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Citizens Bank unveils digital home buying and mortgage experience – HousingWire


Citizens Bank, which became one of the country’s largest mortgage companies when it acquired Franklin American Mortgage last year, is now diving headfirst into the digital mortgage revolution.

This week, Citizens unveiled a comprehensive new digital mortgage experience that will enable borrowers to both apply for and manage their mortgages online.

But that’s not the only part of the home buying journey that Citizens is digitizing. The bank is also now offering to help borrowers find their next house as well.

In addition to rolling out the digital mortgage platform, Citizens is launching an online home shopping portal, which allows customers to search home listings across the country and matches them with a local real estate agent.

According to Citizens, the home shopping platform is integrated with the mortgage platform, allowing for a “more streamlined buying experience.”

Beyond that, the bank is offering qualifying customers as much as $6,500 in rewards for using the online home shopping portal, which is part of a program the bank calls “Your Home Rewards.”

According to the bank, “Your Home Rewards” is offered in partnership with HomeStory Real Estate Services, a licensed real estate broker. To earn the monetary reward, customers must use a network real estate agent to complete the buy and/or sell transaction.

And the reward offer varies both by state and by size of the loan. The offer is not available in Alaska, Iowa, Louisiana, and Missouri. In the states of Mississippi, New Jersey, Oklahoma, and Oregon, an agent commission reduction, rebate, and/or credit may be available in lieu of the reward.

Rewards in Kansas and Tennessee are required to be delivered by gift card, according to the bank. And, in Kansas, the reward is limited to $1,000 regardless of the sale price of the property.

But once a customer picks their property, or even if they don’t use Citizens’ home shopping services, the customer can utilize Citizens’ new digital mortgage application platform.

The digital mortgage application offers web-based document collection and validation of asset, income and tax data through secure sign-on, and real-time co-browsing with a loan officer to assist with filling out the application.

According to the bank, its digital mortgage platform is being powered by Blend, the digital mortgage software company that backs the digital mortgage process for a growing number of lenders.

Then, once the mortgage is originated, borrowers can manage their loan through Citizens mobile app, which allows them to make payments via the app and stay up-to-date on their area with access to neighborhood data, price trends, school statistics, and listing alerts.

The mobile mortgage servicing platform is powered by Black Knight, Citizens said.

According to the bank, the suite of digital tools is available now.

“Buying a home is one of life’s biggest financial and personal decisions, and it can also be one of the most stressful,” said Eric Schuppenhauer, president of home mortgage at Citizens Bank. “Creating a digital experience that simplifies the home buying process enables us to alleviate some of its most challenging aspects so our customers can focus on what matters most – finding a place to call home.”

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