Ohio

Ocwen Financial Corporation has announced loan modification borrower assistance results for struggling Ohio homeowners through the third quarter of 2017
Ocwen Financial Corporation has named Christopher Whalen, Chairman of Whalen Global Advisors LLC, as a Senior Consultant and Advisor to the companyOcwen Financial Corporation has announced loan modification borrower assistance results for struggling Ohio homeowners through the third quarter of 2017.
 
Working closely with non-profit agencies in the first nine months of 2017, Ocwen forgave approximately $14.6 million in mortgage debt and helped approximately 1,200 Ohio families avoid foreclosure and remain in their homes. The company has provided more than 26,500 loan modifications to Ohio borrowers and forgiven nearly $342 million in debt since Jan. 1, 2008.
 
Ocwen services approximately 44,000 loans in Ohio, a state severely impacted by the housing crisis and continues to rebuild many of its neighborhoods. In an effort to reach even more struggling borrowers, Ocwen will join with Neighborhood Housing Services (NHS) of Greater Cleveland on Dec. 14 to help families find mortgage solutions to avoid foreclosure at 5700 Broadway Avenue in Cleveland. Borrowers who attend will be able to meet one-on-one with Ocwen Home Retention Agents and Housing Counselors to discuss their unique situations and explore potential solutions to lower their mortgage payments.
 
“Ocwen’s focus on its customers and community organizations in Ohio produces positive results,” said Jill Showell, Senior Vice President of Government and Community Relations at Ocwen. “We are proud to work closely with local nonprofits, such as NHS of Greater Cleveland, Empowering and Strengthening Ohio’s People (ESOP), and WIN to help homeowners in Ohio find solutions that allow them to remain in their homes. Ocwen is making a real difference in the lives of many struggling homeowners across the state of Ohio, and remains committed to helping families and communities.”
 
Nationwide, Ocwen has completed approximately 755,000 loan modifications and provided billions of dollars in debt forgiveness.
 
“My team and I know first-hand the challenges facing families hoping to achieve, preserve, and sustain the American Dream of homeownership,” said Michael Pires, Interim Executive Director of NHS of Greater Cleveland. “I encourage borrowers to attend our upcoming event to learn more about local resources and ways to work with NHS and Ocwen to make their home more affordable.”

 
AmeriFirst Home Mortgage, a division of AmeriFirst Financial, has announced a new addition to its Central Florida lending team by adding Area Manager and Loan Officer Patrick Mars to its Winter Park, Fla. branch
AmeriFirst Home Mortgage has announced a partnership with the Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA). The partnership enables OHFA to introduce a new loan product to its customers: The standard 203(k) renovation loan which helps homebuyers and homeowners renovate fixer-uppers into their dream homes. Under the agreement, AmeriFirst will be the master servicer of all 203(k) renovation loans originated by Ohio lenders who work with OHFA. As one of the top ten 203(k) lenders in the nation, AmeriFirst was selected by OHFA because of its expertise in originating and servicing renovation loans.
 
“We are excited to invest in the long term economic prosperity of the Ohio region through this new partnership with OHFA,” said Dave Gahm, AmeriFirst Home Mortgage Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer. “New and existing homeowners who invest in and improve their properties are also helping to revitalize and stabilize their neighborhoods. This renovation loan product is a means to help homeowners build sustainable communities, one house at a time.”
AmeriFirst is in the process of training lenders to originate 203(k) loans to make them available to residents in their Ohio communities.
 
OHFA partners with lenders, credit unions and mortgage companies across the state to offer loans to qualified buyers and has helped thousands of low-and moderate-income Ohioans purchase homes.

 
An Ohio residence designed by legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright is now on the market, albeit at a lower listing price
An Ohio residence designed by legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright is now on the market, albeit at a lower listing price.
 
According to a Realtor.com report, the Wright-designed home in Willoughby Hills, Ohio (a town of 9,400 that is roughly 30 minutes northeast of Cleveland) was initially listed for $1.7 million in 2014, but was removed without selling and is now back at a $1.3 million price. The three-bedroom, one-bath property was built in 1955 for artist Louis Penfield, whose family has been renting the Usonian-style home and is now selling the residence—which includes the original furniture designed by Wright. There is one change from the original construction: the bathroom shower has been enlarged and updated for a more contemporary style.
 
Also included in the sale are the designs for Riverrock, a proposed Wright home that was never constructed. 

 
GSF Mortgage Corp. has added a second office in Columbus, Ohio, to be led by Branch Manager Anthony Lavalle
GSF Mortgage Corp. has named Mortgage Loan Originator Ashley Whealton as a new addition to the company’s Jacksonville, Fla. officeGSF Mortgage Corp. has added a second office in Columbus, Ohio, to be led by Branch Manager Anthony Lavalle. Accompanying Lavalle is Mortgage Loan Originator Brandon Lay.
 
Lavalle is a graduate of Ohio State University and he has been in the mortgage industry for more than five years. He is active in his community as a member of Columbus Young Professionals.
 
Lay is a graduate of the University of Rio Grande and also has more than five years of experience in the industry. He is a part of the Southwest Realtors Association and is proud to have 25 five-star reviews on Zillow.
 
“I am thrilled to welcome Anthony Lavalle and Brandon Lay to GSF Mortgage,” said GSF Mortgage Regional Manager Todd Pennington. “Anthony is a proven sales leader and has earned numerous awards throughout his career. I am excited that he has chosen GSF to take the next step in his career, and look forward to watching his success as a branch manager.”

 
GSF Mortgage Corp. has added Loan Officer Scott Melaragno to its Columbus, Ohio office.
GSF Mortgage Corp. has added Loan Officer Scott Melaragno to its Columbus, Ohio office. Melaragno is currently licensed in 12 states with a 13th pending. Melaragno specializes in VA loans. He is gogsf.comproud to work with organizations like USA Cares who assist our nation’s heroes in getting the financial and advocacy assistance that they deserve.
 
“Scott has been in the mortgage business for 16 years and will be a great asset to the GSF team. We look forward to having him here,” said GSF Mortgage Branch Manager Brian McDougle.

 
Michael Mulgrew is president of Columbus, Ohio-based Partners United Financial LLC and current statewide president of the Ohio Mortgage Bankers Association (OMBA). National Mortgage Professional Magazine recently spoke with him about his work with his state’s trade organization.
 
How and why did you get involved with the OMBA? Can you share the track within your association that led to the leadership role?
I was invited to join the OMBA board after finishing a seven-year progression through the local MBA board and chairs. I accepted the position because I think that it’s our responsibility to serve our industry and give back to our profession. I started as a board member and was invited to join the executive board as secretary, treasurer, vice president and currently, as president.
 
Why do you feel members of the mortgage profession in your state join OMBA?
I believe our association provides tremendous value to our members in several key areas: Advocacy at the state level, training classes that help build skill inside their organizations and quality sessions at our Annual Convention. We provide benefits to all employees of each of our member companies, and provide a diverse offering of training seminars.
 
What role does your association play in the federal and state legislative and regulatory environments? Are there any items on the current agenda you would like to highlight?
We work hard to provide significant advocacy in our state. We’ve built our Political Action Committee to one of the larger PACs in the country and use that leverage to build relationships with key committee members in the legislative bodies. We’ve hired a professional lobbyist and have worked hard to build relationships with our regulators. Our partnership with the national MBA has given us model legislation to propose, and we were successful in advancing a "Vacant and Abandoned Properties” bill that has been signed into law. It will provide large cities with the opportunity to move properties quicker through the process and get them back into the hands of homeowners instead of being a blight in our cities.
We are currently working on a licensing bill that will simplify and modernize our licensing structure in Ohio to keep up with the changes in the industry. We’ve worked with other stakeholders in the community to advance this legislation and have been strongly supported by the national MBA in our efforts.
 
Annually, we host an “Inform the Capitol” Day, where our members from across the state come to Columbus to be educated on important issues in the morning and then we schedule them to meet with their local representatives in the afternoon. We host a reception to close out the day and enjoy good attendance from many of our legislators.
 
What do you see as your most significant accomplishments with the association?
Our association was in a strong place when I arrived on the board, and I am most proud of the fact that we have kept up the momentum moving forward. The legislation is complicated and time consuming, and we have stayed focused on moving it forward inch-by-inch. Our annual convention attendance continues to grow, and this has drawn additional sponsors and energy to our biggest event of the year. 
 
What is the synergy like between your organization, the national MBA and other mortgage and real estate trade groups?
Our executive director, Marianne Collins has long been active in MBA committees and is very well respected at the national level She has helped us forge a great partnership with the national MBA. She also is married to our local association president, and therefore, attends a number of National Association of Realtors (NAR) functions and speaks on behalf of the mortgage industry on their expert panels. This is a tremendous advantage for our association on many fronts, but especially from a collaboration perspective. 
 
In your opinion, what can be done to bring more young people into mortgage careers?
This is a challenge that we face as an industry and are working on multiple solutions to solve it. This past year, our Education Committee Co-Chairs Teresa Rose and Kim Dybvad have been working with the MBA to introduce an internship program for college students interested in a career in mortgage banking. We’re using the experiences of one of our most active members, Union Home Mortgage, who annually hosts 70-plus interns each summer, to provide a template for other members to use to attract the next generation of mortgage bankers to our industry. Teresa and Kim have explored a number of different options to get to this point, and we are anxious to put this program in motion.
 
How would you define your state's housing market?
Our market is still in recovery. Ohio is a very diverse state with a diverse economy. With a statewide average sales price of $228,000 and growing home sales and prices, it’s still an affordable place to live.
However, the northern part of our state is very dependent on the manufacturing aspect of our economy, especially the automotive industry. The central and southwestern portion of the state are more service-based economies. While prices are creeping up, we haven’t reached pre-recession levels and, as a result, there is a shortage of listings.
 
New construction slowed considerable during the recession, and builders are still catching up to meet the needs of today’s homebuyer. As new inventory is absorbed, our sales will likely continue to grow and the market should continue to grow going forward.

Phil Hall is managing editor of National Mortgage Professional Magazine. He may be reached by e-mail at PhilH@MortgageNewsNetwork.com.

GSF Mortgage Corporation has added two new loan originators in its Akron, Ohio branch
GSF Mortgage Corporation has added two new loan originators in its Akron, Ohio branch, James Terrill and Noelle Morovich, who will both be working under Branch Manager Tim Krichbaum.
gogsf.com
Terrill has been in the mortgage industry for the past eight years. Morovich has been in the mortgage industry since 2011.
 
“We are pleased to welcome our two newest loan officers to GSF Mortgage Corporation,” said Krichbaum. “We look forward to providing great client service locally and nationally.”

 
A 35,000-seat Ohio stadium that once hosted concerts by music legends is now the subject of a foreclosure
A 35,000-seat Ohio stadium that once hosted concerts by music legends is now the subject of a foreclosure.
 
According to a WKSU report, the Rubber Bowl opened in 1940 and was the stadium for the University of Akron until 2008, and it hosted the school’s sporting events along with concerts by the Rolling Stones, and the Grateful Dead; it was also the launch site for the 1983 Simon and Garfunkel reunion tour. The school sold the stadium to Canton, Ohio-based Team 1 Marketing, which announced plans to renovate the structure for concerts and arena football.
 
However, Team 1’s plans never materialized. Last week, the Summit County Land Bank started foreclosure on the property, which carries nearly $200,000 in unpaid taxes. Team 1 co-owner Sean Mason blamed the situation on the city of Akron, stating that it failed to rezone the property to accommodate his plans. Mason also raised the hope of Akron taking over the Rubber Bowl’s deed and leasing the property back to his company for special events.
 
“We’re just asking for a partnership, and we can’t get that,” he said. “We need to have that partnership so it alleviates the zoning issues. The property is actually zoned residential, which actually makes no sense, but it just kind of slid by because it was the university that owned it.”
 
However, the Akron City Council has a different plan: it is currently discussing the demolition of the Rubber Bowl, due to the financial difficulties connected to the stadium and the advanced state of vandalism and deterioration that has occurred at the site since its closure.

 
Columbus, Ohio-based Huntington Bank announced it is has allocated $150 million to the Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing (OCCH) for the creation of affordable housing options for low- to moderate-income Ohio residents
Columbus, Ohio-based Huntington Bank announced it is has allocated $150 million to the Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing (OCCH) for the creation of affordable housing options for low- to moderate-income Ohio residents.
 
This new allocation is Huntington's third investment commitment in the OCCH in seven years, with previous announcements of $100 million in 2010-2012, $150 million in 2013-2015 and $113 million in 2016. The bank estimated that this new financial commitment will generate approximately 3,700 new or refurbished affordable housing units and support 2,800 construction jobs.
 
“When we learned that affordable housing development was stalling because of potential changes to the Federal tax code, we immediately responded,” said Steve Steinour, Huntington's chairman, president and CEO. “We believe it is vital to continuously support adequate housing for those who require it most. Ohio has been our home for the past 151 years and we remain committed to investing in neighborhoods and affordable housing to help people lead better lives. We hope our new commitment will help accelerate the rate of investment by others in partnership with OCCH to keep Ohio affordable housing starts and refurbishment projects on track.”
GSF Mortgage Corp. has announced the addition of its new Akron, Ohio office
GSF Mortgage Corp.GSF Mortgage Corp. has announced the addition of its new Akron, Ohio office. The new team expands GSF’s footprint in the Midwestern market, and includes both newcomers, as well as industry veterans eager to share their breadth of mortgage experience with residents living in The City of Invention. The Akron team will report to GSF Regional Manager Todd Pennington. It includes the following staff additions:
 
►Timothy Krichbaum has been working in the mortgage industry for 16 years, after he was first introduced to the trade while in his last semester at Otterbein College. Krichbaum will serve as area sales manager, helping to expand GSF’s retail branches and footprint throughout the U.S.
►David Darr is a Kent State University alum who has been in the mortgage business for four years. He joins GSF as a loan originator, and says he enjoys helping people improve their financial position.
►Jon-Michael Majkut joins GSF as a loan originator. The Ohio State alum, and hockey enthusiast, Majkut has served in the mortgage industry for five years. With his new role, Majkut looks forward to making the mortgage process a positive experience for all his clients.
►Ross Martin is also an Ohio State University graduate. A professional in the mortgage industry for six years, Martin joins GSF as a lead loan processor.
►Joseph Arvay has been in the mortgage industry for 14 years, and joins GSF as a loan originator. He plans to put his marketing major from the University of Akron to use, by sharing the benefits of homeownership with military service members, and connecting with local builders, realtors and clients.
►Mary Gellar joins GSF as a junior processor. Gellar will be responsible for preparing loans to submit to the processing department.
►Brett Martin has served in the mortgage industry for five years. He joins GSF as a system support trainer and says he hopes to build a network within the community and transform his new role into a lifelong career.
►Jerime Loyd joins GSF also as a system support manager, after serving more than 17 years in the mortgage industry. He hopes to assist each banker to reach their professional goals, as well as connect with local businesses to help expand GSF’s reach in the Akron market.
►CJ Simpson entered the mortgage industry following graduation at Kent State University in 2007, and joins GSF as a marketing manager. He is excited to help Akron residents realize the dream of homeownership, and to help the lender become a leader in service excellence.
►Evan Vanover is a former Marine and has served in the mortgage industry for more than a decade. He joins GSF as a loan officer, and looks forward to meeting with people from all walks of life and helping them to reach their homebuying dreams.