Ben Lane is the Senior Financial Reporter for HousingWire. In this role, he helps set a leading pace for news coverage spanning the issues driving the U.S. housing economy. Previously, he worked for TownSquareBuzz, a hyper-local news service. He is a graduate of University of North Texas.
It’s been 18 months since China Oceanwide Holdings Group, one of China’s largest companies, announced that it planned to buy Genworth Financial, one of the U.S.’s largest mortgage insurers, for $2.7 billion, but the deal still isn’t done yet. The deal was initially expected to close in the middle of last year, and now, the closing is delayed again.
Virginia-based WEI Mortgage disclosed this week that is the victim of a data breach that may have exposed the highly sensitive personal information of the lender’s customers. WEI Mortgage, which is a subsidiary of Arc Home, revealed Monday that it discovered in September 2017 that one of its employees was the victim of a phishing scheme, which ultimately gained access to the employee’s account and perhaps other accounts.
Fresh off being acquired by Narrow Gauge Capital, appraisal management company Class Appraisal announced Monday that it named Scot Rose as the company’s new chief innovation officer. At Class, Rose will be focused on the advancement of appraisal, valuation product and platform innovation as well as leading the firm’s strategic vision in those areas.
Waterton, a national real estate investor and operator, is planning to invest more than $2.5 billion in multifamily housing over the next two years after closing its largest-ever investment fund. According to David Schwartz, Waterton’s chief executive officer, chairman, and co-founder, the firm has big plans for Venture XIII, which is the firm’s largest fund ever.
Angel Oak, an investment management firm that specializes in mortgage credit, made its name by providing residential mortgages that don’t fit into the Qualified Mortgage box, but now, the company is expanding into new lending arenas. Angel Oak announced Monday that it is launching Angel Oak Commercial Lending, which will provide financing to commercial real estate owners, developers and investors.
It’s been a busy day in the settlement department for Wells Fargo. Early Friday, the bank was fined $1 billion by the CFPB and the OCC for mortgage lending and auto insurance abuses. And late Friday afternoon, the bank notified customers that it is extending the deadline to participate in the bank’s $142 million fake account class action settlement.
RealPage, a provider of software and data analytics to the real estate industry, went on quite the run of acquisitions last year, acquiring four different companies throughout the year. As it turns out, RealPage isn’t done yet. The company announced Friday that it is acquiring ClickPay, an electronic payment platform servicing 2.3 million units across the multifamily, HOA, condominium and co-op segments of real estate, in a $218 million deal.
A former special agent with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations division of the Department of Homeland Security admitted in court this week that she conspired to defraud Freddie and SunTrust Mortgage in a short sale scheme.
SunTrust Bank may be the latest victim of a data breach, but the alleged intrusion didn’t come from outside the company. SunTrust announced Friday that a former employee may have stolen the personal information of approximately 1.5 million of the bank’s customers.
Nationstar Mortgage, the nonbank also known as Mr. Cooper, announced Thursday that it is promoting Tony Ebers from executive vice president of originations to the newly created position of chief operating officer. Going forward, Ebers will assume responsibility for servicing, originations and Xome operations at Nationstar.
This year’s HW Tech100 features a much more expansive landscape than ever before. Winners included heavy hitters and innovative disruptors. Even new tech players in the blockchain space are joining the party now. Other exciting developments can be seen on the identity-protection and fraud-prevention sides. But make no mistake, the name of the game in tech, these days, is lending, lending, lending.
The evolution from a paper-based process to this era of big data is astounding. Consider that according to IBM, 90% of the world’s data has been created in the last two years. The Internet of Things — your thermostat, refrigerator, even your kid’s Barbie doll — is increasing that data exponentially. For mortgage companies, that data represents a treasure trove more valuable than the gold bars stacked in the vault at the New York Federal Reserve Bank, but only if they can figure out how to harness it for their specific business. Fortunately, scores of fintech companies are ready to help.
Accurate, trustworthy valuations require taking a deeper look. That’s why it’s important to have a valuation expert independently review every valuation report and determine whether it makes sense. The most trustworthy valuation providers have a team of highly trained reviewers on staff who diligently analyze every comparable on a valuation report and ask: “Will a potential buyer consider this property similar to the subject property?”