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Mortgage Technology Update

 

Mortgage Technology Update

Recent innovations, announcements

April 17, 2007

By COCO SALAZAR

photo of Coco Salazar
Mortgage lead innovations and an excellent technology review of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development topped the latest mortgage technology headlines. One recent offering promises to help mortgage bankers avoid repurchases.

But first, for the ninth consecutive year, First Magnus Financial Corp., a privately held mortgage company that ranks among the top 15 wholesalers, renewed its contract with Lender Support Systems Inc. for use of its core document preparation technology, according to a press release.

First Magnus reportedly uses Lender Support’s technology on its business-to-business e-commerce platform dubbed FMFC Online, which is “specifically designed to help its broker partners maintain a competitive edge while closing more loans with less work and higher profit margins,” Lender Support reported.

Kemper Mortgage selected BytePro Enterprise loan origination software for its branches nationwide, Byte Software recently announced. The software, which allows Kemper to “carefully manage its customer information and document workflow processes,” is based on SQL Server, which contains all loan data in a central database, enabling management to view the entire organization’s pipeline without first having to aggregate widespread data and for the entire organization to see when changes are made.

“For us, Byte Software had the best technology solution in terms of system compatibility, ease of integration and data security,” Kemper CEO Jason Messer was quoted as saying in the announcement.

In light of a recent change in the federal Fair Credit Report Act, the Mortgage Industry Standards Maintenance Organization and its Credit Reporting Workgroup issued a document recommending use of MISMO’s credit reporting standards for reissues. The standard allows lenders, credit bureaus and credit data repositories to exchange data on a borrower’s credit information, according to an announcement by MISMO parent Mortgage Bankers Association.

The Reissue Recommendation document “discusses how the existing MISMO Credit Request transaction format can be used to provide the information needed by credit bureaus to report additional end-users to the repositories, ” MBA reported.

Vuecentric Inc. said it released a new module for use with its MortgageDashboard loan origination system that reportedly allows originators to share critical loan information with partners and borrowers online. The module makes it easier for borrowers and business referral partners to track the status of loans, while saving time for originators.

Meanwhile, BenchMark Consulting International announced the launch of Business Intelligence, the first tool for financial institutions that enables timely comparison and best practices for consumer lending. The program enables subscribers to compare their core process performance to peers at the local, regional, national and international levels through almost real-time data.

Historical trends, seasonal trends and cyclical patterns are among the data that can reportedly be analyzed. Also up for comparison are multi-business lines and multi-site performance; pre- and post-implementation performance of products, processes and systems; and collateral type, specific portfolios, origination sources and business units.

“The interest in the Business Intelligence offering is significant, and within the last few months, three of the top 10 U.S. banks (based on asset size) have signed with BenchMark,” Benchmark President Walter Cunningham said in the written statement.

FreedomVOICE Systems announced it is offering an even stronger slate of services, including lead generation products for home-based, small and mid-sized mortgage companies, at its new corporate Web site, www.fvscorporate.com. The company, a provider of virtual office tools and toll-free number systems, previously discussed its history and products through many sites.

“Our research indicates that nearly 50% of our customers find us through online search engines,” FreedomVoice’s statement read.

Astonish Results LP announced it expanded its digital marketing system with the launch of Astonish CRM, which it says is the first-mortgage focused customer relationship management solution with fully integrated event triggered email marketing.

“We’ve always felt that in order to help mortgage companies find, close and keep more customers, we needed to provide them with a CRM / email marketing solution that automated much of the follow-up,” said John Boudreau, Astonish director of operations, in the announcement. “What makes our services unique, is the integrated email marketing capability. Our system comes preloaded with high impact, multimedia emails that build value in a mortgage company’s people and products. These emails are sent via the Astonish CRM automatically.”

HUD announced it received an overall grade of A-plus for its safekeeping information, up from a previous rating of D. The “major plus in the grading,” according by Tom Davis, ranking member of the House Government Oversight and Reform Committee, came after “HUD for the first time, developed a full inventory of its information security apparatus.”

The grades, derived from annual agency information compliance reports, are reportedly based on annual tests of information security, actions plans and computer security management, among other criteria.

DataVerify Inc. announced its enhanced DRIVE anti-fraud and data verification platform helps lenders avoid loan repurchase demands through advance filtering of misinformation from loan files. The service parallels the data input and lender workflow process, creating rules and scoring that prioritizes data inaccuracies by degree of severity.

DataVerify, which said bad data has been a major cause of record repurchase requests, indicated, “100 subprime lenders will be forced out of business this year resulting in the top 10 subprime lenders controlling 80 percent of the market in 2008 — up from 65 percent in 2005 and 55 percent in 2000.”

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