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STAND OUT!

STAND OUT! I’m on the board of an animal rescue non-profit and each month we bring in our directors or first line managers to give us reports on their departments. We do some of our meetings via zoom and some are in person. I started noticing these young people would come in, who are very passionate about their positions and animal welfare, would be looking down at the table, having minimal eye contact, and having low volume in their voice giving their reports. As I started watching Generation Z people and even people that came out from the Pandemic who came back into the office, I noticed a majority of first level ...
By Sean Dugan The tech stack is the engine that powers credit unions’ mortgage business. Like any engine, it needs regular maintenance to keep firing on all cylinders. Aging and outdated technology puts credit unions at a competitive disadvantage by limiting their ability to make timely and informed decisions, respond to changes in demand, and recruit and retain talent. Dark Matter Technologies held discovery sessions with 32 decision-makers from banks, credit unions and independent mortgage banks (IMBs) of various sizes. They agreed that addressing signs of wear in a mortgage origination tech stack is a cornerstone of their technology strategies. ...
GSE Guidance: The Elephant in the Room To put the context of this next article in my series on the right footing, I offer the perspective of how dependent we are on the functioning parts of our vehicle. Whether it be a sedan, SUV, or a truck, the parts of the whole make the product work, and it must work to the highest level possible for our safety. I remember last year, when the outside temperature was in the mid 90’s the battery on our SUV failed to start. Here I was stuck in a parking lot, dealing with an increasing level of frustration in accepting the failure, coming to terms with reality, and then waiting for a tow truck. ...
Enter the Shark Cage with Jessica Evett of Cloudvirga, a Preferred Partner of BlackFin, to hear some key insights before you make your next technology investment. Keith and Jessica dig into why lenders are only getting 60% or less of the value of their technology spend. Listen Now : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kmNuuQCR45o
Owning your own home has always been central to the American Dream—but, like all dreams, homeownership can be elusive. In 2011, iEmergent founder and market intelligence pioneer Dennis Hedlund wrote about the factors keeping people out of the metaphorical Homeowner Dream Club . The challenges facing today’s potential homeowners are different, but no less daunting. Some would-be homebuyers are reluctant to apply for a mortgage after being declined in the past. Others struggle to accumulate the substantial up-front costs of a mortgage loan. Still others are hesitant to commit to homeownership at all after living through a global pandemic that cost friends ...
5/4/24 by Michael Simon , Principal Consultant with BlackFin Group Incorporating Miller’s Law into Software Training In the ever-evolving landscape of technology, software training plays a crucial role in empowering individuals and organizations to harness the full potential of digital tools, especially as training is a pillar of successful change management. However, the complexity of software systems presents a huge obstacle to a successful training of the new software, as its complexity can often overwhelm learners, who often have to learn numerous features, functions, and workflows, hindering their ability to grasp and retain essential ...
GSE Guidance: Risk? Not Us! By Luana Slettedahl is a Principal Consultant with BlackFin Group Welcome to my continuing series regarding working with the GSE’s! As I write this article, I reflect on how the mortgage industry has always been impacted by swings in the market. Risk is around us every single day: interest rate volatility, loan production volume, credit risk, underwriting changes, technology implementation, managing margins, or a changing talent pool – it is a business with inherent risk. Whether we care to recognize and manage risk, it is those firms which succeed in the ...
April 3, 2024 By Mike McChesney, Principal, BlackFin Group At least 4 financial services companies in the mortgage business (First American, Fidelity National Financial, Planet Financial, and Mr. Cooper) have disclosed incidents involving cybersecurity breaches or ransomware attacks. These high profile attacks have been publicly disclosed. There are likely other events that have not yet been publicly reported. The impact of these attacks is both operational and reputational, and litigation around them has already begun. At the same time, banks such as JPMorgan Chase say hacking attempts are increasing. These events all point to the ...
Bracing for a wild day tomorrow in the financial markets. The stage is set. MMG Minute 4 30 24
Listen while you work as Keith Kemph at BlackFin welcomes John Hardesty, General Manager of Mortgage for Argyle, into the shark cage to talk about the key to reducing fraud risk is by using direct data sources as not only a faster, cheaper, better way to verify employment and income but to mitigate loan risks better. Jump into the shark cage now and listen in by clicking here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xl0NMRAnqbA
By Bernard Nossuli, COO, iEmergent Can you identify the exact neighborhoods that will drive mortgage growth for your credit union over the next year? What about the next three years? Five? With forecasting, marketing intelligence, and advisory services from ACUMA affiliate member iEmergent , you can do just that. iEmergent leverages all kinds of information—including demographic, economic, housing, and competitor data—to help credit unions locate and engage home-ready, underserved markets. While our analysis certainly takes into account historic and current trends, what sets iEmergent apart is our ability to provide uniquely accurate forecasts ...
April 1, 2024 By Julie Piepho, Principal, BlackFin Group This Is an old phrase, but one I believe is worth repeating, especially considering March’s FOMC announcement. I don’t know who to give credit to for this, but I’m going to repeat it here: “In 1971, the interest rate for a mortgage was 7.33%. If you waited for interest rates to go down, you wouldn’t have purchased a home until 1993. You would have rented for 22 years waiting for rates to go down, meanwhile the value of real estate quadrupled. Don’t wait to buy real estate. Buy real estate and wait. Marry the house, date the rate.” Unknown It’s time to do ...
April 2, 2024 By Michael Simon, Principal, BlackFin Group For those unfamiliar with the social media giant that launched in 2016, TikTok allows users to create videos often set to music/sound clips and allows a number of baked in content enhancements. Learning experts will recognize this as being adjacent to the strategies used for L&D content development. In other words, adult learning very much spills outside of corporate training environments and moves across even social media platforms. It's more than coincidence that since the explosion of social media since the mid 2000's, the corporate learning landscape has seen a seismic ...
Keith welcomes Jessica Evett from Cloudvirga into the Shark Cage for a discussion on why lenders should be investing now and how AI is poised to enhance the mortgage process. Some key insights you won't want to miss as a credit union. It won't be long and these concepts will be sneaking into the different vendors you are looking to work with. Time to get to know a little more about Cloudvirga. Technology Investment & AI with Cloudvirga
The New Table Stakes for Buying an LOS Jump into the BlackFin Shark Cage and learn about the new 'table stakes' for buying a new loan origination system. Listen to Keith Kemph interview Dan Smith, VP of Sales and Strategy at LendingPad. It's time to move to the modern, easy to use LOS. Some critically important insights that your team must consider when thinking about investing in a new LOS technology. With so many options in lending technology, as the experts. Let us know how we can help with the BlackFin Tech Stack Navigator Service Our Tech Stack Navigator Service was designed specifically with Credit Unions in mind.
February 24, 2024 By Luana Slettedahl, Principal, BlackFin Group The third article in our GSE series addresses the benefits of when your team moves to a GSE loan model. Let’s paint a scenario. Your firm is not approved to do business with either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac and has not explored the benefits of being aligned with the GSE’s, everything seems to be running fine. So, why change? If you’re working with Correspondent Aggregators, this moves your firm to being 100% dependent on the pricing, underwriting philosophy, credit overlays, quality control, repurchase process and loan servicing operation. ...
Industry Webinar – Moving to Mandatory Loan Sales Complete the form to register for this webinar on April 4th at 11 AM PT. When mortgage bankers sell their loans on the secondary market, most begin using the best efforts loan sale delivery method. As volume begins to pick up, mandatory loan sale delivery becomes attractive for the increased profits… but how do you manage the risk? In this webinar, MCT's Scott Holtz, VP, South Regional Sales, will discuss how lenders are leveraging mandatory loan sale delivery to improve profitability and manage risk with pipeline hedging. MCT will also review operational changes needed ...
March 1, 2024 By Michael Simon, Principal, BlackFin Group In today's fast paced world, traditional methods of employee training are being challenged by the continuous demand for more flexible, efficient, and engaging learning solutions. At BlackFin, we feel the approach that's gaining the most traction is microlearning. For those who don't already know, microlearning is an innovative method which breaks down complex topics into bite-sized, easily digestible chunks of information, and is well begun transforming the landscape of employee development. Microlearning may already be available at your firm in small increments or even at scale. ...
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February 2, 2024 By Julie Piepho, Principal, BlackFin Group Gone are the days when credit report fees were cheap, and they were ordered by the dozens for whatever customers the loan officers wanted. The past two years have shown a dramatic increase in fees due to FICO increasing their fee to the bureaus which is then passed onto the customer. The practice of 99% of mortgage companies of not charging the customer the credit reports up front may be changing due to the rapidly increasing cost. As lenders look at their credit report costs the main focus needs to be on the “stranded cost” – credit reports that never turn into a closed loan and ...