Articles by Jessica Guerin

With foreclosures dwindling, investors turn to direct buyers for new single-family rentals

Direct buyers offer inventory as other sources dry up
In the wake of the housing crisis, institutional investors became some of the biggest buyers of foreclosed homes, buying the properties on the cheap and turning them into single-family rentals. Now, with foreclosure inventory shrinking, investors are turning to a new outlet to buy homes to turn into rentals – direct buyers.
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FHA automates reverse mortgage second-appraisal process

Lenders will now get an immediate response
The FHA fully automated the second-appraisal process for HECM lenders on Friday, a move it had promised would come by December 1st. Now, lenders will receive an immediate, automatic response on whether or not a second appraisal will be required before the loan can proceed, curbing some concerns about how much time a second appraisal would add to the loan process.
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Former Altisource CTO becomes Cloudvirga EVP of technology

Hires James Vinci to oversee tech initiatives
Digital mortgage software company Cloudvirga has named James Vinci executive vice president of technology In this newly created role, Vinci will oversee initiatives to strengthen developer talent and collaborate across departments to scale technical initiatives to accommodate growth.
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Is the FHA about to raise the HECM lending limit?

And what would this mean for reverse mortgages?
Last week, the FHFA raised conforming loan limits for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, leaving some to wonder if an increase in HECM loan limits from the FHA will follow. If the FHA opts to increase the limit for the third consecutive year, it could be raised by about $46,000 to $726,525. How will this impact HECMs and what will it mean for the developing proprietary market?
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Former head of FHA and MBA David Stevens blasts reverse mortgages

Suggests fixes to curtail "outrageous profits" and "predatory sales approach"
David Stevens isn’t a fan of reverse mortgages, and he’s not afraid to say it. The former FHA commissioner and recently retired president and CEO of the MBA posted a comment about HECMs on LinkedIn that got people talking. "Brian Montgomery is trying to fix the abuse," he said, "but the product is the one that kept me awake at night when I was there." We reached out to Stevens to talk more about his issues with the program and his suggestions for fixing them.
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Equifax launches lead generation tool for mortgage lenders

Uses consumer data to target prospects
Equifax has launched a lead generation tool for mortgage lenders that it says will help users predict the likelihood that a lead will turn into a sale within the next two to six months. The product, called the Mortgage Lead Generation Models, uses data on a prospect’s credit, wealth and assets, property and demographics to help lenders better target their marketing.
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Reverse mortgage volume declines

Data reveals complete reversal of previous month's recovery
The reverse mortgage industry continues to fumble in the wake of last year’s program changes, with new data pointing to a complete reversal of previous indicators of market recovery. According to analytics firm Reverse Market Insight, HECM volume rose nearly 10% in August, only to fall about 10% in September.
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Google spends $1 billion on California real estate

Drops serious cash to expand its Mountainview headquarters
Looks like Amazon is not the only tech giant gobbling up real estate to facilitate its expansion. Google's parent company just inked a $1 billion deal for a 51.8 acre business park near its Mountainview, California, headquarters, making another move in its ongoing property grab in both California and New York.
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Embrace Home Loans hires chief innovation and transformation officer

Appoints Jodi Viniello to spearhead digital initiatives
Embrace Home Loans has hired Jodi Viniello as chief innovation and transformation officer to help expand the lender’s digital operations. "Companies that leverage agile methods are able to react successfully to the emergence of new competitors, game-changing technologies and sudden shifts in market conditions," said Embrace President and CEO Dennis Hardiman.
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