MBA: Mortgage applications rise again, but how long will this growth last?
Although mortgage applications slightly rose for the week ending May 17, 2019, ongoing trade concerns could be hindering growth, according to the MBA. MBA Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting Joel Kan said some potential homebuyers may be delaying their home search until there’s more economic certainty.
MBA Secondary: FHA, Ginnie Mae, VA and USDA leaders outline policy updates
The leaders of the FHA, VA, USDA and Ginnie Mae who spoke on the government lending update panel at the MBA Secondary Conference on Tuesday are well aware that lenders and investors find working with their agencies discouragingly hard. Their session reflected the work they’re doing to change that experience, and outlined important policy revisions.
HUD Secretary Ben Carson apparently doesn't know what an REO is
HUD Secretary Ben Carson had a bit of a rough day on Tuesday. Carson appeared on Capitol Hill to testify before the House Financial Services Committee, and during questioning from the committee member with the most housing knowledge, turned himself into a punchline by confusing a common housing industry term with a cookie. Yes, you read that right.
Hey, Mr. President, what about removing lumber tariffs to make homes affordable?
Canadian softwood lumber used to build U.S. homes currently carry tariffs of about 20%. That adds $9,000 to the price of a typical new home and more than $3,000 to the cost of a multifamily unit, NAHB said. At a time when all eyes are on U.S. housing affordability issues, the trade dispute with Canada is “needlessly driving up housing costs,” Greg Ugalde, chairman of NAHB, said in a statement.
Freddie Mac expands its multifamily executive team
Freddie Mac recently announced it expanded its multifamily mortgage banking team, appointing Geri Borger Urgo, Catherine Evans, Michael Case and Amanda Nunnink to newly expanded VP positions. Freddie Mac Multifamily Executive Vice President Debby Jenkins says its essential to identify and develop skilled leaders as the GSE continues to transform its business.
Our Values Profile: Protecting Customer Money
Last June, a transaction handled by Pennsylvania-based White Rose Settlement Services Inc. was going smoothly. Then, an attorney client’s email was hacked a week before the $9 million deal was scheduled to close. Due to the quick action of company President Shonna Cardello and her team, the money was recovered.
In addition, in November 2017, another client lost $54,000 due to fraud, but Cardello’s team was able to recover the funds within two months. Also, in January 2018, the company’s escrow checks were found for sale on the dark web to anyone for any amount. Cardello quickly closed the account to prevent any losses.
“Shonna and her team jumped into action to guard and defend against the attempted fraud,” said Robin Kelsh, executive director of the Pennsylvania Land Title Association. “Shonna didn’t hesitate to lead her staff and other parties involved to remedy these and many other instances. She delivers to her clients daily and adamantly protects her customers to ensure a positive outcome for all.”
Cardello was one of three ALTA members honored at the 2018 ALTA ONE conference with an inaugural ALTA Our Values Award. The awards program showcases the title insurance industry’s Our Values initiative, which serves as the industry’s cultural compass and highlights the core ideals ALTA members embrace.
Cardello won the We Protect Award for her efforts to protect her clients from wire fraud.
“I’m honored to have received this recognition and to work with an incredible staff,” Cardello said. “Together, we work to protect and educate our clients, ensuring we exceed their expectations every step along the way.”
Our Values Profile
Name: Shonna Cardello
Company: White Rose Settlement Services Inc.
How would you describe your company’s culture?Staff is the most important. Take care of your staff because they take care of the clients.
How does the organization support these values?I try to make sure the staff feels appreciated through individual praise and tangible acknowledgements to fit their needs. We invest in training and education, so my co-workers can be the best version of themselves.
What makes you proud to work at your company?My co-workers who go above and beyond for our clients and the loyalty of clients who continue to use the company. The success we’ve had over 23 years through hard work is simply amazing!
What role do company values play in hiring and performance reviews?A huge role. We hire to fit our culture and values. I can train someone in title, but I cannot train them to have a positive attitude, be loyal, embrace ethical behavior and be determined to succeed.
ALTA Our Values Awards
ALTA is celebrating our members who live these values in the best possible ways with the ALTA Our Values Awards. These awards are given annually to individuals who have put one or more of ALTA’s core values—leading, delivering and protecting—into action. In its second year, the awards program will include a fourth award for one entire ALTA member office or operational team that exemplifies Our Values.
We want to know how you, your friends or your coworkers go to extraordinary lengths to personify Our Values. ALTA is accepting nominations through June 7. Submit nominations at surveymonkey.com/r/ALTAvalues.
Winners will be recognized during ALTA ONE, Oct. 22-25, 2019, in Austin, Texas.
Ellie Mae announces layoffs of 10% of its staff
Ellie Mae recently completed restructuring its team after its acquisition by Thoma Bravo, a move that includes the layoff of about 10% of its staff. The company explained those let go are being offered severance packages to help with the transition.
Calabria: Ending the net worth sweep is step one of GSE reform, IPOs are an option
The much-anticipated session with FHFA Director Mark Calabria at the MBA Secondary Conference in Manhattan Monday did not disappoint. No, he didn’t reveal a timeline for releasing the GSEs from conservatorship, but his mission and intense focus were clear: The status quo isn’t an option.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are refinancing fewer mortgages than at any point since the crisis
Recently released data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Center for Microeconomic Data revealed that the first quarter of this year was the mortgage business’ worst quarter in more than four years, but a deeper dive into the data shows that on the refinance side of things, it may have been the worst quarter since the financial crisis.
Kraninger: Department of Education refusing to cooperate with CFPB
The U.S. Department of Education has refused to cooperate with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, according to CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger. Kraninger recently sent a letter to Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-MA, in response to the senator’s questions about the bureau’s efforts to protect student loan borrowers through its oversight of student loan servicers.