HUD sued over new down payment assistance rules for FHA mortgages

Federal Housing Administration | April 24, 2019

Last week, the Department of Housing and Urban Development announced it was issuing new rules for down payment assistance on mortgages backed by the Federal Housing Administration. According to HUD and the FHA, the new rules were meant to provide clarity around what documentation would be required for borrowers who are using funds from another person or entity to cover part of the FHA’s minimum down payment requirement of 3.5%.

Spotlight

The long-awaited proposals set out to deliver a higher number of homes through a co-ordinated approach that tightens up the planning system and requires local authorities and developers to do more.

Spotlight

The long-awaited proposals set out to deliver a higher number of homes through a co-ordinated approach that tightens up the planning system and requires local authorities and developers to do more.

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REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT

Arturo Announces Strategic Partnership with Vexcel Imaging

Arturo and Vexcel | September 12, 2022

Arturo, the proptech company that delivers intelligent analytics from individual property to portfolio, announced today that it signed Vexcel Imaging, the leader in aerial imagery data, large-format aerial cameras and photogrammetry software, to be a lead imagery provider for its solutions. As part of the agreement, Vexcel will provide Arturo with true ortho imagery, oblique imagery and digital surface models (DSMs). In addition, 'Gray Sky' imagery or imagery taken after a catastrophic event occurs will be available for use. High-fidelity property insights derived from imagery are an increasingly critical asset for property insurers who are challenged to assess and identify vulnerable property characteristics during the underwriting and quoting process, so they clearly understand their resting risk. Arturo’s partnership with Vexcel offers the unparalleled imaging capabilities modern insurance carriers seek in today’s rapidly evolving property market. It will also allow insurers to create risk and property damage mitigation strategies with their policyholders as well as faster, more accurate responses to claims after a catastrophe. “This is a hard market for insurance. Carriers are caught between gauging their risk correctly up front and contending with the reality of increasingly volatile catastrophic weather events. Property insurers are tasked more than ever to have a thorough understanding of a property’s risk while also keeping costs down, so if an event does occur they can both keep regions insurable and their customer response rapid and efficient, We spent a lot of time collaborating with Vexcel to both ensure a partnership that was beneficial to our mutual customers and provide us greater flexibility in working with our insurance clients across the policy lifecycle. We recognized that not all imagery is created equal nor all machine learning analytics which is why coupling Arturo’s AI property intelligence solutions with Vexcel’s imagery will allow insurers to stay a step ahead of natural catastrophes, so they can accurately underwrite future policies and manage future claims with ease.” -Greg Oslan, chief executive officer for Arturo After much testing and rigorous analysis, we are pleased that Arturo has standardized on our best-in-class imagery to unlock better property insights for insurers, Our focus at Vexcel is to provide consistent, accurate and high-resolution imagery to customers who need a scalable solution in multiple countries. Using its AI and ML, Arturo analyzed properties in a variety of locations and found the results they needed to understand property risk and intelligence,said Rob Agee, chief operating officer at Vexcel Imaging. Vexcel and Arturo’s collaboration will initially provide imagery for the United States and Australian markets. About Arturo Arturo combines AI and machine learning models with property images to help businesses decide with intelligence from the property to portfolio level. Across the insurance, lending, securities and real estate markets, Arturo empowers customers with on-demand, accurate property characteristics and predictive analysis to tackle the biggest property challenges with efficiency, accuracy and confidence. About Vexcel For 30 years, Vexcel’s award-winning technology has led the photogrammetry and remote sensing industry. Using its professional-grade UltraCam sensors and a dedicated fleet of aircraft, Vexcel operates the world’s largest aerial imagery and geospatial data program. Vexcel collects imagery in 25+ countries including rural and urban areas in the contiguous United States. It provides a wide variety of high-resolution products from Oblique to True Ortho, DSM to Multispectral and Property Attributes. Its cloud-based aerial data improves workflows across a variety of industries.

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REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT

Conning to Acquire Pearlmark, a Specialized Commercial Real Estate Investment Firm

Conning and PEARLMARK | November 11, 2022

Conning, a leading global investment management firm, and Pearlmark Real Estate, L.L.C. (“Pearlmark”), a specialist investment manager of commercial real estate debt and equity strategies, today announced the signing of a definitive agreement for Conning & Company to acquire a majority stake in Pearlmark. Pearlmark will continue to operate autonomously with its investment team led by Stephen Quazzo and Doug Lyons. “Partnering with Pearlmark is the latest example of our strategy to add best-in-class capabilities to meet the evolving needs of our clients, Pearlmark has extensive real estate knowledge and significant experience successfully working with insurance companies and other institutional clients to help them achieve their real estate investment objectives.” -Woody Bradford, Chief Executive Officer and Chair of the Board of Conning We are excited to collaborate with Conning while continuing to work with our industry partners and clients in providing real estate capital solutions, Conning’s investment and client-oriented culture is a perfect fit for our business, and they are the ideal strategic partner to help us strengthen and grow our platform,said Stephen Quazzo, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Pearlmark. Founded in 1996, Pearlmark is focused on U.S. mid-cap real estate investments in both equity and debt. This holistic perspective enhances Pearlmark’s approach to sourcing, underwriting, and managing its investments, which drives value for investors. Pearlmark is headquartered in Chicago with additional offices in Denver, Nashville, and New York City. The transaction is expected to close by early 2023, subject to customary approvals and closing conditions. Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP served as a legal advisor to Conning. CenterCap Group, LLC served as financial advisor and Drane & Freyer Limited served as legal advisor to Pearlmark. ABOUT CONNING Conning is a leading investment management firm with more than $180 billion in global assets under management as of September 30, 2022. With a long history of serving the insurance industry, Conning supports institutional investors, including insurers and pension plans, with investment solutions, risk modeling software, and industry research. Founded in 1912, Conning has investment centers in Asia, Europe and North America. As of September 30, 2022, represents the combined global assets under management for the affiliated firms under Conning Holdings Limited (CHL) and Cathay Securities Investment Trust Co., Ltd. (SITE). SITE is a separate entity under Cathay Financial Holdings Co., Ltd which is the ultimate controlling parent of all Conning entities. The CHL CEO sits on the Board of SITE and helps oversee the business. ABOUT PEARLMARK Pearlmark is a Chicago-based investment firm that targets domestic core, value-add, and opportunistic real estate opportunities via commingled funds, separate accounts, and joint venture structures. Since 1996, Pearlmark has sponsored more than a dozen real estate equity and debt investment programs and completed 565 real estate equity and debt transactions on behalf of investors, representing $5.3 billion in equity capital commitments and over $13.8 billion in gross investment value. Pearlmark is dedicated to creating value for its investors and offers a range of investment opportunities nationwide across various property types (office, industrial, multifamily).

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REAL ESTATE TECHNOLOGY, MORTGAGE AND LENDING

Amrock Unveils Technology to Close Mortgages on Mobile Devices, Giving Consumers the Power to Complete a Home Loan from Anywhere

Amrock | September 14, 2022

Amrock, the nation's largest title insurance, property valuations and settlement services provider – and a part of Rocket Companies – today announced the introduction of proprietary technology to electronically close (eClose) mortgage transactions entirely from a mobile device. This new product represents the final step in Rocket Companies' creation of a seamless, end-to-end real estate experience clients can use to go from application to closing on the iPhone or Android phone they use every day. Rocket Companies, through its Rocket Mortgage brand, offers a completely digital home loan experience for consumers, including the ability to apply, receive approval and lock their rate for a mortgage – all from their smart phone. Now, through Amrock's first-of-its-kind technology, clients can close on a mortgage by connecting with the closing agent or notary from a mobile device no matter where they may be in the world – a revolutionary and convenient new feature. This transformational innovation helps consumers complete the historically cumbersome final step in a home loan process from anywhere at any time. "Our company has always been focused on meeting our clients wherever they may be, but we were limited by the industry's standards for closing mortgages. That was the driving force behind Amrock creating this technology, providing the ability to close mortgages for a spouse traveling for work, a military member serving away from home or countless other real-world scenarios, Rocket Mortgage pioneered getting a mortgage online from a smart phone – now, Amrock is providing the final piece of the puzzle for a complete mobile mortgage experience." -Nicole Beattie, CEO of Amrock Henry Winfield, an Amrock client based in Virginia, used the mobile technology earlier this year to close on a refinance while in North Carolina for work. The new feature enabled both he and his wife to video chat with the notary and digitally sign all necessary documents quickly and safely. When my wife and I found out closing virtually from our smartphones was a possibility, we were delighted – it was perfect for our circumstance and we didn't have to delay the closing, The experience was quick, intuitive and secure – and we had access to knowledgeable experts who helped us every step of the way,said Winfield. Amrock's mobile closing capability is part of the Rocket Platform through which clients can search for a home with Rocket Homes, get a home loan from Rocket Mortgage, eClose on their mortgage through Amrock via Remote Online Notarization (RON), In-Person Electronic Notarization (IPEN) or a Hybrid eClosing, and now, can close on their mortgage completely from a smart phone. Clients that prefer to keep some elements of their home loan journey non-electronic can still choose to do so. Our mission at Rocket Companies is to simplify life's most complex moments so our clients can live their dream, and we've delivered yet again on our vision to create a seamless real estate experience by being the first-ever to revolutionize the closing process, In addition to new mobile capabilities, clients can now move from mortgage processing with Rocket Mortgage to closing with Amrock through a single sign-on feature – a seemingly small, yet significant example of how the Rocket Platform removes friction every step of the way for consumers,said Jay Farner, CEO of Rocket Companies. Based on the volume of registered notes on the Mortgage Electronic Registration System (MERS), Amrock is currently responsible for the majority of eClosings throughout the country. Its clients can complete a mobile RON when refinancing a mortgage in nearly 60% of the U.S. – each state where RON eClosings are allowed by law. Amrock plans to roll out mobile RON capabilities for all mortgage transactions, including home purchases, by the end of 2022. About Amrock Amrock is the leading national provider of title insurance, property valuations and settlement services. The company delivers FinTech solutions to streamline the real estate and mortgage experience for lenders, consumers and real estate professionals. Amrock is a preferred provider to top retail mortgage lenders, with a wide range of clients throughout the residential and commercial real estate finance industries. Driven by thousands of professional partners and team members nationwide, Amrock is headquartered in the heart of downtown Detroit, Michigan with regional service centers in California, Pennsylvania and Texas and additional locations in several other states. For more information, please visit Amrock.com. About Rocket Companies Founded in 1985, Rocket Companies is a Detroit-based FinTech platform company consisting of personal finance and consumer technology brands including Rocket Mortgage, Rocket Homes, Amrock, Rocket Auto, Rocket Loans, Rocket Money (formerly known as Truebill), Rocket Solar, Rocket Mortgage Canada (formerly known as Edison Financial), Lendesk, Core Digital Media, Rocket Central and Rock Connections. Rocket Companies' mission is to be the best at creating certainty in life's most complex moments so that its clients can live their dreams. The Company helps clients achieve the dream of home ownership and financial freedom through industry-leading client experiences powered by its simple, fast and trusted digital solutions. Rocket Companies ranked #7 on Fortune's list of the "100 Best Companies to Work For" in 2022 and has placed in the top third of the list for 19 consecutive years.

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