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While the U.S. housing market has been showing increasing signs of improvement in many regions throughout the country, the state of the residential market is still fragile.
Many consumers continue to struggle to purchase homes because of prior credit issues, low FICO scores or limited cash reserves. Potential first-time homebuyers are opting to rent rather than buy.
In addition, compliance issues are forcing institutional investors to hire companies with proven systems, platforms and personnel who can operate a nationwide network of professional property-management experts to align with new federal and state regulations.
The conditions of this post-recession era, while challenging for lenders, have proven to be the impetus for continuous innovation at Carrington. Nonbank firms like Carrington are playing a greater role in one-stop, customized consumer services, to simplify and streamline the home-buying transaction. The company expanded into four new markets over the last year to extend their product offerings and achieve faster turn times.
Innovation for underserved borrowers
To meet the needs of underserved borrowers and first-time homebuyers, Carrington Mortgage Services developed The Carrington Loan for borrowers in the sub-700 FICO score range, available down to the 550 level. This mortgage program, unveiled in November, pays all of the appraisal, documentation and closing costs for the borrower, saving the borrower money and stress. A true no-cost loan.
“The Carrington Loan is representative of our commitment to innovation and transparency in the marketplace,” said Carrington Holding Company CEO Bruce Rose. “The Carrington Loan is critically important to the market in that it serves as a leading example of major initiatives underway by lending institutions to provide mortgage solutions for the underserved market, offering options for credit-challenged borrowers to achieve home ownership. Coupled with our MyLoanDetail borrower education system at closing, we can provide the consumer with the lowest cost, most transparent mortgage solution to buying or refinancing a home.”
“Our ability to anticipate market needs and quickly develop and deploy leading edge solutions and services for the entire transaction life cycle of a homebuyer has been the reason for our market growth and customer loyalty,” said Carrington Mortgage Services’ Mortgage Lending Division Executive Vice President Ray Brousseau.
Carrington is also increasing its efforts to provide a highly personal and consultative model for transactions. The firm plans to rollout a next generation storefront-like website, “Carrington Connects,” to provide consumers with a unified and highly responsive destination for all of their real estate needs.
“Our goal for the next few years is to increase the direct access and availability of our integrated mortgage and real estate platform seamlessly to consumers across the country,” said Carrington Holding Company Chief Real Estate Officer Steve Ozonian. “We also look forward to maintaining the top-level institutional lines of business with our existing corporate partners.”
The company’s asset management business, Carrington Capital Management (CCM), has purchased over $30 billion in balance of assets over 10 years, and managed the credit of these assets through the use of Carrington’s vertically integrated mortgage and real estate platform. CCM’s future plans are to work closely with its operating infrastructure to create products for the mortgage market, and align with borrower and investor interests alike.
The company’s goals for the future reach beyond the mortgage space, as it continues to expand its commitment to the Carrington Charitable Foundation (CCF). The Foundation has contributed to more than 50 charities since its formation in 2009, but has a specific focus on military-related charitable initiatives, including Operation Carrington House, the Gary Sinise Foundation and Veterans Airlift Command.
CCF raised $1.4 million in 2014 at its annual charity golf tournament alone, and in 2015 plans to continue being a proud supporter of The Gary Sinise Foundation, assisting in the funding and construction of “specially modified homes” for America’s most severely wounded service members and their families.