FirstClose: A HW Tech 100 Awards Winner

IRVING, Texas — HousingWire is excited to reveal the winners of its ninth annual HW Tech100 awards, recognizing the most innovative technology companies in the housing economy.

The Tech100 program provides housing professionals with a comprehensive list of the most innovative and impactful companies that can be leveraged to identify partners and solutions to the problems that mortgage lenders and real estate professionals face everyday. Perhaps this year more than ever, these Tech100 winners have helped those in the housing economy create new processes and adopt new technologies to navigate the housing market under extraordinary circumstances.

Each year the Tech100 program grows more competitive and the applicants are increasingly impressive. For the second year in a row, the Tech100 program was divided into the HW Tech100 Mortgage and the HW Tech100 Real Estate to highlight the innovation and achievements of organizations within both sectors.

“After the uncertainty and unpredictability of last year, we expected a greater adoption of technology. However, these 100 real estate and mortgage companies took digital disruption to a whole new level and propelled a complete digital revolution, leaving a digital legacy that will impact borrowers, clients and companies for years to come,” said Brena Nath, HousingWire’s HW+ Managing Editor. ”Knowing what these companies were able to navigate and overcome, we’re excited to announce this year’s list of the most innovative technology companies serving the mortgage and real estate industries.”

“I’ve been involved in choosing Tech100 winners since we started the program in 2014, and every year it manages to get more competitive,” HousingWire Editor and Chief Sarah Wheeler said. “These companies are truly leading the way to a more innovative housing market!”

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FirstClose Launches Digital Lending Platform

AUSTIN, Texas, October 20, 2020 – FirstClose, Inc., a leading Fintech provider of lending solutions for banks, credit unions, and lenders nationwide, announces the launch of the FirstClose ONE™ Digital Lending Platform (DLP),  the first and only web-based home equity calculator and branded application management solution.

DLP modernizes the lending process from “Hello” to “Here’s Your Money” to help lenders deliver actionable data into their digital lending strategies.  The DLP expands the Equity IQ™ lead capture platform which gives consumers instant access to their home equity position and PDF access to a detailed home equity report which includes local neighborhood comparable homes used in its value assessment. Transparently consumers can review Loan Product offerings, check rates, and browse the estimated monthly payments based on the CLTV qualification requirements all without officially applying.

Today, loan approval has never been easier than with FirstClose ONE™’s DLP.  This one platform provides a world-class borrower experience utilizing customized application pages with upfront conditional loan approvals. All loan submissions are instantly delivered with data and documents integrated into the LOS.

This streamlined workflow helps manufacture loan files, eliminates touches, and lowers the cost to produce this type of loan.

Successful lending strategy involves leveraging property and borrower data intelligence instantly and in innovative ways to create One Solution that brings together today’s best lending practices, verified data, and robotic process automation to meet today’s demanding consumer needs.

“The demand for digital automation has significantly increased,” said Tim Smith, CRO, and Lending Luminary. “We listened to our customers and created an optimal digital lending experience delivered through our FirstClose One platform, enhancing the customer experience and dramatically reducing the time it takes to fulfill a loan request.   Do more, be lean, and close more loans with less touches.”

FirstClose Integrates with Fiserv’s Mortgage Director

AUSTIN, Texas, Oct. 06, 2020 – FirstClose, Inc., a leading provider of technology solutions for banks and credit unions nationwide, has partnered with Fiserv to provide services to Mortgage Director users. With the integration of the FirstClose ONETM platform into the loan origination system (LOS), customers can order instant and bundled reports on flood, valuation, tax and title directly.

Fiserv’s Mortgage Director is at the core of the Fiserv lending ecosystem. It streamlines lending operations and strengthens the lender’s borrower relationships. As more lenders look to diversify their business lines, FirstClose ONE’s integration allows current users the ability to leverage Mortgage Director’s platform for home equity loans and HELOCs.  The LOS makes all the necessary functionality available within a single lending environment which gives lenders satisfaction that everything they need is included in one place. With this integration, Mortgage Director customers have access to FirstClose’s automated ordering, which is customized to mimic a lender’s underwriting product matrix, streamlining the loan fulfillment process.

The integration gives Mortgage Director customers the ability to significantly speed up turnaround times and reduce costs, ensuring they stay profitable, while increasing borrower satisfaction. These efficiency gains also help financial institutions stay competitive, regardless of the current market conditions. FirstClose also has several solutions to help lenders navigate the temporary restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic that keep consumers and agents safe through “no contact” services.

“Partnering with Fiserv gives us an opportunity to share the benefits of FirstClose ONE to a market that might be new to originating loans outside of first liens,” said Tim Smith, CRO and co-founder of FirstClose. “The landscape of the industry is changing dramatically and rapidly. More lenders will need tools to meet the changing demands of borrowers.”

NXTsoft, FirstClose Partner to Improve Lending

Birmingham, Ala., September 10, 2020 – NXTsoft (, the market leader in API connectivity, and FirstClose (, a leading provider of fintech solutions for mortgage lenders nationwide, have developed a partnership to connect their solutions for financial institutions using NXTsoft’s established APIs. The partnership gives financial institutions the ability to implement FirstClose’s point–of–sale digital lending platform – at application without additional manipulation of their core banking systems to render an instant loan decision by leveraging FirstClose’s automated ordering technology for all origination and settlement services needed to close a loan. 

FirstClose’s end-to-end solution provides a decision for prospective borrowers within 30 seconds, significantly reducing closing times, increasing profitability, and reducing costs for mortgage lenders through technology and a fully automated user experience. The integration between NXTsoft and FirstClose leverages data from NXTsoft’s core banking integrations to pass and populate key data at application to significantly streamline the borrower experience.  Using award winning web apps, extensive vendor integrations, and LOS plugins, FirstClose offers the industry’s first and only solution to deliver everything lenders need, from application to funding, via automation to streamline almost every aspect of the process. From application, credit, flood, and valuation solutions, to instant title, income verification, and automated decisioning capabilities, FirstClose enables lenders to compete for and close home equity and refinance loans unlike any other solution in the industry. 

NXTsoft has provided connectivity to banks and credit unions for more than 25 years and has existing connection to 39 of the 41 current core banking platforms. Its OmniConnect platform provides secure, streamlined connectivity to most financial institutions in the country.  

“FirstClose and NXTsoft have similar philosophies about why we are passionate about the solutions we provide to financial institutions,” said Rich Longo, chief strategy officer and NXTsoft Omni division president. “Our collective goal is to empower financial institutions to digitally deliver the services consumers demand expeditiously and without headache, and the partnership between FirstClose and NXTsoft is a key piece the puzzle that accomplishes that.”  

NXTsoft provides financial institutions and partners with an additional level of security because it includes security monitoring for its API connectors through its OmniAlert solution, that is backed by a 24/7, US–based SOC. OmniAlert ensures safer networks, earlier detection of intrusion and relevant and specific threat intelligence, so financial institutions can be confident that their connectivity with FirstClose will be secure.

“Developing partnerships like the one with NXTsoft goes a long way in creating more efficient, secure processes in the financial industry that can improve the lending experience for everyone involved and bring much needed peace of mind,” said Tedd Smith, co-founder and chief executive officer of FirstClose. “Technology used properly has the potential of improving every aspect of lending. We will continue to do what we can to help that become a reality.”

FirstClose/Ncontracts Team Up for Compliance

AUSTIN, Texas, Aug 26, 2020 – FirstClose, a leading provider of technology solutions for mortgage lenders nationwide, has teamed up with Ncontracts to offer FirstClose ONE platform clients multiple compliance tools, including HMDA, CRA, and Fair Lending Compliance solutions.

With ever-changing regulatory requirements on the federal and local levels, lenders need to ensure they are compliance with them at all times to prevent unnecessary audits, fees and potential delays in closings. Ncontracts provides transparency across the company and allows lenders to effectively manage institutional risk.

“Risk is something every company has to address and we want to make sure our clients have the tools to do so without having to allocate additional resources to properly manage them,” said Tedd Smith, CEO and co-founder of FirstClose. “By saving companies time and money, we give them a much-needed advantage in the marketplace, the ability to focus on a positive customer engagement.”

Ncontracts has several software applications, solutions and software suites that cover everything from enterprise risk and  HMDA compliance to CRA, Fair Lending and operational risks.

“Our goal has always been to provide the industry with tools and services that will help lenders to effectively mitigate risk and serve their customers without being concerned about internal or external compliance,” said Michael Berman, Ncontracts founder and CEO. “Managing risk management in these unprecedented times means that mortgage companies are better positions to grow along strategic lines.”

FirstClose ONE Now Includes Automated Ordering

AUSTIN, Texas — FirstClose, Inc., a leading provider of technology solutions for banks and credit unions nationwide, has launched automated ordering as the latest addition to its flagship FirstClose ONE platform. The new feature is designed to allow lenders to fully automate current underwriting guidelines and streamline loan fulfillment.

As market indicators point to an increase in second mortgages, home equity loans and HELOCs, presenting borrowers with a high level of efficiency in the process is imperative. With automated ordering, lenders can configure their account with key loan characteristics such as loan amount, loan to value and FICO. Once this information is configured, the system will automatically select the correct products or services to order for each loan. This level of automation saves the lender processing time, eliminates key strokes and dramatically increases efficiencies.

“We are eliminating the need for lenders to refer to a matrix to determine what products or services they need to order,” said Tedd Smith, CEO and co-founder of FirstClose. “Our new automated ordering software allows lenders to input key underwriting metrics into the system one time. The software subsequently knows which services to order and automatically does so at the appropriate time with no human intervention.”

With fully-automated underwriting guidelines used for the selection of loan services, lenders can reduce manual errors and reduce operations costs. Automated ordering also gives lenders the peace of mind of knowing they are compliant with the latest regulatory requirements.

“More homeowners are going to turn to lenders for home equity loans and they are going to work with lenders who are responsive and able to quickly move through the process,” Smith added. “Our latest automated ordering feature gives lenders the tools they need to get consumers from ‘hello’ to ‘here is your money’ faster and more efficiently.”