Publicly traded title insurance giant Stewart Information Service Corporation has acquired AccountChek, a digital verification service for assets, income and employment, from solutions provider FormFree.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The move gives Stewart additional tools to drive insights into a customer’s financial profile across multiple channels.
Stewart’s acquisition was made through its Informative Research subsidiary.
“At Stewart, we are continually investing in our capabilities to better serve customers. We view improving consumer financial equity, including homeownership, as a key part of the work that we do, across all of our business lines,” Fred Eppinger, Stewart CEO, said in a prepared statement. “IR’s vision through the combined platform is to simplify the lending process and improve closing ratios.”
By combining IR’s existing digital infrastructure with AccountChek, Stewart will have a unified platform to digitally verify consumer financial data, including credit, income, employment and assets. The company said it will streamline the loan underwriting process, more efficiently qualify buyers, improve closing ratios and expand access to mortgage credit.
With the sale of AccountCheck, FormFree will focus on products that “advance its mission to decentralize and democratize the way consumers understand their financial data and access credit opportunities,” the company said in a statement.
Eric Lapin, who joined FormFree in 2022 as chief strategy officer, will guide the company’s next iteration as president. Brent Chandler, the founder, will remain as CEO at FormFree.
According to Lapin, the company will have an increased focus on blockchain and other decentralized “Web3” technologies. He cited the “Qualified Borrower” token FormFree brought to market last year, which enables FormFree to share customers’ financial history and indicators of homebuying interests with lenders and service providers “while keeping consumers’ identities anonymous.”
FormFree’s products include Passport, a mobile application that verifies and continually updates a consumer’s financial history, as well as the Residual Knowledge Income Index, a method for evaluating consumer creditworthiness based on cash-flow analysis.