January 2016 - Out of the Woods

TheMReport — News and strategies for the evolving mortgage marketplace.

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48 | TH E M R EP 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 HomePlus Mortgage Ranked First Among LendingTree Customers LENDINGTREE RANKED LENDERS BASED ON CUSTOMER REVIEWS OF RESPONSIVENESS, MORTGAGE RATES, CLOSING COSTS, AND CUSTOMER SERVICE. CALIFORNIA // When it comes to customer service, responsive- ness, mortgage rates, and closing costs, HomePlus Mortgage ranked first in a poll of loan custom- ers conducted by online lending marketplace LendingTree. LendingTree analyzed customer reviews for the third quarter of 2015, ranking lenders on every - thing from mortgage rates to fees, closing costs, responsiveness, and customer experience. After analyzing the data, HomePlus Mortgage came in first, followed by Pulaski Bank Home Lending and Triumph Lending. LendingTree provides more than 350 different lenders with information on interested borrow - ers who are looking for purchase mortgages, as well as refis and home equity mortgage lines. "We are honored to be consecu- tively ranked as LendingTree's top customer-rated lender, and thank our clients for entrusting us with their real estate financing needs," said Phillip Pizzino, founder and CEO of HomePlus Mortgage. "We've had the privilege to work with thousands of satisfied clients on LendingTree and contribute our success to our commitment to exceptional personalized service." Based out of San Diego, California, the lender notes on its website that customers engage directly with loan officers, with the firm's ultimate goal being the highest level of service and com - petitive mortgage loan offerings. LendingTree's full list of top 10 lenders includes: 1. HomePlus Mortgage 2. Pulaski Bank Home Lending 3. Triumph Lending 4. Americash 5. Ditech Financial, LLC 6. Silver Fin Capital Group 7. National Bank Of Kansas City 8. Commonwealth Mortgage, LLC 9. Insight Loans 10. Reliant Bank Mortgage Service DOJ Settles Discrimination Suit with Massachusetts Bank SAGE BANK ALLEGEDLY DISCRIMINATED AGAINST BORROWERS BASED ON RACE AND NATIONAL ORIGIN. MASSACHUSETTS // The Justice Department recently announced a settlement agreement to re- solve allegations that a Lowell, Massachusetts-based bank prac- ticed discriminatory lending based on race and national origin. The Justice Department filed a complaint and proposed consent order at the end of November to alleviate the allegations against Sage Bank. A news release from the DOJ showed Sage Bank allegedly violated the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) by charging African- Americans and Hispanics more for home loans than white bor - rowers, despite their creditworthi- ness or financial situations. The Department's complaint, which originated from a referral by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., said from January 2011 through May 2014, Sage Bank originated mortgage loans to about 550 African-American and Hispanic borrowers. These loans not only provided the bank with higher revenue, but also caused African-Americans to spend about $2,500 more for their loan, while Hispanics paid about $1,400 more, the released stated. "Sage Bank's loan pricing poli- cies created the risk that borrow- ers would be treated differently based on impermissible character- istics like race and national origin, and that was in fact the result," said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, head of the Civil Rights Division. "This settlement ensures that all potential borrowers will be treated equally, regardless of race and national origin, and Sage Bank has agreed to restructure and monitor its lending practices to ensure that it is meeting those obligations." Under the consent order, which is subject to court approval, Sage Bank will: • Pay $1,175,000 into a settlement fund to compensate borrow- ers and applicants who were harmed by Sage Bank's policies; • Establish a new loan pricing policy and a new loan officer compensation policy; • Have loan officers and bank employees undergo fair housing and fair lending training; and • Establish a monitoring pro- gram to detect future unlawful disparities in mortgage loan pricing. "Sage Bank's discriminatory practices were aimed at some of our most vulnerable neighbor - hoods and populations," said U.S. Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz of the District of Massachusetts. "Homeownership is the founda- tion of the American dream, and we will continue our work to ensure that all people—regardless of their skin color or the language they speak—have equal access to that dream." Portfolio Lender TD Bank Braces for Lending Growth TD BANKS HIRES MANAGING PRODUCERS TO PROMOTE GROWTH IN SEVERAL MAJOR U.S. CITIES. MAINE // During the mortgage crisis, portfolio lenders such as TD Bank stood out as financial institutions that embraced the idea of quality underwriting and lending—especially since it kept loans in-house, taking the risk on its own balance sheets. Fast-forward a few years, and TD Bank, a subsidiary of a Canadian- based Dominion Bank of Toronto, is ready for substantial growth on the mortgage-lending front. The bank plans to hire 79 expe - rienced mortgage loan officers to boost the firm's residential lending business and to meet expected mar- ket demands in the coming years. In addition, the firm, which lends primarily on the East Coast and New England, created a new position, known as a managing producer, who will be responsible for growing the firm's mortgage business in cities such as Boston, Philadelphia, New Jersey, New York, and Washington, D.C. The new hires will bring the bank's team of loan officers from 100 to 179. "We're pushing for growth, and by boosting the number of mortgage loan officers across our key markets we'll be able to meet the housing market demand next year," said Kevin Gillen, General Manager, Residential Mortgage, TD Bank. "We empower our MLO channel by providing open and clear communication, which enables them to be more success - ful and deliver a more convenient customer experience." "This settlement ensures that all potential borrowers will be treated equally, regardless of race and national origin, and Sage Bank has agreed to restructure and monitor its lending practices to ensure that it is meeting those obligations." —Vanita Gupta, Justice Department

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