MReport April 2018

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TH E M R EP O RT | 57 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 SERVICING O R I G I NAT I O N S E R V I C I N G Examining Foreclosure Starts Foreclosure starts on the LegalShield Index continued to decline with minimal foreclosure activity predicted during the quarter. E xisting home sales de- clined slightly, according to recent data from the LegalShield Law Index, a collection of five indices track- ing multiple critical economic indicators published monthly by LegalShield, an online mem- bership-based provider of legal services. Meanwhile, LegalShield reports foreclosure starts con- tinuing to decrease. Each monthly LegalShield Law Index tracks factors such as hous- ing starts, foreclosure starts, and consumer confidence, compiling indices based on LegalShield's proprietary data culled from their client base. According to LegalShield, "The LegalShield Law Index is based on data col - lected through LegalShield's pro- vider law firms in all 50 states … [and] based on intakes for more than 1.6 million memberships (including individuals and small businesses), providing a window into the experiences of families and businesses across the country at any given point in time." On the foreclosure front, the LegalShield Foreclosure Index dropped by 5.6 points to 59.9 in January, which put it nearly 20 percent below levels from January 2017. The Foreclosure Index continued to follow the same general trend lines as the MBA's quarterly National Delinquency Survey, maintaining histori - cally low foreclosure rates. The Foreclosure Index says "a recent surge in long-term interest rates has driven mortgage rates to their highest levels since 2014, which could lead to increased financial stress for homeowners with an adjustable-rate mortgage. For the time being, however, foreclosures are likely to remain muted, as the LegalShield Foreclosure Index— which is calibrated to provide an early warning signal to the market of an impending rise in foreclosure activity—points to minimal foreclosure activity in the next 2-3 months." After a surge in November, LegalShield's latest Real Estate Index dropped by 0.2 points in January 2018, settling in at 100.3 (the baseline of 100 corresponds to numbers from January 2002). This is 2.7 percent below the January 2017 numbers. December 2017 data on existing-home sales from the National Association of Realtors showed a 3.6 percent slip in December 2017. "Overall, de - mand for homes remains robust, but housing inventories have de- clined for 31 consecutive months, causing prices for existing homes to rise nearly six percent com- pared to a year ago," reports the Real Estate Index. "In spite of headwinds, 2017 was the best year for home sales in over a decade, with sales finishing the year up 1.1%. However, recent changes to the tax code may marginally discourage homeownership in the coming year, which could lead to slower home sales." The LegalShield Housing Activity Index, which tracks housing starts, increased 1.8 points to 111.5, after having remained rela - tively flat for the past six months. "While we don't anticipate a huge rebound in housing construction activity in the near-term, there are signs that homebuilders are starting to overcome some of the headwinds they faced last year," said James Rosseau, LegalShield's Chief Commercial Officer. "The housing sector will be a key wildcard to watch for the U.S. economy in 2018." M&T Bank Chooses New Platform for Servicing Operations The Black Knight platform will provide broader insights into the bank's mortgage portfolio. B lack Knight, Inc. has signed an agreement with Buffalo, New York- based M&T Bank, to implement Black Knight's Enterprise Business Intelligence (EBI) solution to pro- vide broader and deeper insight into the bank's mortgage portfolio and to help improve efficiency across M&T Bank's origination and servicing operations. LoanSphere Data Hub and LoanSphere Motivity—the primary components of the Enterprise Business Intelligence solution—are central to Black Knight's innovative LoanSphere platform of integrated software, data, and analytics that supports the mortgage and home equity loan life cycle. "Further expanding our rela - tionship with Black Knight by implementing business intelligence into our company's data strategy will help M&T Bank take advan- tage of additional benefits, such as identifying opportunities to add value for our customers, and add- ing another tool to support our compliance efforts," said Michael Todaro, EVP of the Mortgage and Consumer Lending Division of M&T Bank. Black Knight's EBI solution le- verages data to help both lenders and servicers generate and protect revenue, improve efficiency and performance, and reduce compliance risk. M&T Bank cur - rently uses Black Knight's suite of LoanSphere solutions, making it one of Black Knight's enterprise clients. "By integrating Black Knight's suite of LoanSphere solutions and data assets from origination to servicing and bankruptcy/foreclo - sure, M&T Bank is implementing the most efficient operating model in the mortgage space. No other provider in the mortgage industry can offer Black Knight's complete range of innovative, mission- critical solutions and data across the loan lifecycle to help clients eliminate inefficiencies, discover insights, drive down costs and reduce risk," said Tom Sanzone, CEO at Black Knight. "Further expanding our relationship with Black Knight by implementing business intelligence into our company's data strategy will help M&T Bank take advantage of additional benefits, such as identifying opportunities to add value for our customers, and adding another tool to support our compliance efforts." — Michael Todaro, EVP Mortgage and Consumer Lending Division, M&T Bank

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