Celink enlists cloud developer to refine reverse servicing tech

A recently-released case study details some of the ways that Celink’s partnership with Gravicore has worked thus far

Lansing, Mich.-based reverse mortgage subservicer Compu-Link Corporation (Celink) has partnered with Amazon Web Services (AWS)-based cloud computing platform developer Gravicore to assist in the refinement of its technology designed for the servicing and subservicing of reverse mortgage loans, according to a recently-released case study.

The partnership has yielded several improvements to the way Celink conducts its business, the study says, including a 40% reduction in turn times; the elimination of late disbursement penalties; “hundreds of hours a month” in time savings; and a “10x increase” in software deployment frequency.

Defining ‘innovation roadblocks,’ a path to growth

The case study examines what some of the impediments were to developing specifically for the reverse mortgage space, particularly in an industry that makes regular use of subservicers.

“Like many niche industries, reverse mortgage servicing has been slow to innovate — making Celink’s substantial investments in data and technology all the more noteworthy and helping the company cement its place as a leader in reverse mortgage modernization,” the study reads.

Sergey Dyakin, Celink’s Chief Information Officer, described how many companies often face a dilemma of whether or not to build enterprise technology in-house or to buy it outright.

“[B]uying was never an option for us,” says Dyakin in the case study. “With our proprietary platform, ReverseServ Elite, our goal is to redefine how reverse mortgages are serviced with meaningful investments in infrastructure and applications that have a measurable impact on the lender and borrower experience.”

As reverse mortgage business began picking up coming out of a generally bad year in 2018 — particularly on the front of a new proliferation of private-label reverse mortgage products — new demand began straining Celink’s existing infrastructure, requiring a new approach and a look at ways that infrastructure could be improved.

The relatively recent acquisition of another subservicer had also significantly increased the size of the company, so Dyakin was charged with overseeing redevelopment of the company’s core servicing system.

“Externally, we wanted to become fast and nimble — capable of offering our clients and borrowers solutions that would delight them,” Dyakin said in the case study. “Internally, we sought to enable data-driven decision-making by equipping managers and employees at all levels with operational and strategic insights.”

AWS was seen as the best path forward, but without an abundance of experience with the platform, that is when Gravicore was selected as a partner to help build out a renewed infrastructure for ReverseServ.

Modernizing systems, end results

The case study describes the implementation of AWS services as “instrumental” in the company’s effort to modernize its offerings and technology solutions. Three core AWS computing services — Lambda, Relational Database Services and AppSync — helped the company address its modern processing, data management and updating needs at scale.

The results of the efforts of Celink and Gravicore come down to six primary takeaways, according to the case study: a 40% reduction in fulfillment times; what the report calls “hundreds of hours” of time savings by automating investor reports and LOC draw intake and processing; the elimination of late disbursement penalties; a sizable increase in Celink’s agility to create new software under the AWS platform; and a lower total cost of ownership.

“The migration to Amazon Web Services has had an overwhelmingly positive effect on Celink, our clients and the customers we serve on their behalf,” Dyakin said in the case study. “Gravicore’s partnership was a key accelerator of our technology transformation and an unquestionable contributor to its success.”

When reached for comment, Dyakin explained to RMD that the work to modernize the technology that Celink uses on a daily basis has been refined to further achieve its goals.

“Partnership with Gravicore has enabled Celink to accelerate its technology transformation and adoption of Amazon Web Services as its cloud platform,” Dyakin told RMD. “Celink has built a modern software development process and adopted innovative tools. This helped us to deliver numerous technology enhancements for our internal processes and for the borrowers and clients that we serve.”

When reached, Gravicore Co-Founder and CEO Curtis Over added what he believes the case study helps to illustrate about broad mortgage technology modernization efforts.

“Right now the entire mortgage industry is looking for money under the couch cushions,” Over told RMD. “Business leaders know that tech infrastructure matters, but it’s not always clear how technology modernization, such as, ‘moving to the cloud’ actually translates to noticeable improvements in everyday operations. Our partnership with Celink really brings to life how well-executed strategic investments in digital transformation, process improvement, and data management can result in significant gains in productivity, profitability and customer experience.”

Recent history and growth

Earlier this year, Celink established a new subservicing relationship with Fairway Independent Mortgage Corp., and renewed its subservicing agreement with Longbridge Financial. The company also launched a digital path for reverse mortgage borrowers to certify occupancy, through e-sign, indicating at the time that future tech solutions are being examined for implementation across other parts of the reverse mortgage loan process.

In March, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded Celink with the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Single Family Secretary-Held Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) Assets contract that would allow them provide loan servicing for HECM reverse mortgage loans sponsored by FHA. The current holder of the servicing contract filed a protest to that award, however, which remains ongoing.

Read the Celink/Gravicore case study.

Editor’s note: This story was updated with a statement from the co-founder and CEO of Gravicore.

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