FormFree announced that mortgage lenders using AccountChek verification of asset (VOA) reports in conjunction with a Freddie Mac Loan Product Advisor (LPA) solution will soon benefit from an enhancement that takes loan applicants’ 12-month on-time rent payment history into consideration when assessing eligibility for qualified first-time homebuyers.
The enhancement, which is effective once announced in the Freddie Mac July Guide Bulletin, is designed to expand sustainable homeownership for millions of Americans by taking their rent payment history into account when assessing eligibility. The expansion of rent payment history can increase the number of mortgage loan applicants who receive an Eligible/Accept recommendation in LPA.
“Freddie Mac is focused on offering value to our clients and improving the borrower experience as we continue to modernize the mortgage process,” said Kevin Kauffman, Freddie Mac Single-Family Vice President of Client and Partner Delivery. “FormFree has been a strong partner on this journey by helping lenders assess credit eligibility for qualified first-time homebuyers.”
LPA will automatically identify on-time rent payments — including those made via mobile apps like Venmo, Zelle and Paypal — within AccountChek VOA reports and take them into consideration when assessing eligibility for qualified first-time homebuyers. Only on-time rent payments will be considered; LPA will not assess late or missing rent payments.
“Freddie Mac’s move to have Loan Product Advisor consider rent payment history in its assessment is part of a much larger push for more equitable home financing practices,” said FormFree Chief Customer Officer Christy Moss. “People of color, who have disproportionately low homeownership rates and are overrepresented among credit invisible consumers will be most positively impacted by this enhancement to LPA.”
“FormFree takes great pride in helping borrowers communicate their ability to pay and equipping lenders with tools to confidently and efficiently verify borrower credentials,” continued Moss. “We look forward to supporting Freddie Mac as it continues to deploy technology that improves access to sustainable credit for homebuyers.”
Lenders can leverage rent payment history assessment through LPA asset and income modeler (AIM) when they order AccountChek reports of any length, including 30-, 60-, 90- and 180-day reports. In supplying LPA with 12 months of rent payment history, AccountChek has established safeguards that ensure the collection of extended rent payment history does not expose lenders to non-rent transactions, such as large gift deposits, that occurred more than 90 days in the past.
“FormFree remains committed to developing and supporting solutions that correct the racial homeownership gap,” said FormFree Founder and CEO Brent Chandler. “Using FICO scores alone to evaluate creditworthiness excludes a large swath of minority homeowners who pay their rent on time and responsibly manage their finances without borrowing money from creditors. Direct source financial data is the key to understanding consumers’ true ability to pay. FormFree applauds Freddie Mac’s efforts to help lenders finance homeownership more equitably.”
Tony Garritano is the founder at PROGRESS in Lending Association. As a speaker Tony has worked hard to inform executives about how technology should be a tool used to further business objectives. For over 20 years he has worked as a journalist, researcher and speaker in the mortgage technology space. Starting PROGRESS in Lending Association was the next step for someone like Tony, who has dedicated his entire career to providing mortgage executives with the information that they need to make informed technology decisions to help their businesses succeed.