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 Integrates with Temenos Infinity

Austin, Texas, July 09, 2020 – FirstClose, Inc., a leading provider of technology solutions for banks and credit unions nationwide, has partnered with Temenos, the banking software company. With the integration of the FirstClose ONETM platform to Temenos Infinity Loan Origination, customers can order instant and bundled reports on credit, flood, valuation, tax and title directly from within the loan origination system.

Temenos Infinity is the market-leading digital product driving customer acquisition and digital banking engagement. This digital front office product delivers seamless, compelling customer interactions through an ecosystem of cross-industry fintechs allowing financial institutions to offer an omnichannel experience. With over 90 pre-integrated solutions from third-party vendors in the US, Temenos Infinity allows users to leverage automation tools such as FirstClose’s SMART Select. This tool uses intelligence logic to automatically select the best title vendor within each financial institution’s unique lending footprint. With this integration, Temenos Infinity customers also have access to FirstClose’s automated ordering, which is customized to mimic a lender’s underwriting product matrix, streamlining the loan fulfillment process.

This technology integration will give Temenos Infinity customers the ability to significantly speed up turnaround-times and reduce costs, ensuring they stay profitable and keep borrowers happy. These efficiency gains will also help financial institutions to stay competitive, regardless of the current market conditions. Now more than ever, financial institutions need technology that empowers them to be agile and respond to the evolving needs of banking customers as they arise. FirstClose also has several solutions to help lenders navigate the temporary restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, keeping consumers and agents safe through “no contact” services.

“We are always looking for ways to make lenders’ jobs simpler, and partnering with Temenos presented a great opportunity to share the benefits of FirstClose ONE,” said Tim Smith, CRO and co-founder of FirstClose. “We always enjoy working with other innovative companies that recognize the need to constantly be improving efficiencies and we are honored they chose us to help them accomplish that.”

“We are pleased to partner with FirstClose to provide enhanced settlement services,” said Kelly Carthy, VP of Partner Management. “This integration will enable financial institutions to place orders with FirstClose and complete the origination process, all within Temenos Infinity. Our clients will benefit from a single system of record with a 360-degree account holder view, and a simple, seamless process. Within Temenos Infinity, they will now have access to FirstClose’s 12 real estate services to complete a wider number and variety of lending products and services, all from one screen, better enabling them to expand their loan portfolio. We’re delighted to partner with FirstClose in support of our mission to make origination as fast and easy as possible.”

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.”

“No Contact” Products Assist During COVID-19

AUSTIN, Texas, April 14, 2020 – FirstClose, Inc., a leading provider of technology solutions for banks and credit unions nationwide, has enhanced existing and created new offerings for a new suite of “no-contact” products. These offerings are designed to assist lenders adapting and struggling through the COVID-19 Crisis.

“We realize this is a challenging time in the industry and companies want to continue to offer great service to their clients in the safest manner possible,” said Tedd Smith, CEO and co-founder of FirstClose. “We want to remind the industry that several of our products enable everyone involved in the financing process to work safely during COVID-19 Crisis by obtaining what they need through new and existing instantaneous and “contact-less” products and services.”

The suite includes:

“No Contact” products addressing county closings:

Instant Property Reports: FirstClose’s proprietary flagship product that creates an instant report with current mortgages, judgments, liens, tax status, the vested owner, and a PDF copy of the Deed, when available. No need to rely on whether the county clerk’s office is open.

Equiguard:. Equiguard is an instant report that includes an affidavit where the borrower attests to the fact that there are no other liens on the subject property other than what is contained in the credit report or discovered during the underwriting process.

Instant Property Reports and Equiguard Reports come with an enhanced E&O policy to protect against any loss due to superior liens, judgments, or other encumbrances missed on the reports.

“No Contact” products addressing social distancing:

Valuation Products*

Verisite Mobile Appraisal Solutions:  This product utilizes a mobile application allowing a homeowner to produce current interior and exterior photos of the subject property for faster loan processing and decision making. It includes efficient fraud-deterring technology, including time, date, and geo-location software showing where and when the pictures were taken on a subject property map within 2 feet of accuracy, plus 3D room-scanning and validation of room depth, all included on a professional and verified report. Verisite can be used with AVMs, Desktop Evaluations, and other valuations to enhance the ability to eliminate contact.

Automated Valuation Model (AVM): A service that can provide real estate property value instantly using mathematical modelling combined with real-time MLS data and comps. FirstClose provides access to 13 different national and reputable AVM models.

Desktop Evaluation: This proprietary e-valuation tool produces more accurate values and higher confidence scores by using manual research methods including an in-house team and automated valuation tools.

Property Condition Report (PCR): Includes a full external inspection of the home including current condition, neighborhood influences, any appearances of damage an also will come with several current photos from each angle of the property including a street view address verification

Exterior Restricted Appraisal Report (RAR): Fully USPAP compliant valuation. An inspector will drive by and take photos and send to the appraiser.  An appraiser will complete a sales comparison approach, determine the value, and include a signature.

Curbside Closings: Curbside Closing is the same as mobile signing, except for the notary signing agent and the consumer will not conduct the signing or notarization in the same room. To abide by the CDC and social distancing guidelines, Curbside Closing allows signer(s) to sign documents without the need for a signing agent to enter the signer’s home or meet face-to-face. The signing agent will meet the signer(s) at the desired location, but the signing will be held with a barrier between the signer(s) and signing agent.

*All Valuation Products come with the option to include enhanced E&O insurance to protect against loss due to inaccurate valuation results as well as the option to add “no contact” interior and exterior mobile photos via Verisite.

FirstClose Integrates with Calyx’s Point LOS

Austin, Texas, March 31, 2020 – FirstClose, a leading provider of technology solutions for mortgage lenders nationwide, announced its integration with Calyx Point®. With the integration of the FirstClose ONE platform, Point users will now be able to order instant property reports on credit, flood, valuation, tax and title directly from the Point platform.

Point users will be able to leverage tools such as FirstClose’s SMART Select, a tool that uses intelligence logic to automatically select the best title vendor within each financial institution’s unique lending footprint. With this integration, users will also have access to FirstClose’s intelligence logic and simplified vendor management, all through one simple user interface.

This technology integration will give Calyx Point users the ability to significantly speed up turn times and reduce costs, ensuring they stay profitable and keep borrowers happy. These efficiency gains will also help users to stay competitive, regardless of the current market conditions.

“We are always looking for ways to make lenders’ jobs simpler and partnering with Calyx presented a great opportunity to share the benefits of FirstClose ONE,” said Tedd Smith, CEO and co-founder of FirstClose. “We always enjoy working with other innovative companies that recognize the need to constantly be improving efficiencies and we are honored they chose us to help them accomplish that.”

“When looking for a settlement services provider, FirstClose stood out to us because they provide much more than just settlement services,” said Thomas Hennen, Director, Strategic Partnerships at Calyx. “Their intelligence logic and other technologies made this decision an easy one and we are excited to work with their team.”

New SVP of Strategy & Sales – Joe Dahleen

AUSTIN, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–FirstClose, a leading provider of technology solutions for mortgage lenders nationwide, has tapped Joe Dahleen as the company’s SVP of strategy and sales. He will be responsible for working with the company’s enterprise sales and product development.

“We are excited to have Joe join our team with his depth of industry experience,” said Tim Smith, CRO and co-founder of FirstClose. “Our growth as a company directly correlates to how we present our technology and build relationships and Joe will help us continue to excel in both those areas.”

Dahleen is a 25-year veteran of the mortgage industry and has specialized in executive management, FinTech and strategic marketing. He has experience in loan production, quality control procedures and secondary marketing. Dahleen is a strong advocate of technology and an expert in leveraging the latest technology and automation to aid in the success of his efforts. Most recently, he was executive vice president and chief strategy officer for MortgageHippo, Inc. and prior to that, he has held executive level positions for banks, Thrift and Loans, Wall Street firms and independent mortgage banking companies.

“I have a passion for making improvements in the way we do business in the mortgage industry, be it operations or deploying innovative technology,” Dahleen said. “FirstClose has the experience and the resources to make innovative changes and it is a privilege to join a team that is uniquely qualified in deploying PropTech and FinTech into a seamless solution.”