SOURCE: Home-Account, Inc.

Home-Account, Inc.

Home-Account, Inc.

May 19, 2010 14:23 ET

"Mortgage Grade(SM)" Launches to Help Consumers Find the Best Mortgage for Which They Qualify

Free, Analytics-Based Assessment Tool From Home-Account Puts Consumers in Control of the Mortgage-Finding Process

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - May 19, 2010) -  Home-Account, Inc., the company behind Refinance.com that's been praised by The New York Times, BusinessWeek and CNET for fairness, accuracy and consumer advocacy, today announced the syndicated availability on leading mortgage-related sites of Mortgage Grade(SM), a free, easy-to-use, consumer-oriented analytics service that helps homeowners find and lock in the lowest-cost mortgages for which they qualify.

Mortgage Grade is available today on Home-Account.com and at www.mortgagegrade.com. In the coming weeks Bills.com, Credit.com, ConsumerUnited.com, erate.com, Mtgprofessor.com and Refinance.com will be among the first sites to offer Mortgage Grade. Additional sites are expected to sign up shortly.

Consumers should visit http://www.mortgagegrade.com now to learn more about their Mortgage Grade and how it can help them secure the best mortgage available.

"Mortgage Grade not only acts as a broker without the fees, it educates our members on how they can better understand their options and helps them qualify for the best terms," said Justin Dangel, founder and chief executive of Consumer United.

"The process is easy and engaging, and the value add keeps users coming back to Consumer United as a trusted source for both products and consumer information," Dangel added.

"A mortgage or refinancing is one of the biggest financial commitments consumers will ever make. Considering the stakes, far too many consumers enter the process woefully under-informed," said Mark H. Goldstein, chief executive of Home-Account, Inc. "Our goal with Mortgage Grade is to empower consumers with a free, no-obligation assessment of where they stand in the mortgage marketplace, and express the result in a simple, easy to understand 'grade' that instantly explains consumers' eligibility for the best available mortgage, refinance, loan modification, or credit workout -- and suggest next best steps without pressuring consumers to complete any type of transaction."

By visiting Mortgage Grade (www.mortgagegrade.com) consumers are in control from start to finish. There is no obligation in going through the process, and lenders will not contact them. Consumers can use Mortgage Grade for education only, to find the lowest-price loan for which they qualify or they can proceed through the process all the way to a "Rate Guarantee" with their lender of choice. No bait & switch, no surprises, no brokers, and no guesswork.

Like a credit score, Mortgage Grade (www.mortgagegrade.com) empowers consumers by arming them with "insider" information before they begin seeking a mortgage. If the Mortgage Grade is anything higher than a C (see accompanying chart), consumers know they're eligible for today's best rates and terms. For lower grades, Mortgage Grade offers tutorials for raising it, as well as links to BBB-vetted financial counseling organizations that can help.

For registered users Mortgage Grade never sleeps -- it keeps monitoring the market and consumers' financial situations and alerts them to money-saving refinancing opportunities when conditions are right.

How it Works

Mortgage Grade is powered by the Guttentag-Home Account Algorithm, developed with Jack M. Guttentag, The Wharton School mortgage expert known as The Mortgage Professor. When consumers arrive at Mortgage Grade via a button or widget on a mortgage-related partner site, they begin by entering detailed information about their financial status, current mortgage (if any), and data about their current home or the property they hope to buy.

Importantly, this consumer-supplied information is then verified and augmented automatically by third-party applications:

  • Mortgage Grade "soft-pulls" borrowers' Experian credit report in a way that doesn't affect their credit score.
  • Automated Valuation Model from Lender Processing Services, Inc., validates the property's real value (not a "guesstimate Zestimate").
  • Closing.com provides best-estimate closing costs.
  • Econometric and market data flow in real time from Economy.com.
  • Home-Account provides real-time pricing and qualification data from its lender partners.

All of this is analyzed within seconds, and the consumer receives an easy-to-understand Mortgage Grade with extensive explanation for the grade as well as suggested next-best actions. The consumer can quit the process and keep the information without obligation, or move on to other actions.

"RATE GUARANTEE" - A consumer who continues all the way through the process can lock in a guaranteed mortgage or refinance loan within 48 hours by clicking on "Rate Guarantee," at which point the consumer's hand-picked lender will contact the consumer to offer that rate -- no bait and switch. No lender will ever contact a consumer unless the consumer has asked to be contacted.

Mortgage Grades

  • The highest grade -- A+ -- means the consumer already has the best mortgage available. But that's not the end of the story. Mortgage Grade offers a free service subscription that will monitor market conditions and consumers' financial information and alert consumers via email when the time is right for refinancing at a savings.
  • Consumers with grades A, A-, B+ and B are eligible for different types of loans -- and are offered educational information and connections to pre-vetted lenders. They may also subscribe to Mortgage Grade's email mortgage/refinance alert service.
  • A B- means FHA-eligible only. C+ means consumers may find manually underwritten loans, which Mortgage Grade/Home-Account can help arrange with qualified lenders. C consumers are not eligible for mortgages, and are referred to loan modification, credit counseling, debt reduction, or credit workout organizations. (See accompanying chart for more details.)

About Home-Account, Inc.
Home-Account, Inc., is a mortgage-finding service designed to help America's 75 million borrowers save money and make smart mortgage choices. The service grades and analyzes borrowers' current mortgages, presents scenarios to improve their financial situation, and then matches each borrower to the best mortgage options in the market. Home-Account is based in San Francisco and has an office in Charlotte, N.C. The company is backed by Charles River Ventures, Rembrandt Ventures, and several Silicon Valley angel investors. For more information, please visit: www.home-account.com or video: http://vimeo.com/6755779.

Contact Information

  • For more information, contact:
    Sarah Singleton
    Red Canyon Communications
    (415) 290-8045
    Email Contact


    Michael Paige
    Red Canyon Communications
    (323) 336-5865
    Email Contact