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

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

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.

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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

How much does that free mortgage loan software cost?

Posted by Frank Bocchino on Fri, Sep 13, 2013
 

Our loan origination software competitors offer good products -- though we think ours is better. But we encourage you to shop around and get the best fit for your company. It's called freedom of choice. But what about freedom of cost?

Some of those same competitors are practically giving their product away -- or so it seems. We did the math. By the time you factor in all the hidden fees, charges, training costs, support costs, that free software isn't so free anymore. And when do those charges begin? When you can't break the contract,that's when.

At OpenClose, we believe in the freedom of cost. That means a fixed price that doesn't change. No hidden charges, no surprises, no nickel and "diming" which can add up to thousands.  Just a straightforward price.

Need some free research? Download the LOS Comparison eBook

  
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Topics: Mortgage Loan Origination software, mortgage loan software

LenderAssist™ loan origination software

Posted by Frank Bocchino on Thu, Sep 12, 2013

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LenderAssist™ loan origination software keeps going where most other mortgage software vendors leave off. Our LOS provides mortgage banking functionality, document imaging, underwriting, secondary marketing, shipping and accounting, and post closing software. Our mortgage origination software is 100% web-based and provides the individual user with only the tools they need. Management loves the functionality, employees love the speed and ease of use. It's one multi channel software that adapts to any and all of your business channels: wholesale, retail, and correspondent.

LenderAssist™ doesn't make you change the way you do business, it makes the way you do business easier, faster, with less mistakes. We're sure you've never used an LOS that was easier, faster, or more reliable.

  • fully Web-based, end-to-end loan solution
  • secondary marketing and post closing tools included
  • integrates with our loan pricing engine
Download our eBook on Correspondent Lending
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Topics: Loan Origination software, Loan Origination system, Mortgage Loan Origination software, Loan Origination

Does Your LOS Have Advanced Analytics?

Posted by Frank Bocchino on Fri, Apr 19, 2013

Does Your LOS Have Advanced Analytics?

BY TONY GARRITANO APRIL 18, 2013

TonyGAs the LOS war heats up, smart vendors are looking to incorporate analytics into their core offering. For example, I learned that origination vendor OpenClose has launched the latest version of OC Optics, a loan production analytics and reporting solution. OC Optics relies on the proactive approach to loan management reporting. It can easily be configured to automatically send out reports to each department or employee based on job function. Now originators, processors, underwriters, secondary, through post closing can get only the reports they need. Here’s how it works:

The data analytics management module for its loan origination software includes analytics and enhanced reporting for any mortgage banking channel. The new OC Optics release, which includes scorecards, report building, and power-packaged reports for busy banking executives, comes fully implemented and is instantly accessible from a Web-browser.

It accesses the entire loan database and boils it down to only the pertinent info and allows advanced scheduling, automatically delivering reports it at the desire times. Authorized users can schedule reports daily, weekly, monthly, to be delivered to users, department heads, managers, to have them waiting on their desks.

Want to see which employees or branches, or even loan products aren’t pulling their weight? The new scorecard feature tracks, analyzes and ranks like a stock analyst or a sports franchise might. Need to check reports of loans about to expire, but get bogged down with other work? The new power-packed reporting let’s you choose exact data you need, posts it in your dashboard in a chart, sends it to you in an email, allows your to download it as raw data, an Excel chart, etc. Prepackaged power reports come standard. Edit colors, chart type and a variety of key performance indicators to match products, divisions, etc.

The other major competitive advantage with OC Optics is that it comes installed and integrated for its loan origination users with all the data mapped and analyzed. The implementation period is done in a matter of days at a greatly reduced, simplified step.

“As the loan origination and funding industry becomes more complex, the need for simplification in the loan software industry has come to the forefront,” says JP Kelly, OpenClose president.  “The lenders we talk with want compliant and comprehensive solutions that are easy for all their employees to use. Our latest release of OC Optics with its scorecards, and power report building, does just that. It’s fully integrated into the LOS. That means there can be no implementation nightmares, no delays, and no mapping errors. Just the reports they need when they need them.”

OC Optics utilizes web-based technologies, designed to allow organizations to consolidate information from multiple data sources (e.g. loan origination, servicing, accounting) into a single, graphical view of the organization. From the dashboard, users are always just a click away extracting critical information into a Microsoft Excel workbook for further analysis or saving reports as PDF documents for distribution. The system is accessible via a web browser, tablet device or smart phone.

In the market today some lenders are trying to cobble together output from loan origination systems, spreadsheets and separate risk management tools in an attempt to analyze their loan production. OC Optics brings it all together in a single web-based solution, combining reporting from all areas of the organization.

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Topics: Loan Origination software, LOS, Mortgage Loan Origination software, Loan Management Software

Mortgage Software: Switching Gears Affects Work

Posted by Frank Bocchino on Mon, Jan 28, 2013

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According to a new study, the average office worker changes screens [on his/her computer] about 37 times an hour.

When your mind changes gears that rapidly, part of your brain is still engaged in the previous task. Consequently, you don’t have all of the attention and resources necessary to concentrate on the current task. This slows down productivity and reduces your ability to filter relevant information from irrelevant information.

Ask yourself, is your mortgage software so easy to use that it keeps the attention of the user, or is your staff "overclicking" which commonly creates overproduction, defects, extra processing and added ergonomics to the production stream?

Don't Switch Gears. Switch your Loan Origination Software

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Topics: Mortgage Software, Mortgage Loan Origination software

Mortgage Round Up from OpenClose mortgage loan origination software

Posted by Frank Bocchino on Mon, Dec 10, 2012

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Good news today from Freddie Mac who believe mortgage rates are likely to remain near record lows for the first half of 2013, and expect property values to strengthen,  according to its U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has announced plans to sell as many as 40,000 distressed homes via its Distressed Asset Stabilization Program (DASP) in the next 12 months, according to Dan Green

And finally President Obama's deficit commission proposed lowering the limit on mortgage principal eligible for a deduction to $500,000 from the current $1 million, removing any break for interest on a second home and turning the deduction into a tax credit capped at 12% of interest paid.

All these changes will mean changes to your software will have to adapt. Are you ready? More importantly, is your mortgage loan origination software ready?

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Topics: Mortgage Loan Origination software, Banking Software

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