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Waterstone Mortgage Corporation has announced that the company has hired Area Sales Manager Rocky Rockwell to assist homebuyers in California
Waterstone Mortgage Corporation has announced that the company has hired Area Sales Manager Rocky Rockwell to assist homebuyers in California. Rockwell has more than 32 years of successful wholesale and retail sales management experience. Based in San Diego, he will serve homebuyers in the greater California market.
Waterstone Mortgage Corporation has announced that the company has hired Area Sales Manager Rocky Rockwell to assist homebuyers in California
 
“I look forward to contributing to the strategic growth of Waterstone Mortgage’s presence in California,” Rockwell said. “This is also an opportunity for me to continue growing as a sales leader. While other companies are exiting the market, Waterstone Mortgage is backed by assets of $1.9 billion, and is in a unique position to grow in what have historically been challenging markets.”
 
Waterstone Mortgage SVP–National Sales Manager Kevin Allen said, “We are excited to welcome Rocky to the Waterstone sales team. Rocky’s knowledge of the California market, as well as his impressive experience in the mortgage lending industry, will help us continue to serve as many homebuyers as possible.”

 
The California Department of Insurance announced that it has seized the assets and legal control of Merced Property & Casualty Company
The California Department of Insurance announced that it has seized the assets and legal control of Merced Property & Casualty Company, an insurance that company that shut down after being overwhelmed with claims stemming from policyholders who suffered losses in the recent Camp Fire.
 
The Department’s Conservation and Liquidation Office is managing the transfer of the company’s claims handling to the California Insurance Guarantee Association, which pay claims of insolvent insurance companies. Current policies with the defunct company will remain in effect for 30 days, while the Department asked policyholders to immediately seek coverage with another insurer.
 
“California law gives us the authority to take over insurance companies that face insolvency,” said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. “Protecting Camp Fire policyholders who have already suffered through so much was my first consideration. We are moving aggressively to take the necessary legal action to take control of the company and to trigger the state law enabling the California Insurance Guarantee Association to immediately begin the process of evaluating losses and paying claims.”

 
The combined devastation brought by California’s Camp and Woolsey Fires resulted in up to $19 billion in property damage, according to new data from CoreLogic
The combined devastation brought by California’s Camp and Woolsey Fires resulted in up to $19 billion in property damage, according to new data from CoreLogic.
 
The Camp Fire, which was the most destructive wildfire in California history, created between $11 billion and $13 billion. The total losses from the Woolsey Fire in Southern California were estimated between $4 billion to $6 billion. CoreLogic analyzed residential and commercial properties and estimated losses to include costs related to fire, smoke, demand surge and debris removal.
 
“These wildfires have been a personal and financial tragedy for many families,” said Tom Larsen, Principal of CoreLogic Industry Solutions. “The proper estimation of the value of a home is critical because often in situations of wildfire, the home is completely lost. A deficient valuation can lead to a situation where homeowners have inadequate funding to replace their home.”

 
Berkadia has announced the addition of Managing Director Mark Feldman to its San Francisco office
Berkadia has announced the addition of Managing Director Mark Feldman to its San Francisco office. Feldman joins an experienced team of mortgage banking professionals with more than $1.8 billion in financing across the last three years. He’ll be the first dedicated investment sales resource in the San Francisco office and will report to Senior Vice President and Head of Investment Sales Keith Misner.
Berkadia has announced the addition of Managing Director Mark Feldman to its San Francisco office
 
“Mark has more than 30 years of experience in commercial real estate and it shows in the volume and complexity of deals he’s been a part of across his career,” said Misner. “He is a natural fit as the investment sales lead in San Francisco as we seek to deepen and diversify our relationships and market penetration.”
 
Feldman joins Berkadia from Ground Matrix, a West Coast-focused brokerage and advisory services firm. He has successfully represented institutional, large private capital, syndication and affordable housing investors in the acquisition and disposition of multifamily assets, as well as advised on capital market needs. He has more than $1.7 billion in multifamily transactions throughout the U.S, including over $200 million in commercial transactions including shopping centers, single tenant NNN and warehouse assets.
 
“The northern California market remains incredibly competitive as the technology industry and population growth continue to drive investor interest in the region,” said Feldman. “I’m thrilled to join Berkadia’s team in order to broaden engagement with clients and partners and bring the full complement of our services to the table in order to help them create value in this market.”
 
Prior to Ground Matrix, Feldman served as Executive Vice President of Marketing and Sales for Universal Paragon Corporation. In this role, he oversaw all pre-marketing and sales functions for three major developments in San Francisco totaling nearly 3,400 units. He previously spent time at Colliers International and Hendricks and Partners.

 
Kevin Casey (center), Senior Mortgage Consultant with Guarantee Mortgage in San Francisco and Past President of the San Francisco Peninsula Chapter of CAMP, receives CAMP’s Associate Member of the Year Award in August
Kevin Casey is a Senior Mortgage Consultant with Guarantee Mortgage in San Francisco and Past President of the San Francisco Peninsula Chapter of the California Association of Mortgage Professionals (CAMP). National Mortgage Professional Magazine recently spoke with him regarding his work with CAMP’s San Francisco Peninsula Chapter.
 
Kevin Casey is a Senior Mortgage Consultant with Guarantee Mortgage in San Francisco and Past President of the San Francisco Peninsula Chapter of the California Association of Mortgage Professionals (CAMP)When and why did you get involved with the San Francisco Peninsula Chapter of CAMP? What was the route that led you to the leadership role of the Chapter?
I first started in 1994, when Leon Hunting, one of the Loan Officers in my office, was the Statewide President of the California Association of Mortgage Professionals. However, at the time, I thought it was more important to be putting a focus on getting loans. Fast-forward to 2010 and my co-worker Donna Aldrich joined the San Francisco Chapter, and that’s when I was reacquainted with Michelle Velez, who was the then-Chapter President. Donna was pretty active—she went to Washington, D.C., and Sacramento and told me about the importance of getting involved.
 
In 2013, I had just come back from an exchange program with Rotary International, where I learned about doing banking in Finland, of all places. I think that was either the first or second year that the eight-hour NMLS class was required. I became an instructor a year later. Donna became the Chapter President and that year, I joined on the Chapter’s Board. She had a really large Board, about eight to 10 people. We had a lot of fun work and camaraderie.
 
I went to Sacramento in 2013, when a bill was being introduced to extend the hours for the NMLS continuing education class in California from eight to 10 hours. I was able to give the legislators insight on how the classes work, and I convinced them it didn’t make sense. That is like getting the jackpot on your first quarter. I’ve been hooked ever since.
 
I became Chapter President in 2016 and just wrapped up a two-year term, finishing on June 30. Now, I am on the State Executive Board as Treasurer.
 
Why should mortgage professionals in your market join the San Francisco Peninsula Chapter?
I say you cannot complain about the rules and regulations if you didn’t do anything to stop them. You can focus on what you do at work, but if you don’t help us with the legislative agenda nothing is going to change legislatively and work will just continue to be difficult.
 
What is the Chapter’s membership?
We currently have around 110 members, and our mailing list is around 3,600.
 
What is the state of the mortgage profession in your region?

I’ve come to realize that almost 70 percent of loan producers are really retired and not active in the industry, while 30 percent are the active ones. That alone tells you why some people cannot afford to be members of their Chapter: They are not producing enough to pay $100-something to be a member of CAMP. The average age of a Loan Officer is 56 or 57, which means that someone over 65 is basically retired, but they work just to keep their license active.
 
If the profession is aging, what can be done to bring in the next generation of mortgage professionals?
Banks seem to be good at recruiting young LOs. They have no problem hiring twentysomethings to take on loan operations. But for the Mortgage Banker and Mortgage Broker world, it is easier for them to recruit and steal from other offices. That is the prevalent trend—recruiting someone who is established rather than hiring someone new and training them.
 
I go to competitors’ offices to teach the NMLS eight hours of CE and the average age of the lenders in the room is 50 and up. But I was one in an office in Chico and the average age was around 27. I later learned there was big illegal flipping scam that went through the town and most established lenders went to jail, so that mortgage office had to recruit college students.
 
The other problem is that the NMLS license exam may be too tough. I’ve had an attorney tell me that it’s up there with the bar exam in terms of the toughness of questions. It is helping established lenders keep out the competition, but it may also be hurting the industry in the end.
 
In looking at your work with the San Francisco Peninsula Chapter, what do you see as your most significant accomplishments?
We had regular consistent meetings, probably put on four NMLS classes and eight to 10 events per year. We also raised a couple of thousand dollars for charity.
 
What is the housing market like in your region?
It is the most competitive market in the country, as 10-15 offers are common on most homes for sale. If you are going to buy a house in San Francisco, you need to be prepared for the disappointment of not to get your first offer accepted. I find I spend much of my time coaching clients on homebuying strategies. Getting the $1-$1.5 million loan is almost the easy part.

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

 
A real estate broker in Texas came up with a scintillating solution for getting buyer interest in a house that has been on the market for too long: Use barely-clothed fitness models in the online listings
Existing, single-family home sales is California totaled 397,060 in October on a seasonally adjusted annualized rate, a 3.8 percent increase from September but a 7.9 percent drop from one year earlier, according to data from the California Association of Realtors (CAR).
 
The statewide median home price in October was $572,000, down 1.2 percent from the previous month and up 4.7 percent from the previous year. Statewide active listings were up by 28 percent from October 2017—last month marked the seventh consecutive month of increased listings. But there was also a smaller inventory: 3.6 months, down from 4.2 months in September.
 
“Homebuyers continued to put their homeownership plans on hold in October and wait out the market,” said 2019 CAR President Jared Martin. “With mortgage rates at seven-year highs making homeownership more expensive and home prices beginning to flatten, this phenomenon will likely continue for the near term as buyers wait for further price adjustments and for interest rates to stabilize.”

 
In response to the ongoing California wildfires, the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) stated it would speed up its federal disaster assistance
In response to the ongoing California wildfires, the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) stated it would speed up its federal disaster assistance to the state and provide support to homeowners and low-income renters forced from their homes in the areas impacted by this disaster.
 
President Trump issued a major disaster declaration for Butte, Los Angeles, and Ventura counties, which enables HUD to offer foreclosure relief and other assistance to qualified households living in these counties. HUD’s automatic 90-day moratorium on foreclosures of Federal Housing Administration (FHA)-insured home mortgages is now in effect in the counties covered by the presidential declaration, along with the Department’s Section 203(h) program to provide FHA insurance to disaster victims whose homes were destroyed or severely damaged by the flames.
 
HUD’s Section 203(k) loan program is also now available in the counties within the presidential declaration, thus allowing homeowners who lost their properties to finance the purchase or refinance of a house along with its repair through a single mortgage. It also allows homeowners who have damaged houses to finance the rehabilitation of their existing single-family home. HUD added that it is working with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the California state government regarding housing providers that may have available units in the impacted counties.

 
A new data analysis from CoreLogic has determined that 48,390 homes with a total reconstruction cost value (RCV) of approximately $18 billion are at high or extreme risk of wildfire damage from ongoing fires in California
A new data analysis from CoreLogic has determined that 48,390 homes with a total reconstruction cost value (RCV) of approximately $18 billion are at high or extreme risk of wildfire damage from ongoing fires in California.
 
CoreLogic stated that 31,394 residences with a total RCV of $7 billion are at high or extreme risk from the Camp Fire, while 16,996 residences with a total RCV of $11 billion face high or extreme risk from the Woolsey Fire. CoreLogic added that its data was not being presented as current property damage, adding that not all at-risk homes were on target for fiery destruction.
 
As of this morning, there were 44 confirmed deaths from the fires. The Camp Fire has already burned through 117,000 acres and the Woolsey Fire covered 93,000 acres.

 
New American Funding has been named a Top Workplace for Women in the country for the second consecutive year by Fortune and Great Place to Work
New American Funding has expanded its Northern California territory to include a branch in Santa Rosa, Calif. to be led by Branch Manager Scott Sheldon. Located in the heart of Sonoma County, New American’s new branch is a full-service home loan provider equipped to meet the mortgage needs of local consumers by offering a complete spectrum of purchase and refinance loan options.
 
“I’m so excited to lead the New American Funding Santa Rosa team,” said Sheldon. “We pride ourselves on being able to find the right loan for the right client and will go above and beyond to make this happen.”
 
Sheldon, a 13-year mortgage-industry veteran, prides his team on their commitment to service and problem-solving at every level, citing a two-hour average response time for any correspondence.
 
“My team is deeply committed to responsiveness and transparency with our clients and our industry partners,” Sheldon said. “We keep everyone involved in the loan process updated every step of the way and, because the technology and support at New American Funding are second to none, this level of connection has become easier.”
 
Regional Vice President Chris Garza saw the benefit of opening a branch in Santa Rosa with city native Sheldon.
 
“Scott was born and raised here,” said Garza. “He understands the needs of the community and feels a connection to its prospective buyers. Even if a client has a few hurdles before he or she can buy, Scott will sit down and develop a concrete plan for them to follow to homeownership.”

 
Last night’s victory by the Democrats in regaining the House of Representatives could lead to Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) gaining the chairmanship of the House Financial Services Committee
Last night’s victory by the Democrats in regaining the House of Representatives could lead to Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) gaining the chairmanship of the House Financial Services Committee.
 
Waters, who is the Committee’s Ranking Member, easily won re-election against Republican challenger Omar Navarro. She used her Twitter channel on Election Day to reinforce her opposition to President Trump’s policy and personality.
 
“In the final analysis, lies, fear mongering, and deceit can never win,” she tweeted. “The American people will reject Trump's disgraceful leadership. The truth will prevail and the American people will win.”
 
Waters also tweeted a shout-out to Millennial voters that she cited as being part of her base. “#Millennials, I never believed the haters & pundits,” she tweeted. “I have talked w/ you. I have listened to all of you & am so proud you've adopted me as your #AuntieMaxine. I'm so pleased you are proving everyone wrong & voting in huge numbers today! Your voices will make a difference.”
 
If confirmed, Waters will replace Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) as the Committee Chairman. Hensarling did not seek re-election.