Lunch & Learn: Are appraisals the next big opportunity in mortgage fulfillment?

This Lunch & Learn for mortgage lenders will explore the evolution of the appraisal process as well as opportunities for innovation.

Rohit Chopra pleads the fifth on QM rule

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Rohit Chopra, in his first report to Congress, answered for decisions made by his predecessor, and provided some indication of his priorities going forward.

How servicers can access timely, accurate data insights

Learn how to navigate the challenges in today’s market – for example, the need for ongoing, on-demand access to near-real-time data and the ability to access those data insights in a timely and accurate manner. 

Which core segments of brokerage make the most money

Today’s HousingWire Daily is a RealTrending crossover episode. It features Tracey Velt, editorial director at HW Media Company RealTrends, who interviews Chris Kelly and Christian Wallace.


Credit reporting firms UniversalCIS and Credit Plus merge

For UniversalCIS, merger follows five acquisitions in two years

UniversalCIS and Credit Plus, firms that provide credit reports, income verification and related solutions to mortgage lenders, today announced a merger they claim will make them the largest in the sector.

As a result of the merger, the companies will combine their leadership teams. UniversalCIS Chairman Perry Steiner will become Chairman and CEO of the company, Jerry Haftmann will become vice chairman and Credit Plus’ CEO Greg Holmes will be the new company’s chief revenue officer. The companies did not disclose the financial terms of the merger.

UniversalCIS has been on an acquisition tear of late. In 2020, during a banner year for the mortgage industry, it acquired Universal Credit, CIS Credit and Avantus. The combined firm subsequently rebranded as UniversalCIS. In January 2021, UniversalCIS entered the appraisal management sector with the acquisition of SharperLending.

In March, private equity firm Lovell Minnick Partners acquired a majority stake in UniversalCIS, and Steiner said it expected to make more acquisitions. UniversalCIS followed through on that promise with the acquisition of the lending solutions arm of DataFacts in August.

Paul Ryan, the former Speaker of the House, and John Dalton, the former Navy Secretary, serve on the company’s board of directors.

How new analytics can help lenders expand access to mortgage credit

As the economic recovery from COVID-19 continues, conflicting trends in mortgage credit availability have emerged. But there are innovative ways for lenders to both reduce uncertainty and keep credit flowing during economic downturns, benefiting both lenders and consumers.

Presented by: FICO

Credit Plus and UniversalCIS said their firms’ merger will result in a firm with a book of 6,500 clients, spanning banks and non-bank mortgage lenders, credit unions and mortgage brokers. The combined company will have 750 employees and operations in 12 states, and will be headquartered in Philadelphia.

The two firms said they aim to redefine parts of the mortgage process that have remained unchanged for the past 10 years. By enhancing “certain areas around decisioning and workflow efficiencies,” Steiner said, the firms hope to take a bigger step toward the completely digital mortgage.

Navigating the mortgage industry’s digital transformation comes with its own perils, as ransomware attacks target firms in the mortgage and title industries.

Once a matter of “checking the box,” guarding against ever more sophisticated attacks has become a major part of doing business, Steiner said. The firms said that although it was not a specific rationale for the merger, their combined resources will allow them to make investments in security.

“There’s no industry or company in the world that is safe from ransomware attacks,” Steiner said. “I feel for the mom and pop [companies] who don’t have the deep pockets to protect against the risk.”

Leave a comment

Most Popular Articles

Why brokerages and mortgage lenders are rushing into JVs

Joint ventures are suddenly stitched into the fabric of a handful of national brokerages. But the idea of the joint venture collides with the loose, informal networks that color the American housing economy. HW+ Premium Content

Oct 25, 2021 By and

Latest Articles

Opinion: GSE policy changes are positive for small lenders

The CHLA, which represents small and mid-size independent mortgage bankers (IMBs), applauds recent policy changes by FHFA and the GSEs.

Oct 28, 2021 By
3d rendering of a row of luxury townhouses along a street

Log In

Forgot Password?

Don't have an account? Please