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Guaranteed Rate’s Startup; SoFi buys bank; Chase coughs $50K 💸

By March 9, 2021 No Comments

Guaranteed Rate launches AI-powered startup

Guaranteed Rate recently announced the launch of its mortgage tech company, Gateless.

Gateless aims to automate key aspects of the loan process by utilizing AI and machine learning tech. Its suite of tools, called AI Mortgage, lessens the manual work behind tasks like document review and filing. The platform uses computer vision as it works to eliminate input errors while increasing data accuracy and productivity for users.

“Gateless was founded to accelerate innovation across the mortgage industry,” CEO Vincent Ciardelli said in a statement. “With our deep understanding of the mortgage process, we are collaborating with Gateless to use artificial intelligence to dramatically streamline workflow. As a result, we’ve been able to generate massive time savings and cost efficiencies.”

Gateless promises to close loans, on average, ten days faster than the industry standard.

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Here’s why SoFi just bought a community bank

SoFi, more formally known as Social Finance, announced that it has agreed to acquire Golden Pacific Bancorp for about $22.3 million.

According to coverage by Mary Ann Azevado in TechCrunch: “The dollar amount is not staggering.”

“What is more notable about the acquisition is that it’s giving SoFi a quick route to getting a national bank charter,” she added.: SoFi, a digital personal finance company, got preliminary approval for a bank charter last October. By acquiring Golden Pacific, the company gets a fast track into that process. Once the transaction closes later this year, GPB will become a subsidiary of the


San Francisco-based SoFi is the latest in a string of fintechs that are either becoming banks, or launching bank arms, in order to increase lending capabilities. SoFi already offers a 5% down mortgage, for example. More products will follow soon as this is just another step forward in tier financial products expansion.

“We believe that by pursuing a national bank charter, we will be able to help even more people get their money right with enhanced value and more products and services,” said SoFi CEO Anthony Noto in a written statement.

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Fed’s begin crackdown on discrimination

Everyone else understands that appraisers are their own thing. Everyone except HUD, it seems.

HUD announced today that it has approved a conciliation agreement between JPMorgan Chase Bank and a Black homeowner, resolving the woman’s claim that the mortgage lender, relying on an appraisal that she believed was inaccurate, valued her home at an amount lower than its actual worth because of her race.

Chase responded in Forbes coverage: “Appraisers are independent contractors who are not employed by the bank. They are specialists in the specific regions and use market-based comparisons to come up with a value. Our internal review of the appraisal assessment, as well as a market analysis, found no substantive issues and supported the appraiser’s value.”

Tell it to the judge, Chase. There’s a new sheriff in town. Meanwhile, go ahead and wire the Black homeowner $50,000, as the above agreement instructs you to do.

In a seemingly unrelated event, the CFPB doubled down on discrimination.

Yesterday, the CFPB issued an interpretive rule clarifying that the prohibition against sex discrimination under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) and Regulation B includes sexual orientation discrimination and gender identity discrimination. This prohibition also covers discrimination based on actual or perceived nonconformity with traditional sex- or gender-based stereotypes, and discrimination based on an applicant’s social or other associations.

“In issuing this interpretive rule, we’re making it clear that lenders cannot discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity,” said CFPB Acting Director David Uejio. “The CFPB will ensure that consumers are protected against such discrimination and provided equal opportunities in credit.”

So when it comes to bias in housing, even unintentional and unsupported, the Federal government is showing a willingness to jump in, and may even use its enforcement powers to do so. Play safe out there, everyone!

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