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Exclusive: Rocket Launches 'Correspondent Assist' Program

Katie Jensen
Oct 14, 2022
Rocket Assisted Correspondent
Correspondent Assist versus Correspondent Flex

'We've taken our industry leading technology and made it a one-stop-shop for non-delegated correspondent lenders."

KEY TAKEAWAYS
  • Mortgage lenders can control processing, closing, and funding, while the lending partner handles underwriting.
  • Borrowers can use the digital client portal to apply, submit documents, e-sign, and manage the whole mortgage process — all under the partner lender’s branding.
  • This new option can eliminate significant costs, streamline processes, and speed up loan purchases.
  • Rocket is strategically expanding the technology side of its business to bring in more revenue as the market turns sour.

As most professionals in the mortgage industry know, when the market gets tough it’s time to get creative. Rocket Pro TPO has been launching a stream of new products and initiatives to ensure its broker partners can continue to thrive in hostile market conditions.

Today, Rocket launched “Correspondent Assist,” offering non-delegated correspondent lenders new tools and the option to use a suite of new tech-driven fulfillment services.

On the new platform, mortgage lenders can control processing, closing, and funding while the lending partner, such as Rocket Mortgage, handles the underwriting. After closing, Rocket Pro TPO serves as the investor, purchasing the loan from the correspondent.

“Typically folks are bouncing from technology to technology, from portal to portal, having to create their own disclosures and closing docs,” said Austin Niemiec, executive vice president of Rocket Pro TPO. “So we've taken our industry-leading technology, our portal that a lot of brokers and correspondent lenders love, and we've made it a one-stop-shop for non-delegated correspondent lenders.”  

Borrowers can use Rocket Pro TPO’s digital client portal to apply, submit their documents, e-sign, and manage the whole mortgage process and keep it all under the partner lender’s branding. Rocket will generate loan estimates, closing disclosures, and final closing documents, then issue them to the client through the portal. 

Unlike Rocket’s other platform, Correspondent Flex, correspondent lenders using Correspondent Assist won’t have to take care of upfront disclosures and closing documents on their own.

In Correspondent Assist, Rocket’s technology handles that hard work for them, consolidating this fragmented experience into a one-stop-shop. This new option can eliminate significant costs, streamline processes, and speed up loan purchases for the correspondent lender.

Niemiec explains that Correspondent Assist can eliminate the technology that brokers are either building or paying for on their own to handle disclosures and closing documents. He was not able to disclose the service fee for Correspondent Assist, but said there is no additional fee from moving from Correspondent Flex to Correspondent Assist. 

Some brokers might want to stay with Correspondent Flex, but those who are making the leap into non-delegated correspondent lending will have a much easier time handling workflow with Correspondent Assist.

Typically these lenders are not sure how to get started and have trouble piecing together the technology they need, Niemiec said, but those issues are eliminated with the Correspondent Assist platform.

“We've taken an incredibly fragmented experience, consolidated it into one technology platform, giving our partners speed, ease, and certainty,” Niemiec said. “We believe we've created the best core platform in America. We've invested a ton of money into it and a ton of resources we've been piloting the last few months.”

Correspondent partners can also access an industry-exclusive integration of Qualified Mortgage, or QM, tests and the visibility of loan cures built into the technology experience. 

Additionally, partners are provided a dedicated Crew team to support their business and technology to make the process simpler, including the easy-to-use loan origination portal and Pathfinder by Rocket, a mortgage guideline search engine. 

“So they get that feel of an industry leading tech platform that we at Rocket have created, but also they get that feel of a boutique, kind of local custom team feel all into one platform," Niemiec said

Rocket Pro TPO will also lock the interest rate through the clients’ signing date and will purchase the loan from the correspondent partner within three to five days after closing, helping the partner’s liquidity.

Correspondent Assist is available to all of Rocket’s correspondent partners, but those who are not yet partners or are currently partners with another lender can still use the platform.

Niemiec says they can go to RocketProTpo.com/correspondent and their Correspondent Assist team will call and help hold their hand all the way through the process. 

The current market is tough on all lenders. However, Rocket Companies is not just a mortgage lender, branding itself as a FinTech provider with several companies, including some outside of mortgage, that bring in additional streams of revenue. 

Niemiec said the company is strategically expanding the technology side of its business to bring in more revenue as the market turns sour. 

“We are blessed at Rocket to be very well capitalized,” Niemiec said. “We've been doing this for almost 40 years where we have the team and the capital to continue to build and invest in a market where others are kind of leaning out or completely getting out of the business.”

Niemiec admits that poor market conditions are forcing lenders to make tough decisions and “show their true colors,” with some unfortunately leaving the market altogether.

“Some continue to force choice and mandate brokers and make them sign contracts and sue them if they don't, you know, follow their rules,” he said, alluding to UWM’s broker ultimatum. “This is just another example that we are a proponent of choice and freedom. We're gonna keep building.” 

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