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Growing Homeownership Through Neighborhood Stabilization

The Five Star Institute recently held the latest in its Webinar Series, “Bridging the Homeownership Gap: Strategies for Affordable Housing,” presented in partnership with Xome.

Five Star’s Webinar Series aims to broaden the horizons of the mortgage industry, serving as a source for complimentary insight and education about critical industry topics led by subject-matter experts and company sponsors.

During “Bridging the Homeownership Gap: Strategies for Affordable Housing,” leading subject-matter experts from Xome and the National Community Stabilization Trust (NCST) examined key strategies and initiatives to help provide access to affordable housing in the U.S.

The panel of experts who contributed to the discussion, led by Five Star Institute Editor-in-Chief David Wharton, included:

  • Carlos Alcazar, COO, National Community Stabilization Trust
  • Juan Barrachina, Finance Manager, Hogar Hispano Inc.
  • Melissa Bussey, Executive Principal, Client Relations, Xome
  • David Danenfelzer, Senior Director of Development Finance, Texas State Affordable Housing Corporation
  • Reg Shepherd, Executive Principal, Client Relations, Xome
  • Christopher Tyson, President, National Community Stabilization Trust

One of the major topics raised was how the industry continues to deal with the fallout from the pandemic, and how the industry as a whole kept Americans in their homes during this time.

“One of the things Xome did during Covid, when foreclosure and eviction moratoria were prevalent, was take a step back and examine how we could help the industry at-large,” noted Shepherd. “How could we use our options at Xome to benefit homeowners who were in distress? We fine-tuned our homeowner assist programs to include a short sale or an equity sale … the idea was that it was a voluntary program, however homeowners and borrowers were able to leverage Xome’s platform and agent panel to help them sell their home.”

Shepherd joined Xome in 2015, and currently serves as Executive Principal, Client Relations. In this role, Shepherd is responsible for supporting the company’s growth initiatives and cultivating new and existing relationships across financial institutions, servicers, and government agencies. With more than 22 years of experience in real estate services, he is passionate about helping clients leverage data, technology, and best-in-class service to enhance their asset management operations and stay ahead of industry trends. In addition to multiple operational roles served at Xome, Shepherd has also had leadership positions at GMAC-RFC, American Home Mortgage, and ServiceLink.

“Our focus on homeownership is also a focus on neighborhood stabilization,” said Tyson. “We really want to promote the connection between homeownership and taking distressed and defaulted assets and bringing them back to the market in ways that contribute to neighborhood stabilization. We understand that single-family rentals have always been a part of the housing market and serve a necessary purpose. Large institutional investors have also been part of the market and continue to serve their purpose.”

Tyson holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture from Howard University, a Master of Public Policy Degree from the Harvard Kennedy School, and a Juris Doctor Degree from the Georgetown University Law Center. He currently serves on the Baton Rouge General Medical Center Board of Directors and the Howard University Board of Trustees.

Alcazar joined NCST in 2010, and has more than 20 years of experience in mortgage banking with direct management in originations production, operations, and community lending. Alcazar earned an MBA from Keller Graduate School of Management and a BA in Political Science from Arizona State University.

He shared his thoughts on the market as we rapidly approach 2024.

“We [NCST] don’t exist if it were not for everyone on this call,” added Alcazar. “This is how we have operated over the past 15 years. Without buyers purchasing properties like Juan [Barrachina] and without our partnership with Xome, we would have no way to get those assets out to be looked at. We are really looking forward to 2024 … I don’t know what it’s going to look like, but we are just going to have to wait and see.”

Barrachina is responsible for providing management and control of all the finance operations for Hogar Hispano Inc. As part of his responsibilities, Barrachina supports the budget development and contributes to the long-range financial planning. His understanding of commercial property, Real Estate-Owned (REO) and mortgage loans accounting has contributed successfully to meet the specific requirement for the organization’s programs. Barrachina has worked with Hogar Hispano for the last 10 years helping the organization to develop an internal accounting process to meet with accounting principles, procedures, and policies standards. Additionally, has contributed with the REO development program. Including the management of all phases of residential and commercial projects, including developing scope of work, obtaining, and maintaining subcontractors, and collaborating with construction crews.

“As far as homeowners go, Xome is unique in that we have tools on our site that make it as easy as possible to deal with distressed real estate,” added Bussey.

With nearly 20 years of real estate auction experience under her belt, Bussey has been a member of the Xome team for the last five years, and currently serves as Executive Principal of Client Relations & Business Development. In this role, she is responsible for functions of business development and client management, including portfolio performance, process improvement, special projects, and industry relations. Bussey is an active member of the Women in Housing and Finance, various Mr. Cooper Group diversity and inclusion committees and the mPower community, a leading voice and platform for women of the real estate finance industry. Furthermore, she is an ardent supporter of equal and transparent access to homeownership and is a champion for Affordable Housing initiatives at Xome and beyond.

Click here for more information or to access a recap of the webinar “Bridging the Homeownership Gap: Strategies for Affordable Housing,” or click here to access the library of past installments of the Five Star Webinar Series.

About Author: Eric C. Peck

Eric C. Peck has 20-plus years’ experience covering the mortgage industry, he most recently served as Editor-in-Chief for The Mortgage Press and National Mortgage Professional Magazine. Peck graduated from the New York Institute of Technology where he received his B.A. in Communication Arts/Media. After graduating, he began his professional career with Videography Magazine before landing in the mortgage space. Peck has edited three published books and has served as Copy Editor for Entrepreneur.com.

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