HUD April Housing Scorecard

On May 9, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released an update titled Obama Administration Releases April Housing Scorecard.

OBAMA ADMINISTRATION RELEASES APRIL HOUSING SCORECARD

Las Vegas, NV Metropolitan Area Shows Signs of Improvement

WASHINGTON– The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury today released the April edition of the Obama Administration’s Housing Scorecard – a comprehensive report on the nation’s housing market. This month’s Housing Scorecard also features a spotlight on the Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV Metropolitan Statistical Area (Las Vegas MSA). The latest data show progress among key indicators.  While house prices remain stable and equity continues to grow, new and existing home sales have slowed. While this scorecard notes positive overall trends in the housing market, officials caution that the harsh winter slowed growth as the economy recovers from the Great Recession. The full Housing Scorecard and spotlight on the Las Vegas MSA are available online at www.hud.gov/scorecard.

“April’s Housing Scorecard shows that the housing market is stabilizing, as home prices have risen nearly 7 percent from last year, and foreclosure completions are at their lowest level since mid-2007,” said HUD Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research Katherine O’Regan. “However, the harsh winter, fewer distressed properties on the market, and continued tight credit standards have combined to slow the pace of home sales this month, indicating we need to remain vigilant to keep the recovery robust.”

“While the housing market continues to make progress, there are still many homeowners struggling to make their mortgage payments,” said Treasury Acting Assistant Secretary Tim Bowler. “Treasury remains committed to helping homeowners through our programs under Making Home Affordable (MHA). As this report shows, nearly 1.3 million homeowners have received a permanent modification through the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) and the program has saved homeowners an estimated $26.8 billion to date in monthly mortgage payments.”

The April Housing Scorecard features key data on the health of the housing market and the impact of the Administration’s foreclosure prevention programs, including:

  • House prices remain stable. As of February 2014, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) purchase-only house price index rose 6.9 percent from last year and ticked up 0.6 percent (seasonally adjusted) from January. The FHFA seasonally adjusted purchase-only index for the U.S. shows that home values are on par with prices in mid-2005. The S&P/Case-Shiller 20-City Home Price Index for February posted returns of 12.9 percent over the past 12 months and was virtually the same (not seasonally adjusted) from January. Prices, however, are typically weaker at this time of the year. The Case-Shiller index shows that home values are back to their mid-2004 levels. (The Case-Shiller and FHFA price indices are released with a 2-month lag.)
  • Foreclosure completions are at their lowest level since mid-2007. A total of 28,840 U.S. properties were repossessed by lenders (Real Estate Owned, or REO) in March, down 5 percent from February and down 34 percent from a year ago—to the lowest level since July 2007. Newly initiated foreclosures, at 55,710 U.S. properties, were up 7 percent from February but still down 24 percent from one year ago.  (Source: Realty Trac).
  • New Home Sales Have Slowed in Recent Months. Purchases of new homes dropped 14.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 384,000 in March—an eight-month low. New home sales were down 13.3 percent from a year earlier, the first annual decline since the third quarter of 2011. (Source: HUD and Census Bureau).
  • The Administration’s foreclosure mitigation programs continue to provide relief for millions of homeowners as the recovery from the housing crisis continues. More than 2.0 million homeowner assistance actions have taken place through the Making Home Affordable Program, including nearly 1.4 million permanent modifications through the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), while the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has offered nearly 2.3 million loss mitigation and early delinquency interventions through March. The Administration’s programs continue to encourage improved standards and processes in the industry, with HOPE Now lenders offering families and individuals more than 4.0 million proprietary modifications through February (data are reported with a 2-month lag). In all, more than 8.3 million mortgage modification and other forms of mortgage assistance arrangements were completed between April 2009 and the end of March 2014.

This month’s Housing Scorecard also features a regional spotlight on market strength in the Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV Metropolitan Statistical Area (Las Vegas MSA). Like many areas across the country, the economic and housing market conditions in the Las Vegas area are improving, but the housing crisis and recession hit this area particularly hard and their economic recovery started later. The Administration’s broad approach to stabilize the housing market has been provided help to homeowners throughout the Las Vegas MSA.

“As the national housing market continues to improve, the Las Vegas metropolitan area is also showing signs of recovery from the recession,” said O’Regan. “As the regional spotlight shows, the Las Vegas MSA was one of the hardest-hit areas during the housing crisis. House prices plummeted by 60 percent during the housing downturn in the Las Vegas area and there was a sharp increase in the number of distressed mortgages. While it’s clear Administration efforts have helped the area rebound, more work must be done to help homeowners in this area struggling from an excess of  housing construction and unsustainable mortgage lending in the years leading up to the housing crisis and recession.”

The Housing Scorecard Regional Spotlight features data on the health of the Las Vegas MSA housing market and impact of efforts to help homeowners at the local level including:

  • Economic and housing market conditions in the Las Vegas MSA are improving. Although the recovery from the recession started later in Las Vegas, jobs have been increasing at an average annual rate of 18,450, or 2.3 percent, from the first quarter of 2011 through the fourth quarter of 2013. As of January 2014, the rate of distressed mortgages has fallen from a peak of 19.8 percent to 7.6 percent compared to a decline from 8.0 to 4.5 percent nationally. The share of underwater mortgages remains high but has dropped to 32.6 percent as of the fourth quarter of 2013, down from 55.0 percent a year earlier.
  • Administration Programs Are Providing Much Needed Relief to the Last Vegas MSA. The Administration’s broad approach to stabilizing the Las Vegas housing market has contributed to the improvements as more than 82,100 homeowners received mortgage assistance between April 2009 and March 2014. Furthermore, the Las Vegas MSA has benefitted from $154 million in funding from the Neighborhood Stabilization Program, and the State of Nevada has received $194 million from the Hardest Hit Fund program.

The National Mortgage Servicing Settlement is continuing to provide relief for those in the Las Vegas metropolitan area and throughout the state of Nevada. Under the landmark National Mortgage Servicing Settlement, more than 20,400 Nevada homeowners have benefitted from over $1.9 billion in refinancing, short sales and completed or trial loan modifications, including principal reduction on first and second lien mortgages provided as of June 30, 2013. Nationwide, the settlement has provided more than $50 billion in consumer relief benefits to more than 631,000 families. That is in addition to the $2.5 billion in payments to participating states and $1.5 billion in direct payments to borrowers who were foreclosed upon between 2008 and 2011.

Please click here to view the online update.

About Safeguard 
Safeguard Properties is the largest mortgage field services company in the U.S. Founded in 1990 by Robert Klein and based in Valley View, Ohio, the company inspects and maintains defaulted and foreclosed properties for mortgage servicers, lenders, and other financial institutions. Safeguard employs approximately 1,700 people, in addition to a network of thousands of contractors nationally. Website: www.safeguardproperties.com.

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CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

Alan Jaffa

Alan Jaffa is the chief executive officer for Safeguard, steering the company as the mortgage field services industry leader. He also serves on the board of advisors for SCG Partners, a middle-market private equity fund focused on diversifying and expanding Safeguard Properties’ business model into complimentary markets.

Alan joined Safeguard in 1995, learning the business from the ground up. He was promoted to chief operating officer in 2002, and was named CEO in May 2010. His hands-on experience has given him unique insights as a leader to innovate, improve and strengthen Safeguard’s processes to assure that the company adheres to the highest standards of quality and customer service.

Under Alan’s leadership, Safeguard has grown significantly with strategies that have included new and expanded services, technology investments that deliver higher quality and greater efficiency to clients, and strategic acquisitions. He takes a team approach to process improvement, involving staff at all levels of the organization to address issues, brainstorm solutions, and identify new and better ways to serve clients.

In 2008, Alan was recognized by Crain’s Cleveland Business in its annual “40-Under-40” profile of young leaders. He also was named a NEO Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year® finalist in 2013.

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Chief Operating Officer

Michael Greenbaum

Michael Greenbaum is the chief operating officer for Safeguard. Mike has been instrumental in aligning operations to become more efficient, effective, and compliant with our ever-changing industry requirements. Mike has a proven track record of excellence, partnership and collaboration at Safeguard. Under Mike’s leadership, all operational departments of Safeguard have reviewed, updated and enhanced their business processes to maximize efficiency and improve quality control.

Mike joined Safeguard in July 2010 as vice president of REO and has continued to take on additional duties and responsibilities within the organization, including the role of vice president of operations in 2013 and then COO in 2015.

Mike built his business career in supply-chain management, operations, finance and marketing. He has held senior management and executive positions with Erico, a manufacturing company in Solon, Ohio; Accel, Inc., a packaging company in Lewis Center, Ohio; and McMaster-Carr, an industrial supply company in Aurora, Ohio.

Before entering the business world, Mike served in the U.S. Army, Ordinance Branch, and specialized in supply chain management. He is a distinguished graduate of West Point (U.S. Military Academy), where he majored in quantitative economics.

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CHIEF INFORMATION OFFICER

George Mehok

George Mehok is the chief information officer for Safeguard. He is responsible for all strategic technology decisions, new systems deployments and data center operations supporting a national network of more than 10,000 mobile workers.

George has more than 20 years of leadership experience dedicated to high-growth companies in the mobile telecommunications and financial services industries, spanning startups to global industry leaders.

George played a senior role in the formation of Verizon Wireless, leading the IT product development and strategic planning team. He led the integration planning for the Verizon merger including: GTE, Vodafone-AirTouch, Bell Atlantic Mobile and PrimeCo.

As chief information officer at Revol Wireless, a VC-backed CDMA wireless communications network operator, George’s team implemented an integrated technology infrastructure and award-winning business intelligence platform.

George holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and economics from Eastern Michigan University and an M.B.A. from The Ohio State University. He is a board member of Akron University’s School of Business Center for Information Technology, in addition to an advisory board member for OHTec.

In 2013, George won the Crain’s Cleveland Business CIO of the Year award for his team’s work in completing a major acquisition and technology transformation at Safeguard. In 2015, George’s team was recognized by InformationWeek’s annual Elite 100 ranking of the most innovative U.S.-based users of business technology. The mobile inspection technology developed at Safeguard was selected as InformationWeek’s “One of the top 20 ideas to steal in 2015”.

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General Counsel and Executive Vice President

Linda Erkkila, Esq.

Linda Erkkila is the general counsel and executive vice president for Safeguard, with oversight responsibilities for the legal, human resources, training, compliance and audit departments. Linda’s broad scope of oversight covers regulatory issues that impact Safeguard’s operations, pro-active risk mitigation, enterprise strategic planning, human capital and training initiatives, compliance and audit services, litigation and claims management, and counsel related to mergers, acquisition and joint ventures.

Linda’s oversight of the legal department along with multiple compliance and human capital focused departments assures that Safeguard’s strategic initiatives align with its resources, leverage opportunities across the company, and contemplate compliance mandates. Her practice spans almost 20 years, and Linda’s experience, both as outside and in-house counsel, covers a wide range of corporate matters, including regulatory disclosure, corporate governance compliance, risk assessment, executive compensation, litigation management, and merger and acquisition activity. Her experience at a former Fortune 500 financial institution during the subprime crisis helped develop Linda’s pro-active approach to change management during periods of heightened regulatory scrutiny.

Linda previously served as vice president and attorney for National City Corporation, as securities and corporate governance counsel for Agilysys Inc., and as an associate at Thompson Hine LLP. She earned her JD at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. Linda holds a degree in economics from Miami University and an MBA. In 2017, Linda was named as both a “Woman of Influence” by HousingWire and as a “Leading Lady” by MReport.

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Chief Financial Officer

Joe Iafigliola

Joe Iafigliola is the Chief Financial Officer for Safeguard. Joe is responsible for the Control, Quality Assurance, Business Development, Accounting & Information Security departments, and is a Managing Director of SCG Partners, a middle-market private equity fund focused on diversifying and expanding Safeguard Properties’ business model into complimentary markets.

Joe has been in a wide variety of roles in finance, supply chain management, information systems development, and sales and marketing. His career includes senior positions with McMaster-Carr Supply Company, Newell/Rubbermaid, and Procter and Gamble.

Joe has an MBA from The Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University, is a Certified Management Accountant (CMA), and holds a bachelor’s degree from The Ohio State University’s Honors Accounting program.

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AVP, Operations

Jennifer Jozity

Jennifer Jozity is the assistant vice president of operations, overseeing inspections, REO and property preservation for Safeguard. Jen ensures quality work is performed in the field and internally, to meet and exceed our clients’ expectations. Jen has demonstrated the ability to deliver consistent results in order audit and order management.  She will build upon these strengths in order to deliver this level of excellence in both REO and property preservation operations.

Jen joined Safeguard in 1997 and was promoted to director of inspections operations in 2009 and assistant vice president of inspections operations in 2012.

She graduated from Cleveland State University with a degree in business.

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AVP, Finance

Jennifer Anspach

Jennifer Anspach is the assistant vice president of finance for Safeguard. She is responsible for the company’s national workforce of approximately 1,000 employees. She manages recruitment strategies, employee relations, training, personnel policies, retention, payroll and benefits programs. Additionally, Jennifer has oversight of the accounts receivable and loss functions formerly within the accounting department.

Jennifer joined the company in April 2009 as a manager of accounting and finance and a year later was promoted to director. She was named AVP of human capital in 2014. Prior to joining Safeguard, she held several management positions at OfficeMax and InkStop in both operations and finance.

Jennifer is a graduate of Youngstown State University. She was named a Crain’s Cleveland Business Archer Award finalist for HR Executive of the Year in 2017.

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AVP, Application Architecture

Rick Moran

Rick Moran is the assistant vice president of application architecture for Safeguard. Rick is responsible for evolving the Safeguard IT systems. He leads the design of Safeguard’s enterprise application architecture. This includes Safeguard’s real-time integration with other systems, vendors and clients; the future upgrade roadmap for systems; and standards designed to meet availability, security, performance and goals.

Rick has been with Safeguard since 2011. During that time, he has led the system upgrades necessary to support Safeguard’s growth. In addition, Rick’s team has designed and implemented several innovative systems.

Prior to joining Safeguard, Rick was director of enterprise architecture at Revol Wireless, a privately held CDMA Wireless provider in Ohio and Indiana, and operated his own consulting firm providing services to the manufacturing, telecommunications, and energy sectors.

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AVP, Technology Infrastructure and Cloud Services

Steve Machovina

Steve Machovina is the assistant vice president of technology infrastructure and cloud services for Safeguard. He is responsible for the overall management and design of Safeguard’s hybrid cloud infrastructure. He manages all technology engineering staff who support data centers, telecommunications, network, servers, storage, service monitoring, and disaster recovery.

Steve joined Safeguard in November 2013 as director of information technology operations.

Prior to joining Safeguard, Steve was vice president of information technology at Revol Wireless, a privately held wireless provider in Ohio and Indiana. He also held management positions with Northcoast PCS and Corecomm Communications, and spent nine years as a Coast Guard officer and pilot.

Steve holds a BBA in management information systems from Kent State University in Ohio and an MBA from Wayne State University in Michigan.

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AVP, Business Development

Tim Rath

Tim Rath is the AVP of business development for Safeguard. He is responsible for developing innovative growth strategies for Safeguard and developing and overseeing potential partnerships, mergers and acquisitions.

Tim joined Safeguard in 2011 as project director and has filled numerous roles within Vendor Management, most recently serving as director of vendor management, a role he assumed in 2011.

Prior to Safeguard, Tim worked as director of supply chain at PartsSource Inc. in Aurora, Ohio, a provider of medical replacement parts, procurement solutions and healthcare supply chain management technology services. He also has held sales positions with Rexel, ComDoc, and Pier Associates, all based in Ohio.

Tim holds a degree in marketing and sales from The University of Akron in Akron, Ohio. He also earned his FAA Certified Commercial UAS (Drone) Pilot license in 2017.

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Assistant Vice president of Application Development

Steve Goberish

Steve Goberish, is the assistant vice president of application development for Safeguard. He is responsible for the maintenance and evolution of Safeguard’s vendor systems ensuring high-availability, security and scalability while advancing the vendor products’ capabilities and enhancing the vendor experience.

Prior to joining Safeguard, Steve was a senior technical architect and development manager at First American Title Insurance, a publicly held title insurance provider based in southern California, in addition to managing and developing applications in multiple sectors from insurance to VOIP.

Steve has a bachelor’s degree from Kent State University in Ohio.