Mortgage Software for Mortgage Bankers

Vince Furey

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OpenClose provides web-based software solutions requiring no installs

Posted by Vince Furey on Tue, Sep 05, 2017

Multi-channel LenderAssist LOS is scalable and flexible


Many loan origination systems that are commercially available today have deficiencies and issues ranging from antiquated technology, an inability to scale, inflexible workflows, customization limitations and long implementations. During the dot-com era, OpenClose saw the need early on to develop purely web-based mortgage software solutions that require no installs whatsoever.

Openclose logo

The company sought to develop a product suite that would enable lenders to implement quickly, operate cost effectively and maximize their productivity. The result is LenderAssist — a true multi-channel, web-based LOS that is custom-configurable, scalable, flexible, easy-to-use and compliant. What’s more, OpenClose has a boutique-style, responsive business model for customer implementations, training and ongoing support which ensures that lenders will never be treated like just a number.

Unlike many mortgage software providers, the OpenClose platform was built from the ground up using the same code base and architecture design — and built by the same company. Many LOS providers attempt to create a comprehensive solution by roping together various best-of-breed integrations or simply by way of vendor acquisitions. However, these are all still disparate technologies, which often result in ongoing issues and challenges. In contrast, everything is native to the OpenClose system.

Openclose box

OpenClose’s multi-channel LOS is ideal for both small, medium- and large-size lending entities ranging from independent mortgage bankers to banks and credit unions. And, OpenClose’s OC Correspondent turnkey module is also leveraged by conduit aggregators to efficiently and compliantly buy quality closed loans.  

Because OpenClose can easily automate the retail, wholesale, correspondent and consumer direct business channels and workflows, it is increasingly capturing new business from lenders that have a need to quickly launch a new channel or turn off an existing one. The scalability and flexibility of the system has attracted lenders that are closing thousands of loans each month. 

Lenders used to dealing with larger companies are also pleasantly surprised by the level of customer service OpenClose provides to its customers.

“Our boutique-style customer support model is highly responsive, providing personalized attention. Unlike some other vendors, many of which have been acquired by large organizations, OpenClose staff is easily accessible. We pick up the phone when users call,” Vince Furey, senior vice president of lending solutions at OpenClose, said.

And OpenClose handles the onus of implementation and system configuration for customers, with a rapid 60 to 90-day implementation timeline, depending on the number of configurations and third-party integrations. 

OpenClose has grown exponentially over the past several years, with revenue growth of 30% from 2015 to 2016. 

“The biggest game-changer for our customers is that the platform has multi-channel capability and is completely web-based, thus requiring no installs,” Furey added. “This is a huge advantage for OpenClose customers.”

Originally appeared in HW Magazine

HousingWire

Weekly Mortgage Market Index Drops, Refis Most

Posted by Vince Furey on Mon, Jun 27, 2016
DALLAS -- (June 27, 2016) As rates inched higher over the past week, new refinance activity tumbled. But recent developments in the United Kingdom are likely to reverse the latest activity.

The U.S. Mortgage Market Index from OpenClose and Mortgage Daily for the week ended June 24 was 157, an 11 percent decline from the week-earlier report.

Compared to the report from the same week a year earlier, the index -- a measure of average per-user rate locks by clients of OpenClose -- increased by 12 percent.

Refinance activity slowed 14 percent from the week ended June 17, the largest week-over-week decline of any category. Refinance share was 68 percent, thinning from 70 percent in the previous report.

A 13 percent week-over-week retreat was recorded for rate locks on mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration. FHA share was little changed at 25.2 percent versus 25.6 percent the prior week.

Conventional mortgage rate locks retreated 11 percent from the last report.

Rate locks for purchase financing slowed 9 percent for the week.

A 5 percent improvement was recorded for adjustable-rate mortgage activity. ARM share was fatter at 9 percent compared to 8 percent a week earlier.

With a 13 percent increase from the previous report, jumbo rate locks had the best week-over-week gain. Jumbo share widened to 8 percent from 7 percent.

The jumbo-conforming spread widened to 7 basis points from 3 BPS in the last report.

Fixed-rates on 30-year mortgages averaged 3.56 percent, 2 BPS higher than in the last report.

A 73-basis-point spread between 15- and 30-year rates was no different than a week previous.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Report Card: Part 3

Posted by Vince Furey on Tue, Aug 20, 2013
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Prohibitions on Financing Credit Insurance Premium

  • It will likely be 3-4 months before any potential amendments are released; I mention this simply because it demonstrates the CFPB’s willingness and desire to fully understand an issue before going live.  Originally scheduled to go in effect June 1, 2013, the rule prohibits creditors from financing premiums or fees for credit insurance products in connection with any residential mortgage loan or any open-ended credit plan secured by a principal dwelling.  This applies to credit life, disability, unemployment, credit property insurance and similar products.  The provision included vague language related to not prohibiting credit insurance or credit unemployment when premiums and fees are paid in full on a monthly basis, reasonable, the creditor is not compensated, there’s a separate insurance contract and premiums/fees are not paid to an affiliate.  This led to several interpretive questions from industry stakeholders.  The CFPB did the right thing and delayed implementation until 01/10/2014, consistent with implementation of other provisions.  Additionally, the CFPB will be publishing a proposal to seek further comments from consumers and industry stakeholders.

 

Qualified Mortgage Job Verification Standard

  • This was another one that makes to pitch yourself and wonder if you’re dreaming.  The ATR and QM Standards included a provision that required lender to determine a borrower’s “probability of continued employment”.  The infamous “Appendix Q” outlined the many hoops lenders needed to jump through to, maybe, adequately verify “probability of continued employment”.  But do you really know.  What is the borrower is fired 2 months later; do I kiss my safe harbor protection good-bye? Once again the CFPB brought some common sense and clarity on this topic.  Lenders must verify the borrower is employed and that the employer has no immediate plans to eliminate the position.  OK, that’s doable.

 

Now the 5% they got wrong…

 

Ability-to-Repay (ATR) and Qualified Mortgage (QM) Standards

  • In my opinion, the CFPB didn’t go far enough in their exemption of small banks and credit unions.  The 500 or fewer 1st lien loans per year are not enough loans.  Maybe if they specified 500 or fewer portfolio 1st mortgage loans.  Due to traditional means of generating fee income being decimated by the financial crisis, numerous small banks and credit unions turned to the traditional secondary market mortgage space as means to generate reliable fee income.  This has been a successful strategy for most but the need to provide non-traditional mortgage products to support their small business customers’ remains.  By limiting the exemption to those institutions funding just 500 or fewer loans per year the CFPB is substantially limiting small banks and credit unions ability to serve their small business customers and the communities they serve.
  • Interest Only Loans should have been included in the ATR and QM Standards exemption for small banks and credit unions.  While interest only financing, especially in the Alt-A and Sub-prime space, certainly contributed to financial crisis, interest only financing is still a viable product and an effective cash-flow product for self-employed borrowers.  When qualified appropriately utilizing fully amortized payments, small banks and credit unions can provide sound interest only financing and better serve the overall borrowing and cash-flow needs of their small business customers.  They should be able do so and still retain their safe harbor protections.

 

All in all, the recent release of final rules, clarifications and extensions are positive signs.  They demonstrate the CFPB is looking closely at the provisions included in Dodd Frank, considering their impact on the market, listening to industry stakeholders and consumers and making informed decisions related to amendment and implementation.

 

Vince Furey is the SVP of Lending Solutions at OpenClose, a pioneer of Software as a Service (SaaS) computing solutions for the financial industry since 1999. OpenClose, built in modern (.NET) technology is supported by mature, service-over-sales approach delivery. It provides a variety of Web-based solutions for credit unions, banks, and mortgage lenders from loan origination software, loan pricing, website design, analytics reporting, imaging and social media marketing. For more information about loan origination systems, visit OpenClose

Topics: mortgage lender, Mortgage Banks, mortgage, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, CFPB

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Report Card: Part 2

Posted by Vince Furey on Mon, Aug 12, 2013

This is the second in a series of blog posts on the  Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). It first appeared in National Mortgage News on July 2, 2013 under the title "CFPB Gets it Right… at Least 95% of it."

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Ability-to-Repay (ATR) and Qualified Mortgage (QM) Standards

  • This is one our community bank and credit union friends have been screaming about because a significant portion of their mortgage lending would not meet the QM standards thus eliminating their safe harbor protection.  Just about every community bank and credit union has a mission statement that includes something to the effect of, “To serve the lending needs of our community” or “To serve the lending needs of our members.” The initial ATR and QM Standards released effectively squashed that notion by restricting points and fees, restricting balloon loans, requiring hoards of customer information and capping DTI at 43%.  With the amended rule release, the CFPB has done a good job in relieving some of the pressure.  Under the final rule, banks and credit unions with $2 billion in assets or less that fund 500 or fewer first lien mortgages per year will benefit from exemptions to the ATR and QM Standards issued in January.  Specifically, small banks and credit unions will be permitted to continue to make balloon mortgages held on portfolio during a 2 year transition period, they will not be subject to the 43% DTI restriction on mortgages held in portfolio for at least 3 years and the can issue mortgages up to 3.5% above the average prime offer rate; an increase of 2%.  Raising the threshold defining qualified mortgages thus keeping their safe harbor litigation shield in place.
  • I know my eyes crossed when the realization set in that the ATR and QM Standards eliminated safe harbor protection for the FHFA and GSE programs being pushed to aid distressed home homeowners, improve performance of existing mortgage loans owned by the agencies and thus move the housing recovery forward.  What about HARP, Refi Plus, Relief Refinance? The good news is that the CFPB has added a provision that says a loan is a qualified mortgage if it meets the statutory limitations on product features, points and fees and is eligible for purchase, guarantee or insurance by Fannie, Freddie, FHA, VA, USDA or RHS.  Safe harbor shield preserved.  Again, kudos to the CFPB.
  • The ATR and QM Standards also placed at risk the numerous nonprofits and community based organizations and small creditors providing vital outreach and home ownership support to underserved communities and low to moderate income borrowers.  Will the various nonprofit housing groups and coalitions become a thing of the past?  What about community seconds and DPAPs.  The CFPB is on a role now, the final amendment exempts certain nonprofits and community based lenders from ATR rules.  Exempt are lenders that fund 200 or fewer loans per year and only to low to moderate income borrowers.  Also exempt are housing finance agencies and some programs designed for foreclosure prevention.

  • I will address this further in the 5% the CFPB got wrong. 


Topics: qualified mortgage, Ability-to-Repay, ATR, QM

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Report Card: Part 1

Posted by Vince Furey on Tue, Aug 06, 2013

This is the first in a series of blog posts on the  Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). It first appeared in National Mortgage News on July 2, 2013 under the title "CFPB Gets it Right… at Least 95% of it."


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In the circles in which I travel, discussions related to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) have not been favorable.  Whether the complaint is inexperienced auditors, (and by inexperienced I mean individuals with little training --3 weeks to be exact) with a complete lack of understanding of mortgage lending and the broader, secondary market.  Then there are the mindboggling and sometimes laughable “questions” or “concerns” raised by said inexperienced auditors.  Then there’s the heated debates regarding flat-fee compensation and the CFPB’s perceived desire to push the mortgage broker out of the business.  I certainly can’t dismiss the conspiracy theorists who argue that this was all contrived in an effort to move the industry to the large money center banks.  While the verdict is still out, and there’s a long way to go with the more recent release of final rules, I believe that the CFPB got it right… at least 95% right!

Let’s look at the 95%...

Loan Originator Compensation and the Points and Fees Calculation • The Dodd-Frank Act included provisions that limited loan originator (LO) compensation by including LO compensation in the 3% points and fees cap on Qualified Mortgages (QM). One could argue that this would have the effect of counting fees paid to mortgage brokers against the 3% twice. Under the final rule released by the CFBP, the compensation paid to a LO employee by a mortgage broker or mortgage lender is not included in the 3% threshold. Bravo CFPB. This should squelch the chatter from my broker and conspiracy theorist friends. Keep in mind, compensation paid by a mortgage lender to a mortgage broker (wholesale transaction) still must be included in points and fees.

Topics: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, CFPB, Qualified Mortgages

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