Industry Watch: Better adds three states, FirstClose forms HomeScout and more

FirstClose has announced the acquisition of a pair of companies: Reflect Resources, doing business as Moxie Consulting, and Home Buyers Marketing 1. Moving forward, FirstClose will combine the two new additions to form HomeScout, LLC, which will offer various services to the mortgage and title industries, including purchase and portfolio business solutions, lead generation, lead qualification, agent match, monitoring, and a real estate referral network, bringing marketing engagement to the forefront leveraging property data and insights. FirstClose has named David Camp, formerly the CEO of Reflect Resources, president of the newly formed subsidiary. Steve Polston, founder of Home Buyers Marketing, has been named executive vice president of enterprise relations. has announced the launch of its mortgage services in three new states: Minnesota, Vermont and Virginia. It’s the latest sign of growth for Better, which saw invested loan volume quintuple over the last year. The company has funded $14 billion in the first quarter of 2021.

ICE Mortgage Technology has announced the launch of Encompass eClose, a new, integrated addition to its Encompass loan origination system. According to the company, the new product will enable lenders to “electronically facilitate every aspect of the eClosing workflow, from ordering documents to delivering to loan investors – and all the pieces in between – without ever having to leave Encompass.” Later this year, ICE intends to expand eClose support in Encompass by providing eNotes and eVault, MERS eRegistry, witnessed documents and eNotary support.

American Financial Resources (AFR) has reinstated its Conventional One-Time Close (OTC) Construction-to-Permanent financing and will begin accepting new applications on May 3. Rounding out AFR’s comprehensive suite of OTC financing, Conventional OTC allows qualified homebuyers to secure loans that combine the cost of home construction, lot purchase or land payoff, and permanent mortgage loan into a single closing. Other program highlights include fewer limits on eligible property types, and generally no need for the borrower to provide updated income or asset documentation if the construction is completed within the estimated construction timeframe (typically less than 12 months from closing). The program can be used with 15-, 20-, or 30-year fixed mortgages, with super conforming mortgages originated using higher-maximum loan limits permitted in designated high-cost areas.


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