Fannie Mae Enhances Income Calculator For Self-Employed Borrowers

Fannie Mae enhanced its Income Calculator tool to give self-employed borrowers a leg up. The new and improved calculator is now available at FannieMae.com for lender use at no additional cost. It is also built into CoreLogic’s Income Analyzer service and PointServ’s Digitally Sourced Data service. It builds on the GSE’s existing Income Calculator, introduced in 2023, which automates the calculation of self-employment income during the underwriting process. It uses tax return data to identify income using Selling Guide requirements, then returns a monthly qualifying income amount, plus recommended actions to help lenders avoid document and calculation mistakes. “Whether through our new web-based user interface or through an integrated technology service provider, Fannie Mae’s Income Calculator simplifies the process of…

Equity Soars To Record $11 Trillion

The recent surge in home prices pushed U.S. homeowners’ tappable equity to a record $11 trillion. Prices were on a run in March, according to the ICE Home Price Index, up 1.2% and more than 25% above the 25-year average increase. This is the third straight month of above-average gains as stock shortages keep competition for limited homes high. As a result, mortgage holders’ equity shot to a record $16.9T in Q1, $11T of which can be leveraged while retaining a 20% equity cushion, both of which are all-time highs. “We’re still very much in a hole from an inventory perspective, but that deficit has fallen from 50% a year ago to 38% in March. Today, with 3.3 months of…

Lender Customer Satisfaction Up In 2023 Thanks To Borrower-Centric Approaches

Mortgage lenders who pivoted to borrower-centric approaches in the last year saw customer satisfaction soar despite high rates. That’s according to the J.D. Power 2023 U.S. Mortgage Origination Satisfaction Study, which found overall customer satisfaction with mortgage lenders rose 14 points YOY, even as the average mortgage rate has climbed to its highest level in 23 years and lending volume tanked. The reason? Increased focus on the borrowing experience, leading to happier customers. While nearly a third of customers said they chose the lender with the lowest rate, 69% cited other reasons like personalized service and helpfulness. “The value equation for mortgage originators has shifted from instant approvals and lightning-fast processing to helpful advice and creative problem solving,” said Bruce…

Integro Bank Announces Mortgage Lending Division

Arizona-based Integro Bank launched a new mortgage lending division geared towards small business owners purchasing homes. Steven Zielsdorf, director of residential mortgage lending, will lead the team. Prior to Integro, he served as a managing member of iLending Mortgage LLC. “Integro Bank is here to make the home buying process easier and less stressful. We offer a wide variety of loan programs to meet your mortgage financing needs whether you are a traditional residential home buyer or a small business owner with challenges validating income to meet the financial requirements,” Zielsdorf said. “Our team will work with you to determine the best option for your personal situation while also having the experience to provide creative solutions for small business owners…

Lending Trends In The Rural South

For borrowers in the rural South, getting a mortgage is tricky. A new analysis from the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau found that consumers in hard-to-reach areas of the South have a tough time accessing credit. Southern rural consumers apply for mortgages at the same rate as consumers nationwide – 19 applications per 1,000 residents – but are more likely to be denied, with 27% of their applications shot down compared to 11% nationally. They also pay higher rates than borrowers in other regions, averaging 3.51% in 2021 compared to 3.12% nationally.  The rural South does have high levels of poverty, which can translate to poor credit scores. Almost half of the country’s persistent poverty counties – where 20% of the…

Lapin Promoted To President As FormFree Shifts Gears

FormFree is entering a new era, having strategically divested itself of asset-verification service AccountChek and naming a new president. Eric Lapin, who joined FormFree in 2022 as chief strategy officer, was promoted to president, the company announced. “FormFree is proud to have pioneered the mortgage industry’s first asset verification service, and that revolutionary spirit will propel the next phase of our growth,” said Lapin.  “Moving forward with a laser focus on the future will allow FormFree to innovate with the agility of a startup while benefitting from all the experience and wisdom we have accumulated over nearly two decades in business.” Lapin said the company will now focus more on future innovators like blockchain and decentralized Web3 technologies. FormFree already…

Wells Fargo Earnings Down By 50% YOY In Q4 2022

Wells Fargo’s net earnings dropped in Q4 2022, pushed down by a settlement and the pressures of a shrinking economy. The bank announced that its net income fell to $2.86 billion, or 67 cents a share. This is half of its profits from the same time last year, which came in at $5.75 billion, $1.38 per share. Leaders at Wells Fargo noted that the decline was driven by the fall-off in mortgage demand. Its home lending was down 57% from Q4 2021. The bank announced this week that it is narrowing its home lending business, exiting the correspondent lending channel and shrinking its servicing portfolio. This move will force a round of layoffs, but it is unclear how many jobs…

Pylon Raises $8.5M For Embedded Mortgage Infrastructure Platform

Mortgage-as-a-service provider Pylon has raised $8.5 million in seed funding for the development of its embedded mortgage infrastructure platform, the company announced in a press release. Funding is led by Conversion Capital with participation from Fifth Wall, Peter Thiel, and QED Investors, among others. Zillow, Blend, Ramp, SoFi, and Figure offered additional funds as angel investors. “Mortgages are rapidly becoming commoditized across rates, loan products, and operations as indicated by the nearly identical rates amongst the top 10 lenders,” said Pylon co-founder Trent Hedge. “We are long overdue for the infrastructure layer that standardizes these commodities through software – allowing our customers to focus on building highly differentiated, revenue-generating mortgage offerings at a fraction of the time and cost.” Pylon…

Stronghill Expands Into Residential Lending

Dustin Wells has been named Co-President of Stronghill Capital as it expands into residential lending, the company announced in a press release. Wells, an industry veteran with more than two decades of experience, will head a new executive team focused on expanding Stronghill’s business from commercial into the non-QM, non-agency jumbo, and investor residential spaces. His leadership experience includes many executive-level roles, including COO at Wesley Mortgage, Head of Lending at Knock, and EVP, Mortgage Director at Keystone Bank. “We have a clear purpose as we grow into the Non-QM space and I look forward to bringing depth to Stronghill’s market presence at the residential level with this dynamic leadership team,” said Wells. “This crossover empowers our industry partners by…

First Community Mortgage Expands In Midwest

Tennessee-based First Community Mortgage is expanding its retail business into the Midwest, the company announced in a press release. The expansion comes as FCM celebrates its 20th anniversary. New team members have largely signed on since September 1. “We are excited to add these talented professionals to the First Community Mortgage family,” Keith Canter, CEO and one of the founders of FCM, said. New hires include Bret Head, who comes from Prime Lending where he served as SVP and Regional Director of Retail Sales. He joins FCM as EVP and National Director of Sales. The majority of new team members are based out of branches in Cincinnati, Chicago, Detroit, Grand Rapids, and Indianapolis. They include Branch Managers Ryan Kiefer and…