Scam Artist Sting Successful in South Florida

first_imgScam Artist Sting Successful in South Florida in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing, Technology August 5, 2011 632 Views The South Florida mortgage banking community is immersed in scandal, as a result of four indictments released this week by the “”U.S. Attorney’s Office””: in Miami, Florida. The separate filings target 27 individuals who are accused of diverse fraud schemes waged against lenders and homeowners in the region.[IMAGE]Charges including mail fraud, insurance fraud, and even arson don’t do much to resolve the area’s reputation as a hot-bed of fraudulent loan practices. Commenting on the problems, U.S. Attorney Wilfredo Ferrer, stated, “”We keep leading the nation in mortgage fraud, and that is something we are working to stem. The perpetrators of this fraud have infiltrated every level of the mortgage industry.””Ferrer went on to note that the current indictments encompass more than $30 million in questionable mortgage loans, and that, in at least two of the cases, the schemes were highly coordinated and elaborate, with fraud rings using straw buyers and faked applications to purchase properties at elevated prices while raking in large sums from the bank loans.The first filing to be unveiled included business professional, Luis A. Oramas; loan processor, Mariela Hernandez; closing agent, Elayne Gutierrez; and real estate agent, Keskea Hernandez-Frei. Those listed in the indictment allegedly utilized 13 straw borrowers to concoct a $20 million scam.[COLUMN_BREAK]The second item released by the U.S. Attorney’s Office targets a comparable scheme conducted in Palm Beach County; those named in the documents are Ghaith Al Nahar, Michelle Austin-Wilks, and Romy Defay. Their fraudulent activities encompassed an estimated $9.2 million in loan money.A third indictment focuses on criminal behavior surrounding a single holding, and Miami real estate pro, Gerardo Wilhelm, is named as a coconspirator in an arson and insurance scam involving the property in question. Co-defendants are Juan J. Flores and Alejandro Figueredo, who are both accused of conspiracy to commit arson.David Donet, Sr., a Miami attorney, was named in the fourth and final filing, and he is accused misappropriating around $1 million in funds during a real estate closing. Donet appears to have pocketed client money that was intended for refinancing.Twenty-five of the 27 individuals included in the indictments are in custody, and it’s estimated that each could ultimately face up to 20 years in jail. Straw buyers named as defendants are as follows: Ana Taveras, Joaquin Gomez, Manuel Valdes, Yudith Padilla, Ivan Padilla, Martha Fernandez, Maribel Diarth, Carlos Sanchez, Ivett Lorenzo, Guillermo Rivero, Napoleon Cadalzo, Hisamara Esponda, Rafael Bonne, Lucien Laguerre, Jeffrey Gilbert, and Philip Jay Newman.Finishing his statement on the newly unsealed indictments, Ferrer had a warning for people who may have been approached about similar schemes, saying, “”If someone is willing to pay money for the use of your name or your credit information, that should send a clear signal to you that it could be, and most likely is, a fraud.””For five consecutive years, Florida has remained the national leader in mortgage and real estate fraud, with South Florida ranking the highest among areas rife with such activity, according to information from LexisNexis.The region’s Mortgage Fraud Task Force, founded in 2007, has roped in approximately 600 con-artists to date.center_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Investors Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Fraud Processing Service Providers Top Stories of 2011 2011-08-05 Abby Gregory Sharelast_img read more

FOMC Votes No Change in Policy Foresees Slower Growth

first_img While noting “”improvement in economic activity and labor market conditions,”” the “”Federal Open Market Committee””: (FOMC) voted Wednesday to continue its policy of near-zero interest rates and its $85 billion-per-month bond-buying program.[IMAGE]At the same time, the Federal Reserve’s own economic projections suggested the economy might not grow this year as fast as it expected just three months ago.In a statement concluding its two-day monetary policy meeting, the FOMC said it “”decided to await more evidence that progress will be sustained before adjusting the pace of its purchases.””The committee adopted the policy by a 9-1 vote, with only Esther George, president of the Kansas City Fed, dissenting. St. Louis Fed President James Bullard, who had joined with George in her dissents earlier this year, voted in the majority as he had at the July meeting.””The Committee sees the downside risks to the outlook for the economy and the labor market as having diminished, on net, since last fall, but the tightening of financial conditions observed in recent months, if sustained, could slow the pace of improvement in the economy and labor market,”” the FOMC said in its statement. “”The Committee recognizes that inflation persistently below its 2 percent objective could pose risks to economic performance, but it anticipates that inflation will move back toward its objective over the medium term.””The FOMC said its actions ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├àÔÇ£should maintain downward pressure on longer-term interest rates, support mortgage markets, and help to make broader financial conditions more accommodative, which in turn should promote a stronger economic recovery and help to ensure that inflation, over time, is at the rate most consistent with the Committee’s dual mandate [of price stability and maximum sustainable economic growth].├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├é┬ØFed Chairman Ben Bernanke had originally said the FOMC would wait until the inflation rate rose to 2 percent and the unemployment rate fell to 6.5 percent before the Fed would begin “”tapering””–that is, gradually tightening its stimulative monetary policy. In recent weeks, though, Bernanke hinted the FOMC might act before its targets were achieved. Bernanke came under criticism from some [COLUMN_BREAK]economists who suggested that by acting before its own criteria were met, the FOMC would damage its credibility.At the same time its statement was released Wednesday, the FOMC also released the economic projections of the members of the Federal Reserve and the Federal Reserve Bank presidents. (The president of the New York Fed is a permanent member of the FOMC along with four of the remaining 11 regional presidents.)The projections were slightly weaker than those released three months ago, with slower growth this year–GDP growing 2.0 percent to 2.3 percent compared with 2.3 percent to 2.6 percent forecast in June–and the higher range of GDP growth reduced in the next two years.The projections suggested the unemployment rate criteria for tightening monetary policy might be achieved next year with a projected unemployment rate of 6.4 percent to 6.8 percent, but the more solid target is anticipated in 2015, when the unemployment rate is expected to range between 5.9 percent and 6.2 percent.The 2 percent inflation target–as measured by the personal consumption index tallied by the Bureau of Economic Analysis–is not expected to be reached until after 2016.Even though its criteria for tightening monetary policy remain elusive, the FOMC gave itself some wiggle room.””In judging when to moderate the pace of asset purchases,”” the FOMC said in its statement, “”the Committee will, at its coming meetings, assess whether incoming information continues to support the Committee’s expectation of ongoing improvement in labor market conditions and inflation moving back toward its longer-run objective. Asset purchases are not on a preset course, and the Committee’s decisions about their pace will remain contingent on the Committee’s economic outlook as well as its assessment of the likely efficacy and costs of such purchases.””In other words: Even if the targets are not achieved, the committee said it might act if it believes the economy is on a course to achieve them.Still, the FOMC remained skeptical.””Some indicators of labor market conditions have shown further improvement in recent months, but the unemployment rate remains elevated,”” the committee statement said. “”Household spending and business fixed investment advanced, and the housing sector has been strengthening, but mortgage rates have risen further and fiscal policy is restraining economic growth. Apart from fluctuations due to changes in energy prices, inflation has been running below the Committee’s longer-run objective, but longer-term inflation expectations have remained stable.””_Hear Mark Lieberman on P.O.T.U.S. radio (Sirius-XM 124) Friday at 6:20 a.m. Eastern._ Fed,FOMC Votes No Change in Policy, Foresees Slower Growth Share Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Ben S. Bernanke Bureau of Labor Statistics Census Bureau Confidence Consumer spending Federal Reserve Home Sales Home Values Inflation Investors Lenders & Servicers Mark Lieberman Mortgage Bonds Service Providers Unemployment 2013-09-18 Mark Liebermancenter_img September 18, 2013 421 Views in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicinglast_img read more

Clayton Holdings Appoints New Chief Revenue Officer

first_img October 10, 2016 564 Views Clayton Holdings 2016-10-10 Seth Welborn Andy PollockClayton Holdings LLC has announced the promotion of Andy Pollock to the position of chief revenue officer, where he will lead Clayton’s efforts to drive revenue streams in identify new growth opportunities.Pollock’s responsibilities as Clayton’s chief revenue officer also include leading enterprise sales and consulting strategy across Clayton and its subsidiaries, according to the announcement.“As we continue to develop exciting plans to pursue growth in 2017 and beyond, it is important to have a fully integrated and efficient enterprise sales and consulting strategy,” said Jeff Tennyson, president of Clayton Holdings. “Since Andy joined Clayton almost a year ago, he has consistently demonstrated his broad industry network, his deep mortgage experience and his boundless energy to lead and grow Clayton Consulting. I know he will bring that same passion and vision to his new role.”Pollock has been with Clayton since October 2015, when he joined the company as senior managing director, head of Consulting Services. His more than 25 years of operational experience in all phases of lending and servicing include several senior positions with First Franklin, where he has spent more than half his career. His positions with First Franklin include president and CEO. Pollock has also served as president and CEO at WDB Funding, an alternative commercial lending company, and he founded and served as managing partner of financial services consulting firm Global Logic Advisors.Clayton Holdings LLC is a national provider of loan due diligence, surveillance, REO management, consulting, valuation, title and settlement services, headquartered in Tampa, Florida. in Headlines, Newscenter_img Clayton Holdings Appoints New Chief Revenue Officer Sharelast_img read more

Smalldollar Loans Can Make a Big Difference

first_imgSmall-dollar Loans Can Make a Big Difference Affordability Borrowers FHA homes HOUSING Lenders loans Low-cost Homes mortgage Originations Single-Family Homes Urban Institute VA 2018-04-28 Radhika Ojha April 28, 2018 490 Views Low housing inventory and climbing home prices have been the source of numerous studies and headlines, and they are prominent issues impacting housing markets across the nation. However, while many homes in competitive markets are priced out of reach for most Americans, in other areas there quietly sit affordable homes that, despite their low prices, remain out of reach for low- and middle-income Americans. Despite finding “a substantial number of low-cost property sales taking place across many diverse housing markets,” researchers at the Urban Institute’s Housing Finance Policy Center say, “low-cost properties remain largely inaccessible to LMI [low- and middle-income] households because traditional mortgage financing is too difficult to obtain on these properties.” “Low-cost properties could be a larger source of affordable housing if credit access for purchasing and rehabilitating these properties were expanded and improved,” state researchers from the Urban Institute in their report, “Small-Dollar Mortgages for Single-Family Residential Properties.”Low-cost homes, priced at or under $70,000, are present in urban, suburban, and rural markets and “in many counties, small-dollar sales make up most home sales,” according to the Urban Institute. However, only about one in four homes sold for $70,000 or less were financed with a traditional mortgage as of 2015, and that number fluctuated between 25 and 29 percent between 2010 and 2015. On the other hand, close to 80 percent of homes sold for between $70,000 and $150,000 were financed with a traditional mortgage in 2015. The research also found the share of first-lien, single-family, owner-occupied home loan originations for low-priced homes between $10,000 and $70,000 was on the decline, falling from 8 percent of all home loan originations in 2009 to 5 percent of all originations in 2016. Over the same time period, the share of originations for homes sold for between $70,000 and $150,000 declined less than 1 percent, and loans for homes sold at higher prices increased in market share. Observing the channels that contribute to the small-dollar loan sector, the research found gaps between small-dollar market share and overall loan origination market share at the GSEs, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The GSEs contribute to 53 percent of all home loan originations but just 45 percent of small-dollar mortgage loans. The FHA takes 24 percent market share overall but contributes just to 19 percent of small-dollar mortgages, and the VA holds a 10 percent market share overall but just a 3 percent share of the small-dollar market. Twenty-eight percent of small-dollar loans are held in portfolios at small community banks, credit unions, and large lenders, despite the fact that just 9 percent of small-dollar loans are originated there. The researchers pointed out a few reasons for the lack of financing available for low-priced homes. First, potential homeowners hoping to purchase a low-cost home with financing were less attractive than investor buyers ready to purchase with cash. Second, the researchers point out that loan origination costs are largely fixed, making small-dollar loans less attractive to lenders, who can profit more from the larger spreads available in high-dollar loans. “The limited access to mortgage credit for low-cost properties has led to a growing imbalance in America’s housing that affects both demand and supply,” state the researchers at the Urban Institute. The impact is particularly acute among potential first-time buyers. The Urban Institute offers several recommendations to enhance the small-dollar loan market, including growing the role of the federal government, the secondary market, and community organizations in the small-dollar loan sector; creating “consumer-friendly, fairly priced small-dollar mortgage alternatives to traditional mortgages for home purchase, renovation, and refinance;” expanding “first look” programs that offer preference to first-time homeowners, low-income buyers, and minorities; and expanding finance options for manufactured housing.center_img in Daily Dose, Featured, News, Origination Sharelast_img read more

Good News for the Housing Market

first_img in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News January 24, 2019 958 Views Good News for the Housing Market? Do the latest U.S. housing market stats signal a time to smile? Yes, according to James Knightley, Chief International Economist at ING. “U.S. Housing markets had a pretty torrid time of things in 2018,” he said. This was particularly due to high borrowing costs as well as tax changes that were impacted the property taxes for many homeowners.However, things are looking up in 2019. Knightley looks at the mortgage application figures for the U.S. housing market in January to analyze how the market this year might be a better one than last year. Watch this video to learn more:center_img Home HOUSING Jobs mortgage Mortgage Applications U.S. Economy 2019-01-24 Radhika Ojha Sharelast_img read more

New Affordable Housing Council Met With Positive Reviews

first_imgPresident Donald Trump’s Executive Order to establish the White House Council on Eliminating Barriers to Affordable Housing has been met with positive reviews by several industry leaders. “The Five Star Institute recognizes and appreciates the important work that Dr. Ben Carson, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and Brian Montgomery are doing at HUD,” said Ed Delgado, President & CEO of Five Star Global. “Their work simply cannot be overlooked. The commitment to fair and affordable housing is critical in today’s marketplace, and we thank them for their leadership and action on this issue facing the housing market.” The Council, chaired by Carson, Secretary of HUD, will be composed of members from eight Federal agencies, tasked to engage State, local, and tribal leaders across the nation to discuss and alleviate issues surrounding affordable housing. “The [National Association of Home Builders] applauds President Trump for making housing a top national priority. With housing affordability near a 10-year low, the president’s executive order on this critical issue underscores that the White House is ready to take a leading role to help resolve the nation’s affordability crisis,” said Greg Ugalde, Chairman of the National Association of Home Builders. According to HUD, the construction of new homes has not kept pace with new household formations, because more than 25% of the cost of a new home is the direct result of Federal, State, and local regulations. Among the Council’s responsibilities, is to identify policies that artificially increase the cost of homeownership and reduce regulatory burdens. “The National Association of Realtors thanks President Trump for taking much-needed steps to address housing affordability in this country, and we look forward to continuing to work closely with the White House to ensure the American Dream remains attainable for all those who seek to become homeowners,” said John Smaby, President of the National Association of Realtors. According to First American’s Real Estate Sentiment Index, affordability has been the primary roadblock to homeownership, as those who found affordability to be an obstacle in 2019 increased to 40% from 30.1% year-over-year. “The main burden, affordability, confirms the strong sellers’ market conditions from 2018 have continued in many markets in early 2019, as demand outpaces supply and prices continue to rise,” said First American Chief Economist Mark Fleming.Editor’s note: Five Star Global is the parent company of MReport. New Affordable Housing Council Met With Positive Reviews June 28, 2019 336 Views in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, Newscenter_img Affordable Housing Ben Carson Department of Housing and Urban Development President Donald Trump 2019-06-28 Mike Albanese Sharelast_img read more