Housing MarketMortgageMortgage RatesOrigination

Figure Technologies launches wholesale lending platform

Wholesale partners of Figure can leverage the company's HELOC technology to broker loans directly

Mike Cagney’s Figure Technologies rolled out a wholesale lending platform that will give loan originators access to the company’s home equity line of credit (HELOC) offering. 

New wholesale partners of Figure can leverage the company’s HELOC technology to broker loans directly, the company said announcing the launch on Tuesday.

 “With Figure’s built-in digital origination process, originators have a faster time to market with less upfront hassle, enabling them to serve more customers and quickly capitalize on the current rate environment,” Jackie Frommer, head of lending at Figure, said in a statement. 

The digital wholesale model offers end-to-end support of the origination process – from broker application, to customer fulfillment and funding. Originators will use Figure’s online pre-application process to pre-qualify their customers, which then feeds directly to a digital fulfillment system supported by Figure.

Wholesale originators will be able to apply and get approved in as little as five minutes and have access to funds as fast as five days, according to the company.

Approval may be granted in five minutes but is ultimately subject to verification of income and employment. The funding timeline of five business days assumes closing the loan with Figure’s remote online notary, Figure said. Funding timelines may be longer for loans secured by properties located in counties that do not permit recording of e-signatures or that otherwise require an in-person closing

Home equity lending is a bright spot in a bleak housing market that remains sluggish due to stubborn inflation and high 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.

A segment that’s been traditionally dominated by depository banks, nonbank lenders have joined the home equity lending space to take advantage of high home equity levels — including United Wholesale Mortgage (UWM), loanDepot and Guaranteed Rate.

In terms of dollar volume, there was an estimated $251 billion in HELOC originations during all of 2022, up from $182 billion in 2021.

Figure said it posted HELOC originations of more than $5 billion at the end of 2022 supporting at least 70,000 households across the country. 

Founded in 2018 by Cagney, the former head of SoFi, Figure uses proprietary platform Provenance Blockchain for loan origination, equity management, private fund services, banking and payments, according to its website.

Cagney’s attempt to bring blockchain technology to mortgage lending at scale dates back to August 2021. Figure announced its intention to merge with Homebridge Financial Services, but regulatory delays led to a cancelation in June 2022. 

Figure also planned to go public with special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Figure Acquisition Corp. last year.

But with a combination of sharp interest rates and rising redemption rates – which point to how many investors are exchanging their shares for their money back – made it an unfavorable environment for SPACs, which led to the delisting of Figure Acquisition Corp from the New York Stock Exchange in December 2022. 

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