The broker portal space: there's lively competition in the broker portal space. The big question is will independent portals survive, or will brokers seek this functionality from inside their origination systems?
In six short years, mortgage business-to-business (B2B (Business to Business) Refers to one business communicating with or selling to another. See B2B e-commerce, B2C and B2G.
B2B - business to business ) exchanges virtually disappeared as the mortgage broker portal business evolved, and a technology sector where 20 companies once played is now down to a small handful of companies. [??] The sector is still not settled. Portal companies and loan origination The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view of the subject.
Please [ improve this article] or discuss the issue on the talk page. system (LOS) providers continue to encroach encroach v. to build a structure which is in whole or in part across the property line of another's real property. This may occur due to incorrect surveys, guesses or miscalculations by builders and/or owners when erecting a building. on each other's turf. In fact, LOS software executives would have mortgage brokers believe the whole portal concept is a dinosaur dinosaur (dī`nəsôr) [Gr., = terrible lizard], extinct land reptile of the Mesozoic era. The dinosaurs, which were egg-laying animals, ranged in length from 2 1-2 ft (91 cm) to about 127 ft (39 m). . In all this competitive confusion, the occasional startup still arises with a niche product. [??] Meanwhile, the big news in 2006 was the withdrawal of BrokerOneSource[TM], a product of GHR GHR Growth Hormone Receptor
GHR Genetics Home Reference
GHR Growth Hormone Releaser
GHR General Hypnotherapy Register (UK)
GHR Gharghur (postal locality, Malta)
GHR Guaranteed Home Rating Systems Inc., a Metavante company based in Wayne, Pennsylvania Wayne is an unincorporated community and a U.S. Post Office located on the Main Line, centered in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, United States. While the center of Wayne is in Radnor Township, Wayne extends into both Tredyffrin Township in Chester County and Upper Merion Township , which billed itself as a comprehensive mortgage origination Origination
The process through which a mortgage lender creates a mortgage secured by some amount of the mortgagor's real property.
Also known as loan origination, everyone must go through the origination process when securing a mortgage for a piece of real marketplace linking wholesale lenders with mortgage brokers--as good a definition of a portal as any. [??] A more comprehensive elucidation e·lu·ci·date
v. e·lu·ci·dat·ed, e·lu·ci·dat·ing, e·lu·ci·dates
To make clear or plain, especially by explanation; clarify.
To give an explanation that serves to clarify. might be this: a universal interface (Web site) used by mortgage originators to access their business partners in order to get a loan from the point of initial application to the funding table. This description is the one used by Sig Anderman, founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Dublin, California-based Ellie Mae Inc., which arguably ar·gu·a·ble
1. Open to argument: an arguable question, still unresolved.
2. That can be argued plausibly; defensible in argument: three arguable points of law. was BrokerOneSource's main competition while it was still alive. [??] The competitive Anderman would have the market believe it was Ellie Mae's growing strength in the wholesale broker portal market that helped put BrokerOneSource down. "When we introduced our portal in 2000, we had 20 to 25 competitors. Now there are virtually no competitive portals. There is nobody in second place," claims Anderman.
However, mortgage technology pundit An expert or knowledgeable person. From "pandit" in Hindi. See guru. Craig Focardi, a San Francisco-based research director with TowerGroup, Needham, Massachusetts Needham is a town in Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States. History
Needham was first settled in 1680 and officially incorporated in 1711. Originally part of the Dedham Grant, Needham split from Dedham and was named after the village of Needham Market in Suffolk, , two years ago was saying there were many challenges for BrokerOneSource to overcome, and that Ellie Mae would survive because it had a different model.
And GHR's view? A slowing mortgage market led to the withdrawal of the product in March, says Cy Brinn, president of GHR Systems.
A very short history
Back in 2004, Focardi wrote a lengthy and comprehensive review of mortgage B2B exchanges/portals, which he called, "Online Wholesale Mortgage Lending: The Mortgage Megachannel."
In the report, Focardi noted the rise of B2B exchanges, which, when lumped together with business-to-consumer (B2C (Business to Consumer) Refers to a business communicating with or selling to an individual rather than a company. See B2B. ) exchanges, were believed by mortgage futurists to be an online system that eventually would replace high-cost, brick-and-mortar retail lenders and independent mortgage brokers along the fragmented mortgage distribution chain. These predictions, Focardi wrote, "were most common in the wholesale lending channel."
However, by 2002 all of these exchanges had failed, he reported, because they delivered little value and wholesale lenders built their own single-lender online wholesale mortgage portals for their mortgage broker customers. The goal of B2B exchanges was to be a kind of multilender product catalog catalog, descriptive list, on cards or in a book, of the contents of a library. Assurbanipal's library at Nineveh was cataloged on shelves of slate. The first known subject catalog was compiled by Callimachus at the Alexandrian Library in the 3d cent. B.C. hub with loan transaction capability. While the portal, says Focardi, provides data transfer from the mortgage broker to the wholesale lender in a way that reflects the lender-broker business model, lending processes and third-party supplier relationships.
In particular, Focardi wrote, B2B exchanges failed because they provided lenders and brokers with weak value propositions in terms of service (networking) Terms Of Service - (TOS) The rules laid down by an on-line service provider such as AOL that members must obey or risk being "TOS-sed" (disconnected). and price; automated only selected parts of the wholesale lending transaction; did not provide simple transfers for products, prices and loan file data; and were generally not well-integrated with broker point-of-sale (POS (1) See point of sale and packet over SONET.
(2) "Parent over shoulder." See digispeak.
POS - point of sale ) systems.
While noting the decline of B2B exchanges, Focardi also highlighted the rise of portals--or, in 2004, what he called wholesale transaction facilitators. He spotlighted two--those by Ellie Mae and GHR Systems.
In a comparative statement dripping dripping
1. continuous discharge of an exudate or secretion.
2. rendered beef fat. with a whole lot of prescience pre·science
Knowledge of actions or events before they occur; foresight.
Formal knowledge of events before they happen [Latin praescire to know beforehand] , Focardi wrote: "Tower-Group believes the Ellie Mae business model and fee structure is more attractive to mortgage brokers and lenders. GHR may find a market niche among midsize wholesale lenders that lack the budget to create their own full-function wholesale lending portal, but will be hard-pressed to attract significant transaction volume from many of the top-25 mortgage lenders."
GHR Systems eased into the portal business by buying the assets of Ultraprise Loan Technologies Inc., Frederick, Maryland Frederick is the county seat of Frederick County, Maryland. As of the 2006 census estimates, the city has a total population of 58,882 , making it the third-largest city in Maryland. , in 2002. "GHR applied some of Ultraprise's technology--along with other IT [information technology]--to help create their BrokerOneSource," explains Focardi. By midyear mid·year
1. The middle of the calendar or academic year.
a. An examination given in the middle of a school year.
b. midyears A series of such examinations. 2003, the BrokerOneSource Web site was unveiled.
What's interesting is that as late as July 2005, GHR was still issuing press releases stressing BrokerOneSource gains--in particular, that it had reached a milestone by surpassing 10,000 registered brokers.
There were other big changes going on at GHR around this time. In June 2005, Milwaukee-based Metavante Corporation Metavante is a company that provides financial technology services and software to its customers, consisting primarily of small to large sized financial institutions. The $1.5 billion organization is headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and employs over 5,600 employees in 35 U.S. , the financial technology subsidiary of Milwaukee-based Marshall & Ilsley Corporation, acquired the company. Meanwhile, broker adoption of the online system began to slow.
"BrokerOneSource was a product that was initially met with enthusiasm by lenders and brokers alike," says GHR's Brinn. "At the time we introduced it, the market was interested in exploring the benefits of the online marketplace. Most recently, with lenders competing over smaller loan origination volumes, lenders have become less interested in participating in this type of online marketplace."
Fewer lenders led to slower adoption of BrokerOneSource, Brinn adds, "and we decided to withdraw the product."
Says Focardi, "The challenge BrokerOneSource had was that it had to establish business relationships with thousands of small brokers around the country, which Ellie Mae already had. They found that to be expensive, and the difficulty of these models is having the capital to develop business relationships and tech integration with both sides of the transaction."
Ellie Mae's portal, now called ePASS[R] Network, came to market in 2000. At the time a lot of big, corporate players manned the field, including the likes of General Electric Co. and Microsoft[R] Corporation. "There were a lot of companies that were trying to say 'I want to be the B2B portal in the mortgage industry,'" recalls Jonathan Corr, Ellie Mae's chief strategy officer. "It was the product of dreams."
There are a number of reasons why most failed, but the key reason five to six years ago was that most people who had to use exchanges or portals were salespeople sales·peo·ple
Persons who are employed to sell merchandise in a store or in a designated territory. who were not completely at home with technology. At the time, mortgage brokers' chief technology concern was their LOS system, and "for them to go and leave that for a separate application was too much of a stress for folks that were not comfortable with technology," Corr says.
Ellie Mae realized the only way to get brokers to comfortably use a portal was to bring it right into the core operating system--to make it seamless with the LOS. So it did what none of the other companies had even considered: It acquired LOS companies.
"Of the four big [mortgage broker] LOS players at the time--Calyx [Software], Byte (BinarY TablE) The common unit of computer storage from desktop computer to mainframe. It is made up of eight binary digits (bits). A ninth bit may be used in the memory circuits as a parity bit for error checking. [Software], Genesis[R] and Contour[R]--we bought two technologies, Genesis and Contour," says Anderman. Genesis was acquired in 2000 from San Francisco-based iOwn, a company that doesn't exist anymore, and a year later Countour was pinched from First American Corporation
Officially referred to as The First American Corporation (FAC) , , Santa Ana, California Santa Ana is the most populous city in Orange County, California and is the county seat. It lies approximately 10 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean, on the largely seasonal Santa Ana River. .
"The whole idea was to bring the network inside the desktop application," Corr adds, "because once you get used to it, you will not go anywhere else."
In addition to Genesis and Contour, Ellie Mae in October 2003 introduced a third LOS called Encompass[R]. This is what distinguishes Ellie Mae, says Focardi. "It has a built-in broker/customer base."
Brinn knew that having an LOS was an advantage because GHR has its own suite of origination technology. After GHR withdrew the BrokerOneSource product from the marketplace, Brinn says, "We decided to focus our efforts on continuing to evolve the LOS and POS solutions POS Solutions, is an Australian company. The company provides software and services to small and medium businesses, where the company has enjoyed steady growth so making it particularly well-known in Australian Newsagencies where its software has taken hold as the market leader. that our clients are using with great success."
To which he adds, "At some point in the future, we may re-introduce BrokerOneSource or a different form of an electronic marketplace."
All the technology changes to the wholesale mortgage marketplace began to settle out during 2004, which has proven to be the year between the old and the new.
In 2005, Columbia, Maryland-based Wholesale Access Mortgage Research & Consulting Inc. published its mortgage brokers study conducted for the prior year. There were two key questions in regard to technology that reflected upon portals and LOSes. For the first question, there were no surprises: When asked to name a firm's loan origination software provider, 67.9 percent named San Jose San Jose, city, United States
San Jose (sănəzā`, săn hōzā`), city (1990 pop. 782,248), seat of Santa Clara co., W central Calif.; founded 1777, inc. 1850. , California-based Calyx calyx (kā`lĭks): see sepal. Software, reports Tom LaMalfa, a managing director at Wholesale Access. In second place with 27 percent of the market were Ellie Mae's three systems--Genesis, Contour and Encompass. The small remaining percentage was claimed by Byte Software, Kirkland, Washington Kirkland is a city in King County, Washington, United States. It is a suburb of Seattle located on the Eastside (of Lake Washington). As of April 1, 2005, the city had an estimated population of 45,740, making Kirkland the eighth largest city in King County and the eighteenth .
Then the questions got more interesting. When the more than 1,000 survey participants were asked if they used any of the "universal portals," approximately 64 percent said they didn't. Of the 36 percent that said they did, 16.4 percent used ePASS, but the biggest percentage said they used eMagic[R], a "service-fulfillment platform" created in 2000 by MGIC MGIC Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Company
MGIC Montana Geographic Information Council Investment Corporation, Milwaukee.
Then there's eMagic
"We are a portal, and our model is based on transaction and hosting fees," explains Margaret Crowley Margaret Crowley (born 1986-03-17 in St. Paul, Minnesota) is an Olympic speed skater from the United States, who competed in 3000 m and the team pursuit at the 2006 Winter Olympics. , vice president of client services for eMagic. "eMagic took the approach that we are all about the lender. We are going to let them enforce business rules on our platform, we are going to let them declare who they work with, how they work, etc. By giving the lenders their own business model to work with, we got a lot more traction Traction Definition
Traction is the use of a pulling force to treat muscle and skeleton disorders.
Traction is usually applied to the arms and legs, the neck, the backbone, or the pelvis. ."
She adds, "When I think of portals, it's really down to two major ones. We are in a similar space as ePASS."
Or are they? Ellie Mae's Anderman doesn't think so. In the retail arena, not wholesale, lenders either use an in-house portal or a product like eMagic, he explains. "eMagic is a retail portal," claims Anderman.
While Anderman might have a point, the fact of the matter is eMagic can work with any LOS, says Crowley, and it has an association with Calyx Software and Byte Software, which obviously defines the competition to Ellie Mae's three LOS units.
"Our market penetration Noun 1. market penetration - the extent to which a product is recognized and bought by customers in a particular market
penetration - the act of entering into or through something; "the penetration of upper management by women" has definitely been growing annually," says Crowley.
Redefining the competition
Without debating whether eMagic and ePASS compete head-on, it's obvious they do bump up bump up
Informal to increase (prices) by a large amount
Verb 1. bump up - increase or raise; "OPEC bumped up the price of oil" against each other because of their relationships with LOS suppliers. Those independent LOS companies are not sitting idly by, especially as Ellie Mae takes direct aim at their market. Byte Software and Calyx Software can directly reach out to vendors and other service providers without the use of a portal.
"What we have found is that by supporting MISMO MISMO Mortgage Industry Standards Maintenance Organization
MISMO Maintenance Interservice Support Management Office [R] standards, we don't need to go through portals in order to establish relationships with service providers," notes Joe Herb, general manager of Byte Software, a division of Kirkland, Washington-based CBCInnovis.
Byte has an interface with ePASS, Herb adds, "but we find most of our volume goes through our direct interfaces, which we have been successful in signing up with credit vendors, lenders, etc. Most of the interfaces are built directly into our software, and if a broker has a requirement to go through ePASS, we will support that. Again, we have found that the volume going through those portals is essentially smaller than the direct volume we have going from Byte to service provider."
Portals were a stop-gap that accelerated development to meet the real need, which was true integration at the desktop level for the originator Originator
A bank, savings and loan, or mortgage banker that initially made a mortgage loan that is part of a pool. Also, an investment bank that has worked with the issuer of a new securities offering from the beginning and is usually appointed manager of the underwriting , says Todd Luhtanen, president and chief technology officer for Dynatek Inc., a mortgage software and LOS company based in Livonia, Michigan Livonia is a city located in the northwest part of Wayne County in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 100,545, making it the eighth largest in the state. . "Portals were stop-gap because they were easier to bring to market, but they were not an end-game solution. We don't believe there is any need for it with our customer base," he says. Asked if that customer base was the same that Calyx and Byte would compete for, Luhtanen responded, "There's a bit of overlap, but we're really in the middle market--a step above where they normally serve in the broker segment. Our clients are mortgage bankers Mortgage Banker
A company, individual or institution that originates, sells and services mortgage loans.
Don't confuse a mortgage banker with a mortgage broker. and banks in the $40 million to $500 million range."
Citing the Wholesale Access broker study, Calyx Software, on its Web site, reports that "66 percent of mortgage brokers and direct lenders use Point[R]--a figure greater than all other mortgage automation applications combined." This claim no doubt would be quibbled with by others in the competitive LOS space.
"For the last several years, we have gone down the path of essentially building interfaces into our product," says Ben Wu, Calyx Software's director of technology. "We don't have our own portal per se, but you can directly access lenders and service providers from directly within the LOS."
Adds Wu, "Calyx Software boasts two technologies in regard to interfaces. The first is a direct connect, which is a suite of interfaces where Calyx has adopted MISMO standards for very specific transactions like credit, flood and title. The second interface is a Web connect that allows a third-party Web site to be launched within the Calyx software."
The problem with the portal concept, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. Wu, is that a portal aggregates together business partners almost like a directory, but there are a lot of places to go to access a directory. "The real question is, what is the portal experience like? How many steps do you go through? How many hoops do you have to go through to start doing business? What are its capabilities? We want to make sure we built an interface that is bi-directional--that is where we see value."
Future prospects for portals
If the direct interfaces being accomplished by Byte, Calyx and others are an embedded Inserted into. See embedded system. answer to independent portals, then is there a future for portals?
Gallagher Financial Systems Inc., South Miami, Florida South Miami is a city in Miami-Dade County, Florida, United States. The population was 10,741 at the 2000 census and as of 2005, according to the U.S. Census Bureau is 11,147. History
An early land owner of the area, W.A. , operates in the high-end loan origination software space for mortgage lenders. As its promotions explain: "Whether you're seeking an eCommerce portal, a complete loan origination system or interfaces to customers and third parties, we will keep you ahead of the competition."
Gallagher offers a Web-based product called NetOxygen, which has 23,000 users, according to Chris Anderson Chris Anderson may mean:
Anderson sees Gallagher's strength more at the front end of business, such as collection of data and generating documents. "We would be more complementary to Ellie Mae or Calyx," he adds.
As an observer of the technology side of the mortgage business, Anderson says that companies with an LOS across the enterprise have an investment, "and prefer to extend that to brokers rather than maintaining a separate portal. The concept of an independent portal is going away, and there is an expectation on the part of customers to use what's in their LOS to service brokers," he says.
While eMagic stands as an independent portal, it can be argued that ePASS is not an independent portal at all but part of Ellie Mae's LOS suite.
Byte and Calyx may have some need to be worried about Ellie Mae. The company has boosted its Encompass product and will be moving Genesis and Contour customers into it, making for just one main competitor.
v. spoiled or spoilt , spoil·ing, spoils
a. To impair the value or quality of.
b. To damage irreparably; ruin.
2. for a fight
"Genesis and Contour are two separate product lines, but those customers are getting moved over to the Encompass product over the next 18 months," says Corr.
Between 2001 and 2003, Ellie Mae re-engineered and restructured Genesis and Contour to make the portal interfaces as seamless as possible, "and this gave us a huge advantage over the other portals," claims Anderman. "For about 25 percent [as per the Wholesale Access survey] of the market, users had a friendly, easy experience that did not require re-entry RE-ENTRY, estates. The resuming or retaking possession of land which the party lately had.
2. Ground rent deeds and leases frequently contain a clause authorizing the landlord to reenter on the non-payment of rent, or the breach of some covenant, when the and manipulation of data."
Encompass was built from scratch with ePASS in mind. "The integration of Contour and Genesis was [a] 7.5 on a scale of 10," says Anderman. "The integration of Encompass is 9.5 or 10 out of 10."
"There will be only one platform ahead, and we will have a different strategy," Corr adds. "We are focused on taking market share away from our No. 1 competitor."
And that would be Calyx Software.
Calyx's Wu dismissively notes, "My understanding was that ePASS transaction volume comes from credit activity, which makes sense because everyone needs to order a credit report. We don't have a portal per se, but we have built-in interfaces supporting over 100 vendors and we have on an annual basis been doing over 10 million credit reports per year. The 10 million that goes into our system hasn't been going elsewhere."
For its part, Ellie Mae is not shy about stating its goals: LOS. "We focus on third-party originators, the people that do two-thirds of all the loans in the United Sates," says Corr. There are a number of industry analysts who doubt the broker market share is that high, but that doesn't in any way affect the intensity these competitors bring to the broker origination space.
"Basically, there are two solutions out there--Ellie Mae and Calyx. As for Byte, I love the people there, but they have a lot of challenges," Corr maintains.
Calyx Software has grown to about 300,000 "active desktops" that use Calyx software on a regular basis, says Wu.
The question is, is that enough? According to Anderman, it's not. "We launched the Encompass product, and lo and behold be·hold
v. be·held , be·hold·ing, be·holds
a. To perceive by the visual faculty; see: beheld a tiny figure in the distance.
b. the market jumped on it," he says. "It took a lot of effort and money to build it, and a lot of money to market it, but we have gone from 25 percent market share [again, per 2004 Wholesale Access survey for the three Ellie Mae products] to 50 percent in two-and-a-half years."
If that's true, the market will probably have to wait until the next Wholesale Access survey in 2007 to get confirmation. But if Anderman is accurate with his comments, then Ellie Mae had to overcome some serious initial defection.
"Ellie Mae initially said, 'We are discontinuing the software products [Genesis and Contour]; we would like you to look at Encompass,'" says Scott Cooley, founder and former chief executive officer at Contour, ex-chief strategy officer at Ellie Mae and now a principal with Los Gatos Los Gatos (lôs gä`tōs, lŏs, găt`əs), city (1990 pop. 27,357), Santa Clara co., W Calif.; inc. 1887. It is an affluent residential community and health resort. , California-based Cooley Consulting. "The users realized that if Ellie Mae was going to discontinue dis·con·tin·ue
v. dis·con·tin·ued, dis·con·tin·u·ing, dis·con·tin·ues
1. To stop doing or providing (something); end or abandon: Contour and Genesis, then they were are going to look at everything else that was out there," says Cooley. "Contour and Genesis users went to the competition in droves. Ellie Mae gave the wrong message."
Anderman hammers it home: "Of the larger brokers, eight of the top 10 in the country switched from Calyx to Encompass, and about 175 of the top 250 switched. They did so not because it was cheaper--we are actually more expensive than Calyx--but because we address their needs, most importantly Adv. 1. most importantly - above and beyond all other consideration; "above all, you must be independent"
above all, most especially the seamless connectivity to the rest of the mortgage system."
Wu disregards the claims: "Ellie Mae likes to talk sales numbers," he says. "Initially with Encompass, they were giving out bargains--one year free if you were a Contour user. I don't know Don't know (DK, DKed)
"Don't know the trade." A Street expression used whenever one party lacks knowledge of a trade or receives conflicting instructions from the other party. to what degree people were given software or even purchased software and actually converted over." He adds, "What we measure is the number of desktops that are running our software. That is the most objective measure. That [number is] 300,000 and it has held steady."
In October, Ellie Mae stole another boasting point from Calyx. Tampa, Florida-based America's Mortgage Broker LLC (Logical Link Control) See "LANs" under data link protocol.
LLC - Logical Link Control (AMB AMB Ambient
AMB Associação Médica Brasileira (Brazil)
AMB Advanced Memory Buffer (FBDIMM control unit on DRAM) ), with its 150 branches, announced it had dropped Calyx Point and shifted to Encompass.
"We had been pretty loyal to Calyx," said AMB Chief Executive Officer Mark Collins in a prepared statement. But according to Collins, the company elected to go with Encompass for a number of reasons--including that "it was critical to our long-term goals Long-term goals
Financial goals expected to be accomplished in five years or longer. that we got a better handle on loan production and pipeline management."
Yet Calyx is still the leader in the broker LOS market, counters TowerGroup's Focardi--"although Encompass is gaining market share pretty quickly," he says. "Calyx did have a type of integration with about six to eight lenders and brokers, but they actually pulled back from that approach and are trying to be more similar to Ellie Mae."
Cooley, who, as noted, has been critical of his old company, nevertheless notes: "Doing electronic transactions with third-party vendors--every system has to have it. Every LOS vendors has a 'portal solution,' but they are not as advanced as Ellie Mae. One of the beauties of ePASS from the very beginning was the ease of doing interfaces. [LOS company competitors] can do this, but they haven't put in the resources to bring those portals up to where they should be."
Who is Ellie Mae?
Bruce Eppinger, a mortgage broker in the Philadelphia area, was fed up with some of the substandard substandard,
adj below an acceptable level of performance. automation in the lending industry, especially when it comes to matching a loan to a lender. So he got together with some associates and formed LendingGear Network LLC, Wayne, Pennsylvania.
The key launch in September 2006 for LendingGear was a new broker-lender mortgage auction portal on its Web site (www.lendinggear.com). "Since brokers need to connect with lenders who can fill their borrower's needs, and lenders need to connect with brokers to continue a quality flow of business, LendingGear established this portal to give both sides these abilities," says Eppinger.
Wasn't there anything like this out there already?
"We got tired of using the automated things that are available, because they are not up-to-date, didn't do what we needed them to do, and if we needed to find a lender it was difficult," says Eppinger.
Basically, Eppinger's chief complaint with existing portals was that it was easy to get a loan placed as long as the loan was completely conforming, but if there was anything unusual with the property, automated engines didn't work.
Where LendingGear fits in, says Marcus Cudd, business development manager for LendingGear, "is that we are a Web site that offers the ability for brokers to connect with new lenders. Brokers can post loans [ones with issues] they are having difficulty with, lay out the profile and types of loans being looked for, and we alert those lenders that might be interested so they can go to the Web site to pick up the deals."
Eppinger is not necessarily a walking commercial for any existing company or its offerings. As a mortgage broker, he uses Calyx Software. When asked if he considered Ellie Mae, Eppinger responded, "What does Ellie Mae do?"
Cudd, however, did know about Ellie Mae. "We are not that kind of play," he says. "LendingGear.com is more of a networking site, not necessarily a true portal."
That's one less competitor for Calyx and Ellie Mae--perhaps.
Steve Bergsman is a freelance writer based in Mesa. Arizona. He can be reached at email@example.com.