InvestmentsMortgageReal Estate

April Kudos: Celebrating milestones, launches and awards in the mortgage industry

CoreLogic, Calyx Software, New Penn and HousingWire

GIVING BACK

Aiming to help low-income families move up the economic ladder, the J. Ronald Terwilliger Foundation for Housing America’s Families is giving $3 million to Enterprise Community Partners, a nonprofit that designs and builds affordable housing. The grant is designed to create “innovative, integrated approaches” in areas like job training and healthcare that can increase economic mobility.

The grant will be used to fund a two-year effort that includes assessing existing programs and identifying priority needs. Enterprise will partner with the Urban Institute to detail the current landscape and identify areas that may provide the greatest prospect for increasing opportunity. 

The grant will also create an economic mobility network to build on existing relationships with key partners to create a data-driven, capital-supported approach for sharing knowledge and demonstrating new strategies for increasing opportunity.

MILESTONES

M/I Homes, a homebuilder with operations in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota, Florida, Texas, North Carolina, Virginia and Maryland, is expanding into Michigan by acquiring Pinnacle Homes, a Detroit homebuilder. Pinnacle currently controls more than 1,000 home sites and delivered 214 homes in 2017 in the Detroit area.

In July, Home Bay, a San Diego-based startup that offers real estate services for a flat fee, announced that it raised $5 million to fund its expansion beyond California. Since then, Home Bay has expanded to Florida, Illinois, and Georgia and now, Home Bay has expanded into Texas as well.

Home Bay offers a team of licensed real estate agents along with a technology platform that expedites each transaction to borrowers for a flat fee of between $2,000 and $3,500. Home Bay claims that the flat fee can save consumers an average of $16,000 per transaction over the traditional 3% listing fee charged by real estate agents.

Title Source unveiled a massive rebranding effort and will now be known as Amrock. The new name comes in part from Amrock’s parent company, Rock Holdings, which also owns Quicken Loans.

Rock Holdings is also the parent company of One Reverse Mortgage; Quicken Loans Mortgage Services, In-House Realty, RocketLoans, and Rock Connections. While the company shares a parent and a technology focus with Quicken Loans, Amrock gets a significant portion of its business from other lenders, including nine of the nation’s top 10 lenders.

Amrock CEO Jeff Eisenshtadt said the company outgrew its previous name after being known as Title Source for more than 20 years, and said that the company operated with different names in many states due to state naming requirements involving the use of the word “title” in the company’s name.

United Wholesale Mortgage  is expanding its virtual eClosings to borrowers in 16 states, and making the option available to purchase borrowers.

Previously, the company announced it completed its first virtual eClosing on July 28, allowing borrowers to complete their closing completely remote for refinances.

While e-mortgages are making strides in the housing industry, eClosings are still rare. But UWM’s solution allows borrowers to FaceTime or Skype with the notary, making it the first eClosing borrowers can complete remotely.

Other eClosing solutions require borrowers to physically be with a notary, even while signing remotely.

Now, the company expanded from its original four states of Illinois, Montana, Virginia, and Washington to offer its product in 12 additional states.

New Penn Financial, a mortgage lender owned by Shellpoint Partners, is expanding into Nevada by launching Synergy Home Mortgage. Synergy Home Mortgage will be based in Reno, and is licensed to operate thought the state of Nevada.

Synergy is also a joint venture between New Penn and local real estate firms Dickson Realty and Ferrari-Lund Real Estate. The company will focus on partnering with local Realtors and real estate agents to “provide a complete line of residential mortgage products” for homebuyers in northern Nevada.

Synergy will operate under New Penn’s Shelter Mortgage subsidiary, which New Penn acquired back in 2014.

LAUNCHES

HousingWire launched HousingJobs, a brand-new online career center created exclusively for mortgage and real estate talent. The career center can be found at  HousingJobs.com and through a link featured in the top navigation bar at HousingWire.com. 

“We hold a unique vantage point into trends in the mortgage industry and we strive to identify opportunities to better support our audience and clients. One such persisting trend is the challenge related to identifying and hiring qualified talent,” Clayton Collins, CEO of HousingWire and HW Media, said. “HousingJobs connects employers with the most knowledgeable, talented and successful housing professionals — HousingWire readers.”

For employers, the platform includes an advanced applicant tracking system, promoted postings through HousingWire and branded employer profiles. Job seekers will benefit from search tools to identify the right opportunities, job alerts and an employer directory.

CoreLogic unveiled a new pair of flood risk tools. Future Flood, which provides updated flood map information to the company’s servicing clients, and Next-Day Notification, which provides Life of Loan Determination updates the day after the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s latest flood map becomes effective, debuted in a soft launch at the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Servicing conference, in Grapevine, Texas. 

The determination means homeowners can grandfather in more favorable flood insurance rates, even if future changes shows increased risk of property damage due to flooding.

“With Next-Day Notification, servicers no longer have to wait up to two months for map change notices,” said Scott Little, CoreLogic underwriting and workflow solutions executive. “With Future Flood, now, for the first time, originators and servicers will have access to pending flood map data in advance of the change to provide greater transparency at origination and to reduce risk throughout the servicing lifecycle.” 

In February, Calyx Software launched Zip, a new loan interview platform for loan originators to use with prospective borrowers. The platform allows LOs to interview prospective borrowers via a custom, branded URL and borrowers are able to access the platform online or via mobile device.

Zip prompts prospective borrowers with questions that apply to their unique situation and loan inquiry to improve the borrower’s experience and the quality of leads originators receive. Zip features a mobile-responsive website design, Spanish language functions and integration with the company’s Point and PointCentral software.

Unison Home Ownership Investors, a provider of home ownership investments, and Valley National Bank, the wholly-owned subsidiary of Valley National Bancorp, launched their 5% down payment program. The 5% down program will be given in conjunction with an 80% loan-to-value mortgage to provide buyers with short and long-term savings.

The program works by allowing homebuyers to put down 5%, while Unison invests 15%, allowing the buyer to take out a 20% LTV loan. Unison would then share the changing home values – thereby profiting if the value increases and losing money if it decreases. The program is currently available in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, with plans for further regional expansion in 2018.

LenderClose launched a new compliance tool to help companies navigate the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act. Its new tool will allow community banks and credit unions to validate and export HMDA required data fields to meet the requirements set by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

SIGNINGS

Flagstar Bank signed a definitive agreement to purchase a mortgage warehouse loan portfolio from Santander Bank

As part of the transaction, Flagstar will bring on Santander’s existing relationship managers, adding the employees to its warehouse business. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

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