#NEXTWINTER20 is off to a great start, with more amazing content coming today 

Our winter conference, #NEXTWINTER20, is off to a great start! With more than 100 mortgage executives in attendance, it’s the place to be this week. First American economist Odeta Kushi gave an early keynote and Julie Lane, chief digital officer for Freedom Mortgage, delivered invaluable information for fast tracking your career trajectory, as the kickoff speaker for NEXT’s 20 Minute Mentor series sponsored by Freddie Mac. 

Keosha Burns from JP Morgan Chase gave an impassioned 20 Minute Mentor presentation on the inclusion of women and minorities in more mortgage lending. She told the audience, that despite a growing market share of single women buying homes, a category she herself fits into, women still pay 2% more for the average home and sell for 2% less.  She feels more should be done to close that wealth gap. “A home is something you should get when you work hard.”

Start-up promises homebuyer help with down payment

Many potential homebuyers who want to avoid paying mortgage insurance on their loans struggle to come up with 20%. However, a new startup claims it can help with that down payment. The catch? The company becomes a co-investor in your new home. So once the homebuyers sell, they will have to repay Unison’s share of the home and any appreciation linked to it.

The app is called Unison, and Forbes contributing writer Dima Williams provided this case study for how it works.

For the three-bedroom, two-bathroom split-level abode, which cost about $500,000, the homebuyers put down 12%. Unison supplied 18%, bringing the down payment to 30%. According to a scenario calculator on Unison’s website, a home buyer fairly splitting with the company a 20% down payment on a $500,000 home could save nearly $500 a month for a 30-year mortgage with a 4.125% interest rate. 

However, how Unison stays afloat while waiting for the homebuyers they’ve assisted to resell the property it anyone’s guess right now. 

Homebuyers lose $774,631 in escrow scam

That number is not a typo. A UC San Diego nurse and her partner lost $774,631 in escrow scam when they tried to buy a home in California. Now, they’ve set up a GoFundMe page to try to recoup losses. 

But how could this happen? It started when the couple received an authentic-appearing email with detailed instructions to wire their funds into escrow. They followed the instructions and transferred their life savings. That savings then went from California to Texas and then to Singapore, according to the FBI.

Sadly, the FBI told the couple the money is untraceable. It’s gone.  Here is the link to their fundraising page, unfortunately, they are a long way from getting back what was taken from them.

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