Risky Business

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Local Edition ORIGINATION Mortech Utilizes LendingTree's Technology to Increase Business Companies are realizing more and more that there is great benefit to working with online products and tools. NEBRASKA // Mortech, Inc., a mortgage technology business based in Nebraska, announced the successful integration of LendingTree's new LoanExplorer product into its suite of Ocwen Seals the Deal with Genworth The Atlanta-based company snapped up the largest reverse mortgage lender in the country in its continuing efforts to grow as a power player in the industry. CALIFORNIA // Ocwen Financial Corporation announced the closing of its deal to acquire the country's largest reverse mortgage lender. The M Report | 45 se c on da r y m a r k e t MASSACHUSETTS // Mortgage originations in the New England region hit a five-year high in 2012, the Warren Group reported. According to the company's Mortgage MarketShare Module, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island all recorded strong activity last year, with the Bay State showing the most strength. "Single-family home sales have increased for 13 consecutive months, a sure sign the housing market [is] in recovery mode," said Marie Wentling, director of product strategy at the Warren Group. "In addition to the spike in mortgages used to purchase homes, we saw a strong increase Rhode Island, meanwhile, reported its best year since 2009. The Ocean State saw a total of 42,680 originations last year, up from 32,992 the prior year. Purchase mortgage volume increased 14 percent to 7,347, while refinance volume increased to 35,333. a na ly t ic s Originations rebounded to a five-year high in 2012. in refinance mortgages, partially credited to low rates and government assistance programs." Refinance share in the region last year was about 83 percent compared to 81 percent in 2011. Nationally, the refinance share of applications was about 82 percent at the end of 2012, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). Total residential mortgage activity rose nearly 38 percent statewide in Massachusetts, increasing to 332,582 from 241,490 in 2011. Purchase mortgages spiked more than 25 percent, reading 57,324, while refinance mortgages rose 41 percent to 275,258. In Connecticut, mortgage activity rose more than 26 percent year-over-year from 2011 to a total of 141,759. Purchase originations rose 13.5 percent to 24,757, while refinances rose 30 percent to 117,002. s e r v ic i ng Consumers Opt for Homeownership in the Bay State Or ig i nat ion Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island all recorded strong activity last year, with the Bay State showing the most strength. marketing and point-of-sale tools for mortgage originators. "The online loan marketplace is an excellent source of mortgage leads for originators who are responsive and ready to interact with consumers quickly," said Don Kracl, VP of Mortgage Products at Zillow (which acquired Mortech in 2012). "LoanExplorer is an advanced second-generation loan marketplace, designed specifically for consumers, lenders, and publishers. Having worked with LendingTree for many years, we were able to evaluate the new offering and made the decision to integrate it immediately." LoanExplorer allows users to access a real-time, informative mortgage shopping experience that compares loan product details, costs, and rates based on the individual's financial situation. Borrowers can then choose to connect with the lenders that match their needs. Mortech's Marksman then allows the originator to quickly respond to customer inquiries, initiating the relationship and providing accurate loan pricing. "This type of immediate access to loan product information has been the basis for Mortech's product development efforts since the beginning," Kracl said. "Giving our users access to consumers who enter through the LendingTree LoanExplorer makes perfect sense for all parties involved."

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