Industry Briefs Sept. 10, 2021: Accurate Group Gets Novacap Investment

Accurate Group Gets Novacap Investment

Accurate Group, Cleveland, Ohio, a provider of technology-driven real estate appraisal, title data, analytics, and e-closing platforms, entered into a partnership with Novacap, Montreal, a Canadian private equity firm.

Through the partnership, Novacap will support Accurate Group with capital and expertise to further grow the business. KeyBanc Capital Markets served as financial advisor to Accurate Group. Nelson, Mullins, Riley & Scarborough, LLP served as legal counsel to Accurate Group. Wells Fargo Securities LLC served as financial advisor to Novacap. Foley & Lardner LLP served as legal counsel to Novacap.

Black Knight: Forbearances Decline by 53,000

Black Knight, Jacksonville, Fla., said its weekly McDash Flash loan-level forbearance data show a 53,000 decline in active forbearance plans as of Aug. 31, driven by a 23,000 reduction in plans among FHA/VA loans. Plan volumes also improved among both GSE (-20,000) and portfolio/PLS (-10,000) loans from the week prior.

Black Knight said as of Aug. 31, 1.71 million borrowers remain in COVID-19 related forbearance plans, including 1.8% of GSE, 5.6% of FHA/VA and 4.0% of portfolio held and privately securitized mortgages. This puts plan volumes down nearly 9% from the same time last month as the market braces for the large wave of final plan expirations taking place in September. Of the 629,000 plans slated to be reviewed for extension/removal this month, nearly 400,000 are set to reach their final plan expirations based on current allowable forbearance term lengths.

SimpleNexus Certified as GSE eClosing Provider

SimpleNexus, Lehi, Utah, is now a Fannie Mae- and Freddie Mac-reviewed eClosing solution provider. The designation affirms that SimpleNexus’ Nexus Closing eMortgage platform meets both GSEs’ technical requirements for eClosing, eNote and eVault functionality and has been tested for compatibility with the GSEs’ respective eNote delivery systems.

Nexus Closing provides borrowers a closing experience as part of an end-to-end, single-sign-on homebuying experience that increases repeat and referral business. The platform comes with integrated remote online notarization and eSigning, automatic generation of a tamper-sealed eNote document and delivery of the eNote into a secure eVault for delivery to the MERS eRegistry.

ClosingCorp: 47,000 Pending Mortgages in N.Y., N.J. in Jeopardy from Ida

ClosingCorp, San Diego, estimated more than 47,000 pending mortgage transactions currently in progress in New York and New Jersey are in jeopardy, as a result of the flooding caused by Hurricane Ida. The mortgages, originated by more than 200 different lenders, have a combined value of more than $19.4 billion

ClosingCorp based its estimate on “in-flight” mortgage applications in 35 counties across both states that are due to close between now and the end of the year. New Jersey has 30,462 transactions worth $10.7 billion, while New York has 17,019 transactions worth $8.7 billion. Suffolk County, N.Y. is the county with the most mortgage transactions at risk ($1.4 billion), followed by Kings County (Brooklyn) ($1.3 billion) and Bergen County, N.J. ($1.3 billion).

Ginnie Mae Reports August MBS Issuance of $70 Billion; More than 260,000 Homes Financed

Ginnie Mae, Washington, D.C., said its mortgage-backed securities issuance volume was $70.85 billion in August, with 260,779 homes and apartment units financed by Ginnie Mae guaranteed MBS last month.

A breakdown of August issuance includes $67.75 billion of Ginnie Mae II MBS and $3.10 billion of Ginnie Mae I MBS, which in turn includes $3 billion of loans for multifamily housing. Ginnie Mae’s total outstanding principal balance as of August 31 was $2.124 trillion, up from $2.121 trillion in the prior month, and up slightly from $2.118 trillion a year ago.

FHFA Releases Additional Data on GSE Fair Lending/Housing Goals

The Federal Housing Finance Agency released several sets of demographic data related to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s fair lending and housing goals activities. The fair lending data and housing goals data available for public use include:

  • Enterprise single-family automated underwriting system application approvals by race and ethnicity and Enterprise loan acquisitions by race and ethnicity, including a comparison to primary market lender mortgage approval rates by race and ethnicity;
  • The distribution of 2018-2020 Enterprise housing goals loan purchases by race and ethnicity; and
  • The distribution of 2018-2020 Enterprise housing goals loan purchases by state.

FHFA said the data will provide insights into the racial, ethnic, and geographic composition of single-family loans acquired by the Enterprises.

Link to Fair Lending Data

Link to Housing Goals Data

Ncontracts’ Michael Berman Publishes New Book, The Upside of Risk

Ncontracts, Brentwood, Tenn., announced its Ncontracts’ founder and CEO Michael Berman published a new book, The Upside of Risk: Turning Complex Burdens into Strategic Advantages for Financial Institutions.    

Building off research, historical examples and the most current enterprise risk management framework, Berman, a former Chairman of the Mortgage Bankers Association, discusses why good risk management is not about risk avoidance but rather risk awareness, which empowers financial institutions, mortgage companies and fintechs to be prepared, protected and positioned for opportunities.  The goal of risk management is not to eliminate risk—it is to understand it. Berman shows readers why risk management and strategic planning are inseparable. 

The Upside of Risk is available on Amazon, in both soft cover and eBook formats. The book will also be available at the upcoming Ngage user conference, taking place in Nashville, Tenn., Sept. 28-29.  

Fannie Mae: Mortgage Lenders Less Bearish on Profit Margins, Expect Improved Refi Volumes

Fannie Mae, Washington, D.C., said for the fourth consecutive quarter, a plurality of mortgage lenders expects near-term profitability to decrease.

According to Fannie Mae’s Q3 2021 Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey, 46% of mortgage lenders believe profit margins will decrease in the next three months, an improvement from 69% in the prior quarter, while 38% believe profits will remain the same and 15% believe profits will increase. Increased competition and changing market conditions were the top reasons cited for the pessimism, while GSE pricing and policies and strong consumer demand were the top reasons given among lenders with a more positive profitability outlook.

Additionally, across all loan types, more lenders this quarter reported reduced consumer demand over the previous three months for purchase mortgages but improved demand for refinance mortgages. Still, the reported change in mortgage demand over the previous three months, as well as expectations for the change in demand over the next three months, remained positive on net for purchase mortgages but still slightly negative for refinance mortgages.

“Mortgage lenders appear to have adopted a more neutral posture, reporting to us via the MLSS mixed expectations for purchase and refinance mortgage demand over the next three months,” said Fannie Mae Vice President and Deputy Chief Economist Mark Palim.

Redfin: Pending Sales Still Up 6% From 2020

Strong homebuying demand continued through the end of August, with pending sales up 6% from a year earlier, according to a new report from Redfin, Seattle.

Measures of competition, such as the share of homes sold above list price and the number of homes sold in two weeks, are continuing to soften. Still, home prices remain high, up 14% from the same time a year ago.

“More homes were listed this summer, but they were quickly snatched up by homebuyers even as bidding wars have become more rare,” said Redfin Lead Economist Taylor Marr. “The market hasn’t cooled off any further than it usually does this time of year, and we expect homebuying demand to remain strong through the fall.”

Through Sept. 5, Redfin reported the median home-sale price increased 14% year over year to $358,250. Asking prices of newly listed homes were up 10% from the same time a year ago to a median of $353,500, on par with where asking prices were in late April. This was down 2% from the record high set during the four-week period ending June 27.

The report can be accessed at

WalletHub: Consumers Adding Billions in Credit Card Debt

WalletHub, Washington, D.C., said after a record-setting year for credit card debt reduction in 2020, U.S. consumers are once again adding new credit card debt by the billion, racking up $45.7 billion during the second quarter alone. The company’s Credit Card Debt Study said this is a record for credit card debt added during the second quarter of a year, and WalletHub now projects consumers will add $100 billion in debt during 2021.

The report said consumers’ Q2 2021 credit card debt increase was 2.6X bigger than the post-Great Recession average for a second quarter.

“Credit card debt levels are rising again because the economic uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic has subsided. People are reengaging with society, and they’re making up for lost time by living life to the fullest, even if they can’t quite afford it,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “The fact that credit card debt has increased significantly isn’t too much of a surprise, though it is unclear whether this will be a momentary reaction to the unique conditions caused by Covid or the restart of consumers’ long-term slide toward financial instability.”

Paradatec Enhances Mortgage Document Classification Technology with AI-Cloud Offering

Paradatec Inc., Cincinnati, Ohio, now offers its software in the cloud. AI-Cloud, hosted by Amazon Web Services, is already being used to automate loan originations and correspondent lending operations. A client-specific URL is all that is needed to submit content to the Paradatec cloud for processing.

Paradatec’s technology leverages AI-based text analysis. Out-of-the box, Paradatec’s automated loan indexing technology breaks down every loan into more than 800 specific document types. It uses machine learning tools and pre-trained libraries to find more than 8,500 data points trapped in mortgage loan documents and capture them as individual digital data elements. The company’s technology also enables data provided by prior servicers to be automatically audited against incoming source documents as part of a cost-effective and extremely efficient loan onboarding due diligence process for servicers.

LenderClose Expands Office Space

LenderClose, West Des Moines, Iowa, expanded its headquarters to accommodate current and future growth. By increasing the size of the current workplace, the lending platform provider will grow floor space and capacity while prioritizing collaborative workspaces.

The expansion will add 12,000 square feet of floor space to the existing office, which will result in a 24,000-square-foot new workspace. Forty new workstations will be added initially, and the office’s capacity will increase from 64 to 90 individuals.