Plenty of lawyers are basketball fans. What had once looked like a defense slam-dunk now isn’t: A federal judge declined to dismiss a fan’s suit that alleges the Warriors Android app violates wiretap laws. The app turns on your mic, supposedly so it can listen for location beacons at the NBA team’s stadium and serve up ads for things near you (like beer or foam fingers). Lawyers at Edelstein, which brought the suit, claim the app also intercepts private conversations.

And did you know that over 400 of the world's most popular websites record your every keystroke? If you want to block session replay scripts, popular ad-blocking tool AdBlock Plus will now protect you against all the ones documented in the Princeton study. Here's the list of websites that have third-party "session replay" scripts.

These six kitchen appliance manufacturers are making the leap to voice automation, making Christmas dinner easier than ever. But beware the "internet of things!"

Speaking of the internet and technology...let's play catch up with what has crossed my desk recently with vendor (most of which wouldn't exist without the internet) news.

Conventional Conforming, Freddie and Fannie Changes

FormFree announced that it has entered into a pilot with Fannie Mae that could allow mortgage lenders to validate borrower income, asset and employment data through a single report as early as 2018. FormFree Founder and CEO Brent Chandler stated, "Single Source Validation will have a transformational effect on driving down the cost and risk of making sound underwriting decisions while making it easier and safer than ever for borrowers to provide the sensitive data required to apply for a mortgage loan."

Chronos Solutions, First American Mortgage Solutions, MeridianLink, and Partners Credit & Verification Solutions, new verification report suppliers for tax transcript data, have been approved by Fannie Mae and are available to provide verification of income via their 4506-T Tax Transcript reports. The reports verify Social Security, self-employed, retirement, and commission income types.

DataVerify, announced the addition of Employment & Income Verification Service to their services already available through  Day 1 Certainty from Fannie Mae. These verifications have been added to the existing 4506-T tax transcript verifications that are currently available through Fannie Mae's DU Validation Service to provide lenders with freedom from some reps and warrants from a trusted direct report supplier. Both Factual Data, provider of credit and verification services and CBCInnovis, provider of credit and data validation services have EIVS available thanks to DataVerify.

VanDyk Mortgage is now offering FormFree's AccountChek automated asset verification through both its loan officers and its borrower self-service mortgage portal. Earlier this year, Fannie Mae confirmed that lenders can expect significant time savings when they use AccountChek and Fannie's Desktop Underwriter (DU) Validation Service, a finding corroborated by reports from lenders such as Guaranteed Rate.

Mortgage Capital Trading, Inc. (MCT) announced the release of new online functionality that automates the process of product selection and delivery of loan commitments directly to Fannie Mae for MCT's lender clients. The new solution, which was developed as part of MCT's ongoing technology collaboration with Fannie Mae, is called Rapid Commit and resides within MCT's award-winning secondary marketing platform, MCTlive!. Fannie Mae's Pricing & Execution - Whole Loan (PE - Whole Loan) application is the industry-leading whole loan committing platform, providing ease of use, flexibility and certainty for sellers.

Universal Credit Services has been approved as a new verification report supplier for the Desktop Underwriter (DU) validation service providing verification of Social Security, self-employed, retirement, and commission income types.


Capital Markets

Yes, the markets are open today, but who the heck is going to lock in a loan? I'm sure someone, somewhere... Harkening back to Wednesday, agency MBS and U.S. Treasuries ended on a firmly higher note, price-wise, helped by the release of November FOMC Minutes, which showed that a few officials opposed hiking rates in the near term due to inflation measures running below target. That said, the implied likelihood of a 25-basis point rate hike in December, indicated by the fed funds futures market, remains at 91.5% while expectations for a 50-bps hike sit at 8.5%. Some participants preferred to defer rate hikes until it was clear that inflation data showed improvement towards the Fed's 2% target which lowers the odds of four rate hikes next year as projected by some.

We did have quite a collection of economic news. Initial Jobless Claims indicated that the November employment report will show another solid month of nonfarm payroll gains. The Durable Goods Orders report indicated that business spending decelerated in October, yet there is little reason at this juncture to think that deceleration is more than some normal slowing following some nice-sized gains in previous months. And the University of Michigan's Consumer Sentiment Index for November showed that consumers are feeling more confident in their expectations for income, employment, and inflation, which could bode well for future spending activity.

By the time the dust settled Wednesday the 10-year T-note had improved .250 in price to yield 2.33%. Mortgage-backed securities improved .125-.250, depending on coupon, maturity, and price. Today the bond markets will close early, there is no substantive economic news, and in the early going rates are a tad higher versus Wednesday's close with the 10-year at 2.34% and agency MBS prices worse .125.

More Vendor News

Secure Insight is pleased to welcome Franklin First Financial, Hartford Funding, GMH Mortgage Services and American Financial Network, Inc. as new Closing Guard vendor management clients.

The Mortgage Collaborative announced a new relationship with PHH Mortgage by adding PHH to its preferred partner network. And a new partnership with reverse mortgage lender FirstBank Mortgage. Its Senior Lending Division maintains a national full-service reverse mortgage fulfillment platform.

The Mortgage Collaborative continues to expand its Collaboration Lab initiative. TMC's Collaboration Labs offer their Lender Members the opportunity to participate in day and a half long "deep-dive" networking sessions with peers of similar size and scope. Participating companies pre-submit a set of 32 operating metrics and key performance indicators, from which agendas are crafted to address each lender's business needs. TMC staff manage both the preparation and communication, as well as facilitating the Lab at the host lender's office. Lenders interested in participating in or hosting a Lab can find more information on the initiative at or by contacting Rich Swerbinsky. Participating Lender Members receive a customized report that compares their performance benchmarks against TMC lenders and peer groups within the network.

National Mortgage Insurance Corporation (National MI), announced that its private mortgage insurance is now available to lenders through the PCLender loan origination system (LOS) from Fiserv. Lenders will now be able to quote and order National MI's mortgage insurance directly from the PCLender LOS.  Michael Dirrane, chief sales officer for National MI, said, "Our integration provides many benefits to our mutual lender customers. Lenders can now obtain quotes and order mortgage insurance without ever leaving the PCLender platform, speeding and streamlining the loan origination process."

South Street Securities has chosen Optimal Blue to strengthen its compliance regime. Utilizing the electronic document collection and financial status reporting modules available on the Comergence platform provides South Street with a deeper understanding of a client's financial health at the time of application, while enabling ongoing visibility during the life of the relationship. Comergence was acquired by Optimal Blue because the company has been widely recognized for its innovations in due diligence automation and ongoing surveillance services - a capability unmatched in the mortgage industry.

Realty ONE Group unveiled the new UNbrokerage concept. Realty ONE Group is a full-service lifestyle real estate brand and franchise model. The UNbrokerage holds nothing back when it comes to providing their real estate professionals with the tools and resources needed to run their businesses. Along with free business tools, technology, coaching and resources, the company recently launched ONE University, an online educational platform for their professionals at every stage in their career. 

FormFree announced it has entered a partnership with SimpleNexus. The integration of the two companies' technologies will make FormFree's AccountChek automated verification service for asset, employment and income a seamless part of the loan application experience for borrowers applying for a loan using SimpleNexus' mobile technology. SimpleNexus provides private-label mobile apps that connect mortgage lenders with borrowers and real estate agents.

Lender Service Provider, LLC, announced its corporate rebranding. Beginning November 20th, it began operating under its new trade name - "Lenderworks". With a fresh new name and logo, no changes will be made to its suite of services or ownership/management structure.

LendingQB announced its newest partnership with Lender Price. "This new integration seamlessly connects Lender Price's Digital Lending Platform to lenders using LendingQB's OpenAPI framework. The Lender Price Digital Lending Platform provides an omni-channel experience for borrowers and lenders with a completely configurable digital loan application workflow. Mortgage lending organizations of all types and sizes can easily create a custom experience using 'drag and drop' tools to build workflows.

LoanCare, a ServiceLink company, announced it will now service open-ended home equity lines of credit (HELOC) through new technology and enhanced HELOC processes. With these recent developments to its technology and operations, LoanCare aims to create greater efficiencies and controls in the HELOC servicing lifecycle utilizing the Consumer Loan Workstation, a part of the comprehensive LoanSphere MSP servicing system offered by Black Knight Inc.

Norcom Mortgage has selected ReverseVision as its provider of choice for end-to-end HECM technology, rolling out not only ReverseVision's flagship RV Exchange (RVX) LOS, but also RV Database, an add-on that enables lenders to create a local "data warehouse" of pertinent reverse mortgage data. Not to mention its RV Sales Accelerator, a web-based tool that helps loan officers drive HECM loan volume and leveraged ReverseVision's integrations with Ellie Mae Encompass and Velocify's CRM tools.

Pavaso, Inc. has partnered with Signature Closers, a Columbus, Ohio based firm supporting title agents and mortgage lenders with secure closing transaction support. Pavaso's Digital Closing Services accommodate any type of closing without requiring IT implementation or training. The platform accommodates early signing, attorney states, split closings, multiple borrowers, sellers, and more. Mortgage lenders, their business partners and consumers can communicate, collaborate and work in a single virtual location.

Richey May Select is a financial and operational benchmarking tool that gives participants precise and relevant metrics on peer performance just 35 days after quarter end. Its recently enhanced version of the platform offers independent lenders a more dynamic and intuitive interface, increased efficiencies and even more timely data. For more info visit Richey May Select or contact Tyler House.