Cloudvirga partners with Citizens Bank’s wholesale channel

Cloudvirga partners with Citizens Bank’s wholesale channel
On Monday, Cloudvirga announced its integration with Citizens Bank’s wholesale channel, Franklin American Mortgage Company, to combine its digital mortgage processes with point of sale software and cloud-based technology. Franklin American Mortgage Company is the nation’s largest bank-owned wholesale lender.

Through the partnership, Franklin American Mortgage aims to transform its third-party origination platform into a one-stop-shop for its broker partners, Cloudvirga said.

“In today’s wholesale environment, lenders have a responsibility to empower their brokers with the tools they need to be successful,” said Scott Tansil, executive vice president of wholesale lending at Franklin American Mortgage.

Cloudvirga rolled out its TPO program in May to accommodate the increased market share of the wholesale lending sector, which has reached almost 16% of the nation’s $2 trillion annual mortgage volume.

The platform offers brokers structured loan details for all loan products, pricing, real-time third party fees, reissuance of credit, electronic connections for income and assets, the ability to run dual AUS, issue lender disclosures and satisfy conditions digitally.

In June of 2019, Citizens Bank unveiled its digital mortgage experience, which enabled borrowers to both apply for and manage their mortgages online, as well as a home shopping portal. Now, the company is looking to increase the number of tools in customers’ hands. 

The Cloudvirga technology will allow brokers to have their own POS to grant their customers functionalities within the platform including verifying assets and income, uploading documents, collecting e-signatures and paying for appraisals.

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Freddie Mac Multifamily offers new forbearance options and tenant protections

Freddie Mac Multifamily offers new forbearance options and tenant protections
Freddie Mac Multifamily announced Monday that it has created three additional forbearance options to assist multifamily borrowers who have been impacted by COVID-19. Those options also extend tenant protections.

The options include delaying the start of the repayment period following forbearance; an extension of the repayment period; and, an extension of the forbearance period with an optional extended repayment period.

“Many borrowers are still facing hardship even though they may soon exhaust the 90-day forbearance granted in the initial iteration of our COVID-19 relief program,” said Debby Jenkins, executive vice president and head of Freddie Mac Multifamily. “These additional relief options will provide more flexibility to borrowers and extend tenant protections for renters who also continue to struggle with the economic effects of the pandemic.”

According to Freddie Mac, any extension of the forbearance period will also extend the prohibition on evicting tenants solely for nonpayment of rent, which was part of its original forbearance program established in response to Hurricane Harvey in 2017.

“Borrowers with loans with a forbearance agreement in place may not charge tenants late fees or penalties solely because of the nonpayment of rent during the forbearance period or the borrowers’ repayment period,” the announcement said.

“The forbearance program also requires borrowers to provide flexibility to tenants, allowing the repayment of back rent over time and not in a lump sum,” the announcement continued. “Finally, taking advantage of the new protections announced today will also require borrowers (subject to any prohibitions under local law) to provide 30-days’ notice to tenants prior to any eviction taking place during the repayment period.”
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Fannie Mae survey shows mortgage servicers want clarity on post-forbearance options for borrowers

Fannie Mae survey shows mortgage servicers want clarity on post-forbearance options for borrowers
Lenders cited the health and safety of staff as the biggest challenge they are facing in the midst of COVID-19, according to a recent survey conducted by Fannie Mae. Clarity regarding updates to loan eligibility and navigating supply chain disruptions rounded out the top three.

The GSE released the special topic analysis as part of its Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey series that captured feedback from close to 200 senior mortgage executives in early May.

The survey asked lenders two primary questions:

What are the biggest challenges that they’ve faced in loan origination and mortgage servicing in response to COVID-19?What are their most important business priorities, and to what extent has COVID-19 influenced those priorities?

Handling evolving regulatory and investor requirements, managing cash advances and preparing for loss mitigation programs were additional concerns lenders cited.

For mortgage servicers, understanding and navigating post-forbearance options for distressed borrowers was the leading challenge reported – followed by gaining clarification on forbearance programs, according to the report.

“Mortgage banks are significantly more likely than depository institutions and credit unions to report people taking advantage of the situation and liquidity issues as top mortgage servicing challenges they faced as a result of COVID-19,” Fannie Mae said.

Business process streamlining and consumer-facing technology topped the list as the two most important business priorities for the fourth year in a row, the report said. However, in 2020, the importance of “business process streamlining” rose 10% in terms of priority since 2019’s survey.

“Presumably, the prioritization of process streamlining by lenders is due in part to the recognition that at some point the current refinance boom will come to an end, and lenders will need to be more efficient in order to remain profitable in a potentially thinner origination market,” Mark Palim, vice president and deputy chief economist of Fannie Mae said.

The impact of COVID-19 on digital applications was polarizing for lenders – with 40% citing they do not offer, nor plan to develop, a digital portal despite lender reports that all digital applications saw an increased or consistent usage, according to the survey.

The largest increases in digital applications for loan originations were video meetings between borrowers and personnel of the firm, online applications and electronic verification of income, employment and assets, the report said.
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GSE forbearance rate drops for third week, MBA says

GSE forbearance rate drops for third week, MBA says
The forbearance share of mortgages backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac dropped for the third straight week, while Ginnie Mae loans were unchanged, the Mortgage Bankers Association said in a report on Monday.

Mortgages backed by the so-called government-sponsored enterprises, or GSEs, fell five basis points to 6.26% during the week ended June 21, according to the MBA report. The forbearance share for loans in Ginnie Mae securities – meaning, mortgages backed by the Federal Housing Administration, the Veterans Administration, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture – was unchanged at 11.83%.

The forbearance share for private-label mortgages that aren’t backed by the government increased 8 basis points to 10.07%, the report said.

Overall, the forbearance rate fell one basis point to 8.48%, representing 4.2 million mortgages, MBA said.

“The overall share of loans in forbearance declined for the second week in a row, led by the third straight drop in GSE loans,” said Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s chief economist. “Many borrowers initially received a three-month forbearance term, and as of June 21, 17% of loans in forbearance have now been extended, with the largest share of those being Ginnie Mae loans.”

Servicer call centers were busier, compared to the prior week, the report said. Calls from customers seeking forbearance rose to 7.8% from 7.7%, though the average call length decreased to 7 minutes from 7.1 minutes.

The average amount of time to answer the calls rose to 1.8 minutes from 1.5 minutes, and the abandonment rate measuring customers who hung up before speaking to a representative rose to 5.5% from 4.6%, the MBA report said.

Low mortgage rates have buoyed the housing market, pushing pending home sales up in May by 44%, the biggest monthly gain ever recorded, the National Association of Realtors said in a Monday report.

“The level of forbearance requests remains quite low as of mid-June,” Fratantoni said. “The rebound in the housing market is likely one of the factors that is providing confidence to both potential homebuyers and existing homeowners during these troubled times.”
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CFPB remains intact after Supreme Court ruling

CFPB remains intact after Supreme Court ruling

By a 5-4 margin, the Supreme Court on Monday ruled the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was unconstitutional. But because the court determined it was able to fix the constitutional defect in the agency’s structure, the work of the bureau will continue without interruption.