How Freddie Mac is addressing affordable housing challenges

Freddie Mac created its Housing Solutions team in 2020 to reduce barriers to homeownership and provide solutions to some of the nation’s toughest housing challenges.

What is the next step for NAR?

In this Q&A, Senior Real Estate Reporter Matthew Blake gives us the inside scoop on what happened at NAR’s annual conference, including the latest on the DOJ investigation.

Mortgage Tech Virtual Demo Day

Tune in to our live Virtual Demo Day on December 1st at 10am CT to experience demos from the most innovative tech companies in the Servicing, Audit and Post-Close space.

What’s next for the maligned real estate appraiser?

In this episode of Houses in Motion, a series that is part of the HousingWire Daily podcast lineup, St. Petersburg, Florida-based appraiser Francois “Frank” Gregoire discusses issues in the appraisal industry.

FintechMortgage

Mortgage Tech Rundown: Rocket Mortgage, Tavant and Black Knight

Tech giants hone in on automation, streamlining and AI's power

Nexsys Technologies, a subsidiary of Rocket Companies, launched its Clear HOI platform for all mortgage lenders on Wednesday – a new product it says will cut homeowners’ insurance verification time to mere minutes.

The platform will allow lenders to automate the verification process rather than requiring manual confirmation from both parties.

Heather Lovier, executive vice president of client experience operations at Rocket, said that while historically the company has focused on simplifying the mortgage experience, Rocket is increasingly interested in streamlining the underwriting process.

“The next step in improving the process is doing more with the data we have and making it easier to get the data we need,” Lovier said. “Clear HOI has made what used to be a time intensive step an instant one.”

According to Rocket, the latest platform utilizes cloud-based technology, encryption processes and authentication mechanisms between lenders and insurers. Lenders have the option of using an Application Programming Interface (API) so Clear HOI can be integrated into the lender’s loan origination system (LOS), or may access the product through Clear HOI’s online portal.

While the tech is just now being released publicly, Rocket announced in July Clear HOI’s integration alongside a partnership with insurance tech player Lemonade. Other insurance companies already integrated with the platform include Allstate, Liberty Mutual and Farmers Insurance.

***

Waterstone Mortgage Corporation announced it had begun implementing Remote Online Notarization (RON) eClosings – a first for the 20-year-old mortgage lender.

Prior to executing full eClosings, the organization partnered with Snapdocs, Inc. to implement “hybrid closings” earlier this year. However, with RON, Waterstone noted customers have the ability to conduct the entire closing appointment virtually, beginning with eSigning documents, then with the notary via webcam.

“This marks a significant milestone for Waterstone Mortgage in our digital mortgage journey,” said Waterstone Mortgage CIO Tom Knapp. “Since we first launched our eClose platform in production last February, we have worked our way through hybrid closing, hybrid with eNote, and now full eClose with Remote Online Notary.”

***

Digital mortgage tech-provider Floify announced last week its integration with Black Knight’s Optimal Blue Scenario Pricing Model API, which will allow lenders to use existing mortgage application data to run pricing scenarios directly within Floify’s user interface.

The integration will also allow access to Optimal Blue’s BESTX pricing capabilities so lenders may customize their scenario-specific BESTX pricing.

“The integration delivers a seamless experience enabling our mutual clients to simplify the process of pricing mortgage loans for borrowers, further streamlining their lending processes,” said Floify CEO Dave Sims.

In July, Black Knight acquired Dallas-based Optimal Blue from GTCR for $1.8 billion in a move that would combine Optimal Blue’s Pricing and Eligibility engine (PPE) capabilities with Black Knight’s offerings.

Earlier this month, Black Knight announced the PPE had been enhanced to fully support the pricing of Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOCs) for the secondary mortgage market, including search capabilities for first- and second-lien HELOC products.

“As the originations market sees record volume, tightening profits and an increasingly competitive landscape, advanced automation and innovation continue to be impactful differentiators during this critical time—and both are at the core of the Optimal Blue PPE,” said Scott Happ, president, Black Knight Secondary Marketing Technologies.

***

AI lending tech provider Tavant on Dec. 2 publicized its recent partnership with mortgage automation firm SoftWorks AI. The collaboration will combine Softworks’ document automation services with Tavant’s document ingestion platform, FinCapture.

Fincapture automates processes such as document indexing and classification, data extraction, data validation and inter/intra documentation audits. According to Softworks, this integration with its AI platform enables automated extraction of data from transactional loan documents.

Mohammad Rashid, head of fintech practice at Tavant, said the integration will provide lenders substantial efficiency improvements in the loan origination process.

“Together, we are providing an automated solution that will help firms eliminate many time consuming tasks and instead focus their efforts on quicker decisioning, increased productivity, superior data quality, and reduced mortgage cycle times, substantially improving the client experience,” Rashid said.

Also, in case you missed it…

Mortgage originator and servicer, Homepoint (formally Home Point Financial), announced on Thursday it selected Appian’s “low-code automation platform” for brokers to take advantage of the tech’s fast loan processing while maintaining a low-cost structure.

Wolters Kluwer Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC) signed an agreement on Thursday to acquire cloud-based digital lending software provider eOriginal for approximately €231 million ($280 million) in cash. Brian Madocks, CEO of eOriginal call the combination, “the right solution, in the right market, at the right time.”

Flagstar Bank and FinTech consortium revealed the latest fintech startup initiates to its MortgageTech Accelerator program on Dec. 1. Home Lending Pal, Stavvy and Real Key mark the second round of companies to participate in Flagstar’s guided curriculum that offers benefits such as mentors and seed funding.

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