AwardsIn The NewsInnovations Award

The 2024 Innovations Award Winners Are …

The Executive Team of PROGRESS in Lending has named the top industry innovations of the past year. This honor is the Gold Seal when it comes to recognizing true industry innovation. All applications were scored on a weighted scale. We looked for the innovation’s overall industry significance, the originality of the innovation, the positive change the innovation made possible, the intangible efficiencies gained as a result of the innovation, and the hard cost and time savings that the innovation enables industry participants to achieve. The 14th Annual Innovations Award Winners in alphabetical order are:

The Executive Team of PROGRESS in Lending has named the work done by Argyle a top industry innovation. Argyle saves businesses time and money by providing them secure access to real-time income and employment data, straight from the source. With Argyle, businesses automate VOI/E, reduce risks, and provide their customers with more exceptional experiences than ever before through payroll connectivity. Before Argyle, “automated” VOI/E meant paying a reseller a king’s ransom to access a database of purchased consumer data. Since 2018, Argyle has brought together the brightest minds in the game to replace the legacy model with consumer-permissioned data connections between payroll processors and businesses of all kinds. Today, mortgage lenders that use Argyle benefit from income and employment data coverage that’s superior to the three largest credit bureaus plus the highest conversion rates on the market, all at a fraction of the cost. Congratulations!

The Executive Team of PROGRESS in Lending has named the work done by BeSmartee a top industry innovation. Bright Connect introduces a groundbreaking native mobile app designed to revolutionize the lending landscape by fostering seamless collaboration among loan officers, real estate agents, and borrowers. Bright Connect addresses missed opportunities, reduced efficiency, and a competitive disadvantage. The app serves as a digital business card, facilitating streamlined referrals and improving communication among stakeholders. The innovation presented by Bright Connect holds immense industry significance, particularly in the modern mortgage market. By offering a user-friendly and self-serve experience, the app bridges the communication gap between loan officers, real estate agents, and borrowers. It empowers loan officers with more referrals, real-time updates, and convenient access to essential tools. Real estate agents benefit from trusted referrals, transparency, and faster processes, while borrowers enjoy trusted relationships, reduced stress through instant notifications, and effortless tools for document submission. Congratulations!

The Executive Team of PROGRESS in Lending has named the work done by Blue Sage a top industry innovation. Blue Sage Solutions launched the Blue Sage Digital Servicing Platform, a comprehensive suite of cloud-based tools and capabilities that enable financial institutions to manage loan servicing with the same level of efficiency, innovation, and borrower-centric focus as the Blue Sage origination platform. By already offering an LOS, Blue Sage has become the first cloud-based digital mortgage provider to offer fully integrated technology covering the entire mortgage lifecycle. It supports and streamlines all required functions for interim servicing, including billing and payment processes, escrow services and account analysis, and everything necessary to guarantee loans are accurate and in compliance before being sold into the secondary market. It also simplifies loan onboarding, single or batch processing, automates compliance checks, and delivers a modern, intuitive borrower experience. Congratulations!

The Executive Team of PROGRESS in Lending has named the work done by Calque a top industry innovation. Calque pioneered the simplest and most cost-effective buy-before-you-sell process to date with its flagship product: The Trade-In Mortgage. Instead of creating an alternative financial ecosystem that competes with lenders for purchase business, Calque partners with established lenders to fix the problem of financing contingencies at its root so lenders can provide a better buy-before-you-sell experience to their customers. In general, the existing home purchase process for current homeowners is broken. Calque provides an opportunity to make homeownership more affordable for borrowers, particularly low- and middle-income borrowers, while also reducing the risk to both lenders and the financial system. Calque has engaged with several top 30 lenders and has seen a 227% increase quarter over quarter in consumer applications through its lender partners. Congratulations!

The Executive Team of PROGRESS in Lending has named the work done by CampusDoor a top industry innovation. CampusDoor is one of the country’s largest third-party student and specialty loan origination shops. At this critical time for mortgage lenders, the company saw an opportunity to help them diversify into a new product category—private student loan refinancing for individuals needing to reduce their monthly expenses, as well as those needing in-school products. Not only would this boost lenders’ sales; it would help them “get sticky” with upwardly mobile Gen Z borrowers. But there were still two big gaps to fill; many mortgage lenders were not depositories and could not hold the loans. Moreover, student lending/refinancing has its own nuances, and not everyone could simply start up without an expert partner. Through its Student-Loan-in-a-Box service CampusDoor closed both gaps, which is a turnkey, white-label solution that can be up and running in 10 or fewer days. Congratulations!

The Executive Team of PROGRESS in Lending has named the work done by Class Valuation a top industry innovation. It takes anywhere from a few days to several weeks to complete an appraisal. If a lender doesn’t agree with the value, it can submit a dispute, but doing so further extends the appraisal process. Class Valuation is modernizing appraisals by offering INvision Capture, which enables the user to visually capture the interior and exterior features of a property via a mobile app. With this data, users can conduct true-to-life interactive tours, during which users can zoom in to see the smallest property details or zoom out to view the big picture. Additionally, INvision Capture lets users quickly and easily create digital replicas of a property. These replicas include precise measurements, helping appraisers make accurate valuations. Congratulations!

The Executive Team of PROGRESS in Lending has named the work done by Cloudvirga a top industry innovation. Cloudvirga recently announced an expanded, strategic initiative with Fannie Mae’s Desktop Underwriter (DU) to include the new early assessment enhancement. Traditionally, lenders have used hard credit pulls and had to fully complete applications to determine a borrower’s credit worthiness. Through the DU early assessment, originators using both Cloudvirga’s Horizon point of sale (POS), on both the retail and TPO versions, are able to get a conditional recommendation from DU, as well as early notice of eligibility information, by using a soft credit pull from a single credit bureau and an automated and abbreviated application that requires a reduced dataset to assess borrower qualification. Shedding light on potential problems early allows lenders to address credit issues more effectively. Early assessment enhances the experience for borrowers and improves productivity and cost efficiencies for lenders. Congratulations!

The Executive Team of PROGRESS in Lending has named the work done by Constellation Mortgage Solutions (CMS) a top industry innovation. Embarking on a transformative journey in the world of mortgage origination, CMS proudly offers NOVA. Built and meticulously managed by a team with over 25 years of mortgage expertise, CMS is a trusted and stable force in the industry. NOVA is not a new buzzword for an up-and-coming platform but a testament to our unwavering 25+ year dedication to delivering a solution that outshines competitors and resonates with lenders as a modern, efficient, and seamless user experience. What sets NOVA apart is its ingenious development approach. Instead of writing an untested new platform without customers, CMS leveraged its robust, complete enterprise system engine and brought it to the web using cutting-edge technology development tools and software. Congratulations!

The Executive Team of PROGRESS in Lending has named the work done by Covius a top industry innovation. This year Covius launched strategic integrations with Flueid, a leading real estate technology company, that significantly accelerated the digital transformation of Covius’ title processing capabilities and expanded Covius’ offerings in support of its loss mitigation and home equity product lines. Reengineering efforts for loan modification and default title processes enabled Covius to significantly expedite the delivery of property reports and critical title grading considerations. This enabled Covius to reduce turn times by more than 25% and provide expedited next day delivery within many geographies. The decisioning engine also powers Covius’ Loanscape Loss Mitigation (LM) report, which utilizes multiple robust data sources to bring critical title insights forward to reveal all viable loss mitigation options in one snapshot and present the best potential outcome for the consumer. Congratulations!

The Executive Team of PROGRESS in Lending has named the work done by Docutech, A First American Company, a top industry innovation. Docutech is transforming the mortgage process with its end-to-end digital mortgage capabilities powered by its proprietary suite of services, Solex. Integrated with its ConformX dynamic document generation engine, Solex enables every loan to be as “e” as possible, including eSign, eClosing and eVault. Solex represents a significant leap forward in the mortgage industry by encompassing every stage of the mortgage process, from point-of-sale through post-closing. One of the critical strengths of Solex is its ability to operate without the need for extensive infrastructure on the lenders’ end. Solex is intentionally designed to be as configurable as possible, allowing lenders to build and display a unique solution for their borrowers. Congratulations!

The Executive Team of PROGRESS in Lending has named the work done by EarnUp a top industry innovation. EarnUp’s Engagement Platform helps consumers get homebuyer ready by using debt reduction and savings building automation tools. With EarnUp, lenders can help consumers forge a path to homeownership. It’s turnkey consumer credit builder program features comprehensive education resources and automation tools to build savings, reduce debt and shave expenses. EarnUp’s budget automation feature, like the Payday-to-Payday option, can help consumers better manage their finances, making it easier for them to build credit. EarnUp can also automate savings deposits, which can be used for the initial deposit required for a downpayment. Having automated savings options aligns with the goal of helping consumers build a credit history. By using EarnUp’s Loan Payoff Acceleration tool, consumers can also improve their DTI ratios and credit scores. Congratulations!

The Executive Team of PROGRESS in Lending has named the work done by FirstClose Equity a top industry innovation. FirstClose Equity is a home equity origination solution that reduces operational touchpoints and improves the overall customer experience for borrowers, processors, and underwriters. Automated workflows, including the ordering of settlement services, enable lenders to complete the application through closing process in as fast as five days versus the industry average of 45 to 60 days. The end-to-end platform includes a borrower-facing point-of-sale solution that gives consumers instant online feedback; a decisioning engine that delivers credit decisions in 5 to 7 minutes; automated workflows, including the ordering of settlement services, that enable lenders to complete the application through closing process in as little as 5 days; business intelligence that allows lenders to track everything; and a secure borrower portal. Congratulations!

The Executive Team of PROGRESS in Lending has named the work done by Forta Solutions a top industry innovation. Forta Solutions created Agility, the first cloud native warehouse lending platform. Agility leverages next-generation technology and tools, warehouse lending expertise, and visionary processes, then blends it together with Agile methodology to produce the Agility platform. The agility platform consists of more than 25 services built for performance and security utilizing gRPC and no-SQL while being independently monitored and scale. The solution brings innovative security techniques to warehouse lending built using the same robust technology required for credit card processors. Agility incorporates scaling technology and security components from online retailers. Most importantly, Forta developed a rules engine that reimagined how money, asset (the home), and loan viability interact. The engine allows complex lending and calculations to take place at the asset level, bringing together mortgage originators and investors and bids and asks. Congratulations!

The Executive Team of PROGRESS in Lending has named the work done by Homecomings Mortgage and Equity a top industry innovation. SIMPL is a state-of-the-art CRM platform that has been designed by Homecomings to meet the unique needs of producing managers. With its innovative design, SIMPL provides producing managers with the tools they need to build a strong sales team while simultaneously focusing on their own personal production goals and supporting their current team members. One of the most impressive features of SIMPL is its ability to leverage data in order to establish and maintain relationships with loan officers. This unparalleled functionality allows producing managers to gain insights into their candidate’s needs and preferences, ultimately helping them to deliver more personalized and effective service. In addition to these features, SIMPL also provides users with powerful analytics tools that enable them to track their team’s performance, identify key trends and areas for improvement, and optimize their sales strategies. Congratulations!

The Executive Team of PROGRESS in Lending has named the work done by Insellerate a top industry innovation. Insellerate’s innovation stands out in the mortgage industry due to its remarkable originality and the transformative positive change it has ushered in. Insellerate was the first in the mortgage CRM and marketing space to seamlessly integrate ChatGPT into its platform for content creation. This groundbreaking integration revolutionized the way lenders engage with borrowers. The originality lies in recognizing the potential of advanced AI like ChatGPT to automate content creation, setting a new industry standard for personalized and efficient communication. Insellerate’s innovation extends beyond content creation to include integrated telephony within its full CRM and marketing platform. This unique integration is a game-changer in the industry, as it allows for call reviews, call recordings, and call routing within a single platform. No other CRM and marketing platform offers such a comprehensive and integrated solution, making it a truly original and groundbreaking approach. Congratulations!

The Executive Team of PROGRESS in Lending has named the work done by Lender Price a top industry innovation. Marketplace 2.1 and Base Price Solution (BPS) were two innovative solutions launched this year. Both are having an immediate and positive impact. To help the industry mitigate rising costs, Lender Price made the decision to keep Marketplace completely free for mortgage brokers this year, which resulted in over 20,000 brokers signing up, immediately improving their cost-efficiency by eliminating a monthly fee for a pricing solution. To help lenders expand margin management capabilities, Lender Price launched Base Price Solution (BPS), resulting in 10-20 bps improvement in net margin on average. By utilizing this platform, lenders are able to serve more borrowers by introducing new programs faster, as they benefit from the nearly 80% reduction in the time it takes to introduce a new loan product to the market, including non-QM and non-agency channels. Congratulations!

The Executive Team of PROGRESS in Lending has named the work done by Lender Toolkit a top industry innovation. AI Underwriter uses AI to underwrite loans at any point in the mortgage process, from origination to closing. It allows loan officers to originate and underwrite loans in mere seconds as opposed to days, saving significant time and money while improving loan quality and efficiency. Further, when Lender Toolkit introduced Prism last summer as an important enhancement to AI Underwriter, lenders welcomed the simplified automation workflow it provided for all income types. It includes built-in agency guidelines, optical character recognition (OCR) for income document data extraction, and a human-in-the-loop workflow to augment OCR technology. With the addition of Prism to AI Underwriter, a loan file can be underwritten at any point in the mortgage manufacturing process, allowing faster times to close while maintaining accuracy throughout the process. Congratulations!

The Executive Team of PROGRESS in Lending has named the work done by LoanCare a top industry innovation. With robust technology leveraged through LoanCare Analytics, LoanCare has created a servicing journey that connects every dot with ease. LoanCare Analytics is a proprietary, all-in-one portfolio management platform. It was built to support mortgage servicing rights (MSR) investors, focusing on customer engagement, liquidity, and credit risk. LoanCare Analytics is a significant technological advancement for the industry. It offers clients unprecedented transparency into their loan portfolio without requiring lenders to hire analysts to weed through information. Portfolio managers benefit from real-time analytics that enables them to make quick decisions on buying or selling MSRs. They can easily identify risk and opportunity through customizable, at-a-glance dashboard views with drill-down specificity. Mortgage loan subservicing is multifaceted, and mitigating associated risks requires a comprehensive approach. Congratulations!

The Executive Team of PROGRESS in Lending has named the work done by LoanNEX a top industry innovation. LoanNEX stands out as a revolutionary force in the mortgage industry, redefining the landscape through its innovative and comprehensive mortgage Pricing and Product Eligibility (PPE) solution. This platform is marked by its user-friendly design, seamless integration, and powerful capabilities, making it a game-changer in the sector. The significance of LoanNEX’s innovation is underscored by its impact on industry dynamics. The platform addresses the complex needs of mortgage professionals by providing an intuitive and comprehensive experience that goes beyond traditional solutions. A key feature of LoanNEX is its cloud-based serverless architecture, configurable rules, effective dating tools, and robust APIs. This technological foundation enables unparalleled support for non-Agency programs, offering a modern, efficient, and adaptable mortgage experience for originators, lenders, and investors. Congratulations!

The Executive Team of PROGRESS in Lending has named the work done by LoanPASS a top industry innovation. LoanPASS can price out a typical forward loan and a reverse mortgage and show both options side by side to a borrower. LoanPASS also can do decisioning and pricing for not only any type of mortgage loan, but any type of consumer, commercial or business lending product as well. And finally, LoanPASS has added an AI power chatbot which is connected to our PPE through API’s to give consumers direct access to decisioning and pricing. In this current market, many lenders are looking for new lending products to offer to help expand their offerings and keep the company afloat. So, there has been a lot of interest by IMB’s, community banks and CU’s to have a PPE that allows them to price and decision Non-QM, Reverse, Fix & Flip, Construction or any portfolio lending product. Congratulations!

The Executive Team of PROGRESS in Lending has named the work done by LodeStar a top industry innovation. LodeStar’s Closing Cost Calculator is the name when it comes to automated closing cost disclosure. Their team set the bar for accuracy and customer service industry, and they’re proud of the work they’ve done. One challenge they’ve faced over the decade they’ve been in business is making their disclosure tool and in-house maintained database of nationwide closing costs available to and affordable for everyone, regardless of the size of their lending operation. Enter LodeStar Connect and LodeStar Discovery. Partnering with SettleWise, LodeStar built a free-to-use version of their Closing Cost Calculator for both Encompass (LodeStar Connect) and LendingPad (LodeStar Discovery). These two solutions make closing cost disclosure more accessible for lenders of various sizes, or for those who might not be ready to enter into a contract with LodeStar. Congratulations!

The Executive Team of PROGRESS in Lending has named the work done by Mortgage Cadence a top industry innovation. With reverse mortgages on the rise, Mortgage Cadence knew it was important to include both forward and reverse lending in its platform. Lenders are enabled to work more efficiently, leveraging automation and workflow tools that enable an excellent borrower, sales and operational user experience. It was important to the team that this experience was available for reverse lending and not just forward. The platform is scalable and flexible enough to support both proprietary and HECM reverse products, including all aspects of financial assessment. The cloud-based platform also provides the ability for real-time collaboration, eliminating the need for other platforms or channels of communication. Not only does this support security, but, again, promotes efficiency. With a device-agnostic design, lenders can access the platform at any time, from anywhere. MCP also handles any documents a reverse lender needs. Congratulations!

The Executive Team of PROGRESS in Lending has named the work done by MortgageFlex a top industry innovation. MortgageFlexONE is a browser-based, end-to-end LOS and Servicing platform that operates on a normalized modern database. The system offers significant improvements in all areas of development including bilingual POS/mobile, common UI, business rule engine, task-based, workflow system, communications layer, imaging capabilities, full default management, and business intelligence tools. Through the MortgageFlexONE concept, they make up a unified platform for mortgage loan origination and servicing. The new MortgageFlexONE Platform is unique because it is a complete software platform for mortgage origination and servicing built on the same code base, using the same database of record and available from a single professional team with over 40 years of industry experience. The company’s mission is to provide retail, wholesale, correspondent, chattel and consumer channels with the most cost-effective LOS and servicing software. The MortgageFlexONE Platform meets that objective. Congratulations!

The Executive Team of PROGRESS in Lending has named the work done by OptiFunder a top industry innovation. OptiFunder announced the release of Greyhound, a highly configurable and automated system for Warehouse Lenders. OptiFunder has changed the game for IMBs by optimizing and automating the historically manual funding process. Greyhound connects warehouse lenders with their clients on all major LOS systems, giving lenders the ability to easily onboard new customers, receive loans, and manage their entire book of business from funding through paydown. Leveraging OptiFunder’s LOS integrations means warehouse lenders are directly connected to over 70% of total industry loan volume. Greyhound offers real-time insights into pipeline management, loan/collateral tracking, operational reporting, automated LOS data import, investor shipping requests, purchase advise matching, document imaging, and more. Congratulations!

The Executive Team of PROGRESS in Lending has named the work done by Percy a top industry innovation. Percy is a data intelligence company on a mission to help mortgage professionals elevate their business. Percy aggregates pre-buying and pre-selling real estate activities, using this data to power actionable insights and intelligent marketing tools that can be a massive gamechanger for mortgage professionals. Loan officers can independently partner with Percy to help prospective clients uncover their home’s value and access data revealing their potential equity stake, a feature designed to help loan officers get referrals, enhance lead generation, and build purchase business. LOs can provide clients with a personalized home equity report, giving them direct insight into their property’s potential and more effectively guiding them through their loan options. Percy can also connect LOs with real estate agents through co-branding, enabling them to identify leads, close more transactions, and strengthen community partnerships. Congratulations!

The Executive Team of PROGRESS in Lending has named the work done by Tavant a top industry innovation. Tavant’s Touchless Lending Asset Analysis has emerged as a revolutionary innovation within the realm of mortgage underwriting, warranting profound recognition for its transformative impact on the industry. As an integral component of Tavant’s AI-powered digital lending platform, this solution stands out as the final piece in a comprehensive suite that addresses all four major underwriting components: Income, Credit, Collateral, and Asset Analysis. The significance of Asset Analysis lies in its ability to revolutionize the underwriting process, automating the traditionally labor-intensive review of assets and multiple bank statements. By seamlessly integrating AI and ML models, the innovation empowers underwriters to ensure the responsible sourcing of borrower assets efficiently. Congratulations!

The Executive Team of PROGRESS in Lending has named the work done by Teraverde a top industry innovation. TopTier, powered by Coheus, uses a lender’s LOS and other data to help the lender operate profitably. Through TopTiering, lenders can identify points of revenue leakage, lost loan opportunities, employee productivity improvements, cost reduction opportunities and sales employee effectiveness opportunities. Collectively, these predictive and prescriptive insights enable lenders to achieve sustainable levels of profitability regardless of market conditions. So how does TopTiering work considering the loan levels of today’s market and how does it factor into a sustainable business model? First, volume is not a reliable indicatory of profitability and productivity. Teraverde created the concept of TopTiering using a TVI score to provide Transparency, Visibility, and Indicators for action. TVI weighs volume, best efforts margin attained after concessions, speed to close, success at converting applications to close loans and loan complexity. Congratulations!

The Executive Team of PROGRESS in Lending has named the work done by UpList a top industry innovation. Uplist is a leading SaaS real estate technology for lenders, offering an innovative platform designed to transform the way loan officers, real estate agents, builders, and homebuyers interact. Uplist’s technology is a mortgage industry first, providing real, scenario-specific rate and payment information for active real estate listings, with just a click of a button. Uplist’s patent-pending technology is dispersed into three main products. These products include SmartView Flyers, Quick Quotes, and the SmartBuyer Tool. Unique to the industry, each tool also provides partners and clients with quick, real-time calculations for complex 2-1 buydown mortgage options and seller credits, all designed to pave the way for smarter homeownership choices. Congratulations!

The Executive Team of PROGRESS in Lending has named the work done by WFG National Title Insurance Company a top industry innovation. WFG’s DecisionPoint technology harnesses AI, automation, and national and proprietary databases to streamline and automate formerly manual internal production processes, saving time and money on every title order, while enhancing accuracy and delivering a better customer experience. WFG’s DecisionPoint technology makes decisions based on many variables, automating tasks in title production, and saving the company considerable time and money on each order. Using DecisionPoint, WFG is able to automatically identify and flag potential issues such as bankruptcies and Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctions that have the potential to derail transactions. During the curative process, DecisionPoint technology accelerates the resolution of curative issues, enabling WFG to expedite its turn times and preventing closing delays. DecisionPoint also reduces the number of duplicate orders and searches. Congratulations!

The Executive Team of PROGRESS in Lending has named the work done by Xactus a top industry innovation. Xactus360 advances the modern mortgage by bringing innovation to a stagnant industry to make the mortgage process a more desirable experience for lenders and their customers. It was developed by revisiting long-established milestones, workflows and processes and revolutionizing them to solve clients’ present-day problems more effectively. The tool’s easy-to-use, proprietary platform combines best practices, a wealth of mortgage expertise and customer input to deliver an intuitive user experience unlike any other. It seamlessly integrates systems and automates workflows to provide easy access to all the verifications, credit reporting and settlement services lenders need in one space. For example, Credit ReportX allows lenders to make more informed decisions with easy-to-access 1-3 bureau options that work within their workflows. Congratulations!