Quicken extends ‘Knight time

Quicken Loans loves the ‘Knight life and it’s got to boogie. Not only is the nation’s #1 lender extending its current contract for Black Knight’s MSP servicing system, it is also adding multiple Black Knight solutions, according to a statement. Additionally, Black Knight purchased the source code for Quicken Loans’ “Cyclops” mortgage servicing customer relationship management software.

The Black Knight software includes highly personalized information about loans, homes and neighborhoods. For example, by accessing the home’s value, Quicken Loans’ loan officers can present refinance and home equity opportunities to borrowers. The ultimate aim is to increase customer retention, the companies say.

“After decades of disruption, this acquisition is further proof of our technology team’s power and innovation,” said Jay Farner, CEO of Quicken Loans. “Our success comes from groundbreaking technology and the streamlined processes it can provide.”

Anthony Jabbour, CEO of Black Knight, Inc. added, “We share a common vision with Quicken Loans for the future of customer service, and by building upon its proven platform, we are able to accelerate the delivery of this powerful solution. Quicken Loans has been a long-time client, and we are excited to broaden our relationship with them.”

So in other words, they want to give it and want to get some too…

Declaring bankruptcy? Suing robocallers? There’s an app for that

According to Yahoo, a new startup is attempting to make it easier for indebted student loan borrowers to declare bankruptcy. Reset Button, which launches this week, aims to provide a legal platform to connect student loan borrowers who would like to consider personal bankruptcy as an option for relief with lawyers specializing in the field.

The first step in the startup’s process is to evaluate whether bankruptcy was valid for a borrower’s situation, and the app won’t disclose how many lawyers are part of its network. The upfront fee is listed as $300 on the company’s website. But with crushing student loan burdens delaying homeownership, it’s not clear how declaring bankruptcy will help the borrower’s financial situation.

According to Vice, DoNotPay, the consumer advocacy services network, is launching a new app aimed at helping end unwanted robocalls by making it easier to sue them. It works when DoNotPay gives you a burner credit card to give robocallers. This way you can get their contact details, which will then give you a chatbot lawyer to automatically sue them. With federal fines reaching up to $10k per robocall, DoNotPay hopes to force the robocaller to settle with you for much less than that.

Citi finds new funding route for affordable housing

It looks like Citi is digging deeper into affordable housing. According to Bloomberg, Citigroup, the biggest U.S. affordable housing lender, has underwritten four tax-exempt bond issues for state and local government agencies that used $1.4 billion of the proceeds to buy mortgages the bank made to finance 149 properties with 16,850 units nationwide. (You can access the nonpaywalled link here.) The deals gave Citigroup cash to make new home loans.

But the downside here is that by selling these loans on the municipal market, any exposure could extend risk to state and local governments that are eager for new ways to pump more money into low-cost housing projects. As prices continue to increase and wages stagnate, affordable housing is becoming harder and harder to come by. The U.S. has a shortage of seven million affordable rental homes available to extremely low-income renters, according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, according to the article.

The introduction of Citibank offers additional secondary funding in a space dominated in recent years by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Where Citi is finding its inroad is via smaller portfolios with a limited cushion to absorb losses. As a result, Citi deals carry triple-B ratings and lower, compared to higher-rated deals from Fannie and Freddie. 

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