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2020 HW Vanguard: Brian Francis

FormFree, Chief Technology Officer

Brian Francis, Chief Technology Officer, FormFree

Brian Francis is responsible for overseeing the design and development of FormFree’s automated asset, employment and income verification products. 

In this role, Francis leverages his 30-plus years’ experience leading high-performing technical teams at internationally renowned software firms to produce digital mortgage solutions that have been shown to reduce lenders’ average time-to-close by up to 20 days. Since joining the company 10 years ago, Francis has helped FormFree significantly refine its flagship AccountChek asset verification service, which disrupted the mortgage industry when it introduced automated asset verification. 

To date, more than 3,000 lenders nationwide have securely placed orders for nearly 4 million AccountChek asset reports, amounting to more than $1 trillion in borrower assets verified. Francis’ essential behind-the-scenes work has made it possible for FormFree to achieve numerous industry “firsts,” such as being the first designated vendor for asset verification named by Fannie Mae as part of the agency’s Day 1 Certainty initiative and the first to use artificial intelligence and over 1,000 proprietary algorithms to generate digital verification of asset and deposit reports in less than five minutes. 

More recently, Francis spearheaded the development of AccountChek Plus, which builds on the foundation of AccountChek’s automated asset verification system to bundle three critical underwriting pillars—borrower asset, employment and income—into one verification report. Under his leadership, the company generated a record number of AccountChek Plus reports over the last year, which was a 65% year-over-year increase. Francis’ contributions have been integral to FormFree’s continued growth and product improvement. 

What has been your secret to success?
I remain cognizant that I develop technology to serve customers’ and partners’ business needs, and not for technology’s sake. Unless technology can solve a problem, it will just sit on the shelf, or even worse, be deployed and never used.

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