SitusAMC acquires Street Resource Group

SitusAMC acquires Street Resource Group
SitusAMC, the New York-based real estate services and technology company that’s been on an acquisitions tear over the last year, has another feather in its cap: it has acquired warehouse loan software provider Street Resource Group.

With the deal, SitusAMC now has two of the top warehouse loan software systems on the market, SRG’s Warehouse Loan System (WLS) and SitusAMC’s own offering, ProMerit, which it acquired in 2019 as part of the MBMS transaction.

Combined, ProMerit and WLS will support more than 60 clients, from small lenders originating 40 loans a month for a $500,000 warehouse line, to big companies lenders receiving $15 billion warehouse lines, said Michael Franco, the CEO of SitusAMC.

Founded by Stanley Street in 1986, SRG currently supports more than 1,500 independent mortgage originators and more than 14,000 users. SRG has historically focused on smaller lenders and the primary markets while ProMerit has catered to bigger IMBs, warehouse lenders and the capital markets side of the business.

“Essentially we’re able to service anywhere from somebody who’s got a half a million dollar line up to clients that have $15 billion in outstandings, every single day,” Franco said in an interview with HousingWire. “That’s a huge swath of the the market that we’re able to cover now here at SitusAMC between the WLS technology and the existing ProMerit software.”

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Franco said he initially had discussions with Street when SitusAMC was in the process of buying ProMerit in 2019. The thesis was that independent mortgage banks would continue to grab market share, so they kept in touch.

“We realized that they both [SRG and MBMS] had a unique perspective and place in the mortgage lending ecosystem, and we thought that having the two platforms together would be very valuable to the end consumer,” Franco said in an interview with HousingWire.

SitusAMC will retain the SRG team, and Street, SRG’s founder, will serve as vice chairman of SitusAMC Technologies.

The acquisition will lead to greater efficiencies and outcomes for warehouse lenders and their IMB clients, according to Franco and Street. They’re especially interested in providing enhancements that allow large IMBs – who have over a half dozen warehouse lenders – the ability to achieve even greater scalability.

“We’ve heard from several clients who have let’s say, 10, 12, 15 different lines,” Franco said. “They have to have a bunch of groups internally that try to figure out how to submit loans that get funded. There’s inefficiency in that process for them. We think those lenders will want to have something that makes it easier for them to interface with their lending institutions.”

Most IMBs deal with a variety of warehouse lenders across both platforms, so SitusAMC’s acquisition and integration of the WLS should help realize synergies and reduce redundancies, he said.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed on Monday.

The deal for SRG is the latest in an incredible year of acquisitions for SitusAMC. The real estate tech and services firm has acquired 10 companies since January 2020, and has made 23 deals since 2015, Franco said on Monday.

Acquisitions include mortgage and title fulfillment company Assimilate Solutions, mortgage compliance software provider Compliance Ease (which is used in about a third of residential originations), and mortgage tech software developer ReadyPrice, among others.

“We’re really excited about the transaction here,” said Franco. “Anytime you can have two systems that are touching $3 trillion in fundings and activity in the market, it’s a pretty good market position to be in. We think it fits in really well here with the broader ecosystem of technology solutions that we have at SitusAMC.”
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Josh Team out as Keller Williams president

Josh Team out as Keller Williams president
Josh Team is out as president of Keller Williams, a few months after what appeared to be a promotion.

Team wrote on his personal Facebook page Monday that, “I’ve decided to move on to my next opportunity from Keller Williams. In conversations with Gary, Carl, and the team we all mutually agreed to a plan where I’ll be helping in the transition over the next couple of weeks.”

Inman News was first to flag Team’s resignation note.

Gary Keller, executive chairman for Keller Williams, confirmed Team’s departure later in the day Monday following a lengthy company board meeting.

“Recently, Josh Team and our leadership team sat down to discuss an amicable and mutual departure agreement and set up a thorough transition plan,” Gary Keller said in an open letter to company employees and agents.

Team’s departure lead to the in-house promotion of Marc King as president. King was previously co-director of growth.

The company also announced Monday that they brought on Chris Cox as head of technology and digital, after a stint with Bain Consulting.

The shake-up follows founder Gary Keller’s announcement in October that he would step down as CEO of the Austin, Texas-headquartered brokerage. A company statement explained at the time that Team would “assume all duties and responsibilities previously held by Keller. Keller Williams Realty will no longer have a CEO; however, Keller will become executive chairman of the board.”

Complicating the leadership picture was creation of a Keller holding company, KWx, with Carl Liebert named as CEO to run that operation.

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A former executive at Auto Nation and Home Depot among other companies, Liebert was a fixture at last week’s “Family Reunion,” an annual gathering of Keller real estate agents.

Liebert does not have a background in real estate. King, who is a former real estate agent, will run the brokerage’s daily operations but must report to Liebert.

Team also did not have a real estate background. He joined Keller Williams in 2015 after he worked as the Chief Innovation Officer at RAPP, a New York City-based advertising shop.

Team served as Chief Innovation Officer for Keller, and he focused on Keller’s digital presence, including a revamped consumer-facing website and proprietary customer relationship management software. Keller promoted Team to President in 2019.

Under Team’s watch, Keller dropped its “Smarter Agent” real estate app.

A private company, Keller self-reported last week sales volume numbers of its franchisees. The firm’s U.S. and Canada affiliates claimed $407 billion in 2020 sales volume, a 16 percent climb from 2019.

UPDATE 2/22: This story was changed following Keller Williams’ response.
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How lenders will benefit from Proctor Financial’s acquisition of Loan Protector

How lenders will benefit from Proctor Financial’s acquisition of Loan Protector

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As a result of Loan Protector’s recent acquisition by Proctor Financial, Proctor Loan Protector is now the largest managing general agency (MGA) in the market, meaning it is neither owned by nor confined to a single insurance carrier. This benefits the company’s clients in multiple ways.

Proctor Loan Protector is able to shop rates among its carrier partners to find the best rates for clients and their borrowers. In the event a carrier decides to leave the business or a client is unhappy with their coverage, the company can shift that insurance to a different carrier without impacting the operational tracking.  

The company’s in-house underwriting team has the ability to issue policies directly through its office or carrying partners, and the company can also adjudicate claims directly from its in-house team.

“We’re in the process of taking the best of both organizations and combining them to make the new Proctor Loan Protector,” said Damon Laprade, executive at Proctor Loan Protector. 

At the end of 2021, the company estimates it will be tracking close to 7 million loans as a combined entity, with 1,200 teammates working across three operations: Cleveland, Ohio; Troy, Michigan; and Daytona Beach, Florida. 

Proctor Loan Protector is focused on the best of the best: the best people, processes, technology and applications. For more information, visit https://proctorlp.com/.
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Forbearances fall for third week in a row, to 5.22%

Forbearances fall for third week in a row, to 5.22%
The total number of mortgages in forbearance declined seven basis points to 5.22% in the week ending Feb. 14, according to the latest estimate from the Mortgage Bankers Association.

The trade group said 2.6 million homeowners are currently in forbearance plans.

“The share of loans in forbearance has declined for three weeks in a row, with portfolio and PLS loans decreasing the most this week. This decline was due to a sharp increase in borrower exits, particularly for IMB servicers,” said Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s senior vice president and chief economist.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac‘s forbearance portfolio continued to express the lowest share of loans, decreasing four basis points to 2.97%. Ginnie Mae‘s share, which include loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration, fell 2 basis points to 7.32%, while the share for portfolio loans and private-label securities (PLS) dropped a full 20 basis points from the prior week, at 8.94%.

The percentage of loans in forbearance for nonbank servicers also dropped 15 basis points to 5.54%, while the percentage of loans for depository servicers decreased 2 basis points to 5.28%.

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The MBA’s survey found that of the cumulative exits between June 1, 2020, and Feb. 14, 27.9% of borrowers continued to make their monthly payments during the forbearance period while over 15% of exits represented borrowers who did not make all of their monthly payments and exited forbearance without a loss mitigation plan in place.

Overall, the MBA noted that new forbearance requests are also falling – down six basis points to match a survey low.

“The housing market is quite strong, with home sales, home construction, and home price data all testifying to this strength,” Fratantoni said. “Policymakers and the mortgage industry have helped enable this during the pandemic by providing millions of homeowners support in the form of forbearance.”

In the week prior, forbearance was once again extended by the Biden administration, pushing out forbearance and eviction moratoriums an additional three months, through June 30, 2021. This measure only applies to those with a loan backed by the FHA, though Fannie and Freddie recently extended forbearance requests up to 15 months.

Now, data is showing the affects of long-standing moratoriums. Black Knight’s December mortgage monitor report revealed foreclosure starts hit a record low in 2020, falling by 67% from the year prior as moratoriums and forbearance plans protected homeowners.

Based on the rate of improvement to date, Black Knight estimates there could be more than 2.5 million active forbearance plans remaining at the end of March 2021 when the first wave of plans reaches their 12-month expirations.

For four months now, the forbearance portfolio volume has hovered between 5% and 6% — the longest a percentage range has held since the survey’s origins in May.
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First American’s Odeta Kushi to speak at Spring Summit

First American’s Odeta Kushi to speak at Spring Summit
First American Financial Corporation’s Deputy Chief Economist Odeta Kushi will discuss the economic forecast for the rest of this year at HousingWire’s Spring Summit on March 4.

An expert in her field, Kushi conducts research around demographic trends, Millennials and homeownership, monitoring and analyzing economic data related to the housing industry. Her research has been published in leading business and industry trade publications and she is a guest on high-profile broadcast news channels, including Bloomberg and CNBC.

Kushi will be joined on the panel by CoreLogic Deputy Chief Economist Selma Hepp, Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather and HousingWire Lead Analyst Logan Mohtashami.

The focus of the Spring Summit is The Year-Round Purchase Market. Record low rates led to a banner year for mortgage lenders in 2020, and with a demographic tsunami of Millennial homebuyers entering the housing market, this year is expected to be just as incredible.

The summit brings together experts like Kushi who can speak to the topics that are critical to success in another unprecedented year, including:

What mortgage tech is solving nowServicing challenges in a pandemic periodOperational strategies in the current marketThe brave new world of valuationseClosing/RON updateA new regulatory regime

The summit also features sessions on operational strategies in the current market, lessons from local markets and more.

As with all HousingWire events, we’re bringing together some of the brightest and most successful people in mortgage, real estate, compliance, security, technology and regulation to offer their insights on what’s happening right now and what’s coming next.

Speakers joining Kushi include UWM CEO Mat Ishbia, Figure Technologies CEO and co-founder Mike Cagney , MBA’s Lisa Haynes, Mortgage Champions CEO Dale Vermillion, top Century 21 Realtor Xio Sandoval, and many more.

The 2021 Spring Summit is designed for our HW+ premium members, who get access to all HousingWire virtual events, long-form digital content published weekly, an exclusive Slack community and more. Sign up for HW+ membership and register for the summit here, or get event-only access for your company or team here.
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