FormFree’s income & employment verifications now cover 85% of US workers

FormFree announced its proprietary AccountChek 3n1 asset, employment and income (AIE) verification software now covers over 100 million wage earners, or 85% of U.S. workers employed by firms that use a payroll processing service.

The Athens, Georgia-based fintech reported the enhanced coverage delivers direct-source payroll data and original income documentation from 35 of the largest payroll service providers in the nation.

A pioneer in providing automated AIE verification solutions complete with documents required by the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs), FormFree reports that it serves more than 3,000 mortgage lenders.

AccountChek 3n1 enables lenders and GSEs to capture structured payroll data that offer timely understanding of a borrower’s ability to pay, and mitigates risks associated with human error and document fraud, at a cost-effective price point via a single portal.

David Battany, EVP of capital markets for Guild Mortgage, a FormFree partner since both firms participated in Fannie Mae’s Day 1 Certainty® pilot in 2016, states that service benefits go beyond instant employment and income verification supported by paystubs and W-2s. He says the software also will “help us achieve our goal of increasing financial inclusion.”

Borrowers have the option to authorize payroll providers to use FormFree’s 3n1 to electronically share their six most recent paystubs and most recent W-2 with lenders and refresh that documentation within 10 days of the loan closing. Filed up-front, loan data and documents make the whole process time and cost efficient for all parties.

Several industry executives have commented on the fintech’s forward movement.

“Mortgage lenders have been longing for an income and employment solution with wider employer coverage. FormFree’s vision goes even further, combining expansive coverage with their time-tested asset solution,” said Rajesh Bhat, CEO at digital mortgage platform Roostify. “This is a welcome innovation that we look forward to offering through our platform.”

Lenders always are looking for innovative solutions that make mortgages faster and easier for our borrowers and teams, said Michael Kuentz, president of Trinity Oaks Mortgage, which has relied on FormFree’s asset solution to streamline the loan process for several years. “FormFree’s new income and employment solution is the right product at the right time.”

“Getting investor-accepted, up-to-date employment and income verification along with the most recent paystubs and W-2s, all in less than 30 seconds, is a game changer …we look forward to offering through our platform,” said Ben Miller, co-founder of homeownership platform SimpleNexus.

Going forward, FormFree CEO Brent Chandler said, “as the pioneers of automated asset verification,” the company’s goal is full digitization of direct-source data that ultimately brings a holistic view of a consumer’s financial DNA, in a single Passport, at a disruptive price point.

ATTOM: Opportunity Zone price gains near national averages

The fourth quarter 2020 ATTOM Data Solutions special report on Opportunity Zones found that median home prices increased in 77% of these areas, compared to Q4 2019. The price increases, which were up at least 10% in nearly two-thirds of Opportunity Zones, was almost the same as those in the US outside of the areas.

Opportunity Zones are defined in the Tax Act legislation as census tracts in or alongside low-income neighborhoods that met various criteria for redevelopment in all 50 states, D.C., and U.S. territories. The legislation covers areas with 1,200 to 8,000 residents that can profit from specific federal redevelopment funding tax incentives for community developers, created to attract new investments into these areas.

Data from 3,588 qualified low-income zones nationwide with sufficient sales data to analyze, meaning at least five home sales in Q4 2020, also show a wider year-over-year gap between areas where prices rose at least 25% in Q4 2020, according to the report.

Median home prices of single-family homes and condominiums rose by that level in 34% of Opportunity Zones, compared to 24% of census tracts elsewhere in the country.

In addition, median home prices remained well below average in most Opportunity Zones. Only 598 zones in the report or 17% had median prices ranging from $150,000 to $199,999, down from 64% in Q4 2019.

That metric improved however, as 38% of the zones had median prices of less than $150,000 in Q4 2020, down from 46% in Q4 2019 “as prices inside some of the nation’s poorest communities rolled ahead with broader market.” Moreover, these gains defied 2020’s Coronavirus pandemic troubles and continued to benefit these areas alongside the nation’s nine-year price boom.

This report confirms the country’s long run of home-price increases is touching all parts of the housing market, “boosting fortunes from the wealthiest to the poorest parts of the United States,” said Todd Teta, chief product officer with ATTOM Data Solutions.

Despite Q4 2020 gains, Teta said, “No doubt, prices remain substantially lower in Opportunity Zones, but the fact that they often rose by double-digit percentages in Q4 is significant. Not only does it show market strength, but it also suggests that many distressed communities are ripe for the redevelopment the Opportunity Zone tax breaks are designed to promote.”

By region, at 59% the Midwest continued to have the highest portion of Opportunity Zone tracts with a median home price of less than $150,000, followed by the South with 49%, the Northeast 40% and the West only 6%.

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