Real Estate

Black Knight Signs Another Credit Union As Empower Client

San Diego-based BluPeak is the ninth credit union Black Knight has signed to use its mortgage loan origination system in the last 12 months.

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Mortgage software, data and analytics provider Black Knight Inc. is keeping its winning streak with credit unions going by signing San Diego-based BluPeak Credit Union as a user of Black Knight’s Empower loan origination system.

In announcing the deal with BluPeak Wednesday, Black Knight said Empower will help the credit union automate the provision of home loans to members, streamlining the origination process from application through closing.

Lance De Guzman

“We are a growing credit union, and Empower is the technology workhorse we need to streamline our operations and take our business to the next level,” said BluPeak executive Lance De Guzman, in a statement. “By leveraging the Empower system’s robust automation and digital ecosystem, we’re confident we can keep our margins strong – even in a tight originations market.”

Once loan volumes return to higher levels, De Guzman said Empower will help BluPeak scale its operations without hiring more staff.

“Our credit union may not be the biggest, but by tapping into Black Knight’s advanced originations solutions, we can still deliver an experience that rivals the large players in the industry,” De Guzman said.

According to the National Credit Union Administration, BluPeak was chartered in 1936, holds $1.23 billion in assets and serves nearly 51,000 members. Formerly known as University & State Employees Credit Union (USECU), BluPeak membership is open to California residents of Alameda, Sacramento, San Diego, Santa Clara and Yolo counties, state of California employees and California university employees and students.

BluPeak is the ninth credit union Black Knight has signed as an Empower user in the last 12 months. Those credit unions, which serve upwards of 1.6 million members, include:

Black Knight has also announced seven other Empower deals this year with banks and other mortgage lenders.

A competing mortgage technology provider, Maxwell, is also targeting small to midsize lenders, promising it can help their loan officers to close 15 percent more loans each month and spend more time counseling borrowers and strengthening their networks instead of performing administrative tasks.

In December, Maxwell rolled out a new product, Maxwell Processor Edge, designed to help small-to-midsize mortgage lenders employ machine learning to accelerate the document review process and catch mistakes before loans are underwritten.

Other offerings include Maxwell Diligence, which lets lenders outsource their quality control and due diligence, and Maxwell Capital, a service designed to help lenders sell their loans on the secondary market.

Maxwell has been an integrated point-of-sale partner with Ice Mortgage Technology’s Encompass LOS (loan origination system) since 2019 and in March announced integration with the Encompass eClose solution. Ice Mortgage Technology’s parent company, Intercontinental Exchange Inc., is pursuing a $13.1 billion deal to acquire Black Knight if antitrust regulators don’t object.

Empower updated

In announcing the addition of BluPeak as a client, Black Knight boasted that the Empower platform is a “highly configurable” cloud-based system with “lights-out” automation capabilities and access to a suite of integrated technology solutions including:

  • A leading product and pricing engine
  • A digital point-of-sale solution
  • Machine-learning technology for document classification and indexing
  • A digital close solution with eDelivery and eSigning capabilities
  • A fee service to help mitigate fee cures
  • Robust property tax data
  • Automated compliance validation testing
  • Flood zone determination services and reporting
  • Intelligence based on information from multiple data sources to help forecast and monitor pipeline, productivity, cycle time and pull-through

Last month, Black Knight said it had updated Empower to meet new federal rules requiring lenders who want to do business with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to start collecting additional borrower information around language preference, homeownership education and housing counseling gathered on the Supplemental Consumer Information Form (SCIF).

The new rules, announced by the Federal Housing Finance Agency in May, apply to loan applications submitted on or after March 1, 2023.

Subsequent announcements by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac make it clear that loan servicers must also maintain and transfer borrower demographic data starting with originations on or after March 1, 2023, Black Knight said in announcing that Empower had been updated to meet the new reporting requirements.

Black Knight said updates to its MSP servicing system will begin during the fourth quarter and be in place before March 1.

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