Industry Briefs Apr. 27, 2023: Realfinity Partners with NFM Lending

Realfinity Partners with NFM Lending

Realfinity, Miami, announced a partnership with NFM Lending, a national mortgage lender, bringing together Realfinity’s private-label HomeDashboard platform with NFM Lending’s loan products.

This collaboration will provide clients with real-time access to property data, public records, instant mortgage financing offers and direct access to apply for a loan with their trusted NFM Lending loan. In addition, Realfinity provides a co-branded integration with NFM Lending’s real estate partners. This enables an end-to-end transaction and delivery of services throughout the home buying and ownership process.

Sales Boomerang Q1 2023 Mortgage Market Opportunities Report: Improvement Across All Indicators of Mortgage Readiness

TrustEngine, Owings Mill, Md., released its Sales Boomerang’s Mortgage Market Opportunities Report, which indicates quarter-over-quarter improvements across all indicators of mortgage readiness, representing growth in mortgage lending opportunities.

The report said alerts went up across the board, indicating increased quarter-over-quarter loan opportunities with consumers who are actively engaged in the mortgage market as well as with consumers who may not yet realize they’ve recently become eligible for a mortgage based on available interest rates or improvements to their equity or credit positions. Risk and Retention Alerts trended down for the first time since Q2 of last year as the pace of month-over-month credit card debt growth eased slightly in February. However, with per-household consumer debt at an all-time high, there are still plenty of borrowers who could benefit from refinancing to pay off high-interest debts and improve monthly cash flow — a strategy that also benefits lenders by improving the overall health of servicing portfolios.

The report also noted for the first time in months, rate-related opportunities saw significant quarter-over-quarter improvement, reflecting a nearly 1% drop in the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate from its 20-year high of 7.08% in November 2022 to its Q1 2023 low of 6.09% in February. This is the first time the frequency of Rate alerts has increased since Q2 2021 and the first improvement for Rate-and-Term Alerts since Q4 2021. Equity Alerts, which indicate a borrower’s property value has increased, rose substantially over the previous quarter, though they were triggered on a small share of contacts overall. When viewed alongside Zillow data showing a slight quarter-over-quarter decline in average national home value of 0.4%, the increase in Equity Alerts reflects how home value trends differ by market.

STG Mortgage Selects OptifiNow’s CRM Platform for Wholesale Lenders

OptifiNow, Seal Beach, Calif., announced STG Mortgage implemented the OptifiNow TPO because it provided them with an out-of-the-box service for its wholesale division that is seamlessly integrated with its loan origination

OptifiNow TPO is designed specifically for wholesale mortgage lenders. The CRM platform is designed to be implemented quickly and provide out-of-the-box functionality.The LOS integration enables OptifiNow to notify STG’s account executives when loans are submitted and show them details on loans that are in the pipeline.

DocMagic Introduces ADA-Compliant Loan Documents

DocMagic Inc., Torrance, Calif., announced addition of ADA-compliant mortgage loan documents to its document library. The new digital documents are accessible to visually impaired users and others with disabilities, unlocking opportunities for these consumers into the broader mortgage market. 

DocMagic’s ADA-compliant loan documents are dynamic, data-driven and designed to automatically identify and index critical document components during the document generation process. ADA metadata tags are applied to each of these components within the documents. These metadata tags function like HTML code, logically displaying a document’s organizational structure and content hierarchy. The metadata tags include content-level details as well as descriptive text for images, logos, etc.  along with specific semantic instructions designed to make all text understandable via an advanced Text-To-Speech (TTS) engine that accurately translates on-screen information into clear speech through earphones or speakers.

Stewart Valuation Intelligence LLC Approved to Support Fannie Mae’s New Valuation Modernization Process

Stewart Information Services Corp., Houston, announced that Stewart Valuation Intelligence LLC has been approved to support Fannie Mae’s new Value Acceptance + Property Data through VALIDITY, the company’s family of inspection applications, optimized for IOS and Android.

Fannie Mae requires that property data be collected by a trained and vetted third party. SVI’s  partner network is a distinct data collection advantage, with more than 30,000 active appraisers, brokers and agents in the field. Through VALIDITY, SVI helps lenders expedite the lending process and save time and money for borrowers.

STRATMOR Group: Mortgage Lenders Should Consider Home Equity Lending Products

STRATMOR Group, Denver, released its monthly Insights Report, suggesting lenders looking to build stronger businesses in the future should consider originating home equity loans and lines of credit immediately, even if that means adding products that return lower revenues in the short term.

In his article, “Home Equity Lending – Opportunity, Necessity or Distraction?” Principal Tom Finnegan highlights the need for these products as a result of the unprecedented increases in rates that have left borrowers “frozen in place” with respect to their existing mortgages. Meanwhile, homeowner equity is growing fast, with estimates putting the growth in tappable home equity at $3.4 trillion over the last three years.

Despite the opportunity, Finnegan says lenders have been slow to take advantage. Home equity lending grew by 53% between 2021 and 2022, but then fell off in the first quarter of this year according to Curinos.

The report can be accessed here.

Regulatory Agencies Issue Statement on Completing LIBOR Transition

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and four other federal financial regulatory agencies, along with state bank and state credit union regulators, issued a statement that the use of United States Dollar LIBOR panels will end on June 30.

The statement reiterates the agencies’ expectations that financial institutions with USD LIBOR exposure should complete their transition of remaining LIBOR contracts as soon as practicable. Accordingly, the CFPB is urging banks and nonbanks alike to continue their efforts to adequately prepare for the sunset of USD LIBOR.

On December 7, 2021, the CFPB finalized a rule revising Regulation Z (Truth in Lending Act) to facilitate the transition away from the USD LIBOR interest rate index for consumer loans. The rule establishes requirements for how creditors must select replacement indices for existing USD LIBOR-linked consumer loans after April 1, 2022.

The CFPB is currently assessing any further steps it needs to take as a result of the subsequent Adjustable Interest Rate Act and the Federal Reserve Board’s implementing regulation identifying benchmark rates based on the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) to replace USD LIBOR in certain consumer contracts.