Articles by Ben Lane

MBA, NMHC, others call on CFPB to change multifamily HMDA rules

Want exemption from HMDA reporting for business-to-business loans
The Mortgage Bankers Association, the National Multifamily Housing Council, and several other prominent trade groups are calling on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to change the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act rules for multifamily lending. The groups want the CFPB to completely exempt multifamily business-to-business lending from HMDA reporting requirements.
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New York man admits to rigging local elections in effort to develop real estate

Third member of conspiracy to plead guilty
Last year, two New York real estate developers, Kenneth Nakdimen and Shalom Lamm, pleaded guilty to interfering with a mayoral election in Bloomingburg, New York, including using fake voters, to try to advance stalled construction projects. Now, a third member of the conspiracy has also admitted to taking part in the scheme.
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More homebuilder consolidation: Century Communities buys Wade Jurney Homes

Deal creates nation’s 10th largest homebuilder
The consolidation of the homebuilding industry continues. Last week, Taylor Morrison announced that it is acquiring fellow homebuilder AV Homes in a deal valued at nearly $1 billion. Next up is Century Communities, which announced Friday that it is acquired the remaining 50% of Wade Jurney Homes in a deal that creates the nation’s 10th largest homebuilder.
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Court finally approves Wells Fargo’s $142 million fake account class action settlement

It’s finally final
A federal court has finally given final approval to Wells Fargo’s $142 million class action settlement for the bank’s customers who had a fake account opened in their name. The final approval comes nearly a year after the settlement received preliminary approval by the judge overseeing the lawsuit, and more than a year after the settlement was first announced.
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Equifax taps former IBM executive Bryson Koehler to lead technology efforts

Will serve as chief technology officer
Equifax is continuing to reshape its leadership in the wake of the massive data breach that exposed the personal information of nearly 148 million U.S. consumers to hackers. Back in February, Equifax added a new chief information security officer, replacing one of the executives who left after the breach. Now, the company is adding another executive to help move the company forward.
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Opendoor raises $325 million, plans nationwide expansion

Direct homebuyer plots expansion into 50 markets by 2020
One of the biggest players in the growing direct homebuyer segment is about to get much, much bigger. Opendoor, an online marketplace that buys homes directly from homeowners, announced Wednesday that it secured $325 million in new funding and is planning a nationwide expansion of its homebuying platform.
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Merrill Lynch ordered to pay $15.7M for cheating customers in mortgage bond trades

SEC orders company to pay up for misleading customers
Merrill Lynch will pay $15.7 million to settle allegations that its employees misled mortgage bond customers and overcharged those customers residential mortgage-backed securities trades during a three-year period from 2009 through 2012, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced this week.
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Exclusive: Jerry Halbrook out as CEO of Lender Price

Mortgage industry veteran resigning after less than one year
Lender Price is about to be in the market for a new CEO, as sources close to the situation tell HousingWire that Jerry Halbrook is set to leave the company later this week amid a disagreement with the company’s founders and board about the direction and future of the company.
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Plaza Home Mortgage promotes Michael Fontaine to chief operating officer

Also serves as chief financial officer
Plaza Home Mortgage, a full-service national lender that offers wholesale, correspondent, renovation, and reverse mortgages, announced this week that it promoted Michael Fontaine to serve as the company’s chief operating officer. Fontaine previously served as Plaza’s chief financial officer and will maintain that role going forward in addition to his newly added responsibilities as COO.
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