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Black Knight to Acquire CRM Leader Top of Mind Networks

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Today, Black Knight, Inc. (NYSE: BKI), an award-winning software, data and analytics provider to the mortgage and consumer loan, real estate and capital markets verticals, announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to purchase Top of Mind Networks (Top of Mind), developer of Surefire, a leading customer relationship management (CRM) and marketing automation system for the mortgage industry, for approximately $250 million in cash. Top of Mind was previously majority owned by Primus Capital, with significant minority ownership by the company’s original founders.

“Through its Surefire marketing automation and CRM platform, Top of Mind has brought incredible value to the sales and marketing side of the mortgage industry by helping lenders gain powerful competitive advantages for their loan officers,” said Anthony Jabbour, CEO, Black Knight.  “Integrating Surefire’s capabilities within the wider Black Knight mortgage technology ecosystem will make it possible for lender clients of all sizes to close more loans and create customers for life.”

The Surefire platform helps thousands of mortgage professionals – from individuals, to mid-sized firms, to enterprises – win new and repeat business. Its intuitive, automated workflows and award-winning personalized content inspire emotional connections with customers, helping to increase sales and improve recapture and retention. Unique workflows with relevant, rich content categories are easily deployable across all marketing channels, while out-of-the-box integrations provide interconnectivity to major loan origination systems, CRMs, points of sale, lead sources and sales acceleration systems.

“Top of Mind and Black Knight are a great strategic fit because we both share a passion for delivering innovation, adding value and driving growth for our clients,” said Top of Mind CEO Bill Hayes. “Our team is looking forward to working with Black Knight to help lenders and servicers create customers for life by engaging their customers with timely communications and highly personalized touchpoints, while helping clients stay compliant in their marketing efforts.”

Black Knight will initially focus on integrating Surefire with its Empower loan origination system (LOS) and enhancing integrations with its Optimal Blue PPE (product, pricing and eligibility engine) before creating new connections and integrations to serve both lenders and servicers. Future development will include growth opportunities for servicers’ borrower retention via Servicing Digital and Realtor lead development for lenders through Black Knight’s Paragon MLS platform.

Overview of Offerings
Top of Mind solutions modernize mortgage workflow, compliance and the digital customer experience. To enable lenders and mortgage professionals to create customers for life by cultivating and maintaining customer relationships, the Top of Mind Surefire platform:

  • Extends and enriches existing channels by supporting lead generation through integrations with point-of-sale platforms, social media and web sites; instant lead routings; automatic database updates; and partner channel integration.
  • Converts leads to applications with speed, helping clients maintain a competitive edge and convert leads with best-in-class tools; prospect workflows; immediate lead follow-up; and AI-driven prospect targeting.
  • Helps lenders close more loans by automatically educating and assisting clients through the loan process via dedicated educational workflows; credit repair guides; and automated communications.
  • Maximizes repeat and referral business by cultivating and maintaining customer relationships; providing client listing alerts; personalizing follow-up content; and initiating post-close campaigns.
  • Provides an unparalleled customer experience through education, timely content, additional materials to guide their borrowing journey, and offers of help throughout the application process.
  • Creates a seamless customer experience by delivering the same interactive, engaging marketing content through mobile devices.
  • Develops and delivers the right message by using creative content via prospects’ or customers’ medium(s) of choice.

“The acquisition of Top of Mind is a continuation of our strategy to deliver innovative solutions to our clients that will help them achieve their strategic priorities,” Jabbour added. “Our combined clients will be able to access additional market-leading offerings from a single, trusted provider, while we will be able to further expand Black Knight’s opportunities to cross-sell our solutions through Top of Mind’s broad reach among more than 850 commercial banks, mortgage banks, credit unions and mortgage brokerage companies.”

Transaction Details
The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2021, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory review. Black Knight anticipates the acquisition of Top of Mind will contribute approximately $13 million in incremental revenue to Black Knight’s Origination Software business in the second half of 2021, subject to transaction timing.

Trasimene Capital Management acted as the financial advisor, and Smith Hulsey & Busey acted as legal advisor, to Black Knight.

Vaquero Capital acted as financial advisor, and Goodwin Procter LLP acted as legal advisor, to Top of Mind.

Further Details
Further details regarding the acquisition will be discussed on Black Knight’s upcoming second quarter 2021 earnings call in August. The date and time of the earnings call will be announced in mid-July.

About Black Knight 
Black Knight, Inc. (NYSE:BKI) is an award-winning software, data and analytics company that drives innovation in the mortgage lending and servicing and real estate industries, as well as the capital and secondary markets. Businesses leverage our robust, integrated solutions across the entire homeownership life cycle to help retain existing customers, gain new customers, mitigate risk and operate more effectively.

Our clients rely on our proven, comprehensive, scalable products and our unwavering commitment to delivering superior client support to achieve their strategic goals and better serve their customers. For more information on Black Knight, please visit www.blackknightinc.com.

Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Statements that are not historical facts, including statements regarding expectations, hopes, intentions or strategies regarding the future are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are based on Black Knight management’s beliefs, as well as assumptions made by, and information currently available to, them. Because such statements are based on expectations as to future financial and operating results and are not statements of fact, actual results may differ materially from those projected. Black Knight undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. The risks and uncertainties that forward-looking statements are subject to include, but are not limited to: satisfaction of the conditions to closing the acquisition of Top of Mind Networks, LLC and consummate the transaction, including the receipt of regulatory approvals; changes in general economic, business, regulatory and political conditions, including those resulting from pandemics such as COVID-19, particularly as they affect foreclosures and the mortgage industry; the outbreak of COVID-19 and measures to reduce its spread, including the effect of governmental or voluntary actions such as business shutdowns and stay-at-home orders; security breaches against our information systems; our ability to maintain and grow our relationships with our clients; changes to the laws, rules and regulations that affect our and our clients’ businesses; our ability to adapt our services to changes in technology or the marketplace or achieve our growth strategies; our ability to protect our proprietary software and information rights; the effect of any potential defects, development delays, installation difficulties or system failures on our business and reputation; risks associated with the availability of data; the effects of our existing leverage on our ability to make acquisitions and invest in our business; our ability to successfully integrate strategic acquisitions; risks associated with our investment in Dun & Bradstreet Holdings, Inc.; and other risks and uncertainties detailed in the “Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Information,” “Risk Factors” and other sections of our Annual Report on Form 10-K and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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Dave says: If you need a cosigner, you're not ready – Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal

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Dave says: If you need a cosigner, you’re not ready  Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal

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How to improve your credit score in 2021: Easy and effective tips

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If you’ve ever wondered “What is my credit score?” it’s probably time to find out. Having a good credit score can make life a lot more affordable. If you’re about to buy a house or car, for example, the higher your credit score is, the lower your interest rate (and therefore, monthly cost) will probably be.

Your number may also be the deciding factor for whether or not you can get a loan and ultimately determine if you are even able to buy something you want or need.

So, yes, the goal is to have the highest possible credit score you can, but increasing the number doesn’t just happen overnight. There are important steps to take if you want to increase your score, and the sooner you start working on it, the better.

“If you’re trying to increase (your credit score) substantially to accomplish a goal, you’re really going to have to have as much lead time as possible,” said Thomas Nitzsche, director of media and brand at Money Management International, a nonprofit financial counseling and education provider that advises people on how to legally and ethically improve their credit score on their own.

If you have fair credit and you’re trying to improve the number for a house purchase, for instance, you’ll want to start working on it at least a year in advance, he explained to TMRW.

But even though that sounds like a long time away, you can (and should!) start doing things right now to bump that number up. Below, see seven things you should do — and not do — to help improve your credit score:

1. Review your credit report

Review your credit report and look for errors that might be hurting your score. Morsa Images / Getty Images

The first thing you’ll want to do is pull up a copy of your current report so you know where you stand. You can get free reports from all three agencies — TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax — at annualcreditreport.com. Nitzsche said it’s important to take a moment and understand the financial snapshot of where you are today and where you want to be.

You’ll also want to take some time and look for any errors on your report, which could negatively impact your score. “If your name is misspelled, that’s not going to hurt your score,” he explained. “But if you see a late payment or missed payment (that’s in error), or maybe you have an account that should be reporting but isn’t, then that’s a problem and that will impact your score.”

If there is an error, you should dispute it and try to provide as much proof as you can.

One other thing: You can also ask a creditor to remove an issue if it’s been corrected (i.e., if you paid off a collection debt). Nitzsche said it doesn’t hurt to ask and the worst thing they could say is no.

2. Have good financial habits

“The biggest part of your credit score is payment history, so the most critical thing is never missing a due date,” Nitzsche said. Set up a monthly autopay or add all due dates to your calendar so you never miss a bill.

You can also achieve a higher score when you mix different types of accounts on your credit report. It may seem counterintuitive to get extra points for having debt in the form of student loans, mortgages and auto loans, but as long as you’re paying them off responsibly, it shows that you’re reliable.

3. Aim to use 30% or less of your credit at any given time

Know your credit limit and aim to only use 30% or less of it for a better credit score.Tim Robberts / Getty Images

Know your credit card limit, and try not to use any more than 30% of that number each month, otherwise your score could lose points for too much credit utilization.

Another thing you can do is ask your bank to increase your limit. “That will give you more flexibility to spend more,” Nitzsche said. You could also pay it off twice a month to keep the balance low. But he does warn that you never know when the balance is going to be reported to the bureau. It can happen at any point during the month, so it might be the day after you make the payment or the day before. “You don’t necessarily want to use the card and pay it the next day because that doesn’t give the bureau the chance to know that you’re using it,” he said.

4. Avoid requests for new credit

If you’re looking to increase your score around the time you want to buy a house or car, you won’t want to open up a new line of credit, like a retail card, credit card or loan. That’s because “hard” credit inquiries like those can lower your score, and sometimes it comes down to a few points over whether you’re approved or what your rate will be, Nitzsche said.

“Soft” credit inquiries, like when an employer checks your credit or when you pull your own report, won’t affect your score.

5. Keep all accounts open, even ones you don’t use anymore

Even if you don’t use that credit card from college, it’s a good idea to just keep it open because closing it could hurt your score. Nitzsche explained that you’ll be dinged some points for each account that is closed. If you want or need to mentally break up with a card, just cut it up instead.

6. Build your credit if needed

If you haven’t established credit yet, you might not even exist … in the credit report space, that is! “If someone has never fallen in delinquency on any subscriptions or utilities or never had collections on anything and they have not utilized credit cards or loans in the past seven to 10 years, they may not have a credit profile at all,” Nitzsche said. “That presents a challenge when you want to buy a home.”

If this sounds familiar, you may have to get a secured credit card where you put down a deposit, he advised. “You still have to make payments and use it responsibly. Not all banks offer them but you can usually check with your local bank or credit union.”

7. Reach out for help

If you want personal guidance on boosting your credit score, make an appointment with a credit counselor.kate_sept2004 / Getty Images

There are many apps and credit-monitoring services that can help you stay on top of your credit score. You could also reach out to a professional credit counselor who can help you navigate your specific situation. (Here’s a good resource about finding a reputable service.)

One last thing: Nitzsche warned that everyone should beware of credit repair scams that claim to be able to increase credit scores for an advance fee to get accurate negative information removed (even temporarily) from credit reports.

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Lifestyle News | ⚡How J&G Credit Recreations Assists Individuals to Gain Financial Stability Through Credit and Homeownership – LatestLY

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Lifestyle News | ⚡How J&G Credit Recreations Assists Individuals to Gain Financial Stability Through Credit and Homeownership  LatestLY

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