Zillow Investigation Raises Questions For Lenders

Zillow Investigation Raises Questions For Lenders
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”

The Evolving World of Consumer Credit Reports

Public Record Data Changes to Credit Reporting on July 1st

It’s shaping up to be a better year than expected for the credit reports of hundreds of thousands of American consumers.

A recently completed study of millions of credit files by credit score giant FICO found that forthcoming policy changes by the nation’s three credit bureaus—Experian, TransUnion and Equifax—will result in increased credit scores for a large swath of American consumers. While the FICO study found that the majority of consumers likely won’t see any noticeable change in their credit scores resulting from revised credit reports, it also reported that hundreds of thousands of consumers could experience an even larger-than-initially expected bump in their credit scores—as much as 40-60 points, or more. Continue reading “The Evolving World of Consumer Credit Reports”

AMCs: Vital Players In The Lending Process

AMCs Vital in the Lending Process


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”

Philadelphia vs Wells Fargo: Allegations of Discriminatory Lending Practices

Philadelphia sues Wells Fargo for discriminatory lending.

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”

Digital and Rocket Mortgages Take Off In 2017

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”

Shortage of Appraisers Adds To Housing Challenges

As anyone participating in the housing industry knows, there’s an inherent list of challenges that stand in the way of achieving success in the real estate market.

However, in recent years, yet another challenge has been added to the list of ‘speed bumps’ on the road to success in the housing sector: a shortage of skilled appraisers.

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Evaluating Valuations: The Growing Gap Between Homeowners & Appraisers

Home Value
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”

In New Era, Lenders Increasingly Turn To Technology


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”

Changes Are Coming To Americans’ Credit Reports

For many Americans, their credit reports are not unlike their insurance policies—they don’t give them much thought, until the day arrives when the quality of their credit report directly affects them.

Still, whether or not it is given much thought, an individual’s credit history is often of enormous importance—and a significant determinant as to whether someone is granted a loan, or even considered to be ‘reliable’ as a potential employee.

Continue reading “Changes Are Coming To Americans’ Credit Reports”

Obstacles and Opportunities To Increasing New Home Sales

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”

Awaiting The Return of the Mortgage Giants

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”

Ben Carson: From Neurosurgeon to HUD Secretary

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).

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Meet Steve Mnuchin, America’s New ‘Financial Sheriff’

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.

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Mortgage Credit On The Rise

mortgage credit, home loans
Mortgage Credit increasing

While both the calendar year—and the new Administration—is still in their respective nascent stage, early signs seem to indicate that mortgage credit is becoming more readily available this year.

The economic signposts seem to indicate that after a prolonged period of relatively tight credit, the mortgage credit market may be experiencing an easing.

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Millennial Net Worth—The Financial Burdens of Youth

There is an adage that says that “youth is wasted on the young”; however, recent studies regarding the massive debt incurred by the ‘Millennial Generation’ may make the prospect of being among today’s well-educated youth far less desirable than one might imagine.

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Millennial HomeBuyers – Keeping Hope Alive

During the fourth quarter of last year, US homeownership fell to 63.7 percent; in addition, with a 62.9 percent rate, 2016 also saw the lowest homeownership rate in 50 years during the second quarter of the year.  The largest age group to be impacted was, by far, the Millennial homebuyer.  Add to that reality the fact that since 2010, homeownership for the Under 35 age group has decreased by 10.8 percent.

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Trump Administration Immediately Reverses FHA Mortgage Fee Cut

In his inauguration speech, President Trump made it clear that his Administration was going to institute changes in policy almost immediately.

True to his word, within one hour of taking office, the new Trump Administration reversed one of former President Obama’s final policy decisions—a mortgage fee cut that would have reduced the annual premium for those borrowing $200,000; the change would have resulted in a $500 cut in the first year of the mortgage.

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