Greetings Virginia Real Estate Team Client Appreciation Movie Night

Each summer, the Greetings Virginia real estate sales team with Keller Williams Realty team hosts a client appreciation party to acknowledge our past clients, friends, family, and referral partners. Our real estate sales business is largely referral based from our happy past clients that refer us to their friends, families, and co-workers are in the market to Buy a Home, Sell a Home, or Invest in Real Estate.

When you buy a home or sell property with Greetings Virginia, you become a part of our GV Insider’s Club where we become your advocates for life. In addition to inviting you to great events like our annual Movie Night, we will be available to refer any resource to you that you may need in the future. Our extensive connections include close, well vetted relationships with almost any resource that you may ever need. Need a handyman or plumber or a chiropractor or massage therapist? Just pick up the phone and call us and we will introduce you. This is just another way that we provide World-class Solutions to our clients and past clients.

Members of our GV Insider’s Club enjoy invitations to free events such as Movie Night as well as our Christmas Tree Exchange and Toy Donation. In addition, we also support unwanted, abandoned, abused, or stray pets to be rescued and placed into loving homes by helping Homeward Trails Animal Rescue.


Check out a few photos from our last Greetings Virginia client appreciation Movie Night:


Some brought their kids and had loads of fun!

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How will technology impact loan originators in 2017?

The mortgage industry is at a pivotal moment. Today’s consumers are demanding a mortgage process that is fast, easy, and transparent. According to a recent J.D. Power survey, 21% of homeowners are dissatisfied with their mortgage lender. And that number is even higher for first-time homebuyers, at 27%.

However, mortgage technology has slowly been catching up. In 2016, we saw an explosion of new tech-focused lenders, origination platforms, and other tools to help professionals provide consumers with a better experience.

This year, loan originators will be the deciding factor in which technologies are adopted – and which die – as we head into 2018. Startups that are able to thoughtfully balance ease-of-use with compliance and security will gain serious traction and emerge as clear leaders.

I recently spoke with executives and leaders in the mortgage space about how technology will affect loan originators this year. Here are their insights and takeaways:

Josh Lehr, Zillow

I think the lenders’ theme for technology this year should be “Embrace.” Much of the B2B software in the market today is designed to make their lives easier but many are reluctant to adopt the technology because of compliance concerns or the fear of being excluded from the transaction. Many loan officers are concerned that they are being replaced by Artificial Intelligence and therefore are not embracing the amazing tools that have recently been developed in the marketplace. This has been validated by the number of conference sessions and webinars where this is the main point of discussion.

Millennial buyers are quickly adopting technology to provide self-service on the front end, but they still want professional expertise from lenders they can trust during the process as well. The loan officers that realize they can leverage this technology to improve the experience for their borrower and make their own lives easier by letting the borrower do the simple tasks such as doc collection and income verification for them will be the ones that succeed in building a better brand and increase the amount of traffic they can handle.

Jason van den Brand, Lenda

For those that have consistently embraced tech, and invested the time and resources to differentiate themselves toward a younger, digital native demographic, they should expect more automation each and every year. This will allow the role of an LO to rapidly evolve toward that of a support role, answering customer questions that aren’t answered online.

Machines will ultimately be responsible for helping consumers find the best product and price for their unique financial goals, as well as determining income and document needs before underwriting approval. But beware – Tesla isn’t Tesla because they put marketing on top of the Ford factory; they built it from the ground up. In other words, don’t expect banks or large lenders to be the drivers of change.

Clayton Collins, HousingWire

Forward thinking lenders are integrating automation and data collection solutions across mortgage application, underwriting and servicing processes. Automated solutions that order reports, verify assets and income, and reduce manual processes empower loan officers to complete loan applications in less time with greater accuracy.

Solutions that digitize the credit decisioning process pave the road for improved and higher-quality interactions between loan officers and borrowers, reducing the likelihood of unpleasant surprises at the closing table and the strenuous back-and-forth as borrowers track down financial records.

John Paasonen, Maxwell

Many are heralding this year as the year when lenders turn their full attention to technology investments. Loan originators should be ready to begin to adjust their workflows to become more efficient leveraging technology. Loan officers of the future will be successful by transforming fully into what they love already – coaching people through the complex transaction that is a mortgage – while leaving the tedious, repetitive tasks to technology.

Ori Zohar, Sindeo

The digital mortgage will become more common in 2017, and even the lenders that can’t provide this experience will begin adopting elements of it – like eSign, document verification at source, embedded chat, etc. The mortgage providers that do it right will use technology to enhance service, not replace it. The originators that don’t adopt new technology will be left behind.

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Fannie Mae announces credit risk transfer on $20.4 billion in loans

Fannie Mae announced it completed the first two traditional Credit Insurance Risk Transfer transactions of 2017 covering existing loans in the company’s portfolio.

The two deals, CIRT 2017-1 and CIRT 2017-2, became effective on Feb. 1 and cover $20.4 billion in loans. Fannie Mae announced the deals are part of an ongoing effort to reduce taxpayer risk by increasing the role of private capital in the mortgage market.

To date, Fannie Mae acquired nearly $4 billion of insurance coverage on just under $160 billion of loans through the CIRT program.

“These two CIRT transactions transferred $510 million of risk and were met with a record number of participants, which included sixteen reinsurers and insurers,” said Rob Schaefer, Fannie Mae vice president for credit enhancement strategy & management.

“We are pleased with the growing interest in our CIRT program and will continue to take steps to build liquidity in the risk-sharing market through the regularity and transparency of our credit risk transfer transactions,” Schaefer said.

In the first deal Fannie Mae retains the risk for the first 50 basis points of loss on the $18.1 billion pool of loans. If this $90 million retention layer is exhausted, reinsurers will cover the next 250 basis points of loss on the pool, up to a maximum coverage of about $452 million.

On the second deal, the GSE will retain risk for the first 50 basis points of loss on a $2.3 billion pool of loans. If this $11.5 million retention layer is exhausted, an insurer will cover the next 250 basis points of loss on the pool, up to a maximum coverage of about $57.5 million.

Fannie Mae explained coverage for these deals is provided based on actual losses for a term of 10 years. Depending on the pay down of the insured pool and the principal amount of insured loans that become seriously delinquent, the aggregate coverage amount may be reduced at the one-year anniversary and each anniversary of the effective date thereafter.

Fannie Mae may cancel the coverage at any time on or after the five-year anniversary of the effective date by paying a cancellation fee.

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CFPB fines Experian $3 million for lying about consumers’ credit scores

Experian, one of the nation’s three major credit reporting bureaus, misled consumers by telling them that the credit scores they purchased from the company were the same ones that lenders used to make credit decisions, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said Thursday.

And for that deception, the CFPB is fining Experian $3 million.

According to the CFPB, Experian developed its own proprietary credit scoring model, which it calls the “PLUS Score.” Experian then took that “PLUS Score” and applied it to information in consumer credit files to generate a credit score it offered directly to consumers.

Experian then marketed and sold the PLUS Score to consumers. The issue? The PLUS Score is “educational” and not used by lenders, the CFPB said.

According to the CFPB, lenders and other commercial users consider a consumers’ credit score when deciding whether to extend credit, but noted that no single credit score or credit scoring model is used by every lender.

The CFPB also notes that “in addition to the credit scores that are actually used by lenders, several companies have developed so-called ‘educational credit scores,’ which lenders rarely, if ever, use.”

Those scores are intended to educate consumers on their credit status.

But Experian represented to consumers that its educational credit score was the same credit score used by lenders, and that’s a violation of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the CFPB said.

According to the CFPB, Experian violated Dodd-Frank from at least 2012 through 2014 by “falsely representing that the credit scores it marketed and provided to consumers were the same scores lenders use to make credit decisions.”

The CFPB adds that in some cases, there were “significant” differences between the PLUS Scores that Experian provided to consumers and the various credit scores that lenders actually use.

“As a result, Experian’s credit scores in these instances presented an inaccurate picture of how lenders assessed consumer creditworthiness,” the CFPB said.

Additionally, the CFPB said that Experian also violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act, which requires a credit reporting company to provide a free credit report to consumers once every twelve months.

Until March 2014, consumers getting their annual report through Experian had to view Experian advertisements before they got to the report. This violates the Fair Credit Reporting Act prohibition of such advertising tactics, the CFPB said.

As a result of the violations, the CFPB is ordering Experian to pay a $3 million civil money penalty to the Bureau’s Civil Penalty Fund.

Additionally, Experian is required to “truthfully represent the usefulness of credit scores it sells” and “must inform consumers about the nature of the scores it sells to consumers.”

Experian is also required to install an “effective” compliance management system, under which Experian “must develop and implement a plan to make sure its advertising practices relating to credit scores and on Internet webpages that consumers access through comply with federal consumer laws and the terms of the CFPB’s consent order,” the CFPB said.

“Experian deceived consumers over how the credit scores it marketed and sold were used by lenders,” CFPB Director Richard Cordray said. “Consumers deserve and should expect honest and accurate information about their credit scores, which are central to their financial lives.” 

In a statement, an Experian spokesperson said that the company does not believe its practices were illegal, but chose to settle to move forward.

“While we do not believe our practices violated the law and did not admit to any of the allegations, in the interest of moving our business forward and staying focused on delivering an exceptional product and service experience to our clients and consumers, Experian has accepted the consent order,” Experian said in statement.

“The consent order addresses past products and marketing disclosures and does not reflect current marketing practices,” Experian continued. “Experian will execute all actions directed by the CFPB; except for limited changes, our current marketing practices are already compliant with the order.”

[Update: This article is updated with a statement from Experian.]

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These 4 charts break down the details behind Millennials living at home

Student debt, housing affordability and income are commonly tossed out as the culprits behind Millennials needing to move back in with their parents. The details, however, expand a lot farther than there, as a new report from ABODO, an apartment hunting website, unravels after analyzing data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Starting with the basics, ABODO points out that Millennials are the largest generation in the U.S., making up about one-third of the population. Plus, they are now the most diverse generation and most educated generation.

Yet, on the other hand, this same generation is more often found living with their parents than on their own. 

According to the data, approximately 34.1% of all Millennials in the U.S. have yet to move out.  

ABODO decided to break down the cities with the highest percentage of Millennials living at home, along with why this is happening.

Here are the four charts they came up with as a result.

This first chart looks at the MSAs with the most Millennials staying home, with Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, Florida jumping out in the No. 1 spot. In this area, there are a whopping 44.8% of 18- to 34-year-olds live who with their parents.

And a quick glance of the chart also shows there are some state represented twice, such as California and Texas.

Click to enlarge


(Source: ABODO)

This next chart is handy since it breaks down the average age and gender of Millennials living at home. After all, technically 18-year-olds and 19-year-olds are Millennials, and it’s not too alarming to see them living at home.

However, what is noteworthy is that 30% of Millennials at home are 26 or older.

Click to enlarge


(Source: ABODO)

From here, ABODO factors in the impact of a college education, which is a little complicated.

The report joked that the popular narrative of Millennials moving back in with their parents after majoring in English might be also slightly overstated since only 12% of Millennials living at home listed a bachelor’s degree as the pinnacle of their education, though 18% of Millennials as a whole stopped after their four-year degree.

Click to enlarge


(Source: ABODO)

This final chart breaks down the 16 MSAs ABODO examined even further, spotlighting the average rent in each area versus the average income.

The reported noted that the U.S. government defines a cost-burdened renter as someone who spends more than 30% of his or her income on rent.

This chart puts into perspective exactly how expensive the 16 MSAs are for Millennials.

Click to enlarge


(Source: ABODO)

The report concludes that the problem isn’t just high rent, lack of education, unemployment or low pay. Often, it’s a combination. The four charts above help highlight the pain points for why Millennials have to live at home and what those Millennials look like. 

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FHFA: Fannie, Freddie single security needs another year to finish

Citing the need for additional time for testing and development to ensure a “smooth transition,” the Federal Housing Finance Agency announced Thursday that the implementation of the single security.

This projected billion-dollar joint initiative from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will develop a single mortgage-backed security that will be issued by the government-sponsored enterprises. It is being officially pushed back until the second quarter of 2019.

Previously, the implementation of the second phase of the single security rollout was to take place in 2018, but the FHFA is pushing it back.

And the FHFA did more than update the timeline for the use of the single security on Thursday; it also unveiled the name for the single security and revealed how much the development of the single security is costing.

According to information provided by the FHFA, the delay is the result of an “extensive review of lessons learned” undertaken after the successful implementation of Release 1, the first phase of the single security rollout.

As part of Release 1, which was implemented late last year, Freddie Mac began using the Common Securitization Platform.

The Common Securitization Platform is the technology and operational platform that is being developed by Common Securitization Solutions, the company formed in 2014 by Fannie and Freddie to facilitate the design and implementation of the single government-sponsored enterprise mortgage bond.

Freddie Mac was first to implement the use of the CSP, using it for data acceptance, issuance support and bond administration activities released to current single-class, fixed-rate, mortgage backed securities.

When the FHFA announced the implementation of Release 1, it said that it expected the full implementation of Release 2 to be completed in 2018.

The second phase of the rollout, Release 2, will see both GSEs begin to use the data acceptance, issuance support, disclosure and bond administration modules to perform activities related to their current fixed-rate securities, both single- and multi-class; to issue Single Securities, including commingled resecuritizations; and to perform activities related to the underlying loans.

Now, after reviewing Release 1 and gauging the progress on the development of Release 2, the FHFA is pushing the full rollout of the single security to 2019.

“The drivers of this anticipated implementation date include the demonstrated need for additional time for the development, testing, validation of controls, and governance processes necessary to have the highest level of confidence that the implementation will be both smooth and successful,” the FHFA said in its release.

“The implementation of Release 1 demonstrates that the system, operations, and controls of CSS and the CSP are functional,” the FHFA said.

“This should provide greater assurance to market participants and policymakers that Release 2 will be successfully implemented,” the FHFA continued. “Just as Release 1 was a large and complex undertaking, Release 2 will be as well. In fact, Release 2 will entail additional complexity and challenges in that it will require close coordination with many market participants and vendors, as well as close attention to software development and back-office operations.”

As part of the announcement, the FHFA said that once the implementation of Release 2 is completed, Fannie and Freddie will begin to use the CSP to issue the single, common security, which will be called the Uniform Mortgage-Backed Security or UMBS.

Here are more details on Release 2, courtesy of the FHFA:

Release 2 will allow both Enterprises to use the Data Acceptance, Issuance Support, Disclosure, and Bond Administration modules of the CSP. The Enterprises will use those modules to perform activities related to their outstanding fixed-rate, single- and multi-class mortgage-backed securities, including the new UMBS and single- and multi-class resecuritizations of UMBS.

Single-class resecuritizations of UMBS (to be known as Supers) will be analogous to Fannie Mae Megas and Freddie Mac Giants, which are respectively single-class resecuritizations of Fannie Mae MBS and Freddie Mac PCs. Multi-class resecuritizations will include tranched securities such as collateralized mortgage obligations (CMOs) and real estate mortgage investment conduits (REMICs). Such resecuritizations may commingle UMBS or Supers originally issued by both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The CSP modules will also be used to perform activities related to the loans underlying those securities. Additionally, Release 2 will allow the Enterprises to use CSS and the CSP to issue and administer certain non-TBA securities, including securities backed by adjustable-rate mortgages.

As part of the update, the FHFA also disclosed the cost of the development of the single security to this point.

According to the report, since the single security project was first announced in February 2012, the GSEs have invested $454 million to develop the CSP and organize and initiate CSS operations.

The initiation of CSS, the company that is overseeing the implementation process, involved establishing its corporate functions, including corporate finance, enterprise risk management, information security, human resource management, and internal audit.

To this point, much of the projects costs have been tied to building the single security and the platform to deliver it. In 2016, for example, the GSEs spent $158 million on “build” expenses, which relate to the development and testing activities undertaken by CSS to enable the GSEs to use the CSP and the related infrastructure and operational processes.

Additionally, the GSEs spent $58.6 million in 2016 on “run” expenses, which relate to the activities undertaken by CSS to run the CSP and related processes for the GSEs and to operate CSS as a stand-alone business, including the ongoing support for the platform software and hardware in production, operation of securitization business processes, regular business continuity and disaster recovery testing, and ongoing implementation of CSS corporate functions.

According to the FHFA, the GSEs are projected to spend an additional $616.3 million between 2017 and the end of 2019 on the continued development of the single security.

Build costs are expected remain basically static for 2017, while run costs are expected to rise to $85.2 million.

In 2018, the cost spread is expected to reverse, with more money going to run expenses (an estimated $126.8 million) rather than build expenses (an estimated $81.4 million).

And in 2019, all the cost (an estimated $165.8 million) is expected to go to run expenses, as shown in the chart below.

CSP cost breakdown

(Click to enlarge)

The FHFA notes that upon the implementation of Release 2, CSS will be responsible for bond administration of approximately 900,000 securities, which are backed by almost 26 million home loans having a principal balance of over $4 trillion, so a properly functioning CSP is critical.

Between the $454 million spent so far on the single security project and the estimated $616.3 million that the GSEs will spend between this year and 2019, the total cost of the development of the single security will push past $1 billion.

But the FHFA said that it expects to make that money back quickly thanks to the cost savings that will come from the single security.

According to the FHFA, one of the key goals of the single security project is to reduce the costs to Freddie Mac and taxpayers that come from the “persistent difference in the liquidity of Fannie Mae MBS and Freddie Mac PCs.”

That “persistent difference in liquidity” imposed “significant annual costs” on Freddie Mac, and ultimately on taxpayers, the FHFA said, because it lowers the amounts available for dividend payments by Freddie Mac to the Department of the Treasury under the Senior Preferred Stock Purchase Agreement.

Under the Senior Preferred Stock Purchase Agreement, the GSEs send all quarterly profits to the Treasury.

According to the FHFA, Fannie and Freddie both issuing the UMBS rather than different securities should “recoup most, if not all, of the cost to the Enterprises of building the CSP and CSS” over time.

In fact, the FHFA currently projects that use of the UMBS will save $400 million to $600 million per year.

“The CSP and Single Security are ambitious projects. I am very pleased with the hard work and determination of all those involved who helped make Release 1 a success and laid the foundation for successful implementation of Release 2,” FHFA Director Melvin Watt said.

“I am also grateful for the support and input we have received from the public and from industry participants,” Watt continued. “I encourage all market participants to begin moving forward with their preparations to make the changes they will need to accompany implementation of the Single Security Initiative.”

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