On the Road Again: Q1 2024 Outings and Learnings

March 28, 2024

Starting in 2008, we’ve been collecting down payment assistance (DPA) program information and verifying the accuracy of our database every month. Today, we track 2,200+ programs and offer toolsets to help lenders and multiple listing services make this data available for loan officers and agents, as well as homebuyers and business partners. In addition to seeing more providers and more programs launched over the past 15+ years, we’ve seen expansion in the ways in which DPA funds can be used, not just for down payments but to pay down points, buy manufactured housing or invest in a 2-4 unit multifamily property, for example.

We think the DPA drumbeat is growing louder and want to share with our blog readers what we’re hearing at Q1 industry events.

National Council of State Housing Agencies (NCSHA)

In January, our Founder and CEO Rob Chrane had the opportunity to speak at NCSHA on a panel moderated by Wendi Redfern, senior vice president, single-family programs at the District of Columbia Housing Finance Agency. In his remarks, Chrane discussed a DPR study conducted in partnership with the Urban Institute that examines the impact DPA could have had on buyers. The study found that almost half (43.6%) of originated purchase mortgages were eligible for DPA. Looking at loan types, the study found that 79.9% of FHA loans likely could have qualified for DPA. Yet, according to HUD data, only about 15% of borrowers with FHA mortgages used down payment assistance from a government source. That gap — between the number of eligible loans (79.8%) and those that used DPA (15%) — is 64.8%, and represents a significant portion of LMI and minority applicants, Chrane pointed out.

After the session, Chrane spoke to Julia Gordon, assistant secretary for housing and federal housing commissioner at HUD, about the DPA gap that DPR’s joint study with the Urban Institute uncovered. She acknowledged that she is aware of our work and has been speaking to others about us. We are very excited to see DPA getting attention from industry leaders like Julia.

MBA Independent Mortgage Bankers (IMB) Conference

Later in January, DPR’s enterprise sales executive, Tani Lawrence, traveled to New Orleans for MBA’s IMB Conference, where she networked with clients and prospects. 

“Along with jazz and every oyster preparation you can imagine, there was a lot of buzz around DPA and the opportunity for IMBs of all sizes and business models to incorporate it into their workflow to qualify more borrowers,” she reports.

Texas MBA (TMBA) Southern Secondary

In February, Lawrence and Sean Moss, DPR’s executive vice president of product and operations, traveled to Houston for TMBA’s Southern Secondary conference. DPA was a frequent topic of discussion, Moss reports, including a question during a session to Alanna McCargo, president of Ginnie Mae, regarding the speed to securitize first mortgages that use DPA. “She noted that the quality of mortgages was ‘strong,’ so using DPA was not a factor,” says Moss. 

Jeff Casella, managing director of Optimal Blue, who is also a 20+ year industry veteran having held various mortgage capital markets positions at Optimal Blue, Fannie Mae and PHH Mortgage, chimed in during the next session saying DPAs have a “longer prepay period and look good on books.”

ICE Experience

The mid-March ICE Experience 2024 was perfectly timed for DPR to debut its new integration with Encompass by ICE Mortgage Technology, an industry-leading loan origination system. Chrane, Moss and Lawrence all traveled to Las Vegas to take part in this annual user conference and our booth was buzzing with lenders eager for a peek. The integration allows users of the Encompass LOS to view available DPA programs for specific borrowers based on their location, occupation, income and other factors. As additional information is entered into Encompass about the borrower, the DPA information dynamically refreshes. 

“Feedback on the integration was overwhelmingly positive and there’s a trending belief that this will be a game-changer for lenders who either do a lot of DPA already and/or have been apprehensive about doing so but need a little help,” Moss says. The integration tied in nicely with two central conference themes, automating the loan production lifecycle and combatting affordability challenges, he notes.

The Mortgage Collaborative (TMC) The Mane Event

Chrane and Lawrence wrapped up this busy quarter at TMC’s The Mane Event, Mar. 18-20 in Louisville. DPR hosted a Kentucky Derby-themed reception, participated on a panel and presented a case study with Mountain West Financial.

All in all, it’s been an amazing quarter of spreading DPR insights and meeting with lenders to see how DPR can fill the “missing gaps” in their business. Let’s keep it going!

Down Payment Resource has crafted tools to help mortgage lenders, real estate agents and multiple listing services build relationships with homebuyers by connecting them with the homebuyer assistance they desire.

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