Which companies are merging, and what professionals are moving? See some highlights in this update of the housing and mortgage industries.
Fannie Mae has awarded U.S. Bank  Home Mortgage with 2017 Servicer Total Achievement and Rewards (STAR) recognition in two categories: General Servicing and Solution Delivery. This is the second consecutive year that Fannie Mae has recognized the bank’s mortgage servicing division as a STAR Performer in both categories. U.S. Bank received high marks for loan administration, customer service, collections, loss mitigation operations, retention, and liquidation.
“U.S. Bank is proud to be recognized as a STAR recipient for the second year in a row. We take pride in knowing that our customers see us as a trusted partner in their mortgage financing decisions,” said David B. Little, EVP of consumer and mortgage servicing. “We are dedicated to providing excellent customer service that enables homeowners to manage their investment worry free.”
Mr. Cooper  , one of the largest non-bank mortgage servicer and mortgage lender, has announced a design thinking initiative to develop mobile-friendly solutions that reimagine the experience of homeownership for customers. The Dallas-based mortgage company is also launching a web and mobile-based loan tracker as part of its new digital mortgage experience. The design thinking initiative is a key part of Mr. Cooper’s commitment to creating a technology-led experience that puts customers first and helps them realize the dream of homeownership while using their homes more intelligently and managing their finances holistically.
“Mr. Cooper is out to change the experience of homeownership for our customers, giving them the technology, tools, and information they need to better understand their home as an asset and a key part of their overall wealth,” said Jay Bray, Chairman and CEO of Nationstar Mortgage Holdings, the parent company for the Mr. Cooper brand. “At Mr. Cooper, our team members are committed to delivering radical customer service and providing innovative technology-driven solutions that enable intelligent homeownership. Ultimately, we want to help our customers better understand and take advantage of their home asset to optimize their personal balance sheets.”
Freddie Mac  announced that Christopher E. Herbert was elected as a director on the company’s board of directors. Herbert, 57, has extensive experience relating to housing policy and urban development.
“We are very pleased that Chris is joining the Freddie Mac Board,” said Christopher S. Lynch, Freddie Mac’s Non-Executive Chairman. “His deep understanding of housing issues and policy will help the Board advance Freddie Mac’s mission to support the stability of the housing market and promote housing affordability.”
Herbert has been the Managing Director for Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies and a lecturer in Urban Planning and Design at the Harvard Graduate School of Design since January 2015. Prior to his appointment as Managing Director, he served as Research Director from 2010-2014 and was a Research Analyst from 1993-1997. From 1997 to 2010, Herbert was a Senior Associate at Abt Associates, Inc.
MERSCORP Holdings, Inc . and eOriginal, Inc . have launched a new solution offering that will enable originators to accelerate entry into the digital mortgage ecosystem. The MERS eNote Solutions, part of the MERS eSuite, will enable the creation, execution, registration, and management of the electronic promissory note, or eNote, to mortgage originators across the industry.
“MERSCORP Holdings is proud to provide technology-based solutions that add value to our members’ bottom line,” said Brendon Weiss, COO of MERSCORP Holdings. “Our members identified several gaps that need to be addressed to increase eNote adoption, and this new solution fills a significant need for originators seeking to leverage existing vendor relationships.”
Interest in the production of eNotes continues to grow as consumers and lenders recognize the value of moving toward a more streamlined, electronic process. With more than 5,000-member organizations, MERSCORP Holdings is central to the growth of digital mortgages, and the new service provides a turn-key solution to those members who are driving toward a paperless process.
Dr. Lynn Fisher has joined the American Enterprise Institute  (AEI), a public policy think tank dedicated to defending human dignity, expanding human potential, and building a freer and safer world, as a resident scholar and Co-Director of the Housing Center. Steve Oliner, the Housing Center’s co-founder and co-director, will remain in a part-time capacity as Senior Advisor.
Dr. Fisher will focus on housing markets, including affordable housing, home building, mortgages, and housing finance.
Before joining AEI, Dr. Fisher was VP of research and economics and the Executive Director of the Research Institute for Housing America at the Mortgage Bankers Association. She was previously on the faculty of Washington State University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and the University of North Carolina. At MIT, she was director of the Housing Affordability Initiative in the Center for Real Estate.