Category Archives: Servicing

Quicken Loans adds Casey Hurbis to lead marketing efforts

It seems that can’t more than a few minutes without seeing an ad from Quicken Loans, as the company pushes its Rocket Mortgage more and more into the mainstream.

Now the company will have a new person shepherding those ubiquitous marketing efforts, as Quicken Loans announced recently that Casey Hurbris is joining the online lender to serve as the company’s chief marketing officer.

In this role, Hurbis will lead Quicken Loans’ consumer-facing marketing team and will be responsible for all online and traditional marketing initiatives.

Hurbis brings 24 years of experience in a wide range of roles, including consumer engagement, strategic planning, digital advertising, partnership development, experiential marketing and other fields to his new role at Quicken Loans. 

Previously, Hurbis led North American brand communications and advertising at FIAT. During his time at FIAT, Hurbis led the company’s reintroduction to the U.S. market after more than an absence of more than 25 years.
At FIAT, Hurbis led major initiatives including the creation of two Super Bowl commercials, large-scale brand campaigns, social media promotions and co-branded partnerships.

“Casey is someone who is not afraid to push the envelope. We are confident he will take Quicken Loans’ leading national brand to the next level and beyond,” said Quicken Loans CEO Jay Farner.Casey Hurbis

“Casey brings a wealth of knowledge and experience from both the agency and corporate perspectives,” Farner continued. “Our millions of clients and future clients will see Quicken Loans in creative and unexpected ways as Casey leads our tremendously talented marketing team to leverage our brand, technology, culture and award winning client service record.”

As chief marketing officer, Hurbis replaces Farner, who was recently promoted from that position to CEO.

For Hurbis, the position at Quicken is an opportunity to return to his hometown.

“I was born and raised in the Detroit area and throughout my career I have never had a chance to work in the city,” Hurbis said.

“I am thrilled to not only be working in the heart of city, but for a company as distinctly Detroit as Quicken Loans,” Hurbis added.

“Quicken Loans has a fantastic brand and a driven marketing team ready to take the company to new heights,” Hurbis concluded. “I am more than excited to forge new paths in how we tell our story and communicate with our clients and future homebuyers from coast to coast. We are going to push the limits when it comes to creative and innovative marketing campaigns that integrate our digital and traditional strategies.”

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Step one: Republicans begin fight for Dodd-Frank replacement

The Republican-led Financial CHOICE Act started its long journey through Congress to replace the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act on Wednesday.

After a lot of initial promoting from Republican representatives through blogs and social media posts, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-TX, finally released an updated version of the Financial CHOICE Act on April 19. He first introduced a different version of the act last year and started to tease an updated version of the act earlier this year.

Now, one week later, Hensarling formally introduced the Financial CHOICE Act, H.R. 10, and the Financial Services Committee held its first hearing on the bill.

“It has been almost seven years since the passage of the Dodd-Frank Act. We were told it would lift our economy, but instead we are stuck in the slowest, weakest, most tepid recovery in the history of the Republic,” Hensarling stated in his opening remarks. “The economy does not work for working people. They have seen their paychecks stagnate. They have seen their savings decimated. We have seen millions who remain unemployed and underemployed and an economy working at roughly half of its potential. 

Hensarling also commented on the embattled Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, stating, “The Dodd-Frank Act represents an even more dangerous prospect that is, namely, politicized lending. Washington elites are now allocating our capital to fulfill their agendas — devoid of any checks and balances or due process.”

“And it is impossible to bring up the threat of politicized lending without bringing up the CFPB,” he said. “The Financial CHOICE Act re-establishes this rogue agency as a civil enforcement agency, patterned after the Federal Trade Commission. One that is responsible for actually enforcing the enumerated consumer protection laws written by Congress, instead of making up its own law in an unfair, deceptive, and abusive manner.”

Committee Democrats, though, were not ready to toss out all their hard work on Dodd-Frank without a fight.

Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., ranking member of the Financial Services Committee, stated in her opening remarks, “There is only one explanation for why we are here discussing yet another dead-on-arrival version of the Wrong Choice Act. It must be that the foreclosure crisis and the Great Recession somehow weren’t enough for the majority, and so they irrationally want to clear the way for round two.”

“I want to be very clear for anyone who is watching – that is exactly what this bill would result in. The Wrong Choice Act thoroughly dismantles Wall Street reform, guts the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and takes us back to the system that allowed risky and predatory Wall Street practices and products to crash our economy,” Waters said.

Her harsh comments against the CHOICE Act, dubbing it the Wrong Choice act, echo similar sentiments from other Democrats at the hearing.  

“Democrats are going to fight against it, and stand up for Main Street,” said Waters. “This bill must not become law. There is too much at stake for consumers and for our whole economy.”

The full hearing, which included six expert witnesses, can be found below in a tweet from Rep. Sean Duff, R-Wis.

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Experts: Spring home-buying season starts off with a bang

The spring home-buying season is in full swing and it started off with a bang.

Home prices increased in February to a new high for the fourth consecutive month, according to the SP CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices, released Tuesday by SP Dow Jones and CoreLogic.

And another release Tuesday from the Federal Housing Finance Agency showed home prices rose 6.4% annually and 0.2% from the prior month.

But these rising home prices didn’t hold back new home sales, which increased a full 5.8% monthly and 15.6% annually, according to Tuesday’s release from the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

“The 2017 spring home shopping season has started off with a bang, and at this point the strength of the market shouldn’t come as much of a surprise,” Zillow Chief Economist Svenja Gudell said. “February Case-Shiller numbers point to more fierce competition in the housing market.”

“The thing to watch for now is when market conditions will shift, and change does seem to loom on the horizon, with rising mortgage interest rates and flattening rents,” Gudell said. “Both could put a dent in home-buyer demand and overall price growth and affordability.”

Another expert confirmed that the market is strong for now, but explains high home prices and low inventory create significant headwinds for first-time homebuyers.

“Strong demand bolstered by income and job growth sets the stage for intense competition and continued price growth in the housing market,” Trulia Senior Economist Cheryl Young said.

“Consumers are likely to also take advantage of mortgage rates as they remain low,” Young said. “While the housing market looks to be recovering, these high prices impact the affordability of homes, directing the strongest headwinds towards starter-home buyers.”

But one expert explained that while new home sales were above expectations in March, home prices are actually beginning to level out.

“New home sales for March were above our expectations,” said Tian Liu, Genworth Mortgage Insurance chief economist. “Strong demand from homebuyers and very tight supply conditions in the overall housing market are fueling demand for new homes.”

“In addition, prices on new homes are stabilizing, suggesting more affordable homes are coming to the market, which will help builders capture more demand from first-time homebuyers,” Liu said.

While the Case-Shiller report shows home prices increased to a new high, the rate of increase slowed.

“The pace of house price gains slowed in February according to Case-Shiller, with the smallest month-on-month rise since July last year,” Capital Economics Property Economist Matthew Pointon said.

After the new home sales report showed March’s increase, one expert explained this increase is likely to continue throughout 2017.

“We expect new home sales to rise further over the course of 2017 in response to solid job gains, faster wage growth, still low, albeit rising, mortgage rates, and faster household formations,” said Nationwide Chief Economist David Berson, who served as chief economist at Fannie Mae for over 20 years.

However, the increase in new home sales may not be much help for first-time homebuyers.

“The good news is that new home sales jumped for the third month in a row, to about the same as last year’s peak in July,” Senior Economist Joseph Kirchner said. “Already this spring market is challenging last year’s high-water mark.”

“The bad news is that sales are increasingly concentrated at the mid- to upper-end of the price range,” Kirchner said. “Sales of affordable new homes under $200,000 dropped to 12% from 17% of the market since last April.”

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