MetLife to Pay $123 Million to Resolve Claims of Lending Violations on Loans Backed by FHA, HUD

first_img Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago  Print This Post Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Sign up for DS News Daily About Author: Brian Honea Brian Honea’s writing and editing career spans nearly two decades across many forms of media. He served as sports editor for two suburban newspaper chains in the DFW area and has freelanced for such publications as the Yahoo! Contributor Network, Dallas Home Improvement magazine, and the Dallas Morning News. He has written four non-fiction sports books, the latest of which, The Life of Coach Chuck Curtis, was published by the TCU Press in December 2014. A lifelong Texan, Brian received his master’s degree from Amberton University in Garland. The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Tagged with: False Claims Act Federal Housing Administration FHA HUD MetLife Home Loans Settlements Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago February 26, 2015 5,395 Views Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Subscribecenter_img The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Related Articles Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Share Save False Claims Act Federal Housing Administration FHA HUD MetLife Home Loans Settlements 2015-02-26 Brian Honea in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, News MetLife to Pay $123 Million to Resolve Claims of Lending Violations on Loans Backed by FHA, HUD MetLife Home Loans, a mortgage finance company headquartered in Irving, Texas, has agreed to pay $123.5 million to settle claims of lending violations on government-backed mortgage loans committed by one of its subsidiaries under the False Claims Act, according to an announcement from the U.S. Department of Justice.According to the Department of Justice, MetLife Bank, a New Jersey-based banking services company that merged with MetLife Home Loans in 2013, knowingly originated mortgage loans that were insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that did not meet applicable requirements. MetLife Bank was, and MetLife Home Loans is, a subsidiary of New York-based holding company MetLife Inc.”MetLife Bank’s improper FHA lending practices not only wasted taxpayer funds, but also inflicted harm on homeowners and the housing market that lasts to this day,” Acting Assistant Attorney General Joyce R. Branda of the Justice Department’s Civil Division said.  “As this settlement shows, we will continue to hold accountable financial institutions that elected to ignore the rules and to pursue their own financial interests at the expense of hardworking Americans.”MetLife Home Loans admitted as part of the settlement that it certified many FHA-insured mortgage loans that did not meet HUD’s underwriting requirements during a three-and-a-half year period from September 2008 to March 2012, and that MetLife Bank was aware that a “substantial percentage” of these loans were not eligible for FHA mortgage insurance as determined by the bank’s own quality control findings. Those quality control findings were routinely shared and known to MetLife Bank’s senior managers.MetLife Bank reportedly downgraded FHA loans from a “material/significant” deficiency rating to a “moderate” deficiency rating. Between January 2009 and December 2011, MetLife Bank’s quality control process identified 1,097 mortgage loans the bank had underwritten that were rated as having “significant” deficiency, but the bank reported only 321 of those loans to HUD. According to the Department of Justice, the bank’s actions resulted in FHA insuring hundreds of mortgage loans that were ineligible for FHA insurance – and as a result, when those loans defaulted, FHA suffered “substantial losses” when paying out insurance claims made by the mortgagees.”MetLife Bank took advantage of the FHA insurance program by knowingly turning a blind eye to mortgage loans that did not meet basic underwriting requirements, and stuck the FHA and taxpayers with the bill when those mortgages defaulted,” said U.S. Attorney John Walsh of the District of Colorado, which investigated the case jointly with HUD, the HUD Inspector General, and the Civil Division.  “This settlement is part of our systematic, national effort to hold lenders accountable for irresponsible lending practices that not only harmed FHA, but also contributed to a catastrophic wave of home foreclosures across the country.” Previous: FHA Commissioner Reaffirms Commitment to Middle Class, Administration’s Role Next: Freddie Mac’s Mortgage Portfolio Contracts; Serious Delinquency Rate Hits 6-Year Low Home / Daily Dose / MetLife to Pay $123 Million to Resolve Claims of Lending Violations on Loans Backed by FHA, HUD The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days agolast_img read more

Potestivo & Associates Expands with New Office

first_img Potestivo & Associates, a legal solutions provider for the real estate finance and credit industries headquartered in Rochester Hills, Michigan, has announced the opening of a new office in Downtown Rochester Hills.The Downtown Rochester Hills office offers state-of-the-art technology and is the firm’s fourth location—their second in Rochester Hills. The firm also has offices in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and in Chicago, Illinois. Potestivo & Associates has been serving the real estate finance and credit industries for more than 25 years.This expansion, and the augmentation of the Potestivo & Associates team, will allow the firm to better service their clients’ compliance and security requirements.“We look forward to being a part of the ongoing evolution of Downtown Rochester,” said President and Managing Attorney, Brian A. Potestivo. “The new office has a new look—combining the new with the traditions that have made our firm a success.” Brian Honea’s writing and editing career spans nearly two decades across many forms of media. He served as sports editor for two suburban newspaper chains in the DFW area and has freelanced for such publications as the Yahoo! Contributor Network, Dallas Home Improvement magazine, and the Dallas Morning News. He has written four non-fiction sports books, the latest of which, The Life of Coach Chuck Curtis, was published by the TCU Press in December 2014. A lifelong Texan, Brian received his master’s degree from Amberton University in Garland. Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago December 15, 2015 1,094 Views Tagged with: Default Servicing Law Firms Michigan Potestivo & Associates About Author: Brian Honea in Featured, News  Print This Post Default Servicing Law Firms Michigan Potestivo & Associates 2015-12-15 Brian Honea Share Save Potestivo & Associates Expands with New Office The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Related Articles Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days agocenter_img The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Previous: FHFA Proposes Rule for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac to Offer Mortgages to Underserved Markets Next: Continued Economic Growth Vital for Still-Challenged Markets Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Is Rise in Forbearance Volume Cause for Concern? 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Subscribe Sign up for DS News Daily Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Home / Featured / Potestivo & Associates Expands with New Officelast_img read more

President Trump Promised Jobs, Recent Employment Report Delivers

first_img The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Previous: Shaping Tomorrow’s Mortgage Leaders Next: Fitch Gives Ocwen ‘Stable’ Rating The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago March 10, 2017 1,293 Views Related Articles  Print This Post Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Employment FOMC Interest Rate Jobs 2017-03-10 Staff Writer Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Sign up for DS News Daily Tagged with: Employment FOMC Interest Rate Jobs Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days agocenter_img in Daily Dose, Featured, Market Studies Subscribe Share Save The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago President Trump Promised Jobs, Recent Employment Report Delivers During his February 28 address to Congress, President Trump promised to create tens of thousands of new jobs during his first term. And according to recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the economy may be on the right track to meet Trump’s expectations.“It was hard to nitpick the February jobs report,” said Doug Duncan, Chief Economist at Fannie Mae. “Payrolls posted a strong rise for a second consecutive month, the unemployment rate edged down despite a large jump in the labor force, and annual growth in earnings rebounded toward the expansion high seen at the end of last year,” said Duncan.The Census data shows that during February 235,000 non-farm jobs were added. In addition, the unemployment rate barely budged since January, coming in at 4.7 percent, a slight drop from the previous year’s 4.9 percent.”Specifically for the housing market, construction employment continues to add jobs, 177,000 over the last six months,” added Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First American. “It’s interesting that specialty trade contractors, and heavy and civil engineering job categories were highlighted—a sign of growing demand for home improvement and infrastructure development,” Fleming said.Before February’s job report was released a Bloomberg survey forecasted that 200,000 jobs would be added. Many industry watchers are speculating that the better-than-predicted numbers may further push a rate increase during next week’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting.“Most doubts about whether the FOMC would hike at its March meeting were put to bed last week after a series of hawkish remarks from Fed officials, but any lingering uncertainty has certainly been squelched with today’s strong report, ” noted Curt Long, Chief Economist for the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions.Fleming agreed, saying, “[T]he odds of a Fed rate increase at the meeting next week was already over 90 percent. This employment situation report only gives more reason for the Fed to move sooner rather than later.” About Author: Staff Writer Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Home / Daily Dose / President Trump Promised Jobs, Recent Employment Report Deliverslast_img read more

Trump Nominates Deputy HUD Secretary, Industry Reacts

first_img Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Trump Nominates Deputy HUD Secretary, Industry Reacts Home / Daily Dose / Trump Nominates Deputy HUD Secretary, Industry Reacts April 28, 2017 1,377 Views Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Share Save HUD Secretary Trump 2017-04-28 Seth Welborn Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago About Author: Seth Welborn Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days agocenter_img Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago  Print This Post President Donald Trump nominated Pamela Hughes Patenaude to be Deputy Secretary of Housing and Urban Development on Friday, and with praises like “consummate professional,” “expert,” and “ideal candidate” being thrown around, it’s obvious the industry has come out in large support.Widely considered the real position of power at HUD, Patenaude’s confirmation as Deputy Secretary would see her serve alongside Dr. Ben Carson, who was confirmed as HUD Secretary in March.Patenaude is the President and Founding Executive Director of the J. Ronald Terwilliger Foundation for America’s Families and has a long history in the housing industry. She previously served as Executive Vice President of the Urban Land Institute, Director of the Bipartisan Policy Center Housing Commission, the HUD Assistant Secretary for Community, Planning, and Development, Vice President of Manor Homes Builders, and as an advisor to two presidents: George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan. She also worked with the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority on implementing a Section 8 rental assistance program.According to Carson, it’s this wide-ranging and long resume that will serve her well in her new post.“Pam’s extensive knowledge of housing issues and dedicated service to this Department under two previous administrations makes her an exceptional choice for the position of Deputy Secretary,” Carson said. “She will bring a wealth of experience and steady leadership to HUD in her new role as the Department’s chief operating officer. I look forward to working with her to achieve more efficient and effective housing policies that create jobs, strengthen communities, and ensure safe, affordable housing for all Americans.”William E. Brown, President of the National Association of Realtors, joined Carson in applauding Patenaude’s nomination.“Pam is an ideal candidate for the position,” Brown said. “She understands the issues that impact the industry and our Realtor members, and we look forward to continuing our work together with HUD and Pam upon her confirmation to ensure that owning a home remains accessible and affordable so that more individuals can realize their dream of homeownership. Pam’s extensive and strong background in real estate and housing will be an asset.”Tim Rood, Chairman of The Collingwood Group, told MReport he was “thrilled” to hear of Patenaude’s nomination.“She is a housing expert and a consummate professional,” Rood said. “Moreover, her experience working in the government, specifically at HUD, is a huge plus for an agency that has goals and ambitions for meaningful reform. “Adding to the acclaim was Dr. Rick Roque, Managing Director at Menlo Financial, who told MReport that Petanaude was a “stellar choice” and praised the strides she’s made in expanding access to homeownership across the nation.“She has extensive knowledge of housing issues, fair lending, and opening up home ownership to a wider audience of borrowers,” Roque said. “She also has extensive experience with community planning and development.”He elaborated: “The greatest barrier to homeownership is lack of creativity in underwriting guidelines, which are too narrow compared to the dynamic nature of consumer borrower needs. The goal is affordable, middle-class housing, and she understands these issues.”Roque and Brown both shared a similar sentiment: Petanaude should be confirmed swiftly so, as Roque put it, “she can work on the challenges facing lending and homeownership.”Michael Cremata, Senior Counsel and Director of Compliance at  ClosingCorp, called Patenaude the “smart choice,” and noted that her mix of experience will help her in her role of regulating the industry.”[Patenaude] clearly has significant experience in the housing industry, having worked in both the public sector (including two previous stints at HUD) as well as the private sector. This will likely help to alleviate some of the criticism Trump has taken for the relative lack of direct experience possessed by his appointment for Secretary, Ben Carson,” said Cremata. Previous: Fintech Innovation Demands Great Responsibility Next: CIVIC Hires William J. Tessar as CEO The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, News Sign up for DS News Daily Subscribe The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Tagged with: HUD Secretary Trump Related Articles Seth Welborn is a contributing writer for DS News. He is a Harding University graduate with a degree in English and a minor in writing, and has studied abroad in Athens, Greece. An East Texas native, he also works part-time as a photographer. last_img read more

Powell Was Hesitant About Fed MBS Purchases in 2012

first_img Tagged with: fed chair Federal Reserve Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia Inflation Interest rates Jerome Powell Patrick Harker The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Home / Daily Dose / Powell Was Hesitant About Fed MBS Purchases in 2012 January 8, 2018 1,766 Views Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Transcripts released by the Fed provided insight into the man due to take over as Fed chair in 2018, assuming he receives Senate confirmation. The Fed published meeting transcripts from 2012 last week, continuing their policy of releasing such transcripts after a five-year delay. Those transcripts reveal that Powell was extremely reluctant to support the Federal Reserve’s third bond-buying program in that year.At the Fed’s September 2012 meeting, Powell said that he was supporting the Fed’s decision to begin buying $40 billion in mortgage-backed securities per month “with a certain lack of enthusiasm,” and added that he was “somewhat uncomfortable with the road that we are on.” The purchase of the MBS was designed to help boost the economy and keep interest rates low as the nation struggled to recover from the housing crisis.Nor was Powell alone in his misgivings. The transcripts reveal that then-Fed Chair Ben Bernanke supported the policy, but nevertheless described the Fed’s actions as “a shot in the proverbial dark.”You can read the transcripts and learn more about the Fed’s 2012 meetings by clicking here.Meanwhile, with Fed Chair Janet Yellen departing and Jerome Powell in queue to replace her, the Fed is forecasting three total interest rate hikes during 2018. However, Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker thinks that might be one hike too many.During a speech in Philadelphia Friday, Harker told a crowd that the Fed should consider a more conservative approach to rate hikes due to inflation remaining low. According to Harker’s prepared remarks, Harker said, “Domestically, I expect inflation will run a bit above target in 2019 and come down to target the following year, but I am more hesitant in this view than I am on economic activity. If soft inflation persists, it may pose a significant problem. For that reason, my own view is that two rate increases are likely to be appropriate for 2018.”Harker did vote in support the Fed’s most recent interest rate increase in December, the third such rate increase for 2017. However, he cited the continuing low inflation as a trend that might justify reconsidering how the Fed attempts to balance its twin goals of full employment and price stability.Harker said that if inflation trends downward, it might “be time to re-evaluate the way we conduct policy.” He added, however, “I should be clear that I’m not pushing for any changes, nor do I have any particular change I would prefer. But it is a question for the profession itself, and we do need people thinking about this.”  Print This Post Previous: Zombie Homes: The Problem That Just Won’t Die Next: CFPB’s Laurie Maggiano: Looking Back at an Industry Icon The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Powell Was Hesitant About Fed MBS Purchases in 2012 About Author: David Wharton fed chair Federal Reserve Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia Inflation Interest rates Jerome Powell Patrick Harker 2018-01-08 David Wharton Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Share Save Related Articles in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, Journal, News Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Sign up for DS News Daily Subscribelast_img read more

Millennials Spend Nearly $100,000 on Rent by Age 30

first_img Baby Boomers Generation X Generation Z Millennials Rent rent burden rent growth Rent prices rental homes 2018-03-26 David Wharton Previous: LoanCare Welcomes EVP of Strategy and Business Development Next: FHFA Examines the Appraisals Process Millennials Spend Nearly $100,000 on Rent by Age 30 Sign up for DS News Daily Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago  Print This Post Related Articles in Daily Dose, Featured, Journal, Market Studies, News Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago David Wharton, Managing Editor at the Five Star Institute, is a graduate of the University of Texas at Arlington, where he received his B.A. in English and minored in Journalism. Wharton has over 16 years’ experience in journalism and previously worked at Thomson Reuters, a multinational mass media and information firm, as Associate Content Editor, focusing on producing media content related to tax and accounting principles and government rules and regulations for accounting professionals. Wharton has an extensive and diversified portfolio of freelance material, with published contributions in both online and print media publications. Wharton and his family currently reside in Arlington, Texas. He can be reached at [email protected] Share Save Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days agocenter_img The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Tagged with: Baby Boomers Generation X Generation Z Millennials Rent rent burden rent growth Rent prices rental homes Subscribe About Author: David Wharton Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Home / Daily Dose / Millennials Spend Nearly $100,000 on Rent by Age 30 The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Forty-five percent. That’s the percentage of an average millennial’s income that they’ll spend on rent between the ages of 22 and 30, according to a new study by RENTCafé. That definitely sounds like a lot—as does the $92,600 total amount they spend on rent during that time—but let’s add some context to the raw figure. How does this rent burden compare to that of previous generations?RENTCafé’s study mined U.S. Census data to determine the each generation’s average income and rent burden during that eight-year window leading up to age 30. As their report states, “we looked at the average income representative for the ages analyzed, rather than the average income of the overall population, because people in their 20s, with limited experience in the workforce, typically have a lower income than those over 40 who are at the peak of their careers.” The data refers to single people paying the rent by themselves, and all numbers were adjusted to 2017 prices.All that taken into consideration, millennials are indeed carrying a heavier rent burden than other recent generations…but not by as much as you might expect. The millennial rent burden of 45 percent is only slightly higher than the 41 percent carried by Generation X, but quite a bit higher than the average baby boomer rent burden of 36 percent carried during their early adult years. However, the median income of millennials during those eight years is also higher at $206,600 than in the two preceding generations. For comparison’s sake, Generation X typically earned about $202,100 in their twenties and spent $82,200 of that on rent. For Boomers, those numbers were $195,700 earned and $71,000 spent on rent.Breaking those numbers down further, RENTCafé found that millennials earn on average $10,900 more than baby boomers did in their twenties, but they’re also paying $21,600 more for rent—more than double. The trend also continues within the millennial category itself, with younger millennials paying considerably more during that eight-year window than their older counterparts. According to the RENTCafé report, millennials aged between 22-40 paid a median rent of $97,400 before turning 30, whereas millennials currently aged 30-40 only paid $90,500 during that age span, a difference of nearly $7,000.Generation Z, now aged around 20 years old, is forecast to have paid an average of $102,100 in rent by the time they turn 30.You can read the rest of RENTCafé’s analysis by clicking here. Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago March 26, 2018 10,478 Views Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days agolast_img read more

RoundPoint Among Fastest Growing Companies in Charlotte

first_img Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Share Save  Print This Post RoundPoint Mortgage Servicing Corporation announced that it has been selected as one of the Charlotte Business Journal’s 2018 Fast 50.The financial records of all nominated companies were reviewed to determine the 50 fastest growing private companies in the Charlotte region. All winners will be included in the Fast 50 Special Report published in the December 7 issue of the Charlotte Business Journal. The actual rankings of these 50 companies—which is based on the average percentage of annual growth over a three-year period—will be revealed during the awards program at the Fast 50 Awards Dinner hosted by the Charlotte Business Journal on December 6, 2018.“We’re excited about this achievement as it’s a testament to our team’s hard work and dedication,” said Kevin Brungardt, CEO of RoundPoint. “Many people played a role in helping RoundPoint reach this point and we’re grateful that their collective efforts have been recognized in this way. We look forward to continued, disciplined growth as our firm moves forward in 2019 and beyond.”Founded in 2007, RoundPoint is a fully licensed agency and non-agency subservicer for commercial banks, credit unions, mortgage companies, and hedge funds. As one of the nation’s largest non-bank mortgage servicers, it currently services over $80 billion worth of mortgage assets and is authorized to service loans in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The company is headquartered in Charlotte with an office in Dallas, and is publicly rated by Fitch Ratings, Standard & Poor’s, and Kroll Bond Rating Agency. RoundPoint is a seller and servicer for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and an approved single family issuer and servicer for Ginnie Mae. RoundPoint is also an approved servicer for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). In addition to servicing loans guaranteed by Fannie Mae, RoundPoint services for third parties and has an extensive portfolio of loans involved in Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) structured and shared loss transactions. Tagged with: charlotte charlotte business journal FinTech Housing Market mortgage Roundpoint RoundPoint Mortgage RoundPoint Mortgage Servicing Corporation Related Articles October 29, 2018 1,632 Views Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago charlotte charlotte business journal FinTech Housing Market mortgage Roundpoint RoundPoint Mortgage RoundPoint Mortgage Servicing Corporation 2018-10-29 Staff Writer The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago in Featured, Headlines About Author: Staff Writer Home / Featured / RoundPoint Among Fastest Growing Companies in Charlotte Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago RoundPoint Among Fastest Growing Companies in Charlotte Previous: Ellie Mae Launches New Encompass Digital Mortgage Solution Next: Déjà Vu All Over Again Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Subscribe Sign up for DS News Daily Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days agolast_img read more

ADA Implications for Servicer Websites

first_img Olivier J. Labarre was admitted to the California Bar in 2009 and has been with Wright, Finlay & Zak since 2014. While in law school, Labarre was an Articles Editor of the Western State University Law Review and a VP of the Moot Court Team. Prior to joining Wright, Finlay & Zak, he worked at Hershorin & Henry, LLP, specializing in title insurance matters. Labarre focuses primarily on mortgage banking litigation, including loan servicer and trustee defense, title insurance litigation, bankruptcy, and eviction matters. The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago ADA Implications for Servicer Websites About Author: Robert Finlay  Print This Post Sign up for DS News Daily The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Subscribe Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Editor’s note: This feature originally appeared in the January issue of DS News, out now.When George H.W. Bush signed into law the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990 (ADA), it was intended to provide equal access to those with disabilities. At the time, the internet as we now know it did not exist. As a result, no one could have predicted how the ADA would interact with online services. According to a November 2018 story by the Los Angeles Times (“Lawsuits Target Access to Website”), there were nearly 5,000 ADA lawsuits filed in Federal Court for alleged website violations in the first half of 2018 alone. At this point, the number is expected to rise nearly 10,000 for the calendar year, an increase of 30 percent over the number of similar suits in 2017. As more providers tout their web access, one can expect those numbers will continue to increase in the future.While many of the website-access ADA complaints targeted retailers, restaurants, and universities, a number of our servicer and lender clients have been recently hit with a rash of demand letters and, in some instances, lawsuits under the ADA alleging that public accommodations’ websites are not accessible to blind individuals. The claimants contend that they visited our clients’ website and were denied full and equal access to the client’s services, as well as the ability to enjoy the services offered to the public through the website. The demand letters and lawsuits allege various violations of both Federal and State law. Generally, these demands and lawsuits seek early settlement with the proviso that the client remediates its website. A brief overview of the law in this area, as well as potential exposure for clients, is set forth below.There is no longer any meaningful dispute that business websites are places of public accommodation under the ADA. The Department of Justice (DOJ), charged with implementing regulations for compliance with ADA mandates, has stated as much on numerous occasions and courts across the country have rejected arguments that websites do not fall under the ADA. Moreover, courts in California have held that a website’s noncompliance with the ADA is, in and of itself, sufficient to trigger a violation of the ADA without requiring the claimant to first establish that he or she genuinely sought the goods or services of the business. Such a violation calls for a statutory penalty of $4,000 and, more importantly, potentially triggers the claimant’s right to recover attorneys’ fees under the ADA and various state law corollaries. To further complicate matters, there are no firm guidelines on exactly how a website must be formatted or implemented to comply with current ADA mandates against nondiscrimination and communication.The DOJ has yet to issue formal guidelines for website compliance under the ADA and, based upon its most recent public statements, has no plans to do so and instead has taken the position that such guidelines are the responsibility of the legislature or the Attorney General. Courts have generally accepted that compliance with the privately developed Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 technical standards are sufficient to satisfy current ADA mandates, but the DOJ announced in October 2018 that “public accommodations have flexibility in how to comply with the ADA’s general requirements of nondiscrimination and effective communication. Accordingly, noncompliance with a voluntary technical standard for website accessibility does not necessarily indicate noncompliance with the ADA,” indicating, at the very least, that noncompliance with WCAG 2.0 is not in and of itself a violation of the ADA, but again refusing to establish firm guidelines for private businesses to follow.Based on the state of the law and the right to recover attorneys’ fees under the ADA and its state law corollaries, plaintiffs’ attorneys are scouring websites for potential violators. Most attorneys first send demand letters, but, if their demands are not met, quickly file suit against businesses and service providers. These demands and lawsuits pose a significant risk in the terms of statutory damages, remediation costs, and potential attorneys’ fees. With the law in this area developing on a near daily basis, there are several defenses that loan originators, servicers or other providers can assert.However, the best defense is to take preventative measures now to avoid these demands and lawsuits in the future. Olivier J. Labarre was admitted to the California Bar in 2009 and has been with Wright, Finlay & Zak since 2014. While in law school, Labarre was an Articles Editor of the Western State University Law Review and a VP of the Moot Court Team. Prior to joining Wright, Finlay & Zak, he worked at Hershorin & Henry, LLP, specializing in title insurance matters. Labarre focuses primarily on mortgage banking litigation, including loan servicer and trustee defense, title insurance litigation, bankruptcy, and eviction matters. T. Robert Finlay is one of the three founding partners of Wright, Finlay & Zak.Since 1994, Finlay has focused his legal career on consumer credit, business, and real estate litigation and has extensive experience with trials, mediations, arbitrations, and appeals. Finlay is at the forefront of the mortgage banking industry, handling all aspects of the ever-changing default servicing and mortgage banking litigation arena, including compliance issues for servicers, lenders, investors, title companies, and foreclosure trustees. Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Home / Daily Dose / ADA Implications for Servicer Websites January 7, 2019 2,684 Views in Daily Dose, Featured, Print Features 2019-01-07 Donna Joseph Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Previous: Examining Home Pricing & Market Trends Next: Trends in GSE Credit Risk Transfers Share Save Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Robert Finlay is one of the three founding partners of Wright, Finlay & Zak. Since 1994, Finlay has focused his legal career on consumer credit, business, and real estate litigation and has extensive experience with trials, mediations, arbitrations, and appeals. Finlay is at the forefront of the mortgage banking industry, handling all aspects of the ever-changing default servicing and mortgage banking litigation arena, including compliance issues for servicers, lenders, investors, title companies, and foreclosure trustees. Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Related Articles About Author: Oliver J Labarrelast_img read more

HUD Working Toward Affordable Housing Innovations

first_img Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Share Save in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, Market Studies, News  Print This Post The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Affordability HUD Investment NAHB Opportunity Zones Sales 2019-04-30 Seth Welborn Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Tagged with: Affordability HUD Investment NAHB Opportunity Zones Sales April 30, 2019 2,067 Views About Author: Seth Welborn Seth Welborn is a Reporter for DS News and MReport. A graduate of Harding University, he has covered numerous topics across the real estate and default servicing industries. Additionally, he has written B2B marketing copy for Dallas-based companies such as AT&T. An East Texas Native, he also works part-time as a photographer. Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days agocenter_img Previous: Measuring Mortgage-Backed Securities Volumes Next: Taking Legislative Action Against Foreclosure Challenges Related Articles Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago HUD Working Toward Affordable Housing Innovations Home / Daily Dose / HUD Working Toward Affordable Housing Innovations On Monday, Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson announced that National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) will co-host the Department’s inaugural “Innovative Housing Showcase.””We’re thrilled to have the National Association of Home Builders co-host this Showcase,” said Secretary Ben Carson. “It’s important we highlight these new building technologies that are answering the call for more affordable, durable housing options for families across America.””The housing affordability crisis is affecting both builders and consumers nationwide. We are honored to be co-hosting this event with HUD as we work together to find solutions to this growing problem,” said Greg Ugalde, Chairman of the National Association of Home Builders.One way HUD is addressing affordability is through investment in Opportunity Zones. HUD recently announced that is seeking public input on how the Department can use its existing authorities to maximize the beneficial impact of Opportunity Zones for residents and their communities. The Request for Information (RFI) is a call for the public to share existing knowledge and provide recommendations to HUD regarding the use of public and private investments in urban and economically distressed communities, including qualified Opportunity Zones.“Opportunity Zones present tremendous promise for America’s distressed communities,” Carson said. “Through this request, we are looking to better understand how HUD can better tailor its policies and help Opportunity Zones create more positive economic outcomes for the millions of Americans that live in these areas, and for our country as a whole.”After being designated as “opportunity zones,” low-income and high-poverty areas have seen a surge in sale prices. Investors, keen to receive a discount on capital gains taxes for investing within these areas, flock to these opportunity zones, according to an analysis by Zillow.According to Zillow, sale prices in all eligible areas “grew faster than prices in places that weren’t, but after opportunity zones were selected, price-growth trends diverged among eligible tracts.”The Innovative Housing Showcase will be held on the National Mall June 1-5, 2019, to educate policy makers and the broader public on the new housing innovations and building technologies. Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Sign up for DS News Daily Subscribelast_img read more

National Flood Insurance Program Transition in Flux

first_img Tagged with: FEMA nfip Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago National Flood Insurance Program Transition in Flux Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago in Daily Dose, Featured, Foreclosure, News Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Subscribe Share Save  Print This Post Seth Welborn is a Reporter for DS News and MReport. A graduate of Harding University, he has covered numerous topics across the real estate and default servicing industries. Additionally, he has written B2B marketing copy for Dallas-based companies such as AT&T. An East Texas Native, he also works part-time as a photographer. FEMA nfip 2020-05-11 Seth Welborn Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days agocenter_img May 11, 2020 1,286 Views Home / Daily Dose / National Flood Insurance Program Transition in Flux Previous: REO Sales Moving Online Next: 130M Americans Receive Coronavirus Relief Payments Related Articles The flood insurance market in the United States is in a state of transition, as Insurance Business reports. Following hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria in 2017, and Hurricane Florence in 2018—and the flood insurance landscape has changed. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and state legislators across the country are pushing for private flood insurers to get more involved in the marketplace in order to supplement the coverage the NFIP can provide.“Greater risk distribution is beneficial to everybody, and we’re starting to see legislation that is pushing to allow that to happen,” explained Brad Turner, National Product Manager, Flood, Burns & Wilcox. “The flood insurance market is in a state of transition, where the private market is becoming much more heavily involved. That’s not just the case in the excess space; a lot of private flood insurers are proactively marketing what they can do in comparison with the NFIP, which is great. When there’s healthy competition in a segment, not only does it benefit the consumer, but it also benefits the markets by forcing them to take a step forward, to enhance their underwriting techniques, and to incorporate new methodologies to enhance precision.”“We’re definitely starting to see a transition towards a more competitive flood insurance marketplace,” Turner added. “The markets, backed by supportive legislation, are using new underwriting techniques and technology to underwrite flood risks more proactively, and they’re seeing some success. The NFIP remains the primary source of flood insurance for many insureds, but you’re starting to see more people proactively seeking out private flood as a viable alternative option. It’s an encouraging time to be in flood insurance.”In a new report from FEMA and the Office of the Flood Insurance Advocate (OFIA), the agency shared how it is planning on reducing the complexity of the National Flood Insurance Program. The report details several areas of customer frustration related to the NFIP that warrant a systemic solution.“FEMA’s strategic goals established in 2018 remain in place to build a culture of preparedness, ready the nation for catastrophic disaster, and reduce the complexity of FEMA programs, particularly the NFIP,” said David Stearrett, FEMA Flood Insurance Advocate. “FEMA’s component, the Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration (FIMA), remains committed to “moonshot” targets set to achieve these goals by doubling the number of structures covered by flood insurance and increasing investment in mitigation four-fold by 2023. The growth in the private flood insurance market furthers the target of doubling flood insurance coverage.” Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago About Author: Seth Welborn The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Sign up for DS News Daily The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days agolast_img read more