HUD August Housing Scorecard

On September 13, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released an update titled Obama Administration Releases August Housing Scorecard.

OBAMA ADMINISTRATION RELEASES AUGUST HOUSING SCORECARD
Administration’s efforts to speed the housing recovery continue to show progress in latest housing data

WASHINGTON- The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury today released the August edition of the Obama Administration’s Housing Scorecard – a comprehensive report on the nation’s housing market. The latest data show important progress across many key indicators–as home prices, purchases of new homes, and sales of existing homes continue to show strong annual gains–although officials caution that the overall recovery remains fragile. The full Housing Scorecard is available online at www.hud.gov/scorecard.

“As indicated in the August housing scorecard, the Administration continues to work to stabilize the housing market and help responsible homeowners get back on their feet,” said HUD Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Affairs Kurt Usowski. “With the number of underwater homeowners decreasing by more than 40%, it is clear that we are moving in the right direction. As we regain stability in our housing markets, it is important to remember that we still have a long way to go in making sure that our housing finance system is strong for future generations.”

“The standards set by the Making Home Affordable Program have changed the mortgage servicing industry, as have our quarterly assessments of servicer performance” said Treasury Assistant Secretary for Financial Stability Tim Massad. “While there has been significant progress, there is still more improvement needed in servicer behavior. And while the housing market has recovered substantially, there are still homeowners struggling to avoid foreclosure and it is vital that we continue to try to help them.”

Since inception of the Making Home Affordable Program, Treasury has required participating servicers to take specific actions to improve their processes through ongoing program reviews. The quarterly Servicer Assessments summarize performance in three categories of program implementation: identifying and contacting homeowners; homeowner evaluation and assistance; and program reporting, management and governance. Results for the second quarter of 2013 show that, although servicer performance can fluctuate from quarter to quarter, in general, servicers are demonstrating sustained performance in program implementation. While servicer’s execution of MHA has improved over time, there are still areas where servicer performance requires improvement, and Treasury will continue to apply pressure on the mortgage servicing industry to sustain these improvements.

  • Mortgage servicers continue to appropriately calculate homeowner income, which is used to determine a homeowner’s eligibility and modified payment amount under the program. In Q2 2013, the majority of servicers have income calculation error rates below the benchmark established by Treasury (with two servicers at zero percent error rates).
  • Servicers continue to effectively evaluate homeowners under program eligibility criteria as evidenced in the “second look disagree” category, which reflects the rate at which Treasury’s program reviews disagree with the servicer’s decision not to assist a homeowner. In Q2 2013, the average second look disagree percentage for the top servicers was less than 2 percent, less than half of Treasury’s established benchmark.

All servicers will need to continue to demonstrate progress in any areas identified in subsequent program reviews. Servicers have been directed to enhance their execution in key areas that include timely solicitation of homeowners for participation in MHA; timely, accurate and detailed communications with homeowners; and ensuring the integrity and proper use of the Net Present Value (NPV) model during the evaluation process.

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

  • Home prices continued to show strong annual gains. As of June 2013, the FHFA purchase-only index rose 7.7 percent from last year, and was up on a seasonally adjusted basis by 0.7 percent from May. The FHFA seasonally adjusted purchase-only index for the U.S. has increased for the last 17 consecutive months. The S&P/Case-Shiller 20-City Home Price Index posted returns of 2.2% for June (not seasonally adjusted) and 12.1% over the past 12 months.
  • Millions of underwater homeowners are getting relief due to improvements in home prices. The number of underwater homeowners has fallen by 42% since the beginning of 2012 – from 12.1 million to 7.1 million as of the second quarter of 2013 – lifting 5.0 million homeowners who owed more on their mortgages than they were worth above water. In the first half of 2013, nearly 3.5 million homeowners have returned to positive equity. CoreLogic credits the decrease in underwater borrowers largely to the improvement in home prices.
  • The Administration’s foreclosure mitigation programs continue to provide relief for millions of homeowners as the recovery from the housing crisis continues. Over 1.7 million homeowner assistance actions have taken place through the Making Home Affordable Program, including more than 1.2 million permanent modifications through the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), while the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has offered more than 1.9 million loss mitigation and early delinquency interventions. The Administration’s programs continue to encourage improved standards and processes in the industry, with HOPE Now lenders offering families and individuals more than 3.7 million proprietary modifications through June.
  • The Neighborhood Stabilization Program continues to help communities across all 50 states to address foreclosed and abandoned homes. During the Second Quarter of 2013, grantees report cumulative completions of newly constructed or rehabilitated housing units under NSP topping 25,000 units, while direct assistance to homeowners reached the 10,000 mark, signaling strong progress toward achieving projected activity under the NSP1, NSP2, and NSP3 programs.
  • Homeowners in HAMP continue to benefit from meaningful payment relief, increasing their long-term likelihood of avoiding foreclosure. As of July, more than 1.2 million homeowners have received a permanent modification through HAMP, saving approximately $547 on their mortgage payments each month–a 39 percent savings from their previous payment–saving a total estimated $21.6 billion in monthly mortgage payments. In July, 73 percent of eligible non-GSE mortgages benefitted from principal reduction with their HAMP modification. Homeowners currently in HAMP permanent modifications with some form of principal reduction have been granted an estimated $11.1 billion in principal reduction.

View the Making Home Affordable Program Report with data through July 2013.

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HUD’s mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all.
HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the
need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build
inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business.
More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at
www.hud.gov and
http://espanol.hud.gov. You can also follow HUD on twitter @HUDnews, on facebook at
www.facebook.com/HUD, or sign up for news alerts on HUD’s News Listserv.

To view the online update, please click here.

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.