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Partnerships Grow, New Mortgage Companies Join HLP October 2015

As we head into 2015’s home stretch, HLP is busy forging new partnerships on a variety of fronts. HLP continues to enroll new mortgage companies and counselors, while expanding use with its existing partners. HLP is also broadening its reach to include new

Take 5

organizations, such as state housing agencies and bankruptcy attorneys, who work with distressed homeowners.

Danny Gardner provides insight into Freddie Mac’s affordable lending.

“Our expanded technology platform gives us the capability to provide more products, from origination to servicing,” says Cam Melchiorre, HLP’s chief executive officer. “As a result, we are now providing a full array of services to meet the needs of a variety of groups in the housing industry.”

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New Platform for Originations NeighborWorks Highlights HLP Value

HLP will make a major announcement in November regarding our new platform that helps families achieve homeownership and this month’s Take 5 features Danny Gardner of Freddie Mac highlighting the importance of homeownership and affordable lending.

Agency notes contributions in NFMC report to Congress.

Here is a recap of recent partnerships reached with several organizations and others in the works:

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Mortgage Servicers Join, Others Expand Use New servicers include Ditech Mortgage (formerly Green Tree Servicing) and EverBank. SPS added our Homeowner Connect portal to work directly with borrowers seeking assistance. Bank of America renewed its master agreement with HLP for another three years. Wells Fargo expanded its use of HLP to support counselors working with its borrowers in some targeted programs, improving the exchange of information and adding new ways to measure effectiveness.

In 2014, Freddie Mac financed housing for almost 1.7 million families, including 1.2 million single-family, owner-occupied units.

Our Counseling Agencies Grow, Expand The Homeownership Preservation Foundation, the nation’s largest nonprofit coun­seling organization, recently started use of HLP for all cases referred to Fannie Mae’s Mortgage Help Network. Clarifi completed an automated data exchange project between HLP and their case management system, saving thousands of dollars each month and also enabling participation in fee-for-ser­vice programs operated by Fannie Mae and Wells Fargo. …continued on page 3


Danny Gardner joined Freddie Mac in March as the company’s Single Family Vice President of Affordable Lending and Access to Credit. He is responsible for increasing the availability of affordable mortgage credit for low and moderate income borrowers and underserved communities. Below, Gardner provides insight into Freddie’s affordable lending activities

What is needed to responsibly increase access to credit for low/moderate income families?

expanded credit and shorter, narrower liability is a sound formula for confidently taking on more business.

Today, it is about education: Education for the borrower, the loan officers, the real estate professional, the housing counselor; everyone involved in the homebuying process. Education may be more critical today because the homebuying and lending process has become very complex. Before making a decision, borrowers should understand their alternatives and the trade-offs they may have to make to get an affordable mortgage

My other goal is to develop closer two-way relationships with counseling agencies who know how to turn people who dream about owning a home into qualified borrowers who can actually buy one they can afford. For example, in my previous positions, we would refer borrowers who were “near misses” to counseling agencies to identify and whenever possible remove the credit obstacle that was holding them back.

What are your top three priorities for the coming year?

How can counselors help new borrowers sustain homeownership?

My top priority is to responsibly expand the availability of affordable credit to people who want to buy homes. We have several short- and long-term projects underway that will open the credit door for potential borrowers. My next goal is for Freddie Mac to be a catalyst to drive comprehensive support for aspirational homeowners in a simple, logical and transparent process where all participants are engaged to act in the borrower’s best interest towards a singular goal. My third priority is to succeed in achieving my first two priorities and make Freddie Mac synonymous with affordable lending.

Housing counselors play a pivotal role by identifying and developing new borrowers in their communities. Our research has shown pre-purchase counseling can reduce default risk by as much as a third. We are looking at different ways to bring lenders and counseling agencies together so more families can acquire the knowledge and the capability to become successful long-term homeowners.

Credit is still constrained. What steps should lenders take to increase affordable lending? It’s time to eliminate obsolete overlays and take full advantage of our expanded credit box, including our 97% LTV HomePossible Advantage mortgage, and our framework for representation and warranty relief. The combination of

How has your view of Freddie Mac changed since you joined the organization? I took a leap of faith to come here and have been amazed by a collegial culture that has a will to win. Freddie Mac is intensely focused on serving our customers and their community partners. My goal is to focus that energy to give our lender and their community partners the capacity to grow their businesses successfully. I also think we can all agree that in our business success means putting more qualified families into homes they can call their own for as long as they want.


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States Look to Help Homeowners HLP is working with several state housing agencies to provide technology solutions that will improve service to homeowners and make the agencies more productive. These states are exploring the use of HLP’s technology platform for use in a variety of homeowner assistance programs, including down payment assistance, loan servicing and foreclosure mediation.

NeighborWorks Report to Congress Report Shines Light on HLP

Helping Attorneys Get Faster Decisions HLP continues to expand its reach to bank­ruptcy attorneys, recently exhibiting at two national conferences. We are also working with state courts to offer a bankruptcy mediation platform service to find non-judicial foreclosure solutions and expedite the bankruptcy process. More than 600 attorneys are now enrolled in HLP.

Several favorable statements about the value and importance of HLP have been filed by NeighborWorks America as part

We would love to add your organization to this list! Contact us at mark.cole@hlp.org for more information.

of the organization’s recent annual report to Congress on the National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling (NFMC) program. HLP has been the technology provider for housing programs funded by the federal government and overseen by NeighborWorks.

An Uber for the Mortgage Industry?

Here are some excerpts of the statements made by NeighborWorks in the report: Page 1 –“…The use of Hope LoanPort to streamline the loan modification submission process with servicers is considered an efficient method by many grantees.” Page 8 – “…Utilizing Hope LoanPort, a web-based platform that allows housing counselors to submit complete modification packages, has helped improve efficiency according to Grantees.” Page 9 – “…Grantees also report that utilizing Hope LoanPort, a technologybased communications platform between counselors and servicers, has helped improve communication.”

For most people, buying a home is the single largest financial transaction of their lives—and the most complicated. Many consumers feel they have an inadequate understanding and little control over most aspects of this process, leaving them dependent on others (e.g. lenders, realtors, title companies) to get a loan, negotiate a price, handle their closing and make other critical decisions. As a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people buy and sustain home­ ownership, HLP has been working on

a solution that will give homeowners more control over the process, particularly low- and moderate-income families and others seeking affordable housing. Much like Uber has changed transpor­ tation, we believe that simplifying the process and connecting people to trusted resources and advice via an app and a few clicks can do the same for millions of prospective home­owners. In our November issue, we will announce more details about this new platform, as well as the bene­ fits for mortgage lenders and housing counseling agencies.

Coming Next Month Credit remains tight and many potential new homebuyers are regularly turned down for new mortgage loans. Working closely with mortgage originators and counseling agencies, HLP will announce a new service that will help these prospective homebuyers qualify for a mortgage loan and bring open up a new source of customers for mortgage companies.

“We are pleased to be recognized by Neighborworks and proud to be able to provide homeowners, counseling agencies and others with a valuable service,” said Cam Melchiorre, HLP’s CEO.“ mark.cole@hlp.org | 410.942.6464 x1021 | 100 International Drive | 23rd Floor | Baltimore, Maryland 21202

HLP News—October 2015  

News and updates from HLP. This month we take a look at our new partnerships.

HLP News—October 2015  

News and updates from HLP. This month we take a look at our new partnerships.