CAR Releases Mortgage Mod info

Mortgage modification information now available

C.A.R. has created consumer information sheets detailing the various mortgage modification programs available through the larger lenders and government entities. C.A.R. also has created an easy-to-use reference chart about available programs.

The consumer sheets contain information such as eligibility requirements, who to contact to apply, costs associated with the program, and other vital data. The sheets also are formatted in Microsoft® Word, enabling REALTORS® to print and e-mail them to their clients.

For more information, please visit:
http://www.car.org/legal/mortgage-workout-programs/

The following information is intended for REALTORS® and homeowners seeking information on existing mortgage workout programs.  In general, the loan modification programs on the chart (see link below) and consumer information sheets (see links below) are intended for primary residences only.

For consumer information sheets containing detailed information on specific programs that REALTORS® can share with their clients, please click on the appropriate link below.

. Making Home Affordable Refinance
. Making Home Affordable Modification
. HOPE For Homeowners (H4H)
. Countrywide Financial (Bank of America)
. Citigroup, CitiMortgage
. JP Morgan Chase & Co.
. IndyMac Federal Bank, FDIC
. Federal Government Loan Modification (Participants include: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Federal Home Loan Banks, Hope Now participants, Department of the Treasury, Federal Housing Administration and the Federal Housing Finance Agency, and Wells Fargo.)


Realtors Working w/Feds on Foreclosure Fixes

Realtors® Pledge Assistance for Obama Guidelines on Foreclosure Fixes

WASHINGTON, March 04, 2009

The following is a statement by National Association of Realtors® President Charles McMillan:

“NAR’s 1.2 million members are eager to help make President Obama’s Making Home Affordable plan a reality. We are pleased that the president released the guidelines today for refinancing and mortgage loan modifications and that the guidelines will be implemented immediately to help struggling homeowners as well as millions of eligible homeowners who have stayed current in their mortgage payments.

“Housing stabilization must be the key component of any federal recovery plan. Helping families keep their homes is critical to this effort and for the health of our economy and communities across the country.

“NAR has long called for a multipronged approach to address the housing and economic crisis. Allowing eligible homeowners to refinance or modify their loans will help millions of families avoid foreclosure. This in turn will support the housing recovery by slowing the growth in inventory due to foreclosures. Lowering unsold inventory will help stabilize home prices and values. We believe that the incentives the loan modification plan offers to borrowers and loan servicers will encourage additional loan modifications, reducing the default rate.

“Moving forward, we must not only work to prevent foreclosures, but also bring financially healthy home buyers to the market to further reduce unsold inventory. Toward this end, we hope that the president and his administration will continue to look for new and creative approaches that will lower interest rates for all homeowners and buyers.”

For more detailed information on the Making Home Affordable plan, visit www.financialstability.gov.


Small Business Call-to-Action.

You may be aware that the Southwest Riverside County Association of Realtors has been a supporting Partner of the Southwest California Legislative Council since its inception. The SCLC, a coalition of Southwest California Chambers of Commerce, Legislative Representatives and business representatives – advocate on behalf of Southwest County Businesses. Each of you, as working Realtors, is the owner of your own business. The SCLC has proven to be an effective lobbyist for local concerns and we have a great dialogue with our local Legislators.

Today the SCLC posted recommendations on the Proposition votes upcoming in May. I’ll cover that in other posts.

They also issued this Action Alert to let your Legislators know how you feel on the Employee Free Choice Act. This is Federal Legislation that has a decidedly un-business friendly twist. While the bill’s impact on Realtors would probably not be significant, I encourage you to consider the impact from a small business standpoint.

Click on the bills for more info and a chance to make your voice heard. You’ll be done in about 12 seconds. Thanks

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Each year, the we take positions on issues that impact Southwest California businesses. We also provide you with the tools to play a role in our efforts! Click on a issue below for a brief summary and then submit your letter of support or opposition.

Federal Proposals

Action Needed: Protect Secret Ballot Elections for Southwest California Workers

Two Federal proposals, H.R. 1409 and S. 560, would undermine long standing principles of workplace democracy and fairness and result in employees having less ability to determine if they wish to be represented by a union. It does so by allowing unions to collect employee signatures in public-or so-called “card check” and do away with the secret ballot process.

H.R. 1409 – Employee Free Choice Act

S. 560 – Employee Free Choice Act

We Mean Business

Each year, we hold our State Legislators accountable to issues that impact Southwest California businesses. Find out our Legislators rank on those issues.

Click for the 2008 Vote Record

A Coalition of the Temecula Valley Chamber of Commerce,

Murrieta Chamber of Commerce and the Lake Elsinore Valley Chamber of Commerce

sclc


At the Table or On the Manu.

You’ve heard me rant about this often enough – if we’re not at the table we’ll probably be on the menu. Well here’s a recent column from John Coupal, President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayer Association. His columns is entitled “waking a Sleeping Giant’ and is in reference to the recent manhandling of California Taxpayers at the hands of our elected leaders. John points out the very sentiment I frequently refer to. There was only one party absent from the table in Sacramento – and guess which party got screwed?

To enjoy the entire article, please follow the link at the bottom of the page.

In February, a political “deal” was reached regarding the state budget. Among the interests involved in the negotiations were the usual suspects: the Governor (no longer even pretending to advance limited government, free market policies), powerful labor interests and their democrat puppets in the Legislature and a handful of Republicans who, pressured by business interests, finally acquiesced to a deal that – more or less – left businesses alone while shafting working Californians.

Looks like everyone was at the table in these negotiations except taxpayers. After all, as recently pointed out by noted economist Ben Zycher commenting on the phony spending cap, the special interests are able to focus their political resources while the diffuse interests of taxpayers are far more difficult to marshal – even though, in the abstract, taxpayers are a powerful force.

http://www.hjta.org/california-commentary/waking-sleeping-giant

The opinions in this commentary are strictly Gene Wunderlich’s personal opinions. While any reasonable and/or rational indivdual should agree wholeheartedly,
the opinons reflected herein may not necessarily be those of the Southwest Riverside County AOR, or any local or state government or other mental institution.


CCRyder Rib Rub or ludes & Ritalin?

It’s a tough call, this issue of pork. I’ve noticed it the past couple days and thought I was seeing things – but a writer commented on it somewhere today so I’ve got company in my little world at least.

We’ve all gone schizophrenic.  That’s part of the problem I think.

Even the Prez commented on it – and he added a reference to manic behavior to the mix.

This issue of pork? If you’re reading the articles above the fold of your daily paper (assuming you remember what that was), those articles are decrying earmarks. Oooohhh they’re so bad. It’s pork, it’s waste, it’s frivolous, it’s pet projects and political payback. We’re all righteous and indignant amidst calls for retribution.

But if you’re reading the articles below the fold – or top of fold local section, it’s a different story isn’t it? These articles are celebrating because they won’t have to lay off as many teachers, or a much needed bridge is being built, the under-construction high school gets finished – things like that. Locally we’re grateful for the pork -eh? Just a little?

And what’s the sin in that? Isn’t that something we expect of our elected leaders? They’re fighting the good fight on our behalf and making sure the interest of their constituents is being protected? Given the current economic dysfunction that is California, if the Feds are handing out pulled pork sammiches, just handing ’em out where everybody’s just helping themselves, would you prefer our legislators stand in the back of the room and yell loudly about the food going to waste? Or would you prefer they be right up at the front of the line with a bottle of CCRyder’s Smokin’ Rib Rub making sure they had enough to feed the family back home.

I had you with the CCRyder Rib Rib, didn’t I?

Well, that’s the problem. If the same behavior results in praise from one parent and discipline from the other, or if you’re getting praised and yelled at at the same time – a kid might get a little eerie on ya. Could be a little schizophrenic and might even be a little paranoid, probably with good cause.

And Obama wades in? Well, didn’t he just comment that when we’re up we’re really up but when we’re down we’re desolate? Maybe he didn’t use those exact words but you get his meaning? He says we need to be more moderate and not so up-and-down, up-and-down.  No, I’m not predicting Ritalin & Ludes for everyone courtesy of Homeland Security – I’m just sayin’. We’ve got issues, people.

Of course that’s just my $.02. I could be wrong.

The opinions in this commentary are strictly Gene Wunderlich’s personal opinions. While any reasonable and/or rational indivdual should agree wholeheartedly,
the opinons reflected herein may not necessarily be those of the Southwest Riverside County AOR, or any local or state government or other mental institution.


New $8 Billion CA Deficit Announced

Hmmmm, didn’t the Republicans tell us this was going to happen 2 – 3 weeks ago? I know I’ve told you about it a couple times as passed along to me by Sen.’s Hollingsworth and Benoit as well as Rep. Jeffries. The new budget simply doesn’t work. I paraphrase Sen. Hollingsworth when he was elevated to Senate Minority Leader during the last budget farrago. “You can’t balance California’s budget on the taxpayers wallets,” a cry that, unfortunately, fell on deaf ears.

“Regarding the budget – the recently concluded budget negotiations. which had gone on since last May and threatened to grind this state to a standstill, were still unsuccessful. What has been presented as a solution for the next 18 month cycle, will actually have to be revisited even before this current cycle ends in June. Why? Well it probably comes as a surprise to no one except the Democrats that revenues are not meeting their expectations. You may recall the recent budget was balanced in a mixture of tax increases (12.5 Billion), spending cuts (15.8 Billion) and borrowing from future revenues and federal government bail-outs (7.9 Billion).”

That’s from a February 27 post after breakfast with Sen. Hollingsworth.

Now listen to Legislative Budget Analyst Mac Taylor in the current release from the Sacramento Bee‘s Dan Walters:

Budget analyst sees new $8 billion deficit

The Legislature’s budget analyst, Mac Taylor, declared today that the immense package of spending cuts, new taxes and loans aimed at closing the state’s $40 billion budget deficit will fall short by $8 billion because the state’s economy is continuing to falter.

“Unfortunately, the state’s economic and revenue outlook continues to deteriorate,” the Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) said in a review of the package, which covered the remainder of this fiscal year and all of the next.

The LAO report will renew the Capitol’s partisan and ideological squabbling over spending cuts and new taxes and fuel calls on the left for even more tax increases and those on the right for deeper spending cuts. The full LAO report may be found here.

The report goes on to note the not only are we likely to tap another barrel of red ink before year end  (3 months) but that we can expect more of the same into next year, and the year after, the year after and the year after. 2014 is as far out as he goes.

And why is this happening? And with the budget only recently passed? Well according to the LAO it’s because “revenues will fall short of assumptions in the budget package by $8 billion.”

Or, as Sen. Hollingsworth put it “this revenue deficit is not IN SPITE of the tax increases but BECAUSE of the tax increases.” Put simply, it you take an extra $1,100 to $2,000 a year out of the average taxpayers pocket for the government to spend, that is money that person doesn’t have to spend. They will not be buying a new car or a new house, they will forego dinners out and new furniture and home improvements, they will not take a vacation or otherwise spend that money BECAUSE THEY DON’T HAVE IT! Only government can spend money it doesn’t have – not people.”

And if they’re not spending it on cars and boats and movies and dinners out, well, the providers of those services are making less also. But again unlike the government who keeps hiring people when the money runs out, normal businesses have to lay people off or, if it gets bad enough, they shut down or move their business to another state that’s a little smarter and cheaper. But all of those eventualities result in less revenue to the state from individuals and businesses so the legislature will want to raise taxes even more to off-set those reductions. It’s a Democratic death spiral friends, and we ain’t done yet.

Budget analyst Taylor summed up the situation thusly, “…to close the newly discovered $8 billion gap, the state should maximize its use of federal “stimulus” funds.

So a big shout out to all you responsible states out there – THANK YOU FROM CALIFORNIA. But can you get us a bit of an advance? We’re binding up a little in the shorts again this month – our diet for pork has not yet been sated.

Keep voting for hope and change folks, it’s all we’ve got left. Of course that’s just my opinion – I could be wrong.

The opinions in this commentary are strictly Gene Wunderlich’s personal opinions. While any reasonable and/or rational indivdual should agree wholeheartedly,
the opinons reflected herein may not necessarily be those of the Southwest Riverside County AOR, or any local or state government or other mental institution.


Current eKEY Basic for BlackBerry Users:

Exciting news from GE Security! We are pleased to announce that we have released eKEY Professional on BlackBerry and along with that, we have made some enhancements to eKEY Basic. To take full advantage of these changes, you will need to update your eKEY software. We encourage you to take the steps outlined below as soon as possible.

The major change we have made to eKEY is that when you open a key box, you will no longer see the box that says “Updating eKEY”. This operation now occurs in the background and will no longer appear in the forefront. We have also made some changes to the way eKEY looks when it is installed on the BlackBerry Storm.

To update the eKEY version on your BlackBerry, please do the following:

1. Launch the eKEY application

2. Click the Menu button, and choose About

3. Click the Menu button again, and choose Check for Updates. This will launch your phone’s browser and open up the ekeymobile.com website.

4. Within the browser, click on Download Supra eKEY

5. An additional screen will come up and ask you to download version 4.5.05. Click on Download.

6. It will ask you to replace your version, with version 4.5.05. Click on Yes

7. After the application is downloaded, a message will appear, stating “Device must be rebooted to complete install”. Click on Reboot. This will turn off your device, and then start it back up again. This process will take several minutes.

8. Once your device has completely rebooted, eKEY is now ready for use.

It is our hope that as many users as possible will take this action as soon as possible. Any keys that have not been updated by Thursday March 19th, will be set to have their software automatically updated remotely.

If you have any problems with this update process, please contact customer support at 1-877-699-6787 (5am to 7pm PT, seven days a week) or send an email to suprasupport@ge.com.

Kind Regards

GE Security


eKEY for BlackBerry Professional-

Dear GE Security Customer:

Exciting news from GE Security! We are pleased to announce that we have released eKEY Professional on BlackBerry. It has some great new features that you will find very useful such as MLS data, roster information, real time showing notifications, mapping to listings, and more.

The eKEY solution will work on the following BlackBerry devices: Pearl, Curve, Pearl Flip, Bold, 8800 and 8900 series, and the Storm.

eKEY for BlackBerry will require the use of a small piece of hardware called the eKEY Fob. The fob will translate the Bluetooth in the BlackBerry to Infrared in the iBox. This piece is required because BlackBerry devices do not have an IR Port.

If you have are interested in purchasing a new phone to work as an eKEY, we have created the eKEY Device Portal, which provides a complete selection of all available devices that work as an eKEY. It is located at the following address: www.ekey.letstalk.com

Michelle Medley
Supra Administrator


A.G. Brown Issues New Fraud Alert

Once again California Attorney General Jerry Brown rides to the rescue of homeowners by issuing a timely warning. This is what we need MORE of – but we’ll be lucky if this info makes the papers at all.

This is a pretty sophisticated scam involving forged letterhead and people who apparently know the lingo, even got a business license from the City of LA. I swear if these people put the same degree of diligence toward a legitimate career, they would probably prosper as well. This is no fast street scuffle but was set-up to extract repeated payments from the victims.

Anyway, fore-warned is fore-armed, or some such. I’ve added a little color to highlight key points.

By the way, this is a copyrighted Press Release from the AG. They are only too happy to have the message go into wider distribution – it leads to (hopefully) fewer prosecutions in the future and fewer victims if we can get the word out ahead of the curve.

ag

Brown Warns Homeowners that Scam Artists are Using Forged Letterhead of Lenders to Con Californians

LOS ANGELES- California Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. today warned that scam artists have “sunk to a new low” and have used the forged letterhead of major lenders to con worried Californians into paying thousands of dollars for non-existent loan modification services.

“Scam artists have sunk to a new low and are using the forged letterhead of lenders to con worried Californians into handing over their hard-earned money,” Attorney General Brown said. “Californians should be deeply skeptical of anyone who demands money up front and makes extravagant promises that they can save their home.”

Attorney General Brown also advised consumers about seven steps they can take to protect themselves from loan modification fraud. (See below).

Today’s warning comes on the heels of the arrest Wednesday of Anna Santos, 22, of North Hills – a key player in a loan modification scam using forged letterhead – on charges of money-laundering, conspiracy, and four-counts of grand theft.

Ms. Santos joined with members of the defunct First Gov loan modification ring in a separate criminal enterprise with a disturbing twist. They used forged mail and envelopes that appeared to be from victims’ lenders.

Ms. Santos obtained a fictitious business permit through the City of Los Angeles for “Payment Processing Department.” She opened several bank accounts and two post office boxes under that name. She and other members of the ring mailed flyers that appeared to be from victims’ lenders or a government entity. The flyer used a large, bold header that read “Final Notice” and advised homeowners that they qualified for a special program to save their home from foreclosure.

After providing their mortgage information, homeowners received what appeared to be “confirmation” that the lender had been notified about the loan modification. Many victims also received loan modification documents that appeared to be from the victim’s lender. The documents were of course forgeries.

The victims were informed they had been placed in a “probationary” program and their mortgage payments should be submitted to “Payment Processing Department” and sent to a given post office box address. None of the payments were credited to the victims’ home loans.

Payments sent to the post office box were retrieved by Ms. Santos and deposited into the bank accounts she had opened. The money was then transferred to bank accounts held by other members of the ring.

Many victims paid over $6,000 to this loan modification scam.

Here’s what homeowners can do to avoid becoming a victim:

DON’T pay money to people who promise to work with your lender to modify your loan. It is unlawful for foreclosure consultants to collect money before (1) they give you a written contract describing the services they promise to provide and (2) they actually perform all the services described in the contract, such as negotiating new monthly payments or a new mortgage loan. However, an advance fee may be charged by an attorney, or by a real estate broker who has submitted the advance fee agreement to the Department of Real Estate, new window, for review.

DO call your lender yourself. Your lender wants to hear from you, and will likely be much more willing to work directly with you than with a foreclosure consultant.

DON’T transfer titled or sell your house to the foreclosure rescuer. Fraudulent foreclosure consultants often promise that if the homeowners transfer title, they may stay in the home as renters and buy their home back later. The foreclosure consultants claim that transfer is necessary so that someone with a better credit rating can obtain a new loan to prevent foreclosure. BEWARE! This is a common scheme so-called “rescuers” use to evict homeowners and steal all or most of the home’s equity.

DON’T pay money upfront to people who promise to work with your lender to modify your loan. It is unlawful for foreclosure consultants to collect before 1) they give you a written contract describing the services they promise to proved and 2) they actually perform all the services described in the contract, such as negotiating new monthly payments or a new mortgage loan.

DON’T pay your mortgage payments to someone other than your lender or loan servicer, even if he or she promises to pass the payment on. Fradulent foreclosure consultants often keep the money for themselves.

DON’T sign any documents without reading them first. Many homeowners think that they are signing documents for a new loan to pay off the mortgage they are behind on. Later, they discover that they actually transferred ownership to the “rescuer.”

DON’T ignore letters from your lender. Consider contacting your lender yourself, many lenders are willing to work with homeowners who are behind on their payments.

DO contact housing counselor approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), who may be able to help you for free. For a referral to a housing counselor near you, contact HUD at 1-800-569-4287 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or www.hud.gov.

IF YOU TRANSFERRED YOUR PROPERTY OR PAID SOMEONE TO “RESCUE” YOU FROM FORECLOSURE,
YOU MAY BE A VICTIM OF A CRIME.


Please file a complaint with the Attorney General’s Office at the following address: Office of the Attorney General – Public Inquiry Unit, P.O. Box 944255, Sacramento, CA. 94244, or online at www.ag.ca.gov/consumers.


  • © 2009 DOJ

fraudRealtors – we’re part of the Solution not part of the problem. Make it so.
Join the Real Estate Fraud Group today.


Showing Value Email Enhancement

Dear Valued Customer,

Great news for your members!  We’ve been making enhancements to ShowingValue, the email and feedback notification included with your service.   Your keyholders will start seeing the name of the person showing their listing, and the address if the box is assigned to an address.   All of this without having to log into www.supraekey.com.  If your members are currently getting ShowingValue email notifications, they don’t need to anything.  They will get the new email format automatically.

If you have members that are not using the ShowingValue email notification feature, here are the simple steps to enable this feature:

  1. Log into KIMweb at www.supraekey.com using your key serial number and PIN.
  2. Click on “ShowingValue” on the left side of the page, under Activity Reports.
  3. Click on the “Change Email Settings” link.
  4. Chose the “After showing agent eSYNC” or “After keybox opening” option.  This will be the first option in the list, and the wording will vary by which kind of key you have.  It is important to check this first option as this is the only option that will receive the enhanced emails.
  5. Click “Save Now” at bottom right of page.
  6. You are now set up to get enhanced emails.

We hope your members will enjoy the time savings of the enhancements.  Stay tuned as we continue to improve other aspects of the service.

Sincerely,

GE Security