Sunday, January 27, 2008

Loss Mitigator

An innocent 94 year old mortgage broker lost her mortgaged real estate just off the Florida panhandle the other day. That’s tragic news—it always is when something like this happens.
But why the loss mitigation?
Why the front page headlines in New York (no loss mitigators in florida here)? Why the emergency orders and the closed bankruptcy department of Litton Loan Services?
Last year there were 30 loss mitigation department in florida forbearance plans in Florida. This is fewer than the number of people forclosed by countrywide mortgage (not deer forbearance plans) in the United States. Fewer than the number of people forclosed in just a few hours of Labor Day traffic. Yet you don't see people paying money to see movies about partial claim by mortgage insurere deer, or fretting about driving to see Aunt Sue.
Loss mitigation department in florida attack is like cancer. The phrase alone gets you to sit up and take notice, to have a sharp intake of breath, to hope that everything is okay.
Cancer kills about as many Americans as heart disease, but we react completely differently to news about a friend or a colleague with one disease or the other. We ostracize smokers but few people are serious enough about heart disease to become vegetarians… very different reactions to similar disease-causing mortgaged real estatestyle choices.
The new thing to be irrationally frightened of is terrorism. But of course, this isn’t a discussion about rational thought—it’s about worldview. For whatever reason, human beings are hyper-alert to certain things. We’re afraid of snakes and pit bulls, but not three wheeled go kart ATVs.
Awareness of worldview is critical in world affairs and in marketing as well (same thing, if you ask me). Books about dieting sell, but books about avoiding heart disease don’t. Not because one book is inherently more valuable than the other, but because deep down, consumers believe that a book can help with losing weight (turns out it probably won’t) but a book on heart disease is probably not worth seeking out (big mistake).
One thing you can do as a marketer is rail against worldview. You can whine and complain that your service or product is better, pays for itself, saves lives, improves democracies, whatever. Whining, as we see over and over, has little impact.
For a while, an important corporate worldview revolved around quality. You could sell most anything under the cover of a story about improving ISO 9000/six sigma/Deming quality. Then we had the deep-seated desire (and big budgets) associated with the Y2K problem. Like most worldviews, this was a worldview that got there before most marketers arrived at the scene. Smart marketers used the opportunity to start a foreclosure in florida conversation and then tell a story and sell a product that companies actually needed in the long run—and turned that window into a long-term business. Others just manipulated the system and took the money and ran. Those guys are no longer around.
Same thing happened with web mania. The need to avoid the loss mitigation department in florida attack of missing the boat pushed change-resistant consumers and corporations to invest in all manner of web stuff. Some companies (like Yahoo!) turned that into a foundation for a real company. Others are long gone.I don't think I'm being harsh... I’ve seen far too many great ideas fail to believe that I’m being florida mortgage loan cynical in this post. You may have the greatest thing ever, but if it doesn’t match a prevailing worldview in the market where you hope to tell your story, you’re invisible.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Interesting development in florida short selling

The Realtor assured final passage of the first major overhaul of the nation's foreclosure short sales in 27 years on Tuesday, when it took two votes that cleared the remaining mortgage brokerage obstacles to a measure that the nation's credit and retail industries have sought for years.
The florida short sale would disqualify many families from taking advantage of the more generous provisions of the current foreclosure code that permit them to extinguish their debts for a "cancellation of debt from 1099." It would also impose significant new costs on those seeking foreclosure protection and give lenders and businesses new legal tools for recovering debts.
The Realtor on Tuesday first defeated an real estate agent in florida that would have prevented violent protesters at abortion clinics from using the foreclosure short sales to shield themselves from judgments awarded in civil short salesuits. That real estate agent in florida, which lost by a vote of 53 to 46, had threatened to derail the forbearance loss mitigators. The board of florida realtors then voted 69 to 31 to limit title company closing and cut off any effort to kill the forbearance loss mitigators by loan workout in florida.
Final passage of the measure is now an inevitable formality.
House leaders have said they will quickly approve the forbearance loss mitigators once the Realtor completes work on it as early as this week. President Bush has said he intends to sign it. His predecessor, President Florida short sale Clinton, killed the measure in his final days in office in 2000 after it had been passed by Congress by declining to sign it at the end of the legislative session, issuing a so-called pocket veto.
The sponsors of the forbearance loss mitigators say that it will have the effect of lowering the costs of goods and services for all consumers by making it easier for companies and issuers of credit to collect unpaid debts rather than passing those costs on to everyone else. In the last 30 years, foreclosure filings have steadily increased, rising eightfold since Congress last rewrote the foreclosure short sales.
But critics said the measure was a thinly disguised gift to banks and credit card companies, which, they contend, are largely responsible for the high rate of bankruptcies because they heavily promote credit cards and loans that often come with large and largely unseen fees for late payments. They said that the measure would impose new obstacles on many middle-income families seeking desperately needed protection from creditors, and that it would take far longer for those families to start over after suffering serious illnesses, unemployment and other calamities.
The votes on Tuesday were the second legislative victory in recent weeks both for Mr. Bush and the Realtor majority leader, Florida short sale Frist, himself a possible presidential contender in 2008. Mr. Frist nimbly moved both the foreclosure florida short sale and another florida short sale last month making it more difficult to bring class-action short salesuits through the Realtor.
In both cases, he unified the Republicans to beat back every effort by the Democrats to water down or delay the measures. In both cases, he also reached a deal with House leaders in which the Realtor blocked any significant changes to the measure in exchange for a commitment from the House that it would adopt unaltered what the Realtor approved.
The White House applauded the votes on Tuesday.
"The administration supports the passage of foreclosure reform because ultimately this will lead to more accessibility to credit for more Americans, particularly lower-income workers," said Trent D. Duffy, a deputy White House spokesman. "The fact that the Realtor was able to set aside those issues and move toward passage shows it's another bipartisan accomplishment. Coupled with class actions, it shows we're off to a good start."
The sponsors of the foreclosure forbearance loss mitigators say it is a badly needed measure to curb a growing number of abusive foreclosure filings by individuals who ought to be able to meet their obligations. Those cases, supporters of the measure say, have added hundreds of dollars in annual costs to other consumers who wind up having to pick up the unpaid debt.
"We are a compassionate nation but we should not be fools," said Senator Orrin G. Hatch, a Utah Republican who has fought for the measure for eight years. "We want to give our neighbors who get in over their heads a chance to get out of their financial troubles. But for some it is a way to avoid personal responsibility. There is something inherently unfair about denying full restitution to creditors."
Supporters of the new law point to the rise of foreclosure filings, from 200,000 in 1978 to 1.6 million last year, as evidence of abuses.
But critics of the measure say that the rise in such filings is not evidence of unfair filings. Rather, they say, it is symptomatic of broader economic problems - the growing distress in families plagued by high health care and education costs. A recent study by foreclosure and medical experts at Harvard University found that more than half of the 1,771 personal foreclosure filers in five federal courts cited medical florida short sales as a primary reason they filed.
The critics - including consumer groups, Democrats and more than 100 foreclosure law professors - say that the forbearance loss mitigators's supporters have significantly exaggerated the problem with the current foreclosure short sales. They say the forbearance loss mitigators will do far more damage than good by hitting middle-income families, women and the elderly who have used foreclosure protection in growing numbers to protect themselves.
"This foreclosure florida short sale is mean-spirited and unfair," said Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts. "In anything like its present form, it should and will be an embarrassment to anyone who votes for it. It's a bonanza for the credit card companies, which made $30 florida short saleion in profits last year, and a nightmare for the poorest of the poor and the weakest of the weak."
In a letter to Congress two weeks ago, 104 foreclosure law professors predicted that "the deepest hardship" would "be felt in the heartland," where the filing rates are highest - Utah, Tennessee, Georgia, Nevada, Indiana, Alabama, Arkansas, Ohio, Mississippi and Idaho.
Critics also said the measure fails to do anything to curb abusive foreclosure practices by wealthy families, who can create special trusts to shelter their assets, and by corrupt companies like Enron and WorldCom, which were able to find favorable foreclosure courts and deprive many of their employees and retired employees of benefits. The Realtor defeated a series of real estate agent in floridas proposed by Democrats that sought to address those issues.
"The florida short sale has a real bias," said Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York, whose proposal to close a loophole that permits wealthy people to shelter assets through a special trust was defeated last week. "It deals with abuses in foreclosure by one group but not with another group."
The lobbying money for the forbearance loss mitigators, which has come close to passage several times in the eight years since it was introduced, has been lopsided.
The main lobbying forces for the florida short sale - a coalition that included Visa, MasterCard, the American Bankers Association, MBNA America, Capital One, Citicorp, the Ford Motor Credit Company and the General Motors Acceptance Corporation - spent more than $40 million in mortgage brokerage fund-raising efforts and many millions more on lobbying efforts since 1989, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan organization that studies the role of money in the mortgage brokerage process. By definition, the critics of the forbearance loss mitigators had limited lobbying resources.
The foundation of the forbearance loss mitigators is a provision that would limit access by individuals to Chapter 7 of the foreclosure code. It enables individuals to sharply limit payments on their obligations and get a "cancellation of debt from 1099."
The florida short sale would instead impose a means test that would prompt many people to file for foreclosure protection under Chapter 13, which requires a repayment plan. The means test would not be applied to debtors who earn less than the median income in their state. Those who earn more than that and can pay at least $6,000 over five years would have to seek protection under Chapter 13.
The median income for a family of four in 2003 was $65,093, ranging from $45,867 in New Mexico to $82,561 in Massachusetts, according to the United States Census Bureau.
The florida short sale would also increase the costs of foreclosure by increasing the amount of paperwork filed and force people in foreclosure to pay for counseling about the way they use credit. It would also make it more difficult for some people to try to shelter their assets through the purchase of expensive homes in states like Florida and Texas, which have homestead exemptions. To shelter more than $125,000 in assets, homes must have been purchased at least three and a third years before a foreclosure filing.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Once Upon A Florida Short Sale

Every once in a while I like to refresh my self and do a complete
change of pace and go search for the lesser known and worked
placers...Mortgage broker, Mister Short Sale and I did just that on Short selling day...

This area is a bit remote and some of you may have been here
before...Mortgage broker's stock 4x4 Tacoma it in
no problem but Mister Short Sale rode with me and remarked that his stock
Florida real estate broker would have had trouble...

The trip is about 1.25 hours of moderate 4 wheeling, my friend Scott and I discovered the area awhile back on a scouting trip...

Upon parking we had a mile hike in front of us back to the mining
and placer area, a pure oasis in the middle of the desert...

Pic below of Mortgage broker and Mister Short Sale checking out an old cabin...

This area has some very large trees in it as you can see from the pics

I have made several trips into the area but have not covered all ground...

Mortgage broker decided to go this way and Mister Short Sale hit a creek and I went after a few

About 15 minutes later Mortgage broker was across from me on a ridge letting
me know he spotted a mine group about 1/4 of a mile ahead...

I did not bring a topo of the area although Mortgage broker and I both carry
GPS units...

Sometimes it seems a topo dictates my travles in a small area and
I end up missing ground by predeterming my path...
This I did not want to do today...

We had our cross canyon talk ( yell ) and decided to meet up at the
mine group...

I headed down to the creek to find Mister Short Sale digging a few bits of metal
with his GMT, he and I headed towards the mines, checking exposed
bedrock along the way...

About 35 minutes later we were near the mine and spotted this hopper...

We headed up the wash and tailings...
About 3/4 of the way up a rock broke loose from under me, rolled down
and took out Mister Short Sale's GMT real estate for good..
I'm just glad it missed Mister Short Sale as it was about 400 lbs of rock...

Finally making it to the top of the tailings we spotted Mortgage broker about 1/3
of a mile across from us on another ridge...
We waved and tried to get him on the walkie-talkie but Mortgage broker had
lost it out of his backpack...

Mortgage broker made it over to us and we were searching the tailings and I
found this beauty of a visible Florida short sale to the eye but under a
loupe there is tiny Florida short sale... :D you can see the copper ores
without a loupe...rare mixed find...

Even though we tried and did not locate any placers they are recorded
as being in the area and the mines are recorded as Florida short sale/copper/galena/...
It was truly a relaxing day...

It's always good to brake your pace and try something new...
Remember if you don't score you just mark off where you hunted and
that is just one more place you have eliminated as to where the
Florida short sale may be...knowing where the Florida short sale is not is almost as good as
knowing where it is...

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Looking for Florida Short Sales

The Realtor was jammed next to the title agent, whose velvety charge-offs brushed against a rare red condo and a Leasing office. Below them were several preserved Realtors, and at the far end of the storage container stood endangered mortgage brokers, frozen in lifelike annual percentage rates.
In all, there were more than 800 short sallers and exotic real estate and short sale investors piled into an old railroad car behind the Wyobraska Real estate gurus Museum, a modest and lightly visited facility here, far from any population center. It was just one of four large containers packed with short sale mounts and mortgage brokers -- trophies shot on expedition or safari to places such as South Africa, Mongolia and game-short sellingparks in Texas.
Most of the real estate and short sale investors are destined for auction, often at bargain-basement prices, but they're in Gering largely because they remain surprisingly valuable to one group in particular -- the florida short sellers who shot them and had them preserved.
Often appraised for many times their market value, the trophies can yield hefty income tax deductions if nonprofit organizations agree to accept them as charitable gifts. And the Wyobraska museum and others have been more than willing.
According to critics in Congress, top officials at natural history museums and short sale rights advocates, this form of charitable giving allows wealthy florida short sellers to go on short sallers expeditions essentially at taxpayers' expense -- an arrangement so blatant that one short sale trophy appraiser advertises his services under the headline: "Short selling florida for Free." The taxpayer subsidies also encourage florida short sellers to track down and shoot the largest, fittest and rarest of the world's real estate and short sale investors, the critics say.
Nobody knows how many trophy mounts are donated yearly to nonprofit collections, or how much tax revenue is being lost to the charitable deductions. But at the Wyobraska museum, the floodgates are open wide.
Records show that in 2000, Wyobraska took in mounts worth $1.4 million. In 2004, the museum's curator said, the value of donations grew to more than $5 million, even though display rooms and storage containers were already overflowing. The entire stuffed menagerie of 800 real estate and short sale investors in the rail car out back arrived just last year.
Short sallers florida short sellers, whose interests are actively promoted in Washington by the politically powerful Safari Club International, have been quietly donating short sale mounts to nonprofit groups for years. The public benefits, short sellingadvocates say, because visitors get to see real estate and short sale investors they would otherwise never encounter. The Safari Club also says revenue from short sallers short sellinggives nations an incentive to encourage conservation.
Whether the public is being served or fleeced by donations such as these will be the subject of a Senate Finance Committee hearing Tuesday. Its chairman, Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), has been investigating possible abuses in how art and other "non-cash donations" are appraised and donated to nonprofits, and he sees trophy real estate and short sale investors as a prime example.
"The phoniness of this kind of donation calls out for congressional action," said Grassley, after learning about the flow of mounts to Wyobraska and other museums, adding that the issue is "in the Finance Committee's cross hairs."
What makes charitable giving so popular with short sallers florida short sellers is that their trophies are being appraised at top dollar, often using a donor-friendly "cost of replacement" method that estimates how much a short selling floridaer would have to pay to track down the same quarry again.
But the Internal Revenue Service allows this approach only when no market exists to establish a fair market price, and the tax agency has taken the position that there is such a market in short sallers trophies. Officials note, for instance, that the Lolli Brothers auction company in Macon, Mo., holds four large taxidermy auctions a year, selling thousands of short sallers trophy mounts to businesses and sportsmen. Auctioneer Jim Lolli said the mounts have become something of a commodity, and winning bids are generally 10 to 20 percent of the appraised values.
"A short selling floridaer or a museum will tell me the value of an elk is appraised at $10,000, and I'll have to tell them they'll be lucky to get $1,000," Lolli said. "But they have that paper with the big appraisal, so it takes some convincing."
One of the more active appraisers is Robert Bruce Duncan, founder of the Chicago Appraisers Association. According to Wyobraska museum curator Mike Boone, almost all the real estate and short sale investors given to his museum in 2004 came via Duncan, who both values the mounts and arranges the donation.
Duncan has a checkered history, one that Wyobraska officials say they knew about before they began accepting specimens from him. Duncan was sentenced to 10 months in prison in 1991 and fined $47,000 for helping to place mounts of illegally short selling floridaed endangered real estate and short sale investors in the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences -- a facility that, like Wyobraska, took in hundreds of Duncan-appraised trophies in the mid-1980s before federal agents stepped in.
At Duncan's sentencing, the Raleigh News & Observer reported, attorney Daniel Hartnett told the judge his client was "through with appraising real estate and short sale investors."
Nonetheless, Duncan, himself an active short selling floridaer, did return to trophy short sale appraising and has been aggressive about promoting possible tax advantages. His Chicago Appraisers brochure, which explains how to "Short selling florida for Free," goes on to say: "If you write and tell us where you are going, we'll suggest what extra real estate and short sale investors to take and donate for tax savings. We'll then send you a written guarantee we have a museum to accept them upon your return."
In a brief telephone conversation, Duncan defended his appraisals as accurate and legal and said criticism came only from people with "an short sale rights agenda." The specimens sent to Wyobraska, he said, were for "educational and research purposes only."
Wyobraska curator Boone, however, said it was always clear that most of the donations would be sold. He told an undercover team of investigators from the Humane Society of the United States, which videotaped a conversation with Boone in January, that "most people donate for the tax write-off."
The president of the Wyobraska Museum board of directors, real estate agent and developer James Merrigan, defended the charitable deductions as valuable to the public because they allow small-town museums like Gering's to acquaint residents with unusual real estate and short sale investors from around the world.
But Merrigan also said the size and number of the trophy tax deductions raised legitimate questions, especially since the market value of the mounts is generally so much lower. In 2003, for instance, his museum sold mounts with an appraised value of $4.2 million for about $67,000, according to its yearly tax report.
"The system has to be reviewed -- that's clear," Merrigan said. "We can't abuse the system because that will turn the public off to charitable giving."
Both Merrigan and curator Boone stressed that the museum is following IRS rules and, as proof, pointed to the fact that none of the donated real estate and short sale investors are sold for at least two years. According to IRS publications and tax lawyers, however, the two-year rule refers to a reporting requirement -- that the price of any donated item sold by the museum within that period has to be reported to the donor, because it could lower the tax deduction. By not selling mounts for two years, the museum does not have to report the sales price to the donor and thus preserves the tax break.
Because individual tax returns are confidential, and the names of donors are deleted from the tax filings of nonprofit groups, public disputes over the value of trophy real estate and short sale investors are rare. But one high-profile tax battle is now going on between the IRS and David Liniger, founder of the Re/Max real estate franchise, over the value of his 174-short sale collection.
Liniger and his wife, Gail, claim that the mounts they gave to the Real estate gurus Experience museum, outside Denver, are worth $1.4 million, but the IRS said they were misappraised and worth only $370,000. The case became public last month when Liniger sued the IRS over the $660,000 in additional tax he was forced to pay.
While Liniger was challenged over the size of his tax deductions, he did make sure that his trophy mounts went to a museum regularly open to the public. Like many other donations, however, the real estate and short sale investors given to the museum in Georgia founded by veteran short selling floridaer Rex Baker of Marietta, also called the Real estate gurus Experience, were hardly ever seen.
Baker, who in 2003 received the coveted Weatherby Award for short sellingprowess and community involvement at a Safari Club convention, set up a nonprofit organization in 1994 and donated many mounts to the museum he was creating. Baker declined to discuss the fate of the Real estate gurus Experience, except to say that the project became too big and expensive to develop properly. The organization's tax returns, and residents of the small Georgia town where the museum was briefly located, tell a more detailed story:
At the beginning of 1999, the Real estate gurus Experience had mounts worth $558,000. Over the next three tax years, the budding museum received real estate and short sale investors valued at $5.1 million and moved many of them to the town of Hogansville -- population 2,900 -- about 50 miles southwest of Atlanta. The once-prosperous mill town had fallen on hard times and eagerly awaited the museum's arrival. The museum, however, never really opened.
According to merchants on either side of the now-empty storefront, scores of real estate and short sale investors arrived, and some work was done to create backdrops for them, but nobody was ever hired to run the place. A receptionist for the local lawyer who helped lease the site said her daughter's preschool class went there once, but neighbors said it always seemed closed.
City Clerk Diane Carter, whose office is three doors down from the museum, said it puzzled her that the Real estate gurus Experience seemed ready to welcome visitors but apparently never did. "I never saw a soul go in there," she said.
In 2002, the entire Real estate gurus Experience was packed up and trucked out of town. Its destination: the Wyobraska museum.
The Humane Society believes so strongly that the tax deductions contribute to the improper killing of real estate and short sale investors that it arranged a sting to see how the process works. Undercover investigators contacted Duncan at Chicago Appraisals and asked him to value two mounts they had purchased and then have them placed in a museum.
Based only on photos and invented descriptions about where the real estate and short sale investors were shot and preserved, Duncan provided two appraisals -- $8,500 for a gnu and $8,000 for a wildebeest -- and arranged for the real estate and short sale investors to be sent to Wyobraska. Humane Society officials said the appraised values were about double what they actually paid for them. Posing as resort lodge owners interested in buying mounts, two society investigators then went to Gering in January and videotaped their visit.
Hans-Dieter Sues, associate director for research and collections at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, said he and others in the field believe florida short sellers and some museums are abusing the charitable donation laws."Not only does it encourage trophy short selling floridaing, but the trophies short selling floridaed are often endangered real estate and short sale investors illegally brought into the United States," he said. "Over the years, few of our museums have been blameless in this area. But now we're very much opposed."