Industry Briefs Oct. 22, 2021: Clarifire Partners with Freddie Mac on Streamlined Servicing Workouts

CLARIFIRE Connects to Freddie Mac’s Resolve to Streamline Servicing Workouts

Clarifire, St. Petersburg, Fla., announced its CLARIFIRE workflow automation application has gone live with Resolve, Freddie Mac’s new integrated default management platform. Resolve offers B2B integration through application programming interface technology to speed up loan workout option processing for servicers and provide faster mortgage assistance for borrowers.

CLARIFIRE leverages the Resolve API Suite to deliver rapid, rules-based workout decisions to servicers. The integration enables servicers to use Resolve automatically and seamlessly from CLARIFIRE to rapidly calculate and display decision workouts, potentially while the servicer is on the phone or engaging with the borrower.

Mortgage Cadence Unveils New Brand, Launches Updated Website

Mortgage Cadence, Denver, announced a new look and feel to its brand, which includes a new website.

The new Mortgage Cadence logo depicts the company’s focus on bringing the latest LOS & POS technology to the mortgage industry and shows the company’s focus on delivering modern solutions and experiences. The brand also paves the way for the new Mortgage Cadence Platform and reflects how Mortgage Cadence is growing and evolving as its platform evolves.

Freddie Mac: Strong Housing Market to Continue Even as Rates, Prices Rise

Freddie Mac, McLean, Va., predicted continued strength of the single-family housing market even as mortgage rates are expected to modestly increase and home prices rise. A new Quarterly Forecast estimates continued levels of homebuyer demand and a growth in purchase originations in 2022.

“Despite some obvious headwinds, the housing market remains strong as the economy grows,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist. “Even as mortgage rates are expected to increase and home prices continue to rise, homebuyer demand remains steady as inventory issues have slightly improved.”

Freddie Mac said the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is expected to be 3.0 percent in 2021 and 3.5 percent in 2022. In 2020, it averaged 3.1 percent. House price growth is expected to be 16.9 percent in 2021, slowing to 7.0 percent in 2022. Growth was 11.3 percent in 2020. Home Sales are expected to reach 6.8 million in 2021, remaining flat in 2022. Sales were 6.5 million in 2020.

Lending Arizona Partners with Adwerx

Lending Arizona, Tucson, launched automated brand advertising for its loan officers through Adwerx, a full-service platform.

Through the Adwerx platform, branded ads featuring the loan officer’s face and contact details are automatically created and launched across Facebook and Instagram, and premium websites. Firms also have access to personalized streaming TV commercials. These digital brand ads allow loan officers to build personal brand awareness in their local areas, reach home buyers directly, and also stay top-of-mind with their referral networks. It delivers a human touch for a company’s brand and delivers a 15% increase in productivity for sales producers.

ICE Mortgage Technology Announces MERS Expansion

ICE Mortgage Technology, Pleasanton, Calif., announced MERSCORP Holdings Inc., the mortgage industry’s national electronic loan registry, expanded its capabilities to now include industry-wide, secure storage of Remote Online Notarization videos for lenders, investors and servicers.

The MERS RON video storage platform provides a secure way to store, provide access to and retrieve copies of RON video recordings for notaries, RON platform providers and authorized parties during post-closing review, loan purchase as well as downstream events such as foreclosure.

MERS will extend its registration capabilities with an initial release at the end of the year. The platform will be available by both user interface and API. Planned enhancements in 2022 will expand the functionality to include validation, custom storage durations and other extended features.

ICE Launches Transaction-Based Indices for Residential Mortgage Interest Rates

Intercontinental Exchange Inc., Atlanta, launched a suite of U.S. residential mortgage locked rate indices. The new indices will be calculated daily and will track the average interest rate of new residential home loan applications processed by ICE Mortgage Technology.

By using anonymized and aggregated data from ICE Mortgage Technology, which processes nearly half of all residential mortgages in the U.S., the ICE locked rate indices are calculated from actual loan applications. This provides a more comprehensive, accurate and timely reflection of current residential mortgage interest rates.

The ICE U.S. Residential Mortgage Rate Lock Index Series tracks 10, 15, 20 and 30 year first-lien and subordinated mortgage applications on both single-family and multi-family properties. The indices include new purchase, construction and refinance applications for conventional mortgage loans, jumbo loans and those submitted under U.S. government programs, including FHA, VA and the Rural Housing Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The indices are calculated each business day and published the following morning.

Fannie Mae: Economic Growth Again Revised Downward Due to Supply Chain, Inflation Concerns

Fannie Mae, Washington, D.C., said global supply constraints continue to cap economic output amid growing inflationary and consumer-spending concerns.

For the third straight month the Fannie Mae Economic and Strategic Research Group revised downward its full-year 2021 real gross domestic product growth projections from 5.4 percent to 4.9 percent due to its more pessimistic view of the speed at which current supply chain disruptions will resolve, as well as its upwardly revised inflation projections and expectation that services-related consumer spending will take longer to return to a more historically normal level. Annual inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index, is expected to finish 2021 at 5.7 percent, up from the previously projected 5.4 percent, due primarily to elevated energy prices domestically and abroad. To fend off persistently higher inflation, the ESR Group expects the Federal Reserve to announce plans to begin tapering its asset purchase program by the end of the year, and it now projects the first federal funds rate hike to take place in fourth quarter 2022.

“While we still view the supply chain disruptions and, to a lesser extent, labor market tightness as largely transitory, we now expect both to last even longer than we’d previously forecast – and also likely longer than the Federal Reserve anticipated,” said Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae Senior Vice President and Chief Economist. “Combined with our expectation that inflation will run above-target over the forecast horizon, we foresee growing clamor from market participants for the Fed to begin tightening monetary policy: first by tapering asset purchases and then, in the fourth quarter of 2022, by raising the federal funds rate target range for the first time since December 2018.”

Westerra Credit Union Goes Live on Blue Sage’s Digital Lending Platform

Westerra Credit Union, Denver, went live on the Blue Sage Solutions Digital Lending Platform. The cloud-based Digital Lending Platform provides mortgage originators with functionality for the entire lending and loan fulfillment process, regardless of channel.

Westerra also uses the Blue Sage platform to open new accounts for members through access to Westerra’s core banking system. Westerra can also define dynamic workflows for its users based on borrower information and product availability

Mortgage Cadence Launches New Platform

Mortgage Cadence, Denver, unveiled its Mortgage Cadence Platform and announced release of version 1.1, designed to provide a user experience throughout the entire mortgage lending life cycle, across all channels and products.

Delivered in the Microsoft Azure public cloud, clients see increased speed, improved data security and a suite of cloud native analytics tools, including PowerBI, an analytics platform that provides real-time access to important metrics and dashboards. From borrower point-of-sale through closing collaboration tools, the modern Platform is designed to be intuitive across all users, incorporating the latest in UX design and UI administration tools. 

CoreLogic Completes Acquisition of ClosingCorp

CoreLogic, Irvine, Calif., announced completion of its acquisition of all outstanding shares of ClosingCorp.

ClosingCorp will continue to be led by Bob Jennings and remain headquartered in San Diego. The ClosingCorp team will join CoreLogic’s BUY segment, which includes various solutions focused on the origination of home loans. ClosingCorp’s intelligence and digital platforms broaden and add new capabilities for CoreLogic’s customers in such areas as assessing settlement service fees and mortgage tax obligations as well as access to title and closing services.

FormFree Selects Amazon Web Services for Financial Identity

FormFree, Athens, Ga., selected Amazon Web Services Inc. to power FormFree’s consumer Financial DNA platforms for the lender market.

FormFree will leverage AWS technologies such as Amazon Managed Blockchain to create a scalable Hyperledger Fabric network to deliver its Passport Token and vision of commoditizing borrowers’ and credit providers’ interests using non-fungible tokens in the FormFree Exchange, a marketplace platform that puts consumers in control of their lending interactions. Blockchain maintains the proof of truth as consumers use FFX to safely and securely share their verified Passport Token with prospective credit providers.

HomeBinder Launches New Features, User Interface Improvements

HomeBinder, Boston, a centralized home management platform that keeps homeowners connected with mortgage lenders, home inspectors, insurance providers, home pros, real estate agents, and other authorized professionals, released new features and user interface improvements designed to enhance the home management experience.

HomeBinder introduced a proprietary home valuation tool that aggregates multiple data points — including renovations, appliance upgrades and the completion status of maintenance tasks — to estimate the home’s current value and appreciation. The tool also tracks information including purchase price, current loan balance, loan term, interest rate, annual taxes and hazard insurance. The feature is designed to help homeowners better track their home’s value and provide future buyers with deeper transparency into the history of the home.

The platform update also introduces an evergreen “To Do” list on the homeowner’s homepage. The list highlights important tasks driven both by homeowner-specific binder data as well as the stage of ownership, following models used by many other successful SaaS platforms. The new UI also features enhanced navigation and workflows that improve organization of tools such as document storage, maintenance history, home improvement projects, appliance models, property details and photos.