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae Senior Vice President and Chief Economist. “While all surveyed segments have expressed greater negativity toward homebuying over the last few months, renters who say they are planning to buy a home in the next few years have demonstrated an even steeper decline in homebuying sentiment than homeowners. It’s likely that affordability concerns are more greatly affecting those who aspire to be first-time homeowners than other consumer segments who have already established homeownership.”

Other report findings:

–The report also said the percentage of respondents who say home prices will go up in the next 12 months increased from 47% to 48%, while the percentage who say home prices will go down increased from 17% to 21%. The share who think home prices will stay the same decreased from 29% to 25%.

–The percentage of respondents who say mortgage rates will go down in the next 12 months remained unchanged at 6%, while the percentage who expect mortgage rates to go up increased from 49% to 57%. The share who think mortgage rates will stay the same decreased from 38% to 30%.

–The percentage of respondents who say they are not concerned about losing their job in the next 12 months increased from 87% to 88%, while the percentage who say they are concerned decreased from 12% to 11%.

–The percentage of respondents who say their household income is significantly higher than it was 12 months ago decreased from 29% to 27%, while the percentage who say their household income is significantly lower remained unchanged at 13%. The percentage who say their household income is about the same increased from 54% to 56%.

X1 Analytics, Title Data Expedite Title Production in Texas

X1 Analytics and Title Data Inc. completed an integration allowing title companies licensed in Texas that subscribe to Title Data’s title plants to use X1 Xpress’s data analytics engine to expedite title production in the state.

Title Data is a provider of geographically posted title plant indices, document images and maps covering major metropolitan and surrounding areas throughout Texas. Texas is a ‘plant law’ state and requires title companies to subscribe to a title plant provider approved by the Texas Department of Insurance and the title agent’s underwriters. The agreement allows X1’s proprietary data and analytics engine to leverage Title Data’s title plant data repository to automate title search reports, creating efficiencies and accelerating the title production process for TDI subscribers, which will facilitate faster closings.