Browsing: Financial services

Market Trends, News & Commentary

In an article in the Tuesday, October 6, edition of the San Francisco Chronicle entitled “Layer of credit checks surprises home buyers,” a woman named Kimberly Hayes explains that when she and her husband decided to bid on a bank-owned property, they were shocked to discover that the only way the bank would allow them to do it is if they could do their own credit check beforehand.

“This unnecessary credit pulling can potentially lower my credit score and widens the exposure of my sensitive financial information,” the article quotes her as saying. “I’m concerned about another set of eyes looking at my private information in a time of so much identity theft.”

And, apparently, they are not the first potential buyers to find themselves in this situation. Though not all lenders have this policy when it comes to their REOs, (Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase and OneWest Bank are all quoted as saying they do not require their own credit checks of potential bidders) it appears that some of the banks who do also insist that the bidder apply for a mortgage with them.

Market Trends, News & Commentary

I realize I am not the only guy on this planet who reads the “news” as presented both in the newspapers and on the Internet. Even if I didn’t read the news, I’d get a good dose of what people are calling reality. That dose comes from the mix of clients our insurance agency serves. Lucky me…

Here are two sentences taken from two separate news stories:

“The coffers of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. have been so depleted by the epidemic of collapsing financial institutions that analysts warn it could sink into the red by the end of this year.” – AP

“Pending U.S. home sales rose more than expected in July to the highest level in more than two years as first-time buyers rushed to take advantage of a tax credit that expires this fall.” – AP

Is it me or are these two sentences sending conflicting messages. If it is me, I apologize upfront. However, I don’t think it is me.

Failure Ahead

According to published reports, so far this year, 81 banks have failed. Last year only 25 went down the toilet while in 2007, if you’re counting, only three went south. These same sources project hundreds of more banks are expected to fall. The primary reason given is due to souring loans for commercial real estate.

Business Management

Small Businesses 3I took a test once where I had to score 100% to pass.  This was to become a licensed EMT, and there was a good reason for the 100% standard.  Since I was being measured on my knowledge of lifesaving emergency medical care, they wanted to be sure I knew every subject on the syllabus perfectly.

There’s also a 100% test for entrepreneurship, and it has three subjects.  If you pass, you have a chance of success.  If you don’t, you don’t.  The subjects aren’t hard, but you need to have perfect scores.  The scores have to be perfect because the real test is much harder than this one.

Now, don’t panic!  You can still be successful without passing all three subjects.  However, you should never try to become your own boss in a for-a for-profit enterprise.  Find another course in life.

The Entrepreneurship Test

Investor Financing & Creative REI

There seems to be a lot of curiosity, myth, and maybe even ignorance when it comes to private lenders. So, hoping to shed some light on the subject, I had a candid conversation with a private lender with whom I’ve worked with, and respect. She did not want to have all of her information listed because she doesn’t want to get bombarded with phone calls. So, I will just refer to her as Patty. Patty does want to hear from good investors, however, and I’ll tell you how to get in touch with her later.

Patty has been lending for about 10 years. She is unique in the industry because she is a trained lawyer with extensive construction experience. The money she lends is mostly her own, but she does use some money from friends and family, on occasion. When you borrow money from her she drafts all of the loan documents and the deed of trust herself; there is no third party lawyer involved, except for the title company’s lawyer. She is literally a one stop shop for a private loan.

Market Trends, News & Commentary

This post may sound like heresy to the died-in-the-wool debit card user. However, if you put the same overview on debit cards you do to other investments, you may agree with me. After all, it is YOUR money at risk.

I fully realize debit cards have overtaken credit cards as the plastic du-jour for Americans. The ratio is something like 2 to 1 meaning for every credit card used, two debit cards are used. Don’t hold me to this as a concrete figure as the numbers are a little over a year old. But, they are very close to accurate.

I also fully realize how easy it is to use a debit card. I watch my wife at the grocery store check out counter. Fast, easy and convenient to say the least. I don’t own one so all I get to do is watch. Oh, she also uses her card at two restaurants when we go out to dine. (More on why this is a bad idea later.)

Investor Financing & Creative REI

Buyer beware: The alleged crooks are back! And, they are after YOUR money; and getting it.

An eye opening account in the New York Times is a must read for anyone who is seeking a mortgage modification.

The article talks about how many of the very same people who seeded the current financial crisis with subprime mortgages are now going into the mortgage modification racket.

That’s right—the same people who often knowingly brokered subprimes to people they knew–or should have known–could never afford them, are now offering, for an upfront fee, of course, to get those subprime mortgages altered to be more affordable.