MReport August 2018

TheMReport — News and strategies for the evolving mortgage marketplace.

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40 | TH E M R EP O RT O R I G I NAT I O N S E R V I C I N G DATA G O V E R N M E N T S E C O N DA R Y M A R K E T THE LATEST ORIGINATION Bank of America Makes a Business Case for Inclusion Through its Pathways program, the major financial institution plans to hire 10,000 people from low- and moderate-income communities. F rom providing its 6,000th mortgage-free home in April to most recently launching a $20 million lending program for U.S. military veteran entrepreneurs, Bank of America has been strengthening its business case for inclusion this year. The latest instance was an announcement in June to hire 10,000 people from low- and moderate-income communities by partnering with nonprofits to fuel its talent pipeline. The bank's consumer and small business division aims to achieve this goal over the next five years through its Pathways Program. Through this program, Bank of America is working with nonprof- its to build a pipeline of local talent to connect to sustainable jobs. Some of its nonprofit partners include organizations such as Year Up and Unidos US which empower career- ready individuals to gain an entry point to full-time employment. Other partners, such as Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Urban Alliance, provide opportunities for younger individuals to gain valu- able skills for a future career. "The bank supports these nonprofit partners in recruiting candidates for the Pathways pro- gram, which provides a defined onboarding plan, education for required skills, on-the-job train- ing, and a roadmap to full-time employment and future career opportunities," Bank of America said in a statement. According to Dean Athanasia, President and Co-head of Consumer and Small Business at the bank, by hiring from com- munities the bank serves and "helping our teammates develop their careers at the bank, we are helping our clients and their em- ployees lead better financial lives." In fact, many banks and mort- gage lenders are opening up to the benefits of diversity and inclusion in their business strategies and looking at recruiting and retention practices that stress inclusion of a diverse set of employees. Embrace Home Loans, Finicity Streamline Borrower Approvals With the help of Finicity, Embrace Home Loans customers can verify assets and income digitally in just a matter of minutes, and without the need for paper bank statements. R hode Island-based Embrace Home Loans, a digitally focused mortgage lender, announced its bor- rowers can now rapidly verify as- sets through a digital experience, eliminating the need for borrow- ers to print, copy, and email paper bank statements, thereby reducing the process to secure a mortgage by up to a week or more. The innovation is a result of a software integration between Finicity, a provider of real-time financial data aggregation and insights, and Embrace's loan-orig- ination system. When borrowers apply for a mortgage online, they can simply give Embrace permis- sion to generate a verification of assets report using data directly from their bank. This process is more secure than sending printed documents or electronic docu- ments via fax or email. The new capability also enables Embrace to take advantage of Fannie Mae's Day 1 Certainty program, as Finicity is an approved report provider. This program provides lenders faster-documented loan approvals. "This is a dramatically im- proved experience for Embrace and for our customers," said Embrace Home Loans CEO Dennis Hardiman. "With Finicity's help, we've removed one of the biggest sources of friction in the mortgage process, which is documenting the borrower's assets and income. It's a landmark de- velopment in our journey toward becoming a fully digital mortgage lender." "More and more, customers expect services that they can access online via their phones or PCs, and it must be easy to understand and use," said Steve Smith, Finicity's CEO. "Embrace gets this, allowing us to work together to accelerate the mortgage process for borrowers while en- abling them to retain total control over their financial information. We are excited to integrate with a digital innovator like Embrace." Because Embrace is working directly with Finicity instead of going through a third-party vendor, the integration between the two companies is more flex- ible than similar arrangements. For example, Embrace is able to collect complete bank statements, which it can use to help assess a borrower's income and cash flow. This is particularly helpful for self-employed borrowers, who often have difficulties verifying income because they are paid irregularly. For loan approval purposes, self-employed borrow- ers can now use cash flow data in their bank statements instead of tax forms. "Ensuring a borrower's assets and income in just minutes not only lets us streamline approvals, we're also removing hurdles for nonconventional loan borrowers as well," Hardiman said. "After years of watching frustrated borrowers wrestle with request- ing, copying. and scanning paper bank statements, we're now seeing loans sail through our system. In a word, it's breathtaking. And our customers couldn't be happier."

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