MILESTONES

Angel Oak announced in April that it closed its largest securitization to date, a $328.78 million offering comprised largely of non-QM mortgages.

The deal is comprised of 905 loans that carry an average loan amount of $363,287. Approximately 81% of the underlying loans are non-QM loans.

The senior tranche of AOMT 2018-1 received an AAA rating from both Fitch Ratings and DBRS.

Angel Oak’s mortgage securitizations total approximately $1.3 billion. All seven securitizations have been backed by mortgages originated through Angel Oak’s affiliated lenders, the company said.

PeerStreet is adding more names to its investor roster, as the company announced in April that it raised $29.5 million in its Series B round of funding.

The funding was led by World Innovation Lab, a “multi-stage venture capital firm” that invests in consumer and enterprise technology companies.

Andreessen Horowitz, which previously invested in Facebook, Airbnb, Foursquare, Skype and Twitter, led PeerStreet’s $15 million Series A funding round back in 2016. Andreessen Horowitz participated in this round of funding as well, along with other previous investors including Thomvest, Colchis Capital,and Felicis Ventures.

New investors Solon Mack and Navitas Capital also took part in the capital raise.

AWARDS

New American Funding’s President and CEO, Patty Arvielo, was honored by Great Place to Work as one of the Top Women Leaders from companies on the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For and Best Workplaces for Women list.

LAUNCHES

HousingWire launched its first-ever weekly newscast in April. The podcast features HousingWire editors and reporters talking about trends in mortgage lending, servicing, investing and real estate with industry leaders. The podcast is available on HousingWire.com .

A new company, Eave, launched its lending business in Colorado in April, offering jumbo mortgages to homebuyers in the state. Eave was founded by three tech-and-finance veterans: former Capital One executive Saro Vasudevan, Jack McCambridge, a former executive at Hailo, and Anoop Ranganath, a former manager at Foursquare.

Eave says that it has re-envisioned the mortgage experience and can provide a full and complete underwriting and close a borrower’s loan within 21 days.

Carrington Mortgage Services is launching a non-prime loan program aimed at the approximately 100 million U.S. consumers who have less than perfect credit. Carrington’s loan program allows credit scores as low as 500 and can be used for loans up to $1.5 million and cash-out refinances up to $500,000.

Additionally, Carrington said that for self-employed borrowers, bank statements are acceptable to verify income instead of IRS tax documents.

Freddie Mac launched its program, Targeted Affordable Housing Express, a new offering designed to provide faster, simpler and cheaper financing for the preservation of smaller, affordable rental properties. Late last year, Freddie Mac launched a pilot program of Targeted Affordable Housing Express and it is now ready to expand.

TAH Express financing is now available in all markets, and is an extension of Freddie Mac Multifamily’s Targeted Affordable Housing platform, which generally finances properties that have units with rent restrictions.

Through TAH Express, borrowers can use a condensed prescreen process, simplified non-negotiable legal documents and a standardized underwriting process, resulting in lower transaction costs.

The program is available for properties with a loan amount of $10 million or less. They must be stabilized and treated as entirely uncapped by the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

Back in 2015, HarborOne Bank, a Massachusetts-based bank, boosted its mortgage business by acquiring Merrimack Mortgage Company, a privately held mortgage originator based in New Hampshire. Since that acquisition, HarborOne operated its own mortgage business and Merrimack Mortgage operated as a wholly owned subsidiary.

But now, HarborOne is combining its internal mortgage business with Merrimack Mortgage and establishing a new mortgage business, which will be called HarborOne Mortgage.

HarborOne Mortgage will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of HarborOne Bank and the existing senior leadership team at Merrimack will run HarborOne Mortgage.

HomeUnion is launching a new program that will make the company itself an investor in single-family rentals, but the company isn’t using its own money.

Rather, HomeUnion is launching a crowdfunding platform that will allow individual investors to buy into a fund that will identify SFR investment opportunities, improve the properties, increase the rents and potentially sell the properties to other investors.

Starting with a minimum investment of $10,000, retail investors now have the ability to acquire interest in HomeUnion’s “Fix-and-Flip Fund” in seven HomeUnion markets: Atlanta, Austin, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Raleigh and Tampa.

MERSCORP and eOriginal launched a new solution both companies say will enable originators to accelerate digital mortgage adoption.

The new offering, called MERS eNote Solutions, is part of the company’s eSuite. The solution will enable the creation, execution, registration and management of the electronic promissory note, or eNote..

MERSCORP owns and operates the MERS eRegistry, a national mortgage registry and legal system of record for identifying the controller, or holder, and location, or custodian, of the authoritative copy of registered eNotes.

GIVING BACK

Simplifile’s philanthropic program, Simplifile Cares, was founded in 2015 to give back to local Habitat for Humanity chapters at industry events across the nation. In 2017, the program supported 23 chapters throughout the U.S. through this initiative and Simplifile employees volunteered 117 hours of their time.

In addition, Simplifile raised $35,000 in charitable donations for Habitat for Humanity, Hurricane Harvey relief, Hurricane Irma relief and Thomas Fire relief for the December wildfires in California.

M&A

Stone Point Capital, a private equity firm that also owns a piece of Ten-X, is buying a majority stake in American Mortgage Consultants, a provider of outsourced services to participants in the residential and consumer loan mortgage market.

Technically, funds managed by Stone Point acquired the majority stake in AMC, which provides due diligence, quality control, securitization review, mortgage servicing rights review, advance assessment, servicing oversight, technology and consulting services.

Back in early 2017, AMC acquired a business unit from Stewart Lender Services that focuses on credit, compliance, origination and servicing quality control reviews. It also focuses on due diligence and quality control-related technologies.

INTEGRATIONS AND PARTNERSHIPS

FormFree’s AccountChek automated asset verification service is now part of BeSmartee’s mortgage point-of-sale platform.

BeSmartee’s integration with FormFree allows lenders to customize where they bring AccountChek into origination workflow.

JPMorgan Chase will be using Black Knight to power its home equity loan originations.Black Knight announced in April that JPMorgan Chase will be using its LoanSphere Empower loan origination system as the backbone of the bank’s home equity originations business.

According to Black Knight, Chase already uses a “wide range” of Black Knight offerings throughout the loan lifecycle, but will now be using LoanSphere Empower for its home equity originations.

Ranieri Solutions announced a partnership with blockchain and smart contract company Symbiont to explore opportunities to use Symbiont’s platform to “systemically improve all aspects of the mortgage industry.”

Ranieri Solutions, a financial services technology investment firm, was founded by Lewis Ranieri, better known as the “father of the securitized mortgage market.” The firm invests, develops and applies technology solutions focused primarily on the real estate and mortgage markets.

Matic’s digital homeowners insurance platform is now available within MortgageHippo’s digital mortgage experience, allowing lenders to make Matic homeowners insurance available to their borrowers with a one-click “get quote” button within the platform itself.

Matic uses loan and property data furnished by MortgageHippo to determine precisely how much coverage is needed, then scans the market to compare policies from multiple top-rated carriers. The companies said that the integration enables lenders to compress what is usually a two-day process into one that takes two minutes.

In April, Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corporation announced a new partnership with Down Payment Resource.

Through the partnership, customers of MGIC will have access to discounted Down Payment Resource services that make it easier for lenders to research down payment assistance programs and match borrowers to programs for which they may be eligible.

The two companies will also work together to enhance consumer understanding of the availability and benefits of down payment assistance.