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How Intuition and Caring for Foster Children Led to a Transformative Mortgage Product

Mar 9 2016

“I just stumbled onto it,” insists Fannie Mae economist Walt Scott. Scott is referring to his crucial research on extended income families which has helped to form the basis of a new mortgage product, HomeReady. 

But Walt Scott is not just being humble. He doesn’t always take the linear route to get from points A to B.

In fact, he came to Fannie Mae in 1995 to work in information technology as a system performance engineer and later a software architect. His day job, among other things, involved helping to design the infrastructure to keep the company’s underwriting, servicing, investor reporting, and Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) administration systems running.

He enjoyed his job, but by the mid-2000s was ready for a change.

In 2007, he learned that American University (AU) was offering a part-time PhD economics program, and that he could continue working at Fannie Mae and take night classes at AU, just down the street in Northwest Washington DC.

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