Posts by John Straka

John Straka, Ph.D.  is a senior susiness consultant with Experian's Global Consulting Practice. Straka has more than 25 years of risk-management experience, including mortgage risk modeling, credit policy, loss mitigation, risk analytics strategies, fraud analytics and mortgage investments.  

As a consultant with Experian’s Global Consulting Practice, Straka counsels mortgage-lending banks, government agencies, and other financial institutions of all sizes and capabilities on ways to mitigate risk, grow their business and increase returns. Offering a global perspective from the bottom-up to produce an immediate positive impact for clients, Straka provides timely insights and ideas on industry trends. He leads projects to full completion to ensure that clients stay ahead and move forward with confidence in a rapidly changing business environment.   
 
From the initial business or strategy review to the implementation and management phase, Straka provides trusted, results-driven counsel using state-of-the-art data analytics, robust statistical models and sophisticated software tools. What sets Straka apart is his extensive expertise in statistical modeling using strong, robust data that informs the decisioning process, which is critical to the success of any program.
 
Prior to joining Experian in 2010, Straka held various leadership positions at Freddie Mac for nearly 18 years, most recently as Vice President of customer facing models and analytics. He led modeling teams responsible for all statistical scoring models, along with valuation and other models, including automated underwriting, behavioral scoring, and loss mitigation modeling and analytics. Straka also has worked as an economist at the Social Security Administration and in macroeconomic forecasting and analysis at the Congressional Budget Office.
 
Straka earned a Bachelor of Arts in economics from Williams College and his Masters in economics and Doctorate degree from Cornell University.
 

New findings revealed in white paper on leading indicators in local-area credit statistics

Recently we released a white paper that emphasizes the need for better, more granular indicators of local home-market conditions and borrower home equity, with a very interesting new finding on leading indicators in local-area credit statistics.  Click here to download the white paper Home-equity...read more

Where business models worked, and didn’t, and are most needed now in mortgages

  Part II: Where are Models Most Needed Now in Mortgages? (Click here if you missed Part I of this post.) A first important question should always be are all of your models, model uses, and model testing strategies, and your non-model processes, sound and optimal for your business?  But in today’s...read more

Where Business Models Worked, and Didn’t, and Are Most Needed Now in Mortgages

Part I: Types and Complexity of Models, and Unobservable or Omitted Variables or Relationships Since the financial crisis, it’s not unusual to read articles here and there about the “failure of models.” For example, a recent piece in Scientific American critiqued financial model “calibration,”...read more

Isn’t the Zip Code Level Good Enough—Why Look at More Granular Housing Market Data?

- by John Straka For many purposes, national home-price averages, MSA figures, or even zip code data cannot adequately gauge local housing markets. The higher the level of the aggregate, the less it reflects the true variety and constant change in prices and conditions across local neighborhood home...read more

Reserve-Fund Mortgages: A Way to Help Contain Emerging Housing-Market Bubbles?

This installment proposes a new type of mortgage product that could help to lower current risks of home-price bubbles in various strongly growing economies—and perhaps future risks in the U.S. and other countries as well. In booming economies like Brazil, China, Singapore, and Hong Kong, housing...read more

Wait til It’s 2005: Changing Housing Tax Preferences the Right Way

Unsurprisingly, Washington deficit hawks have been eyeing the “sacred cows” of tax preferences for homeownership for some time now. Policymakers might even unwind or eliminate the mortgage interest deductions and capital-gains exemptions on home appreciation that have been in place in the U.S for...read more

Double Dip in Home Prices? Not So Fast.

  The U.S. housing market remains relatively weak, but it’s probably not as weak as you think. To what extent are home prices really falling again? Differing Findings Most recent media coverage of the “double dip in home prices” has centered on declines in the popular Case-Schiller price index;...read more