Tuesday, September 06, 2005

DOCX: Getting a New Parent

Congratulations to Lorraine O'Reilly Brown and her team at DOCX for being acquired by Fidelity National Financial. If you haven't seen the company's weekly e-mail newsletter, go to the website and request it. It's a great example of staying in touch with a market by providing valuable information. It also does a great job of showcasing how the company keeps tabs on recording fees all over the country.

Fidelity talked about the company's lien release software in the acquisition announcement. Many lenders would have given their eye teeth for something like that back during the height of the refi boom. Fidelity EVP Ernest Smith also mentioned that the DOCX Feewise calculator was a great tool that would help the company's title operations calculate closing fees.

What's not in the release: knowing the closing costs in advance is huge right now. As lenders like Interfirst (ABN AMRO) and DiTech Funding push forward with single-fee-to-close loans, knowing in advance what it will actually cost the lender to finalize the transaction will be a major risk mitigation tool. I wouldn't be surprised if that wasn't one of the most attractive parts of this deal for Fidelity.

DOCX has a great handle on what it costs to record documents, adding that information to an automated system that can calculate accurate closing fees could give Fidelity a competitive advantage when it comes to selling a bundle of services to lenders.