Wednesday, November 30, 2011

MIAC Brokering Servicing Portfolio

MIAC Client Solutions Group, New York, has announced that it has been chosen to act as exclusive broker for the recently announced sale of a $632 Million FNMA Reverse Mortgage Servicing portfolio.

We're told by the company that the portfolio is being offered by a national financial institution with strong financials and an excellent counterparty risk profile. The underlying loans in the portfolio have the following characteristics:
  • $164,240 Average Loan Size
  • 100% FNMA Reverse Mortgage loans
  • 100% FHA Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECM)
  • Weighted average interest rate of 3.271%
  • Weighted average loan Age of 27 months
  • National geographic dispersion with concentrations in Florida and California
The bid date for the portfolio is December 8, 2011. Interested parties can sign up to review the portfolio details at www.MIACAnalytics.com or contact the following individuals for additional information: Dan Thomas, Managing Director at (212) 233-1250 Ext. 240 or Rob Fear, Director at (212) 233-1250 Ext. 230.

AllRegs teams up to Deliver FHA Training

AllRegs, Eagan, Minn., reports that it's partner, Total Learning Solutions (TLS), has been awarded a contract to provide nationwide technical assistance training to its business and industry partners. AllRegs is the exclusive mortgage industry partner of the TLS team.

TLS and AllRegs (referred to as Team TLS) will be responsible for providing professional, technical and administrative services to deliver technical-assistance training nationwide via FHA, in conjunction with the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO) and the Office of the Inspector General (OIG), to its business and industry partners. The purpose of this training is to address the housing crisis by ensuring education on, and compliance with, FHA program guidelines.

The delivery of this comprehensive training curriculum will support the implementation of policies and program changes to FHA programs as a result of legislation and other issues.

“We are excited to be a part of Team TLS and for AllRegs to help deliver this important FHA training initiative to the mortgage lending industry,” said Dan Thoms, executive vice president of AllRegs.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

TSS Software Corporation Promotes Three, Hires One

TSS Software Corporation, Annapolis, a leading national provider of real estate title and settlement solutions, announces the promotion of three staff members alongside a new addition to its business development team.

“These steps further TSS’s capabilities for identifying, analyzing and implementing strategies to develop new products and market segments and to enhance brand recognition”, said Barbara Miller, TSS’s president and chief operating officer, adding “we’re also extending our search for experienced professionals to join our growing team.”

In this capacity, sixteen-year veteran, Toni Carroll, has been named vice president, sales, with an emphasis on managing strategic relationships and alliances with existing customers, prospects, and third-party vendors. In conjunction, former marketing director, Erika Rollins, has assumed the position of vice president, business development. Rollins and Carroll work collaboratively to identify new business opportunities and increase market share.

In addition, Kate Preston has been promoted to business development manager and will oversee daily sales and marketing operations. Prior to joining TSS in 2008 as sales administrator, Kate spent more than four years in property management and holds a bachelors degree from Towson University.

TSS also welcomes new hire, Austin Kruse, a graduate of the University of South Carolina with a degree in business management. In his role as business development coordinator, Austin provides sales and marketing support to facilitate business growth.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Carrington Mortgage Services Hires Capital Markets Exec

Carrington Mortgage Services, LLC (“Carrington”), Santa Ana, Calif., has announced the hiring of Brad Nease as senior vice president, capital markets. In this newly created position, Mr. Nease will lead the secondary marketing efforts for the company’s fast-growing loan origination business, and will be responsible for product development, investor relations, loan trading and warehouse lending.

Mr. Nease comes to Carrington from ICON Residential Lenders, where he was COO of capital markets. Prior to that, Mr. Nease was a partner for 12 years with the hedge advisory firm Mortgage Capital Management, and previously held executive management positions with IndyMac Bank, Impac Funding Corporation, and Cal Fed Bank.

“We’re pleased to add someone with Brad’s experience and expertise to our team,” said Steve Patton, Carrington’s executive vice president of mortgage lending. “These are clearly challenging times in the secondary market, and having someone with Brad’s track record and skills will help us manage these challenges and position our company for continued success.”

Carrington Mortgage Services Mortgage Lending Division offers residential loans nationally, through retail and wholesale channels. The company is licensed in 37 states.

WFG National Title Grows Default Services Group

WFG National Title Insurance Company’s Default Services group has added Ashley Anderson to its team as AVP, Operation Manager. 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.

In her new position, Anderson will be responsible for the daily oversight of the growth, development and maintenance of the group’s production and processing functions. She comes to WFG National Title with 12 years of industry experience, most recently with the California arm of a large national title underwriter as its AVP, Operations Manager, where she worked for eight years.

“Ashley understands that efficiency in default services production begins with our adaptation to each client’s process,” said Morgan Harris, Executive Vice President overseeing the Default Services group. “She is resourceful, driven, innovative and, above all, client focused. Our clients will appreciate her ability to quickly and effectively meet their needs.”

Ashley Anderson can be reached at AAnderson@WFGNationalTitle.com.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

WFG Lender Services Launches Flat Fee Settlement Package

In what it is calling an effort to further assist distressed borrowers under the recently revamped Home Affordable Refinance Program (“HARP”), WFG Lender Services (“WFGLS”), Simi Valley, Calif., has launched its new flat fee services platform, in which the settlement services fee structure is not based on the amount of the refinanced mortgage.

According to William Moody, Executive Vice President overseeing WFGLS, the new pricing plan bundles title and closing services into one single flat fee for any HARP loan in states where such products and pricing are not limited by regulation, or in other states up to conforming loan limits as regulated. The fee is aggressively reduced from previous pricing, allowing the mortgage lender or institution originating the HARP loan to pass further savings to the borrower.

“The point of HARP is to assist borrowers struggling with their mortgage payments,” said Moody. “Our program is designed to support that sentiment, by streamlining and reducing closing and settlement fees.”

Friday, November 11, 2011

MMREM Names New Executive

Matt Martin Real Estate Management (MMREM), Arlington, Vir., a national asset management and disposition firm, has named mortgage industry veteran Timothy Walsh to the position of executive vice president. Walsh was also named as executive vice president of Sperlonga Data & Analytics, MMREM’s affiliate company that provides solutions for the growing problem of homeowners associations' (HOAs) claims for unpaid association fees.

Walsh will serve as a key member of MMREM’s executive team and will report directly to CEO and founder, Matt Martin. He brings over two decades of real estate, lending and default management experience to MMREM and Sperlonga, as well as extensive expertise in business development.

Most recently, Walsh served as president and chief executive officer of UnitedTechLender Services LLC, a national default services company specializing in outsourcing, fulfillment and technology solutions for homeowner defaults. Under Walsh’s leadership, UnitedTechLender increased monthly revenues by 144 percent.

Walsh also held senior executive positions at First NLC Financial and Global Bancorp.

“Tim comes to us with a very solid background in multiple facets of the mortgage industry, including originations, title insurance, and default servicing,” said Martin.

Walsh says he was drawn to MMREM and Sperlonga because he believes both businesses address critical needs in today’s market.

“Asset management in the REO sector will only continue to become more important as the industry moves through unprecedented levels of foreclosures,” Walsh said. “And Sperlonga provides a much-needed service by offering a solution to the growing problem of HOA claims for unpaid fees. HOA claims often hinder resale efforts, causing delays in closings and increasing costs for lenders and servicers. I’m very excited to be joining a company that solves these issues so effectively."

Acris Takes Cloud-Based VCO Product Line to New Markets

Acris Technology, Anaheim, Calif., a software development company and provider of cloud technologies for mortgage, real estate, tax and other industries, has announced it is expanding its Virtual Corporate Office (“VCO”) suite of products beyond the mortgage industry and into other markets, including real estate. The announcement was made at the 2011 National Association of Realtors Annual Convention and Expo in Anaheim.

Through a paperless, virtual environment, Acris Technology’s VCO suite empowers companies to manage purchase contracts, disclosure reports and emails as well as agent education, training, insurance and compensation. Featuring cloud-delivered virtual desktops, loan origination and processing software, paperless document storage, digital signature technology and VoIP telephony, the VCO is designed to reduce IT costs.

“Fully realized, cloud technology transforms how organizations handle information, communications and workflow by removing all the heavy lifting behind their IT efforts,” said Acris Technology CEO Martin Williams. “We have already seen what VCO can do for the mortgage business. Lenders that are moving their IT infrastructure to the cloud are realizing greater efficiency and security at a lower expense. They are also expanding their geographic footprint by enabling employees to work from anywhere. When leveraged for other industries, particularly those with mobile workforces such as real estate, VCO can deliver equally compelling results.”

Developed and refined over a period of 12 years, Acris Technology’s VCO technology was in use privately by Laguna Hills, California-based Millennia Mortgage to process over $10 billion in funded loans. Earlier this year, the Mortgage VCO suite of cloud-based technology was unveiled to mortgage bankers, regional and community banks, credit unions, and other mortgage lenders.

The VCO suite begins with Acris Technology’s Citrix-based VCO Desk platform, which is now being made available for other markets. VCO Desk delivers a Windows desktop environment to any computer, laptop, thin client, iPad or tablet PC with a high-speed Internet connection, and includes the Microsoft Office® suite and MS Exchange® Server. Almost any third-party or proprietary software can be hosted and delivered through VCO Desk’s secure Citrix® environment, giving users one place to access all their technology.

"It did not take long to realize what we have built for the mortgage industry has capabilities far beyond the field,” said Richard Johnston, president of Acris Technology. “We chose the National Association of Realtors’ annual event to make this announcement because there are so many crossover benefits of virtualization for real estate and mortgage professionals. Outside of VCO Lend, our paperless loan origination software, all our VCO products are extremely well-suited to any business that handles large amounts of data, requires heavy documentation and has an eye towards operating in the cloud.”

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Bernake Blames Lack of Financial Literacy for Crisis

In his comments during the Question & Answer period following his CNBC Press Conference on November 2nd, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said that as Americans struggled to improve their own balance sheets, they were bumping up against a problem that was hard for them to solve.

http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000055143

He said that Americans were "trying to pay down debt. That's, of course, important. At the same time, you want to make smart decisions, you want to make good investments, you want to budget properly. So, financial literacy is a big part of this and lack of financial literacy was one of the things that got us in this mess in the first place."

Bernanke's comments about financial literacy fall about 9 minutes into the CNBC video.

This is exactly what folks like Jeff Wirsing at GreenBar America and Garth Graham at Financial Literacy Solutions (client) have been saying for a long time. Nothing the Fed will do can change this. But, just like in Star Wars, there is another hope.

Kudos to Joe Dahleen for bringing this video to our attention.

First Guaranty Mortgage Grows Capital Markets Group

First Guaranty Mortgage Corp. (“FGMC”), McLean, Vir., signaling that it will become more aggressive in the capital markets channel, has added Mark Mayhook as Managing Director, Capital Markets. FGMC is a national, full-service mortgage lending firm offering retail, wholesale and correspondent mortgage solutions to clients of varying income and credit types as well as financial institutions of all kinds.

In his new position, Mayhook will oversee all elements of FGMC’s Capital Markets group, with an emphasis on growth. A Ginnie Mae-approved seller/servicer, FGMC’s Capital Markets group seeks to efficiently purchase and securitize client loans. The lender purchases seasoned and new origination bulk whole loan portfolios, and offers flow and forward flow delivery options to approved correspondents.

Mayhook comes to FGMC with almost ten years of experience in the industry, much of it in correspondent sales and trading. Before coming to FGMC, Mayhook managed a mortgage pipeline of ABN AMRO’s private banking clientele. Previously, he worked in sales and account management for Morgan Stanley’s correspondent conduit. He has a Master of Business Administration degree from Lynn University, and earned his undergraduate degree from Albany State University of New York.

“Mark is the right person to drive FGMC’s philosophy into our capital markets channel,” said FGMC Chief Executive Officer Andrew Peters. “He believes firmly that FGMC is the premier alternative to many of the traditional lenders for correspondents seeking liquidity, and those seeking accommodation for a number of untraditional loan scenarios. He is also an advocate of common sense underwriting, and going beyond many of the guideline overlays used by most lenders.”

Carrington Mortgage Hires Three New Managers

Carrington Mortgage Services, LLC (“Carrington”), Santa Ana, Calif., today announced the hiring of three new area sales managers for its growing wholesale lending business. The three managers – Bryson Bede, Tamara Joi Henry and Jodi Nelson – will be responsible for sales activity in the Pacific Northwest, Southern California and Northern California regions respectively.

“We’re delighted to add these very talented mortgage industry professionals to our team,” said Alan Pott, senior vice president of Wholesale Lending at Carrington. “As we continue to expand our wholesale lending business into most of the major metropolitan areas across the country, we’re committed to finding the best and brightest people so that we can continue to deliver the kind of excellent personal service that our brokers have come to expect.”

Mr. Bede joins Carrington from EverBank in Seattle, where he received the company’s “All Star Award” in 2009 and 2010. Ms. Henry, a 15-year industry veteran with experience at Fieldstone Mortgage Company and First National Home Finance, comes to Carrington from Reunion Mortgage, where she was a regional manager. Ms. Nelson, who was also a regional manager with Reunion Mortgage prior to joining Carrington, has also worked for Washington Mutual and Norwest Mortgage Corporation during her 20-year career.

WFG National Title Names Ravi Bapodra to Lead TitleNet

WFG National Title Insurance Company (“WFG National Title”), Santa Barbara, Calif., has announced Ravi Bapodra as its new Vice President and Managing Director, TitleNet. 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.

TitleNet, a division of WFG National Title, is a national provider of title, closing and settlement services comprised of a national network of independent providers using a centralized technology platform. The operation processes residential and commercial transactions, as well as loss mitigation, default and REO transactions.

Bapodra will oversee the growth of TitleNet and maintain its relationship with its network of independent providers and clients. He comes to WFG National Title and TitleNet with 13 years of industry experience. He was most recently VP, Default Product Services with one of the nation’s largest title underwriters. He has spent the majority of his career in executive positions with two other large national underwriters. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Riverside.

“Ravi excels at harnessing the strength of independent businesses, and connecting them to national and regional banks, REO firms, GSEs and other companies to meet or exceed their performance standards, the concept at the core of the TitleNet model,” said Joseph Drum, Esq., Executive Vice President for WFG National Title. “His role will be to allow our independent agencies to do what they do best, while supplementing them with top-flight resources, guidance and coordination. Our agencies will quickly find Ravi and TitleNet to be outstanding assets.”

Monday, November 07, 2011

MortgageFlex Adds Key Executive

MortgageFlex Systems, Inc., Jacksonville, Fla., an innovative provider of loan origination and servicing technology, announced today that Phil Scialabba has joined their professional services team.

A well respected 20-year industry veteran, Scialabba has held several vice presidencies at prominent New Jersey lenders, including Clarity Member Services, CU National Mortgage (US Mortgage), CUMAnet, and Whitman Mortgage.

Scialabba has extensive operational and technical lending experience and is well versed in the MortgageFlex products, having used the loan origination system at two of his previous employers.

“Working at MortgageFlex will be unique opportunity for me to use my lender’s experience on the other side of the fence,” said Scialabba. “I’m looking forward to sharing my implementation knowledge and insights with my future customers.”

“We are delighted that Phil has decided to join our team. His project management and business expertise are invaluable and he is a welcome addition to our professional services staff,” said Craig Bechtle, chief operating officer, MortgageFlex.

Scialabba will be devoting most of his time as an implementation expert with several new MortgageFlex clients in the New England area.

Prommis Solutions Helps Launch Atlanta Nonprofit

Prommis Solutions, Atlanta, a leading national provider of technology-enabled processing services for the default resolution segment of the real estate finance industry, has announced its participation in the launch of the Atlanta chapter of Back on My Feet, a nonprofit organization that promotes the self-sufficiency of those experiencing homelessness by engaging them in running as a means to build confidence, strength and self-esteem.

As part of this collaboration, Prommis will be one of the sponsors at the inaugural breakfast event to launch the nonprofit organization’s Atlanta chapter. The breakfast will take place at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis on November 11, 2011 from 8:30-9:30 am EDT.

Back on My Feet is Prommis’ third nonprofit partner. The company also provides ongoing support to Talk About Your Future, Inc., and its Grady Talks program, and to the Alliance for Children Everywhere.

Prommis is also participating in Back on My Feet’s “Sneaker Week,” fundraising initiative, which begins on November 11, 2011. During Sneaker Week, Prommis employees are invited to contribute to the cause by donating $5 and wearing sneakers to work from November 11 through November 18.

Back on My Feet is a 6-9 month program for individuals living in homeless facilities. The organization does not provide food or shelter. Rather, it provides a supportive community where team members can collaborate in moving their lives forward, on an individual as well as a group level. Back on My Feet representatives work to help each individual determine his or her next step in life, which can include job training programs, educational scholarships and housing assistance.

“It’s easy, particularly in challenging markets, to focus on our own difficulties and forget about others that need our help,” said Denis Brosnan, CEO of Prommis Solutions. “Prommis is a services business. We find that our cultural commitment to service and our associated generosity of spirit carries over into our social responsibility initiatives. Therefore, not surprisingly, our community support programs have been wildly popular among our staff. Our collaboration with Back on My Feet is particularly satisfying to me because it gives us an opportunity to help out here in our hometown of Atlanta, while advancing our overarching cultural themes of health, fitness and personal responsibility.”

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

PocketQuote Puts Power in Borrower's Hands

The new regulatory structure in place to oversee the mortgage lending business is already changing the way our industry does business. But with only about 750 staffers working at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau so far, the new bureau is just getting started. One thing I expect to see if a much greater emphasis on borrower satisfaction. After all, the CFPB is already wired to accept complaints from borrowers, but still building communication channels with industry players.

This will likely manifest itself in more borrower-centric portals. We're already seeing more of these on the servicing side, as servicers try to improve service levels before the CFPB sets new standards for their operations. Recently, I heard about something new coming to the origination side.

Nail Your Mortgage, Chicago, is using a proprietary mortgage technology solution it developed to put the power to get an accurate loan quote into the hands of borrowers without building a portal. PocketQuote™ provides fully-automated mortgage quotes that consumers can generate anonymously, for free.

“This is a major step toward giving consumers total control of their mortgage process,” said Mark Pickett, Nail Your Mortgage CEO. “At Nail Your Mortgage, we believe that consumers, empowered with the right information, can decide exactly what mortgage is right for them. With PocketQuote™, we’re challenging the status quo in an industry that has historically left consumers in the dark about how to make decisions regarding their mortgage.”

I'm not sure that lenders will be able to fall back on the borrower's own views of a financial product that really was "right for them," especially if these borrowers later experience financial difficulty that sends their mortgage into default. Still, in a world where the government is pushing a more borrower-centric financial services industry, it makes sense to get borrowers involved on their own as early as possible in the process.

According to Pickett, PocketQuote™ shows real, up-to-the-minute rates and fees based on information provided by the consumer and not the ‘teaser rates’ so common in the industry. Pickett says the quotes will be accurate, despite the fact that they are based on information the borrower supplies.

According to the company, Nail Your Mortgage connects consumers and wholesale lenders directly to each other, through an easy-to-use web application. Wholesale lenders are able to offer their mortgages at wholesale interest rates with zero margin or markup and consumers are able to see all information affecting the rate and fees quoted. Finally, Nail Your Mortgage allows consumers to manage the entire mortgage process online. A document management feature allows consumers to handle all their paperwork online, while an auditing platform enables consumers to monitor the progress of their mortgage application without phone calls or emails.

As far as I can tell, Nail Your Mortgage charges borrowers a flat fee for the origination of their loan and acts as a broker for the wholesale lenders that use its system.

“When consumers ask about today’s rates, they’re really asking, ‘What would it cost to refinance my mortgage or buy a new home?’ They’re not looking for teaser rates and shouldn’t have to pay a $300 application fee just to get accurate information," Pickett said. "And they don’t want to be spammed or hounded by brokers. To that we say get a PocketQuote™ and use our online scheduler when you’re ready for us to contact you.”

That's definitely a step toward putting the borrower in control and will likely be viewed favorably by future regulators.