Industry Briefs May 17, 2023: FHFA Requests Input on GSEs’ Single-Family Pricing Framework

FHFA Requests Input on GSEs’ Single-Family Pricing Framework

The Federal Housing Finance Agency issued a Request for Input on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s single-family pricing framework. The RFI solicits public feedback on goals and policy priorities that FHFA should pursue in its oversight of the pricing framework.

FHFA also seeks input on the process for setting the Enterprises’ single-family upfront guarantee fees, including whether it is appropriate to continue to link upfront guarantee fees to the Enterprise Regulatory Capital Framework, which was established in 2020, and has a significant impact on the risk-based pricing component of the Enterprises’ guarantee fees.

FHFA invites interested parties to provide written input, feedback, and information on all aspects of this RFI by August 14. The RFI can be found here.

LenderLogix Enhances LiteSpeed Platform to Support Spanish-Speaking Mortgage Borrowers

LenderLogix, Buffalo, N.Y., announced its streamlined point-of-sale LiteSpeed now offers a Spanish version of the residential loan application to support communication with Spanish-speaking borrowers in their native language.

By having Spanish as a supported language option within LiteSpeed, lenders can better communicate with the Spanish-speaking subset of their limited English proficiency borrowers to ensure they enter the homebuying process with greater confidence and a clearer understanding of the transaction.

Fitch Ratings Publishes Commercial Mortgage Servicer Handbook

Fitch Ratings New York, published its Commercial Mortgage Servicer Handbook, with profiles of its 43 rated commercial mortgage servicers across North America.

Fitch’s coverage includes 26 primary, 11 master and 35 special servicers. Recent additions include ACORE Capital, LP (CPS3, CSS3+), Essex Financial Services LLC (CPS3+), and K-Star Asset Management LLC (CSS3). Fitch assigns four types of ratings for commercial mortgage servicers: primary, master, special and loan-level special servicer. Fitch’s commercial mortgage servicer ratings apply to all aspects of commercial real estate (CRE) servicing for all property and loan types. Commercial mortgage servicer ratings are typically requested by servicers that manage loans on behalf of securitized transactions, third-party providers, balance sheet loans or government-sponsored enterprises such as Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae in the U.S. or the Canadian Mortgage Housing Corporation in Canada.

CBRE Acquires Commercial Land Surveying Service Provider

CBRE, Dallas, acquired Millman National Land Services, Canton, Ohio, a provider of commercial land surveying services across the United States.

Millman provides full-scale land services nationally, including American Land Title Association/National Society of Professional Surveyors surveys, telecommunications/cell tower surveys, zoning reports and real estate compliance solutions. The acquisition provides CBRE with the opportunity to provide ALTA/NSPS survey capabilities to clients directly as part of its Assessment and Consulting Services team within Valuation and Advisory Services.

Redfin Launches ChatGPT Plugin

Redfin, Seattle, launched a ChatGPT plugin to help people find homes. The Redfin ChatGPT plugin was built with OpenAI, an AI research and deployment company, and is available now for eligible ChatGPT users to install and enable from the Plugin store. Anyone can join the waitlist to get access in the future.

People can use the Redfin ChatGPT plugin to describe their ideal home and neighborhood in everyday terms and find listings that suit their needs. For example, “I’m moving to Houston for a new job with a $150,000 salary. Show me three-bedroom homes for sale with private outdoor entertaining space in neighborhoods with trendy restaurants.” The Redfin ChatGPT plugin will answer with a list of homes that fit the bill. Users can click the links to the listing pages, where they can book an on-demand tour with an experienced, local Redfin agent.

The BIG Point of Sale Integrates to ICE Mortgage Technology

Mortgage Automation Technologies Inc., Fairfield, N.J., announced integration of its point of sale system, The BIG Point of with the API Platform available through ICE Mortgage Technology, part of Intercontinental Exchang, Inc.

The BIG Point of Sale offers a configurable platform with a mixture of consumer and origination portals in multiple formats including web landing page, mobile application and kiosk. The system leverages the ICE Mortgage Technology API Platform to provide a single point of truth database architecture. This architecture eliminates the need for a secondary loan repository outside of Encompass by ICE Mortgage Technology. The system allows originators to monitor and adjust loan files from their mobile device including generating pre-approvals.

Reggora Launches Appraisal Fulfillment Product

Reggora, Boston, launched its appraisal fulfillment platform, The Appraisal Marketplace.

The Appraisal Marketplace leverages data running through the Reggora Appraisal Management Platform to improve performance by automatically matching each order with the appraiser that’s right for the job. The “Uber-style” algorithm relies on real-time evaluation of appraiser performance at given workloads, anticipated drive routes and proximity scores, due date urgency and subject property complexity scores/appraiser expertise.

JLL Announces Design Service with Design Solutions

JLL, Chicago, renamed its Big Red Rooster business Design Solutions, a full-service design consultancy backed by global experts in real estate and design. With this fusion, JLL’s clients will benefit from a broader service offering and enhanced global connectivity with its designers across the world.

Design Solutions provides clients with a full-service design consultancy that delivers effective spaces that propel growth. This alignment is bolstered by JLL’s global team of experts in project management, energy sustainability, tenant representation, agency leasing and property and facilities management.

Clear Capital, ValueLink Expand Partnership to Support Recent Appraisal Modernization Policy Changes

Clear Capital, Reno, Nev., expanded its partnership with ValueLink, a valuation management platform, to increase support for appraisal modernization policy changes.

ValueLink customers now have access to Clear Capital’s proprietary Universal Data Collection, designed to ensure fast and accurate collection and submission that meets Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae data standards for property data reports and property data collections respectively. UDC provides lenders with interchangeability and less complexity in loan management, as well as ease of adoption by integrating with ValueLink’s appraisal management platforms.

CFPB Issues Guidance to Rein in Creation of Fake Accounts to Harvest Fees

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a circular affirming that a bank may violate federal law if it unilaterally reopens a deposit account to process transactions after a consumer has already closed it.

The CFPB said it has observed in complaints that even after a consumer completes all the required steps to close an account, their bank has “reopened” the closed account and assessed overdraft and nonsufficient funds fees. Consumers have reported to the CFPB that financial institutions have also charged account maintenance fees upon reopening, even if the consumer was not required to pay account maintenance fees prior to account closure.

“When a bank unilaterally chooses to open an account in someone’s name after they have already closed it, this is a fake account,” said CFPB Director Rohit Chopra. “The CFPB is acting on all fronts to halt the harvesting of illegal junk fees.”

The circular confirms that banks may risk violating the Consumer Financial Protection Act’s prohibition on unfair acts or practices by unilaterally reopening closed accounts. Consumers may incur overdraft, non-sufficient funds, or monthly maintenance fees when a closed account is reopened by the bank. This practice may also enable third parties to access a consumer’s funds without consent. If reopening the account overdraws the account, banks may also furnish negative information to consumer reporting companies if consumers do not settle negative balances quickly. Consumers often cannot reasonably avoid the risk of substantial injury caused by this practice because they cannot control a third party’s attempt to debit or deposit money, the process and timing of account closure, or the terms of deposit account agreements.

Truv Acquires Credegraph

Truv, New York, acquired Credegraph, a transaction cleansing engine that derives more than 2,200 credit-specific attributes that are Fair Credit Reporting Act-compliant from financial account transaction data.

Combined with Truv’s financial account aggregation capabilities, this provides lenders with a transaction data cleansing engine focused on providing FCRA compliant credit-specific attributes from financial account transactions. These attributes remove any manual burden placed on risk and analytics teams to cleanse transaction data and creates insights that better predict an applicant’s ability to repay a loan, increasing underwriting efficiency, while also reducing risk by creating a predictable book of business. 

Ncontracts Webinar May 24: What Does Resilience Look Like? Building Future-Proof Financial Institutions

Ncontracts, Brentwood, Tenn., holds a webinar, What Does Resilience Look Like? Building Future-Proof Financial Institutions, on Wednesday, May 24 at 1:00 p.m. CT.

Today’s financial institutions need to be able to adapt to a changing world. From unexpected events to gradual shifts in consumer behavior and the operating environment, resilient financial institutions are prepared to deal with everything from operational disruptions to financial risk. In this webinar, our panel of experts will highlight strategies for fostering resilience and maintaining stability in an ever-changing risk landscape.

For more information and to register, click

Ginnie Mae MBS Portfolio Grows to $2.37 Trillion

Ginnie Mae, Washington, D.C., reported its mortgage-backed securities portfolio outstanding grew to $2.373 trillion at the end of the first quarter, an increase of $80 billion, with gross issuance ranging within $24-28 billion each month.

First quarter new MBS issuance supported financing of more than 281,000 households, including more than 126,000 first-time homebuyers. Mortgage loans pooled into Ginnie Mae MBS included more than 45,000 households who avoided foreclosure.

Q1 2023 issuance includes $77.15 billion of Ginnie Mae II MBS and $3.50 billion of Ginnie Mae I MBS, including $3.13 billion in loans for multifamily housing. Nearly 30% of these multifamily MBS properties had Green or Green/Affordable designations from FHA’s lending program.

Redfin: Asking Rents Flattened in April as Landlords Faced Rising Vacancies

Redfin, Seattle, said the median U.S. asking rent rose 0.3% year over year to $1,967 in April—the 11th-consecutive month of slowing growth, compared to a revised increase of 1.4% one month earlier and a 16% increase one year earlier. On a month-over-month basis, the median asking rent fell 0.2.

“The balance of power in the rental market is tipping back in tenants’ favor as supply catches up with demand. That’s easing affordability challenges and giving renters a little wiggle room to negotiate in some areas,” said Redfin Deputy Chief Economist Taylor Marr. “The market has become more balanced, but the scales could tip back in favor of landlords if homebuilders pump the brakes on new construction in response to slowing rent growth.”

Marr said rent growth is also decelerating because many people are opting to stay put. Fewer people are moving due to economic uncertainty, slowing household formation, still-high rental costs in many markets, and the rising cost of other goods and services due to inflation.

Mortgage Investors Group Selects Digital Advertising Strategy with Adwerx

Mortgage Investors Group launched a customized and hyperlocal digital advertising strategy with Adwerx. The Adwerx Platform generates personalized and company-branded digital ads to fast-track awareness of the services provided by each of the firm’s dedicated loan officers.

Adwerx’s Platform enables both the brokerage and its producers to build brand awareness by seamlessly generating ads that appear on Facebook, Instagram, popular mobile apps and premium websites that potential clients visit on a daily basis. Using retargeting, these automated ads increase visibility and maximize online exposure as the loan officers’ ads follow potential clients who have visited their web page to subsequent sites they visit.