Recapping the 2023 MeridianLink User Forum

By Craig Austin Chief Revenue Officer, Firstclose

Earlier this month our team got to go to the happiest place on earth – Disneyland®—as a proud Diamond sponsor of the MeridianLink Live User Forum. This year the conference hosted more than a thousand MeridianLink users and partners for a week full of info-packed sessions, thought-provoking ideas and the chance to network with industry leaders and peers.

Throughout the week, attendees sat in on dozens of breakout sessions to learn about the latest MeridianLink updates and discover industry insights. We met with several of our credit union and bank clients and there was one consistent theme we kept hearing amongst all our lender clients: The biggest pain point in home equity transactions is profitability and liquidity. As one client put it, “Let’s face it, liquidity challenges are real.”

We further explored these pain points and the broader home equity market Tuesday morning as we were joined by Patrice Biggins from Sharonview Federal Credit Union and Deborah Duda from Flagstar Bank for a broad discussion on the state of Today’s Home Equity.

The main take aways from the session were:

  • Home equity lending has been a core product for banks and credit unions for decades but has taken a back seat to cash-out refinance over the past few years.
  • As the market continues to develop, and home prices become somewhat more stable, lenders who were leery from the 2008-9 recession are starting to get back into the space.
  • Profitability is a huge concern considering these transactions are often no cost to the consumer, being able to streamline and automate any portion of the process is crucial.

“At Flagstar, being able to have the FirstClose integration with the MeridianLink Digital App and having those two technologies in place and working together, is critical to our success. With FirstClose, we click a button, all of our vendor items are ordered, and all the data comes back. It removes all the data entry that used to take 20-25 minutes per loan file – minimum. It streamlines the process and reduces manual entry and the errors that come along with that.” Deborah Duda from Flagstar Bank

“Using the FirstClose platform, we’ve taken the home equity application from what used to be like a traditional mortgage application to a true home equity consumer application. And what I love about it is that it starts with getting the valuation for the member as the very first step. That’s been a game changer because that’s the question everyone wants to know, ‘What’s the value of my home and, how much equity do I have?’ Being able to answer that question upfront eases the mind of the member and it saves time for us, as well.” Patrice Biggins from Sharonview Federal Credit Union 

FirstClose announced its integration with the MeridianLink One platform at the end of 2022.

FirstClose’s one-of-a-kind home equity solution reduces operational touchpoints and improves the overall customer experience for borrowers. FirstClose offers an end-to-end platform that includes a borrower facing POS and a settlement services order management module. Using FirstClose Equity, lenders have reduced their time to close and significantly cut back on costs.

Didn’t have a chance to catch up at the show? Let’s schedule a time to meet with our team and learn how you can take your home equity lending operations to the next level.