Temecula Valley Housing – An Overview

There’s no doubt the Temecula Valley is one of the nicest, safest and most affordable places to live in Southern California. The climate is terrific, the schools are great, we have sports parks and dog parks and a duck pond, wineries, golf courses & a casino and our city is well run with a budget surplus. From Temecula you can be skiing Big Bear in the morning, surfing La Jolla in the afternoon and be home in time to enjoy a jazz concert at a winery  in the evening. There’s something here to fit every lifestyle – unless you want to live in a high rise in a big city and take the subway to work. We don’t have that.

We do offer a wide range of housing opportunities  from condo’s for first time homebuyers to retirement villages; avocado groves & equestrian estates to vineyards; Mediterranean to New England style single family homes; homes on a golf course to homes on a lake –  Temecula has something for every prospective homeowner.

So how do you find out more about this amazing market? Start by finding a Realtor® that can guide you through the process. Oh, you can start by looking at home on-line. Today about 70% of you will start there. But there are so many beautiful homes you’ll soon find yourself trying to narrow that search to specific areas. Maybe the school district is important to your growing family, or being close to medical facilities is important for special needs, or you need room for your horses or you’ve always dreamed of living on a golf course. Your Realtor® can guide you to those neighborhoods that fit your lifestyle best.

Some of you will start by talking to a lender to find out how much home you can afford. That’s a great idea too. It’s a good idea to start with a lender that already knows you – or at least a bank that you’ve done business with. But if you’re new to the area you probably don’t know a lender and picking one out of the phone book might not be your best place to start.

A good Realtor® can direct you to good lenders, ones they know from experience can get the job done for you with a minimum of hassle. Some lenders have better programs than others depending on your situation – everything from no-down or low-down government backed loans, to loans with extremely low interest rates for well qualified buyers with large down payments. There are different options for 1st time buyers, investors, military personnel, move-up buyers and seniors and your Realtor® and lender will work together on the best deal for you and your family.

To find a Realtor®, start with the Chamber of Commerce. By being a member of the Chamber, a business owner has already demonstrated their interest in and commitment to the community. Don’t be afraid to talk to more than one Realtor® – because just like you, we’re all different too. Some are all business – cut to the chase kind of folks, others are more touchy-feely warm & fuzzy, others you don’t know what the heck they are.

You’re going to be working with this person for the next few weeks or months on the biggest investment most of you will ever make. Having a good Realtor® on your team is the difference between a pleasant and profitable experience, and one that will have you gnashing your teeth living in a cave.

A couple final thoughts… As with much of the country, we’ve just come through the worst real estate market in years. You’ll be looking at homes that were selling for double their current asking price just a few years ago. But our prices have been stable for three years now and have started to increase again. You’re buying at, or close to, the bottom of this cycle. Last time prices started to boom our housing appreciated 155% in just 5 years. We’re not looking for, in fact not hoping for, a repeat of that cycle but long term appreciation in California real estate is inevitable.

We also have about 1/3 of the inventory we had just last year so finding your dream home might take a little longer. There are many beautiful properties out there at terrific prices. When you find the one you love, don’t be surprised if several other folks love it as well. Multiple bids are not unusual in this market so don’t make the mistake of thinking you can steal your dream home. Lowball bids today will almost assure that you will lose the first two or three homes you bid on. On the other hand, if you’re an investor looking for bargain prices on fixers or rentals, those are out there too. Again, your Realtor® can guide you along the most prosperous path for you.

The Temecula Valley lifestyle – your piece of history looking to the future. Start enjoying it today. Call your Realtor® to find out how.


More Light – Less Tunnell

That was the message delivered at our California Association of Realtors Mid-year Legislative meetings as well as our National Association of Realtors Legislative Conference held last month. The focus is shifting from looking over our shoulder at ‘how we got here’ to looking forward to ‘where we go from here’. There is an undercurrent of cautious optimism about the housing market borne out by strong sales results in our local market and in a growing number of  markets across the country.

In weeklong conferences with legislative and regulatory leaders in Sacramento and Washington DC, Realtors stressed the critical role of homeownership as a lynchpin in the economic recovery of this country. At a May 17th Rally where nearly 14,000 Realtors gathered at the Washington Monument, we reminded them that in 6 of the past 8 recessions, the recovery has been lead by an emergent housing market. The other 2 were lifted out by massive war spending, so unless they want to start another war they should probably focus on housing at this juncture. Homeownership matters!

We talked with lenders about their foreclosure efforts, about streamlining the shortsale process, about helping homeowners who were honest victims of their housing manipulations and about getting back into the lending business by sharing some of the bail-out money we lavished on them.

We discussed the importance of mortgage availability and secondary market liquidity with leaders from Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and the FHA. In both Sacramento and DC we demonstrated the critical lack of housing inventory in California and cautioned against the widespread implementation of the poorly conceived FHFA Bulk Sale Program (detailed here last month).

Three years ago we were treated to a discussion of the ’emerging green shoots’ by former FED Chair Allan Greenspan, shoots that were subsequently scorched by over-reaching and reactionary regulatory policies. The opportunity still exists for the current optimism to be quashed by knee-jerk decisions, lack of action in some arenas – over-reaction in others.

Elimination of the homeowners mortgage interest deduction is one example. Not extending deficiency judgment protection for underwater homeowners, not renewing the national flood insurance program and wholesale dismantling of Fannie & Freddie are still more examples of misguided efforts on the part of legislators and regulators who 1) don’t understand housing and job creation, and 2) have not considered the unintended consequences of their actions.

The events that brought us here are behind us. Most of the perpetrators will never suffer the consequences of their actions and, in fact, continue to prosper under the current regulatory regime. Time to move on. We endured a near perfect storm of events that brought us to the brink of fiscal disaster as a nation but we are entering a brief window of opportunity right now to keep the nascent recovery moving. The fits and starts of the past 4 years notwithstanding, we have an opportunity to move the housing market forward and with it our national economy.

Being an election year, we are probably assured that no really good or bad bills will emanate from Congress before November (Sacramento may still deliver up a few clinkers). Similarly, the lame-ducks in Sacramento and DC will accomplish little before the new year. Whether or not the recovery proceeds and strengthens will depend on the decisions you make in November. If you are a homeowner or aspire to home ownership, and especially if you consider homeownership to be a legacy you want for your children, please make an informed decision when you vote this fall. So much depends on it.


FHFA REO Bulk Sale Program – what you need to know.

In response to the ongoing depression in our country’s housing market, the federal government has proposed yet another one-size-fits-all band-aid solution to a highly localized problem. As with most of the knee-jerk proposals they have attempted during the past 4 years, this program will not resolve the underlying issue and, in some cases, will make it substantially worse. I’m talking about the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) ‘REO Initiative’ pilot program destined for implementation in Los Angeles and Riverside Counties.

What the program proposes to do is effect a ‘bulk sale’ of REO (bank-owned) properties in select areas in order to ‘remove this overburden of inventory’ from the housing market and convert it to rental units for 5 years. Currently designated in Riverside County – more than 2,500 REO units.

Here’s the problem with that. Contrary to what the government tells us we are experiencing, we actually have a significant shortage of housing units for sale to begin with. There are areas of the country where this program might be effective in accomplishing what the government claims to want to fix, but our area is not one of them. There are areas of the county with a 2 year inventory of homes for sale, prices are continuing their precipitous slide and consumes are not buying homes at any price. Our area is not one of those.

It’s been nearly four years since our market had an inventory in excess of 12 months. Following a record sales year in 2010 and continued strong demand in 2011 and so far in 2012, our inventory of homes for sale is less than four months. For much of that time it has actually been between 2 and 3 months and, as I have written before, if you back out the higher end homes (over $1,000,000) that are selling very slowly, our local inventory of salable homes in Murrieta and Temecula stands at just 1.7 months. A ‘healthy’ inventory is considered to be 6-7 months and we are waaaay under that. Taking a large chunk of properties off the market would only further reduce the opportunities for home buyers to find a home and may well result in further price erosion and market deterioration.

But how about the government’s second argument that we are suffering from a severe shortage of rental units and that by releasing these units to large investor groups we would replenish that stock? Again, not true. Nearly 60% of current single family purchases are by individuals or small local investors who are buying the properties to either A) fix up and re-sell to qualified buyers, or B) keep as rental units.

Local individuals and small investors would be eliminated from the equation as the government program would only sell large blocks of homes to institutional investors far removed from our community. In addition to eliminating opportunities for home buyers and investors, the program would also exclude local property managers, as the properties would be handled by new departments of these institutional giants, and it would remove local Realtors® from the equation either as selling or rental agents in the transaction.

And what is the logical consequence of some far removed institutional investor buying a group of 100 or 200 properties in Temecula? Well, they’d probably want to rent them out as quickly as possible so they would rent them out at the cheapest rate possible. After all, they’d be buying them for pennies on the dollar so any income stream is better than a continuing vacant property. While this may result in some short-term advantage for local renters, long-term it would result in another round of foreclosures as current owners who are barely covering their cost would no longer be able to do that and would lose those properties.

Finally, in what may be the crowning insult, the primary groups that would stand to benefit from these bulk sales are many of the self-same industrial investors whose bad practices enabled the housing implosion to begin with. So they would now be able to purchase the same properties they made bad loans on for a fraction of their original price and they’d be buying them with the bail-out money the government (read: you and me) gave them.

As I initially stated, there are areas of the country where removing properties from the market and converting them to rentals might be good policy. We don’t happen to live in an area that, by definition, would benefit and could see substantial harm to our fragile recovery. The National Association of Realtors® has submitted a letter signed by most of our local Congressional delegates to Edward Demarco, acting head of FHFA, along with a bevy of other federal functionaries requesting that this ‘solution’ be applied only to carefully targeted areas of the country and to cancel any proposed sales in Los Angeles and Riverside Counties, and indeed in the whole state. We don’t want it. We certainly don’t need it – but when has that ever stopped the federal government from giving it to us anyway? Remember Ronald Reagan’s 9 scariest words – ‘We’re from the government and we’re here to help’. He was undoubtedly thinking about a program exactly like this.

 

 


SRCAR Encourages your Support of AB 1098.

On Friday, August 30, the legislature passed AB 1098, a bill that would reinstate VLF funds to the four newest cities in California, including Menifee and Wildomar. We encourage you to download the attached letter of support and email it to the following people. The Governor could make a decision on this measure at any time so time is of the essence.

Thanks to Senators Anderson and Emmerson and to Assemblymen Jeffries and Nestande for their affirmative votes to move this bill forward. 

SUPPORT letter for AB 1098 

nancy.mcfadden@gov.ca.gov,

gareth.elliott@gov.ca.gov,

anna.pozdyn@gov.ca.gov ,

gavin.newsom@ltgov.ca.gov

http://gov.ca.gov/m_contact.php


Another Bogus Budget

KEVIN’S CORNER

It was another rough month for the families and taxpayers of California, as the legislature completed this year’s budget this week.  I don’t know if there is anyone who is actually happy about the budget, as even the majority party who crafted it in its entirety would certainly rather be growing rather than cutting and eliminating programs.  But there are bad ways to deal with a deficit of this size, and there are worse ways, and make no mistake about it-they have chosen some of the very worst ways to do it.

A few of the worst elements of this budget plan (in no particular order):

  • Once again, the process was done largely in secret behind closed doors.  Hearings were held only on the most general concepts (when they existed at all), and witnesses were unable to say how specific programs might be affected or how much would be spent or cut.  Groups who were affected by the cuts (like local governments) were not allowed to see the final language until it was too late to organize against it, and promises that had been made in negotiations before the budget were absent when the bills were passed on the floor.
  • The budget is based on the assumption that California’s voters will pass an $8 billion tax increase in November, despite the fact that voters have rejected the last 8 taxes to appear on state-wide ballots, including the tobacco tax that just failed in June.  If voters are unwilling to support a relatively small tax that doesn’t affect most of them to cure cancer, are they really likely to pass a massive tax increase that will affect everyone and be spent by our dysfunctional state government?
  • The relatively successful Healthy Families Program that covers medical and dental care for poor children was scrapped, putting them into the state’s Medi-Cal program instead.  Healthy Families is administered by a private group for $50 per client, Medi-Cal is run by state employees for $395 per client.
  • Roughly $16 million was budgeted for administration and collection of the problematic and likely illegal fire tax.  It is likely that no net revenues will ever be recovered from this tax before it is struck down, and we will pay $16 million  for nothing.
  • It is expected that next week the Legislature will approve the $2.7 billion in bond sales that the governor wants for initial construction of the High Speed Rail Program, which will cost the state general fund roughly $180 million annually for 30 years-enough to keep all the State Parks open, fully fund the UCR Medical School, and restore funding to the cities in Riverside County who were victimized in last year’s budget-and still leave tens of millions of dollars to restore other cuts in critical programs or schools.
  • The Governor has targeted massive and unnecessary cuts at education if his tax increase fails as expected  in November.  I supported a budget alternative that would have protected schools and higher education from budget cuts, but it never even received a hearing.  Holding a figurative gun to the head of schools to force voters to pass his tax increase is a cynical move that exposes his true priorities.
  • Pension reform has been cast aside again.  Rather than including the billions in potential savings from legitimate reform in the state budget, votes on the Governor’s plan (a good one, actually) have been rejected, and all discussion of reform has taken place in private.  Rumor has it there may be a vote on some sort of reform next week, but once again, nobody but the legislative leadership and the government union leaders who elected them know what will be in it.
  • Local governments were once again victimized in multiple ways that attack their authority, their flexibility, their budgets, and the safety of their residents.

I am asked regularly what can be done to fix the problems in Sacramento, and there are no easy answers.  With the passage of Proposition 25 two years ago, only a simple majority is required to pass a budget, so the party in charge in Sacramento has free reign and can now make decisions based on whatever priorities they want.  The only way to change what is happening in the Capitol is to change the folks who are running the State Capitol.

Another option is through the initiative system, which allows citizens to go around those who control state government.  There is an initiative which just qualified for the November ballot that does put some restraints on how your government operates, including a requirement that bills be in print and publicly available for 72 hours prior to a vote.  I haven’t had a chance to review all the reforms contained in this measure, and this should not be considered an endorsement of the “Government Performance and Accountability Act”, but it is increasingly clear that the legislature is not willing to reform itself, and change will likely have to be forced upon them.

Because I am leaving the Assembly at the end of the year, this was my last budget fight in Sacramento, and I can guarantee I will not miss it one bit!

Sincerely,

Kevin


DRE releases interpretation on appointment of office manager


Effective July 1, 2012, pursuant to Business and Professions Code (B&P) Section 10164, an employing real estate broker or corporate designated broker officer may (but is not required to) appoint a licensee as a manager of a branch office or division of the employing broker’s or employing corporate designated broker officer’s real estate business and delegate to that manager responsibility to oversee and supervise operations and licensed activities. The appointed manager will share with the employing broker or corporate designated broker officer the liability of potential license discipline should violations of the Real Estate Law occur at the branch or division location.

While the appointment of a branch or division manager is completely voluntary under B&P §10164, a broker or designated broker choosing to appoint a branch or division manager must follow the guidelines set forth by B&P §10164. A licensee cannot be appointed as a manager if the licensee holds a restricted license or has ever been subject to a bar order. If the branch or division manager is a salesperson, the salesperson must have at least two years of full-time real estate experience within five years preceding the appointment. Whenever an appointment of a branch or division manager is terminated or changed, brokers or corporate designated broker officers should immediately notify the DRE in writing.

DRE’s Licensing Unit has developed a new form titled, “Branch or Division Manager Appointment” (RE 242), which will be used by a broker or corporate designated broker officer to appoint or terminate branch or division managers. This new form will be available no later than July 1, 2012. Licensees wishing to add or cancel branch offices should continue to use the Branch Office Application (RE 203).

 


CAR OPPOSES AG's Homeowner Bill of Rights.

California Homeowners Bill of Rights:

A Lesson in Political Expediency & Unintended Consequences.

California Attorney General Kamala Harris announced in a much heralded press release today that her ‘California Homeowners Bill of Rights’ has ‘taken a key step toward passage’. Here’s the key step – she bypassed every preliminary opportunity for the bill to be discussed, debated or voted on in either the Assembly or the Senate. What she did, or had her minions in the Legislature do for her, was have the bill introduced to a ‘two-house conference committee’ that voted this morning to pass the bill. That means tomorrow or, more probably Monday, the full Senate and Assembly will vote on the bills – SB 900 & AB 278 with no discussion.

You’ve heard me discuss the measures previously as the Nevada Suite of bills, so named for the deleterious results Nevada experienced after passing similar legislation last year. Did I mention the ‘special committee’ was made up of 4 Democrats and 2 Republicans? Now guess what the vote was? That’s called a ‘procedural matter’ in Sacramento. Roughly translated it means ‘bend over’.

Here’s C.A.R.’s take on the issue:

C.A.R. is OPPOSING conference report, AB 278, containing anti-foreclosure legislation sponsored by the state Attorney General. C.A.R. opposes provisions in this measure which will allow anyone to stop the foreclosure process by filing a lawsuit, merited or not, C.A.R. agrees that careful and balanced reforms to the foreclosure process are necessary. However, C.A.R. opposes this conference report because it will further delay the housing recovery by inviting bad-faith lawsuits and defaults, and making it difficult for even well qualified borrowers to obtain financing. Financing is already very difficult to get. This conference report will only make a difficult situation worse.

Initially the Attorney General had sponsored a package of bills; the so-called the “Homeowners Bill of Rights.” For procedural reasons, the majority of these bills have been under consideration by a Conference Committee made up of six legislators. REALTORS® had the opportunity to educate these legislators about C.A.R.’s concerns as part of Legislative Day and since then C.A.R. lobbyists have been working directly with the conferees and legislative staff to make them aware of the unintended consequences of some of these proposals. The Conference Committee has now issued its final report and it must be passed by both Houses of the legislature. These votes may occur as early as Monday, July 2nd.

Background

The Attorney General has sponsored a package of bills to place into California law an expanded version of the national settlement between major banks and state attorneys general. The contents of some of these bills have been under consideration by a Conference Committee comprised of six members who have just approved a conference report on a party-line vote. Some provisions will have the unintended effect of drying up mortgage loans for anyone but the most well-qualified borrowers, and increasing the costs of all mortgages.

One provision allows any borrower, no matter what the circumstances, to file a lawsuit. This will encourage opportunistic lawyers to pursue frivolous lawsuits, bringing unnecessary and unjustifiable delays to an already difficult and time consuming process. The language is so vaguely written that the borrower doesn’t even have to show that they have been harmed to file suit and be awarded damages.

One-sided  attorneys fees may still be awarded only to plaintiffs based on the very broad definition of a “prevailing party” in the report. And, of course, if lenders don’t have the remedy of foreclosure to ensure they can recover their security in appropriate situations, they will be less likely to lend, credit will be less available and the housing market recovery will limp along even more slowly.

C.A.R. is OPPOSED to the conference report because:

 

  • The housing market recovery is still fragile. About half of all sales are of distressed properties. By restricting a lender’s ability to foreclose and exposing them to unnecessary liability, this report will dry up inventory, and it will further discourage lending other than to the most highly qualified borrowers. Additionally, these bills will artificially slow down the foreclosure process, keeping properties off the market that are legitimately in foreclosure. Finally, by removing the threat of foreclosure, the bill erodes the incentive for short sales as well.
  • The bill invites bad-faith defaults and lawsuits. By broadly defining under what circumstances a lawsuit can be filed, even those legitimately in foreclosure can “game” the system. Additionally, the bill creates an incentive for plaintiffs’ attorneys to file frivolous lawsuits even if no harm has been done to the borrower. The courts are already overwhelmed. This bill, by inviting frivolous lawsuits puts an additional strain on the already underfunded courts
  • Lending is already tight. Even the most well-qualified borrowers are finding it difficult to obtain financing. By stopping legitimate foreclosures, banks will be forced to further tighten lending standards at the expense of homebuyers.

 

We’re not intimating that everything contained in the bills is bad and we have been supportive of some of the issues. We also have a competing dual-tracking bill in play that we feel is more balanced and less vague. But this is a take-it-or-leave-it kind of bill – you have to eat the whole enchilada and there are no amendments allowed at this point. All the bad will be with us as law along with the few good things it might accomplish. Sound familiar?

This is also what is referred to as a ‘gut & amend’ bill. For 1 1/2 years some bills have been floating around the Legislature knowing full well they weren’t going anywhere. They were being held for just such a vehicle as this to rise from the ashes and require a last minute vote – often with only minutes of notice.

So this bill will pass UNLESS you can convince your Democratic Legislator to vote against it. Otherwise it’s a simple exercise in vote counting (53 – 27) to ascertain that our housing market will take another hit – a victim of increased frivolous lawsuits, further restrictions on foreclosures and tightened lending standards.

So now you know the proverbial ‘other side of the story’ and it’s not pretty. I encourage you to read the bill at  AB 278 and then read the AG’s release below. While the release summarizes a much glossed over purview of the bills, the devil is in the details. So go to work on your Democratic Legislators and let them know how Realtors® feel, and every homeowner and landlord who doesn’t feel like paying the price this bill will cost.

 

 

NEWS RELEASE

June 27, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(415) 703-5837

Social Networks

Print Version

California Homeowner Bill of Rights Takes Key Step to Passage

SACRAMENTO — Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today announced the passage of two central elements of the California Homeowner Bill of Rights through a special two-house conference committee. The 4 to 1 vote sends the bills to an expected vote next week in both the Assembly and Senate.

The two bills approved by the conference committee are the Foreclosure Reduction Act, which restricts the process of “dual-tracked” foreclosures and the Due Process Rights Act, which guarantees a reliable contact for struggling homeowners to discuss their loan with and which for the first time imposes civil penalties on the practice of fraudulently signing foreclosure documents without verifying their accuracy, a practice commonly known as “robo-signing.” The proposed legislation also includes meaningful enforcement for borrowers whose rights are violated.

The full Homeowner Bill of Rights includes additional provisions to reduce blight, ensure appropriate law enforcement response to mortgage fraud and crime, and protect tenants.  The bills containing these protections are also advancing through the Legislature.

“I am gratified by this vote, which represents one more step toward our goal of achieving a Homeowner Bill of Rights for California,” said Attorney General Harris. “The mortgage and foreclosure crisis in our state demands urgent efforts to help Californians keep their homes. The legislature will now have the opportunity to cast a vote on behalf of California’s struggling homeowners.”

The California Homeowner Bill of Rights was introduced February 29, 2012 at a press conference featuring Assembly Speaker John A. Perez and Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg and bill authors from the Assembly and Senate. The goal of the Homeowner Bill of Rights is to take many of the mortgage reforms extracted from banks in a national mortgage settlement and write them into California law so they could apply to all mortgage-holders in the state.

“The mortgage and foreclosure abuse in California ends here,” said Noreen Evans (D-Santa Rosa), co-chair of the Joint Conference Committee. “This committee has passed historic legislation that codifies the
protections eligible homeowners deserve, while helping to stabilize the foreclosure crisis that has thwarted California’s economic recovery. The Legislature has studied, listened and engaged Californians and
industry to find a solution that is fair and effective to mitigate this crisis. I look forward to the full support of the Legislature and Governor in implementing this package.”

“This bill is the result of a long and difficult process in which we received input from all interested parties; including homeowners and the banks and found that foreclosures benefit no one,” said Assemblymember Mike Eng (D-Alhambra). “We ended such dubious practices as having a bank foreclose while a homeowner is in the process of modifying a loan and cut through confusion by making sure that there is a ‘single point of contact’ with mortgage servicers.  With half a million California homes at risk of foreclosure, this action was urgently needed.”

The California Homeowner Bill of Rights extends Attorney General Harris’ response to the state’s foreclosure and mortgage crisis. Attorney General Harris created a Mortgage Fraud Strike Force in March, 2011 to investigate and prosecute misconduct related to mortgages and foreclosures. In February 2012 Attorney General Harris extracted a commitment from the nation’s five largest banks of an estimated $18 billion for California borrowers.

More details about the California Homeowner Bill of Rights are found on the attached fact sheet.  To learn more about how the bills impact California homeowners, review the slideshow at: www.oag.ca.gov.

# # #

You may view the full account of this posting, including possible attachments, in the News & Alerts section of our website at: http://oag.ca.gov/news/press-releases/california-homeowner-bill-rights-takes-key-step-passage

 


Do you qualify for a refi?

The White House, Washington
Hello —

President Obama’s plan to give mortgage relief to responsible homeowners boils down to one important principle. He wants to simplify the refinancing process.

And the very first step is to let people know if they would benefit from the President’s proposal — so we’ve built a tool to help answer that question.

Just enter a few basic facts about your mortgage, and this tool will help you figure out if you currently qualify for easy, low-cost refinancing — or whether, like millions of families, you need Congress to act to help you lower your interest rate.

Get started now.  

As tens of thousands of people have spoken up and written in to the White House, we’ve heard one message loud and clear: The refinancing process is anything but easy to navigate.

Even homeowners who have done everything right and made all their payments on time are getting caught up in unnecessary red tape. Sitting down and reading through some of these stories is a powerful reminder of why it’s so important that we get this done right away.

One mom in Maryland, raising two teenage boys by herself, wrote in to say that she’s working 15 hour days to make her mortgage payments and keep current on her bills. Another family from Illinois is hoping to lower their mortgage payments so they can help pay for college for their kids. One woman in Arkansas called the President’s plan a “no brainer” and talked about how much good it would do for the broader economy.

So if you are like these people and think that both you and our economy could stand to benefit from the President’s refinancing plan, give the tool a try, then take a moment to share it with your friends:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/refi

Thanks,

Brian

Brian Deese
Deputy Director
National Economic Council


B of A announces change to 2nd mortgage deficiency waiver guidelines

Changes to 2nd Lien Deficiency Waiver Guidelines

Bank of America has extended additional support to homeowners by agreeing to enhanced 2nd lien deficiency waiver guidelines.

 

Basic qualifications:

  • The short sale must be initiated on or after June 1, 2012.
  • The 2nd lien must be attached to a 1st lien mortgage owned by Bank of America.

If you determine that the homeowner qualifies for this waiver, contact your short sale specialist to establish the amount to request for the 2nd lien.

 

This waiver enhancement, based on the Department of Justice settlement, went into effect on June 1.

 

Important reminders:

  • Use Equator messaging as your primary way to communicate with your short sale specialist.
  • Contact Short Sale Customer Care at 1.866.880.1232 for status updates and answers to immediate questions.

FHFA proposes to solidify PACE program rules

For Immediate Release Contact: Corinne Russell (202) 649-3032
June 15, 2012 Stefanie Johnson (202) 649-3030
FHFA Proposes Rule for PACE Programs

Washington, DC –As required by a preliminary injunction issued by the Northern District
Court of California, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has sent to the Federal
Register for publication and public comment a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPR)
concerning certain state and local energy retrofit financing arrangements also known as
Property Assessed Clean Energy or PACE.  The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has
stayed any obligation required by the preliminary injunction for FHFA to publish a final rule.
FHFA, as conservator, has directed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac not to purchase any mortgage
where PACE financing with a priority lien was placed on the underlying property.  Such
financing moves ahead of the pre-existing first mortgage in lien priority, and thereby
subordinates Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac security interests in the property.  FHFA took this
action based on its determination that PACE financing arrangements present a safety and
soundness concern by transferring financial risks to the regulated entities and lacking in
adequate consumer protections and standards for energy retrofitting.

The NPR seeks comments on FHFA’s proposed rule as well as on potential alternatives.  The
comment period is 45 days from the June 15, 2012 date of publication.  FHFA welcomes
comments on all aspects of the NPR.
Link to Rule as Proposed in the Federal Register
###
The Federal Housing Finance Agency regulates Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the 12 Federal Home Loan Banks.
These government-sponsored enterprises provide more than $5.7 trillion in funding for the U.S. mortgage markets
and financial institutions.