Michael co-founded FREEandCLEAR in 2012 with his father, Harry. The opportunity to partner with his Dad to enable people to make better decisions and save money when they get a mortgage was too good to pass up. Michael brings a wealth of experience in finance and working with leading Internet companies to his position at FREEandCLEAR. Michael focuses on implementing FREEandCLEAR’s mission by empowering its user community through information and education and by providing high-quality mortgage tools and resources.
Prior to starting FREEandCLEAR, Michael served as Global Head of Internet Investment Banking for Credit Suisse. Michael worked in investment banking for 13 years, holding positions with Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank and BT Alex. Brown and spent the majority of his finance career covering the Internet and New Media sectors. Michael has advised companies on numerous financing and advisory transactions including private placements, initial public offerings, follow-on equity offerings, convertible debt, leverage lending and bank financing as well as mergers, acquisitions and divestitures.
Michael’s clients included many leading domestic and international Internet and New Media companies. He has taken the best lessons learned from his experience – the user comes first, foster community interaction, focus on the long term – and applied them to develop FREEandCLEAR.
Michael’s passions include surfing, soccer, screenwriting, running, backpacking, building things and helping others. Michael holds degrees in History and Economics from Stanford University. While in college, Michael interned in the U.S. Senate.
Michael's writing contributions to FREEandCLEAR include studies about mortgage literacy, the real estate crisis and socioeconomic trends in the real estate and mortgage market. Michael enjoys writing about new and innovative mortgage programs and financing options that improve housing affordability and access. Some of his favorite contributions to FREEandCLEAR are below.
Mortgage Process Timeline Understand the key step in the mortgage process from shopping lenders, to applying for the loan to closing. Learn how long it usually takes to process and close your loan so you can know the timetable and be prepared
Credit Score Required for a Mortgage Understand how your credit score impacts your ability to get approved for a mortgage as well as you interest rate and eligibility for certain mortgage programs. Review everything there is to know about your credit score and the mortgage process
Significant Gender and Racial Housing Gaps Persist A ground breaking analysis of how race and gender impact housing affordability in the United States. Learn how income disparities affect how much home you can afford as well as housing access and mobility
Best Low Down Payment Mortgage Program Review over twenty no and low down payment programs including conventional and government-backed programs to find the one that is right for you
Study Shows Getting Mortgage Quotes Saves You Money Learn how shopping for a mortgage can save you money and how the more lenders you shop, the more money you save. This is valuable information especially for first-time home buyers who may be unfamiliar with the mortgage process
HomeReady Mortgage Program Guide Learn everything there is to know about this popular low down payment mortgage program including how to apply, program advantages and disadvantages as well as eligibility requirements
How a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) Works Understand key loan terms including the types of HELOC, interest rates, qualification requirements and the maximum combined loan-to-value (CLTV) ratio permitted by lenders. Learn how to use this financing option to access the equity in your home
Section 184 Loan Program Guide A comprehensive guide for the important Section 184 Program that enables eligible Native Americans to buy homes with a low down payment and affordable mortgage rates. This HUD-backed program was implemented to improve home ownership in Native American communities
Michael's insights and analysis have been cited in numerous leading national and industry publications including The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, inman and Mortgage Professional America (MPA). Here is a sample of media references for Michael and FREEandCLEAR: