Thursday, May 19, 2011

New Technology

GID  manufactures Silent Cube, a long-term data archiving product with redundant hard disk storage. This expandable little box, which is not much bigger than a bagel toaster, houses 12 SATA hard disks that preserves WORM (write once, read many) data in a manner that can persist if up to four drives fail. The Cube's controller writes the data using the same technology that NASA uses for deep-space communications.  Silent Cube is just that too: silent. It uses 7,200 RPM SATA drives, which do not require large cooling fans, and is quiet enough to sit on your desktop. The Cube uses low energy, can be accessed using SMB/CIFS (supports Active Directory) and NFS, and scales from 1 terabyte to a petabyte.

Avantstar manufacture of Quick View Plus 11 file viewing software, came to LTWC with support for Microsoft Windows 7 (64-bit) operating system. The 64-bit support extends to Internet Explorer and Outlook 2010 where users will be able to access Quick View in the context of Windows Explorer, IE, and Outlook.

Chip Parker and Matthew Weidner Under Bar Investigation

The Bar has confirmed it is investigating are Stern, Watson, Marc Ben-Ezra, Barry Fishman, Robert Kahane and Gerald Shapiro. The Daily Business Review also learned defense lawyers Parker and Weidner were among those under investigation.

Parker learned he was under scrutiny in a letter from Bar counsel Shanell Schuyler last Dec. 3. The letter, obtained by the Review, includes a link to Parker's CNN interview and advises him to explain his on-camera statements in writing by Dec. 20 in light of The Bar's Rule of Professional Conduct 4-8.2 prohibiting lawyers from making false or reckless comments about court personnel.

Parker said he hasn't been told who filed the complaint due to confidentiality rules, but he heard it was an offended judge. He reached out to constitutional lawyer Talbot "Sandy" D'Alemberte, a former president of the American Bar Association and Florida State University, whom he had met at a recent dinner honoring Parker. D'Alemberte intervened at The Bar, and the case was dropped Jan. 13, 2011.

D'Alemberte also is helping Weidner at the request of the Florida Press Association and the First Amendment Foundation, which were contacted by Weidner. He declined comment on his pending investigation. But D'Alemberte said he believes the case also will be dropped.

Of 90,000 lawyers in Florida, 8,100 disciplinary files were opened by The Florida Bar, and 155 lawyers were disbarred last year.

I like Matt, but he travels to Court with a  news reporter and he has clients which break in and move back in to houses after the property has gone to sale - (break ins are not under the advice of counsel - Matt Weidner). Those things are just looking for trouble - I am actually suprised the Bar is not looking into those things.   A CA attorney was disbarred for advising clients to break into houses and retake possession.

Defaults- 2nd Mortgages, Credit Cards

Freddie Alters Property Insurance Requirements

Freddie Mac has eliminated its requirement that the standard mortgage clause in property insurance policies provide for notice to the mortgagee of any reduction in coverage. Effective immediately, only the notice of cancellation will be required, the company told servicers Tuesday.

Qualified Residential Mortgage

If the federal regulators' proposed definition of the Qualified Residential Mortgage (QRM) had been in effect last year, nearly 40% of originations would have failed to meet the 20% down-payment requirement, CoreLogic reports.

In a mortgage-trends publication released this week, the data provider notes that 39% of 2010 originations had a loan-to-value (LTV) ratio about 80%.

"Even if the down-payment constraint is moved down to 10 percent, the impact is large because nearly one-quarter of all 2010 originations had higher LTV ratios," CoreLogic says in its report.

The proposed 20% down-payment standard would cause more sluggish sales in some states in the short term, CoreLogic says. According to the company's analysis, the down-payment requirement would have the least effect in New York, Hawaii and North Dakota, and the greatest impact on sales in Georgia and Colorado, which are examples of states that have a lower-than-average share of below-80% LTV loans.

MA AG Settlement

Coakley's office will use $95,000 from the settlement to make payments to African-American borrowers in Massachusetts who obtained a home mortgage loan from the Mortgage Master between 2004 and 2008. An estimated 200 borrowers will receive payments ranging from $250 to $1,000 each.

The remaining $155,000 will be earmarked for not-for-profit groups that provide fair lending, consumer, and financial education services in Massachusetts.

New Mortgage Disclosure Form to Help Safeguard Against Default: CFPB

The new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) aims to avert at least one hitch in the home loan process that some market experts say started a whirlwind of mortgage delinquencies - ensuring consumers have a clear understanding of the cost associated with their mortgage. CFPB unveiled two prototypes for a new regulatory disclosure form Wednesday that the agency will begin testing this week. Each of the prototypes combines the two-page TILA disclosure and the three-page RESPA disclosure into a single, abbreviated form.

Each of the prototypes combines the two-page Truth in Lending Act (TILA) disclosure document from the Federal Reserve and the three-page Real Estate Settlement and Procedures Act (RESPA) disclosure from HUD into a single, abbreviated form which lenders will be required to present to borrowers within three days of application for a mortgage.

The new form will consist of two pages. The first will provide a basic overview of the core costs related to the closing of the loan and the monthly payment the consumer can expect, as well as whether or not the amount of that payment will change over time. Page two offers a more detailed explanation of the cost breakdown.

option A

option B


A new study conducted by Trulia and RealtyTrac found that 56 percent of U.S. renters and 47 percent of current homeowners are at least "somewhat likely" to purchase a foreclosed home. Along with having some concerns about hidden costs and still-declining home values, many potential buyers expect to save money if they buy a foreclosure. On average, survey respondents said they would expect to pay 38 percent less for a foreclosed home than a similar home that was not in foreclosure - not too far above today's average discount of 36 percent.

The Trulia-RealtyTrac survey also polled respondents on the federal government’s efforts to help struggling homeowners. Forty-five percent of those surveyed said the government is not doing enough to prevent foreclosures. Only 17 percent say too much is being done, while 16 percent say they are doing the right amount and 22 percent were undecided. As more cities across the nation experience double dips in home prices, more than half (54 percent) of those surveyed believe recovery in the housing market will not happen until 2014 or later. Note 30% of those surveyed said they themselves have, or they know someone who has experienced trouble with their mortgage situation and applied for a loan modification, stopped making their payments, been foreclosed on, simply walked away, or sold their home through a short sale transaction.

Mortgage Probe


Mortgage Probe Stokes Market, Consumer Uncertainty

by Stacy Kaper

National Journal Daily

Updated: May 18, 2011
6:10 a.m.

May 17, 2011
9:30 p.m.

As a fresh investigation into mortgage deficiencies at three big banks came to light Tuesday, it only served to emphasize the overriding uncertainty gripping the mortgage industry, and illustrates the wall policymakers have hit in trying to remedy the foreclosure crisis, analysts said.

A source said New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman plans to meet in the next week or so with officials at Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley as part of the New York prosecutor's ongoing probe of mortgage practices.

A broader group of state attorneys general joined by the departments of Justice and Housing and Urban Development, meanwhile, still are struggling to reach a global settlement with mortgage servicers. There is also intense speculation about how aggressive the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will be once it becomes operational July 21 and can use broad authority to write and enforce mortgage protections. The future of the mortgage finance system remains up in the air.

"There's going to be a significant change to the process going forward with securitization; what is really important to get on the table is how it's all going to work," said Lawrence Kaplan, a banking lawyer with Paul, Hastings, Janofsky, and Walker. "All of this is going to impact bank lending and we have this impediment to banks doing anything in the interim."

Other analysts said the bottom line is that for all of the various state and federal inquiries, there has been little success in bringing relief to struggling homeowners as the foreclosure crisis rolls along and, similarly, there has been little appreciable achievement in holding the industry accountable.

Still the New York investigation combined with the global settlement effort poses a reputational and financial threat to the institutions involved and adds to the lack of confidence in the private mortgage securitization market, which has practically shut itself down.

"Given the just enormous numbers of foreclosures... this potentially could be a really big deal," said Chris Low, the chief economist with First Horizon National Corp.'s FTN Financial. "Our view at this stage is we are not going to have a housing recovery in this economic cycle and this is one more reason to believe that this is going to be the case."

Bankers have so far been able to resist dramatic intervention such as the broader settlement effort led by Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller to reduce the principal debt owed on millions of homes facing foreclosure in the pursuit of a global servicing settlement. Principal write-downs remain a sticking point for bankers who want any financial penalty imposed on them be used to pay for relocating foreclosed homeowners.

Hundreds of thousands of homeowners are stalled in backlogged foreclosure proceedings in states like Florida where judges must individually approve them. The backlog is a drag on the economy as home prices are expected to continue falling. The divided Congress is focused on other things, as is the Obama administration, frustrating consumer advocates who want to see major servicing reforms.

"We don't see anything moving now in Congress, we obviously hope that changes," said Alys Cohen of the National Consumer Law Center. "Homeowners need rules to require mortgage companies to help them when they have a legitimate problem not being able to pay their mortgage."

May 16, 2011 (New York Times)

New York Investigates Banks' Role in Financial Crisis


The New York attorney general has requested information and documents in recent weeks from three major Wall Street banks about their mortgage securities operations during the credit boom, indicating the existence of a new investigation into practices that contributed to billions in mortgage losses.

Officials in Eric T. Schneiderman's office have also requested meetings with representatives from Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, according to people briefed on the matter who were not authorized to speak publicly. The inquiry appears to be quite broad, with the attorney general's requests for information covering many aspects of the banks' loan pooling operations. They bundled thousands of home loans into securities that were then sold to investors such as pension funds, mutual funds and insurance companies.

It is unclear which parts of the byzantine securitization process Mr. Schneiderman is focusing on. His spokesman said the attorney general would not comment on the investigation, which is in its early stages.

Several civil suits have been filed by federal and state regulators since the financial crisis erupted in 2008, some of which have generated settlements and fines, most prominently a $550 million deal between Goldman Sachs and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

But even more questions have been raised in private lawsuits filed against the banks by investors and others who say they were victimized by questionable securitization practices. Some litigants have contended, for example, that the banks dumped loans they knew to be troubled into securities and then misled investors about the quality of those underlying mortgages when selling the investments.

The possibility has also been raised that the banks did not disclose to mortgage insurers the risks in the instruments they were agreeing to insure against default. Another potential area of inquiry - the billions of dollars in credit extended by Wall Street to aggressive mortgage lenders that allowed them to continue making questionable loans far longer than they otherwise could have done.

"Part of what prosecutors have the advantage of doing right now, here as elsewhere, is watching the civil suits play out as different parties fight over who bears the loss," said Daniel C. Richman, a professor of law at Columbia. "That's a very productive source of information."

Officials at Bank of America and Goldman Sachs declined to comment about the investigation; Morgan Stanley did not respond to a request for comment.

During the mortgage boom, Wall Street firms bundled hundreds of billions of dollars in home loans into securities that they sold profitably to investors. After the real estate bubble burst, the perception took hold that the securitization process as performed by the major investment banks contributed to the losses generated in the crisis.

Critics contend that Wall Street's securitization machine masked the existence of risky home loans and encouraged reckless lending because pooling the loans and selling them off allowed many participants to avoid responsibility for the losses that followed.

The requests for information by Mr. Schneiderman's office also seem to confirm that the New York attorney general is operating independently of peers from other states who are negotiating a broad settlement with large banks over foreclosure practices.

By opening a new inquiry into bank practices, Mr. Schneiderman has indicated his unwillingness to accept one of the settlement's terms proposed by financial institutions - that is, a broad agreement by regulators not to conduct additional investigations into the banks' activities during the mortgage crisis. Mr. Schneiderman has said in recent weeks that signing such a release was unacceptable.

It is unclear whether Mr. Schneiderman's investigation will be pursued as a criminal or civil matter. In the last few months, the office's staff has been expanding. In March, Marc B. Minor, former head of the securities division for the New Jersey attorney general, was named bureau chief of the investor protection unit in the New York attorney general's office.

Early in the financial crisis, Andrew M. Cuomo, the governor of New York who preceded Mr. Schneiderman as attorney general, began investigating Wall Street's role in the debacle. But those inquiries did not result in any cases filed against the major banks. Nevertheless, some material turned over to Mr. Cuomo's investigators may turn out to be helpful to Mr. Schneiderman's inquiry.


May 18, 2011

The State of the Securitization Markets

Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs - Subcommittee on Securities, Insurance, and Investment

Subcommittee Hearing

Securities, Insurance, and Investment Subcommittee (Chairman Reed, D-R.I.) of Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee will hold a hearing titled "The State of the Securitization Markets."

Contact: Stein, Kara - Majority Subcommitte Staff Director at 202-224-4642


Date Wednesday, May 18, 9:30 a.m.

Place 538 Dirksen Bldg.

Witnesses Scheduled Steven L. Schwarcz, professor of law and business, Duke University School of Law

Tom Deutsch, executive director, American Securitization Forum

Martin S. Hughes, president and CEO, Redwood Trust

Lisa Pendergast, president, Commercial Real Estate Finance Council

Ann Elaine Rutledge, founding principal, R&R Consulting

Chris J. Katopis, executive director, Association of Mortgage Investors

May 24, 2011

Future of Housing Finance System

Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee

Full Committee Hearing

Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee (Chairman Johnson, D-S.D.) will hold a hearing on public proposals for the future of the housing finance system.

Contact: Fettig, Dwight - Majority Staff Director at 202-224-7391


Topic Part II (Part I held March 29).

Date Tuesday, May 24, 10 a.m.

Place 538 Dirksen Bldg.

Witnesses Ron Phipps, president, National Association of Realtors

Peter Donovan, chairman, National Multi-Housing Council

May 25, 2011

Government Sponsored Enterprises Overhaul

House Financial Services - Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises

Subcommittee Hearing

Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises Subcommittee (Chairman Garrett, R-N.J.) of House Financial Services Committee will hold a hearing on legislative proposals to overhaul Government Sponsored Enterprises.

Contact: Lavender, Larry - Majority Staff Director at 202-225-7502


Date Wednesday, May 25, 2 p.m.

Place 2128 Rayburn Bldg.

May 25, 2011

Federal Housing Administration and Ginnie Mae Legislative Proposals

House Financial Services - Subcommittee on Insurance, Housing and Community Opportunity

Subcommittee Hearing

Insurance, Housing and Community Opportunity Subcommittee (Chairwoman Biggert, R-Ill.) of House Financial Services Committee will hold a hearing on legislative proposals for the Federal Housing Administration and Ginnie Mae.

Contact: Lavender, Larry - Majority Staff Director at 202-225-7502


Date Wednesday, May 25, 10 a.m.

Place 2128 Rayburn Bldg.

Note Time changed to10 a.m. from 2 p.m. Originally scheduled for April 13.

Survey: U.S. Housing May Not Recover Until 2014

A survey by Trulia Inc. and RealtyTrac Inc. released yesterday showed that more than half of U.S. homeowners and renters say that housing will not recover until at least 2014, reflecting a deepening pessimism about the real estate market, Bloomberg News reported yesterday. The survey, taken in April, found that 54 percent of respondents do not expect a recovery for at least three years, up from 34 percent in November, the two real estate data companies said today. Those who see a turnaround by the end of next year fell to 15 percent from 27 percent. The housing market is weakening as near record-low interest rates and falling prices fail to boost demand after the expiration of a federal tax credit for homebuyers last year. Values will come under more pressure as 1.8 million properties that are delinquent or in foreclosure are added to the inventory of unsold homes, according to a March estimate by CoreLogic Inc., a real estate information firm in Santa Ana, Calif.

DoJ's Top Negotiator Trying to Navigate the Mortgage Debacle and Strike a Deal

Associate Attorney General Thomas J. Perrelli is remaining vigilant to forge a deal that could affect homeowners throughout the country, the Washington Post reported today. Perrelli, the department's No. 3 official and one of the Obama administration's top negotiators, is the government's point person in talks with the country's largest banks over a massive settlement stemming from widespread problems within the mortgage-servicing industry. The scandal, which included instances of forged foreclosure documents, flawed paperwork and woeful customer service, prompted nearly a dozen federal agencies and 50 state attorneys general to join forces against the industry's largest players. Perrelli and Iowa attorney general Tom Miller have tried to hold together that sprawling coalition while also trying to force firms such as Bank of America and Wells Fargo to overhaul their servicing practices and set aside tens of billions of dollars in penalties that could be used to aid troubled borrowers. The outcome remains far from certain, but Perrelli said bringing closure to the issue ultimately could help heal the ailing economy.

Robo Signer List Update

Robo Signer List Update

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Facebook Postings Barred From Discovery in Accident Case

BY Gina Passarella

The plaintiff in a car accident case does not have to accept a friend request on Facebook from the defendant so that the defendant can have full access to the plaintiff's postings and pictures, a Bucks County Common Pleas Court judge has ruled.

In Piccolo v. Paterson , Judge Albert J. Cepparulo issued a one-paragraph order denying the motion to compel filed by defendants Lindsay S. Paterson, Lee Anne Paterson, Linsey Paterson and Allstate Insurance Co.

The defendants wanted access to the photos of plaintiff Sara Piccolo that she posted of herself on the social networking site.

According to court documents, Piccolo filed an action against the defendants after she was injured in a one-car accident while a passenger in a car driven by defendant Lindsay Paterson. Paterson conceded liability but the case is ongoing because of a dispute over Piccolo's damages.

According to the defense motion, filed by attorneys at Moore & Riemenschneider, Piccolo testified she had a Facebook account and was asked at deposition if the defense counsel could send a "neutral friend request" to Piccolo so that he could review the Facebook postings Piccolo testified she made every day.

Piccolo denied the request but, according to defense filings, said her status updates and pictures were available for public viewing and that she would not make them private. The defense argued in its motion, however, that when it went to Piccolo's Facebook page, those postings were in fact private and only available to her "friends."

Counsel sent Piccolo's attorney, Benjamin G. Lipman of the Law Offices of Benjamin G. Lipman, a letter in September 2010 asking for Piccolo to accept a friend request from the defense.

Lipman ultimately denied the request, responding that the "'materiality and importance of the evidence ... is outweighed by the annoyance, embarrassment, oppression and burden to which it exposes'" Piccolo, according to the defense motion.

In support of its argument, the defense cited a September 2010 Jefferson County trial court opinion, McMillen v. Hummingbird Speedway Inc., in which the court held Facebook postings were discoverable and ordered the plaintiff to provide his username and password to the defendant's attorney. The defense argued access to Piccolo's Facebook page would provide necessary and relevant information related to the claims by Piccolo.

In Piccolo's response to the defense motion, Lipman argued that defense counsel had only asked at Piccolo's deposition about the pictures she posted on Facebook, not any textual postings. He said Paterson had already been provided "as complete a photographic record of the pre-accident and post-accident condition" of Piccolo as she "could reasonably have a right to expect in this case."

As a result of the May 2007 accident, Piccolo was hit in the face with an airbag and suffered lacerations to her lip and chin, with the impact "ripping her lip and chin away from her face." She had 95 stitches to her face in the emergency room the day of the accident and then had a surgery to repair her scarring about six months later along with several laser treatments to reduce the scarring. She is permanently scarred on her face, according to her court filings.

Piccolo allowed the insurer to come to her home in 2008 and take photographs of her face. She also gave the defense 20 photos of her face from the week following the accident as well as five photos from the months just before the accident. She allowed the defense to take more pictures at the September 2010 deposition.

"Defendant Paterson has not made a prima facie showing of need for access to the non-public pages of [Piccolo's] Facebook account," Lipman said in his motion. "She has all the photographs she can reasonably use from every different period before and after the accident and she has not asserted that there is likely to be any text in the non-public postings that is material or will likely lead to the discovery of material evidence."Lipman said Piccolo concedes that her Facebook account "is probably not protected by any evidentiary privilege that has been recognized in Pennsylvania." But he cited Rule of Civil Procedure 4011(b), which precludes discovery that would cause unreasonable annoyance, embarrassment, oppression or burden.

Lipman said McMillen was distinguishable from his client's case because the McMillen court expressly observed that the personal injury plaintiff was making representations on the publicly viewable portion of his Facebook page that were inconsistent with the position he took in the litigation. Lipman said it was clear the defense in that case would have been prejudiced had it not had access to the private portions of the plaintiff's Facebook page.

In Piccolo , Lipman argued, the defense never made a prima facie showing of the need for, or any prejudice that could result from the denial of, access to Piccolo's Facebook page.

Lipman said in an interview that he was only able to find three published opinions on this issue across the country, including the one from Jefferson County. The others were in New York and California, he said.

At a hearing on the issue, Lipman said Cepparulo spoke extensively about the privacy concerns despite Pennsylvania's general rules favoring broad and liberal discovery. And while the Jefferson County case involved textual postings, that didn't seem to be an issue in Piccolo's case, Lipman said.

Defense counsel Andrew P. Moore of Moore & Riemenschneider in Abington, Pa., said he was obviously disappointed by the ruling and wished there was an opinion detailing the reasoning behind the decision.

He said a plaintiff with a scar on her face would present herself differently in pictures online than she would in front of a jury and he felt getting access to those pictures was akin to surveillance. He said he would not appeal the decision, particularly given there was no opinion accompanying the order.  •

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Road to Recoverying your Credit

Once a debt is discharged by the court a creditor no longer has the right to collection efforts. However, unscrupulous creditors such as collection agencies and debt buyers will continue to pursue collection efforts. Debt buyers will often base their business models around the collection of debts that can no longer be collected legally, such as those that have been discharged in bankruptcy. Additionally, we see where creditors will continue to report debts as still owed, in violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

The perpetual entrapment of people in a virtual debtor’s prison is unconscionable.   Check your credit report 3 months after bankruptcy, file with the bureaus to correct wrong information, 3  months latter pull your credit again and make sure the file is correctly updated, do this again 3 months later then once a year.

Bankruptcy Litigation Blog Cases

BK-DE: Trustee need not plead transferors' fraudulent intent with particularity; alleging "badges of fraud" sufficient.

BK-FL: Subst. consolidation of Perlman cases proper even if it destroys the trustee's "wrong payor" avoidance actions.

BK-ND-CA: Oversecured creditor not entitled to default rate of interest where its claim is paid in full in a ch 11 plan.

D-AZ certifies appeal to 9th: Can confirmed plan enjoin actions against non-debtor guarantor if there's no plan default?

BK-EDNY: Personal property lease can't be reaffirmed, only assumed under Code Section 365(p).

BK-HI:"2 year period [to bring §548 claim] is a substantive element of the trustee's claim, not a statute of limitation."

BK-HI: Statute of limitations doesn't bar UFTA action for fraudulent tsf older than 4 yrs but discoverable < 1 yr pre-BK.

In re Fluellen,

In re Fluellen, 2011 WL 986342 (Bankr. M.D. Ga. March 18, 2011) (Smith)

Where the Chapter 13 Trustee had actual knowledge of the timing of the perfection of a security interest in the Debtor's car at the time of confirmation, confirmation bars the Trustee from subsequently pursuing an avoidance action.

GSE Replacement?

Strategic Default

The GSE found that because of feelings that they are less financially secure, 27 percent of homeowners with negative equity would consider strategic default as a viable option. That stat is based on a nationwide poll taken during the first three months of this year, and is up from 15 percent who answered so in the January 2010 survey.
Respondents to the academia poll said they believe homeowners are choosing not to pay their mortgages because they are unemployed or underemployed (46 percent) or because they over-borrowed (35 percent) due to the state of the economy.

Better then I Phone?

Samsung Nexus S: BlackBerry Replacement or iPhone Alternative?

Ted Brooks All Articles

Law Technology News
May 17, 2011

The Samsung Nexus S, the Google Phone running Android version 2.3 (Gingerbread) from Sprint, may well be the perfect device for BlackBerry refugees and others who have resisted the iPhone craze -- some iPhone owners might even give it a try.

Since the Nexus was designed to serve as a developer's device, it doesn't have all of the extra carrier-specific proprietary apps installed. In this way, the phone is more like the BlackBerry than the iPhone. The Nexus has no pre-installed NASCAR racing or NFL highlights, and Google handles the navigation (Google Maps with Navigation in Beta) rather than Sprint.

With the Nexus, you no longer a need to carry another device with you to access the internet. The phone's built in Wi-Fi hotspot can support up to six devices and direct USB tethering -- the USB interconnect also serves as a battery charger. While other phones from Sprint require an additional service fee for the wireless hub, the Nexus connection comes ready for action at no extra charge (although I'm not sure if this will continue). I have been very happy with my Sierra OverDrive Mobile Hotspot (5 ports, also by Sprint), but now I can always have internet access without carrying around yet another device and charger.


BlackBerry has been losing market-share in a big way recently, and I suspect I am a classic defector. Although I've been a BlackBerry user for nearly 15 years, I am weary of screen-envy, and since the next version of BlackBerry OS for the latest BlackBerry device won't support my current device, I'm done with it. There's not a chance I'll be interested in their PlayBook tablet device either. If your PlayBook is separated from your BlackBerry phone, you won't be able to access your e-mail on the tablet. It seems like Research In Motion is seriously missing the boat.

While I'm on the topic of e-mail, Android and iOS do not require special server software, such as BlackBerry Enterprise Server. Without BES, the best you'll get from your Microsoft Exchange Server on the BlackBerry is e-mail, and you are forced to sync directly via USB or Bluetooth to your desktop Outlook to update your calendar and contacts. BES is another expense that can be avoided by ditching the BlackBerry. With the Nexus, you can push your Outlook updates, which means instant and constant updates. Or, if you wish to conserve battery power, you may choose to have it check for updates periodically, with options ranging from 5 minutes to one hour to not at all. I have mine set to push, so I don't have delays in receiving e-mail messages. That doesn't really seem to cause a major battery draw.

The voice commands on the Nexus are far more reliable than with the BlackBerry. I would frequently get several wrong choices when trying to call one of my contacts. The Nexus accuracy has been spot-on, which brings me to an even more interesting point: dictating an e-mail is astoundingly accurate. In a recent e-mail I drafted, only one word was interpreted incorrectly -- it entered "soul" instead of "sole." Hardly a serious issue, but you'd certainly want to proof before sending. You can enable Personal Recognition, which will "learn" your speech characteristics and improve accuracy. I also found that the Google Speech Recognition attempts to determine a word, based on context. When I spoke the words, "This e-mail message is for the sole use of the intended recipient," the recognition program applied the word "soul." When I spoke "I am the sole owner," the recognition program got it right.

One thing that kept me hooked on the BlackBerry for years was the keypad. The tactile feel of the QWERTY board is what differentiated it from the average phone. Although converting to the Nexus keyboard will take you a bit of time to get used to (it took me about three days), once you get the hang of it, the Nexus Android screen keypad is really nice. Once you begin to type, a type-ahead word list immediately forms at the top of the keypad, which narrows the available options as you type each letter. So, instead of typing all the characters, I typed in two or three letters and selected the appropriate word. Again, this takes a little getting used to (from a former BlackBerry user's perspective), but once you try it, you will wonder why you waited so long.

If you are converting from a BlackBerry, I would recommend changing devices on a day when you have the time to get used to it. Although things came pretty naturally to me, I initially had some issues getting connected with our Exchange server. It was a configuration issue with our server, not the phone, but I couldn't get e-mail for several hours -- until this was resolved by our IT staff. This could spell disaster if you are heading out of town or in trial. While iPhone or other Android device users will likely feel at home with the Nexus, it's still a good idea to make sure the phone does what you need it to do before you really need to do it.


As an iPad user, I gave some serious thought to the iPhone, which would mean that many of my apps would also work on the iPhone. Although I have to start over with a new Android app collection, I don't think that I will use my phone like an iPad or other tablet no matter which one I chose. But I wanted a phone that would relieve my screen envy of other phones. And the Nexus's four-inch 480 x 800 pixel Super AMOLED display would certainly do.

I also considered purchasing the HTC Evo, but the low battery life kept me from it. And after trying the HTC Evo, the Nexus feels far more comfortable in the hand: It is lighter, thinner, and slightly curved for a more ergonomic fit. In addition the Nexus has dedicated, touch-sensitive keys to return to a previous screen, draw the main menu, search, and return to the home screen. There is also a proximity and sensor, a digital compass, and integrated Assisted GPS.

I have found the best overall results with the Sprint network. I've tried others, and especially with their 4G speeds (which they've had for about a year now, in some markets), which I often use for remote internet access in court. After getting accustomed to the long battery life of the BlackBerry, four to six hours of power without a recharge is unacceptable. When I'm in trial or on the road, I cannot afford to miss a call or e-mail message (well, maybe not a call in court). Although I'm not sure how long the Nexus battery will hold up in all possible conditions, I've heard that the phone "learns" your usage habits and can improve over time. I found that to be true, but there are several tricks to improve battery life such as disabling services you don't regularly use, e.g., Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

The Nexus includes an advanced power widget that gives you quick access to a few of the phone's services with the highest power usage, including wireless access, Bluetooth, and screen brightness. Turning things off when you're not using them can have a significant effect on battery life.


After my first full day with the Nexus S, I checked my power widget drain sources and saw that the display accounted for over 70 percent of power use. I had opted for the second brightest setting, and that may have been a factor in getting around 3.5 hours of battery use before getting a warning that I was below 20 percent battery life -- perhaps my Angry Birds adventures should be left on the iPad. New toy -- what can I say. I now have the display setting on "auto," in hopes that this will be one step in reducing power consumption.

The next day I used the Nexus more like I used my BlackBerry, for phone calls and e-mails, but also did some note-taking with EverNote and used the Wi-Fi hotspot for my laptop. The auto setting for screen brightness reduced screen power use to just 41 percent. The next highest power draw came from voice calls: 25 percent. This time, after 6 hours of use, I still had 42 percent of battery life remaining, which is more in line with the BlackBerry and certainly an improvement over my first day of approximately four hours of battery use.

The iPhone battery reportedly lasts under 6 hours with "normal" use, which is better than the HTC Evo, but not great. As a mobile professional, you don't always have time to plug a phone into your car or an electrical outlet. So when you are out of the office all day, you may want to try to keep use to a minimum. Granted, that's hard to do, especially when you have so many cool apps and things to mess with. You could carry an extra battery or two, but that's not an ideal solution.

On my third day with the Nexus, I made a few calls (34 minutes total) and experimented with a QR code app, but used the phone less than previous days (I was at my computer all day, so didn't have to check and send e-mail). After 10.5 hours, I still had 52 percent battery life remaining. I was surprised, to say the least. Voice calls accounted for 36 percent power use and power requirements for the display dropped to only 24 percent. The phone is indeed "learning" my habits, but I am also learning how to better use the phone. So if you're going to be out of the office for a while, use the Nexus more like a phone and less like a tablet or netbook (read: not playing Angry Birds). You will get battery life comparable to the BlackBerry.

Would I recommend purchasing a Nexus S? Yes. I bought mine at the Sprint Store in Alameda, Calif. I like the opportunity to hold, test, and compare the phone, rather than order online and hope for the best.


Product: Nexus S 4G
Manufacturer: Samsung
Price: $199 with two-year Sprint contract, $549 without contract
Operating system: Android 2.3 Gingerbread
Processor: 1GHz Samsung Hummingbird
Memory: Integrated 16GB flash drive (no expansion card slot)
Connectivity: 1xEV-DO CDMA and WiMAX 4G, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi
Display: 4 inch 480×800 pixels Super AMOLED
Camera: 5 megapixel with LED flash (rear); VGA front facing camera
Battery: 1500 mAh lithium-ion battery
Dimensions: 4.88 x 2.48 x 0.44 inches
Weight: 4.62 ounces

Ted Brooks is a trial presentation consultant, author, and speaker, with offices in Los Angeles and San Francisco. E-mail: Blog: Court Technology and Trial Presentation blog.

Give tThem Nothing!

The founders of ConnectU said Monday they would seek U.S. Supreme Court review of a Ninth Circuit decision upholding their intellectual property settlement with Facebook Inc. founder Mark Zuckerberg, claiming the appellate court's ruling ignored federal securities law precedent.

Attorneys with Howard Rice Nemerovski Canady Falk & Rabkin PC, who represent Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss and Divya Narendra, said they intend to file a petition for a writ of certiorari after the Ninth Circuit on Monday declined to rehear their appeal.



TransUnion also reported that the average mortgage debt per borrower in the U.S. was $190,115 during the first quarter, up 0.6 percent from the previous quarter’s $189,046.

The area with the highest average mortgage debt per borrower continued to be the District of Columbia at $375,579, followed by California at $338,792 and Hawaii at $313,770. The lowest remained in West Virginia at $99,640.

The share of mortgage borrowers in the United States 60 or more days behind on their monthly payments dropped to 6.19 percent at the end of the first quarter of 2011, according to data released Monday by the credit bureau TransUnion.

Securitization in the News

World's Worst Hotel- Best Western Universal Inn Orlando!

Best Western Universal Inn5618 Vineland Rd, Orlando, FL 32819

This is  the worst place I  have ever stayed!!    The Laundry guy opened my door which had a do not disturb sign on it and the TV was on and walked in while I was in the shower and then stood there babbling at me in spanish while I am screaming at him to get the hell out!!!!!   The  manager of this establishment did not think it was a big deal and would not fire the guy or do anything!   BOYCOTT this place the staff are PERVERTS!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Credit Bureau's VIP List

The credit rating bureaus, whose reports influence everything from credit cards to mortgages to job offers, have a two-tiered system for resolving errors - one for the rich and powerful, and the other for everyone else, according to a New York Times report yesterday. The three major agencies, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, keep a V.I.P. list of sorts, according to consumer lawyers and legal documents, consisting of celebrities, politicians, judges and other influential people. Those on the list get special help from workers in the United States in fixing mistakes on their credit reports. Any errors are usually corrected immediately, one lawyer said. For everyone else, disputes are herded into a largely automated system. Their complaints are often electronically ferried to a subcontractor overseas, where a worker spends, on average, about two minutes figuring out the gist of the matter, boiling it down to a one-to-three-digit computer code that signifies the problem and sending a dispute form to the creditor to investigate. Many times, consumer advocates say, the investigation translates to a perfunctory check of its records.