In the Money

New York developer admits to bilking investors in long-running luxury real estate Ponzi scheme

Pleads guilty to defrauding investors out of $58 million
A New York real estate developer admitted in court last week that he ran a luxury real estate Ponzi scheme that defrauded investors out of $58 million over several years. According to court documents, Michael D’Alessio took much of the money for his own benefit, using it to pay off debts and prior investors, and to fund significant gambling and other personal expenses.
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CoStar buying Cozy to turbocharge Apartments.com

Integration will allow rental payments through Apartments.com site
Apartments.com is already one of the top consumer websites for multifamily real estate, but the website’s parent company is not comfortable resting on its laurels. CoStar Group, which owns Apartments.com along with several other prominent online rental platforms, announced recently that it is buying Cozy Services for $68 million and plans to integrate the company’s online rental solutions into its websites.
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Real estate crowdfunding startup RealtyShares hits hard times, halts new investments

Company unable to secure new operating capital to continue growth
Everything was going swimmingly for RealtyShares just over a year ago. The real estate crowdfunding startup had just purchased one of its biggest rivals, Acquire Real Estate, and had plans to grow its investment in commercial and multifamily real estate. But now, RealtyShares has fallen on hard times and will be laying off much of its staff and stop accepting new investments on its platform.
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It’s official: Mr. Cooper to acquire Pacific Union Financial

Plans expansion into wholesale, correspondent lending
In conjunction with its earnings release on Thursday morning, Mr. Cooper Group announced it would acquire mortgage company Pacific Union Financial. The company announced the acquisition will increase its servicing holdings by about $25 billion, and its originations by $10 billion annually.
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Sources: Mr. Cooper to buy Pacific Union Financial

Company could soon announce plans for move
Multiple sources confirmed to HousingWire that Nationstar, also known as Mr. Cooper, is buying Pacific Union Financial. Back in July, Pacific Union showed signs of struggling as it unexpectedly closed the doors to its mortgage fulfillment call center, leaving El Paso, Texas, short 699 promised jobs.
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How the mighty have fallen: Ditech booted from the New York Stock Exchange

Troubles persist for once-bankrupt nonbank
When we last checked in on Ditech Holding Corp., the nonbank formerly known as Walter Investment Management, things weren’t going too well. And it sounds like things haven’t gotten much better for the company over the last few months. Ditech notified investors this week that the company is being kicked off of the NYSE due to the company’s incredibly low share price and market cap.
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Zillow stock tanks

Suffers worst day since going public
Zillow’s stock dropped more today than it ever has in a day's trading following yesterday's release of the real estate giant's third quarter earnings report.
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Monday Morning Cup of Coffee: Number of borrowers with refi incentive plummets

Are you prepared for midterm elections
Amid rising interest rates, the latest data from Black Knight shows more than half of homeowners who entered the year with an incentive to refinance their mortgage have since lost it. And do you know what your candidate’s views are on issues surrounding housing, finance and other areas that are important for you? Here’s how to find out.
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Cash-out refis haven’t been this prevalent since the financial crisis

But unconcerned experts say borrowers are extracting less equity than before
The volume of cash-out refinance loans hasn’t been this high since 2008, but experts at the Urban Institute say that when put into context, there’s no cause for alarm. “In an environment of home price appreciation, people commonly tap into their home equity,” the authors wrote, adding that the total amount of equity cashed out is well below pre-crisis totals.
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Zillow is now officially in the mortgage business

Is “Zillow Mortgage” coming soon?
It’s official – one of the biggest names in real estate just joined the mortgage industry. Zillow announced Thursday that it completed its acquisition of Mortgage Lenders of America, marking its official first step into the mortgage industry. Could Zillow Mortgage be coming soon?
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