Real Estate

Flueid Gears Up To Support Purchase And Home Equity Loans

Title and escrow software-as-a-service provider’s tech platform, Flueid Decision, can now detect solar panels and liens.

Title and escrow software-as-a-service provider Flueid is expanding its patented technology platform, Flueid Decision, to handle purchase and home equity transactions.

Launched in 2020, the Flueid Decision platform has a proven track record helping clients centralize and automate title clearance decisions on mortgage refinancings in less then a minute, the company says.

With rising interest rates drying up much of its clients’ mortgage refi business, Flueid announced Thursday that it’s ready to help lenders handle more complex home equity loans, and is also gearing up to tackle purchase loans with a “limited release” of its Purchase Decision product.

Peter Bowman

“The real estate market is cyclical in nature, so we are continuously focused on bringing additional verticals online to support clients across all transaction types serviced by their businesses,” said Flueid co-founder and CEO Peter Bowman, in a statement. “While 2022 brought a shift away from refinance, the rise in purchase and home equity transactions represents an opportunity for us to do what we’ve been preparing for all along: mold our extensible engine to adapt to clients’ – and consumers’ – needs.”

In a forecast published Thursday, Fannie Mae economists said they expect mortgage originations to fall by 40 percent this year, to $2.695 trillion, with mortgage refinancings projected to fall by 69 percent, to $797 billion.

“At the current mortgage rate of 5.3 percent, we estimate that only 1.4 percent of outstanding loans have a refinance incentive of at least 50 basis points,” Fannie Mae economists said. “What remains of refinancing activity we expect to be dominated by cash-out refinances. We estimate that cash-out refinances made up 51 percent of the refi market in March and anticipate the share to rise moving forward.”

Some mortgage lenders have downsized as their refi business dries up, including Better, Pennymac, Guaranteed Rate, Keller Mortgage, Mr. Cooper and Wells Fargo. In reporting first quarter earnings, executives at Rocket Companies Inc. said they expect buyout offers made to 2,000 employees will save $180 million a year, while LoanDepot executives said they don’t expect to turn a profit this year and will lay off workers and suspend the company’s quarterly dividend.

Digital title insurance, escrow and closing provider Doma is also rushing to bring its technology to bear on purchase mortgages after announcing layoffs of 15 percent of the company’s workforce driven by plummeting refinancings.

Flueid calls its End-to-End Home Equity Decision “a scalable technology that brings forward data and insights needed to expedite workflows and deliver an overall faster closing experience,” for homeowners seeking to cash out equity.

Home Equity Decision for Lenders and Home Equity Decision for Title are stand-alone products that, used together, “can drive newfound speed and collaboration” between lenders and title insurers, the company says.

For purchase loans, Flueid says it’s getting closer to launching Purchase Decision, a solution it launched as a pilot program last August to digitally enhance search and examination reviews to verify consumer data found in the statement of information in near real time.

Purchase Decision “has now become available to clients in a limited release capacity for ongoing collaboration and refinement before it is launched to the general market,” the company said.

Flueid said it’s been awarded a second patent for its technology platform, Flueid Decision. The latest patent — U.S. Patent 11,310,344, granted April 19, 2022 — is a continuation of U.S. Patent 11,095,756, granted Aug. 17, 2021.

The company calls Flueid Decision “the first and only multi-tenant and agnostic system on the market,” meaning “it’s not owned or managed by any one underwriter, title agent, lender, servicer or service provider and is not focused on any one component of the real estate life cycle.”

To help lenders adapt to the trend of funding rooftop solar panels with loans secured by the home, Flueid Decision has been updated to detect solar panels and liens created when homeowners take out Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) and Home Energy Renovation Opportunity (HERO) loans.

Flueid Decision can detect solar panels through satellite imagery, and PACE/HERO loans through property tax data and Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) liens filed with secretary of state offices, reducing risks during the title search.

Peter Richter

Founded in 2017 and self-funded by Title365 veterans Bowman and Peter Richter, Flueid Software Corp. announced a Series A funding round led by Aquiline Technology Growth (ATG) in February 2021. Last summer, the company announced that it had acquired the core proprietary technology and related assets of Vodii, a developer of software tools for the title and escrow industry.

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