Freddie Mac Touts New Vista REO Partnership
Clearly, Jim Park and Gary Acosta's idea to start an REO outsourcer that utilized a minority-led broker network and worked with non-profit counseling agencies was a good idea. Perhaps even better than just good. It might even be time to classify the idea to form New Vista Asset Management as a home run by the standards of the REO management industry. After all, name one other outsourcer that can count Countrywide, Fannie and Freddie among its customer base, within just two years of starting up? Freddie Mac's HomeSteps program was the latest to announce last week that it had added New Vista Asset Management's network of multicultural real estate brokers to its existing national network of real estate professionals to market HomeSteps' inventory of REO homes. HomeSteps is the REO sales unit of Freddie Mac (FRE), and has seen its inventory swell during the past year; the unit has always prided itself on selling for "neighborhood stability," rather than adopting a so-called churn and burn strategy that might exist in the third-party market. Both Park and Acosta head up New Vista and created a model that uses a diverse network of minority brokers, as well as nonprofit counseling agencies, to create awareness among first-time and minority buyers of the availability of REO homes as a housing option. In February, Fannie Mae (FMN) signed up. In April, Countrywide Financial Corp. (CFC). And, now, Freddie Mac. The idea has become a boon for New Vista's broker network, and a chance for many of the nation's largest mortgage operations to tout a commitment to community at a time when that commitment has been put under increasing scrutiny by consumer groups and legislators alike. "Having a place to call home is critical for strengthening underserved minority communities," said Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA), chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus. "I applaud HomeSteps and New Vista for their new partnership in turning foreclosed homes into affordable homeownership opportunities for all of America's diverse families." "New Vista's agreement with Freddie Mac advances the development of community-based partnerships that create sustainable homeownership opportunities in minority communities," said Kenneth D. Wade, CEO of NeighborWorks America. To put New Vista's business model into baseball terms: going, going gone! It's outta the park! For more information, visit http://www.freddiemac.com. Disclosure: The author held no positions FNM or FRE, and was long CFC, when this story was originally published. HW reporters and writers follow a strict disclosure policy, the first in the mortgage trade.