Setting The Stage

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32 | Th e M Rep o RT o r i g i nat i o n s e r v i c i n g a na ly t i c s s e c o n da r y M a r k e t ORIGINATION the latest "When you have [the education], you're not stressed. We have to do a better job in our industry of educating folks." — Randell Gillespie, Bank of America Private Mortgage insurers launch new trade group It's out with the old, in with the new for the insurance industry. s ix of the nation's leading active mortgage insur- ance (MI) companies announced in March the formation of a new trade as- sociation: U.S. Mortgage Insurers (USMI). Founded by member companies Arch MI, Essent, Genworth MI, MGIC, National MI, and Radian Guaranty, the new organiza- tion replaces Mortgage Insurance Companies of America (MICA), which wound up operations earlier this year. Rohit Gupta, president and CEO of Genworth MI and co-chair of USMI, said the goal of the organization is to put a renewed focus on the benefits of MI in helping ensure access to housing finance for borrowers. "As policymakers focus on the need to create a strong, stable housing finance system, USMI companies are strongly positioned to serve the housing finance mar- ket and are actively engaged in efforts to ensure that MI remains a reliable foundation for the future housing finance system," Gupta said. With new capital entering the industry, new master policies reshaping claims handling, and regulatory reforms underway, USMI hopes to help shape the path forward, added Adolfo Marzol, EVP at Essent and also co-chair for the group. "The expanded use of MI can be done gradually, providing a sensible transition forward that does not place at risk the proper functioning of a large and complex U.S. housing finance system. MI is ready to do more," Marzol said. Joining Gupta and Marzol on USMI's board of directors are Teresa Bryce Bazemore, presi- dent of Radian Guaranty; David Gansberg, president and CEO of Arch MI; Patrick Mathis, EVP and chief risk officer of National MI; and Patrick Sinks, president and COO of MGIC. survey Highlights consumers' need for clear guidance Consumers are happier about the lending experience but remain stressed. H omebuyers polled in a recent survey rated their experience more positively than those in 2013, but when it comes to simplifying and de-stressing the experience, lenders still have some progress to make. In a survey of 1,500 consum- ers who purchased a home in the last 10 years, TD Bank found 69 percent would describe their experience with their lender as "excellent" or "very good," up from 66 percent in its 2013 survey. Another 25 percent ranked their lending experience as just "okay." Sixty-two percent rated the homebuying process as a whole as "excellent" or "very good," down slightly from last year's survey. Rating specific aspects of their experience, 66 percent said they were satisfied with the mortgage approval process, down 1 percent- age point year-over-year. Also down was the number of consum- ers who said they were happy with their experiences in finding a home, reflecting frustrations stem- ming from inventory constraints in the past couple of years. On the lender side, "accessibility" and "responsiveness" ranked highest among consumer experiences, while relatively fewer respondents were happy with their lender's efforts to explain options or help them under- stand the process. "The results of this year's TD Bank Mortgage Service Index indicate that there is still a need to provide consumers with more in- formation and clarity in the home financing process," said Michael Copley, EVP of retail lending for TD Bank. Given their worries about the complexities of borrowing, it may come as no surprise that more consumers reported their home- buying experience was "extreme- ly" or "very" stressful—30 percent compared to 24 percent last year. Randell Gillespie, regional sales executive for Bank of America, likened the borrower experience to preparing inexperienced travel- ers for their first flight: If they know what to expect and how to pack, the security line doesn't look as intimidating. "In what our teams see, those who would describe [homebuy- ing] as stressful is due to a lack of knowledge, preparation, and educa- tion," he said. "When you have [the education], you're not stressed. We have to do a better job in our industry of educating folks."

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