Realtors Archives

After having another Straight Line Wind Blast, Mike Butler shares tips for your tenants, insurance, restoring service quickly, along with do’s and don’ts.

The same set of storms that hit Indianapolis during the Sugar land concert causing the entire stage and rigging to crash into the audience killing 5 people.

 

 

 

Carl Fischer

How To Get Tax Free Income

For The Rest Of Your Life!

and Even After You Die!

Click Here for Full Video/Article (Members Only)

What Kind of Real Estate Should You Buy?

 This is a on demand video preview

Click Here for Full Video/Article (Members Only)

When You Should Create Your Own Property Management Company

Get All of the Pro’s and Con’s Before You Pull The Trigger

This is an On Demand Video PREVIEW

Click Here for Full Video/Article (Members Only)

This article forwarded from Andrew Teutsch

Before reading this article, it sure would be awesome if Bed Bugs coverage could be included in Renter Insurance policies. A dream come true for apartment owners.

——————————

As Bedbugs Multiply, New Insurance Plans Crop Up

Bedbugs are crawling the sheets in hotels, apartment buildings and college dormitories in surging numbers, which has spawned a new enterprise for insurance companies.

The tiny, reddish bugs, ranging to about 7 millimeters, or the size of Lincoln’s head on a penny, hide in dark places like vampires during the day and suck human blood at night. Unlike those other blood-thirsty parasites, head lice, bedbugs are extremely hard to wipe out once they infest, and the cost can be very high.

Infestations of any kind — bugs, rats or cockroaches —typically are excluded from commercial property insurance policies. The cost of eradicating pests was a maintenance expense, meaning it was not covered by insurance, up until recently.

Insurers, like most of us, didn’t want to get near the bugs.

But increasing pressure from lawmakers to require coverage, along with high demand from hoteliers and property owners to protect themselves from financial loss during an infestation, has created a new market.

Last month, bedbug insurance coverage was offered for the first time by two national brokerage firms, Aon Risk Solutions of Chicago and New York-based Willis North America; and also NSM Insurance Group of Conshohocken, Pa., an insurer.

“You’ve got legislators in the state of New York Assembly who are trying to make this mandatory that insurance companies do this,” said John Lafakis, senior vice president at Willis North America and program manager for the bed bug recovery insurance. “So we figured, ‘You know what, we’re going to beat everyone to the punch.'”

The brokerage firms are leaping into an area that has exploded after years when bedbugs were rarely reported, seemingly a forgotten annoyance from another era.

“Ten years ago it was considered a minor pest issue,” said Greg Gatti, a director at Aon Risk Solutions.

Bedbugs have grabbed headlines as more and more people report the telltale red welts after staying in hotels and living in apartment buildings.

Hotels could spend an average $600 to $800 per room to eradicate bedbugs, according to experts in Connecticut. That says nothing of lost income if an infestation becomes public knowledge — on websites such as bedbugregistry.com, or in the media.

Nutmeg State Plagued

The state office that fields questions from people asking about bedbugs, the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station in New Haven, had only two inquiries in 1996. Reports started coming in more regularly in 2003 in all major cities across the state, said Gale E. Ridge, an entomologist who specializes in bedbugs at the experiment station.

Ridge is also chairman of the Connecticut Coalition Against Bed Bugs, which brings together bug researchers, pest control services and other interested parties. She recorded more than 900 reports from people who suspected they had bedbugs in the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2010, and the numbers are double or triple that for the year that ended June 2011.

The insects are now in every corner of the state. “We have a very active population here,” Ridge said.

Bedbugs aren’t known to spread disease, but they can be an annoyance because of itchy welts from their bites and the loss of sleep they cause, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Connecticut trend mirrors what is happening across the U.S. First, bedbug reports were coming out of larger urban areas. Now, they are more widespread, affecting every town in the state, Ridge said.

Occasionally, a person will mistake Eastern bat bugs (Cimex adjunctus) with bedbugs (Cimex lectularius), which are similar in the way they look and behave. Bat bugs typically signal that bats are living in the eaves or attic.

What’s the difference?

Bedbugs are small, flat parasites, retreating by day to hiding places in bed frames, floorboard cracks and other dark corners.

by MATTHEW STURDEVANT, The Hartford Courant

HUD has implemented a program that allows unemployed borrowers to remain in their homes for an extended period of time without having to make a mortgage payment.

The FHA has always taken exceptional steps to assist borrowers who have become delinquent in their loan payments. For example, borrowers who have fallen behind in payments are urged to contact a HUD approved housing counselor. There are a variety of programs available to help delinquent homeowners. The HUD housing counselor can provide specific guidance to each delinquent homeowner on the best course of action to take.

Commencing in August, the FHA will make changes to its Special Forbearance Program. Loan servicers will be required to Click Here for Full Video/Article (Members Only)

Landlording CYA Tips When Dealing With Your Tenants. A Must View Video for your office manager, resident managers, landlords, and leasing agents.

Click Here for Full Video/Article (Members Only)

You must ask these 5 questions BEFORE selecting your real estate attorney and tax advisor. This video includes your answers.   Members get to view the entire video

 

 

Click Here for Full Video/Article (Members Only)

The Federal Reserve said it is leaving its target on short-term rates in the 0-0.25% range, stating that the economy is recovering more slowly than expected and the labor market is weaker than anticipated.

As the nation’s housing market continues to teeter, the Treasury Department on Thursday penalized three of the nation’s largest banks for subpar performance in administrating a government-sponsored program to modify mortgage loans for distressed homeowners.

As part of a new assessment of mortgage servicers, Treasury officials said they would withhold incentive payments for the three banks — Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo — until the problems are resolved. At that point, those payments would be made, a Treasury spokeswoman said.

In May, the three banks received $24 million in incentives as part of the modification program.

The Treasury Department has previously withheld payments from mortgage servicers, but Thursday’s action focused on some of the biggest players in the program. Called the Home

Affordable Modification Program, or HAMP, it is voluntary for mortgage servicers. Nearly all of the nation’s largest banks have signed contracts to participate.

The Obama administration has long been criticized as being too easy on the mortgage servicers, and Thursday’s announcement did little to quiet that criticism.

Neil M. Barofsky, who resigned in March as special inspector general for the bank bailout, described the assessments and penalties as a “lost opportunity” to hold lenders more accountable.

“It further reaffirms Treasury’s long-running toothless response to the servicers’ disregard of their contract with Treasury, and by extension, the American taxpayer,” Mr. Barofsky said in an e-mail.

Timothy G. Massad, assistant Treasury secretary, defended the approach. He said the assessments of banks and other mortgage servicers “will serve to keep the pressure on servicers to more effectively assist struggling families.”

“We need servicers to step up their performance to meet the needs of those still struggling,” he said in a statement.

The mortgage servicers were evaluated on a scale of one to three stars during the first quarter on whether they had identified and searched for eligible homeowners; assessed homeowners’ eligibility correctly; and maintained effective program management, governance and reporting.

Bank of America received the lowest grade, one star, on four of seven areas that were evaluated; Wells received one star in three areas; and Chase, in one.

A fourth mortgage servicer, Ocwen Loan Service, was also assessed as needing substantial improvement, but Treasury said it would not withhold payments to Ocwen because it was negatively affected by a large acquisition of mortgages to service.

Six other mortgage servicers were graded as needing moderate improvement. There were no servicers deemed as needing only minor improvement.

Wells Fargo issued a statement saying it was “formally disputing” the Treasury’s findings.
“It paints an unfairly negative picture of our modification efforts and contradicts previous written assessments shared with us by the Treasury,” said spokeswoman Vickee J. Adams, who said the criticisms were dated and did not reflect recent improvements.

Chase said it too had made significant improvements. “The bank respectfully disagrees with the assessment,” the company said in a statement.

Dan B. Frahm, a spokesman for Bank of America, said that the bank was “committed to continually improving our processes to assist distressed homeowners” through the federal modification program and its own internal program. But he added, “We acknowledge improvements must be made in key areas, particularly those affecting the customer experience.”

The modification program was created using $50 billion that was set aside from the bank bailout to help distressed homeowners. The idea was that the Treasury Department would provide incentives to mortgage servicers and investors to modify mortgages for struggling homeowners, rather than foreclose on them.

The administration predicted that three million to four million Americans would benefit, but so far, only 699,053 permanent modifications have been started.

To date, Treasury has spent about $1.34 billion on HAMP. One problem was that the mortgage servicers, at least initially, were not prepared to handle the onslaught of modifications, and homeowners complained that paperwork had been routinely lost and trial modifications had dragged on for months.

by Andrew Martin with New York Timeshttp://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/10/business/10hamp.html?_r=1

 Page 6 of 15  « First  ... « 4  5  6  7  8 » ...  Last »