Mortgage Tech Provider Evolve Makes Third Acquisition in 12 Months


Mortgage tech provider Evolve Mortgage Services continues to scoop up companies, making its third acquisition in a year as it expands the capabilities of its all digital closing process.

Frisco, Texas-based Evolve is acquiring West Mystic, Connecticut-based Brooks Systems LLC in a bid to expand its regulatory compliance offerings. The companies have a 20-year relationship, with Brooks Systems’ regulatory testing products embedded in Evolve’s core offerings.

Evolve’s buying spree began last December when it acquired an appraisal platform from Veptas Technology Solutions Inc., allowing clients to streamline appraisal ordering while complying with appraisal independence requirements.

Evolve followed that deal up in July, announcing the acquisition of Texas-based E-Notary Seal LLC, which allows borrowers to remotely sign and notarize documents. The acquisition of E-Notary Seal gave Evolve — a provider of outsourced mortgage services — the ability to provide lenders and title companies either component or end-to-end loan services.

Paul Anselmo

Remote online notarizations, or RONs, “took off during the pandemic and are likely to permanently become the preferred method of notarizing documents when buying or selling a home,” Evolve CEO Paul Anselmo said of that deal. “Adding this piece of the puzzle is key to completing our vision of an entirely electronic lending process from disclosures to closing and delivery all under one platform as opposed to multiple integrations.”

Of its latest deal with Brooks Systems, Evolve said it “has invested heavily in technology to not only be able to scale but more importantly, to deliver a more consistent and fully compliant, automated process that guarantees better data quality and integrity by creating stronger underwriting and compliance results fully backed with rep and warrants.” The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Brooks Systems’ CEO and president Robert “Bob” Brooks II, is taking a “well-deserved rest,” the companies said, while other key staff members at the company will be joining Evolve.

Evolve offers an integrated library of SMART Docs, e-Sign, eNotary, eVault and e-Registry services. In addition to digitizing the home purchase process, the Evolve platform can be used to complete other types of property transactions, including loss mitigation.

Last year, Evolve announced that with the addition of Fitch Ratings, it’s been designated as an approved third-party review firm for loans that are bundled up into in residential mortgage-backed securities (MBS) by all five major rating agencies, including DBRS Morningstar, Kroll Bond Rating Agency, Moody’s Investors Service and S&P Global Ratings.

Tim Anderson

As Evolve expands its capabilities through acquisitions, it’s also hired mortgage technology pioneer Tim Anderson to help land new clients. Anderson — a veteran of Black Knight, DocMagic, Pavaso, and MortgageConnect — was hired this summer as executive vice president, director eMortgage strategy.

“Our recent investment in E-Notary Seal has enabled us to build the mortgage industry’s only complete end-to-end digital closing platform in real estate finance,” Anselmo said at the time. “Now, with Tim on board, we have an industry pioneer with deep roots in developing the digital closing process to fuel mass adoption of this truly digital end-to-end closing experience that we have created.”

Anderson will lead a team that includes CTO Charlie Epperson, who is credited with building one of the industry’s first eVaults; former MERSCORP Holdings executive Katie Paolangeli, the company’s SVP, production management; Joanne Wight, who heads up client onboarding; and DocMagic and Docutech alumnus Marci Bowers, VP, eMortgage sales.

Felicia Grimes

Evolve also brought E-Notary Seal founder Felicia Grimes on board as vice president of the company’s eMortgage division when it acquired her company this summer.

Grimes said at the time that she and Evolve CEO Paul Anselmo “regularly discussed the shortcomings of e-Closings,” and those conversations inspired her to launch E-Notary Seal in 2019. “So, the acquisition was an extension of our ongoing relationship.”

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