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With millions of sensitive pieces of information literally at their fingertips, mortgage bankers must make extra efforts to secure their data.

A recent security lapse based in Texas reinforced that idea, as millions of records were exposed online without protection.

The cache of more than 24 million financial and banking documents included sensitive borrower information such as Social Security numbers, tax data, and mortgage documents. The borrowers had taken out loans over the past decade, and tens of thousands of loans were exposed.

The leak was traced back to a Texas-based company that provides data analysis and portfolio valuations. The incident occurred because the company’s server was not protected with a password, according to National Mortgage News and research by TechCrunch.


It’s unclear to what extent the data was compromised and if any of the information was intercepted by cybercriminals.


Two lessons are clear as a result of this incident, however:

  • • Stronger passwords, authenticators, facial recognition, or other reliable forms of security must be used.
  • • Businesses of all sizes within the mortgage industry specifically must do more to secure their systems and improve their overall infrastructure.



Password Protection Tips


Following are some of the modern day password protection tips for computer systems, phones, tablets, and other digital devices.

  • • Passwords should be at least 12 characters long and consist of letters, numbers, and symbols.
  • • You shouldn’t use the same passwords for multiple resources.
  • • Instead of a simple password, use a passphrase that consists of several words and symbols, such as, “Th1s1sMyPa$$Phra$e.” Better yet, use a meaningless jumble of letters and symbols; just make sure you remember the sequence.
  • • If they’re available on your device, take advantage of facial recognition or touch ID.
  • • Use authenticator apps, which require two or more forms of identification. For example, the user would have to know the password and also have access to the phone associated with the account.
  • • Don’t share your passwords with anyone.
  •  


Secure Your Mortgage Technology Systems


Having strong passwords will help prevent cybersecurity disasters, but it’s only the first step.  Especially clever hackers can break through the barriers anyway. That’s why you need up-to-date, powerful security within your mortgage technology infrastructure. Skilled technology consultants can not only secure your systems with active threat detection, but also help modernize and optimize your loan origination systems, customize plugins, provide training, and more.

Contact us at Clarity Technologies for more information about Ellie Mae tools that can enhance your loan origination systems, customized plugins, or how to protect your technology from cybersecurity threats.

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Cloud Services

Ellie Mae, the leading cloud-based platform provider for the mortgage finance industry, announced the release of AllRegs Online early this year. The resource provides an updated and modernized interface, new features, compatibility with tablets, and more.

Ellie Mae, the leading cloud-based platform provider for the mortgage finance industry, announced the release of AllRegs Online.According to a press release by Ellie Mae, the updates are expected to drive efficiencies in the loan production process.

AllRegs Online enables lenders to manufacture loans knowing they meet the latest investor requirements or state and federal statutes. Its research tool is designed to be accessible to anyone in the loan process, including loan officers, operations personnel, underwriters, risk managers, quality control representatives, and marketing personnel.

“AllRegs has been in the business of providing a single trusted source for regulatory and investor information for 30 years, and this update continues our legacy of leadership,” Terri Davis, vice president of AllRegs by Ellie Mae, said in the release. “Lenders leveraging AllRegs Online benefit from time savings and improved loan profitability thanks to quick and easy access to specific investor guidelines, and the research and reference tools are centralized and easy to navigate. Loan quality is improved since the guessing is eliminated.”


According to the announcement, the new AllRegs Online includes:

  • • A centralized source of mortgage industry content, including compliance regulations, pending residential mortgage legislation, and single- and multi-family agency guidelines.
  • • The new homepage includes lists for recently viewed documents, favorites, and public notes with the ability to personalize views.
  • • Improved search functionality.
  • • A new floating toolbar that provides access to common tasks such as printing, emailing, and adding notes.
  • • New user administration functionality that provides administrators with the ability to add and remove users and create user groups with unique content permissions.


For more information about Ellie Mae tools that can help improve your mortgage loan processes, visit our Clarity Technologies website or call us at (480) 418-3428.

Contact us at Clarity Technologies for more information about Ellie Mae tools that can enhance your loan origination systems.

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Form and Plugin Development

Having the ability to engage today’s homebuyers is no small task. Their time is precious, they have an immense number of resources, they educate themselves more than ever before, and they’re more selective than homebuyers in generations before them. However, knowing the tools and options that can attract today’s homebuyers is a critical step toward gaining their attention. The next step is actually implementing the tools within your technology systems, website, and social media pages.

4 Tools and Options that can Attract Today’s Homebuyers


Beyond a beautiful home and a fantastic financial arrangement, do you know what today’s homebuyers are looking for? If not, consider the following as a framework:

1. Today’s homebuyers are exceptional when it comes to money management skills.


Having the right tech tools and options for homebuyers can help you attract them to your mortgage loan business while building their trust.If you can provide your potential borrowers with online calculators, apps that track the lifetime of their mortgage, and similar tools, they’ll appreciate it. From there, you can build on that newfound trust.

Can you provide them with financial management answers, helpful solutions, and general assistance?


2. Potential homebuyers research their options thoroughly before making a decision.


Many businesses just like yours are competing for those potential borrowers’ attention. Your mortgage firm needs to be visible in every way to ensure that they think of you before your competitors. This is where smart social media and marketing strategies are crucial.

Are you taking advantage of social media tools as effectively as possible to grow your leads?


3. Millennials are likely to flip houses or relocate frequently.


Millennial homebuyers tend to move often, and some are in the business of buying and renovating older houses for profit. For that reason, many may hesitate to make a long-term investment in a home, but if you can make them feel comfortable, you’re more likely to win them over.

Do you provide tools that will educate them about ways to move easily or sell houses sooner?

4. Educational resources will bring traffic to your website and social media pages.


Remember that you want to go beyond selling mortgages. You should genuinely provide consumers with sound, practical information that will help them make the right decisions. If you regularly keep your website and social media pages updated with relevant information they want to read, you can:

  • • Gain their trust
  • • Further be seen as a leader in your industry
  • • Keep your website alive and active
  • • Grow your social media followers and activity
  • • Increase leads
  • • Maintain a steady stream of activity indefinitely
  • • Increase your domain authority


Are you providing leads and website visitors with the facts they need to make the most informed decisions? Are you posting to your site and social channels regularly? Are you streaming business and real estate news, perhaps?

Implementing Effective Strategies

Once you know the tools and options that can attract today’s homebuyers, it’s time to implement them. If you don’t know which options will be most effective, it’s time to learn them. That’s where we come in.


As leading mortgage technology consultants in Arizona, we can help you identify the tools you need and then customize and implement solutions. Contact us for more information and ideas.

Contact us at Clarity Technologies for more information about tech tools and options that can attract today's homebuyers.

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Clarity Technologies

Clarity Technologies is proud to be a Fortinet Silver Partner. Despite the fact that it’s one of the largest cybersecurity companies in the nation and possibly the world, however, many people are not as familiar with it as they are with some of our other affiliations.


If you want to know more about it, following are some of the basics about Fortinet and what our partnership means to you.

What is Fortinet?


As a Fortinet Silver Partner, Clarity's technology consultants can provide loan officers with additional resources for technology security.Founded in 2000, Fortinet is based in Sunnydale, California and has offices around the world. Its mission is to provide integrated, high-performance security within the technology infrastructure. Fortinet secures products that share intelligence and work together to form a “cooperative fabric.” This “security fabric” combines processors, an operating system, and threat intelligence.


Its firewall platform, FortiGate, provides enhanced security and networking functions. With FortiGate and complementary products, clients benefit from network, cloud, web, and email security, as well as advanced threat protection and analytics.


Consider this: More than 25 percent of enterprise attacks are expected to target IoT devices by 2020, according to Fortinet. Fortinet’s security fabric delivers real-time visibility across all applications and devices.

 

Why Our Status as a Fortinet Silver Partner Matters to You


Fortinet is the leading provider of security appliances for carriers, enterprises, and data centers.  It has some of the cybersecurity industry’s most secure solutions, enabling it to provide greater peace of mind for its customers.


As a Fortinet Silver Partner, we are therefore armed with the knowledge and resources necessary to support our own clients’ enhanced network security needs. By working with Fortinet, we can provide you with some of the strongest network security available on the planet.


We also have access to Fortinet’s support portal and a variety of continuing education resources. In other words, our own expertise in network security is unrivaled in the Phoenix, Arizona area, but as a Fortinet Silver Partner, we are that much stronger.

See for yourself. Contact us to learn more about what we can do to further secure your technology systems.

Contact us at Clarity Technologies for more information about what it means to be a Fortinet Silver Partner or for mortgage technology services.

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Clarity Technologies, Form and Plugin Development

Clarity is proud to be affiliated with the Mortgage Bankers Association, enabling us to make a greater difference in the professional lives of loan officers in Arizona. You may be wondering exactly how the affiliation between Clarity and the Mortgage Bankers Association matters to you.


Well, consider these concepts:

  • • For starters, when you choose Clarity for your mortgage technology needs, you can do so with the confidence of knowing we are affiliated with one of the industry’s largest associations in the nation.
  • • As an affiliate of the MBA, we are held to higher standards.The affiliation between Clarity and the Mortgage Bankers Association could mean stronger technological resources for your mortgage technology.
  • • We are in a better position to stay abreast of the latest changes in the mortgage technology industry, the mortgage industry in general, and changes within Ellie Mae’s Encompass LOS.
  • • The MBA provides tools that both mortgage bankers and technology consultants need to formulate stronger and more thorough strategies for the future.
  • • The MBA’s financial research provides us with a broader and more comprehensive view of the solutions our clients need.
  • • Knowing current real estate trends and short- and long-term outlooks allows us to provide you with the service you expect and need.
  • • Educating ourselves on national, state, and local policies ensures that our clients’ systems are up-to-date on quality and legal standards.
  • • We can better protect your mortgage technology from hackers and malware.


Now, if you believe your loan origination system is just fine and you don’t need to modernize, consider these issues next:

1. If you use Encompass, Ellie Mae regularly updates its program, providing loan officers with bigger and better features. Our mortgage technology consultants can help you take advantage of these improvements.

2. About 12 million records were left vulnerable through more than 790 security breaches that occurred in the first half of 2017. Protecting clients’ security is critical, especially for individuals in the mortgage industry who handle an innumerable number of personal documents.

3. Modernizing your systems may help you save money as a result of the elimination of unneeded resources and wasted time.

4. Your prospective clients have come to expect advanced technology from websites, mobile devices, and apps. Updating your systems through various customized plugins and other features will give them the tools they desire.


If you want to know more about Clarity and the Mortgage Bankers Association’s affiliation, or are interested in updating your mortgage technology systems, contact us today. We’re here to answer your questions.

Contact us at Clarity Technologies for more information about this blog or for mortgage technology services.

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Clarity Technologies

For better or worse, the face of home ownership is changing. Decades ago, people married in their early 20s, bought their own houses, and worked at the same job for 30 years. But life is very different today. Young adults, middle-age adults, and seniors are choosing to live together longer, and this pattern is only expected to grow. This concept leads to the question about how intergenerational living trends impact the home mortgage industry – and whether or not home loan providers are making the best use of these trends.


Why Intergenerational Living has Become More Common


A variety of factors have made intergenerational living more common and more accepted in today’s society.

  • • Millennials are choosing to obtain a higher education, which means they often postpone home ownership.
  • As you are updating loan origination systems, it's important to consider how multigenerational living impacts the home mortgage industry.• People are less likely to keep one job for their entire careers. Frequent job changes, whether by choice or layoff, make home ownership less appealing at first. The dream of home ownership is still very real, but people are making the choice to become more financially solid before opening that door.
  • • Thanks to medical advancements, people are living longer, but still may need companionship and assistance from their children and grandchildren.
  • • While the cost of living continues to increase, income doesn’t always keep up with the pace. Intergenerational living means expenses – including the mortgage payment – can be shared.
  • • A greater number of responsible individuals will be available to take care of babies, toddlers, and young children while other adults are away at work or school.
  • • Household chores can be split, taking some of the responsibility off the shoulders of each resident of the house.


These are only some of the issues that have led to this trend toward multigenerational households. Each family can benefit from this trend in its own ways, but financial factors are almost always at the top of the list.

 

How Intergenerational Living Trends Impact the Home Mortgage Industry

While one of the greatest benefits of intergenerational living is the ability to share the mortgage payment with other adults, mortgage loan providers should make sure their mortgage technology addresses these trends. Mortgage loan providers who remain up-to-date with trends and technology will be in a better position to grow their client base and surpass the competition.


Whether multigenerational families are having new homes constructed with ideal living spaces or buying an existing multifamily home, they might decide to name multiple people as owners of the home. This will change multiple factors within the loan documents.


Loan officers may also want to consider the possibility that one or more individuals in the home will take a different route after the mortgage is finalized, leaving the others to deal with the full mortgage payment. In this case, mortgage bankers might have to work with the family to see what options would best meet their needs.


Regardless of the challenges, updating mortgage technology systems will help loan officers fully accommodate this trend, which provides many more benefits than potential downfalls. When it comes to how intergenerational living trends impact the home mortgage industry, the better equipped you are with the right technology, the better off you will be.

Contact us at Clarity Technologies for more information about this blog or for mortgage technology services.

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Clarity Technologies, Managed Services, Support on Demand

The right technological components within your mortgage loan origination system is about more than optimizing your own workflow. Better mortgage technology improves the borrower experience as well in many ways.

And when borrowers are satisfied with your customer service and the mortgage loan experience, it will improve your brand’s reputation overall. That’s what you’re aiming for, after all, and it all starts with having the best mortgage technology consultants in the Phoenix area to help you.

4 Ways Better Mortgage Technology Improves the Borrower Experience

1. Mortgages could possibly close faster than ever.

Including the pre-approval, appraisal, and closing, the typical mortgage process takes 30 to 60 days, and that’s if there are no glitches or extraordinary financial issues involved. Better mortgage technology can possibly cut down that time significantly as a result of better communication and smoother, more efficient digital processes.


2. Borrowers can obtain immediate answers with enhanced digital communication options.

Mortgage technology consultants can set up your systems in a manner that allows everyone to communicate 24/7 if that’s what you want. Your systems can be responsive and easy to use on any mobile device, allowing borrowers to contact you at any time of the day. Buying a house and borrowing such a large sum of money can make virtually anyone nervous, so your clients will feel better knowing that you’re there when they need you – even if it’s just for reinforcement that they’re making the right decision about their new home.


3. Borrowers will trust that they are getting the best financial arrangement.

With the most up-to-date loan origination systems, you can provide borrowers with the most ideal mortgage for their needs. When they see your modern systems, the fact that you are knowledgeable about current trends, and the fact that you are accessible to them, they’ll have greater confidence in the end result.

4. Better mortgage technology ensures compliance.

Policies and processes change often in the mortgage lending industry on local, state, and national levels. When you keep your LOS updated and also manually research changes in the industry, your borrowers will benefit through a solid, fully compliant financial arrangement.

Contact Our Mortgage Technology Consultants to Update Your Loan Origination Systems


These are only a few of the ways better mortgage technology improves the borrower experience. There are many more, but they depend on the borrower’s specific needs and your particular services.

The bottom line is that the better the experience is for each client, the more likely each is to refer you to family and friends or give you a positive review online. As a result, you can enjoy a stronger reputation that will help your mortgage lending business continue to grow.

To learn more about how improving your loan origination system can help both you and your clients, contact us through our Clarity Technologies website or by phone at (480) 418-3428.

Contact us at Clarity Technologies for more information about this blog or for mortgage technology services.

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Clarity Technologies, Form and Plugin Development, Managed Services

With Ellie Mae’s Oct. 22 announcement about its Encompass upgrade, you may be wondering what the changes mean for you. If not, you really should be. Being aware of the changes means being able to take advantage of all that Encompass has to offer.

Encompass Upgrade Highlights


Ellie Mae’s Encompass upgrade is expected to help mortgage lenders originate additional loans, lower origination costs, and shorten closing times as a result of efficiency, compliance, and quality.


The highlights of the upgrade include:

  • • Enhanced Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) support
  • • The release of Encompass Dynamic Data Management
  • • Mortgage insurance support for the Ellie Mae Total Quality Loan™ Program


Jonathan Corr, president and CEO of Ellie Mae, said the changes can help mortgage lenders operate more efficiently by using Encompass Dynamic Data Management, achieve complete compliance, and have a more streamlined mortgage process with centralized service ordering. 

What It Means to You

If your loan origination system hasn’t been analyzed in a while, these Encompass enhancements could be the push you need to update your system. If you are working with outdated systems, using tools you don’t need, using the wrong tools, or overlooking the right mortgage lending solutions, you could be losing time and money.


It may be difficult, however, to determine on your own what you should change. While this Encompass upgrade is especially significant due to the release of the Encompass Dynamic Data Management program, changes and modifications occur regularly at Ellie Mae. As a mortgage lender, it’s important for you to keep up with them to ensure compliance, more efficiency, and better customer service.


That’s why we’re here. As an Ellie Mae partner, Clarity Technologies can analyze your mortgage technology systems to provide you with recommendations and customized technology solutions to meet your needs.


Contact us today, and we’ll tell you much more about Ellie Mae’s latest upgrade and how we can help you make it work to your advantage.


Contact us at Clarity Technologies for more information about Ellie Mae's Encompass upgrade or for mortgage technology services.

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Managed Services

Have you had a recent health check? We’re not talking about your own health, but that of your mortgage technology.

No? Well, if you’re not sure where to begin, we’re here to help. We have extensive experience building change within technology processes and the Ellie Mae Encompass system. Together, we’ll decide what’s best for the future health of your loan origination systems.

What to Expect from Your Examination


If you use an Ellie Mae Encompass system, are you using it to its fullest potential? To find out, contact one of our mortgage technology consultants in Scottsdale, Arizona.When you contact us to evaluate your loan origination systems, you can expect us to complete a thorough examination of the tools you use every day in order to determine where you can work more efficiently and save money. This includes your phone systems, internet connectivity, disaster recovery programs, electricity, training programs, and plugins and integrations.


Through the Ellie Mae Encompass lending platform, you can originate more loans, reduce loan processing times, and make smarter business decisions overall. But you can only do this if you use the right tools for your own business, not the tools you think you need to use.


And that’s why we’re here. We can help you identify what’s working within your Ellie Mae Encompass system and what could be improved or eliminated to save you time and money.


Following are some of the questions we might consider, or that you might ask yourself, in order to determine the best steps for you to take.

1.  Are you engaging a good number of consumers? If not, what tools do you need to attract more potential borrowers?

2.  Are borrowers getting into their homes as quickly as possible, or do you regularly face stumbling blocks? If it’s the latter, why do those obstacles keep getting in the way?

3.  Do you regularly track your ROI through digital systems?

4.  Can coworkers, managers, customers, and vendors communicate effectively internally, regardless of the type of digital device they are using or where they are working?

5.  Do you offer interactive tools that provide consumers with the guidance they need to make informed decisions

6.  Are you certain you are compliant with all applicable laws and local ordinances?

7.  Can you transfer and access digital documents with ease, both within the same building and remotely?

8.  Are your mortgage technology systems thoroughly protected from malware and other potential security threats?


These are only some of the many issues that mortgage lenders face, and having a fresh perspective from an outside mortgage technology consultant enables lenders to see the problems and solutions more clearly.

Contact Us for Help Evaluating Your Ellie Mae Encompass System


As an Ellie Mae partner, we can help you make the best changes to give you immediate return on your investment. By exploring your loan origination systems, we can help you improve your overall procedures and communication strategies, thereby eliminating wasted time, money, and efforts.


Contact us through our Clarity Technologies website for additional information or to schedule an appointment for your Ellie Mae Health Check.

Contact us at Clarity Technologies for more information about this blog or for mortgage technology services.

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Clarity Technologies, Cloud Services, Form and Plugin Development

Mortgage banking is changing quickly, and it’s important for individuals in the industry to change with it – the right way.  Many mortgage bankers are struggling in this ever-changing landscape, but optimizing mortgage technology can help you keep up with the pace.


Examining your existing infrastructure expenses and negotiating new or replacement services is one step that can help you drastically lower costs. IMBs can save money and work more efficiently by implementing better technology while eliminating the technology they don’t need.


You see, you don’t have to have all the tools. What you do need to have are the tools that work best for you.


What Optimizing Mortgage Technology Might Mean for You

 

Optimizing mortgage technology could help you keep up with changes in the mortgage banking industry while saving money on technology infrastructure.Chances are that your business has been doing the same things for months, if not years. As a result, you’ve become accustomed to doing things the way they’ve always been done and are overlooking areas where you can work more efficiently in order to save time and money.


Having a mortgage technology consultant explore your systems will provide you with a fresh perspective. To help you identify areas that could be improved or unneeded options that can be eliminated, Clarity Technologies consultants will potentially examine your systems related to:

 

  • • VoIP: There have been many changes in phone systems over the past several years. If you haven’t updated yours in a while, there’s a good chance you’re using outdated systems or equipment you don’t need.

 

  • • Internet Connectivity: This is an area where you are likely spending more money than necessary. Over the years, you may have added options and tools but neglected to eliminate the ones that you are no longer using.

 

On the other hand, you could be using outdated technology that is more costly than necessary, simply because it’s more difficult to use than modern options.

 

Either way, using the right internet connectivity can help you save time and money, as well as reduce the stress associated with too much clutter in your workday.

 

  • • Disaster Recovery: Again, if you’re using outdated systems, you’re probably spending more than you have to.

 

However, if your disaster recovery systems are not up to par, it’s critical that you improve them, even if it means spending a little more for the option. It’s an expense that will pay for itself through added peace of mind and protection, as just one security breach can cost you thousands if not millions.

 

  • • Electricity: We’ll also determine how the electricity you use works with your technological systems and help you pinpoint areas where you can save money. It may be as simple as switching to LED lighting versus traditional lighting, or using wireless systems as opposed to wired systems.

 

Consider Your Options

 

So what’s the bottom line? You may be able to save 20 percent to 30 percent per month on your infrastructure expenses.

 

For now, all you would need to do is discuss this topic with one of our mortgage technology consultants. Our services for this type of analysis are completely free. Contact us today, and we’ll show you how optimizing mortgage technology can help you work more efficiently while saving money.

Contact us at Clarity Technologies for more information about this blog or for mortgage technology services.

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