continue reading » Startups from across the U.S. were among the many companies who used the FinovateFall conference in New York on Tuesday to demonstrate financial services technology targeted at advisors, banks and individual investors.Two standouts were BidMoni, based in Moss Point, Mississippi, and Wallit, based in Portland, Maine.RIA BidMoni spotlighted enhancements made to its FiduciaryShield automated platform that launched last year for the retirement plan market. Since launching in summer 2018, it has been “steadily opening up the defined contribution space marketplace to fee-based advisors,” according to the company. The enhancements demonstrated at FinovateFall were designed to further enable advisors to grow their 401(k) businesses while better supporting industry requirements to monitor and document processes, it said.The platform will “go beyond helping advisors connect with plan sponsor employers by identifying major risk factors in plans and presenting multiple solutions to remedy any problems that are discovered,” BidMoni said. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
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Drop by an open house this weekend and there is a chance you could bump into a Countrywide home loan sales person. The Calabasas mortgage giant, which is getting hammered in the credit crunch, ordered 7,000 loan consultants to spread out across the country in operation “America’s Open House.” It’s one more battle in the company’s war to win back the hearts and checking accounts of homebuyers, who are scarce these days. Here’s the battle plan. “Credit standards certainly have tightened up, and that’s a result of investors getting more careful and scrutinizing what they invest in,” Kemp said. “The best advice I could ever give is be prepared to document your income and be prepared to have a down payment.” Countrywide is encouraged by what it views as signs of renewed consumer interest in home finance, including a 40 percent spike in the number of customers calling to discuss their home financing options after the Fed’s recent half-point rate cut. One thing the consultants will bring are calculators that can provide qualified prospective buyers with pre-approvals for a loan. That will let them know how much house they can buy and whether prices are still too high. The consultants will also bring a Realtor’s survival kit, what the company calls “a big ol’ bag of appreciation from Countrywide.” Kemp said: “It’s not as dismal as it seems. You can still have a piece of the American dream. I hate to sound like a Pollyanna, but it’s true.” Maybe so. But it’s still going to take a lot more than a bag of appreciation to sweeten up this real estate market. CASH INFUSION: CityView, a national housing investor, last week launched CityView Los Angeles Fund, a $150 million-plus fund to create more work-force housing in Los Angeles County. The enterprise’s executive chairman is Henry Cisneros, the former Housing and Urban Development head. “With housing costs rising faster than incomes, the imbalanced work-force housing supply in Los Angeles County is a crisis,” Cisneros said in a statement. CityView will partner with homebuilders and developers to address a pressing issue and build homes within the price range of working families such as teachers, nurses, police officers and firefighters. The enterprise has already partnered with the California Public Employees’ Retirement System and has added three local pension funds – the Los Angeles Fire and Police Pension, the Los Angeles City Employees’ Retirement System and the Los Angeles County Employee Retirement Association. The fund can be used for complex housing developments, such as infill projects, and brings the creativity for the development of underused land. For example, in one of the first projects, CityView teamed up with John Laing Homes to develop an Inglewood site near Los Angeles International Airport, which was formerly used for oil drilling and storage. Today, the development of 157 detached, single-family homes is the largest master-planned community Inglewood has seen in more than 15 years. [email protected] (818) 713-3743160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The consultants will hook up real estate agents and prospective buyers they encounter and provide them with an array of mortgage financing options that Countrywide still offers. Surprisingly, it’s a sizeable number. “We do have a wide variety of loan programs – 197 at last count. But fundamentally people only use about five or so,” said Mark Kemp, the company’s divisional vice president for California, Nevada and Hawaii. Countrywide still makes loans with 5 percent and 10 percent down payments. And it also has a wide variety of jumbo and superjumbo loans, he said. But it is not the Wild West of just a couple of years ago.