October 2016 - Changing of the Guard

TheMReport — News and strategies for the evolving mortgage marketplace.

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6 | TH E M R EP O RT MTECH According to Black Knight, the suite allows for delivery of more accurate property tax expenses up front, which in turn leads to fewer escrow shortages and results in an improved overall borrower experience. At the same time, it supports lender compliance with the CFPB's standard for the best "reasonably available" property tax information. "The dated practice of disclos - ing a zero amount on the Loan Estimate, or making an approxi- mated guess for property tax amounts and then later updating the information is simply not acceptable anymore," said Black Knight Data & Analytics' Mortgage Market Leader Julian Grey. "Rather, property tax estimates need to be based on the best publicly available information. Black Knight's public records database is one of the largest and most comprehensive in the industry, is easily available and contains the high-quality data lenders need for reliable property tax estimations. With that database as its foundation, Black Knight's Property Tax Shield suite can provide current, accurate tax bill information on nearly every property from every taxing authority in the United States." STRATMOR Group Plans to Launch Standardized LOS Comparison INTERESTED LENDERS ARE INVITED TO PARTICIPATE IN THE NEW PRODUCT'S DEVELOPMENT. I n response to a 10-year period from 2005 to 2015 that saw the cost per loan double for lenders while productivity dramatically declined, STRAT - MOR Group announced plans to launch an independent, standard- ized loan originating systems (LOS) comparison in 2017. STRATMOR invites interested lenders to participate in the development of the standardized LOS comparison. The new comparison will define criteria for testing how subject LOS-solutions (including a lender's incumbent system) will perform in specific loan production scenarios, which allows for an "apples to apples" comparison between LOS solutions. In the new comparison, three to four key task completion scenarios will be designated for each of approximately a dozen functional stages of the mortgage origination sales and fulfillment loan lifecycle. Each of the scenarios will be subjected to rigorous time and motion measurements along with tightly scripted system configura - tion and test loan variables. STRATMOR will also apply normalized industry benchmark- ing data, thus allowing lenders to adjust for variances in relevant labor market data. "We know that this sort of comparison will require the participation of the lender commu - nity, and we invite all interested parties to contact us for details on taking part," said Senior Partner Len Tichy, head of STRATMOR's IT and Operations Advisory Services. "We also know that applying this type of comparison would be impossible without the willing cooperation of the LOS providers themselves, so we look forward to engaging with the vendors on this project as well." Tichy notes that the need for such a standardized comparison is pressing. "Unfortunately, there are just too many variables in individual business environments for us—or anyone else for that matter—to offer credible evidence that one LOS is outperforming another," Tichy said. "While we can help calculate total cost of ownership, without some sort of useful, credible, readily repeatable method for comparing LOS ROI across vastly different lender environ - ments, true ROI is frustratingly unmeasurable. So we're aiming to change all of that with our 'LOS Performance Shootout Methodology.'" Equator Introduces New REO Product Suite AGENT ELITE'S GOAL IS TO PROVIDE THE MARKET WITH TRANSPARENCY AND ACTIONABLE INSIGHT. E quator, an Altisource Business Unit and a provider of default software solutions, recently announced the launch of Equator Agent Elite, a suite for REO real estate agents that adds transparency and actionable insight to the REO market. Equator Agent Elite provides agents with access to Equator's local market data and insights, platform and REO certification, real-time notification of new REO assets, and communication capabilities with servicers. Agents now have the opportunity to utilize Equator's evolving tools and market intelli - gence to help drive their business growth and gain a competitive advantage in today's data-driven REO marketplace. "Empowering progressive REO real estate agents with actionable local insights and improved tools in the REO marketplace benefits our servicers as well as agents," said Michael C. Schreck, Senior Vice President of Equator. "By arming agents with local market intelli - gence and servicer certification requirements, agents can become more attractive to the country's top servicers who want their assets marketed more effectively to deliver improved ROI." Equator Agent Elite is designed to help REO real estate agents stand out and gain more REO business by providing a deeper understanding of local market activity, platform certification, and facilitating proactive communica - tions with servicers. Key features of Equator Agent Elite include local REO market insights which contain visual data and analytics on Equator REO inventory from the nation's top servicers. The county-level data can help provide agents with powerful insight into their local market dynamics. According to Equator, these insights build on the company's focus of bringing data and analytics to the REO market - place that are a valuable addition to the national/regional level reporting currently available. Another key feature includes neighborhood REO alerts that allow agents to receive real-time notifications when new REO properties are available on Equator and proactively commu - nicate to the servicer or asset manager their interest in marketing the listing and share any unique qualifications that validate their candidacy. Equator Agent Elite includes REO training and certification which provides detailed instruction on key servicer workflow, REO, and short-sale features complete with industry terms and information. "The dated practice of disclosing a zero amount on the Loan Estimate, or making an approximated guess for property tax amounts and then later updating the information is simply not acceptable anymore."

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