Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Mortgage Cadence attracts investor

Mortgage Cadence, LLC, Denver, a leading provider of Enterprise Lending Solutions (ELS), Loss Mitigation Technology and Document Services for the financial services industry, announced yesterday that Monitor Clipper Partners has invested in the company. That seems like a sure sign that someone thinks the downturn has about played out.

Monitor Clipper Partners (MCP), is a Cambridge, MA-based independent private equity firm formed in 1998. MCP has invested in over thirty businesses in North America and Western Europe over the past decade and has a close strategic relationship with the Monitor Group, a leading international strategy consulting firm founded in 1983 with approximately 1,000 professionals in 29 offices worldwide. MCP targets growth-oriented businesses with strong management teams and currently manages over US$2.0 billion in capital.

Berkery Noyes advised Mortgage Cadence on this investment.

According to MCP, its investment in Mortgage Cadence represents the continuation of a long track record of investing in successful mortgage technology companies, including Filogix, a leading provider of loan origination and point-of-sale software in Canada.

According to Mortgage Cadence, this investment will provide the company with the capital to expand its product and service offerings.

“Mortgage Cadence represented a rare opportunity to invest in the leading provider of powerful enterprise technology solutions for financial institutions operating in the mortgage and mortgage services markets,” said Adam Doctoroff, Partner at Monitor Clipper Partners. “The management team has a proven track record of realizing impressive growth and profitability while maintaining the vision to continually adapt to market conditions. With its history of product innovation, deep industry expertise and reputation for service excellence, Mortgage Cadence is well positioned to execute on numerous significant development opportunities including further penetration of their existing solutions, creating new solutions in related areas and acquiring attractive industry players.”

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Elliott calls for the return of the review appraisal

I received my copy of the Elliott & Company Appraisers monthly e-mail newsletter today. It's one of the few company newsletters I receive that regularly adds value. I also get a lot out of Kirchmeyer's print newsletter and the monthly eNewsletter from Equi-Trax, but then our own Matt Strickberger helps out on the content for that one.

In the current issue of Elliott's newsletter, Charlie W. Elliott, Jr., MAI, SRA, ASA, president of the national real estate appraisal company, calls for the return of an old product.

"Given all of the changes in the past, what new appraisal forms or techniques should we expect in the future? If I were a betting man, I would say that the next wrinkle in appraisals will not be new at all but a rehash of a previous tool whose time has come again. The time is right for a revival of the review appraisal."

Elliott isn't the only one saying so, of course. With the number of valuation-related buy back requests going through the roof, plenty of folks are interested in taking another look at the property appraisal.

Recently, we helped break the news that Interthinx had entered the appraisal review business by hiring industry veteran Mark Chapin and launching a new appraisal review product.

We expect to be a lucrative business for those firms that have the experience, access to the data and the technology to efficiently review the valuation information lenders originally used to originate the loans servicers are struggling with today.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Loan-Score scores client wins with its software

Loan-Score Decisioning Systems, Irvine, Calif., an enterprise-class pricing and automated underwriting provider, recently announced that Stearns Lending Inc., a national wholesale and retail mortgage banker, has grown its business by more than 65% since going live with its solution in early 2009.

Stearns utilizes Loan-Score’s platform to automate pricing and underwriting for each of its 18 wholesale branches as well as its new affiliate branches. Currently, Stearns is the 15th largest lender in the country. Stearns is using Loan-Score's PPE, AUS and Broker Portal.

According to a source inside Loan-Score, Stearns exited the alt-A business back in 2007 and all but ceased originating loans. Since the lender has added the Loan-Score tool, it grown into a top-15 mortgage banker and the second largest in California.

Loan-Score’s solution integrates bi-directionally and seamlessly with Del Mar DataTrac®, Stearns’ back office loan processing and fulfillment platform. Once a decision is rendered at the POS, the full 1003, pricing, loan details and conditions automatically populate into DataTrac, which then becomes the system of record. Communication between back office staff and originators provides status updates throughout the underwriting process.

“Stearns turned to us due to the accuracy of our decisioning platform, our tight integration with DataTrac, and our ability to customize the solution to their unique workflow,” said David Colwell, executive vice president at Loan-Score. “Previously, Stearns was using a PPE vendor as a standalone system. Most of these solutions are essentially one-size-fits-all applications that do not pull credit to decision and underwrite off of the complete set of underwriting guidelines for each investor. This didn’t lend well to Stearns’ growth mode, which is why they turned to Loan-Score.”