Freddie Mac partnering with Hope LoanPort to ‘modernize’ housing counseling

Aims to help more borrowers through increased use to technology

As part of an effort to help housing counselors reach more borrowers, Freddie Mac is partnering with Hope LoanPort to “modernize” the housing counseling industry.

According to an announcement from Freddie Mac, the partnership with Hope LoanPort, a national, 501c3 nonprofit utility that aims to help families achieve and sustain homeownership through its technology solutions, is the first step in a process which is designed to help non-profit agencies reduce costs, assist more clients, and emphasize the importance of housing counseling.

Freddie Mac said that this partnership is the first step in connecting Freddie Mac’s Borrower Help Centers and Borrower Help Network to a “comprehensive, secure platform” that non-profit housing agencies can use to share information and interact with lenders to help more families become successful borrowers.

"Our Borrower Help Centers and Network are on the housing industry's front lines, working with families in local communities,” said Danny Gardner, vice president of affordable lending and access to credit at Freddie Mac.

“This strategic investment underscores our commitment to help housing counselors prepare more borrowers for sustainable homeownership,” Gardner said. “It also further demonstrates our conviction that HUD-approved counseling agencies are a very important gateway to homeownership for America's families today.”

According to Freddie Mac, the “keystone” of its efforts to modernize housing counseling is a dedicated software-as-a-service-(SaaS) based platform that will provide the participating Borrower Help Centers with new tools to work with consumers, connect with lenders and share sensitive data in a secure environment.

“By allowing all of the parties to work together more transparently, the platform can help reduce technology requirements, lower costs, and enable counselors to spend more time working with potential borrowers,” Freddie Mac said in a release.

According to Freddie Mac, the first phase of this modernization effort will begin by connecting counseling agency case management systems with the platform to streamline and automate several key processes, such as collecting, analyzing and reporting client data, assessing client readiness to buy a home, and referring clients who are ready for successful homeownership to lenders.

Freddie Mac added that the new platform will also result in greater data standardization and more efficient integration between Freddie Mac and the Borrower Help Centers and Network.

Freddie Mac also plans to add capabilities that further integrate the platform with existing lender data systems later in 2016.

“The fragmented nature of home buying often leads to confusion, misunderstanding and discouragement for many potential homeowners,” Camillo Melchiorre, president & CEO of HLP, said. “This initiative will help bring HLP's proven experience and technology to the origination market to create a community that is working together to help more families achieve their dream of homeownership.”

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