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Digital Mortgage Activity

Digital Mortgage Activity

Recent mortgage technology offerings, innovations

August 1, 2007

By COCO SALAZAR

photo of Coco Salazar
Mortgage technology providers were busy this week launching new products, enhancing existing technology and acquiring other vendors.

Walker Jackson Mortgage Co. has selected the Accounting for Mortgage Bankers of Advantage Systems for its start-up operations, according to an announcement. Walker, which anticipates $4 billion in mainly purchase mortgage business by 2009, says the accounting system will be able to handle the company’s growth, noting it “can handle any products; we don’t need to go back and reprogram anything.”

On Monday, MyHomeAssets! Software announced the release of Version 2.6, which contains the new 1003 PA form for reporting and verifying personal assets. With the software, borrowers can catalog personal assets, including each item in their home, and have their values determined through entering the items’ make, model, and serial numbers, attaching photos of the items, and entering estimated value, original purchase information, and insurance information.

Most brokers list personal assets by guessing the values, the MyHomeAssets! announcement read. The service will help avoid underestimating values.

Loan origination software provider INTEGRA Software Systems acquired the assets of Financial Compliance Corp., according to a press release. The move expands INTEGRA’s capabilities beyond software needs for residential mortgages into consumer and commercial lender software.

“We are finding that more lenders, especially banks, want one software partner to handle their overall lending processing needs,” the release stated. “With this acquisition INTEGRA has become the one-stop shop for lenders of all sizes seeking a single software processing partner with the ability to service lenders’ overall consumer and commercial channels, in addition to our traditional mortgage channels.”

The Mortgage Tidbit has launched an audio player for mortgage Web sites, according to an announcement. The service delivers “short, pleasantly-delivered, easy-to understand” answers to questions such as “what are points,” “what is a processing fee,” and “how much is a good down payment?” The player, available on a monthly subscription basis, provides a different tidbit each day, encouraging return traffic to the subscriber’s site.

“The research is clear that users respond so much more to web pages that provide a multi-media experience,” Mortgage Tidbit creator David Fuller said in the announcement.

a la mode inc. announced today the release of lead management tools specifically designed and built for the Apple® iPhone.

“Always-on broadband, integrated Google Maps, phone, contacts, SMS messaging, and a full-fledged browser make the iPhone a compelling mobile device,” an a la mode executive said in the statement.

Fidelity National Financial Inc. announced it has struck a deal to acquire ATM Holdings Inc., which provides vendor management services to mortgage companies. The deal is expected to be done within 60 days.

“ATM’s primary subsidiary is a licensed title insurance agency which provides centralized title and closing services and a full suite of valuation and appraisal services,” the announcement said. “ATM also owns and operates Vision Global Solutions, a proprietary software system that is used to manage the fulfillment of third-party settlement services.”

In banking technology, three thrifts recently became clients of Harland Financial Solutions’ outsourced online, real-time core system, IntrieveAdvantage. Pacific Crest Savings Bank selected Harland to help it transition to a more electronic-focused transaction environment, Quarry City Savings & Loan Association chose it to help in converting from a manual environment into a full-service institution, while Victory Community Bank sought an integrated solution with an emphasis on mortgages to handle its large home loan volume.

The First American Corp. created First American Intelligent Recovery Systems, which markets debt collections collaboration software used by the debt recovery industry. Amongst the new company’s products is CollectLink, a collection agency management software program, according to an announcement.

A recent announcement stated that 100 major financial and retail institutions were in various stages of evaluating and testing VantageScore, the credit score solution jointly developed by Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. The risk management scoring solution, which was introduced in March 2006, is reportedly being used by several Equifax customers within their underwriting processes for mortgages.

Altair Data Resources claims that its Comprehensive Valuation Model for calculating home property values makes it easier for mortgage direct marketers to increase accuracy in attracting new business prospects and, in turn, maximizes return on investment performance. Altair explained hat its CVM employs a hybrid of three different modeling techniques to calculate “the industry’s most accurate home property values,” as a study that compared Altair’s property calculations on recent home sales to those of another leading source showed that half of Altair’s were within 11 percent of the actual sales price while the alternative provider’s records were within 40 percent.

“Home values can fluctuate greatly with a home’s location, the seasons of the year, and the current state of the housing market,” Altair said. “Our unique home valuation approach successfully addresses all of these factors in a timely fashion” and “helps to boost our clients’ direct marketing results.”

Capsilon FSG created a Messenger utility component that sends documents in their native formats directly into the Loan Katalyst intelligent document management system, allowing for brokers to bypass fax machines and submit files electronically in the original digital format. The component also enables brokers to see documents as they arrive in real time, eliminating the need for a verification call, as well as the need for lenders to manually identify the documents. The enhancement saves time equivalent to more than three full-time employees’ workdays.

Brokers, who typically print out 30 to 50 pages of documents daily, can save hours, Capsilon said in the announcement.

A new version of OCR for AnyDoc software released, according to an announcement from AnyDoc Software. The 5.0 version of OCR incorporated full-text PDF file search capability, a redesigned graphical user interface and the ability to use an existing bar code to eliminate patch or separator pages. With the additions, documents can now be located by searching for any text that is contained within the document image. Several exiting features of OCR were also enhanced.

For document preparation, management and delivery services associated with the closing process, Sydion Financial selected MRG Document Technologies, according to a news release. The wholesale lender is utilizing MRG’s disclosure documents and compliance packages through the company’s Miracle Online browser-based system, and is implementing technology solutions from MRG strategic partner Portellus Inc. for its loan origination, underwriting and secondary marketing efforts.

In order to handle the business growth, including entrance into the wholesale lending market, US Mortgage expanded its lending platform with the addition of WebRegistration, a Web application that provides remote brokers real-time wholesale access to its loan origination system. US Mortgage entered wholesale and new physical territories through its acquisition of a controlling interest in Icon Residential Capital LLC with 175 new brokers and 75 account executive nationwide.

Western Vista Federal Credit Union selected the loan origination system of Mortgage Builder Software Inc. Western, which went live 30 days after the contract was signed, reportedly needed streamlined workflows, increased loan processing capacity and easy access to technical support, and chose Mortgage Builder “based on excellent organization, paperless/wireless capabilities, reporting, database marketing, flexibility and cooperation in meeting our needs.”

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