Closing Complex Loans Faster With a Digitized Client Workflow

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Home appraisal’s ugly history and uncertain future

This is Part I of a deep dive into the home appraisal industry. Today we explore the origins of the appraisal industry and its current lack of diversity.

The digital journey starts at acquisition

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Aussie firm snaps up Specialized Loan Servicing

An Australian tech company called Computershare, a provider of software solutions and professional services to the securities industry, purchased Specialized Loan Servicing for $113.6 million in cash. In a presentation to investors, Computershare CEO Stuart Crosby said that the market for servicing distressed mortgages in the United States is only going to grow, thus providing the impetus for the purchase. Under the terms of the deal, Computershare may make some additional payments in the next three years. Japan-based Shinsei Bank previously held a majority stake in Colorado-based SLS. In 2010, SLS posted revenue of $84 million. It services 219,000 loans with $16.5 billion in unpaid principal balances. SLS is a primary and special servicer of U.S. residential mortgages, including first-liens, subordinated and home equity lines of credit. In some cases, SLS owns mortgage servicing rights. The company holds a 6% market share in its space, which the Australian buyer wants to grow. “Regulatory and other pressures are leading many U.S. banks to consider outsourcing their mortgage servicing and identify sub-servicing solutions,” according to an investor relations report on the deal. Computershare hopes to close the deal in 120 days. Write to Jacob Gaffney. Follow him on Twitter @jacobgaffney.

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