By KIMBERLEY HAAS
Rocket Pro TPO is promising to clear eligible loans in no more than 15 business days and leaders there say they are able to guarantee these closing times because of the company’s investment in technology.
Kevin Randolph, Senior Vice President of Operations at Rocket Pro TPO, said they have spent billions of dollars to accelerate their creation of propriety technology. They have rolled out new programs such as PathFinder, a proprietary mortgage guideline search engine.
Rocket Connect provides brokers with communication with underwriters and operational leaders directly in the broker portal. Rocket Pro TPO’s new pricing calculator can deliver brokers a pricing estimate quickly and easily, according to the company.
Randolph said in an interview with The Mortgage Note that it is their mission to make life’s complex moments simple.
“It’s been an investment year after year for Rocket to innovate on our own process,” Randolph said.
The Fast 15 Guarantee for broker partners, announced on April 4, is a promise that eligible loans will be cleared to close in no more than 15 business days from the submission of a complete loan file.
The company will award borrowers looking to make a conventional purchase on a primary residence with a $2,500 lender credit if the loan does not close on its promised due date.
“We’re positioned to close purchase loans faster than anybody,” Randolph told The Mortgage Note.
In a statement, Randolph said, “This promise comes from a combination of our 35 years of experience, our build-up of technology, and the AMC partners we’ve chosen to work with. We also have some of the best-seasoned underwriters in the industry.”
Government loans, FHA loans, and VA loans do not apply, and the program is not available in a few states such as Hawaii and New Mexico.
According to a press release, this marks Rocket’s second-biggest announcement aimed to improve how brokers’ loans are processed.
The first announcement came in late January with the launch of the Crews program, which provides each Rocket Pro TPO broker partner with direct access to a small, dedicated team of mortgage experts who know the broker, know their business, and can help get loans closed fast and with certainty.
Randolph said the rollout of the Fast 15 Guarantee was not planned specifically for the spring selling season.
“It just so happens it’s right at the beginning of selling season,” Randolph said.
According to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending April 1, mortgage applications decreased 6.3% from one week earlier.
Joel Kan, MBA’s Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting, said mortgage application volume continues to decline due to rapidly rising mortgage rates, as financial markets expect significantly tighter monetary policy in the coming months.
“The 30-year fixed mortgage rate increased for the fourth consecutive week to 4.90 percent and is now more than 1.5 percentage points higher than a year ago. As higher rates reduce the incentive to refinance, application volume dropped to its lowest level since the spring of 2019. The refinance share of all applications dipped to 38.8 percent, down from 51 percent a year ago,” Kan said in a statement.
Kan said the hot job market and rapid wage growth continue to support housing demand, despite the surge in rates and swift home-price appreciation.
“However, insufficient for-sale inventory is restraining purchase activity. Additionally, the elevated average purchase loan size, and steeper 8 percent drop in FHA purchase applications, are both indicative of first-time buyers being disproportionately impacted by supply and affordability challenges,” Kan said.
Randolph contends that being fast still matters in a purchase market and will give broker partners the competitive edge they need to retain a high volume of applications.
“We have a broad reach across the country and we already work with broker partners who offer a diverse range of loan products,” Randolph said in a statement. “Having a faster contract date helps brokers stand out — why wouldn’t you want to be faster?”
Rocket will be promoting the Fast 15 Guarantee until April 30th.
Depending on the feedback Rocket gets from its broker partners, it may extend the Fast 15 Guarantee past the promotional period.
Potential homebuyers in some parts of the country are rushing to mortgage offices to make sure they get a loan before prices and interest rates go even higher.
At the same time, the spring selling season is looking promising for sellers. Home prices rose 1.84% in February and 19.6% year-over-year – the largest annual gains on record – according to Black Knight’s Monthly Mortgage Monitor Report.
This is leaving people in the mortgage and real estate industries speculating on whether 2022 will be a year of growth or the start of the end for a red-hot market that has forced up the price of housing in many parts of the country.
Email story ideas to Editor Kimberley Haas: [email protected]