Elsa Lewis WIH

When Elsa Lewis first started to speak out about opaqueness surrounding privately negotiated short sales some years ago, she often met with short shrift in an industry where many of the operatives with servicing, listing and sales rights were trying to guard their corner. It’s now a well-utilized alternative to foreclosure.

The executive vice president at Williams & Williams Worldwide Real Estate Auction was considered on the leading edge of the fight for more voluntary, pre-foreclosure alternatives to evictions, vacancies and blight. This year, she developed a tool to help borrowers and agents take back control of their desired property sales. It is based on the Auction Sale Assistance Program, or ASAP, a tool that was developed some years ago for servicers.

“In many instances where all hope for equity or justice had been lost, this program has helped borrowers in default not only relocate into affordable housing, but discover that in fact and regardless of any prior failed marketing attempts, they indeed did still have equity available in their property but for a timely and effective sale at unlimited auction, vs. previously limited asking price values,” a Williams & Williams spokesperson said.

Also of late, Lewis is spearheading a direct-to-agent and brokerage-level buildout for agents nationwide to help homeowners sell. “But for the discovery of price and buyers, Elsa is preparing a direct-to-market brokerage level services platform that while still accommodating traditional asking-price listings, will also help agents save borrowers equity, avoid losing listings, and yet simultaneously prove to servicers and investors that the pre-foreclosure or short sale result was competitively, timely and transparently achieved when necessary,” the company spokesperson said.

All of this is buttressed with an ability to form fruitful relationships with servicers, investors, the government-sponsored enterprises and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. By all accounts, it has bought Williams & Williams considerable respect.

Click below to read about each of this year's 2013 Influential Women in Housing Finance:

Amy Brandt, Prospect Mortgage | Angela Cheek, Ellie Mae | Cari McCue, Guardian Mortgage | Deborah Jenkins, Freddie Mac | Dianna Serio, CoreLogic | Elsa Lewis, Williams & Williams Worldwide Real Estate Auction | Laurie Pyle, Stewart Lender Services | Lisa Binkley, Platinum Data Solutions | Maxine Waters, D-Calif. | Pamela Hughes-Patenaude, Bipartisan Policy Center | Renee Deane, Carrington Property Services | Shana Lakso, Equator | Tanya Reu, Realogy Franchise Group | Toni Moss, Americatalyst | Vicki Beal, Clayton Holdings | Debra Still, Pulte Financial Services | Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. | Janet Yellen, U.S. Federal Reserve | Joy Cianci, Fannie Mae | Laurie Maggiano, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau