Bonded With NAMB
Consider the Source By Mason Grashot, CPA
DECEMBER 2012 IDAHO
MORTGAGE PROFESSIONAL MAGAZINE
The bond business is similar to the mortgage business in that it all starts with access to the products. Whom the customer chooses to guide them into and through the world of surety (or mortgages as a comparison) can be the single most important piece of the puzzle that also happens to be entirely within the customer’s control. Some industry professionals consider themselves to be a “jack of all trades,” but are really a “master of none” (or at least a “master of few”). Others are specialists whose focus, experience and knowledge really add value to the customer’s buying decision. Some insurance agents can and will write any type of insurance that is needed. Surety is a type of insurance (as is life, disability, health, home/auto or commercial lines). Usually, the products that are purchased from people who truly specialize in that specific product type are either better than or less expensive than those purchased from people who handle various types of products. There are thousands of insurance agents out there (some of whom sell surety bonds, too). There are dozens of bond agents out there (some of whom sell insurance as well). Sometimes a customer can purchase a surety bond from an insurance agent and that insurance agent’s bond knowledge, application process, price and service are all no different than what the customer would have experienced by using a bond agent. But more often than not, bond customers find that the price is lower, the process is easier and the knowledge is greater when they choose to purchase their surety bond from a surety specialist. If you’ve had your bond for a while or if you think you might be paying too much because the first answer isn’t always the best answer, you should take a little time to look into something that you pay for year after year after year. Ask your association, your colleagues, or your search engine for recommendations. Find a surety specialist and find out whether your surety bond is costing you what it should be. Mason Grashot, CPA is president of The Bond Exchange, a national insurance agency focused on surety bonds with a unique specialty practice centered on the mortgage profession. As the endorsed strategic partner of NAMB—The Association of Mortgage Professionals, The Bond Exchange services thousands of surety bonds through programs designed specifically for the mortgage industry. For more information, call (501) 224-8895 or visit www.thebondexchange.com.
DocMagic Enters Into Compliance Partnership With Blueberry Systems Blueberry Systems LLC has announced that its Relay loan origination software (LOS) now seamlessly integrates with DocMagic Inc.’s document preparation and compliance technology, and features more capabilities including eSignature and eDelivery. Lending institutions can now maintain both origination and regulatory guidelines without ever leaving Relay. The integration adds complete document and eDelivery compliance within Relay’s workflow, keeping all loan data in one system and eliminating redundant data entry. In addition, originators using Relay now have access to eSignature and eDelivery capabilities from DocMagic to further streamline the document process and ensure compliance. Using the latest technology, originators benefit from the fastest and most efficient system for immediate eDelivery of fully compliant mortgage documents. “DocMagic has always been committed to providing superior technology and a level of customer service that far exceeds the expectations of today’s standards,” said Steve Ribultan, director of business development for DocMagic Inc. “By seamlessly integrating our system with Blueberry Solutions’ cutting-edge loan origination software, we continue to deliver on that promise.” Blueberry Systems’ flagship solution, Relay, offers a complete loan origination system to lenders, featuring a universal data model to provide the most accurate loan production data in the industry. Unlike many other systems that still rely on an outdated data management model, Relay’s universal data model combines the various systems and applications involved in the production process into a single database, eliminating data silos and the need for duplicate or staggered data entry.
Zillow Agrees to $12 Million Purchase of Mortech
Zillow Inc. has announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Mortech Inc., a mortgage technology company that
provides software to the mortgage industry, for approximately $12 million in cash and 150,000 shares of restricted stock. The transaction is subject to satisfaction of customary closing conditions and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2012. This acquisition accelerates the development of Zillow Mortgage Marketplace, Zillow’s lending marketplace where borrowers can connect instantly with reputable lenders to get personalized loan options and realtime mortgage rates. Now Zillow will deliver valuable marketing and productivity solutions to mortgage professionals to help them manage their business, and convert more borrower contacts to funded loans. Currently on Zillow Mortgage Marketplace, borrowers submit more than one million loan requests per month and receive on average 25 customized quotes, which they can compare alongside over 22,000 lender reviews. “We are following our proven strategy of building home-related marketplaces. In the case of Zillow Mortgage Marketplace, we first innovated on behalf of consumers by creating a transparent marketplace where the borrowers’ needs come first, then we connected borrowers with lenders, and now we are investing in tools to help lenders be even more successful serving consumers,” said Spencer Rascoff, Zillow’s CEO. “Enhancing the capabilities of mortgage lenders ultimately leads to a more vibrant and transparent consumer experience.” Founded in 1987, Mortech is based in Lincoln, Neb. and has 39 employees. Mortech will continue to operate from its Nebraska office. Mortech will be the fifth acquisition by Zillow in two years, and its first in the mortgage sector. The company last week announced the acquisition of Buyfolio, an online and mobile collaborative shopping platform where home shoppers can search, track, organize and discuss for-sale listings with their real estate agent and others in their personal network. In June 2012, Zillow acquired RentJuice, the foundation of Zillow Rentals. In 2011, the company acquired Postlets, an online real estate listing creation and distribution platform and Diverse Solutions, which helps real estate agents market their businesses and improve their personal Web sites. Each of these companies provide valuable services that support