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Open commentary on everything impacting the U.S. housing economy. The opinions expressed here represent the author's alone.

Equifax is the worst data breach ever and its punishment should fit the crime

This is far worse than Yahoo, Target, Home Depot, or anything else
[Opinion] By sheer numbers, Equifax's data breach, which exposed the personal information of 143 million consumers, isn’t the biggest data breach in history. Yahoo takes the catastrophic crown in that category. While this may not be the biggest data breach ever, it is the worst. Worse than Yahoo, worse than Target, worse than Home Depot, worse than Experian, or anything else – and Equifax's punishment should fit the crime.
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Does your mortgage technology measure up?

Tips on how to choose and adopt the right vendor
[Expert commentary] Today’s consumers are accustomed to making instant banking transactions and home searches from the palms of their hands, and they expect this kind of ease of use across industries. Ultimately, the best lenders are those who will bring greater transparency to the borrower, which often requires the adoption of new technology as it comes available. Here are different categories of technology every lender should be using and key considerations in choosing and adopting the right vendor.
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Wells Fargo's latest fake account revelation proves why the CFPB must survive

Republicans want less financial regulation, but they're wrong
[Op-Ed] Wells Fargo’s latest revelation is the straw that broke my back. I’ve talked to enough people who work in the housing business to know that the CFPB made their lives much harder. I get why they hate the CFPB. I really do. But, I can’t just sit back and watch all of the financial regulation borne out of the financial crisis get undone. Situations like Wells Fargo show why the CFPB must exist.
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Mortgage industry unites together to support Hurricane Harvey relief

From buying a shirt to sending money, here’s how you can help
As one of biggest industries that touches nearly everyone in America, the housing industry quickly assembled together to give back to those impacted by Hurricane Harvey. Here is a handful of ways the industry is donating to help in the relief, along with ways you as a reader can help.
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Hey lenders, are you ready for 5.2M more homeowners?

3 experts provide a roadmap for the future of lending
By 2025, it is predicted that there will be 5.2 million more homeowners. And of this number, people born in the 80s and 90s, also known as Millennials, are expected to dominate the home-buying market. So what does the mortgage industry need to do to meet the upcoming demand? A recent HousingWire webinar asked three experts to talk about what the future looks like for the industry.
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What do HUD's reverse mortgage changes mean for FHA mortgage insurance premiums?

The health of the Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund
Since the suspension of mortgage insurance premium cuts back in January, the Trump administration has been silent on any plans to ever bring it back. But that silence finally broke on Tuesday when HUD discussed updates to its reverse mortgage program. From the outside, the updates don’t involve FHA mortgage insurance premiums, but do provide an overall assessment of the health of the FHA's Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund, which is essential to any future cuts.
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Overworked and underpaid: Here are the challenges facing appraisers next year

Industry suffers from a clear lack of unity
While most sectors of the mortgage industry managed the increased demand with few hiccups, the appraisal services segment of the industry did not fare as well. The uninterrupted appraisal demand throughout 2016 and into the first quarter of this year led to chronic fatigue that spread throughout the appraiser population, leaving 3 major challenges for the industry to face.
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Monday Morning Cup of Coffee: Zillow claims Zestimates now more accurate than ever

Plus, the impact of Hurricane Harvey
The real estate industry has long had its issues with the "Zestimate," the property value estimation tool that appears on every listing on Zillow. The difference between a property's Zestimate and the actual market price is often a source of contention. Well, Zillow claims it just made the Zestimate even better. Plus, the impact of Hurricane Harvey seems to be far worse than projected. All that, and more, in your Monday Morning Cup of Coffee.
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Yahoo to pay $5.5 million for botched billion-dollar bracket contest with Quicken Loans

Judge rules Yahoo violated contract with initial prize promoter
Three years ago, Quicken Loans created a national uproar when it partnered with Yahoo and Berkshire Hathaway to launch the Billion Dollar Bracket Challenge, a contest involving picking the winners of the NCAA tournament games – all of the winners. No one won the billion dollars in 2014, the contest’s first and only incarnation. But now, three years later, Yahoo will be paying out for the contest, but not for the reason you might think.
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