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Eye on the Industry: Updates on Freddie Mac, Ellie Mae, and More

UpdatesFrom new appointments and partnerships to new campaigns and technology, get the latest news from the mortgage industry in this weekly update.

Equifax Inc., a global information solutions company, announced that it will be working with Freddie Mac to fully automate the assessment of borrower income. This will be done via the integration of Equifax’s income verification tool, The Work Number, with Freddie Mac’s Loan Advisor asset assessment tool. The goal will be to streamline the process for homebuyers working with Freddie Mac to secure a mortgage, thus making the origination process easier and more efficient from point-of-sale through securitization.

Equifax’s Work Number database is the nation's largest centralized repository of payroll data, containing more than 350 million payroll records. Equifax made its income verification data available to Freddie Mac last year as part of a limited release, but Freddie Mac now plans to offer it broadly to its clients in the coming months.


Ellie Mae, a cloud-based platform provider for the mortgage finance industry, announced the launch of the "Driving Innovation Home" campaign. Ellie Mae customers, prospective customers, and partners can visit EllieMae.com/innovation which kicked off on October 15, 2018 and runs through September 1, 2019.

To participate in Ellie Mae's Driving Innovation Home "digital mortgage journeys," visitors can fill out a "custom passport" online and then launch one of five journeys: using Ellie Mae’s Consumer Engagement to find new borrowers; using eClosing and Investor Delivery to automate key workflow; learning about Ellie Mae’s Encompass digital mortgage solutions to drive down costs per loan; charting a path of compliance with the latest regulatory changes, whether the Home Mortgage Act (HMDA) or Uniform Residential Loan Application (URLA).


FirstClose welcomes Pat Downing as their new CTO. Based out of Austin, Texas, FirstClose was founded in 2001 and provides software solutions for mortgage lenders by delivering middleware vendor management and real-time order-tracking tools online or via direct integration of various loan-origination systems. Downing’s chief role with FirstClose will be overseeing development of all technical efforts.

Downing comes to FirstClose from Mozido, another Austin-based company. He brings with him more than 20 years’ experience in IT operations and customer support services. In addition to his experience in technology operations, infrastructure, development, and customer support, Downing has overseen global team-building, budget creation, budget management, and the precise alignment of technology with business needs.


Northpointe Bank welcomes Kate Higgins as a Senior Loan Officer. Higgins joins the bank's lending team in Denver, Colorado. Her responsibilities include attracting and cultivating business relationships with a focus placed on customers, considering clients’ needs, and acting to exceed their expectations. Higgins handles multiple niche products including land loans, from construction to permanent, and can lend in all 50 states.

Higgins comes to Northpointe Bank from Unibell Financial, Inc., where she acted as a residential mortgage broker, handling both forward and reverse mortgages with access to multiple lenders. Higgins has more than 30 years worth of experience in sales and customer service.

About Author: Radhika Ojha

Radhika Ojha is an independent writer and editor. A former Online Editor and currently a reporter for MReport, she 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 Houston, Texas.

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