Leap Analytics Inc. (“Leap”), a fintech real estate investment firm that seeks to transform the home finance marketplace and empower historically underserved communities to help close the wealth gap, today announced the launch of its full-service website, featuring free financial education resources and information regarding its customized Home Equity Agreements (HEAs).
Headquartered in Los Angeles, Leap is led by Ashley Bete, a fintech and real estate entrepreneur who has served in executive roles at leading global financial and real estate institutions.
Mr. Bete said, “We combine innovative technology with institutional real estate expertise to empower homeowners in communities of color to improve their financial standing and credit scores. Our goal is to narrow the wealth gap in this country by focusing on education and developing solutions that earmark funds to enhance our clients’ financial relevancy, while expanding their access to financial opportunities.”
Home equity is a $19 trillion market in the United States and access to home equity is still the leading wealth generator in the country. HEAs, also known as Home Equity Investments (HEIs), are a new asset class allowing homeowners to access the equity accrued in their homes. An HEA is not a loan. It is a shared agreement between a homeowner and a company (typically an investment firm), where the homeowner receives a lump sum cash payment in exchange for a specified percentage of the home’s present and projected future value, for a fixed period (usually 10 or 30 years).
As the cost of home equity lines of credit rise with interest rates, an HEA provides a more affordable way to unlock home values to address pressing financial needs.
Through HEAs, Leap enables homeowners to stay in their communities and participate in the often-dramatic economic improvements that accompany gentrification.
With the proceeds of an HEA, homeowners can pay down existing debt, resulting in lower debt-to-income ratios (DTIs) and higher credit scores. Leap provides cash payments in exchange for a 6% to 18% equity stake in a home. The homeowner must have at least 30% in equity to qualify for Leap’s program. At the end of a typical HEA term — usually 10 or 30 years — the homeowner can either buy back their equity, extend the agreement’s term, or sell the home so the equity stake can be recouped by Leap or the investor.
Leap developed a proprietary family of one-year HEA solutions, which have the shortest term of any HEA on the market. Leap’s gains are capped at a 16% to 28% internal rate of return to provide its investors with a competitive risk-adjusted return.
- Leap Restore gives homeowners more flexibility and aims to position them as creditworthy borrowers within six months.
- Leap Relax will provide retired homeowners the ability to ease financial pressures.
- Leap Revive helps struggling business owners stabilize their finances.
Leap will also partner with like-minded financial institutions that share its core value of demonstrating a commitment to DEI and ESG, and using its fully automated platform to process HEAs, which removes the subjective aspect of the application process.
“Leap was founded to be more than a business that provides homeowners with much-needed capital and investors with solid return potential,” Mr. Bete added. “Together with companies that share our values of integrity, gender-pay equity, and a demonstrated commitment to empowering communities of color, we can scale our mission of closing the wealth gap and helping every homeowner achieve the American dream of prosperity. Our mission is to close the homeownership and wealth gap by providing real estate education and financial literacy for all.”