Demos, a nonpartisan public policy organization, released an update this month to its 2005 report "House of Cards: Refinancing the American Dream." The 2005 report detailed the danger mortgage fraud posed to the national economy. The November, 2006 update, click this link, continues in the same vein, with some frank talk about mortgage/appraisal fraud and their suggestions on how to correct the problems. Thanks to a la mode's newsletter for this link.
Homeowners have been tapping into their home equity to get the cash needed to pay down credit card debt incurred not for luxury expenses, but for basic needs. This strategy leaves them on precarious financial footing after two years of interest rate hikes and the largest drop in home prices in 35 years, according to the report published by Demos.
The Demos paper recommends exploring a rotational system of assigning appraisers to federally-related loans, the way FHA used to operate.
"A simple and easy to implement solution which guarantees the integrity of the appraisal process is a fee panel system. A fee panel system would organize appraisers into a queue; appraisers would then be assigned from the list on a rotational basis. Thus, a fee panel system would remove the lender from the process of selecting an appraiser. Should the lender opt out of the fee panel system and choose their own appraiser, the appraiser would become an agent of the lender. In case of a fraudulent appraisal the lender would also be held legally responsible if they did not participate in the fee panel system."
"We're skeptical, because your expertise, high-quality work and level of service would be devalued in such a market. There would be less incentive for appraisers to compete, and fewer rewards in terms of new and repeat business for competing well. You would be likely to see an even more commoditized profession than FIRREA and state licensing have created."
Let’s say that you have a blog and you post regularly, can you spot the early warnings signs that your blog is dying? Below are 6 sure fire ways to spot blog death and you need to know them before it is too late from RSS Pieces. It is far easier nurse a sick blog back to health than resurrect a dead one, so let’s look at how to tell if your blog is in it’s death throws and what you can do to breathe a little life back into it.
Backlinks are not growing
Nobody is commenting on the blog
Traffic and unique visitors do no increase from month to month
Google isn't crawling your blog regularly
Posts are falling out of Google's index
Nobody "Diggs" your articles
For the complete article AND solutions . . .click here.
Illinois housing sector adjusts to more sustainable sales pace in the third quarter, while mortgage interest rates remain near 45-year historic lows. Total home sales were down 14.7 percent in the third quarter of 2006 to 46,759 homes sold.
Year-to-date home sales for January through September totaled 131,826, off 7.4 percent from 142,316 home sales in 2005.
The Illinois median home sale price in the third quarter was $209,000.
“It’s clear the housing market is stabilizing and is shaping up to be the third best year for Illinois home sales. Conditions are ideal for buyers as we head into the home stretch for 2006 with more choices and room to negotiate with current inventory levels,” said IAR President Robert Zoretich.
I have made this statement from the podium at six meetings of appraisers and lenders, since I put the current graph of the declining values in Palm Desert up on the InlandCAAppraisersForum at Yahoo Groups, three weeks ago.
It is interesting to me that no one has commented on the dramatic price decline already showing up in Palm Desert, an area that some thought was exempt, some thought had never gone down. It was very interesting that we put on a local luncheon seminar on Appraising In A Declining Market last week, and we had appraisers from five Counties sign up.
We all know what is happening in the real estate market. Our clients do to, so does the Secondary Market and the Feds.
Values are declining in every CA city where the Housing Affordability Index is low, from Vista to Visalia, from Palm Desert to Palmdale. They are still going up where housing prices are still affordable, from Colton to Barstow.
In the next five years, property values will likely go down each year in all 50 States. This will be the greatest recession/depression since 1929-34. Who will remain working as an appraiser, and who will get Black Listed?
In the tradition of mockumentaries like “Best in Show” and “Waiting for Guffman,” Flipper Nation is a hilarious new series about a couple of ill-fated guys trying to cash in by “flipping” houses, and in the process debunking the myth that anyone can getting rich quick in the real estate game. From the promo:
Flipper Nation: a country of people getting rich on real estate. Then the bubble bursts. That’s when David Kimball and Richie Tatum have chosen to get into real estate. A day late and a dollar short, they’re trying to make it to a million dollars. Follow their path to fortune at FlipperNation.com!
Head on over to FlipperNation.com to see the first episode, get real estate tips (to be taken with a grain of salt of course), and even print your own masks of the show’s personalities!
GIS Day provides an international forum for users of geographic information systems (GIS) technology to demonstrate real-world applications that are making a difference in our society. More than 70 countries will participate in holding local events such as corporate open houses, hands-on workshops, community expos, school assemblies, and more. GIS Blog.
Geography Matters. All around the world, people are working more efficiently because of it. Businesses and government, schools and hospitals, nonprofit organizations, and others are taking advantage of it. This isn't your elementary school's geography. This is using geography, and GIS technology, to gain new insights and make better, more informed decisions. Learn more about why Geography Matters and how GIS can give you the Geographic Advantage!
GIS Day is part of the National Geographic Society's Geography Action, a year-long initiative encompassing key educational achievements such as GIS Day and Geography Awareness Week. Each year has a different geographic focus to explore and understand. The 2006-2007 program theme kicks off a five-year, around-the-world curriculum series with Africa in 3-D.
If you're in Central Illinois, come visit us in McLean County for the GIS Day 2006 Open House and Celebration. November 15th 2006, 10am - 4pm 115 E. Washington St. Bloomington IL 61701 Government Center, McLean County Board Room (4th Floor) Proclamation.