Fidelity National Financial Inc. has released a new product that was developed to assist real estate brokers in conducting home-price evaluations for bank-owned foreclosure properties, also known as “real estate owned” properties or REOs.

The product automates the broker price opinion (BPO) process that is used to determine a rough value of the property and allows brokers to enter data online through a Fidelity Web site. Broker price opinions are professional valuations but are not formal appraisals.

“Prior to automating the process, lenders were only able to view four data fields, requiring them to request a mailed or scanned copy of the printed report in order to obtain additional information,” the company announced today. “With the new online format, lenders may now view more than 600 data fields, in addition to receiving detailed information reports. The expanded BPO data fields feature also provides brokers with more space to enter ancillary information that may be helpful to lenders and asset managers.”

Fidelity consulted with numerous brokers and lenders in the development phase of its new BPO offering.

“When designing their online BPO process, Fidelity took extreme measures to ensure they were meeting the needs of lenders, as well as brokers,” said Brad Olsen, a broker for Dimensions Realty Services. “Fidelity is unique and unusual in that they consulted with all of the involved parties to create an exceptional rather than simply adequate system.”

Tish Weaster, a real estate agent for RE/MAX Classic Homes, said, “Since many brokers work from home as well as the office, Fidelity’s online BPO definitely provides added convenience. The online BPO also maximizes our efficiency and gets us one step closer to a paperless environment by reducing the need to keep multiple copies on file.”

And Paul Moussea, department manager of REO for HSBC Mortgage Services, said, “Fidelity’s new BPO process enables us to immediately access information online, which is a definite benefit for us when reviewing and compiling files for internal and regulatory audits. We are also very excited about the additional data points the new process provides and the resulting enhanced reporting capabilities.”

“We are very excited to be rolling out our enhanced BPO process,” said Chad Neel, president and COO of Fidelity National Asset Management Solutions. “By combining feedback from our clients and broker partners with our cutting- edge technology, we have successfully created the most complete online BPO available in the industry,” said Neel.

Fidelity National Financial Inc., number 262 on the Fortune 500 list, is a provider of products and outsourced services and solutions to financial institutions and the real estate industry. FNF had total revenue of more than $6.2 billion and earned more than $560 million for the first nine months of 2004, with cash flow from operations of more than $925 million for that same period. FNF is the nation’s largest title insurance company, with more than 30 percent national market share, and is also a provider of other specialty insurance products, including flood insurance, homeowners insurance and home warranty insurance.

Through its subsidiary Fidelity National Information Services Inc., the company is a leading provider of technology solutions, processing services and information services to the financial services and real estate industries. FIS’ software processes nearly 50 percent of all U. S. residential mortgages, it has processing and technology relationships with 45 of the top 50 U.S. banks and more than 3,600 small and mid-sized U.S. financial institutions and it has clients in more than 50 countries who rely on its processing and outsourcing products and services.

FIS also provides customized business process outsourcing related to aspects of the origination and management of mortgage loans to national lenders and servicers. FIS offers information services, including property data and real estate-related services that are used by lenders, mortgage investors and real estate professionals to complete residential real estate transactions throughout the U.S.

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Send tips or a Letter to the Editor to glenn@inman.com or call (510) 658-9252, ext. 137.

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