Friday, May 13, 2011

Iphone case

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Carol A. Lawson.

Carol A. Lawson, Esq.
P.O. Box 2381, Dunedin, FL 34697
(727) 410-2705

New FTC Rule Impacts Realtors' Short Sale Business

The Mortgage Assistance Relief Services (MARS) rule, which applies to residential real estate transactions, took effect January 31.

As of January 31, 2011, companies that offer to help homeowners get their loans modified or sell them other types of mortgage assistance relief services are no longer allowed to charge up-front fees. Under the rule, a mortgage assistance relief company may not collect a fee until the consumer has signed a written agreement with the lender that includes the relief obtained by the company. When the company presents the consumer with that relief, it must inform the consumer, in writing, that the consumer can reject the offer without obligation and, if the consumer accepts, the total fee due. Before the consumer agrees to accept the mortgage relief, the company must also provide a written notice from the lender or servicer showing how the relief will change the terms of the consumer’s loan (including any limitations on a trial loan modification).

Attorney exemption

Attorneys are generally exempt from the rule if they provide mortgage assistance relief services as part of the practice of law, are licensed in the state where the consumer or dwelling is located, and comply with state laws and regulations governing attorney conduct related to the rule. To be exempt from the advance fee ban, attorneys must also place any advance fees they collect in a client trust account and abide by state laws and regulations covering such accounts. Flat Fee Cases are not advance fees.

Realtors must comply with the rule by not taking upfront fees and using specific disclosure language. The rule pertains to such practices as advertising short sale negotiation services or other short sale expertise, communicating with a consumer about a possible short sale before the listing agreement is executed, negotiating a short sale on behalf of a consumer, or arranging a short sale negotiation for a consumer.

A real estate professional now needs to include a clear and prominent disclosure in all commercial messages that advertise short sale services. In addition, second and third disclosures are required by real estate professionals before they begin mortgage assistance services on their clients’ behalf and at the time they present their client with the lender’s short sale approval letter.

Wells Fargo Relies on Own Programs for 86% of Mods

Eighty-six percent, or 568,548, were through the California-based lender’s own modification programs. Loans restructured through the federal government’s Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) tallied 95,647.

Eighty-six percent, or 568,548, were through the California-based lender’s own modification programs. Loans restructured through the federal government’s Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) tallied 95,647.

“Only 7.22 percent of all first mortgage and home equity loans serviced by the company – including loans originated by Wells Fargo and those originated by other lenders – were past due or in foreclosure in the first quarter of 2011,” Schrettenbrunner explained.

For customers who are 60 days or more past due who choose to work with the company, Wells Fargo says it has been able to help seven out of every 10 avoid foreclosure.

The company reports that fewer than 2 percent of the loans secured by owner-occupied homes and serviced by Wells Fargo proceeded to a foreclosure sale in the last 12 months.


Blogger had techinical difficulties and my posts from yesterday are just gone!

And why haven't they fixed it so we can add a pdf file?   i can add a video  but not a document.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

DOJ Reports $3.6MM+ Fair Lending Settlement

The DOJ reported a $3.6MM+ settlement with a bank in the Detroit, Michigan area, for supposed violations of the federal Fair Housing Act and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.

The DOJ alleged that the bank and its predecessor allegedly "served the credit needs of the residents of predominantly white neighborhoods in the Detroit metropolitan area to a significantly greater extent than they have served the credit needs of majority African-American neighborhoods."

A copy of the complaint is available at:

Upon approval and entry by the court, the agreed settlement order will the bank to: (1) open a loan production office in an African-American neighborhood in the City of Detroit and hire two community lenders; and

(2) invest approximately $3.6MM in the formerly redlined majority African-American areas of Wayne County (Detroit), including $1.5 million in a special financing program to increase the amount of credit the bank extends in those areas, $1.625MM in matching grants with the City of Detroit of up to $5,000 per individual to existing homeowners for exterior improvements, and $500,000 in advertising, marketing, and consumer financial education targeted to those affected areas.

A copy of the agreed settlement order is available at:

The agreement also prohibits the bank from discriminating on the basis of race or color in any aspect of a residential real estate-related or credit transaction.

The lawsuit originated from a 2010 referral by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System to the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division.

Cash for Keys

According to Times article, the "five biggest US mortgage servicers were told this week at a private meeting with regulators to consider paying delinquent borrowers up to $21,000 each as part of a broader settlement of the foreclosure crisis."

Re Establishing Credit

I've said for years it takes only 2 years to rebuild your credit after bankruptcy.  You just have to follow the guidelines  I provide my clients.

Federal Reserve Study Bank of New York

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York says it’s seeing “signs of healing” in consumer credit markets, as evidenced by a decline in new foreclosures, bankruptcies, and mortgage delinquencies during the first three months of this year.

AG's Go to DC Again

Mortgage Fraud on the Rise

Fraud artists are refining their schemes to take advantage of market distress, the report said. For example, some real-estate brokers, in a scheme known as house "flopping," target homes that are underwater—meaning their owners owe more than the market value of the house—and obtain artificially low valuations of homes.

Then, using these valuations, the brokers convince the lender to agree to a short-sale, in which it sells a home for less than the mortgage. The buyer, in turn, quickly sells the home at market value, profiting, along with the broker, from the difference in sale prices.

New HAMP Report

Sixteen percent of homeowners receiving permanent assistance through the government’s Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) have been disqualified from the program for missing three consecutive payments, according to Treasury.