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Credit Officers, Lenders In Raleigh For American Mortgage Conference

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Private and community-based mortgage lenders are meeting in Raleigh this week to talk home ownership for future generations.

The American Mortgage Conference features an impressive line-up in the world of banking and home finance.  Leaders from the Federal Home Loan Banks of Atlanta and Chicago will address the crowd, along with lending managers from BB&T and North State Bank.

Panelist, Janneke Ratcliffe is Executive Director of UNC’s Center for Community Capital. She said right now, the most pressing challenge for housing recovery in this country is access to mortgage credit. 

“We have lots of evidence that mortgage credit is too tight and that it could be made more flexible without taking on undue amounts of risk," said Ratcliffe.  "So, simply put, I think we’re stuck in an over-correction.”

And Ratcliffe says this over-correction is causing some future homeowners to be shut out.

“The home ownership gap between whites and African Americans, I think. is at its highest level since the time periods have been tracked," said Ratcliffe.  "Let’s talk about young households.  There’s a whole population of millennials who could really bring some serious energy back to the housing market, but they are not able to get mortgages with low down payments.”

These issues will be discussed at the conference, organized by the North Carolina Bankers Association.

Mel Watt, head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, is scheduled to speak Monday night at the Raleigh Marriott, Crabtree Valley.  The conference runs through Wednesday.

Leoneda Inge is WUNC’s race and southern culture reporter, the first public radio journalist in the South to hold such a position. She also is co-host of the podcast Tested and host of the special podcast series, PAULI. Leoneda is the recipient of numerous awards from AP, RTDNA and NABJ. She’s been a reporting fellow in Berlin and Tokyo. You can follow her on Twitter @LeonedaInge.
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