Pam Patenaude is the president of the J. Ronald Terwilliger Foundation for Housing America's Families. Patenaude is also the former director of housing policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center. Patenaude served as HUD assistant secretary for Community, Planning and Development during the George W. Bush Administration. She brings more than twenty-five years of experience in housing, community economic development, real estate, and public policy.
The platforms of the two major political parties are a good barometer of the prevailing sentiments of the base of activists in each party. Public opinion polls, on the other hand, provide a broader measure of public attitudes, especially in regard to the nation's attitudes to housing.
With Christmas only days away, it’s time to fire off my “housing wish list” to the North Pole. I know from good sources that Santa and the elves are exceptionally fast workers, so it’s never too late, even when making requests on a subject as complex as our nation’s housing system.
Unless remedial action is taken, rising rents will continue to act as a barrier to homeownership for many families who will be unable to accumulate the funds necessary for a mortgage down payment. Here's why we can't sit around and do nothing about it.
The troubling conditions in housing should be a top-tier issue in the 2016 presidential campaign. Yet, so far this primary season, the word “housing” has barely passed the lips of the presidential candidates of either party. That needs to change and here's why.
The homeownership rate has dropped to the lowest point in 19 years, as families continue to reel from the collapse of the housing market. Looking ahead, tougher underwriting standards and new regulatory requirements are likely to put homeownership out of reach for many and make rental housing the only option.
It’s no secret that fear of put backs continues to have a dampening effect on the housing market. Despite recent efforts by the Federal Housing Finance Agency to put some boundaries around put-back risk, many mortgage originators remain skittish about lending to families with less-than-pristine credit.
A key question is whether a rigid reliance on credit scores, at the expense of meaningful underwriting of the borrower, is worth the price of diminished access to mortgage credit. Does this reliance make sense when the most risky and objectionable products (such as “no doc” loans and “interest-only ARMs”) have been effectively banned from the marketplace?
The mortgage industry is leveraging technology like never before, streamlining processes across the spectrum of lending, servicing, investing and real estate. The combination of regulatory pressure and consumer expectations have set a high standard for efficiency and transparency, requiring a significant investment of time, money and talent to hit the right notes for both.
Ironically, the monkey on the mortgage industry’s back for the past 10 years — increasing regulation — is the very thing that forced companies to find efficiencies in every part of the process, which serves them well as they look to engage tech-savvy consumers. Even as the enforcement of some of those regulations is now in question, the long-lasting benefits of investing in automation will stand.
Mortgage banks have traditionally been slow to embrace new technologies, and while the technology that has improved efficiency, security and customer experience in a multitude of other industries (transportation, education and retail, to name a few) is finding its way into the loan production process, a lot of opportunity still exists in other stages of the mortgage life cycle.