Priceline.com today announced a joint venture with Alliance
Capital Partners called Pricelinemortgage that will allow Internet users
to name the price for a mortgage and find out whether their bid has been
accepted within minutes.
Priceline.com currently allows consumers to name their price for airline
tickets, car, and hotel rooms. Since February, the company has had a
partnership with LendingTree, a network of lenders, to offer
name-your-price mortgages, refinancing, and home equity loans. That partnership, which
has generated almost $500 million in loans, will continue, Priceline said.
Priceline.com said that it hopes its strategic relationships with
LendingTree and Alliance will help ensure that Priceline customers receive
the most competitive service on the Internet for naming their own price and
terms for a mortgage or loan. Through these relationships, Priceline is
positioned to offer a more diverse set of loan options, tailored to each
applicant's credit background.
The companies said they are forming the new venture to offer consumers
another Internet alternative for obtaining name-your-price mortgages that
will be fast, convenient, and money-saving.
"Given the enthusiastic response to Priceline.com's initial mortgage
offering through LendingTree, it's clear that many consumers want a
name-your-own-price option for obtaining home mortgages and other loans,"
Priceline chief executive Richard Braddock said in a statement. The service
is set to begin after Labor Day.
Under the agreement, Alliance Mortgage, a subsidiary of Alliance Capital,
will provide loan decisions on the Pricelinemortgage Internet site using
Fannie Mae's automated underwriting system, Desktop Underwriter, the
mortgage finance industry's leading automated system.
The partners hope that the use of online automated underwriting tools will
allow customers to be approved faster and with fewer limitations than
competing lending services.
The company also plans to spell out the loan's interest rates and guarantee
the closing costs. Online consumers have complained that other Internet
mortgage sites often change the quoted rates and closing costs.