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Eye on the Industry: Updates on Chase, MGIC, and More …

From new partnerships and products to recent appointments, get the latest buzz from the mortgage industry in this weekly update.

New York-based Chase Bank has launched an offer for select Chase cardmembers to earn between 25,000 and 75,000 Ultimate Rewards points or MileagePlus miles when purchasing a home with Chase. Following an enthusiastic response from Sapphire customers last year, eligible Sapphire, Freedom, and United MileagePlus Club or Explorer cardmembers can earn Ultimate Rewards points or MileagePlus miles by purchasing a mortgage with Chase before August 31. Customers can redeem their Ultimate Rewards points for just about anything from travel and gift cards at a variety of retailers, to cash back and other experiences. United cardmembers can redeem United MileagePlus miles a variety of ways, including travel, dining, shopping, and MileagePlus Exclusives, which provides program members with access to some of the world's best events and experiences. Last year, Chase designed the pilot offer specifically for millennials, given their strong relationship with the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, but this year Chase moved to open the program up to a larger audience. Freedom has the broadest customer base with a wide variety of backgrounds, incomes, and lifestyles.

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Milwaukee-headquartered primary mortgage insurance company Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corporation (MGIC) is partnering with Down Payment Resource (DPR), a provider of information on down payment assistance programs for homebuyers and professionals to help its customers access discounted DPR services to research down payment programs. Through this partnership, MGIC will make it easy for lenders to research down payment assistance programs and match borrowers to programs for which they may be eligible. MGIC and DPR will also work together to enhance consumer understanding of the availability and benefits of down payment assistance. “Our new partnership with Down Payment Resource simplifies and streamlines the participation of lenders in down payment assistance programs,” said Margaret Crowley, VP, Marketing and Customer Experience at MGIC. “Together, we can further our shared mission of making homeownership possible sooner through low-down-payment options for borrowers.” MGIC, the principal subsidiary of MGIC Investment Corporation, serves lenders throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico, and other locations helping families achieve homeownership sooner by making affordable low-down-payment mortgages a reality.

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Homeowners Financial Group (HFG) is one of the first Arizona-based mortgage lenders to complete an eClosing with Pavaso, a leading eClosing technology provider. “Pavaso was tasked with supporting HFG’s National Builder Division by making the entire home buying experience easier and more efficient,” said Pavaso CEO Mark McElroy. “In providing a superior digital closing experience, HFG is better able to attack one of the traditional pain points in the home buying process—the closing—and transform it into the gateway to homeownership." Pavaso’s cutting-edge technology provides a single NPI secure portal for all parties to the transaction—lender, title, and consumers, which promotes collaboration, transparency, and improved business processes. Its technology is flexible enough to apply in all environments and enables users to conduct the full breadth of digital closings ranging from hybrids to eNotes and eVault. “There are two ways to implement great technology that enhances the client experience: build it yourself or trust an experienced vendor that can work with you to offer the best solution,” said Patrick Lamb, President, Homeowners Financial Group.

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David Smith

Ranjit Bhattacharjee

Brad Wayman

Citi’s Mortgage and Retail Bank, has appointed three new executives to its Mortgage team. CitiMortgage's Head of Originations Operations, David Smith, will now serve as the COO of U.S. Retail Bank and Mortgage, driving business strategy, operations, and financial planning across Citi’s newly combined business, while continuing to lead the launch of digital end-to-end mortgage origination capability. Smith’s organization will include ATM Network, Branch Oversight and Consumer Sales Practices, Strategic Transformation Projects, and Vendor Strategy, as well as PMO for Capacity Planning and Investment Prioritization, and Prioritization and Technology. Taking over as the Head of U.S. Mortgage, Ranjit Bhattacharjee will lead the growth of Citi’s Mortgage business in close partnership with Retail Banking. He previously served as Mortgage’s Head of Capital Markets and Correspondent Sales. Additionally, Brad Wayman will lead Citi’s Mortgage Sales teams as the Head of U.S. Mortgage Sales. Since joining Citi in 2003, Wayman has led teams in retail, wholesale and correspondent lending. Wayman’s team will include Distributed Retail Sales, Direct to Consumer Sales and Sales Support, and Business Development.

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Bill Ervin

Planet Home Lending, LLC, a privately held mortgage lender and servicer founded in 2007, announced that Bill Ervin has joined the company as VP of Business Development supporting the company’s retail originations channel. Planet Home Lending is a privately held, national residential mortgage lender with multiple business channels. The company is an approved originator and servicer for FHA, VA, and USDA as well as a Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae Seller/Servicer, and a full Ginnie Mae Issuer and approved sub-servicer. Previously, Ervin was Senior Business Development Manager at CrossCountry Mortgage, Inc. and Citibank, N.A. While at Citibank, Ervin launched a partnership channel that drove more than $1 billion in annual builder and Realtor mortgage referral volume. Ervin brings expertise gained from more than two decades of mortgage banking industry experience at companies ranging from technology start-ups to global banks. “Ervin is an accomplished mortgage industry executive who’s great at relationship building,” said Michael Dubeck, Planet Financial Group President, and CEO. “His unique experiences in sales, business development, and technology will help us continue to grow Planet Home Lending’s consumer-direct business.”

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About Author: Radhika Ojha

Radhika Ojha, Online Editor at the Five Star Institute, is a graduate of the University of Pune, India, where she received her B.A. in Commerce with a concentration in Accounting and Marketing and an M.A. in Mass Communication. Upon completion of her master’s degree, Ojha worked at a national English daily publication in India (The Indian Express) where she was a staff writer in the cultural and arts features section. Ojha also worked as Principal Correspondent at HT Media Ltd and at Honeywell as an executive in corporate communications. She and her husband currently reside in Dallas, Texas. You can contact her at Radhika.Ojha@theMReport.com.
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