NAA joins lawsuit against evictions moratorium

The National Apartment Association (NAA) is challenging regulators to reconsider recent actions and equally empathize with renters and rental-unit property owners. 

NAA joined the New Civil Liberties Alliance (NCLA) lawsuit challenging the national eviction moratorium ordered by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), calling it an unwarranted overreach that “directly harms the apartment industry and jeopardizes the long-term viability of rental housing.” 

The lawsuit, Richard Lee Brown, et al. v. Secretary Alex Azar, et al., argues that rental-housing providers “have been irreparably damaged by the CDC order,”  especially small ‘mom-and-pop” owners who cannot simultaneously absorb delinquent rent, continue to pay their bills, keep communities operational, and Americans in their apartment homes, NAA said. 

Based in Arlington, Va., NAA represents 152 rental housing industry affiliates and over 85,000 members managing more than 10 million apartment homes globally. The trade association maintains that since federal agencies do not have powers to waive state laws, “the CDC has encroached on private property rights with no legal authority.”

Under the CDC order many rental-housing providers are unable to collect rent, including rental debt, “which limits the ability to pay taxes, mortgages, insurance and utilities,” and provide contracted services to other residents who have paid their rent, NAA said.

According to The New York Times, however the CDC action aims to stop the spread of the virus “and to avoid having renters wind up in shelters or other crowded living conditions, compounding the crisis,” but it did not lift their rent obligation. 

“Eviction moratoria saddle the apartment industry solely with the responsibility of offering a service without compensation, all while operating at a potential deficit,” said Bob Pinnegar, NAA president and CEO. “Rental housing works on extremely narrow margins and, though last paid themselves owners still need to pay extensive bills.”

NAA considers direct rental assistance throughout the pandemic as “the only policy that keeps people housed” and addresses the needs of owners. Despite continued calls from the industry, Congress has failed to enact direct rental assistance, NAA said. That inaction paired with the CDC eviction moratorium order devastate the industry in the short-term “and furthers the housing affordability crisis,” in the long-term. 

If owners and operators do not pay their bills “rental units lose financial viability and money stops flowing to other sectors of the economy,” continued Pinnegar. Furthermore, many rental-housing units “may be permanently lost from our already insufficient housing stock, whether by foreclosure, government liens or even the sale of the property.”

States Title launches AI closing doc reviews

Every new solution brings the collective industry race to digitize loan closing closer to the finish line. States Title Holding Inc., is making its mark with Instant Closing Disclosure (ICD), a mortgage-closing disclosure product powered by patented artificial intelligence (AI) technology. ICD uses data science to return a completed settlement statement in just one minute and zero effort from the lender, the San Francisco based fintech said.

ICD already has been market tested by lender and servicer Home Point Financial to improve the loan closing process costs and time efficiency by freeing escrow employees from the traditional, time consuming manual reviews and verification of loan closing documents, related data and fees. Instead, AI automatically delivers an accurate closing disclosure for final approval by escrow officers. 

There is no need for file re-formatting. ICD automatically reconciles fees from the lender’s closing disclosure into the title production system eliminating “the manual, error-prone work done by the closing agent.” 

Similarly to the States Title Instant Underwriting product, which delivers title commitments in minutes, ICD enables lenders to get settlement statements back from escrow officers in as little as one minute, “compared to hours or days,” the company said, expediting the overall loan closing time.

Home Point aims to provide customers with a mortgage experience that is simple, straightforward, data-driven, and completed quickly, said Willie Newman, president and CEO of Home Point Financial. “Instant Closing Disclosure, along with Instant Underwriting and States Title’s service model, are helping to make that a reality in a space that’s been long overdue for innovation.” 

ICD is an agnostic solution, the company said, which means it directly integrates into the lender’s workflow without any changes, allowing lenders to work within their preferred platform.

 The system also features several key automatic capabilities. 

  • Document Parsing extracts and interprets unstructured information from closing disclosure documents – available if lenders prefer to exchange fee data via integration.
  • The Natural Language Comprehension algorithm adapts to all lender customers’ variations of wording used to describe more than 30 different types of fees; reads them “with the expertise of a human title professional,” and corrects errors.
  • Fee Reconciliation extracts, interprets and merges fee data.
  • A Discrepancy Identification toolreviewsthe closing disclosure and notifies the lender of potential issues.
  • Closing Disclosure Generation sends the settlement statement or structured fees back to the lender.

As millions of homeowners are looking to refinance their mortgages and loan volume is extraordinarily high, said Max Simkoff, CEO of States Title. “We remain laser focused on our vision of creating an instant closing experience,” for both lenders and consumers.

States Title also offers predictive title insurance underwriting based on an assigned (property liens or liabilities) risk score. According to the company website, is a fast growing fintech that in 2019 insured more than $1.3 billion of real estate transactions, achieving 100 times growth from $13 million in 2018. 

PollyEx integrates with Freddie’s Cash-Released XChange

PollyEx, Inc., a provider of mortgage capital markets software that powers the Loan Pricing and Settlement System (LPSS), has integrated with Freddie Mac‘s Cash-Released XChange. The integration enables lenders to seamlessly “modify, extend and pair out of existing Freddie Mac commitments” directly through PollyEx’s Loan Trading Exchange.

The bi-directional integration with Freddie’s Cash-Released XChange helps improves the speed and accuracy of pricing and committing during the loan sale process, and ensures error-free data flow between the systems, the agency said in a statement.  

“We are excited to complete our integration with Freddie Mac’s Cash-Released XChange, interfacing our technology to deliver true value to our shared customer base,” said PollyEx founder and CEO, Adam Carmel. 

This integration brings innovation and transparency to the secondary mortgage market, “creating efficiencies and saving countless hours of manual data entry for banks, mortgage companies and credit unions during the loan sale process,” he added. 

PollyEx specializes in improving one of the most important transactions in the mortgage supply chain, “loan pricing and the loan sale into the capital markets,” through a suite of products, the San Francisco based fintech said. Solutions include options designed to increase loan sale execution, streamline capital markets functions, and provide actionable data analytics.

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