Mortgage Software for Mortgage Bankers

MBA Taps Level1Analytics for Educational Software

Posted by Frank Bocchino on Tue, Sep 02, 2014

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Level1Analytics, LLC  has been selected by the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) to re-design the MBA's School of Mortgage Banking simulation model software. This software is used to train mortgage banking executives and managers in the complex dynamics of mortgage banking including best execution decisions. The updated software will be cloud-based and will more accurately reflect the actual interplay between often conflicting drivers of success in this industry.

The MBA's School of Mortgage Banking series includes three, four-day courses. The rigorous program created in 2005 includes two traditional classroom style courses and a capstone course that is interactive and discussion-based. This capstone course focuses on strategy and centers around a simulation that replicates the experience of running a mortgage lending operation over a period of eight quarters. During each quarter, participants are asked to make real world decisions concerning staffing (loan officers and back-office), distribution channels, hedging, product offerings and pricing, compensation, investments in technology and marketing, reserves for losses and a myriad of other decisions that mortgage executives face daily. Changing economic and regulatory scenarios over the simulation period adds realism to the exercise and often result in interesting and surprising financial results. 

Level1Analytics will use their modeling software expertise to redesign the existing software. The focus will be on cloud enabling the software, allowing easier access to the program.

"We are working towards allowing the software to have infinite flexibility for future development and be relatable to current dynamics in the industry for our classroom students," said Dr. Thomas Healy, CMB, president of Level1Analytics.

Topics: mortgage lending software, Mortgage Banking Software, Mortgage Loan Origination software

The Sky's Not Falling. Your Mortgage Lending Profits Are.

Posted by Frank Bocchino on Thu, Jul 31, 2014

 

By most estimates, mortgage rates were expected to climb this year, with rates on the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage predicted to exceed 5%. Instead, rates are now lower than they were this time in 2013 — much to the advantage of mortgage shoppers.

Yes the rates will rise again, and the nature of the lending business. You can't control the rates from rising and falling, but you can better prepare for the demand. Many lenders overlook the one are that can help them reduce costs, control, spending, and maximize profits: their loan origination software.

What choices are your organization making? 
Are you taking advantage of the current rates with the most current lending software?  Open Close has developed a lending software that can stand the test of fluctuating markets. At a cost that won't break the bank.  

We encourage you to take a look at OpenClose. It’s the fastest, easiest, most compliant way to maximize profits today and tomorrow regardless if rates rise or fall.  Ask us how.

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Topics: Loan Origination software, Mortgage Banking Software, mortgage lender, Compliance

Is Your Web-Based Loan Origination System Truly SaaS? Part 3

Posted by Frank Bocchino on Fri, May 16, 2014

MortgageOrb recently interviewed JP Kelly, President of OpenClose to learn more about the changes and challenges currently facing LOS providers.

This is the final installment of a three-part series.

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Q: When selecting a new LOS platform, what steps should lenders take to perform adequate due diligence before engaging with an LOS vendor?

Kelly: After the crash, many lenders bought just enough technology to "get by," as they didn't know if they would be in business for the long haul. But in today's market, smart lenders are looking five-plus years out. An LOS implementation is a big deal and can be very disruptive to operations - if the wrong vendor is selected. Different LOS platforms are suited for different types of lenders and their specific workflows.

In general, I recommend that lenders do not just let one or two functional areas make the buying decision. Involve all areas. How will the new LOS affect production? Underwriting? Processors? Secondary marketing? Servicing? IT and support? How does it function within each business channel from retail to wholesale, correspondent, consumer direct? What is the bottom line return on investment from the chief financial officer's perspective?

Involving all functional areas is key to making the right decision - the first time. You should approach buying and LOS using a committee-level decision-making process. Look for a long-term LOS partner, not a vendor with which you'll potentially become "just another number."

We all know the usual request for information/request for proposal-type questions to ask. But other "above and beyond" questions to ask include:

  • Look at how long the vendor has been in business. Longevity is a good sign. How long has its core application been in use? Is it contemporary or elderly? Too old of an application could mean that there are issues with antiquated code bases. On the other hand, too young means the application probably isn't mature and may not be fully proven.
  • Is the vendor a continual innovator? How many new solutions has it recently launched? What is on its product development and enhancement road map? This will give you an idea as to what's to come if you were to engage. Many are just working to stay abreast of new compliance rules, which stifles innovation.
  • Does the LOS use multiple code bases that have been married together by way of acquisitions? How many integrations does the LOS have? If it partnered with too many other vendors, it probably isn't a very good interface. And it can make your LOS provider resource challenged to successfully support it.
  • How scalable is the software and how flexible? The application needs to be proven to handle an increase in volume given lender growth. And, it needs to have the flexibility and configurability to morph to a lender's unique business model and workflow. What are is customer sizes and profiles like - and how does scalability and flexibility apply?
  • A good, mature, robust LOS should address all business channels. Make sure the system does this and does it well. You don't want to be a wholesale and/or retail lender, as an example, and later decide to perhaps launch a correspondent or consumer direct channel, only to find that the system wasn't built for it.
  • It's also important to look at the length of tenure and experience of the vendor's developers, architects and support staff. Are they loaded with technical experience and do they possess a deep understanding of the mortgage process, having worked at multiple organizations? It counts.
  • What is its customer support like? What are its average response and resolution time frames?
  • What's their average implementation time frame, specifically for a company similar to your size?
  • Corporate structure and management is important. Ask for the vendor's organizational chart and management team experience. Does it have well-established functional areas? It's indicative of how well it operates internally. Some vendors are run by just a few owners that don't take input from other senior executives, and thus do not employ any. This should send up a red flag.
  • Are there any lawsuits pending? If so, why? What is the nature of the litigation?


It goes without saying, but don't just let a vendor give you a canned sales-centric solution demo. Watch its team run a loan through the system from start to finish. Put yourself in the driver's seat.


Q: What do you see on the horizon in the next 12 to 18 months in the LOS space?

Kelly: That's an easy one. First, we'll clearly have more compliance rules and regulations to implement. Not just for LOS vendors, but all mortgage technology providers. Second, we're going to start to see some consolidation. Profits are pinched for lenders - and consequently they will also be for vendors. Those providers that aren't well-capitalized will look at selling options. There is money sitting on the sidelines awaiting bargain-buying opportunities.

Topics: Loan Origination software, Loan Origination system, Mortgage Banking Software, Mortgage Loan Origination software, Loan Origination

Is Your Web-Based Loan Origination System Truly SaaS? Part 2

Posted by Frank Bocchino on Thu, May 01, 2014

OpenClose President, JP Kelly

MortgageOrb recently interviewed JP Kelly, President of OpenClose to learn more about the changes and challenges currently facing LOS providers.

This is the second of a three-part series.

Q: There is a lot of ongoing talk about what truly defines a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)-based LOS platform. Can you weigh in?

Kelly: By definition, SaaS is a software distribution model in which applications and associated data are centrally hosted by a vendor, typically in the cloud. With SaaS, there is nothing for an organization to install in terms of software applications or data hosting.

As it relates to LOS platforms, once the mortgage industry no longer had an appetite for self-hosted and self-managed applications (which were expensive), had lengthy installs, required significant IT resources, and were onerous to maintain, the use of SaaS terminology became popular among mortgage technology vendors.

Many vendors that claim to be SaaS term their systems "Web-based" or "Web-enabled." This generally translates to there being some sort of an install on the client’s side. A truly SaaS-based LOS platform, however, is 100% accessible via a Web browser - from any computer, anywhere, and without installed software. Web-based/enabled (non-SaaS vendors) must rely on installed applications to extend their applications to the Web, such as Citrix.

There are a lot of LOS platforms in the mortgage industry that do not have a true SaaS model but lay claim to it anyway for the sake of sales and marketing purposes. There aren’t very many true SaaS LOS vendors for lenders to choose from. True SaaS offers faster implementation, reduced costs through little to no upfront investment for new servers and infrastructure, seamless automated updating, virtualization and reduced need for internal support.

Q: How are LOS vendors working with other vendors and lender clients to address the sea of ever-changing compliance rules and regulations in today’s highly fluid marketplace?

Kelly: It’s very hard for Loan Origination System vendors that developed an end-end-end platform using different code bases to produce a seamless workflow and offer lenders full control over their data, and hence compliance. Once you have too many code types, databases and/or integrations involved you’re going to encounter issues. When it comes to compliance in today’s market, it’s like a mish-mash of poorly paired food groups and wrong ingredients - a recipe for disaster.

An end-to-end LOS vendor has the ability to better control data across a seamless workflow. At our company, we developed automated compliance monitoring functionality. This enables us to track things such as, for example, potential ability-to-repay/qualified mortgage (ATR/QM) compliance issues where we provide instant change of circumstance notifications to our clients. With the best-of-breed approach, you often have a lot of chefs in the kitchen all doing things a bit differently. Our approach is streamlined compliance monitoring across our clients’ specific workflows within our LOS.

Topics: Loan Origination software, Loan Origination system, Mortgage Banking Software, Mortgage Loan Origination software, Loan Origination

Is Your Web-Based Loan Origination System Truly SaaS? Part 1

Posted by Frank Bocchino on Thu, Apr 24, 2014

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MortgageOrb recently interviewed JP Kelly, President of OpenClose to learn more about the changes and challenges currently facing LOS providers.

This is the first of a three-part series

Q: The LOS space has seen a significant shift in the past couple of years toward lenders investing in end-to-end platforms. Why is this?

Kelly: The old end-to-end versus best-of-breed debate has been going on for years, and you’ll get a hard stance position from respective vendors operating on each side of the fence. Best-of-breed vendors will always state that that no end-to-end vendor can do everything as well as they can. End-to-end vendors will say that they handle the entire lending process efficiently and that the best-of-breed approach muddies the waters. There are degrees of merit to both.

Our position is that there are some best-of-breed vendors that are so specialized at what they do, that an end-to-end LOS provider would be remiss if they attempted to engineer and support certain functions of the lending process that are completely out of their wheelhouse. A couple examples are disclosure compliance, valuation management and fraud protection, to name a few. These types of functions assume huge amounts of responsibility and liability. The sheer compliance risk involved in these areas and needed robustness of the solutions is better suited for a partnership and integration. In this regard, end-to-end LOS providers need to be very selective about the specialized vendors they integrate with and must ensure that it is a truly seamless interface that does not disrupt workflows.

Another notable difference is a best-of-breed vendor’s cost and time factor to develop and maintain integrations. A really good integration is no easy undertaking. And maintaining it is a whole other challenge. New software versions and updates are rolled out all the time. Developing too many integrations raises the possibility that something will break.

One trend that emerged in recent years is technology firms that simply acquire other technologies in an effort to create an end-to-end platform. But at the end of the day, these are still disparate technologies that are pieced together by multiple solutions to establish an all-in-one solution as opposed to actually engineering it from the ground up. That said, the solution may technically qualify as an "end-to-end;" however, it isn’t designed by a single vendor, and it oftentimes uses multiple databases, and has feeble pairings of technology and rough workflows.

Topics: Loan Origination software, Loan Origination system, Mortgage Banking Software, loan software

Mortgage Loan Origination Software Search

Posted by Frank Bocchino on Mon, Jan 27, 2014

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If you think searching for a new car or phone takes some thought, think about what goes into searching for new mortgage loan software. 

There are no websites, or reviews, or books to read on the subject. I's all done on word of mouth. Or maybe you remember liking the one you used at the last company? The problem is mortgae lenders don't start looking for Loan Origination Software until the need is pressing.

Why not get a head start by starting your search at OpenClose? We have the resourses to help you make the right decision-- before it's too late.  Visit us and download Loan Origination Software info for free.

Click me

 

Topics: mortgage lending software, mortgage technology, Mortgage Banking Software, mortgage lender, Mortgage Loan Origination software, mortgage loan software

Is Loan Origination Software on Your Resolution List?

Posted by Frank Bocchino on Wed, Jan 08, 2014

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We all make resolutions for ourselves come the New Year, but what about a New Year's resolution for our lending business? 

That's another way of looking at budgets I suppose, but we tend to look at budgets to add to what we have rather than change it. And resolutions are about change.

Maybe you've been relying upon the same software vendor for years? Maybe they've been promising to improve or to add those features you need year after year but never do?

Is Loan Origination Software on your resolution list? It should be. And finding the best mortgage software can be difficult. 

We suggest you take a look at OpenClose. It has been developed to change with the market and for a growing mortgage banker.

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Topics: Loan Origination software, Loan Origination system, Mortgage Banking Software, Mortgage Loan Origination software, Loan Origination

Mortgage banking software: competitive advantage or disadvantage

Posted by Bill Mitchell on Mon, Sep 30, 2013

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Is your core mortgage banking software a competitive advantage or disadvantage…or worse, going out of business leaving you stranded?

           

Could this be you?

 Problem: We understand how daunting the task of selecting or replacing an LOS is. The market is slowing down, which can be the very best time to upgrade your technology.

 Answer: Leverage your business long term position by having a fully integrated lending solution, from Pre-Qual to post Closing… imaging to interim servicing…yes one system!

 Solution: At OpenClose, our process starts with your needs. Get rid of the bottlenecks and maximize pipeline profitability through seamless integration to AUS, investors, warehouse lenders and more.

 Results: The lenders that succeed as the future unfolds will be those who can quickly convert legacy systems and get back to expanding their production capacity, maintain and control fixed costs, and provide excellent customer service.

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Topics: Mortgage Banking Software, Mortgage Banks

Mortgage software and LOS: A joint venture with customers

Posted by Frank Bocchino on Mon, May 20, 2013

 

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From the start, a joint-venture strategy manifests with OpenClose focusing on a clear matrix of business, technical and user characteristics that ensures a successful roll-out based on mutual rewards and trusts.

But we believe that customer support begins before a company becomes our customer, and that partnership starts on the sales level. Our salespeople – like our implementation and support team – bring real-life mortgage banking experience. We feel that this prevents much of the confusion that can occur when implementing a new lending solution.

The OpenClose Implementation Model has been created to ensure new clients a successful training map that will guide them to their go-live date smoothly and on time. At OpenClose, we feel that training is the most critical part in setting up the system to what matches the new customers business plans. Our in-house trainers each have a minimum of 20 years mortgage experience to help guide you to a successful implementation.

A senior account manager with a minimum of 15 years mortgage banking experience is assigned to the account that will report directly to the C-level staff within OpenClose. This specialist will handle the implementation, training and customization/enhancement requests for new customers bypassing the first tier support desk

A team of specialists is also on staff to provide additional support that may be needed during this implementation phase. Once the client is live, all members of the AM’s team are available to handle any support calls that may come in. All calls are taken live and are not sent to voice recording to be returned in the order they are received. If for any reason a specialist is not available, all calls are returned within the hour or by the end of each business day.

 

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Topics: Mortgage Software, mortgage lending software, Mortgage Banking Software

You inherited that loan origination software?

Posted by Frank Bocchino on Fri, Mar 22, 2013

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It's not your fault.


You inherited that loan origination software. It's what the company has always used. And the lack of proper training, that unresponsive support, those lost files -- those headaches are the same with every LOS vendor, right?  Uhm, no.

OpenClose is a mortgage banking solution that's easy to use and taught to you by real bankers -- not manuals written by software developers. Learn what makes partnering with us so different. Find a better LOS. Find a better LOS company.

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Topics: Loan Origination system, Mortgage Banking Software

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