Events

Conferences, summits, and forums are valuable resources that can influence and inspire. Read about Aspen’s attendance at recent and scheduled events.

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Five Star Conference & Expo 2018

The theme of this year’s Five Star Conference and Expo was “Rise Above,” and the event certainly reached new heights in 2018. Billed as “an integral source of information, collaboration, and progression for the housing and mortgage industry,” Five Star’s 15th annual conference lived up to the hype. Aspen was a star sponsor, and we had a busy three days of events, meetings, and fantastic opportunities to celebrate the heroic work of the U.S. military.

5 star conference 2018Private reception for veterans

Sunday’s first event was the Single Family Rental Roundtable, followed by key FORCE networking events. Mindful of the immense contribution that our military heroes make to this country, Aspen was proud to host a private reception for veterans that evening. Operation Homefront CEO John I. Pray Jr., Brig Gen (ret), USAF, addressed the military families assembled. Operation Homefront provides emergency financial, housing and supportive family services to military and veteran families.

 

Sean Ryan Speaks at Servicing & Compliance Lab

The Legal League 100 Fall Servicer Summit took up Monday morning, with the American Mortgage Diversity Council Fall Meeting taking place after lunch. Later that afternoon, top mortgage servicing professionals presented new strategies to enhance operations, manage costs, service homeowners, and safeguard portfolios from embedded risk at the Servicing & Compliance Lab.

Aspen CEO Sean Ryan was among the speakers, as were representatives of Auction.com, Fannie Mae, Mr. Cooper, Freddie Mac, the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, and EY. Topics for discussion included the state of the servicing industry, the outlook for the year ahead, current rules and regulations governing the industry, and the influence of innovation on servicing. Speaking about technology, Sean Ryan pointed out that “apps like Amazon, Uber, Spotify—those are the types of experiences consumers are looking for, and that is what we must try to provide.”
5 star conference 2018

Keys for Life Reception

Later that evening, Aspen was delighted to co-host the Keys for Life reception, an annual favorite that pays tribute to the exceptional bravery and sacrifice of U.S. military veterans and their families.

Five Star presented its Lifetime Achievement award to two recipients: the late Robert Klein of Safeguard Properties and Caliber Home Loans’ Marion McDougall.

Then came the event that gives Keys for Life its name: the gifting of mortgage-free homes to five U.S. military veterans and their families, thanks to JPMorgan Chase, Auction.com, and Operation Homefront.

With singer Leann Rimes providing the entertainment (as well as five signed guitars that were auctioned in aid of Operation Homefront), the evening ended on a high note.

5 star conference 2018

Women in Housing Lunch

The highlight of Tuesday’s event for Aspen was the Women in Housing Banquet, which we co-hosted with Freddie Mac, McCalla Raymer Leibert Pierce, and Weathercheck. This is the first year of the event, but, judging by its success, it looks like a tradition that will continue. Celebrating the achievements of women in the mortgage servicing and housing industries, it saw five business leaders receive the 2018 Women in Housing Leadership Awards, the Keystones.

In his opening address at the banquet, Ed Delgado, President and CEO, Five Star Institute said that the inaugural Keystone awards celebrated the leadership of the women in the industry. “Our business is complemented by women who exemplify characteristics that strengthen and support the industry through their leadership,” Delgado said.

The Rising Business Leader Award honors individuals with under a decade of consecutive industry experience who have shown an exceptional ability to lead and drive progress. It went to Courtney Thompson, Director, Default Oversight and Operations, at Flagstar Bank.

The Cultural Leader Award went to Charmaine Brown, Diversity Director at the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at Fannie Mae. Miriam Moore, who is Division President at ServiceLink, took home the Keystone for Community Leadership. The Diversity and Inclusion Award was presented to Susan Somersille Johnson, CMO, SunTrust.

Marcia Davies, COO of the Mortgage Bankers Association, was honored with the Laurie A. Maggiano Legacy Award, which was named after the late industry icon whose illustrious career had a huge influence on housing. The banquet also featured a keynote address by Mrs. Laura Bush, First Lady of the United States (2000-2009).

Conclusion

These are just some of the key events in which Aspen had a leading role. The conference also proved to be a richly rewarding experience in terms of networking and educational opportunities. We’re already looking forward to next year.

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The Property Insurance and Restoration Conference (PIRC)

 Chicago, Illinois (July 19)

Many conferences claim to be unique, but the Property Insurance and Restoration Conference (PIRC) really is. Designed to allow interaction from all members of the audience, the conference offers topic-led discussions from all segments of the property restoration industry. Topics for discussion at this year’s PIRC included industry image, finding and promoting new talent, new technologies, and legislative issues facing the industry. All segments of the industry were represented, with participation from restoration companies of all sizes, as well as insurance executives, TPA representatives, vendors and other key players in the industry. Given our commitment to attending relevant events in our industry, Aspen Grove Solutions was represented at the conference and found it a valuable experience.

What Happened at the Property Insurance and Restoration Conference?

Those who attended and participated in PIRC got the opportunity to have their voice heard on issues that matter to the industry. This provided the perfect chance to network with like-minded individuals and to discuss problems and possible solutions with other industry professionals.

More details about the event

PIRC took place from 9AM to 5PM on Thursday, July 19, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Chicago – Wood Dale.

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AMDC Webinar Series: Diversity and the Business Supply Chain

American Mortgage Diversity Council

August 16, 2018 | 2:00 p.m. (CST)

Aspen Grove Solutions President Edmond Buckley hosted a fascinating webinar for the American Mortgage Diversity Council (AMDC) on the role of diversity in the business supply chain. This free event was open to everyone who registered in advance.

The AMDC Webinar Series

The AMDC webinar series is designed to give mortgage industry professionals and diversity practitioners the practical education they need to advance their knowledge on topics associated with diversity and inclusion. Edmond Buckley’s presentation dealt with the benefits organizations gain when they engage in a diverse supply-chain, the best ways to promote diversity in your own supply chain, and the range of certifications available for minority-owned businesses to identify themselves.

Other Webinars in the Series

Edmond Buckley is one of a panel of experts that the AMDC has assembled to cover issues relating to diversity and inclusion (D&I) in the mortgage industry and related businesses. Other webinars feature the following industry leaders and topics:

  • Bradley J. Osborne handles foreclosure, ejectment and credit card litigation for the Pennsylvania law firm Richard M. Squire & Associates, LLC. His webinar focuses on D&I regulation.
  • Laudan Properties’ Clint Welser (who is also board president for Fair Housing Services in Ohio) will discuss certification.
  • Kirk Willison, senior government affairs and corporate social responsibility officer for Altisource, will focus on a supply chain pilot program for his webinar
  • Altisource’s director of vendor oversight, Francisco Reyes, will present a webinar on measuring diversity spend

Who Is the American Mortgage Diversity Council?

Aspen Grove Solutions is proud to be an active member of the AMDC, which aims to create a diverse and inclusive mortgage industry for everybody. It offers a platform for mortgage industry leaders to collaborate for the progression of diversity and inclusion dialogue. The organization fosters discussion and encourages action through active participation with mortgage lenders, servicers, and related service providers. The council regularly engages with a range of federal agencies in relation to policies and procedures that affect diversity and inclusion across the mortgage industry.

Click here for the webinar recording.

 

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MBA’s National Secondary Market Conference & Expo 2018

MBA_secondary_market_conferenceNew York, NY (May 20-23)
Central concerns for lenders attending MBA’s National Secondary Market Conference & Expo 2018 in New York City included increasing interest rates, falling applications, and smaller margins. With mortgage originations continuing to plunge, many participants were hoping to find the secret to originating loans more efficiently and cost-effectively. The conference represented another productive event for Aspen Grove Solutions.

Originations on the Decline

MBA chief economist Mike Fratantoni warned that originations are trending negatively. He pointed to the latest MBA Mortgage Performance Report, which highlighted the adverse effects that regulation, additional fixed costs, fierce competition, and a move from refinancing to purchase are having on mortgage profits. Fratantoni noted that overcapacity and high expenses led to losses at mortgage banks during the first quarter, for the first time since the same period of 2014, and he also pointed out that many independent mortgage banks are considering abandoning servicing.

Digital Mortgages

Many mortgage originators are pinning their hopes on digital mortgage processes. According to Michael Drayne, senior vice president of issuer and portfolio management, Ginnie Mae will release a plan in June that will address the role of digital mortgages at the agency.

Ginnie Mae securitizes production for the Federal Housing Administration, Veterans Affairs and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Housing Service, and all of these agencies discussed planned technology upgrades designed to help lenders cut costs. To underline the interest in digitization, the final general session at MBA’s National Secondary Market & Expo 2018 was called “Securitizing the Digital Mortgage.”

Non-QM (Qualified Mortgage) Loans

A key aspect of the conference was a marked interest in non-QM (Qualified Mortgage) loans. With market conditions becoming more difficult, it is becoming harder to find easy loans where borrowers meet qualified mortgage standards. This means that the future of the mortgage industry is likely to depend on atypical borrowers, who may not meet conventional lending criteria but are a good risk for the appropriate product. Partly because of this, the non-QM market is forecast to increase by 400% in the next year. Panelists discussed non-conforming loan types, such as bank statement loans and condo loans, although several cautioned against likening non-QM to subprime. They also noted that underwriting non-QM loans can be challenging, especially because they have limited potential for automation.

Conclusion

Attendees left MBA’s National Secondary Market Conference & Expo 2018 with a keen sense of the demands facing them in the lending market. There may be some good news for the industry in relation to the passage of Dodd-Frank reforms that relax the rules restricting thousands of small and medium-sized banks, but the general outlook for mortgage lending is challenging.

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American Mortgage Diversity Council Member Meeting

American Mortgage Diversity CouncilThe Joule Hotel, Dallas, Texas (May 2, 2018)

The third annual American Mortgage Diversity Council Spring Member Meeting brought together leading executives from across the United States to promote the agenda of diversity and inclusion in the U.S. residential mortgage industry. Aspen Grove Solutions president, Edmond Buckley, participated in a lunchtime session on subcommittee and Affinity Group updates. Key speakers on the day included Dr. Antonio R. Flores, president and CEO of the Hispanic Colleges and Universities (HACU). Dr. Flores is among the 400+ CEOs in the CEO ACTION for Diversity and Inclusion Pledge, the primary CEO-driven business drive to promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

The event was organized exclusively for members of the American Mortgage Diversity Council (AMDC), who discussed the most high-profile issues relating to diversity and inclusion that affect the mortgage industry. The council is dedicated to promoting solutions that support a wide variety of diversity initiatives. Issues it faces include supply-chain diversity and the challenges confronting minority, LGBT, and women-owned businesses.

You can see the agenda for this event here.