SettlementOne Approved as American Financial Resources (AFR) Wholesale Partner

Partnership allows SettlementOne to offer leading edge appraiser panel and assignment technology to AFR brokers and correspondents.

SettlementOne is pleased to announce that it has been approved as an AFR Wholesale AMC partner. This partnership enables AFR brokers and correspondents to utilize SettlementOne’s diverse and highly qualified nationwide appraiser panels as well as SettlementOne’s leading technology. The relationship links SettlementOne’s appraiser partners by using the SettlementOne smart assign technology, which intelligently matches the valuation order with the most qualified appraiser partner, specific to the property and AFR loan type.

AFR is recognized as one of the leading mortgage lenders in the nation. Their offering of traditional mortgage loans, manufactured housing loans, and specialty products such as One-Time Close Construction, Conventional, FHA and VA Renovation loans, USDA loans, as well as many other differentiated products, has led to an industry-leading lending operation. AFR invests in the success of their business partners by providing technology, expertise, education, and exceptional support.

AFR brokers and correspondent lenders can now utilize SettlementOne’s AMC services to fulfill their appraisal orders in a more timely and precise fashion. To better service the various loan types that AFR originates, SettlementOne individually qualifies their entire nationwide appraiser panel to identify those that are most capable of appraising these standard and unique loan types.

“Having the right appraiser is extremely important. In fact, it’s imperative to ensure that all the appraisers that are working on specialized loans are highly qualified to do so,” said Laura Brandao, President of AFR. “We feel that SettlementOne and their smart assignment technology and nationwide appraiser panel gives us the ability to offer best in class service to our brokers and correspondents.”

“We’re thrilled to partner with AFR to assist their brokers and correspondent lenders. We believe that AFR’s philosophy regarding affordable and specialty housing aligns perfectly with our own. AFR is a world-class organization, and we’re looking forward to many successful years of partnership,” said Tom Hurst, Chief Executive Officer at SettlementOne.

About SettlementOne

SettlementOne provides credit reporting, property valuation, flood certification, fraud and verification services to U.S. banks, mortgage lenders, mortgage brokers and credit unions. Its specialty is providing convenient bundles of these services to mortgage industry clients. Established in 1999, SettlementOne is one of the nation’s largest suppliers of mortgage data, providing financial institutions and consumers with secure, efficient and cost-effective solutions that streamline the mortgage origination and lending process.

About American Financial Resources (AFR)

American Financial Resources, Inc. (AFR), the leading FHA 203(k) lender for sponsored originations in the country and an innovator in the construction and renovation lending area, is ranked among the nation’s leading companies in the annual Top Mortgage Lenders rankings published by Scotsman Guide. AFR utilizes the latest technology and delivers educational resources to mortgage brokers, loan originators and their customers.

View the release here.

Interview with Laura Brandao, President of AFR

Recently, we had the opportunity to speak with Laura Brandao, President of AFR, about everything from her success predicting market trends ahead of others, to AFR’s ongoing commitment to strong partnerships.


SettlementOne: You have been instrumental in spearheading the inclusion of Manufactured Home, One-time Close and New Construction loan products at AFR. Can you share the findings that led you to believe these would become prominent offerings in the mortgage industry?

Brandao:  Since the company began, AFR has always been a strong leader in the manufactured housing side of the business. As each year went by we started to notice the lack of homes, really the lack of affordable homes, available for purchase. Coupled with an increase in the number of millennial buyers, we saw an opportunity to help buyers and brokers alike – by expanding our expertise in manufactured homes and renovation lending into the government construction to permanent marketplace.

Continue reading “Interview with Laura Brandao, President of AFR”

SettlementOne at the Ellie Mae Experience 2018

We’ve been busy reinventing the AMC space.

You’ll benefit from a personal conversation with our founders, enjoy a relaxing environment poolside at the Wynn in Las Vegas and learn how we’re completely rewriting how and what an AMC is and does. Also, talk to us about our Mortgage Credit and Data Verification services.

You really wouldn’t want to miss an opportunity like this.

Come visit us at the Ellie Mae Experience 2018 in Las Vegas. Book some time with us here.

Make Way for Appraisal Technology in the Mortgage Industry

Make Way for Appraisal Technology

There is no denying that technology is the future, and that algorithms are changing the face of a number of different professions. But a recent trend in the real estate market has some appraisers on edge. The profession is already losing people, with only 78,000 licensed US appraisers in business in 2017 compared to the 120,000 who were available in 2012. Continue reading “Make Way for Appraisal Technology in the Mortgage Industry”

Challenging Times For America’s Lending Community

Challenges for America's Lending Community

Despite a booming economy, strong consumer confidence and record-breaking stock market, America’s lending community finds itself confronting a wide range of real—and potential—challenges.

The issues facing lenders nationwide present an environment that requires nimble business skills and the ability to adopt to an ever-evolving marketplace.

Near the top of the list of challenges confronting lenders is—not surprisingly—a wide array of both state and local regulations, and the related expenses of ensuring compliance with all of them. Time and again, industry experts point to what they believe to be ‘over-regulation’ as a significant contributing factor to the expense of servicing a home loan. Continue reading “Challenging Times For America’s Lending Community”

The Uncertain Future of Dodd Frank

While it may not be the ‘headline-grabber’ that the Administration’s (for now, failed) healthcare overhaul has been, waiting in the wings for the spotlight remains the President’s long-standing promise of overhauling 2010’s Dodd-Frank financial legislation.

Throughout last year’s campaign, and on into this past spring, President Trump promised that an overhaul of the controversial legislation was on the horizon; in the spring, the President described the changes as “a very major haircut”. In late April, the President went even further, suggesting to a gathering of CEOs that a full repeal of Dodd-Frank remained a possibility. Continue reading “The Uncertain Future of Dodd Frank”

Not Just The Times—But The Credit Reports—Keep A-Changing

Changing Credit Reports | SettlementOne

In a year in which it often feels as though the only ‘constant’ is change, you can add millions of the nation’s credit reports to the list of items undergoing transformation in 2017.

While the majority of Americans won’t be affected by these changes, it has been estimated by FICO that between 6-7% of individuals with current credit scores will see their credit reports altered as a result of the removal of tax liens and civil judgments from their reports. Continue reading “Not Just The Times—But The Credit Reports—Keep A-Changing”

Recruiting The Mortgage Industry’s Next Generation

Attracting a young mortgage workforce | SettlementOne

There are several ‘realities’ posing challenges to the future of the nation’s mortgage industry, but perhaps no challenge is more daunting than the need to recruit a younger generation of lenders.

As America’s population ages—and millions of ‘Baby Boomers’ enter their retirement years—there is a rapidly growing need for the nation’s mortgage sector to recruit young men and women to replace those completing their careers.

The reality that is confronting the lending sector is simple: for the industry to survive the 21st Century, it will have to recruit a new generation of loan officers. And with Baby Boomers retiring en masse, and ‘Generation X’ not far behind them, all eyes are fixing on the younger generation labeled “Millennials”. Continue reading “Recruiting The Mortgage Industry’s Next Generation”

Rising Number of Mortgage Applications Signals Housing Recovery

Increase in Mortgage Applications 2017

An increase in the number of mortgage applications means that the housing crisis that played such a major role as both a cause—and effect—of the Great Recession continues to fade into the nation’s rearview mirror.

Even rising interest rates have not, as yet, kept many potential homebuyers from considering a home purchase; as an example, mortgage applications increased almost 1.5 percent in the final week in June. Continue reading “Rising Number of Mortgage Applications Signals Housing Recovery”

An Expert’s View Of The Lending Industry Circa 2017

SettlementOne Q and A With Embrace Home Loans' Kurt Noyce

As any member of America’s lending community knows all too well, achieving—and maintaining—success in 2017’s volatile financial environment is shaping up to be quite a challenge.

From a multitude of promised regulatory revisions to rising interest rates, the lending industry is facing a number of critically important issues, all of which have the potential to dramatically impact lenders’ bottom lines. Continue reading “An Expert’s View Of The Lending Industry Circa 2017”

Zillow Investigation Raises Questions For Lenders

Zillow Investigation Raises Questions For Lenders
Continuing an investigation that began more than two years ago, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is investigating Zillow Group’s compliance with the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA).

Under the rules of RESPA, lenders, mortgage brokers and servicers of home loans are required to provide borrowers with all relevant and timely disclosures regarding the cost and procedures of the real estate settlement process. In addition, RESPA prohibits such practices as ‘kickbacks’ and restricts the use of escrow accounts. Continue reading “Zillow Investigation Raises Questions For Lenders”

The Evolving World of Consumer Credit Reports

Public Record Data Changes to Credit Reporting on July 1st

It’s shaping up to be a better year than expected for the credit reports of hundreds of thousands of American consumers.

A recently completed study of millions of credit files by credit score giant FICO found that forthcoming policy changes by the nation’s three credit bureaus—Experian, TransUnion and Equifax—will result in increased credit scores for a large swath of American consumers. While the FICO study found that the majority of consumers likely won’t see any noticeable change in their credit scores resulting from revised credit reports, it also reported that hundreds of thousands of consumers could experience an even larger-than-initially expected bump in their credit scores—as much as 40-60 points, or more. Continue reading “The Evolving World of Consumer Credit Reports”

AMCs: Vital Players In The Lending Process

AMCs Vital in the Lending Process


By: Steve Greenfield 

The loan origination process involves numerous parties, including the Appraisal Management Company (AMC)–a vendor that plays a vital role in the lending process.

Whether your organization is a bank, non-bank, credit union or other type of financial institution, chances are if you are lending on collateral, you’ll be engaging an AMC to obtain a valuation of the property in order to close on the transaction—and therefore oversight of your AMC is critically important. Continue reading “AMCs: Vital Players In The Lending Process”

Philadelphia vs Wells Fargo: Allegations of Discriminatory Lending Practices

Philadelphia sues Wells Fargo for discriminatory lending.

Over the last few years, Wells Fargo has faced some very difficult challenges—primarily of its own making; most prominently, Wells former CEO resigned after the company was accused by regulators of establishing over 3 million accounts for customers without their consent. Continue reading “Philadelphia vs Wells Fargo: Allegations of Discriminatory Lending Practices”

Digital and Rocket Mortgages Take Off In 2017

From music to movies, from books to retailing, technology has revolutionized the way commerce is conducted in the new millennium.

Little wonder then that technology is also having a dramatic impact on the way the mortgage industry conducts business; and in recent years, perhaps one of the most significant changes to the mortgage sector has been the introduction of the “digital mortgage”.

Continue reading “Digital and Rocket Mortgages Take Off In 2017”

Shortage of Appraisers Adds To Housing Challenges

As anyone participating in the housing industry knows, there’s an inherent list of challenges that stand in the way of achieving success in the real estate market.

However, in recent years, yet another challenge has been added to the list of ‘speed bumps’ on the road to success in the housing sector: a shortage of skilled appraisers.

Continue reading “Shortage of Appraisers Adds To Housing Challenges”

Evaluating Valuations: The Growing Gap Between Homeowners & Appraisers

Home Value
It was not that many years ago when the overriding question pertaining to US home valuations was most often ‘how low would they go?’

During, and immediately after the Great Recession, millions of American homeowners found themselves helplessly watching as the value of their homes—in many cases, their greatest family asset—endured a seemingly endless decline in value.

Continue reading “Evaluating Valuations: The Growing Gap Between Homeowners & Appraisers”