Articles by Jessica Guerin

Homeownership investment company Point raises $122 million

Plans to work with investors to tackle housing affordability issues
Homeownership investment company Point just landed a major cash infusion that will fund its plans to help more Americans access their home equity, raising $100 million in platform capital and securing $22 million in a Series B funding round. "We are witnessing the emergence of a whole new class of financial solution that is aligned with homeowners, and investors are taking notice," said Point Co-Founder and CEO Eddie Lim.
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Is Manafort-style mortgage fraud more common than we think?

Mortgage fraud is on the rise as more consumers use false claims to jump hurdles to homeownership
Last week, Paul Manafort was slapped with charges by New York for a multimillion-dollar mortgage fraud scheme, accused of inflating his company's income and failing to disclose his debts in to secure $20 million in loans. Manafort's drama may be extreme, but in the current climate, where home prices are cooling off and the refi market is a fraction of what it used to be, are we likely to see more cases of mortgage fraud emerging?
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Latest FHA shift to mitigate risks may shut out some homebuyers

Recent changes to TOTAL Mortgage Scorecard have some lenders worrying they won't close
Last week, the Federal Housing Administration took steps to mitigate risks to its single-family portfolio, announcing updates to its TOTAL Mortgage Scorecard that may flag some loans for manual underwriting. Chatter among members of the lending community suggests a number of originators are unhappy about the changes, fearing that the end result may be that some of their borrowers will be shut out of FHA financing.
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Do home equity loans affect your credit score?

New study analyzes 2,500 borrowers to find out
Despite record amounts of home equity, fewer homeowners are tapping into this source of wealth. While a number of factors contribute to this fact, could concerns about a home equity loan's effect on credit score play a role? To determine the impact a home equity loan could have on a borrower's credit profile, LendingTree analyzed data from 2,500 consumers to see how their credit scores changed in the months after they took out a loan, and the results may surprise you.
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Small-dollar mortgages are not as risky as most lenders think

Urban Institute digs into risk associated with this "missing piece of the mortgage market"
The purchase of a single-family home worth $70,000 or less is rarely financed by a mortgage, and while there are a number of reasons why, one major factor is their perceived risk. A recent analysis by the Urban Institute examined the risk associated with small-dollar mortgages, determining that the perceived risk was "not correct or fair." And, because many lenders shy away from offering financing on lower-valued properties, researchers said many creditworthy Americans are shut out of homeownership in low-cost or distressed communities.
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This housing market clue predicts pending economic slowdown

A key indicator of economic health is steadily declining, and it's raising red flags
When it comes to the health of the economy, the housing market is the canary in the coal mine, providing clear and early clues of pending trouble. And that's why analysts track its performance intently, looking at a multitude of indicators that might signal the looming recession some are forecasting. Now, one critical clue from the housing market has emerged to suggest economic growth is likely to backslide, leaving analysts to conclude an "economic slowdown is likely forthcoming."
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Pamela Hughes Patenaude lands at disaster management firm IEM

Will advise on housing and disaster recovery as senior community liaison
Pamela Hughes Patenaude, former deputy secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, has joined global homeland security and disaster management consulting firm IEM. Patenaude – who resigned from HUD in December after 35 years in the housing sector – will assume a new role as senior community liaison for the tech-forward consulting firm.
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HELOC borrowers increasingly likely to shop for alternative funding

Study shows HELOC providers face growing threat from alternative lenders
HELOC volume has been limp in the last year despite rising equity levels thanks to rising interest rates and new tax laws, and now HELOC providers are facing increased competition from alternative lenders. A recent survey by J.D. Power revealed that homeowners are researching their options, looking into alternative funding sources before selecting a HELOC.
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Older homeowners are driving the home improvement market

Harvard study says Baby Boomer spending on accessibility improvements will soar
Armed with record amounts of home equity and an expressed desire to remain in their homes as they age, older homeowners are driving the home improvement market. A recent study by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University revealed that households 55 and older account for half of all current home improvement spending. And, as Baby Boomers reach their 70s and 80s, researchers say their investments in home modifications to enhance accessibility will soar.
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