WE’RE HEARING we’ve just made an adaptation to our website that allows you, the readers, to comment on every single piece of content we publish. We were glad to drop this final barrier to being totally inactive but also a little apprehensive on what we might be hearing back.
Internet commenters have been known to range from conspiracy theorists (today is a big day for those), to spammers from Kazakhstan, to looney tuners of all stripes, to thoughtful, decent everyday folks. So it was with a little bit of trepidation that we began to survey the initial reactions.
Starting close to home, our own Nov. 21 feature on the Mortgage Technology Conference brought a quick reply from Jim P. to our tout of the agency automated underwriting engines as the top technology of the past two decades. He said:
I would agree with Mark that the agency AU engines brought speed and accuracy to our industry and the biggest game changer. I would add that AU added consistency in underwriting, and allowed borderline loans in many cases to be approved where in the past many underwriters did not want to stick their name on a file in that category. In praising AU engines, I am not including CW's own AU engine CLUES, or was it CLUELESS.
So far, so good! Now let’s see if anybody replied to our blog of Nov. 15 on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac easing up on poor, harried lenders under the gun of Jan. 10 regulations. No comments! That means everyone agreed with us.
We detected a little asperity in Glenn B’s reply to our feature on Scott Mayfield, a loan officer who targets veterans for home loans in his home state of Tennessee in an effort to “pay forward” some much-needed goodwill.
Glenn wrote, So if a veteran doesn't qualify for one of his VA loans, how exactly does he "Pay it Forward" then?
Well, we guess a vet actually has to qualify for a loan just like everyone else. But Mayfield goes a long way in his outreach to get apps from vets in his part of the country.
Matt Strickberger recently wrote a piece remembering Steve Fraser, a tech pioneer we have named our visionary award after (Mortech’s Jeff Lebowitz was named the most recent Steve Fraser honoree at our Mortgage Technology Awards presentation in Washington). Joe Dombrowski of Fiserv had this to say:
Thank you for that reminder of why we honor Steve Fraser with an eponymous award. The spirit of Steve Fraser can still be found in our industry—from doers of small deeds to those who upset the status quo. I regret I didn't know him personally, but I am honored to know those who have won 'his' award.
We’re sure we wouldn’t have to dig very far to find a “what the H (or F) were you thinking?” type comment, but since this is our blog we reserve the right to quit while we are ahead!
MOST READ/EMAILED: The most read content on our website this week was Brad Finkelstein’s item on Quicken Loans earning J.D. Power’s award for mortgage origination customer service. And while it is not true we keep this headline set in type (or pixels), Quicken Loans has won this award year after year, so we are starting to believe it. The most emailed item was Austin Kilgore’s story, from our Mortgage Technology Conference in Fort Lauderdale, about a case study concerning a failed loan origination system implementation at Norcom Mortgage.
BEST BLOG: This week we like John McDermott’s look at flood insurance premiums. John wryly notes that it is not only the health care program that is causing massive dislike for national insurance, but also the big bump in premiums for flood insurance (did anyone blame global warming?). Several speakers at the MTC brought up healthcare.gov as the gift that keeps giving, prompting me to suggest a solution to the industry’s anomie over the spate of new regulations coming online on Jan. 10, 2014. I said if the government started a website called Jan.10.gov and screwed it up royally, perhaps the industry could get off the hook.
ON A SERIOUS NOTE: Today marks the 50th anniversary of an event that traumatized all Americans alive on Nov. 22, 1963, and indeed people all over the globe. The tragic killing of President John F. Kennedy cut short a presidency that was beginning to grow in a wisdom that would be in short supply later on in the 1960s (doubts about Vietnam, a rapid learning curve on civil rights realities, and a brilliant, nuanced reaction to a missile crisis that carried the real threat of nuclear destruction in the United States and elsewhere). Mr. Kennedy’s war heroism and style, grace and wit have to be offset somewhat by his personal weaknesses, but his death was an awful blow to our nation. May he rest in peace.