Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Carrington Appoints Rick Sharga Industry Spokesman

Carrington Mortgage Holdings (“Carrington”), Santa Ana, Calif., announced today that Rick Sharga has joined the company as an Executive Vice President. In his new role, Sharga will serve as the primary industry spokesman for Carrington, and will be responsible for developing branding and marketing strategies for the Carrington Family of Companies, which includes Carrington Mortgage Services, LLC, Carrington Mortgage Services – Mortgage Lending Division, Atlantic & Pacific Real Estate, LLC, Carrington Property Services, LLC, White Van Real Estate Services, L.P., Telsi Escrow Inc., and Telsi Real Estate Solutions, LLC.

“Rick brings a skill set that is critical at this point in our company’s growth,” said Bruce Rose, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Carrington Holding Company. “We believe that Carrington’s success story is one of the best kept secrets in the industry, and no one has a more effective track record of successfully communicating these types of messages with the press and across our industry than Rick.”

One of the country's most frequently quoted sources on foreclosure, mortgage and real estate trends, Sharga has appeared on NBC Nightly News, CNN, CBS Evening News, ABC World News, CNBC, FOX News and NPR. Sharga has briefed government organizations such as the Federal Reserve and Senate Banking Committee and corporations like JPMorgan Chase, Citibank and Deutsche Bank on foreclosure trends, and conducted foreclosure training for leading real estate organizations such as Re/Max, Prudential and Keller Williams.

Prior to joining Carrington, Sharga was a senior vice president for RealtyTrac Inc., which publishes the country’s largest database of foreclosure and bank owned properties. A sought-after speaker, Sharga has delivered keynote addresses at a wide variety of industry conferences, including the 2011 REO Expo and the 2010 Auburn University Economic Forum. Sharga is a member of the National Association of Real Estate Editors, the USFN and REOMAC. He is also president of the Technology Council of Southern California.

“We’re delighted to have Rick join the Carrington team,” said Dave Gordon, chief operating officer of Carrington Holding Company. “We’ve built a solid foundation that will enable us to become one of the leading companies in the real estate industry, and believe that Rick is uniquely qualified to help us get that message out successfully to the marketplace.”

“Carrington has one of the most unique – and most complex – business models in the industry,” Sharga said. “Clearly communicating the company’s value proposition to multiple audiences across a number of market segments poses equally unique challenges, and I’m looking forward to creating a compelling and powerful market presence for the company.”

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

First Guaranty Mortgage Corporation Names Andrew Peters CEO

First Guaranty Mortgage Corp. (“FGMC”), McLean, Virginia, has promoted Andrew Peters to be its new Chief Executive Officer. FGMC is a national, full-service mortgage lending firm offering retail and wholesale mortgage solutions to clients of varying income and credit types.

Peters has been with FGMC for over ten years, serving most recently as its SVP, National Business Director. He has also held leadership positions within the company in underwriting, sales and loan origination. His recent focus has been on REO lending initiatives, including FGMC’s “Rebuild the Dream” initiative, which was designed to facilitate renovation lending in combination with REO sales.

Peters has also led the rollout of the company’s “Correspondent’s Edge” product, making available niche loan products to correspondent lenders. Peters previously spent four years with Staten Island Bank, with duties as head underwriter as well as East Regional Sales Manager during his tenure there.

“Andrew understands that the mortgage lending business is changing dramatically and that the successful mortgage lenders will be those which adapt,” said Kenneth Clark, Founder and Chairman of FGMC. “His creativity and ability to adapt to change, in combination with his aptitude for communicating the First Guaranty vision to others, make him an excellent choice for his new role.”

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Talking Social Media at MBA Annual

I'm very proud to announce that I will be joining a couple of very experienced mortgage industry veterans on a technology panel at the upcoming Mortgage Banker's Associations Annual Convention and Expo in Chicago. In the session, entitled "New Technologies, Social Media and Mortgage Lending," Craig Focardi, Joe Dahleen and I will delve into what Social Media tools mortgage lenders should be using in today's environment. We'll cover the whole story: the Who, What, Why, When, Where and How of it.

I know for a fact that there will also be some very experienced Social Media practitioners from our industry in attendance at the event.

During the session, we'll be taking questions from the audience, both by show of hands or Tweet to the hashtag #MBAsocial. In fact, you can tweet a question now to that hashtag and we'll take it into the session with us and answer it during our presentation--well, all we have time for anyway.

I hope you're planning on being at the MBA's show, October 9-12 in Chicago. This is a critical time for our industry and it makes good sense to get together and prepare to get out ahead of the new regulator, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. We don't want the CFPB to be the only folks using Social Media to interact with American homebuyers and homeowners. This session will provide a lot of great information to make sure that doesn't happen.

If you're going to be in Chicago and have some questions about how Social Media tools are working for others in this space or about how you might use them to benefit your business, drop me a line. I would love to touch base with you at the show.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

MortgageFlex Wins New Account

MortgageFlex Systems, Inc., Jacksonville, Fla., a provider of loan origination and servicing technology, announced today that Kennebunk Savings Bank, Kennebunk, Maine, has chosen the MortgageFlex loan origination system for their lending needs.

Kennebunk Savings provides a full range of financial services with offices serving Southern Maine and Seacoast New Hampshire and required a single system that could support consumer lending and mortgages. The new system will be used in all 15 branches to originate consumer and mortgage loans.

“Our LOS provides lenders with regulatory peace of mind by being efficient and compliant with continuous updates,” said Craig Bechtle, chief operating officer, MortgageFlex. “We are very gratified that our customers feel confident in their lending technology and we look forward to a long partnership with Kennebunk Savings Bank.”

MortgageFlex’s loan origination system (LOS) supports all lending channels, including consumer loans in a single database. The advantages of using one database repository are numerous and include the elimination of data redundancies, real-time data access and accurate business intelligence.

According to Loan Systems Administration Manager, Officer, Patricia Pratt, Kennebunk needed a system that would help streamline current processes to work more efficiently, one that was compliant, user friendly and customizable.

“After an exhaustive search we found that MortgageFlex met all of our needs. Finding a system that is quick to respond to the ever changing regulatory demands was important to us,” Pratt said.

“One of the things that impressed me with MortgageFlex is their willingness to involve their clients in decisions that need to be made to the system that directly impact them, especially from a regulatory standpoint. We heard nothing but glowing reviews from clients about their performance during the 2010 RESPA changes,” Pratt said.

TSS Software Corporation adds GreenFolders™ to its TitleExpress platform

TSS Software Corporation, Annapolis, Maryland, reported today that the company has added GreenFolders™ to its TitleExpress™ title and settlement platform. I've been through the demo of GreenFolders and was impressed with its ease of use and flexibility. TSS says the integration provides TSS customers seamless access to the GreenFolders™ office management system, allowing staff to share files, documents, tasks, and client communications.

The GreenFolders™ office management system is designed to increase efficiency and productivity while reducing costs and eliminating the bother of paper files. GreenFolders™ connects staff and files in a single interactive, collaborative environment.

“GreenFolders provides our customers with an exceptionally sophisticated office management solution,” said Barbara Miller, president and chief operating officer of TSS, adding “We are pleased to continue development of this integration with the tools necessary for a paperless workflow.”

Todd Hougaard, executive vice president of business development at GreenFolders, Inc. said, “We are excited to bring our breakthrough system to TSS users nationwide. We have already seen tremendous success with TSS customers and are confident this integration will bring additional efficiency and profitability.”

For more information about GreenFolders, reach out to Todd Hougaard at 801-747-2132 or todd.hougaard@greenfolders.com.

More Growth for WFG Title

Brandy Sams has joined WFG National Title Insurance Company (“WFG National Title”), Simi Valley, Calif., as the Director of its Default Services division. The Williston Financial Group family of title insurers is currently licensed and operating in 40 jurisdictions nationwide. The company is a full service provider of title insurance and real estate settlement services for lender, commercial and residential transactions nationwide.

Ms. Sams’ career in the mortgage and real estate industry spans a period of over 15 years. She worked most recently in the secondary market with Fannie Mae. Before that, she was a title and escrow specialist for a national servicer. Previously, she was the Title and Escrow Manager with a California-based title company. During her tenure with those firms, she successfully managed over 10,000 closings in 35 states. Ms. Sams has also holds an advanced degree in business and project management.

“Brandy comes to WFG’s Default Services group with a wide understanding of the transaction from several different perspectives,” said Morgan Harris, Executive Vice President overseeing the Default Services division. “She communicates with her clients at an unparalleled level and excels at bridging potential gaps between parties, making her an ideal addition for WFG’s default services clients.”

Security Service Federal Credit Union Selects Mortgage Cadence

Mortgage Cadence, LLC, Denver, a leading provider of Enterprise Lending Solutions (ELS), Default Servicing Technology and Document Services for the financial services industry, has been selected by Security Service Federal Credit Union (SSFCU) to replace their document and loan origination solutions with Mortgage Cadence Orchestrator and Finale Document Services. These two products, combined with ongoing compliance enforcement provided by Mortgage Cadence, allow SSFCU to expand their business by employing the most advanced mortgage technology on the market.

“SSFCU has successfully managed mortgage complexity while maintaining company loan volume targets over the years,” said David Brown, vice president of Mortgage Services for SSFCU. “When we decided to increase our operational capacity, we knew that mushrooming regulatory oversight and our paper-dominated, manual processes were obstacles we had to overcome. We needed proven workflow efficiencies and process controls to manage our growth and maintain quality,” Brown added. “Mortgage Cadence Orchestrator provides dynamic workflow and automation capabilities, along with business policy and compliance enforcement gains – all significant factors in our decision to partner with Mortgage Cadence.”

Mortgage Cadence continues to lead the way and set the industry standard of Enterprise Lending technology solutions and services. By not only providing rules-based workflow automation but also compliance support, Lenders are able to focus on their business and allow the technology to do the heavy lifting. In addition, Finale Document Services couples with Orchestrator to enable dynamic form creation allowing Credit Unions like SSFCU to remove manual paper processes, accelerate the lending process, and increase customer satisfaction. Adapting to change is more important now than ever, and offering a solution capable of growing with business processes by effectively scaling to fit all future needs separates Mortgage Cadence from any other mortgage technology provider currently in the industry.

“Lenders need to up their industry standards for mortgage technology in order to thrive in today’s lending environment,” Michael Detwiler, chief executive officer of Mortgage Cadence said. “Continuing to stay complacent with failing systems and manual processes will only lead to self-destruction. Security Service understood that in order to continue to grow, it was necessary to consolidate manual and disparate systems for one, complete end-to-end technology solution. This new partnership demonstrates a trend in our industry where Lenders are beginning to opt for advanced technology solutions in place of attempting to build a team around disparate and incomplete offerings. Mortgage Cadence will continue to forge the way and be the go-to end-to-end Enterprise Lending and Document and Compliance Services provider.”

RGA has been hired to write for this company from time to time, but we had no hand in this announcement and congratulate Mortgage Cadence on a great client win.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Mortgage Builder Completes New Audit

Mortgage Builder, Southfield, Mich., developer of an innovative mortgage loan origination software (LOS) system, reports that it has recently undergone the new SSAE 16 Type II audit process and has completed the thorough examination successfully. The SSAE 16 is the next generation of SAS (Statements on Auditing Standards) audit, designed to test organizations’ abilities to protect sensitive business data for their clients. The SAS standards are issued by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), and are a prime concern for lenders that entrust their information and process security to loan origination software (LOS) providers.

The new SSAE 16 Type II audit is the more exacting and thorough version of the new standards, requiring on-site physical verifications of security measures, control objectives and activities by an independent, approved auditor. The audit was performed by SAS 70 CPA of Palm Harbor, Florida.

“The top level SAS audit is not a requirement for LOS systems, but I think it should be,” says Keven Smith, president and CEO of Mortgage Builder. “When you consider the sensitivity of the information handled by the LOS and the exacting tolerances for security required to provide the needed levels of protection for lenders, Mortgage Builder regards passing these audits as a necessity. It is tremendously important for our clients to have confidence in this critical aspect of their business.”

Smith pointed out that his company spends a significant amount of time, money and hard work on the audit process. “It is always a concerted team effort,” he said. “But seeing yet another certification plaque go up on the wall and knowing that we have met every test with flying colors is highly satisfying – and essential to our clients’ security.”

Monday, September 12, 2011

Wingspan Launches New Insurance Services Unit

Wingspan Portfolio Advisors, Carrollton, Texas, a component and special servicer based in Dallas, Texas, has introduced Wingspan Insurance Services, a new subsidiary created to address growing concerns among servicers, investors and others over risks associated with insufficient insurance coverage in their portfolios. Wingspan Insurance Services offers a wide range of insurance products.

“Servicers, investors and other stakeholders know that there are a lot of moving parts in moderating the risks they face every day,” says Steven Horne, Wingspan’s founder and CEO. “By launching Wingspan Insurance Services, we are uncomplicating things for servicers and others so that important insurance concerns don’t fall between the cracks. We help identify insurance problems and inadequacies in small and large portfolios and provide the services needed to minimize unwarranted exposure.”

Wingspan Insurance Services is a result of strategic partnerships with several highly experienced insurance providers with extensive capabilities in financial services insurance products. The new unit is based in Richardson, Texas, near the Wingspan Portfolio Advisors headquarters, and is headed up by Managing Director Vik Jain.

“Vik is a talented professional with over 25 years of domestic and international experience in the insurance industry,” says Horne. “Under his leadership, Wingspan Insurance Services has created an array of offerings that leverage the expertise of our partners and provide excellent protection for our clients.”

“The key to controlling insurance risk on portfolios lies in having a broad range of products as well as the ability to track loans to ensure they are covered properly," says Jain. "Wingspan Insurance Services is designed to perform these roles with a customized approach rather than the more typical ‘one size fits all’ offering,” he explains. “The company has invested in a proven technology to perform the insurance tracking part of the equation, solidifying the strength of the firm’s capabilities."

Thursday, September 08, 2011

MMREM Names Ivan Choi Senior Vice President

Matt Martin Real Estate Management (MMREM), Arlington, Va., a national asset management and default services firm that deals with multiple federal agencies and mortgage servicers, investors and insurers, has named prominent lending industry veteran Ivan Choi to the newly-created position of senior vice president.

In his new role, Mr. Choi will be a key member of MMREM’s executive and planning team, working directly with CEO and founder, Matt Martin. Choi will also be working closely with the management team of Sperlonga Data & Analytics, MMREM’s affiliate company that provides solutions for the growing problem of homeowners associations (HOAs) claims for unpaid fees. These claims frequently stall the resale efforts of real estate agents, servicers and investors, delaying closings and driving up costs.

Choi brings a wealth of experience to MMREM and Sperlonga. He is the current president of the board of directors of REOMAC®, a non-profit trade association serving the mortgage default servicing industry nationwide. Choi spent thirteen years within Countrywide/Bank of America as a senior executive and joins MMREM from his practice as an expert consultant in business development and default management services. Very active throughout the real estate and mortgage community, he is also a national board member of the Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA).

“It is rare to find someone with Ivan’s diverse experience in real estate, mortgages and association leadership,” says Matt Martin, MMREM’s founder and CEO. “Ivan’s reputation in lending and real estate will be a tremendously positive factor as we expand our national presence in default services, as well as in the HOA fee claims resolution space,” notes Martin.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

WFG National Title Deepens Underwriting Support for Mid-Atlantic Agents

WFG National Title Insurance Company (“WFG National Title”), Santa Barbara, Calif., has announced that Ed Trope will serve as State Underwriting Counsel for agents in Virginia and Maryland. WFG National Title is a national, full service provider of title insurance and real estate settlement services for lender, commercial and residential transactions. The Williston Financial Group family of title insurers is currently licensed and operating in 40 jurisdictions nationwide.

Trope will support WFG National Title’s agencies in Maryland and Virginia on underwriting matters. He comes to the company with 33 years of legal experience focusing on the settlement services and real estate industry, most recently as the owner and manager of his own law firm for 11 years.

Trope previously spent ten years as Vice President, Counsel and Agency manager for one of the industry’s largest underwriters, managing operations for the company’s Richmond agency office. He earned his J.D. at T.C. Williams School of Law, University of Richmond; and holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Virginia. He is a long-time member of the Virginia State Bar and Virginia State Bar Association, as well as the Richmond Bar Association; and is a member in the Real Estate and Business sections of both the Virginia State Bar and Richmond Bar Association.

“Ed Trope is recognized in the mid-Atlantic region as an astute attorney and a valued counselor for title agents,” said Thomas Klein, Senior Vice President, Agency, Southeast Region. “Our agents have told us repeatedly that they look to their national underwriters for information and support when the regulatory climate becomes volatile. Our addition of Ed confirms our commitment to collaborate with our independent agencies and support them in whatever ways they need.”

Ed Trope can be reached by e-mail, his office line at (804) 521 5721, or via cell phone, (804) 426 9950.