Monday, July 30, 2012

Ellie Mae, Encompass Enhancements
After a successful IPO and the acquisition of DataTrac, Ellie Mae is not slowing down. We have learned that the origination vendor Ellie Maehas released the latest upgrades to its Encompass360 mortgage management solution. The release, the first of two scheduled for 2012, contains new functionality and enhancements designed to further increase compliance, efficiency and ease of use. The major enhancements include:
>> Integration of Encompass Commission for hosted Encompass360 Banker and Broker Edition clients. This optional module is designed to improve the accuracy of calculating and paying LO commissions, provide regulatory backup for commission payments and help reduce human error and back-office costs.
>> Greater speed and flexibility in viewing “native” format and image-based documents. Users can now view the first pages of documents in seconds and see multiple documents as a single file within one window.
>> Remote access to the Encompass Product & Pricing Service. Loan officers can remotely find and price loans via their iPad or Android tablet and submit the data directly to Encompass360 to create a loan file.
>> Core updates that enable self-hosted clients to receive new updates to Encompass360 seamlessly and securely without work interruptions; allow users to choose which aspects of a loan file they want to duplicate when originating new loans for existing customers; and help calculate net tangible benefits of mortgage refinances under the FHA streamline refinance program and communicate these benefits to customers.
The new release contains more than 230 enhancements in all. A number of the enhancements, such as the new electronic document management capabilities, were designed to align the functionality of DataTrac and Encompass360: giving DataTrac clients additional reasons to consider migrating to the Encompass platform. Similar to past releases, much of the focus of the upgrades has been on compliance, secondary marketing and trade executions.
For instance, new call reports have been added to help lenders comply with the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System & Registry requirements. Disclosure tracking for HUD requirements has also been added, and integration with the new Encompass Document engine has been improved. New secondary marketing enhancements include state-specific servicing release premium adjustments, purchase price update and lock-request reporting tools and lock-extension enhancements.
"Our clients choose Encompass360 because they realize just how high the stakes are in today’s zero-tolerance environment where the slightest error can result in a significant fine or a large buy-back request,” said Jonathan Corr, chief operating officer of Ellie Mae. “Our latest release re-calibrates our automated solutions to deliver even greater efficiency and confidence to our clients.”

Friday, July 27, 2012

All Things Olympics

Tonight all eyes from around the world will be on London and the Olympic athlete’s as they walk in the opening ceremonies.

To kick start the next few weeks of sporting events and all things Olympics to say the least, here are some fun facts about London and the Olympics.

London will become the first city to officially stage the event for the third time, the 2012 Olympics games will be their third time hosting.

The sporting pictograms that are now an integral part of the Olympic Games were first introduced at the 1948 London Games. There were originally just 20 Olympic Symbols and they were used on the tickets to help people find the events. They were reintroduced at the 1966 games and have been used ever since.

Britain was the first country to stage a Paralympics event which took place on the Opening day of the 1948 London Olympics and were known as the Stoke Mandeville Games. Competitors were disabled war veterans. The name derives from Parallel Olympic.

Have you ever wondered how much the Olympic medals are really worth. Of course they are worth all the blood, sweat and tears of the athletes who receive them, but according to CNN, an Olympic gold medal is only 1.34% gold! Melted down, it would be worth about $650, while a silver medal, which is 93% silver and 7% copper, would be worth $335. As for the bronze medal, which is mostly copper, would be worth about $5.

The Olympic medals are designed especially for each individual Olympic Games by the host city’s organizing committee. Each medal must be at least three millimeters thick and 60 millimeters in diameter. Also, the gold and silver medals must be made out of 92.5 percent silver, with the gold medal covered in six grams of gold.

For the first time in the history of the games, women outnumber men on the U.S. Olympic Team. From 16-year-old gymnastics newcomer Gabby Douglas, to track and field star Lolo Jones and beach volleyball Olympian Jennifer Kessy, these are just a few of the women who will be representing the red, white and blue.

Women were first allowed to participate in 1900 at the second modern Olympic Games.

When choosing locations for the Olympic Games, the IOC specifically gives the honor of holding the Game to a city rather than a country.

Because of World War I and World War II, there were no Olympics in 1916, 1940, or 1944.

We are lucky enough here at IDS to live in a place where the Olympics were hosted. Many of us experienced the exciting events of 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and it makes the Olympics that much more dear to our hearts.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

CFPB Proposes New High-Cost Mortgage Rate

On July 9, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a proposed rule implementing high-cost mortgage and ownership counseling provisions of Dodd-Frank that amend the Truth In Lending Act (TILA) and the Real Estate Settlement and Procedures Act (RESPA).

The proposed rule expands the mortgage loans that are subject to the Home Ownership and Equity Projection Act by lowering the percentage rate triggers for coverage, tightening the points and fees test and establishing a new prepayment penalty trigger.

Loans would be HOEPA loans if:

  1. The APR exceeds 6.5 percentage points over the average prime offer rate for a first-lie loan or eight percentage points for a second-lien;
  2. The total points and fees payable by the consumer at or before closing exceeds five percentage points of the total loan amount; or
  3. Prepayment penalties extend beyond 36 months or exceed two percent of the loan amount.
Also, the proposed rul would require lenders to provide a list of homeownership counselors or counseling organizations to applicants for high-cost loans and requiring creditors to obtain documentation that a first-time borrower of a negatively amortizing loan has received homeownership counseling.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Happy Pioneer Day

Many of you don't know that Pioneer Day is a state holiday here in Utah. It is celebrated on July 24th to commemorate the entry of Brigham Young and the first group of Mormon pioneers into Utah's Salt Lake Valley in 1847. This day celebrates the bravery of the original settlers and their strength of character and physical endurance.

Pioneer day festivities include fireworks, parades, picnics, rodeos and other activities throughout the state. Some people say that this day is celebrated in Utah with more zeal and pride than major holidays such as Christmas. Everyone joins in on contests, parades and running races.

Determined to settle in an isolated region, the pioneers made their way across the plains and over the Rocky Mountains to Utah. They lost many of their party to disease during the winter months. By the time they reached Utah , the desolate valley was a welcome sight. Potatoes and turnips were soon planted, and a damn was built. With solemn ceremonies, the settlers consecrated the two-square-mile city and sent back word that the 'promise land' was found. By the end of 1847, nearly 2,000 Mormons settled in the Salt Lake Valley. The first Pioneer Day was celebrated in 1849 with a parade, band music and speeches, just as we do today.

Happy Pioneer day everyone!

Monday, July 23, 2012

What's the Newest Economy Booster?

The Solo Dweller... Courtesty Zillow Blog
Singles are the new couples... economically speaking, at least.

There are more single-person households in the United States than ever before, and they're making a major economic impact, one Lean Cuisine at a time.

In fact, solo dwellers spend more per person than the highest-spending families with children-- a lot more. If you're wondering how that's possible, we've got the details.

The media has seized this idea of the single-person household, examining from its impact on the economy to the "strange" habit solo dwellers adopt.

So how did we get to a point where singletons (people who live alone) make up such a huge part of the population? And how exactly are they actually influencing the economy? And if you're one of these fascinating creatures, what considerations should you have when running a single-person household?

Why are you living alone?
In an interview with The New York Times, NYU sociology professor Eric Klinenberg, who interviewed more than 300 people and mined generations of data for his book "Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone," says that, "what we've learned in the last 50 years is that people who live alone whenever they can afford to do it."

In the United States, 28 percent of all households currently consist of only one person, that's the highest percentage ever, translating to about 30 million people-- 18 million of whom are women. In London, Paris and New York, fully half all households have only one occupation; in Stockholm, that number is more like 60 percent. It is no coincidence that at the same time, marriage in the U.S. is at a record-low 51 percent.

Now that more people are marrying later (half of women marry for the first time after age 27) and more are relying on parental financial support past college and delaying having children, there are few true indicators of adulthood. Getting your own place is one of the last ones remaining.

Also, the American work culture lends itself to solo living. After 50 hours per week of popping into meetings and by co-workers' desks, many of us are in need of some alone time. The forced social interactions of the office stands in for the company we could have had at home.

In fact, although in the abstract people say they would like to live with a romantic partner, fewer than expected are willing to compromise their solo lifestyles. Living a lone is a choice.

The economic impact of singles
While the adage is that married people build wealth, singles seem to spend it. They contribute an annual $1.9 trillion to the economy and spent more than $34,000 per person in 2012, which is about $6,500 more than married individuals without kids and $11,500 more than the highest-spending families with children. Singles also buy a whopping one-third of homes.

Their spending is partly due to what journalist Ethan Watter calls "urban tribes." These are close-knit groups of single friends that substitute for the traditional family structure. Klinenberg found that many of the singles he spoke to complained not of loneliness but of over-socialization. There simply isn't enough time for all of their commitments. And going out usually costs more than staying home.

Their spending power has risen so much that even corporations are beginning to target them. As, Klinenberg describes that companies such as real estate firm Coldwell Banker, home-improvement retailer and Lowe's and car company Chevrolet are courting singletons and featuring them in ads. Food and alcohol retailers are emphasizing groups of friends and instituting communal tables for large groups. Even diamond jeweler Debeers is selling a "right-hand ring" for unmarried women.

That's because many companies are finding that the primary consumers of their products are single Nestle reports that 90 percent of its Lean Cuisine meals are eaten alone, and Ikea discloses that sales of its pieces for "small space" living are on the rise-- and the smaller space, the more likely it only holds one person.

If you're the only one in your household...
You have some different considerations when it comes to your finances: Yes, you may have more disposable income because yo're not supporting children, but your expenses are also higher when you're the only one contributing to rent, mortgage or utilities, and the only one buying groceries and paper towels.

The cost of living is the square root of the number of people living together. The square root of 1 is 1, meaning all the costs are yours to take care of. But living with someone else means together the cost of living is the square root of 2, or 1.414. So if you live with another person, whether they are a roommate or a significant other, you'll pay 70 percent of what you would pay if you were living alone. Living with two other people brings your expenses down to 50 percent of what it would cost to live alone (unless, of course, that person is a child and not contributing to the household income).

CFPB Proposed RESPA-TILA Integration Rule

On July 9, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) releases its Real Estate Settlement Procedures/Truth in Lending Act (RESPA-TILA) integration rule.

The proposed rule would establish new forms including, a "Loan Estimate," which would combine HUD's good faith estimate and the early TILA disclosures and a "Closing Disclosure" combining HUD-1 and revised TILA disclosures.

The proposed rule would establish several important rule changes, including a mandatory three-day waiting period between the provision of the Closing Disclosure and closing; a new "all-in APR" calculation for the finance charge; and new zero tolerances for services provided by a lender or its affiliates.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Mortgage Technology 'Top 50 Service Provider'

IDS Named ‘Top 50 Service Provider’ for Second Year by Mortgage Technology Magazine
IDS has been named to the 2012 Top 50 Service Providers list, issued by SourceMedia’s Mortgage Technology magazine. This marks the second year in a row IDS has been honored with this distinction.

According to the magazine’s June issue, the Top 50 Service Providers list recognizes “the technology and service vendors that excel in four categories—continued advancement of technology and services, viable revenue model and value proposition to customers, exceptional customer service and unique impact on the mortgage industry.”

Placing particular emphasis on IDS’s accomplishments over the period between May 2011 and April 2012, the magazine noted the following as the primary reasons for IDS’s selection:
·         Various mortgage technology integrations, including the most recent with On The Go Technology’s mobileLO 1003 iPad application;
·         Enhancements to idsDoc’s e-sign capabilities that allow borrowers to select loan options and type selected information directly into specific areas of the loan documents; and
·         IDS’s deployment of Assistly’s SaaS-based social media customer service platform.

“The caliber of companies named to Mortgage Technology’s Top 50 Service Providers is always high,” said IDS Executive Vice President Mark Mackey. “Our first priority at IDS is to provide our clients with the most sophisticated technology and the absolute best customer service possible. Honors such as these validate our strategy, and we’re truly thankful to have been bestowed with this honor for the second year in a row.”