Daily Archives: October 9, 2014

Sources: Wingspan CEO and founder Steve Horne ousted

Steve Horne, the founder, CEO and president ofWingspan Portfolio Advisors, was removed from leading the company he founded in 2008, multiple sources have told HousingWire.

Several sources have confirmed to HousingWire that Horne was removed from his position two weeks ago and failed in his recent efforts to be reinstated by the company he founded.

As of 12:41 a.m. on Thursday, Horne was still listed on the company’s website as its CEO and president.

“Steven Horne brings a wealth of mortgage servicing experience to clients,” Wingspan’s website states. “He is a career-long expert in creating and executing strategies to mitigate losses in real estate portfolios of all types, with a specialized concentration in managing the most challenging assets.”

Dallas-based Wingspan is a mortgage services provider that partners with lenders, servicers, investors, mortgage insurers, and attorneys to provide outsourced services, including mortgage underwriting, due diligence and other services.

One source said the Horne was removed from his position after a series of questionable decisions.

The primary pain point, they said, was the acquisition ofDimont & Associates. The source said the deal, rumored to be $90 million in cash, was a vast overpayment.

Read on.

Wells Fargo Tells 9th Circ. To Vacate $203M Overdraft Award

Law360, San Diego (October 08, 2014, 10:52 PM ET) — Well Fargo Bank NA on Wednesday urged a Ninth Circuit panel to once again vacate a $203 million class action penalty for misrepresenting the way it processed debit cards in order to maximize overdraft fees, arguing the award wasn’t properly tied to its misstatements.

The Ninth Circuit had tossed the penalty last January after finding that Wells Fargo was allowed to dictate the order it processes customer transactions and that there was nothing fraudulent about deducting charges in high-to-low fashion that depleted nest eggs more quickly….

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Underwriting, Not Regulation May Stall Housing Recovery

For some first-time homebuyers, the underwriting process may be the culprit that prevented them from obtaining mortgages and hindered a solid rebound within the housing market.

Stuart Miller, CEO of Lennar Corp., a Miami-based home construction company, was among those who voiced that concern during a Sept. 17 third quarter earnings conference call, saying the procedure to obtain a mortgage had become invasive and scary to borrowers.

Miller told analysts that Lennar is “very well positioned” for what he characterized as the home building industry’s “slow and shallow recovery” from the housing crises and Great Recession.

However, during a question and answer period, he said problems with the mortgage process were among the reasons first time homebuyers were not coming back into the market in great numbers yet.

“It’s still very difficult for that market to get reignited until we start to see a little bit more movement in terms of access to the mortgage market,” Miller told the analysts.

He cited what he called the three barriers to the first-time homebuyer coming back into the market: the requirement for a down payment, very stiff underwriting on mortgage loans and the process of obtaining a mortgage.

“The process itself has become fairly invasive at least in terms of how people see the process and feel the process,” Miller said, adding that whenever he speaks about this topic to a group of people, three or four in the audience always raise their hands and say, “yep, I know just what you mean by invasive.”

“The process right seems almost to scare people away,” Miller said. “The barriers are a little bit steep right now.”

Still, he expressed optimism that the loan process would moderate over time and that the market for first time home purchasing would pick up again.

Lennar builds single and multifamily homes in 18 states and posted earnings of $177.8 million in the third quarter, according to Miller.

Tracy Ashfield, CEO of Ashfield and Associates, a Madison, Wis.-based consulting firm that specializes in helping credit unions develop and manage housing finance programs, said while she would have used a different word than invasive she nonetheless understood how Miller described the underwriting process.

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J.P. Morgan Chase hackers strike again: Citigroup, E-Trade, ADP the victims

Bloomberg) — Citigroup Inc., E-Trade Financial Corp., Automatic Data Processing Inc. and Regions Financial Corp. were attacked by the same hackers that breached JPMorgan Chase & Co., according to a person familiar with the matter.

At least two of those companies — Citigroup and E-Trade — were targeted last year and subsequently brought in cybersecurity specialists to help them scour their networks and assess the potential damage, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the investigation is ongoing.

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