Recently, we had the opportunity to speak with Laura Brandao, President of AFR, about everything from her success predicting market trends ahead of others, to AFR’s ongoing commitment to strong partnerships.
SettlementOne: You have been instrumental in spearheading the inclusion of Manufactured Home, One-time Close and New Construction loan products at AFR. Can you share the findings that led you to believe these would become prominent offerings in the mortgage industry?
Brandao: Since the company began, AFR has always been a strong leader in the manufactured housing side of the business. As each year went by we started to notice the lack of homes, really the lack of affordable homes, available for purchase. Coupled with an increase in the number of millennial buyers, we saw an opportunity to help buyers and brokers alike – by expanding our expertise in manufactured homes and renovation lending into the government construction to permanent marketplace.
Continue reading “Interview with Laura Brandao, President of AFR”
There is no denying that technology is the future, and that algorithms are changing the face of a number of different professions. But a recent trend in the real estate market has some appraisers on edge. The profession is already losing people, with only 78,000 licensed US appraisers in business in 2017 compared to the 120,000 who were available in 2012. Continue reading “Make Way for Appraisal Technology in the Mortgage Industry”
Despite a booming economy, strong consumer confidence and record-breaking stock market, America’s lending community finds itself confronting a wide range of real—and potential—challenges.
The issues facing lenders nationwide present an environment that requires nimble business skills and the ability to adopt to an ever-evolving marketplace.
Near the top of the list of challenges confronting lenders is—not surprisingly—a wide array of both state and local regulations, and the related expenses of ensuring compliance with all of them. Time and again, industry experts point to what they believe to be ‘over-regulation’ as a significant contributing factor to the expense of servicing a home loan. Continue reading “Challenging Times For America’s Lending Community”
While it may not be the ‘headline-grabber’ that the Administration’s (for now, failed) healthcare overhaul has been, waiting in the wings for the spotlight remains the President’s long-standing promise of overhauling 2010’s Dodd-Frank financial legislation.
Throughout last year’s campaign, and on into this past spring, President Trump promised that an overhaul of the controversial legislation was on the horizon; in the spring, the President described the changes as “a very major haircut”. In late April, the President went even further, suggesting to a gathering of CEOs that a full repeal of Dodd-Frank remained a possibility. Continue reading “The Uncertain Future of Dodd Frank”
In a year in which it often feels as though the only ‘constant’ is change, you can add millions of the nation’s credit reports to the list of items undergoing transformation in 2017.
While the majority of Americans won’t be affected by these changes, it has been estimated by FICO that between 6-7% of individuals with current credit scores will see their credit reports altered as a result of the removal of tax liens and civil judgments from their reports. Continue reading “Not Just The Times—But The Credit Reports—Keep A-Changing”
There are several ‘realities’ posing challenges to the future of the nation’s mortgage industry, but perhaps no challenge is more daunting than the need to recruit a younger generation of lenders.
As America’s population ages—and millions of ‘Baby Boomers’ enter their retirement years—there is a rapidly growing need for the nation’s mortgage sector to recruit young men and women to replace those completing their careers.
The reality that is confronting the lending sector is simple: for the industry to survive the 21st Century, it will have to recruit a new generation of loan officers. And with Baby Boomers retiring en masse, and ‘Generation X’ not far behind them, all eyes are fixing on the younger generation labeled “Millennials”. Continue reading “Recruiting The Mortgage Industry’s Next Generation”
An increase in the number of mortgage applications means that the housing crisis that played such a major role as both a cause—and effect—of the Great Recession continues to fade into the nation’s rearview mirror.
Even rising interest rates have not, as yet, kept many potential homebuyers from considering a home purchase; as an example, mortgage applications increased almost 1.5 percent in the final week in June. Continue reading “Rising Number of Mortgage Applications Signals Housing Recovery”
As any member of America’s lending community knows all too well, achieving—and maintaining—success in 2017’s volatile financial environment is shaping up to be quite a challenge.
From a multitude of promised regulatory revisions to rising interest rates, the lending industry is facing a number of critically important issues, all of which have the potential to dramatically impact lenders’ bottom lines. Continue reading “An Expert’s View Of The Lending Industry Circa 2017”
Continuing an investigation that began more than two years ago, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is investigating Zillow Group’s compliance with the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA).
Under the rules of RESPA, lenders, mortgage brokers and servicers of home loans are required to provide borrowers with all relevant and timely disclosures regarding the cost and procedures of the real estate settlement process. In addition, RESPA prohibits such practices as ‘kickbacks’ and restricts the use of escrow accounts. Continue reading “Zillow Investigation Raises Questions For Lenders”
By: Steve Greenfield
The loan origination process involves numerous parties, including the Appraisal Management Company (AMC)–a vendor that plays a vital role in the lending process.
Whether your organization is a bank, non-bank, credit union or other type of financial institution, chances are if you are lending on collateral, you’ll be engaging an AMC to obtain a valuation of the property in order to close on the transaction—and therefore oversight of your AMC is critically important. Continue reading “AMCs: Vital Players In The Lending Process”
Over the last few years, Wells Fargo has faced some very difficult challenges—primarily of its own making; most prominently, Wells former CEO resigned after the company was accused by regulators of establishing over 3 million accounts for customers without their consent. Continue reading “Philadelphia vs Wells Fargo: Allegations of Discriminatory Lending Practices”
From music to movies, from books to retailing, technology has revolutionized the way commerce is conducted in the new millennium.
Little wonder then that technology is also having a dramatic impact on the way the mortgage industry conducts business; and in recent years, perhaps one of the most significant changes to the mortgage sector has been the introduction of the “digital mortgage”.
Continue reading “Digital and Rocket Mortgages Take Off In 2017”
It was not that many years ago when the overriding question pertaining to US home valuations was most often ‘how low would they go?’
During, and immediately after the Great Recession, millions of American homeowners found themselves helplessly watching as the value of their homes—in many cases, their greatest family asset—endured a seemingly endless decline in value.
Continue reading “Evaluating Valuations: The Growing Gap Between Homeowners & Appraisers”
One of the most basic tenets of a capitalist system is that of supply and demand; if supplies are limited and demand remains strong, it’s almost a certainty that the cost of that product will inevitably rise.
Continue reading “Supply & Demand: Home Sales Up As Available Supply Declines”
“Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable.”—Mark Twain
As anyone who has visited a national landmark knows, the view from outside the structure is almost always considerably different—and often less complex—than the one found inside.
Continue reading “Yellen & Low Rates—Both Back In Fashion”
Since the end of the Great Recession, America’s lenders have confronted a vastly different financial landscape.
From a multitude of new regulations, greater government oversight, and shifting public attitudes towards both saving and spending, in recent years perhaps the only ‘constant’ for America’s lenders has been ongoing change.
Continue reading “In New Era, Lenders Increasingly Turn To Technology”
Only a few years ago, during the peak of the Great Recession, the US housing sector was “down for the count”, and the sale of any home—new or existing—was a most welcome event for anyone involved in the housing industry.
However, with the housing sector in full recovery in a wide array of markets nationwide, these days an increasing amount of attention is being placed on what can be done to bridge the gap between the number of home re-sales versus the sales of newly built homes.
Continue reading “Obstacles and Opportunities To Increasing New Home Sales”
Almost a decade after the collapse of the American housing market—and the subsequent arrival of the Great Recession—there remains a good deal of ‘collateral damage’ that has yet to be fully repaired by the nation’s economic recovery.
With the arrival of a new Administration in Washington, and expectations running high about forthcoming deregulation of the financial services and lending industries, one of the remaining vestiges of the Great Recession—the absence of the largest banks from the mortgage business—may also soon come to an end.
Continue reading “Awaiting The Return of the Mortgage Giants”
In 2013, Dr. Ben Carson announced that he would be retiring after a very successful career as a renowned neurosurgeon.
Just over three years later, Carson agreed to put his retirement plans on hold, and enter the tumultuous world of American politics; after his surprise presidential victory, then President-elect Donald Trump—Carson’s former rival for the Republican Party presidential nomination– asked him to join his cabinet as Secretary of Housing & Urban Development (HUD).
Continue reading “Ben Carson: From Neurosurgeon to HUD Secretary”
In many classic Hollywood western films, one of the most common cliché phrases used to introduce new local lawmakers was frequently “there’s a new sheriff in town.”
With the recent confirmation of Steven Mnuchin as America’s new Secretary of Treasury, the nation’s financial community is scrambling to familiarize itself with its new ‘sheriff’, the man charged with helping shape America’s financial policies and direction for the next four years.
Continue reading “Meet Steve Mnuchin, America’s New ‘Financial Sheriff’”