Data Will Help Housing Weather the Next Recession

August 27, 2019
data on laptop
Photo: Unsplash/Jonathan Francisca

Tim Mayopoulos, the former chief executive of Fannie Mae and current president of Blend a financial technology company that helps banks digitizes mortgage application processes, says better data will help housing in the next recession.

“I’m much less worried about the state of housing and home prices than I was 10 years ago,” he told Fortune’s Robert Hackett and Jen Wieczner on the latest episode of Balancing The Ledger, Fortune’s show covering the intersection of finance and technology.

“I was joining Fannie Mae right as the crisis was hitting, and I can confirm that, you know, with 18 million mortgage loans on our balance sheet, it was very hard for us to understand actually what was in those loans, because for every one of those 18 million loans we had hundreds of pages of paper, but we didn't really have nearly as much data as we wanted to have,” Mayopoulos said.

Mayopoulos’s current employer, Blend, which digitizes mortgage application processes for banks such as Wells Fargo, is repairing a system that was formerly broken, he said. The company is getting financial firms “to really rely on data instead of documents.”

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