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The Industry Pulse: Updates on Ocwen, RES.NET, and More …

The Industry PulseFrom credit counseling initiatives to partnerships to automate REO processes, get the latest buzz on the industry in this weekly update.

Florida-based Ocwen Financial Corp.and Cambridge Credit Counseling, a not-for-profit U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development approved housing counseling organization, recently hosted a free mortgage assistance event for Massachusetts homeowners having trouble making their mortgage payments. Held on Saturday, October 20, homeowners met one-on-one with Ocwen Home Retention Agents and counselors from Cambridge Credit Counseling to discuss their unique situations and to receive information about potential options to help lower their mortgage payments.

“Ocwen is making a real difference across the country in the lives of homeowners struggling to pay their
mortgage,” said Jill Showell, SVP, Government and Community Relations at Ocwen. “Local borrower outreach events, such as this one in Massachusetts with Cambridge Credit Counseling, give us the chance to work
directly with families in need of a mortgage solution to help them better afford their homes.”

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RES.NET, a technology platform allowing mortgage bankers, investors, vendors, consumers, and other parties to communicate around a real estate transaction, today announced it has successfully developed and deployed a robust Buyer’s Marketplace for FirstBank Puerto Rico. The new marketplace showcases the bank’s diverse portfolio of available assets and engages a much broader audience of potential buyers and investors than traditional tools available in the market. It was created in Spanish to accommodate the widest range of buyers.

Shortly after FirstBank Puerto Rico selected RES.NET as the operating platform to assist with the disposition of its OREO (other real estate owned) properties, the devastation from Hurricane Maria presented a new set of unforeseeable challenges for the bank and the island as a whole. The bank and RES.NET issued a call to action, expediting the development and deployment timeline, quickly launching the marketplace in its native language to contribute to the rebuilding efforts of the community.

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LERETA, LLC, a national provider of real estate tax and flood services for mortgage servicers based in Covina, California, has tapped Eric Christensen as the Chief Strategy Officer for the company. Christensen is responsible for product development, corporate strategy, marketing, and M&A transactions.

Christensen, who most recently was the founder and managing director of Credit Data Solutions, has spent his career developing knowledge around financial software, predictive modeling and analytics, credit risk technology, and decisioning software. His expertise extends in fraud management, competitive strategy, business planning, sales and marketing as well as risk management and regulatory relations.

“Eric’s deep and varied experience in the financial industry makes him perfect to help usher LERETA into a new era where technology and people help provide the best level of service to our customers,” said John Walsh, CEO of LERETA. “We welcome his knowledge and passion for bringing positive change to the industry.”

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Credit scoring agency, FICO, along with Experian and Finicity recently launched a new credit score called UltraFICO Score. The new credit score leverages account aggregation technology and distribution capability from Experian and Finicity to help consumers improve access to credit by tapping into consumer-contributed data, such as checking, savings, and money market account data, that reflects responsible financial management activity.

The three companies estimate that this new score has the potential to improve credit access for the majority of Americans and is particularly relevant for those who fall in the grey area in terms of credit scores (scores in the upper 500s to lower 600s) or fall just below a lender's score cut-off. Consumers who are relatively new to credit with limited history or those with previous financial distress that are getting back on their feet stand to benefit the most from this new system.

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About Author: Radhika Ojha

Radhika Ojha is an independent writer and copy-editor, and a reporter for DS News. She is a graduate of the University of Pune, India, where she received her B.A. in Commerce with a concentration in Accounting and Marketing and an M.A. in Mass Communication. Upon completion of her masters degree, Ojha worked at a national English daily publication in India (The Indian Express) where she was a staff writer in the cultural and arts features section. Ojha, also worked as Principal Correspondent at HT Media Ltd and at Honeywell as an executive in corporate communications. She and her husband currently reside in Houston, Texas.
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