Digital mortgage firm Beeline expanding, hiring, adding new technology

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Beeline, an online mortgage banker started by a team split between the United States and Australia, is moving into nine new U.S. markets, hiring 100 people and releasing a new underwriting conditions engine.

The company’s platform aims to help borrowers apply for home loans in as little as 15 minutes by automating immediate validation of bank information used in qualification, according to a company press release.

“What’s really different about our technology is that it actually uses artificial intelligence to collect that data and verify it right away,” said Jess Kennedy, Beeline’s co-founder, general counsel and chief compliance officer. “A beeline is the shortest path to get somewhere and that’s really what we wanted to provide.”

Jess Kennedy is one of Beeline’s co-founders.

While not all financial institutions offer this type of automated access to information, Kennedy said the lion’s share of them do, and it’s only a matter of time for the rest, given the recent need to process large volumes of loans remotely amid the pandemic.

“I’ve seen incredible adoption over the past year, particularly the last six months,” she said.

In addition to facilitating access to bank information used in qualification, the nonbank can help loan applicants access tax information for that purpose through either the borrower’s own tax preparation software or the company’s vendor partnership, Kennedy said.

The startup, which launched in May, is looking to hire more loan officers as part of its plan to expand headcount by 100. The direct-to-consumer channel LOs at Beeline work with leads and have minimal interactions with borrowers outside of situations where their guidance is needed by the consumer or required by law. The LOs’ compensation packages have been vetted for compliance and do not rely on a commission structure, but do have a variable component, said Kennedy.

Beeline’s product set currently consists of conventional loans and it is in the process of obtaining approval to offer Federal Housing Administration-insured mortgages, Kennedy said. It currently sells loans servicing-released after closing to the secondary market but may consider retaining servicing in 2022.

The company is based in Rhode Island. It currently lends in its home state, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, Texas, Virginia and Washington, D.C., and recently added an outpost in North Carolina. Beeline plans to extend its total footprint to 16 markets by February, with plans to move into Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan and Tennessee, among other locations.

Beeline also is considering expanding into the Australian market after establishing itself in the United States.

“The first thing we want to tackle is the U.S. mortgage market before we break into Australia,” Kennedy said. “The population in Australia is a fraction of what we have here, and it’s a very different product in Australia and other countries.”

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