Articles by Ben Lane

Fifth Third exec Jelena McWilliams to become FDIC chair

Former Senate staffer confirmed to replace Martin Gruenberg
President Donald Trump’s remaking of the country’s financial regulatory system is about to take another step forward, as another of Trump’s handpicked choices is about to take over at one of the nation’s top financial regulators. On Thursday, the Senate voted to approve Jelena McWilliams to take over as the next chair of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.
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Lenders: Goldman Sachs, Zillow entering fix-and-flip market is a good thing

“A rising tide lifts all boats”
Over the last few years, the market for financing fix-and-flip projects and single-family rentals has grown significantly. In just the last year or so, massive players like Goldman Sachs, Zillow, Redfin, and others have entered those markets. And one might think that current operators in the fix-and-flip market would view those big companies entering the market as a bad thing, but that’s not the truth.
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Cybersecurity experts: Data breaches are a matter of when, not if

So you better be prepared
To hear several cybersecurity experts tell it, data breaches are all but inevitable at every company, no matter how small they may be. The only choice for companies, at this point, is to be prepared for what’s coming. That was the message during the “Business Response to Cyber Risk” panel held Monday at the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Commercial/Multifamily Servicing and Technology Conference, which is going on right now in Miami.
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HUD kills key tool used to enforce Obama fair housing rule

HUD withdraws “Local Government Assessment Tool”
The Trump administration just took another significant step toward derailing a controversial fair housing rule issued by the Obama administration in 2015. HUD announced late Friday afternoon that it is “withdrawing” a computer tool that was to be used to enforce the Obama administration’s Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule.
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Texas-based OJO Labs raises $20.5 million to bring AI to real estate

Realogy backs second tech company this week
A group of real estate, financial services, and home services companies are joining together to help bring artificial intelligence to real estate and beyond. Austin, Texas-based OJO Labs announced on Friday that it raised $20.5 million in its Series B funding round. Taking part were Realogy, Royal Bank of Canada, Northwestern Mutual Future Ventures and ServiceMaster.
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Property management tech provider Mynd raises $20 million

Company founded by former Waypoint Homes founders Doug Brien, Colin Wiel
Property management technology provider Mynd announced this week that it raised $20 million in its Series B funding. Mynd was founded in 2016 by Doug Brien and Colin Wiel, who previously founded Waypoint Homes, a single-family rental operator that eventually grew into the largest player in the industry.
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Notarize raises $20 million, with help from housing giants Lennar and Realogy

Venture arm of National Association of Realtors also took part in funding round
Notarize, a digital platform that allows for legal, online document notarization, announced this week that it raised $20 million in its Series B round of funding. The capital raise nearly doubles the amount of money the company has raised so far. But what’s more interesting than Notarize raising $20 million is where the money is coming from.
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Are we headed for a housing slowdown this summer?

Will mortgage rates at recent record levels drive down home buying?
Mortgage interest rates just hit the highest level in seven years, but those in the lending trenches already knew that, right? That news shouldn’t come as a surprise to those of you who live and breath the mortgage business. But what about everybody else? Is that sticker shock going to drive some prospective buyers to remain prospective buyers this summer?
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