Housing MarketMortgageOrigination

Black Knight’s new app aims to simplify home equity lending

Validate mortgage app released amid home equity lending being the bright spot in a bleak housing market

Black Knight‘s newly launched mobile app will help to simplify and speed up home equity lending for borrowers, the company says.

The mortgage app, called “Validate,” enables homeowners to submit property photos as part of their application for a home equity line of credit (HELOC) or home equity loan, which helps to accelerate the loan approval process. 

After a homeowner submits photos of specific areas of the interior and exterior of their home, Validate uses geofencing and time stamps to confirm that photographs are up-to-date and accurately reflect current property conditions. 

Artificial intelligence (AI) will estimate the property’s current condition and quality, then compare it with similar homes using the Black Knight Complexity Profiler to create a condition-adjusted value estimate. Equity is calculated by deducting any outstanding mortgage liens, as identified in Black Knight’s public records data, the firm said. 

“Since actual photographs and AI extrapolations are used, the accuracy of the automated valuation model is more attuned to the property’s unique condition. Homeowners create their own verifiable property condition report – in a lender-accepted format – that is combined with other tools, such as Black Knight’s AVMs and Complexity Profiler, to greatly accelerate the HELOC decision-making process,” Ben Graboske, president, Black Knight Data & Analytics, said in a statement. 

After borrowers submit current property photos, Validate will ask homeowners to specify any repairs that need to be performed and to certify that the information submitted is accurate. Results are presented to the lender via a loan origination system-integrated API or a PDF report.

Black Knight’s launch of the Validate App comes amid home equity lending remains a bright spot in a sluggish housing market that faces high inflation and elevated interest rates.

With nearly 92% of homeowners having an interest rate below 6%, buyers who are looking to move can tap into their home equity that rose during the pandemic years.

About $251 billion of HELOCs originated in 2022, up from $182 billion in 2021, according to a report published by Home Equity Lending News

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