On June 1, mortgage services provider LenderLive announced the acquisition of Walz Group LLC (WALZ), which provides regulatory compliance solutions, full-cycle critical document fulfillment and Certified Mail automation.
The acquisition brings together two companies that have extensive experience mortgage and banking experience.
”Together, we provide enhanced mortgage technology, compliance capabilities, critical borrower communication and fulfillment solutions and data-enriched analytics that greatly reduce companies’ compliance and operational burdens. It is exceptional how well the companies complement each other,” said Jonathan Kunkle, president of LenderLive’s GuardianDocs division.
“First and foremost, we saw in WALZ a company that had a unique service offering supporting the most challenging regulatory requirements in the industry,” Kunkle said of WALZ.
“Where they’ve been successful operationalizing compliance in the default space, we’ve had similar success in origination and loss mitigation. Now that the regulatory pendulum has swung across the entire mortgage cycle with stiffer compliance requirements — we see a great opportunity with WALZ to provide operational support for the entire life of the loan.”
Brad Knapp, executive vice president at WALZ, saw the same kind of strength in LenderLive.
“As we continue to grow, we saw the need to be further up the food chain in mortgage servicing and origination channels,” Knapp said. “The more we learned about LenderLive, the more we saw a tremendous opportunity to provide an end-to-end solution — from origination all the way through to liquidation, loss mitigation and foreclosure .”
That ability to provide compliance throughout the entire loan process was a main driver for both companies to pursue the acquisition.
“LenderLive has amazing loan modification products, and when we combine our experience in notices with their expertise in the loan modifications, our collective client base is going to be ecstatic with the new offerings,” Knapp said.
WALZ, which was founded in 1983, serves six of the top 10 mortgage servicers, four of the top 10 vehicle finance companies and more than a quarter of the Fortune 100 corporations. LenderLive, founded in 1999, serves more than 300 financial institutions, including three of the world’s largest commercial/investment banks and several top-tier mortgage lenders.
With the merger, WALZ will operate as a division of LenderLive under its brand and with its current management team, including founder and President Rod Walz.
“One of the reasons for WALZ’s success is their great team,” Kunkle said. “They have a strong group of bright, shining stars, led by Rod.”
The timing for this move couldn’t be better, as the need for companies to have a detailed compliance component has become acute under current regulation, most notably the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) rule. With the OCt. 3 TRID deadline coming, they acknowledged the challenge faced by their clients in trying to adapt.
“It is critical we support all levels of tech adoption for TRID,” Kunkle said. “There are a number of loan origination systems that aren’t capable of implementing MISMO 3.3. We have to be prepared to modify our old means of communicating with an LOS to meet the new disclosures.”