Ben Lane

Ben Lane

Ben Lane is the Editor for HousingWire. In this role, he helps set a leading pace for news coverage spanning the issues driving the U.S. housing economy and helps guide HousingWire's overall direction. Previously, he worked for TownSquareBuzz, a hyper-local news service. He is a graduate of University of North Texas.

ARTICLES

  • Home repair subscription service Super raises $20 million

    Covers costs of repairs on common household appliances
    Super, a home repair subscription service, announced recently that it raised $20 million to expand its service into new markets. Homeowners subscribe to the service, which both covers the cost of repairs on several common household appliances and manages the repair process on other items.
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  • HUD announces new rules for down payment assistance on FHA mortgages

    Claims "certain governmental agencies" may be operating outside existing rules
    The Department of Housing and Urban Development announced this week that it is issuing new rules for down payment assistance on mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration. Click the headline for a full breakdown of which rules are changing and why.
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  • Zillow planning expansion of its home buying business in Southwest

    Establishes "Southwest Hub" for Zillow Offers in Phoenix
    It's been just over a year since Zillow expanded its business from simply facilitating the home sale to actually buying houses itself. Zillow has big plans for its home buying business, recently revealing that its current goal is to be able to buy 5,000 homes per month within as little as three years. To get there, Zillow will have to fortify and expand its home buying operations, and the online real estate giant took a step in that direction.
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  • Ally Financial partnering with Better.com to launch digital mortgage platform

    Ally now fully back in the mortgage space
    Ally Financial, which all but exited the mortgage business back in 2012, got back into mortgages in earnest in 2016. Now, Ally is taking its mortgage business to the next level by going digital with help from Better.com (formerly known as Better Mortgage). Ally and Better announced Thursday that the companies are partnering to launch a digital mortgage platform for Ally.
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  • JPMorgan Chase CFO Marianne Lake to lead bank’s consumer lending business

    Jennifer Piepszak becomes CFO
    JPMorgan Chase is making some changes to its senior leadership. The megabank announced Wednesday that it its current chief financial officer, Marianne Lake, will become the CEO of its consumer lending business, which includes mortgage lending, card services, and auto finance. Replacing Lake as CFO is Jennifer Piepszak, who is currently CEO of the bank’s card services business.
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  • Quicken Loans will now let Vrbo hosts use rental income to refinance their mortgage

    Income generated by short-term rentals will be used in underwriting
    A little over a year ago, Airbnb partnered with some of the nation’s largest mortgage players, including Fannie Mae and Quicken Loans, to allow hosts using the short-term rental platform to use income from their rentals to refinance their mortgage. Now, Quicken Loans is at it again; this time partnering with Vrbo to allow users of that platform to use rental income earned through that short-term rental platform to refinance their mortgage.
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  • Real estate startup Reali acquires online lender Lenda, expands into mortgages

    Launches Reali Loans
    Reali, a flat-fee real estate startup that operates in California, is following the path laid out by other tech-focused real estate companies like Zillow, Redfin, and Opendoor and getting into the mortgage business. Reali announced Wednesday that it acquired Lenda, an online mortgage lender that launched in 2013 and currently operates in 12 states.
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  • Colony Bank buying PFB Mortgage

    Georgia bank expanding mortgage business
    Colony Bank, which operates 27 branches throughout Georgia, is set to grow its mortgage business, as the bank announced this week that it plans to acquire PFB Mortgage, the secondary market mortgage business of Planters First Bank. According to Colony Bank, PFB Mortgage originated more than $100 million in mortgages last year, and the bank expects the addition to help double its mortgage business in the future.
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  • No-income, no-asset mortgages are back (at one lender, at least)

    360 Mortgage Group plans as much as $1 billion in “NINA” loans
    Back in the Wild, Wild West era of mortgage lending before the housing crisis, NINJA loans (loans given to borrowers with no income, no job, and no assets required) became quite the rage. NINJA loans have disappeared from the market, likely never to be seen again, but one lender is about to bring back a similar ghost of the mortgage market’s past: the NINA loan.
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  • Home Point Financial acquires Platinum Mortgage’s wholesale division

    Growth continues for Home Point
    The last few years have been a period of growth for Home Point Financial. It began back in early 2015, when Home Point announced the acquisition of Maverick Funding, with Maverick’s business becoming Home Point’s initial mortgage banking platform. And it appears Home Point has no plans to slow down.
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