‘The Mortgage Professor’ Jack Guttentag Dies Peacefully at 100

Key Takeaways:

– The Inman Connect Las Vegas event is being reinvented this summer from July 30-Aug 1, 2024, with a focus on shaping the future of real estate.
– Jack Guttentag, known as “the mortgage professor,” passed away at the age of 100. He had a long and influential career as an economist, professor, and consumer advocate.
– Guttentag was a faculty member at the Wharton School for over three decades before launching a second career as the mortgage professor, writing columns, books, and founding the Upfront Mortgage Brokers Association.
– He was involved in various projects related to mortgages, including developing a tool for retirees to combine retirement income sources.
– Guttentag was known for his integrity, honesty, and dedication to finding the right answers to policy issues.
– He is survived by his sons, their spouses, grandchildren, and a great-grandson. His wife, Doris Guttentag, passed away in 2017.
– Readers can subscribe to Inman’s Mortgage Brief Newsletter for weekly updates on mortgage news and closings.


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Jack Guttentag — an economist, professor of finance and consumer advocate better known to his many readers over the years as “the mortgage professor” — has died at the age of 100.

A former Inman contributor, Guttentag “remained sharp to the end” and continued researching and writing about mortgages until passing away peacefully on Feb. 6, his longtime friend and colleague Allan Redstone told the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Guttentag joined the faculty at the Wharton School in 1962, after serving in the Army as an artillery spotter in World War II, earning a master’s and doctorate in economics at Columbia University, and serving as chief of the domestic research division at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Upon retiring from the Wharton School after more than three decades of teaching, Guttentag launched a second career as the mortgage professor, which included a nationally syndicated newspaper column, a website, and the Upfront Mortgage Brokers Association — a nonprofit organization that connected consumers to mortgage brokers who agreed to be transparent about their fees, and act in the best interests of the borrower.

In addition to writing his newspaper column and articles for his Mortgage Professor website, Guttentag was the managing editor of the Journal of Finance in the 1970s and Housing Finance Review in the 1980s, and the author of The Pocket Mortgage Guide and The Mortgage Encyclopedia.

While still a faculty member at Wharton, in 1985 he formed GHR Systems Inc. with colleague Gerald Hurst , a nationwide electronic network that lenders use to deliver complex mortgage information to loan officers and consumers.

He also served as a consultant to government agencies and private financial institutions including the Department of Housing and Urban Development, USAID, Freddie Mac, Citicorp, Dominion Bancshares, the World Bank and J.P. Morgan Securities.

Guttentag’s interest in reverse mortgages as a resource for seniors led him to team with Redstone to develop a Retirement Funds Integrator that went live in 2021, a tool designed to help retirees combine three sources of retirement income: equities, annuities and HECM reverse mortgages

“He was scrupulously honest and had the highest level of integrity of any person I ever met,” Redstone told The Wharton School. “If he thought a policy issue was detrimental, he was completely unabashed about laying it out there. He developed what he thought was the right answer, and he would doggedly pursue it.”

Guttentag is survived by sons Adam, a radiologist and professor at Vanderbilt University Medical Center; Bill, a film director and lecturer at Stanford Graduate School of Business; their spouses, grandchildren and a great-grandson. He was preceded in death by his wife Doris Guttentag, who died in 2017 at the age of 90.

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Property Chomp's Take:

Hey there, have you heard the news? Jack Guttentag, the renowned economist, professor, and consumer advocate known as "the mortgage professor," has passed away at the age of 100. His legacy in the world of real estate and finance is one that will be remembered for years to come.

Guttentag, a former Inman contributor, had a long and illustrious career that spanned academia, research, writing, and advocacy. He was a fixture at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where he taught finance and economics for over three decades. His expertise in mortgages and housing finance made him a trusted voice in the industry.

In addition to his work at Wharton, Guttentag launched a second career as the mortgage professor, where he provided valuable insights and advice to consumers through his syndicated newspaper column, website, and nonprofit organization, the Upfront Mortgage Brokers Association. He was dedicated to helping people make informed decisions about their mortgages and financial future.

Throughout his life, Guttentag remained committed to his work, even in his later years. His passion for research and writing never wavered, and he continued to contribute to the field until his passing. His contributions to the Journal of Finance, Housing Finance Review, and his books, The Pocket Mortgage Guide and The Mortgage Encyclopedia, have left an indelible mark on the industry.

Guttentag's legacy extends beyond academia and writing. He was a consultant to government agencies and financial institutions, working on important policy issues and initiatives. His interest in reverse mortgages for seniors led to the development of innovative tools and resources to help retirees maximize their retirement income.

In his personal life, Guttentag was known for his integrity, honesty, and dedication to his family. He is survived by his sons, Adam and Bill, and their families. His wife, Doris Guttentag, preceded him in death in 2017.

As we reflect on the life and achievements of Jack Guttentag, we are reminded of the impact one person can have on an entire industry. His passion, dedication, and commitment to helping others will continue to inspire and influence future generations of real estate professionals and consumers.

Rest in peace, Jack Guttentag. Your legacy will live on in the hearts and minds of those you have touched throughout your remarkable life.

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