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Focus at ICE Experience: Make the Most of 2023 and Do More With Less

First American Data & Analytics and Docutech attended ICE Experience 2023 this year. The mood was upbeat and attendees seemed focused on getting the most out of lively sessions and insightful conversations in the hallways and meeting rooms. As we have seen with other conferences, those in attendance were there to maximize every moment, reconnect with partners and prospects, and get a sense of what is working and what is not in the current lending environment. A variety of themes emerged that show just what lenders have on their minds as we all continue to navigate this challenging market cycle.

This year will continue to be tough, but the worst is probably behind us

The mindset among attendees we spoke with was that the strong headwinds our industry encountered in the second half of 2022 will continue at least through the first half of this year. Refinances will be non-existent, and fluctuating interest rates and a continuing lack of inventory are expected to depress the purchase market. This could change if the Fed eases its anti-inflation campaign in the second half of year, but attendees are not counting on that. Many of those we spoke with instead focused on the steps they were taking to improve their own outlook. These included adding new products like HELOCs and reverse mortgages, technology upgrades, strategies to keep good talent, and getting up to speed on new regulations. The general consensus: if we survived the worst of 2022, we can continue to buckle down and get through 2023.

Technology is on everyone’s mind

Almost everyone talked about technology enhancements, but interest in major tech upgrades was tempered by sharp declines in volume and the need to invest in other areas to be competitive. For example, technology alone will not help lenders crack the purchase market. To do that, lenders need loan officers with strong realtor relationships which bring referrals for purchase business. After that, technology becomes a priority.

Capitalizing on the home equity opportunity

When one door closes, another one opens. That is certainly the case with home equity lending, which is slated to continue this year as high interest rates make cash-out refis unappealing and homeowners with historically low first mortgage rates look to tap record equity.

Mortgage banks attending the conference were looking for ways to enter this market, which has historically been dominated by banks and credit unions. Meanwhile, home equity lenders of different stripes were looking for solutions to reduce origination costs, enhance the borrower experience and improve the effectiveness of their marketing.

Attendees from the event were seeking out home equity solutions such as FraudGuard® Home Equity to verify ownership in low-risk transactions, home equity doc sets, lender-grade AVMs (like our new Procision™ AVM solution) or data for a wide range of solutions to identify HELOC opportunities from marketing to customer acquisition.

Getting ready for new LEP requirements

New Limited English Proficient (LEP) requirements were another topic of discussion at the conference. On March 1, 2023, the Government Sponsored Entities (GSEs) required lenders to add a new question to the mortgage application, asking applicants to indicate which language they prefer. Since this is the extent of the requirement, at least at this point, some lenders are trying to understand what they are required to do with this information and what their non-English speaking borrowers will expect from them.

First American news at the conference

During the event, First American Data & Analytics announced that our FraudGuard® solution is the first fraud analytics solution accessible through, and built on, the latest Encompass Partner Connect™ API platform. With this new integration, lenders can leverage automation to systematically trigger the ordering of FraudGuard reports and analytics based on a lender’s customizable business rules.

“Our new integration on the Encompass Partner Connect platform reflects our commitment to helping lenders more efficiently reduce fraud risk and evaluate loan quality,” said Paul W. Harris, general manager, mortgage analytics for First American Data & Analytics. “First American is continually investing in our FraudGuard solution to enhance its scalability and further reduce the need for non-critical reviews, which supports lenders’ efforts to accelerate decision-making and increase pull-through rates.”

Learn more about the First American and Docutech solutions that integrate with your Encompass platforms:

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