March Kudos: Celebrating milestones, launches and awards in the mortgage industry

Freedom Mortgage gives back to active-duty troops


Freedom Mortgage delivers backpacks to military families

Freedom Mortgage gave back to active-duty troops, veterans and their families through its Team Freedom Cares program, which collected more than 2,600 backpacks and school supplies for military families across the country and sent over 1,000 handwritten notes to traveling troops through United Service KudosOrganization airport lounges in 2018.

The team also participated in Skating for Service, which raised more than $11,000 for the Liberty USO, and hosted a 5K run/fun walk that raised $5,000 for Liberty USO and Homes for Our Troops.

“Working with Liberty USO has been truly gratifying,” said Stanley Middleman, Freedom Mortgage founder and CEO. “I wholeheartedly support their mission of enhancing the quality of life of the U.S. Armed Forces personnel and their families.”

Gateway Mortgage Group donates $30,000 to local charities

Gateway Mortgage Group donated to local nonprofits through its Charity Challenge, which rewards the highest-ranking branches by donating to the organizations of their choice.

Through the challenge, Gateway has donated $90,000 to support families and communities in the last three years.

This year, branches in Ada, Oklahoma; Stillwater, Oklahoma; McPherson, Kansas; and Matagorda, Texas, won the challenge, pledging their support for several nonprofits, including homeless shelters, food pantries and after-school programs.

Kudos“We are happy to honor our hardworking team members by giving them recognition for their dedication and empowering them to share that success with people in need,” said Hobie Higgins, Gateway chief community engagement officer. “The holidays can leave families strapped for cash, so we hope our donations will let them focus on their loved ones rather than a lack of resources.”

ARMCO launches employee donation matching program

Financial risk management solutions provider ARMCO launched the ARMCO CARES program to match employee donations to non-profit charities.

At the end of 2018, the company announced it would match employees’ charitable donations dollar-for-dollar to the organization of their choice. ARMCO said it plans to expand the program in 2019 to include employee wellness and community involvement programs.

“This program is great because it extends employees’ reach for the causes that they’re passionate about,” said Avi Naider, CEO of ARMCO. “ARMCO’s success is based on our commitment to bettering the lives of others, and ARMCO CARES is a natural extension of that. In just a couple of months, ARMCO CARES has grown our family-friendly company culture of giving, which ultimately benefits both our employees and our customers.”

DocMagic purchases art boxes for patients at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

DocMagic purchased 100 custom-designed art boxes from Art To Grow On Children’s Art Center, which delivered the boxes patients at the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

Each art box contained a master artist lesson inspired by architect Frank Lloyd Wright, a holiday frame, a journal, a sketchbook, colorful markers, wooden cars, hearts or animals for coloring and decorating and foam snowflakes or snowman with holiday stickers.

“DocMagic is proud to be a part of having a very unique and positive impact on the lives of these children, opening up a new world of creativity and imagination that they themselves construct,” DocMagic President and CEO Dominic Iannitti said.


Freddie Mac Credit Risk Transfer Executive Gina Healy named one of the most influential women in re/insurance

Gina Healy, Freddie Mac vice president of credit risk transfer, has been honored by Intelligent Insurer as one of its 2018 Influential Women in Re/insurance.

Healy co-leads Freddie Mac’s credit risk transfer program and is responsible for developing strategies to transfer a portion of the credit risk on more than $1 trillion in single-family mortgages.

She was instrumental in spearheading several innovative credit risk transfer initiatives and developing programmatic offerings to reduce risk in Freddie Mac’s mortgage portfolio and offer diversification and growth opportunities to carriers.

Prior to joining Freddie Mac, Healy served as CFO of NASDAQ Europe and held management positions at Vantive Corporation and Ernst & Young. She is involved in a number of professional organizations that support female career advancement opportunities.

New American Funding earns BBB Torch Award for Ethics

New American Funding received the Better Business Bureau’s Torch Award for its commitment to ethics and trust in the marketplace.

KudosThe BBB established the Torch Awards to recognize organizations that stand out for their ethics. The winners are selected by an independent panel of volunteer community leaders based on categories that include the communication of ethical practices, unifying leadership practices and an organizational commitment to community.

“The Torch Awards have given us the opportunity to show the community our commitment to integrity and our customers,” said Rick Arvielo, CEO of New American Funding. “We have placed the highest priority on conducting business with fairness and honor and are extremely pleased the Torch Awards has recognized our efforts in this commitment.”


WFG National Title launches cyberfraud awareness initiative

WFG National Title created a cyberfraud awareness team to help educate consumers and companies that are engaged in home buying and mortgages about the dangers of online and mail fraud.

The effort was spurred by a Portland-area WFG borrower, Aaron Cole, who lost $123,000 due to an email scam in a phishing attack just days before he was scheduled to close on a home.

The email was designed to look like it was from WFG but it was actually from a scammer who requested money as part of the mortgage transaction. By the time Cole discovered it was fake, his money had traveled to an account in Florida and then to four other banks before it was transferred out of the country.

The crime put Cole’s ability to close his loan in jeopardy, but WFG was able to help the family and was inspired to launch an initiative to educate others about cyberfraud.

“While Aaron’s story has a happy ending, most borrowers scammed by email hackers generally wind up with an unhappy ending,” WFG Chief Compliance Officer Don O’Neill said. “We believe people will pay attention to Aaron’s story because they can relate to other consumers who are in the process of transferring funds while purchasing a home.”

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