Friday, October 28, 2011

Halloween Trivia And Superstitions

Seeing as this weekend is Halloween weekend I decided to enlighten all our readers with some Halloween Trivia and Superstitions that you may not have known all these years. Also here at IDS Halloween is a big deal. All the kids come Trick-or-Treating around the building, all the employees dress up with hopes to win the yearly costume contest. Can't wait for Monday, but for now here is some Halloween Trivia to start your Halloween weekend off right!

  • The traditional colors for Halloween are orange and black
  • People carve pumpkins to jeep away evil spirits
  • According to superstitions if you wanted to meet a witch on Halloween, you had to put your cloths on inside out and walk backwards
  • The legendary magician Harry Houdini died on Halloween in 1926
  • Many of today's traditions come from the Celtic pagan festival Samhain
  • The work pumpkin comes fromt he Greek meaning 'large melon'
  • Pumpkins are 90% water
  • People wore masks and costumes so that spirits and ghosts could not recognize them
  • The first US city to officially recognize Halloween was Anoka Minn,. in 1921
  • Halloween is the third biggest party night of the year, after New Years Eve and Super Bowl Sunday
  • According to the National Census Bureau the average person consumes 23.8lbs... The candy industry employes over 38 thousand people in 466 manufacturing shops
  • Consumers will buy well over 2 billion dollars in preparation for Halloween
IDS wishes everyone a Happy & Safe Halloween on Monday!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Guest Post: Amy Elms' 360 Mortgage Group

Today IDS has teamed up with one of our strongest technology customers 360 Mortgage Group. Over the past couple of years IDS has found that 360 uses technology to better their customers experience throughout the loan process, making it understandable and manageable for the borrower as well as the loan officer. 360 has seen the advantages that technology gives them making them a strong competitor in the warehouse lending environment and in the mortgage industry during this time of crisis. Today IDS and 360 Mortgage Group’s Professional Blogger and Content Writer, Amy Elms, have teamed up to explain how technology has helped their customers through this time in the mortgage industry:

360 Mortgage Group: Committed to Helping Customers through Innovative Forms of Technology

It is not unusual for the mortgage industry to be considered an outdated industry that still exclusively operates with the use of archaic paper documents and never-ending phone calls that leave customers on hold. Fortunately, with companies like 360 Mortgage Group though, more customers than ever are now moving through the loan process at a faster rate.

Soon after opening 360’s doors in 2007, Mark Greco, President and Owner of 360 Mortgage Group, decided to enlist the help of Chief Operating Officer, Andrew WeissMalik, who had held previous positions within mortgage technology development. WeissMalik chose to license his own company, On The Go Technology, to 360 and since then, 360 has been able to successfully create innovative, applicable forms of technology that have also inspired other mortgage companies to follow suit.

One technological feature that 360 prides itself on is its Online TIL Generator, which allows brokers to instantly order appraisals and only requires a minimum amount of document fields to be completed by brokers. As a result, the Online TIL Generator speeds up the closing process and reduces client liability on failed loan applications.

Another standout feature of 360’s is its live underwriting chat feature, which allows customers to connect with a member of 360’s underwriting support team, receive immediate answers to questions, and have the online conversation documented and emailed in its entirety to customers upon conclusion of the chat session.

As our country attempts to make its way out of a rough time in our economic history – a time that has particularly affected the housing market – 360 Mortgage Group is taking upon itself to utilize technology in a way that will have the most positive effect on the market. Updated RESPA guidelines have made it difficult for borrowers to obtain a mortgage, but 360’s streamlined, paperless application process is enabling customers to get loans approved in a fraction of the time, thus improving individuals’ abilities to take on homeownership and improve the market as a result.  

360 hopes to continue devoting its time to creating new ways of using technology that will help customers even more in the coming years. As 360 Mortgage Group says in its company tagline, the mortgage bank is truly committed to making its brokers look good!

To learn more about 360 Mortgage Group make sure to visit their website and blog

Friday, October 21, 2011

Meet An IDS Employee

Meet an IDS Employee: Customer Service Representative Haley Klinger
Haley is the newest addition to the IDS team and customer service department. She has been here a total of three months and loves working with all the people here at IDS and we have had a great time getting to know Haley.
Haley is married and has a small immediate family, but a large extended family and is very close with them. Family is very important to her.
Her favorite food is Mexican food and she does love milk which is probably why she has never broken a bone despite being clumsy as a kid. She loves movies, but two of her all time favorites are The Little Mermaid and The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
“Do or do not. There is no try.” Yoda is Haley’s favorite quote.
At IDS it is all about the experience and service we give our customers and our customer services representatives are at the heart of this priority. Make sure to check back every week to learn more about IDS employees.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

idsDoc Tip: Locating Borrower Info, AKA and Credit Scores

idsDoc Tip: Locating Borrower Info, AKA and Credit Scores

With all the new changes and improvements to idsDoc things have been moved around and you might feel a little lost. IDS is here to help you out and answer any questions, but here is an idsDoc Tip to help you find borrower information, AKA and credit scores from the Loan Files tab.

Once you are logged onto idsDoc -> Go to the Loan Files tab and select your borrower file -> On the Borrower/Property page you will see a button next to the Note/Title type -> By pushing this button you are able to access the borrower's information, fulfillment email, AKA and credit scores.

Also on the Borrower/Property page there has been a significant increase in options in the Vesting drop down list. The increased options help accommodate every type of scenario. If you do not see a vesting type that you use often call your customer representative and we will add it to the list.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

"Greatest Snow on Earth"

IDS is headquarted in the Salt Lake valley and in the winter time the IDS office is surrounded by peak after peak of snow covered mountains claiming the 'Greatest Snow on Earth'. The real questions is does Utah really have the greatest snow on earth?

According to scientist and the Meteorological Society Utah's claim to have the 'Greatest Snow on Earth' was confirmed. Because of the dry Utah air snow that falls each winter is a dry type of snow making it light and fluffy. The dry type of powdery stroms that Utah receives are more frequent then most states, providing a non-stop playground of powder for local skiers and snowboarders. One Utah ski resort, Alta, has a deep powder day one out of every ten days, can you believe that?

Why is the snow so dry in Utah? Our stroms come from the Pacific and they have to go over the Sierra Nevadas where they drop a lot of their moisture. By the time they reach Utah they still have substantial moisture, but they're thrust upward along the Wasatch Mountains and by the time they reach the 14 different ski resorts it is a light, dry, fluffy powder. We encourage our clients and partners to come out to Utah and test this snow out for yourself. There is something for everyone here and IDS is always willing to share what Utah has to offer. If you want more information about Utah Ski Resorts and travel check out to learn about the many different activities for winter, summer and fall!

Come enjoy a great vacation and meet everyone from IDS at the same time.

Deer Valley Resort- Park City, Utah

Park City Mountain Resort- Park City, Utah

Canyons Resort- Park City, Utah

Snowbird Resort- Salt Lake City, Utah

Alta Resort- Salt Lake City, Utah

Solitude Resort- Salt Lake City, Utah

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

MortgageOrb: Does The MBA Have a Problem?

As I opened my email this morning and read the various electronic newsletters and their variety of topics one seemed to catch my eye, the article is MortgageOrb 'Does The MBA Have a Problem' by Phil Hall took a different approach to comparing the MBA Annual show and cell service to the failing mortgage industry. I have always been a fan of Phil Hall and find myself eagerly waiting to read his next article. I wanted to share this particular article with our blog readers.

If you attended the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) Annual Convention last week, you will recall a high-tech peculiarity regarding the Hyatt Regency, the Chicago hotel that hosted the event. As conference attendees descended into the hotel lower levels to attend the event's various sessions and visit the exhibit hall, many people had problems obtaining connectivity through their cell phones and other wireless devices. This, I believe, offered a cruel symbolism for the state of mortgage banking: The further down the industry goes, the more difficult it becomes to communicate effectively.

To its credit, the MBA tried to put on an aggressively happy face and a take-charge attitude in launching the convention. But the organization repeatedly mistook spin for optimism. Outgoing MBA Chairman Michael Berman showered the organization's president and CEO, David H. Stevens, with overripe praise, calling him an "unabashed agent of change," while incoming Chairman Michael Young insisted that "no other trade association can boast such influence in Washington, D.C."

The MBA tried to raise spirits among the convention audience by handing out shiny lapel pins and bringing in a noisy local high school bad to open the convention with a selection of rock music oldies. However, more than a few discarded lapel pins could be found scattered around the convention site, and the Sue Sylvester-worthy cold reaction to the teenage musicians clearly showed that mortgage bankers expect more than accessories and songs from the trade group.

For his part, Stevens told the audience at the convention's opening session, "Today is our day to tell the truth." But not unlike the convention audience with cell phone problems, the MBA message never quite got out to the wider world.

To read the rest of Phil Hall's Does The MBA Have a Problem click here

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Protesters Target MBA Annual Convention

A small group of protesters targeted the Mortgage Bankers Association's 98th Annual Convention & Expo and held a brief demonstration outside of the Hyatt Regency Hotel, the site of the convention, on Monday October 10th.

The protests were peacefule and did not disrupt the actual convention; a few individuals joined the Second General Session and posed questions during a Q/A segment involving CEOs of several mortgage lending companies. The protests are believed to be part of a larder series of demonstrations that have targeted Wall Street and other financial centers in recent weeks.

MBA released a statement yesterday in response to the protests:
"America is about freedom of speech. We worry, however, that the focus of the protesters is about what isn't working in this country, while inside this conference we are working on building a sage and sound system to support the dream of homeownership. We have more than 3.000 mortgage bankers coming here this week to look for solutions to the continuing troubles of the housing market.

We all recognize that our industry faces a trust deficit with policymakers and the public and that people in our industry contributed to the events that led to the financial crisis. The mortgage professionals who have gathered in Chicago this week are about sustainable homeownership and ensuring to affordable mortgage credit for qualified borrowers."

*courtest of MBA NewsLink

MBA Annual in Chicago

The 98th Annual Convention & Expo was highly attended this year, more foot traffic, meetings and vendors made for a great event in Chicago. There were many highlights to this years events and many of them were generating relationships, strengthening relationships and getting that one on one time that we see so little of with today's technology.

IDS learned that docs really are becoming a top commodity in the industry and many lenders are looking to doc prep's to integrate with their LOS and start creating sound document sets in minutes. The difference that IDS offers is the ability to customize any document set for any business and any scenario. We want to make the day-to-day tasks that seem so tedious an after thought, simple.

MBA Annual is always a great event that allows various mortgage bankers and mortgage professionals to network and learn more about how to improve our current industry. Hopefully from here on out things will start to get go on an upper ward climb.

Some highlights from the show:
  • The band Chicago
  • Chicago Marathon & Mortgage Bankers Conference- Lots of people
  • Protesters getting inside the Hyatt Regency
  • Many networking events and parties
  • The weather in Chicago
I  guess we will see everyone next year in Chicago.

Friday, October 7, 2011

MBA 98th Annual Conference & Expo

Matt, Mark and Ali are headed to Chicago for the
MBA 98th Annual Convention & Expo- Chicago 10.9.2011-10.12.2011

Make sure to stop by the IDS booth #1111

We will be featuring our new e-signatures application and initial disclosures
IDS isn't just your closing docs provider, but IDS is your Initial Disclosure Specialist!

Hope to see everyone there!

Mortgage Rates Drop Below 4% for First Time

The fact that mortgage rates have dropped below 4 percent seems to be everywhere, on the news, on the radio, everywhere on the web and most of all in all the mortgage newsletters that are sent out daily to many mortgage industry professionals inboxes.

According to mortgage giant Freddie Mac figures for the benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell below 4 percent for the first time in history. the 30-year loan dropping on average to 3.94 percent nationally, down from 4.01 percent just last week. The 30-year loan isn't the only one that dropped, but the 15-year fixed rate mortgage dropped from 3.28 percent last week to 3.26 percent this week.

Several people have the same question on their minds, will these low rates help stimulate demand in the mortgage industry? It definitely helps, but it's tricky with the low consumer confidence, fears about double-dip recessiion, and a wait-and-see approach to still-falling home prices keep first-time homebuyers on the sidelines.

Frank Nothaft vice president and chief economist with Freddies faults job security and tight credit supply for the slow tread among consumers, and says low mortgage rates "will inspire some first-time buyers to enter the market and repeat buyers to buy a bigger house, but we need to see stronger job growth and some easing in the lending standards, and some work on parts of household in paring down their debts."

Seems like we still have a long ways to go until things start getting back in demand to say the least, but mortgage rates should stay historically low for the next few weeks and months and at least stay below 5 percent for the remained of the year into 2012.

So many things to come. We all better stay tuned. With the MBA Annual this weekend in Chicago there will be plenty of predictions of what's to come for the year 2012. What more could there be? We will have to wait and see.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Going Local... You Should Try It!

I am sure that where ever you may live, every Saturday morning there is a local farmers market full of beautiful produce, fresh baked breads and delicious products like local honey just waiting for you to take home and create a wonderful meal. A lot of states and communities have been campaigning and advertising buying local, not only does it let customers know exactly where their food is coming from, but it also helps the local economy, so why not buy local?

If you buy local you are not a lone. It was predicted last year on that one of the top trends for food in 2011 would be this concept of "going local" and sure enough the trend has come to be. Not only are Americans eating local in their own homes, but many public schools across the country are getting local. According to the USDA, a new federal rule will give preference in contract bidding for school meals to local farm products. Many restaurants are also noticing this trend and many are beginning to focus on products that come from local sources, setting them a part for other restaurants.

Here in Utah there is a not-for-profit organization called 'Local First' Utah. This organization seeks to strengthen communities and local economies by promoting, preserving and protecting local, independently owned businesses throughout Utah. It was organized in 2005 by a small number of volunteer business owners and community minded residents. Local First Utah today has more than 2,700 locally owned and independent business partners, including citizens and government organizations across the state.

Local First Utah's mission as an organization is to educate the public and government about the importance of locally owned independent businesses to the community. Local businesses are, in a real sense, the backbone of any community. It is nearly impossible to imagine our neighborhoods, towns and cities here in Utah without them. Local First recognizes that local business owners live here, do their hiring here, operate their stores and offices here, buy most their supplies and products here, pay all their taxes here and spend their profits here, they obviously contribute far more to our local economies than do chains.

Make sure to research the local businesses and store owners in your area and make sure to support them and other local events. Going local is obviously the new big thing.

Tips To Buying Your First Home- 5 Specifically

Despite many Americans' pessimistic attitudes about the economy, household finances and homeownership, 69 percent of the Americans surveyed in Fannie Mae's Monthly National Housing Survey believed that it is still a good time to buy a home.

5 Tips for Finding Your First Home Together, Without Arguing (Found on Lending Tree Blog)
  1. Set your price point together: According to a survey taken on, the budget was the most common topic of home-shoppping arguments. So make sure to spend some time at the very beginning objectively deciding what you can afford. Check your credit scores and pull all your financial records- such as pay stubs and savings accounts statements (you will need all of these when you a pply for a home loan anyways). Once you have all this information at your finger tips, find a home affordability calculator and figure out your price range!
  2. Set your priorities seperately-- then together: Hardly anyone can have everything they want in their first home. One suggestion is to make a list of your top five priorities before you start looking. Maybe you can't live without a walk-in closet (I know I can't), but you could survive without a big backyard. When you've settles on your own must-haves, get together and compare your lists. The items that are on both of your lists are your most important joint priorities and from there you will need to negotiate the rest.
  3. Learn from others: There's so much knowledge to be gained from talking to people who have already purchased homes. Ask you friends and family how they approached the home-buying process and how they settled any differences that arose.
  4. Practice: Just get on the same page as your partner, spend some time going to open houses together before you really delve into the serious house hunting phase. It is like having a dress rehearsal, you can both discover what you want and what you can afford as a couple.
  5. Compromise:  This is something you are going to have to get use to, you're married now. If you havne't already discovered, buying a home is a good time to learn the lesson that you get a lot back long term if you are willing to give a little today.
All in all you have to remember that at the end of the day this is a dream house that you are looking for as a couple, not just as you, the individual. Seems kind of crazy that after planning a wedding, buying a house is the often the next big step or project together as a couple that you have to tackle. Buying a house is a big, long-term financial commitment so just remember these 5 tips as that step becomes apparent in your lives.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

University of Utah vs. Brigham Young University

The Brigham Young University Cougars (BYU) and the University of Utah Utes (Utah) have been a part of one of the most well known college football rivalries since 1922. Considered as the 'Holy War' Utah and BYU gut it out each season in front of passionate fans in red and blue. Since IDS is based in Draper, UT just between both of the rival universities, there is a big fan base for both teams here in the office. The question for the week of the game was red or blue? Come Friday before game day we had our own tailgating party where staff members sported their team colors. It was a good way to add some competition in the office and for all those Utah fans it was a good feeling coming into the office Monday morning with a high from a 54-10 win over the BYU cougars. Maybe they will get us next year!

Oh the joys of college football! Let us know your favorite college football teams and rivalries!

Quote of the Day

"Self-discipline is the bridge between ordinary and extraordinary"

-Matthew Mackey

Monday, October 3, 2011

IDS E-Sign Capabilities

IDS continues to enhance our e-signature options for the idsDoc platform. The changes made are always based on the feedback and demand of customers.

"Over the past 10 years, ,the buzz has been that e-signatures are just around the corner, and now that technological advances have converged with industry demand, the time was right for IDS to develop e-signature capabilities that would actually be able to meet and exceed customer expectations," said Curt Doman, president of IDS. "Keeping our docs in motion is an integral part of the IDS business model, and we're constantly striving to stay ahead with technology, innovation and customer demand to expand our services."

With our new enhancements borrowers have the ability to save and e-mail documents to themselves, view their progress and status throughout the signing process and receive real-time progress notifications.

In addition, loan officers and disclosure coordinators get frequent status updates and enhanced tracking abilities to better monitor the e-sign process. There is an archival feature that allows borrowers, lenders and loan officers to retrieve and view signed documents for years to come.

Also included is an upgraded user interface to make the switch between borrower and loan officer screens easier; click-and-sign capabilities for lenders, loan officers and borrowers; and client-specific features, such as the ability to create lender-specific instruction documents for borrowers and custom print order capabilities. In addition, IDS has enhanced privacy features and identity verification procedures to ensure compliance with e-signature regulations, as well as requirements from IDS customers and industry investors.