Industry Watch: Arcus rebrands to InstaMortgage, UWM to accept cryptocurrency and more

Geneva Financial has announced the opening of a new branch in Van Buren, Arkansas, led by branch manager Starlette Bell.

United Wholesale Mortgage, according to CEO Mat Ishbia, intends to begin accepting cryptocurrency for mortgage payments. The company, Ishbia said, can start doing so “hopefully in Q3,” with the Detroit Free Press reporting that UWM will begin accepting Bitcoin while evaluating other forms of cryptocurrency as possible payment options in the future.

Homebot, which seeks to maximize repeat and referral business for lenders by forging “client-for-life” bonds with homebuyers, has announced the acquisition of home search platform NestReady.

ICE Mortgage Technology has announced the release of additional enhancements to the Encompass mortgage platform. The new release supports the recently updated General Qualified Mortgage (QM) final rule, enabling lenders to seamlessly calculate eligibility for QM loans using the new price-based thresholds which government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) will require in order to sell loans to the secondary market. The release allows lenders to use both existing and new QM rules before the mandatory switch on Oct. 1, 2022.

Arcus Lending has rebranded under the name InstaMortgage. According to a statement from the company, the new name reflects its commitment to “providing a tech-driven, accurate, immediate, reliable mortgage for consumers.”

NexPoint Real Estate Finance has announced today that it has priced its previously announced underwritten public offering of 2 million shares of its common stock at a price to the public of $21 per share. The offering is expected to close around Aug. 20. The company intends to contribute the net proceeds from the offering to its operating partnership, NexPoint Real Estate Finance Operating Partnership, L.P., which intends to repay debt outstanding under the company’s master repurchase agreements. NexPoint also intends to acquire life science and self-storage preferred investments and a multifamily commercial mortgage-backed security during the rest of 2021.

John Hancock Investment Management has launched an actively managed mortgage-backed securities exchange-traded fund. The new John Hancock Mortgage-Backed Securities ETF, which will trade under the ticker symbol JHMB, will be subadvised by Manulife Investment Management, John Hancock Investment Management’s affiliated asset manager. It is the second actively managed fixed-income ETF launched by John Hancock Investment Management this year, following the launch of John Hancock Corporate Bond ETF.


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