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By Nick Timiraos Associated PressBank of American and Countrywide offices in Pasadena, Calif., last year. Bank of America is retiring the Countrywide name and rebranding the home mortgage lender as Bank of America Home Loans. The Charlotte-based lender acquired Countrywide last July for $2.5 billion, as the housing market imploded, many of Countrywide's loans soured, and the Calabassas, Calif.-based lender struggled to find new sources of capital. Countrywide, founded in 1969, had been blamed for aggressive lending practices that helped, in part, to fuel the housing boom, and the company faces a federal investigation and several lawsuits concerning (3 comments)
Miami A Renters Paradise? from Christopher Shearer - 04/29/09 09:41 AM
christopher shearer By Dawn Wotapka Here's a sunny take on the bevy of empty condos cluttering up downtown Miami: The area may become a renter paradise. Investors and second-home buyers account for a stunning 60% of the nearly 13,000 new condo units sold in downtown Miami since 2003, according a report by real estate consulting firm Condo Vultures LLC. It could become the largest concentration of tenants in the Southeast-if not the country, the firm says. "There is an enormous number of unwanted condo units. The oversupply in downtown Miami is absolutely massive," says Brad Hunter, chief economist/national director of consulting (1 comments)
Via Novation Mortgage: In an effort not to beat a dead horse this will be short, sweet (?) and to the point. The head of the FHFA, James B. Lockhart, also the former Director of OFHEO, initiated the Home Valuation Code of Conduct to (paraphrased) "help curtail fraud between loan officers and appraisers". How will it hurt the home owner/buyer? Two immediate impacts: 1. It currently costs about $350 for a Fannie Mae appraisal including the new MC1004 form which is a new $50 requirement. (Costs are estimates and I am not an appraiser but these are the average prices in the (0 comments)
Does Anyone See Anything Wrong With What the UAW Unions Are Doing Taking Over? from Christopher Shearer - 04/28/09 08:30 AM
Christopher Shearer Does anyone see anything wrong with the unions causing the car companies to be unprofitable, then when they are failing taking them over? Once the Union is the owner of the company, wouldnt that be a conflict of interest with thier union members? Would they be representing themselves as owner of the company or thier members that pay dues and have given the union's their power? Isnt it beacuse of the high wages and consessions that the US unions demand the reason that the companies are NOT profitable. Then they are getting 55% ownership in the company for working Easter (2 comments)
Freddie Mac Announces 30yr Fixed Average 4.80% Amazing! From Christopher Shearer - 04/28/09 08:14 AM
Christopher Shearer Rates on long-term home mortgages are lower than short-term home loans, according to Freddie Mac's weekly survey. "Interest rates for one-year ARMs exceeded those for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages over the last two weeks; this is the first time this has happened since Freddie Mac began collecting data for ARMs in January 1984," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac chief economist. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.80% for the week ended Thursday, down from 4.82% last week and 6.03% a year ago. Fifteen-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 4.48%, unchanged from last week's low, and down from 5.62% a year ago. Five-year Treasury-indexed (0 comments)
Obama Administration Announces New Incentives For Loan Modifications from Christopher Shearer - 04/28/09 07:58 AM
Chrisotpher Shearer By JESSICA HOLZER WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration on Tuesday will unveil a fresh set of incentives for mortgage servicers to help strapped homeowners, a senior administration official told Dow Jones Newswires. Under a new program, the government will pay mortgage servicers $500 upfront and $250 a year for three years for successfully modifying a second mortgage, such as home equity loan. Separately, the administration will unveil a schedule of incentives for holders of second mortgages to extinguish those liens voluntarily, the official said. The administration will also announce a set of incentives for servicers and lenders participating (0 comments)
What Happened to Free Choice In Picking Appraisers? From Christopher Shearer - 04/27/09 11:16 AM
Christopher Shearer Pursuant to the Home Valuation Code of Conduct (HVCC), on May 1, 2009 lenders will no longer accept appraisal reports completed by an appraiser selected, retained, or compensated in any manner by any realtor, mortgage broker, customer or any other third party. Lenders will only accept appraisal reports from a pre-approved list of appraisers or appraisal management companies. Impact on Consumers The HVCC negatively affects consumers by increasing the costs of an appraisal, reducing consumer choice and adversely impacting a consumer's ability to obtain a reliable and quality appraisal. The HVCC increases the time to fund loans for consumers which necessitates longer (6 comments)
Beware of Foreclosure Rescue Scams - Help Is Free! from Christopher Shearer - 04/25/09 02:58 PM
Christopher Shearer Beware of Foreclosure Rescue Scams - Help Is Free! The free government website is: www.makinghomesaffordable.gov There is never a fee to get assistance or information about Making Home Affordable from your lender or a HUD-approved housing counselor. Beware of any person or organization that asks you to pay a fee in exchange for housing counseling services or modification of a delinquent loan. Do not pay - walk away! Beware of anyone who says they can "save" your home if you sign or transfer over the deed to your house. Do not sign over the deed to your property (0 comments)
Call To Action: Repeal HVCC ... Free Choice in Appraisers! from Christopher Shearer - 04/24/09 02:36 PM
Christopher Shearer Talking Points: Pursuant to the Home Valuation Code of Conduct (HVCC), on May 1, 2009 lenders will no longer accept appraisal reports completed by an appraiser selected, retained, or compensated in any manner by any realtor, mortgage broker, customer or any other third party. Lenders will only accept appraisal reports from a pre-approved list of appraisers or appraisal management companies. Impact on Consumers The HVCC negatively affects consumers by increasing the costs of an appraisal, reducing consumer choice and adversely impacting a consumer's ability to obtain a reliable and quality appraisal. The HVCC increases the time to fund loans for consumers which (1 comments)
Increase Your Business By Mastering The Art from Christopher Shearer - 04/24/09 10:28 AM
Christopher Shearer Christopher Shearer here, the best way to increase your business is by mastering the art of networking. Nobody understands this concept better than Dr. Ivan Misner. Dr. Misner is the founder of BNI or Business Network Int'l., the world's largest networking and referral organization. BNI has over 5,291 chapters with 111,733 members in 42 countries worldwide. In 2008 alone, the organization generated over 5.6 million referrals, translating into over $2.3 billion in business. When it comes to the art of networking as a means to build your business, Dr. Misner has identified five key strategies. Let's examine two of Dr. (1 comments)
Making Dreams a Reality Shaping Your World by Thought - 04/24/09 06:36 AM
Christopher Shearer Making Dreams a Reality Shaping Your World by Thought There's no end to the number of motivational speakers and self-help "gurus" who make a name for themselves by re-hashing old ideas. But there is truth to these ideas, and I especially wanted to share one of the ideas from the great-grandfather of self-help, James Allen. Allen's treatise, As A Man Thinketh, was first published at the turn of the twentieth century. His central notion is that our thoughts are under our control, and that they in turn determine our emotions, our health, and even our circumstances. "Circumstance does not (0 comments)
Make Them an Offer They Can't Refuse Setting Salaries and Bonuses for Your Assistants from Christopher Shearer - 04/23/09 07:40 AM
Christopher Shearer Make Them an Offer They Can't Refuse Setting Salaries and Bonuses for Your Assistants A good assistant can make all the difference in business. It can be the difference between doing fine and doing great, between breaking even and being profitable. So what's the best way to get (and keep) someone good? Make sure they're well compensated. Here are a few tips to make sure that the good ones stick around and stay properly motivated: Pay good money for good people. According to Payscale.com, the median salary for an administrative assistant is in the mid $30,000s, and the median (3 comments)
Action Is Power: Tips For Getting Started from Christopher Shearer - 04/22/09 05:57 AM
Christopher Shearer It may be true that knowledge is power, but knowledge without action is not very powerful at all. In fact, it is very common to see talent wasted because no action is taken to produce results. The following are a few tips for taking action, which is perhaps the single biggest key to success, in business and in life. Don't over-analyze tasks. Sure you need to think things through, but you can over-think them too. If you worry too much about getting it perfect before implementation, you can lose momentum, lose your window of opportunity, or worst of all...never (2 comments)
Office of Federal Housing Oversight FAQ's from Christopher Shearer - 04/18/09 06:55 AM
Christopher Shearer OFHEO FAQs What is OFHEO's mission? OFHEO's mission is to promote housing and a strong national housing finance system by ensuring the safety and soundness of Fannie Mae (Federal National Mortgage Association) and Freddie Mac (Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation). How is oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac divided between OFHEO and HUD? The Federal Housing Enterprises Financial Safety and Soundness Act of 1992 created a regulatory oversight structure for the housing government-sponsored enterprises of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The regulatory oversight was divided to address two functions - their financial safety and soundness and their affordable housing mission. (0 comments)
New Government Dept. Office of Federal Housing Oversight from Christopher Shearer - 04/18/09 06:51 AM
Chrisotpher Shearer OFHEO's Mission (more info: http://www.ofheo.gov/ ) OFHEO's mission is to promote housing and a strong national housing finance system by ensuring the safety and soundness of Fannie Mae (Federal National Mortgage Association) and Freddie Mac (Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation). OFHEO works to ensure the capital adequacy and financial safety and soundness of two housing government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) -- Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are the nation's largest housing finance institutions. They buy mortgages from commercial banks, thrift institutions, mortgage banks, and other primary lenders, and either hold these mortgages in their own portfolios or package (0 comments)
Lender Announces New Appraisal Ordering Process to comply with Office of Federal Housing Oversight from Christopher Shearer - 04/18/09 06:37 AM
Christopher Shearer New Appraisal Ordering Process In order to comply with the new Agency HVCC (Home Valuation Code of Conduct) directive, Fifth Third Wholesale Mortgage has implemented a new appraisal ordering process. Effective with new applications taken May 1, 2009, the HVCC directive requires lenders to order all appraisals. This directive applies to all products except FHA. The HVCC is designed to strengthen the independence of the appraiser and thus enhance the integrity of the appraisal process. This in turn will enhance confidence in the national housing finance system. Fifth Third Mortgage has established relationships with outside Appraisal Management Companies (AMCs), (2 comments)
I. No employee, director, officer, or agent of the lender, or any other third party acting as joint venture partner, independent contractor, appraisal management company, or partner on behalf of the lender, shall influence or attempt to influence the development, reporting, result, or review of an appraisal through coercion, extortion, collusion, compensation, instruction, inducement, intimidation, bribery, or in any other manner including but not limited to: 1) withholding or threatening to withhold timely payment for an appraisal report; 2) withholding or threatening to withhold future business for an appraiser, or demoting or terminating (0 comments)
Realtors: FAQ's on Selling HUD Homes from Christopher Shearer - 04/17/09 05:24 AM
Christopher Shearer HUD's Management and Marketing (M&M) Program Common Questions Question 1 - How do I register as a HUD-qualified real estate broker? Answer - You can register through your local M&M contractor. (additional instructions) Question 2 - I'm already a HUD-qualified broker and would like to continue selling HUD homes. Must real estate brokers re-register with HUD? Answer - Yes. Effective the spring 2003, HUD requires annual recertification. All brokers were recertified at that time. You must have a valid broker's license for recertification. Question 3 - I was just recertified by HUD but my broker's license expires before the end (1 comments)
Help: What is your Opinion of This SBA Program? from Christopher Shearer - 04/16/09 06:43 AM
Christopher Shearer Good Morning, I would love to hear your feedback... 1. Have you personally noticed small business having greater access to loans? 2. What advise would you offer a small business in getting started as far as financing? 3. What in your opinion would help small business captialize better through the SBA?
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Barack Obama vowed Monday to ease the financial plight of the nation's small businesses, promising immediate action to revive frozen credit markets.
President Obama on Monday, with Treasury's Timothy Geithner, says small businesses are job generators. The president called small businesses "one (2 comments)
The Treasury Department will commit up to $15 billion to help unlock the secondary markets for small business loans. By purchasing these securities, the Treasury Department will facilitate the ability of lend ers to make new loans to small businesses by providing confidence that there will be a ready buyer for those loans in the secondary market. In addition, the Small Business Administration is immediately implementing two key provisions of the Recovery Act - temporarily eliminating certain loan fees and raising guarantee levels on some of its loans. These steps (0 comments)
On this page you will find links to many other websites. When you go to another site, you are subject to the privacy and security policies of that site. FHA cannot attest to the accuracy of information provided there. Linking to a web site does not constitute an endorsement by FHA, or any of its employees, of the sponsors of the site or the products presented on the site. FHA cannot authorize the use of copyrighted materials on linked websites. You will have to request authorization from the sponsor of the linked website. FHA (1 comments)
Realtors: Get Inside the Mind of the Consumer.... from Christopher Shearer - 04/13/09 07:41 AM
Christopher Shearer Get Inside the Mind of the Consumer: Websites Every REALTOR® Needs to Know Studies indicate that over 80% of today's home buyers visit the Internet long before seeking the professional assistance of a REALTOR®. This means that, thanks to popular realty-themed websites that compete for your business, your clients are already armed with more information than ever before. That's why today's savviest real estate agents must change their perspective and fight back. And the best way to do this is to visit and become familiar with these kinds of sites and the features they offer. This data will not (2 comments)
Effective for case number assignments on or after April 1, 2009, the loan-to-value (LTV) of any cash-out refinance to be insured by FHA may not exceed 85 percent of the appraiser's estimate of value.
Given the continued deterioration in the housing market, and FHA's need to limit its exposure to undue risk, this reduction to the maximum LTV for cash-out refinances is being instituted on a temporary basis while FHA further analyzes the housing and mortgage industry as well as (0 comments)
Note: People with AD/HD may develop some of the limitations discussed below, but seldom develop all of them. Also, the degree of limitation will vary among individuals. Be aware that not all people with AD/HD will need accommodations to perform their jobs and many others may only need a few accommodations. The following is only a sample of the possibilities available. Numerous other accommodation solutions may exist.
Questions to Consider:
1. What limitations does the employee with AD/HD experience?
2. How do these limitations affect the employee's job performance?
3. (4 comments)
What is "Making Home Affordable" all about? from Christopher Shearer - 04/11/09 02:16 PM
Christopher Shearer BORROWER FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS UPDATED MARCH 18, 2009 What is "Making Home Affordable" all about? Making Home Affordable is part of President Obama's comprehensive strategy to get the housing market back on track. Through the Making Home Affordable Program, up to 9 million American families may be eligible to refinance or modify their loans to a payment that is affordable now and into the future. HOME AFFORDABLE REFINANCE
1. I'm current on my mortgage. Will the Home Affordable Refinance help me?
Eligible borrowers who are current on their mortgages but have been unable (0 comments)
Training Of Working Memory Is A Promising Strategy In ADHD from Christopher Shearer - 04/11/09 01:44 PM
Christopher Shearer Computerized Training Of Working Memory Is A Promising Therapeutic Strategy In ADHD ScienceDaily (Oct. 15, 2007) - ADHD is an increasingly frequent complex mental disorder in children with partly devastating consequences for the child's further development and the families. There are ew and very promising strategies of research to develop more appropriate treatments that specifically refer to the patient's basic neuropsychological dysfunctions and mechanisms. Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a state of serious impairments in both learning ability and social functioning, is one of many labels for one of the most prevalent conditions in child psychiatry, and, undoubtedly, the most controversial, (0 comments)
Miami Healthy Homes Initiative from Christopher Shearer - 04/04/09 07:48 PM
Christopher Shearer JACKSON ANNOUNCES $3 MILLION TO PROTECT MIAMI CHILDREN AND FAMILIES FROM DANGEROUS LEAD AND OTHER HOME HAZARDSFunding builds on remarkable success of HUD programs in healthy housing MIAMI - Lower income children and families in Miami will live in healthier homes because of $3 million in grants announced today by Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson. The grants are part of nearly 168 million awarded around the nation to help local communities to conduct a wide range of activities to improve the conditions of families living in lower income housing, including: To remove potentially dangerous lead from lower income (0 comments)
Do Medications "Cure" ADHD ? from Christopher Shearer - 04/02/09 08:25 AM
Christopher Shearer The most common type of medication used for treating ADHD is called a "stimulant." Although it may seem unusual to treat ADHD with a medication considered a stimulant, it actually has a calming effect on children with ADHD. Many types of stimulant medications are available. A few other ADHD medications are non-stimulants and work differently than stimulants. For many children, ADHD medications reduce hyperactivity and impulsivity and improve their ability to focus, work, and learn. Medication also may improve physical coordination. However, a one-size-fits-all approach does not apply for all children with ADHD. What works for one child might (2 comments)
Can Adults Have ADHD ? from Christopher Shearer - 04/02/09 05:10 AM
Christopher Shearer Some children with ADHD continue to have it as adults. And many adults who have the disorder don't know it. They may feel that it is impossible to get organized, stick to a job, or remember and keep appointments. Daily tasks such as getting up in the morning, preparing to leave the house for work, arriving at work on time, and being productive on the job can be especially challenging for adults with ADHD. These adults may have a history of failure at school, problems at work, or difficult or failed relationships. Many have had multiple traffic accidents. Like (4 comments)
ADHD Accommodation Ideas For The Workplace from Christopher Shearer - 04/02/09 04:55 AM
Christopher Shearer Accommodation Ideas: Time Management: Individuals with AD/HD may experience difficulty managing time, which can affect their ability to mark time as it passes incrementally by minutes and hours. It can also affect their ability to gauge the proper amount of time to set aside for certain tasks. It may be difficult to prepare for, or to remember, work activities that occur later in the week, month, or year. Divide large assignments into several small tasks Set a timer to make an alarm after assigning ample time to complete a task Provide a checklist of assignments Supply an electronic or (3 comments)
7 Steps To Build Wealth from Christopher Shearer - 04/01/09 04:23 AM
Christopher Shearer Most parents want to teach their children responsibility - how to become self sufficient and succeed in life (after all, no one plans on raising a dead beat). However, very few actually accomplish this task. Why? Because, as parents, we are limited to the experiences our parents passed on to us; the antiquated notion that "responsibility" is simply getting a job, saving a little money, and maybe purchasing a car or some equally important item. Hopefully these seven rules will open your eyes and help you teach your children to avoid the traps that have stolen financial success from (0 comments)
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