Entries by Emily Smith

Down Payments: A Dream Deferred?

Based on a survey from Apartment List, millennials in America’s large cities would need at least 10 years to save for a 20% down payment on a home. Ah, down payments. One of the main sticking points keeping the younger generation from buying homes—and not necessarily due to overspending on tech toys and avocado toast. […]

One of these mortgage disclosures is not like the other

Settlement statements may be a source of compliance risk for investors In the two years since TRID was implemented, many settlement agents have begun creating settlement statements (in addition to the similar closing disclosure document created by the lender), which can lead to inconsistencies across mortgage documents. More isn’t always better—or more accurate. Why are […]

The 6 Degrees of Financial Fraud Separation

According to the Six Degrees Rule, created by financial analyst Andrew Weinreich and made hugely famous by Kevin Bacon, any two people on Earth are only six or fewer acquaintances apart from knowing each other. It’s a fun concept—but in the financial industry, it points to a dangerous risk. Odds are, if you work in […]

Title Agent Poem

“What’s In a Title, Anyway?” She asked me, wrangling her toddler back from the 13th century art display. “Isn’t it just a piece of paper to track who owns the home?” And I had to bite my tongue. The museum had free monster — I mean, youngster — Sundays, so I’d come to talk about […]

Malls are dying out. What’s in store for retail?

Gordmans, one of my favorite discount clothing stores, filed for bankruptcy this month. At first, I was devastated. Where was I supposed to get cheap yoga pants and inspirational-quote posters? But then I thought, “Hmm. … I can’t wait for the sale!” New priorities: discounts and convenience The ever-growing hunger to find something on the […]

TRID Tolerance Buckets Explained

Creditors are held to a good faith standard on what fees can be increased on the Loan Estimate (LE) and Closing Disclosure (CD). This standard varies according to the type of fee increase and is separated into three different tolerance “buckets.”   Unlimited Tolerance Examples of fees included under unlimited tolerance: prepaid interest and property […]

Why Do Lender Overlays Happen?

What Are Lender Overlays? Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the FHA/VA—otherwise known as government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs)—buy mortgages from lenders once the loans close. The GSEs all have specific requirements for the mortgages they buy, and so largely control what types of loans lenders will originate for the consumer. However, lenders can add requirements for borrowers […]

Data Breach Frostbite: The Danger of Being Numb to the News

When the news broke in December 2016 that 1 billion Yahoo accounts had been hacked, it affected most if not all Yahoo users, according to experts. And yet, life goes on, right? When hacks get into the billions, peoples’ eyes start to roll back in their heads. We can’t comprehend the scale, so we become […]