Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Brokers still working, despite new LO Comp rules

As the broker trade groups pull back from their legal action against the government to stall its plans to change loan officer compensation, many feared that the days of the mortgage loan broker would be over. At least one wholesale lender says that's not going to happen.

Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation, Sun Prairie, Wisc., reported this week that it has nearly quadrupled its wholesale lending production and its number of broker clients in the first quarter of 2011, only six months after entering the wholesale channel. While the new LO compensation rules didn't go into effect until the first of April, the company gave no indication that it expected to see its growth slow down in the months ahead.

Since launching the wholesale division last year, the company’s wholesale loan pipeline grew just over 300 percent between January 1st, 2011 and April 1st, 2011, while the number of its approved broker clients increased to approximately 160 approved third party originators. Fairway Wholesale Lending forecasts closing $60 million in wholesale loans in the second quarter of 2011. Its wholesale sales staff now covers six regions and the company is licensed to conduct business in 42 states, with centralized wholesale operations in Naperville, Illinois.

Fairway Wholesale Lending provides agency, conventional, FHA, VA, and just recently, USDA loans, as well as a full suite of fulfillment services for financial services companies that want to grow their mortgage lending operations but may lack the capital, resources or infrastructure to do so.

“We felt strongly that brokers and smaller correspondents could use our help, particularly after some of the nation’s largest banks began dropping their wholesale operations,” said Fairway Wholesale Lending Vice President, Divisional Sales Manager Howard Hoyt. “Our goals were modest, but we excelled by sticking to what we know: FHA, agency and USDA lending. We have also benefited greatly from the collective wholesale experience of our senior managers, which tops 250 years experience. We remain optimistic about the wholesale channel as the economy and housing markets begin to improve.”

Hoyt added that Fairway Wholesale Lending has taken a very “hands on” approach to wholesale lending that is distinguishable in several ways. First, the company is dedicated to approving as many loans as possible by working closely with clients who may need help with deal structuring. Second, it provides certified FHA loan training to all approved and prospective business partners. And third, it has created ways for clients to reach out for assistance, either by phone, email, or through a support website at Ask@FairwayWholesaleLending.com. All requests for assistance made through the website are routed directly to a subject matter expert who can provide immediate help.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

FNC ready to start sending data to the government

When the GSE’s Uniform Collateral Data Portal (UCDP) goes live in June, FNC® clients will be ready, the Oxford, Miss.-based mortgage technology company announced Thursday. As of June 27, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will begin accepting appraisal reports via an internet portal specifically designed to receive the property information and valuations as electronic data. However, lenders won’t be required to submit electronic appraisal data until March 2012.

“All FNC Collateral Management System® (CMS®) and Collateral Headquarters™ (CHQ) platform clients, regardless of size, will be able to automatically submit appraisals as XML data directly to the UCDP via FNC’s direct integration. FNC will provide this service at no additional cost to its CMS and CHQ clients,” said David Work, FNC’s executive vice president of sales.

FNC pioneered now-proven collateral management platforms that lead the industry in supporting retail, wholesale, correspondent, servicing, capital markets, and appraisal management companies.

“As the foremost experts in appraisal data, FNC is supportive of the GSEs in this effort and is excited about the opportunities this change brings,” said Mike Mitchell, FNC’s chief strategy officer. “Since its inception FNC has worked tirelessly to provide its clients access to the data that exists in their collateral valuation documents in order to automate compliance and increase efficiency and transparency.”

Wingspan seeking addition audit services contracts

Wingspan Portfolio Advisors, a Dallas area-based specialty and component mortgage servicer, announced recently that it has increased its capacity for helping servicers stay compliant with the requirements of the Interagency Review issued on April 13th by the Federal Reserve, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS). Initially affecting the top twelve servicers, the company said it was expected to lead to sweeping change in the ways servicers operate, as well as the ways in which they document their activities.

After an interagency review of these servicers, regulators handed down two key enforcement actions in the Consent Orders for each servicer examined. One enforcement action was for each servicer to contract with an independent consultant to review residential foreclosure actions or proceedings that have been pending at any time from January 1, 2009 to December 31, 2010, as well as residential foreclosures sales that occurred during this time period. The second enforcement action mandated each servicer to hire an expert to perform a comprehensive assessment of risks in servicing operations, specifically in regard to foreclosure, loss mitigation, and property disposition. The servicers in question were given 45 days from the execution of their Consent Orders to select independent providers for the required reviews.

In its press release, Wingspan indicated it was ready to take on that new business. Company management thinks the regulators' actions could bring it business from smaller servicers, as well.

"The bar for oversight has been raised, and though the servicers named in the document need to react immediately, the clock is ticking for all servicers,” said Wingspan Portfolio Advisors CEO Steven Horne. "Wingspan has been providing these audits and reviews to servicers for a long time, and we’re now beefing up our capacity to accommodate what I expect to be an ongoing need for these professional services."

The company said it has added nearly 100 employees in the last 60 days at its Dallas-area headquarters in anticipation of these actions by regulators.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

TSS moves its title-related solution to the cloud

TSS Software Corporation, Annapolis, has unveiled its TitleExpress Cloud Solution, an all-inclusive version of its flagship title and settlement desktop solution in a cloud computing environment.

The comapny says its subscription-based pricing combines comprehensive title and settlement functionality with automatic state and underwriter tables and forms updates. Operating TitleExpress in the cloud is intended to provide customers with secure, high-performance access to their data from any Internet connection and offers best practice implementation of software updates, greatly reducing technological risks and uncertainty.

Cloud computing typically offers users a way to leverage technology without the burden of owning and maintaining it. This solution is often used by companies that need to get up and running quickly, but may not have or want the IT resources to install and manage a network. The cloud desktop model also reduces operating costs and virtually eliminates internal technological surprises.

“Our TitleExpress Cloud Solution provides anytime, anywhere access to orders and data”, said Barbara Miller, president and chief operating officer of TSS. "The cloud environment permits our customers the highest availability, security, and productivity without any of the hassle.”

Monday, April 18, 2011

Mortgage Cadence reports success with loan servicers

Mortgage Cadence, LLC, a leading provider of Enterprise Lending Solutions (ELS), Default Servicing Technology and Document Services for the financial services industry, released news last week that its Reprise Consumer Direct Portal was delivering powerful servicing automation to allow mortgage loan servicers to effectively respond to coming mortgage reform. I'm flying out to Vail tomorrow to the company's users conference and intend to find out more about how this technology is being used.

Mortgage Cadence Reprise is a web-based solution that helps servicers convert troubled mortgages into performing assets. In a world where losses have become the new normal and mortgage reform is on the way, Reprise is one tool servicers don’t want to be without.

"Recently, the state attorneys general and federal regulators submitted an extensive term sheet to the nation's largest banks that outlines proposed requirements to overhaul mortgage servicing procedures," said Molly Curl, bank regulatory national advisory partner. Some of the key points from the term sheet and its implications for mortgage servicers include:

• Loss mitigation requirements – Mortgage Servicers would be required to thoroughly evaluate borrowers for all available loss mitigation options before foreclosing.
• Dual track prohibited – Servicers would be prohibited from initiating a foreclosure or filing a motion for relief from a bankruptcy plan while a modification evaluation process or application for a loss modification program is pending.
• Borrower communication and documentation – Servicers would be required to provide borrowers with a single point of contact to handle any loss mitigation communications.
• Development of comprehensive loan portals – Mortgage servicers will need to develop loan portals where borrowers can access loss mitigation information, and submit and receive documents.

According to Mortgage Cadence, Reprise offers advanced features to meet all of the requirements allowing servicers to remove manual and inefficient processes in order to stay competitive in a constantly changing industry. The technology is designed to give servicers and consumers the tools to efficiently achieve affordable and sustainable mortgage programs for their borrowers while increasing the value of their distressed mortgages by re-establishing them into performing loans.

Reprise speeds the Loan Modification and Short Sale process via advanced workflow automation, data validation and analytics, dynamic document generation and consumer-direct communication tools. In addition, the Reprise consumer direct portal allows borrowers to securely upload documents through their servicers website. The documents are instantly and automatically catalogued upon receipt, while sophisticated workflow tools queue tasks for servicers to help them focus on the accounts they can resolve quickly. Reprise has taken what once was a very laborious process and removed the inefficiencies and the inherent risks associated.

“With mortgage reform clearly on the horizon for mortgage servicers, the need to embrace automation and provide consumer facing tools is more critical than ever,” said Dan Goldman, Mortgage Cadence’s executive vice president for Reprise. “Reprise is the technology that will allow servicers to most effectively respond to mortgage reform in the servicing industry while providing the customer service expected by state attorneys general and federal regulators.”

The company says that regardless of how servicers utilize Reprise - whether to complete mortgage loan modifications faster and more easily than ever before or to shift their default servicing behavior and increase their Short Sale volume in a compliant manner - the Mortgage Cadence product suite can help servicers compliantly take their default servicing operation to new levels of success. I'll be posting here and on my LinkedIn Status and Twitter feed from the conference later this week.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

TSS Software Corporation adds Ernst Publishing calculation features to TitleSphere

TSS Software Corporation, Annapolis, has announced a new integration with Ernst Publishing that provides SmartQuery II™ recording fee calculations for TitleSphere subscribers. TitleSphere is TSS’s Web-based solution with complete HUD-1 preparation.

This integration allows TitleSphere subscribers to purchase query credits in the TitleSphere online store. These credits are used to obtain recording fee calculations from Ernst Publishing directly in their orders.

“Ernsts’ Smart Query II comprehensive recording fee and transfer tax calculations gives our TitleSphere subscribers instant access to fees in any jurisdiction in the United States,” says TSS president and chief operating officer, Barbara Miller. “TitleSphere subscribers now have this functionality available without having to leave their solution.”

To sign up for a free 30-day trial of TitleSphere and experience the benefits of a cloud computing solution, visit TitleSphere.com.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

New Millennium Title Group Announces Wilson as Top Development Executive

New Millennium Title Group (“New Millennium”), Simi Valley, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Williston Financial Group, LLC (“WFG”) has announced that David Wilson will serve as its Senior Vice President, National Sales. WFG is a national, full service provider of title insurance and real estate settlement services for the mortgage lending industry.

New Millennium operates in all 50 states, and includes two national settlement services processing offices in California and Texas. The company delivers a wide range of settlement services directly to mortgage lenders, including title insurance and closing/escrow services, for both the commercial and residential transactions.

Wilson, who will be based in Atlanta, Georgia, has 24 years of experience in the mortgage and settlement services industry, most recently serving as VP, Sales with Equifax Settlement Services. Before that, he spent six years with Lender’s First Choice, a national settlement services provider, as its Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. He also spent 17 years with national settlement services provider LSI, most recently as Senior Vice President of National Sales.

With New Millennium, Wilson will be charged with growing its national sales organization, including expanding the national client base as well as building and maintaining the company’s relationships at all levels.

“David is the consummate development executive, and epitomizes the New Millennium focus on listening to our clients to customize the best fit for products and services,” said James W. (“Bill”) Moody, Executive Vice President, Lender Services Division. “David is well-regarded by lenders of all sizes, and brings a wealth of strong relationships with him. He will be the ideal sales leader for our growing client base.”

Friday, April 01, 2011

PrimeLending Chooses Motivity

Greenwood Village-based Motivity Solutions and Dallas-based PrimeLending, a PlainsCapital Company, have announced today that the Movation Business Management Platform is live and in the process of being rolled out to approximately 1,000 users throughout the organization. In addition to enterprise-wide business intelligence, PrimeLending plans on creatively utilizing the business intelligence functionality within Movation to compare system and operational performance, to manage their Loan Originator Compensation initiative, and to expand their accounting insight.

“What we are starting to do, and what we have wanted to do for some time, is only now possible because of Motivity Solutions’ method of combining data from multiple systems,” said Tim Elkins, CIO of PrimeLending. “To do this well is a critical component for business intelligence to be successful and it is one of the primary reasons we looked to Motivity Solutions.”

Motivity Solutions and PrimeLending began working together in October 2010, by integrating with the company’s existing LOS and replacing PrimeLending’s previous business intelligence system shortly thereafter.

“PrimeLending is a perfect example of a mortgage lender that understands the power of operating a business on real-time business intelligence,” said Tyler Sherman, CEO of Motivity Solutions. “They are now able to deliver a more effective, more complete and exception-based view of the information to increase productivity and improve efficiency in their day-to-day operations,” Sherman stated.

According to the two companies, PrimeLending is using business intelligence beyond the typical definition.

“One of the more unique benefits of this system is that it has allowed us to operate two loan origination systems concurrently and we will soon be tracking the effectiveness of these systems against each other to ensure our loan quality and operations are optimized,” said Elkins. “We will be comparing elements such as investor exceptions and suspended loans in addition to volume and lifecycle metrics between the two systems. This insight will give us a clear indication of which system is most proficient at helping us accomplish our corporate goals and vision.”

Since its introduction in 2009, Motivity Solutions has impacted several of the industry’s most prominent mortgage bankers. Motivity’s technological concept of a single platform to manage the entire business is being utilized among lenders like PrimeLending, who are now looking to the platform for more than just numerical insight.

“The Loan Originator Compensation regulation has had a profound effect on our industry over the past few months but through Movation we will be able to bring more clarity to these regulations for our executives and staff by tracking compensation levels and the components of originator compensation,” said Elkins. “Each of these elements benefits PrimeLending from a revenue and compliance perspective.”

Sherman added, “The new world of Loan Originator compensation is all about the numbers; what is driving compensation, who is being compensated, and ensuring that the proposed loan is aligned with the borrowers’ interests. Our experience in managing these principles through technology from our previous success as a top 10 FHA lender has enabled us to engrain into our technology the core functionality that makes managing compliance regulations, such as loan officer compensation, more manageable.”

PrimeLending has also engaged Motivity Solutions to integrate their accounting system, Accounting for Mortgage Bankers, or AMB, with the Movation Business Management Platform, in order to expand PrimeLending’s profit and loss insight.

“We can really get down to driving the performance of our organization and staff based on the factors we feel are most important by tying together our accounting and production databases,” said Elkins. “We will have the ability to look at loan level P & L, loan participant P & L, loan source P & L, risk indices, and funding probabilities based on the individual characteristics of what it takes to manufacture a loan,” said Elkins .

“I believe that everyone is trying their best to be successful while producing a quality product for the consumer and economy, but so much more can be done by taking the most contemporary approach to being proactive in origination,” Sherman said. “The approach that PrimeLending is taking delivers a 360-degree view of the loan parameters and provides a historical and real-time perspective of what has been, and is currently, the most effective means of doing business. This allows an organization to take control of their business and we are thrilled to be a part of what PrimeLending is doing - and what is sure to be the future of mortgage banking,” Sherman finished.