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Chad Focht with Mason McDuffie Mortgage Video Update - April 13th 2011 This video includes a brand new approval process by Mason McDuffie ...

Mortgage investors want to make it easier for gig-economy workers to get loans

The two biggest sources of home-mortgage money in the country — investors Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — are quietly working on ways to make qualifying for a home purchase easier for participants in the booming “gig” economy.

The gig economy refers to hundreds of income-earning activities that allow workers to set their own hours, work for as long or as little as they choose, and function as independent contractors or freelancers as opposed to salaried employees. Prominent examples include people who work as drivers for Uber or Lyft, assemble Ikea furniture through TaskRabbit and offer rooms in their homes on Airbnb.

Estimates vary, but anywhere from just under 20 percent to 30 percent or more of the U.S. workforce participates in some way in the gig economy. Last year, Intuit, which owns TurboTax, estimated that 34 percent of the workforce earned money in gig pursuits and projected that this could rise to 43 percent by 2020.

Fannie, Freddie dual AUS transforms mortgage industry

To give an idea of just how much time one-click dual AUS system saves, panelists said somewhere around 16% of homes qualify for property inspection waivers after being run through both systems. And these numbers could just continue to improve as many loans in 2017’s disaster areas did not qualify for the waiver.

HousingWire Content Solutions Editor Sarah Wheeler, who moderated the panel, asked the panelists: Why now?

The answer was simple. The technology is finally available for companies to be able to work toward streamlining the process. And of course – borrowers are now demanding it.

“We’re hearing more demand for automation and efficiency,” said Piper Beveridge, Ellie Mae vice president of strategic relations. “Origination costs are too high, it takes too long, borrowers are demanding a different experience.”

But despite the benefits the system brings to the mortgage market, panelists explained they are still struggling to educate both lenders and homebuyers of the benefits of using the streamlined process.