Category Archives: Servicing

Who watches the Watchmen? Former senior FDIC employee found guilty of stealing confidential bank documents

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. is one of the nation’s top banking regulators, but one of the agency’s former senior employees faces 20 years in jail for stealing confidential documents from the world’s largest banks while trying to get a job at those very same banks.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, Allison Aytes was found guilty earlier this week on both counts of an indictment charging her with theft of government property in the possession of the FDIC.

Court documents show that Aytes was a senior employee in the FDIC’s Office of Complex Financial Institutions in New York until she resigned from that position in September 2015.

The FDIC’s Office of Complex Financial Institutions was created after the passage of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and charged with overseeing the orderly bankruptcy of the world’s largest financial institutions, should one of those companies fail.

As part of Dodd-Frank, each of those banks is required to file a resolution plan for the bank should it fail. Those plans are called “living wills,” which include a series of documents with confidential information about the bank, including its assets, business operations, data center locations, critical vendors, agreements with other banks and potential weaknesses or other deficiencies that pose risk during a time of financial crisis.

Aytes worked in the office that oversaw those plans and used her position to gain access to those sensitive documents, all while attempting to get a job at one of those banks.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, in August 2015, Aytes used the computer in her office to review job listings and apply for jobs with banks that filed living wills with the FDIC.

Then, on Aug. 27, 2015, just one day after being contacted about a possible position with one of those banks, Aytes accessed a secure FDIC database and printed living will information for the bank in question.

Aytes then resigned her position with the FDIC on Sept. 16, 2015. A later review of her activity conducted by the FDIC showed that on her last day of work, Aytes copied a number of files from the FDIC network onto external USB drives, including living wills for several banks where Aytes had been seeking employment.

“Aytes embezzled sensitive and confidential information about banks that was the property of the United States government shortly before she resigned from the FDIC to seek job opportunities at those very same banks,” United States Attorney Richard Donoghue said.  “With today’s verdict, Aytes has been held accountable for abusing her position of trust for personal gain.” 

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Aytes faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

“This case makes clear that those who compromise sensitive FDIC information will be held accountable for their actions,” FDIC Inspector General Jay Lerner said. “We are committed to investigating such breaches of public trust, and to protecting the integrity of confidential data maintained by the agency.”

Article source: https://www.housingwire.com/articles/47697-who-watches-the-watchmen-former-senior-fdic-employee-found-guilty-of-stealing-confidential-bank-documents

Here is everything you need to know about the HW Tech100 Award

On December 5, 2018, HousingWire opened up nominations for our 2019 HW Tech100 Award with our special early bird pricing and the unveiling of our new advisory committee.

HW Tech100 nominations are open until January 25, 2019, but the early bird special pricing ends on December 31, 2018.

And nominations have already started coming in. But along with those nominations have also come a flood of questions. We compiled the top questions below, along with the answers, to make sure you’re ready to submit the best nomination you can.

Make sure you register here before the early bird pricing ends.

I won last year, can I nominate again?

This is by far our most frequently asked question, and the answer is YES! However, we do have a few suggestions for you. We don’t want to pick your same technology that’s doing the same thing it did last year. We want to see something new. Do you have a new tech? Did you add new capabilities to the existing tech? Is it changing the market in new ways? We want to hear about it!

I didn’t win last year, can I nominate again?

Again, yes, but we have some suggestions. If you didn’t win last year it could have been for several reasons – and not necessarily because your tech isn’t the best out there. There was a lot of competition, so maybe it was close but didn’t quite make it, so try again, this might be your year! It could also be because you didn’t put much information in your nomination form. It’s hard for us to see your technology is the best if you don’t show us how. Spend more time on your nomination form – it’ll pay off!

What do you judge the winners on?

New this year, we have an external committee that advises HousingWire on the winners. These are experts from various sectors of the housing industry that use their background and expertise to decide which companies have the best tech. We also have an internal editorial board that makes the final decision on the winners. These decisions are purely editorial in context and separate from all other HW operations. And while I can’t give away the secret sauce, I can give you a quick pointer. Focus on how your tech impacts the industry. We know you love your tech – or you wouldn’t have created it! – but how does it improve the rest of the housing industry?

Does the technology have to be available to third parties?

This is a good question, as it was previously a requirement. However, this year, we did away with that, so the answer is NO. If it is tech that solves a problem, the source doesn’t matter. Third party, public, private, internal – we want to see them all!

What does the new advisory committee do?

This year, for the first time ever, nominees will be reviewed by an advisory committee, made up of some of the best minds in the housing industry. This committee will then advise HousingWire’s internal award review board of potential finalists before the winners are selected. Click here to see who is on this committee.

Have another question not on this list? Feel free to reach out to me at kramirez@housingwire.com. I’d love to answer all of your questions. And don’t forget to nominate your company for the award here.

Article source: https://www.housingwire.com/articles/47698-here-is-everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-hw-tech100-award

TransUnion: Homeowners will start tapping into their equity in 2019

Mortgage originations are falling and will continue to do so in 2019, but rising home prices could cause an increase in homeowners seeking to tap into their equity, according to the 2019 consumer credit forecast from TransUnion.

TransUnion forecasted that overall, originations to subprime or near prime borrowers will increase in 2019 as lenders grow more comfortable with risk. Mortgage originations, however, will not fall under that trend. TransUnion predicts originations to subprime borrowers will rise only .3 percentage points to 3.9%.

But mortgage originations to all borrowers have been declining the past several quarters, and they will continue to do so in 2019, the forecast showed. Rising interest rates, increasing home prices and supply constraints are driving the lower origination numbers.

“While overall originations will be down in 2019, increases in home prices are resulting in record levels of home equity, which provide homeowners more opportunities to tap into low APR home equity products,” said Joe Mellman, TransUnion senior vice president and mortgage line of business leader. “This will particularly benefit consumers deciding pay off other higher interest rate products – as well as consumers finding it difficult to afford a new ‘move up’ house, who instead opt to invest in improving their existing home.”

Average mortgage origination balances will continue to trend upward in 2019, growing from an anticipated $208,831 at the end of the fourth quarter this year to $218,490 by the end of the fourth quarter in 2019, a 4.6% increase. This will be largely driven by increased prices for newly purchased homes, a drop in the refi share, and a potential shift in purchase mix.

But while TransUnion predicts more homeowners will be tapping into their equity, a recent Mortgage Monitor report from Black Knight shows that, after hitting several record highs, tappable equity, the amount available for homeowners with mortgages to borrow against before hitting a maximum 80% combined loan-to-value ratio, fell for the first time since the housing recovery began.

TransUnion also forecasted that delinquencies will continue their downward trend, falling from an anticipated 1.62% by the end of 2018 to 1.45% by the end of 2019. Delinquencies have fallen year over year every quarter since TransUnion started tracking in 2010.

Article source: https://www.housingwire.com/articles/47681-transunion-homeowners-will-start-tapping-into-their-equity-in-2019

The evolving role of chief compliance officers in selecting technology and vendors

The digital mortgage promise is compelling: new technology and better workflow meeting consumer, lender, servicer, investor and regulator needs and requirements — all built for compliance and protecting participants from unnecessary risk.

If executed properly, the transition from analog to digital drives value all along the mortgage continuum: improving customer experience and education, expanding capacity, reducing cost, minimizing fraud and shortening marketing-to-application approval cycle timing. Regulators have thrown support behind this evolution. Digitally-repeatable processes can help eliminate manual errors and provide auditable, transparent workflows, making compliance elements more transparent and easier to examine.

But digital success is not guaranteed: Get it wrong, and you’ve built a platform capable of automating repeatable defects, compliance errors and disclosure violations that could be viewed as fraud, unfair, deceptive, or abusive. Compliance and repurchase risk still exist at every step of completing a digital application, from submitting the application to processing, underwriting, closing and secondary-marketing.  Compliance penalties and buyback demands aren’t going away any time soon, no matter how advanced technology becomes. That’s why, as digital technology is evaluated and implemented, chief compliance officers (CCOs) must have a seat at the table to ensure current compliance and proactively prepare for future compliance changes.

While many tech providers oversimplify by labeling their solutions “plug and play,” that’s rarely the case. The approach to evaluating new industry tools – and the companies offering them – should change with the CCO at the table to address current processes in light of going digital. Some hard questions to ask include:

  • How are entry-point applicant data and the application workflow handled differently in a virtual world versus a traditional mortgage process?
  • How can digital technology capture high-quality, verifiable data earlier in the workflow to help eliminate back end data-quality issues?
  • How can digital technology protect against UDAAP, TRID and Fair Lending violations?
  • How can digital technology truly improve portfolio- and investor performance expectations and reduce buyback risk?

Addressing these hard questions requires lenders to think about how they invest in digital and cloud-based solutions.  For starters:

  1. Validate that the provider has a compliance-driven culture.
  • Organizational values rooted in compliance
  • Compliance-minded personnel throughout the organization and a willingness to partner with client compliance groups
  • An independent compliance group providing business oversight into technology programs and maintenance
  1. Ensure the provider’s technology is adaptable.
  • Technology that integrates into or enhances your existing compliance processes
  • Flexible and scalable solutions driving efficiency and data quality
  • Technology that easily adapts to business and regulatory changes
  1. Press for data-rich solutions.
  • A high-quality data foundation featuring ongoing validation and transparency
  • Atomic data capture featuring complete, accurate and audit-ready data
  • Data mining and reporting flexibility and implementation expertise
  1. Evaluate both the provider’s cloud and end-point security design.
  • A strategy for included security features or supplemental services to bolster cloud data protection
  • Constant monitoring of all traffic, user engagement and file movement with auditable event logs
  • A well-defined provider Business Continuity Plan (BCP) that complements your BCP
  1. And finally, assess whether the provider has genuine and deep mortgage expertise to understand and deliver the meticulous detail of the mortgage process.  Does your vendor prioritize a true partnership to solve your business problems, or are they merely focused on closing the deal?

If executed correctly and with viable partners, cloud-based and digital technology can be used to enhance the residential lending experience for all participants while creating more-compliant lending processes.  These considerations will help you select the right tech vendor to support your success.

Article source: https://www.housingwire.com/blogs/1-rewired/post/47682-the-evolving-role-of-chief-compliance-officers-in-selecting-technology-and-vendors

Former Accenture exec Michael Detwiler named Class Valuation CEO

Class Valuation has named Michael Detwiler CEO.

The news comes just one week after the Michigan-based appraisal management company announced that it was changing its name from Class Appraisal. The move is part of the company’s rebrand to expand its offerings to “new and disruptive” collateral valuation products to keep pace with tech advancements happening in the space.

Detwiler is the former senior managing director at Accenture, where he headed Accenture Software, overseeing its North American mortgage software and outsourcing business.

He also co-founded mortgage software company Mortgage Cadence in 1999, which was acquired by Prime Alliance in 2012.

Michael DetwilerIn March, Class – a 2018 HW Tech100 winner – was acquired by private equity firm Narrow Gauge Capital, and since then the company has hired a number of new additions to its team in roles focused on growth and technology.

Detwiler said he was attracted to the company’s dedication to tech innovation.

“We have an incredible opportunity in the collateral valuation space. Class is in an ideal position to lead the evolution in a sector that is poised for major change by positively impacting the borrower, their lender, the appraiser and the experience they share,” Detwiler said. “This is the moment for a company that truly understands customer service to institutionalize the valuation experience throughout the ecosystem with true innovation and hard work.”

 

 

 

Article source: https://www.housingwire.com/articles/47686-former-accenture-exec-michael-detwiler-named-class-valuation-ceo

Former Accenture exec Michael Detwiler named Class Valuation CEO

Class Valuation has named Michael Detwiler CEO.

The news comes just one week after the Michigan-based appraisal management company announced that it was changing its name from Class Appraisal. The move is part of the company’s rebrand to expand its offerings to “new and disruptive” collateral valuation products to keep pace with tech advancements happening in the space.

Detwiler is the former senior managing director at Accenture, where he headed Accenture Software, overseeing its North American mortgage software and outsourcing business.

He also co-founded mortgage software company Mortgage Cadence in 1999, which was acquired by Prime Alliance in 2012.

Michael DetwilerIn March, Class – a 2018 HW Tech100 winner – was acquired by private equity firm Narrow Gauge Capital, and since then the company has hired a number of new additions to its team in roles focused on growth and technology.

Detwiler said he was attracted to the company’s dedication to tech innovation.

“We have an incredible opportunity in the collateral valuation space. Class is in an ideal position to lead the evolution in a sector that is poised for major change by positively impacting the borrower, their lender, the appraiser and the experience they share,” Detwiler said. “This is the moment for a company that truly understands customer service to institutionalize the valuation experience throughout the ecosystem with true innovation and hard work.”

 

 

 

Article source: https://www.housingwire.com/articles/47686-former-accenture-exec-michael-detwiler-named-class-valuation-ceo

Fannie Mae: Lender pessimism grows as mortgage demand falls

Amid declining loan demand and intensified lender competition, mortgage lender sentiment fell to an all-time-low, according to Fannie Mae’s Q4 2018 Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey.

Mortgage lenders reported a net negative profit margin outlook for the ninth consecutive quarter, falling across all loan types, including GSE-eligible, non-GSE-eligible and government, according to the report.

Fannie Mae Senior Vice President and Chief Economist Doug Duncan said stressful conditions continue to hang over the mortgage industry.

“Lenders are reporting the lowest purchase mortgage demand expectations across all loans types and the worst refinance demand expectations for GSE-eligible loans in the survey’s five-year history,” he said.

For the eighth consecutive quarter, Fannie’s survey indicates that stiff competition among lenders was the primary reason for lower purchase mortgage demand. In Q4, demand came in at the lowest reading for any fourth quarter in the survey’s history.

Notably, consumer demand was named the second most important factor in the decrease, marking another survey high.

When it came to refinance mortgages, the survey revealed that lenders reported demand growth declined during the previous three months, falling to the second lowest reading in survey history for GSE-eligible loans. Furthermore, demand growth for non-GSE-eligible loans also fell to the lowest level in survey history.

Optimism for the next three months didn’t fare well either, as Fannie Mae reports growth expectations for the net share of GSE-eligible loans reached a new survey low.

“Rising mortgage rates and lean inventory amid solid home price appreciation have discouraged both first-time and trade-up homebuyers,” Duncan continued. “However, mortgage rates have shown signs of stabilization, and annual home price gains have slowed from the red-hot pace seen earlier this year.”

Fannie Mae indicates that throughout 2018, lenders continued to ease lending standards at a modest pace, but it has been significantly lower than the pace seen a year ago at this time. Nevertheless, lenders report the net easing expectations over the next three months for all three loan types remained relatively stable from the previous quarter and last year.

“While 2018 is likely to end up a disappointing year for the housing and mortgage industries, continued strength in demographics and the labor market offers hope that conditions should stabilize and may even improve next year,” Duncan said. 

Article source: https://www.housingwire.com/articles/47687-fannie-mae-lender-pessimism-grows-as-mortgage-demand-falls

Fannie Mae: Lender pessimism grows as mortgage demand falls

Amid declining loan demand and intensified lender competition, mortgage lender sentiment fell to an all-time-low, according to Fannie Mae’s Q4 2018 Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey.

Mortgage lenders reported a net negative profit margin outlook for the ninth consecutive quarter, falling across all loan types, including GSE-eligible, non-GSE-eligible and government, according to the report.

Fannie Mae Senior Vice President and Chief Economist Doug Duncan said stressful conditions continue to hang over the mortgage industry.

“Lenders are reporting the lowest purchase mortgage demand expectations across all loans types and the worst refinance demand expectations for GSE-eligible loans in the survey’s five-year history,” he said.

For the eighth consecutive quarter, Fannie’s survey indicates that stiff competition among lenders was the primary reason for lower purchase mortgage demand. In Q4, demand came in at the lowest reading for any fourth quarter in the survey’s history.

Notably, consumer demand was named the second most important factor in the decrease, marking another survey high.

When it came to refinance mortgages, the survey revealed that lenders reported demand growth declined during the previous three months, falling to the second lowest reading in survey history for GSE-eligible loans. Furthermore, demand growth for non-GSE-eligible loans also fell to the lowest level in survey history.

Optimism for the next three months didn’t fare well either, as Fannie Mae reports growth expectations for the net share of GSE-eligible loans reached a new survey low.

“Rising mortgage rates and lean inventory amid solid home price appreciation have discouraged both first-time and trade-up homebuyers,” Duncan continued. “However, mortgage rates have shown signs of stabilization, and annual home price gains have slowed from the red-hot pace seen earlier this year.”

Fannie Mae indicates that throughout 2018, lenders continued to ease lending standards at a modest pace, but it has been significantly lower than the pace seen a year ago at this time. Nevertheless, lenders report the net easing expectations over the next three months for all three loan types remained relatively stable from the previous quarter and last year.

“While 2018 is likely to end up a disappointing year for the housing and mortgage industries, continued strength in demographics and the labor market offers hope that conditions should stabilize and may even improve next year,” Duncan said. 

Article source: https://www.housingwire.com/articles/47687-fannie-mae-lender-pessimism-grows-as-mortgage-demand-falls

CoreLogic: Here’s what will be making economic news in 2019

CoreLogic released its predictions for 2019, outlining several factors that will be making economic news in the new year.

CoreLogic Chief Economist Frank Nothaft explained that economic growth only needs to last seven more months in order to set the record for the longest economic expansion in U.S. history, based on business cycle dates going back more than 160 years.

And Nothaft believes growth will do just that, as the nation’s gross domestic product comes in at 2.4% in 2019. While this would be slower than the forecasted 3.1% for 2018, it would still be enough to push unemployment to 3.4% – a 50-year low.

Nothaft also predicts that interest rates will continue to rise as the Federal Reserve continues to normalize the level of interest rates.

“We expect long-term yields to rise as well, nudging 30-year fixed mortgage rates up to an average of about 5.25% by next December, the highest in a decade,” Nothaft said in a video for CoreLogic’s economic outlook for December 2018.

And of course, these higher rates will affect housing market activity.

“At the margin, homeowners who currently have low-rate mortgages will be incented to stay in their home rather than sell, keeping the new-listings flow relatively low,” Nothaft said. “The larger monthly payments that come with higher mortgage rates will likely soften buyer demand, leading to less pressure on home prices.”

CoreLogic forecasts home price growth will slow by one percentage point over the next 12 months.

Other experts are also predicting a slowdown in housing. For example, realtor.com recently forecasted that buying and selling a home will become more difficult in 2019.

Here is the full video of Nothaft’s predictions for 2019:

Article source: https://www.housingwire.com/articles/47677-corelogic-heres-what-will-be-making-economic-news-in-2019

Airbnb settles with Aimco after being accused of allowing illegal short-term rentals

The legal battle between Airbnb and the Apartment Investment and Management Company over Aimco’s claims that Airbnb was encouraging residents to violate their leases by renting out their apartments on the short-term rental platform is now over.

And everyone appears to be pleased.

Aimco and Airbnb jointly announced Tuesday that they reached a settlement that covers “all their disputes” and ends all of the litigation between the two parties.

Aimco sued Airbnb last year in Florida and California, claiming that the site was actively promoting deliberate breaches of tenants’ leases.

The two sides battled in court for most of this year after a California court ruled last year against an Aimco apartment community’s claim that Airbnb helped facilitate lease violations after residents complained that Airbnb users were negatively affecting quality of life at the property.

Aimco planned to take the case to Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, while simultaneously fighting Airbnb’s contention that the California court’s ruling necessitated tossing the Florida lawsuit as well.

Additionally, Aimco had two massive multifamily trade organizations in its corner, as the National Apartment Association and National Multifamily Housing Council filed an amicus brief supporting Aimco’s claims against Airbnb saying that though open to the prospect of short-term rental activity in multifamily properties, the practice must be better regulated.

But now, after more than 18 months of fighting, the two sides reached a settlement. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed, but the companies issued a joint statement on the matter.

“The parties believe the settlement is in both sides’ best interests,” the companies said. “Aimco believes that the parties’ agreement provides Aimco with the ability to control short-term rental activity consistent with its contract and property rights. As part of the settlement, Aimco and Airbnb have agreed to meet to discuss opportunities in the multifamily housing industry.”

Additionally, Airbnb spokesperson Christopher Nulty said that the company is ready and willing to work with landlords like Aimco to facilitate short-term renting.

“Airbnb is committed to building mutually beneficial partnerships with building owners and landlords through initiatives like our Friendly Building program,” Nulty said in a statement provided to HousingWire. “We believe that by working together, home sharing can bring economic benefits to both landlords and tenants.”

Article source: https://www.housingwire.com/articles/47678-airbnb-settles-with-aimco-after-being-accused-of-allowing-illegal-short-term-rentals

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