Mortgage Daily

Published On: September 14, 2007

 


Wholesale Goes Google

Vertical search engines for wholesale loan programs

September 14, 2007

By PAULA PARISOT

 

photo of Paula Parisot
Paula Parisot
Nonconforming wholesale programs have significantly diminished as of late, and vertical search engines are pulling out all the stops to help mortgage brokers find available programs. Some wholesale search engines, which have seen their relevance balloon, now include credit reporting services in their offerings.

SearchMyLoan.com announced it has integrated credit reporting services with its pricing and search engine which then matches the borrower with the most appropriate lending program available, including A-paper, Alt A and subprime loans.

The company, founded in 2005, has a growing list of lenders, currently at 41, and supports program data and guidelines for both wholesale and correspondent channels, its CEO Salvatore Tomaselli told MortgageDaily.com in an e-mail statement.

“Our alliances with credit providers give loan officers a higher level of accuracy when searching for loan products, thus saving them time and increasing their efficiency,” Tomaselli said.

Originators also have the option to pull a credit report within the same framework of AdvantageCredit’s search engine, Originator’s Best Friend, its Vice President of Marketing Kelly Gontarski told MortgageDaily.com.

In addition, Gontarski said the company offers credit experts to help increase borrower credit scores.

“We’ve seen a lot of our brokers struggling and competing to stay afloat, a lot have folded, programs have gone away,” she said. “They’re having a harder time qualifying borrowers now more than ever.

“It’s crucial to work with brokers for credit score optimization — [the market] is intense,” she continued. “The backlash is difficult, maybe next year third or fourth quarter it will turn around.”

In this turbulent market, Lender Online has also seen a big decline in its Alt A business, Sollen Technologies spokesman Andrew Marsanick told MortgageDaily.com.

“We went from having 30,000 products in the system to about 17,000 in the last five months because of everyone either closing their doors or shutting down certain divisions of products,” Marsanick said.

While many programs are being terminated, LenderLab has taken steps to quickly replenish its database with new wholesalers, according to its Chief Operating Officer Doug Anderson.

“We’ve shortened our time-frame for incorporating new lenders into our database, and in the last few weeks have even added several new wholesalers,” Anderson said in an e-mail statement to MortgageDaily.com. “At the same time we’re continuing to track down replacements for programs that have disappeared, and we have already seen the return of several programs that many thought were gone for good.

“We remain positive in our expectation that current conditions are temporary, and that the marketplace will stabilize over time,” he added. “The current situation is very tough for lenders, brokers, AND borrowers, and while we expect it may take longer than was thought at first, the market will bounce back.”

Neither Sollen nor LenderLab offer the credit reporting service, but both said they had considered it.

Marsanick said Sollen was concerned with keeping the borrower’s score intact by not initiating multiple credit inquiries.

“They sometimes run 100s of searches before they put a borrower in a program,” he said. “We rely on the loan officers to know what the FICO score is going to be when they enter it in the system to search for a loan.”

SearchMyLoan’s Tomaselli said, however, the broker only needs to run one credit report. Once that is done, they can import the data into their loan origination system or “re-issue” the credit data without adversely affecting a FICO score.

Anderson said LenderLab has not had much customer interest for the integration of credit checking.

“While we applaud any effort to make the borrowing process easier and quicker, credit checking seems so easy already, and inexpensive,” he said. “But it’s an added feature that LenderLab has considered providing, and still may sometime soon, if enough of our brokers request it.



Paula Parisot is a MortgageDaily.com feature reporter and a blogger at CloserBlog.com who has also worked in the mortgage industry.

e-mail Paula at: paris@hughes.net

 


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