Realtors Archives

STARTING April 1, under a new compensation rule from the Federal Reserve, borrowers who get their mortgages through brokers will most likely pay less for their services and must be offered the lowest possible interest rate and fees for which they qualify.
The new rule also affects those dealing with small banks and credit unions, which typically do not fund loans from their own resources. But most banks and other direct lenders, including the few mortgage companies that function like banks, are exempt.
The new rule is known as the Loan Originator Compensation amendment to Regulation Z, part of a strengthened Truth in Lending Act passed by Congress in 2008.
Designed to prevent consumers from being steered into high-cost, risky loans, it covers how a loan originator — or any person or company that arranges, obtains and/or negotiates a mortgage for a client — is paid.
Under the new rule, a lender can no longer pay a loan originator a lucrative rebate known as a yield-spread premium, which is tied to the rate or terms of the mortgage. Banks and other lenders can continue to pay commissions to brokers, but these payments must now be based solely on the loan amount.
In the past, the higher the interest rate and points, the more money a broker stood to earn.

Brokerage firms typically earn a yield-spread premium of 1.5 to 2.5 percent of the loan amount, with higher-rate loans paying closer to 2.5 percent. The brokerage and its broker, or loan officer, typically split the rebate.
On a $400,000 loan at 5.25 percent, that might total $8,000, based on two points paid, with a point being 1 percent of the loan amount.
In the new system, the brokerage can earn a fixed commission from the lender, but the amount is not tied to the loan terms.
Also, the brokerage cannot pass on a part of the commission to the broker, who must now be paid an hourly wage or salary.
The exception is for loans where the lender pays the borrower’s points to the brokerage, typically for higher-rate loans. (The commission range is expected to be 1.5 to 2.5 points.)
It is also forbidden for a loan originator to collect payments from both the consumer and the lender in a single transaction.
If a broker is paid a commission by a lender (based on the loan amount), he or she cannot also charge the consumer points, or fees for application or processing.
The consumer will still, however, need to pay the broker for third-party services like appraisals.
An exception to the new rule involves lenders who finance mortgages in their own names from their own resources, a practice known as warehouse-lending, and then sell the loans to investors like Fannie Mae. The exception also applies to other companies that fund mortgages from their own resources.
Some mortgage companies originate and close mortgages in their own names through funds from third parties, typically other banks — a practice known in the industry as table funding. The new rule applies to them as well.
Thomas Martin, the president of America’s Watchdog, called the rebates “a rip-off” and said the Fed rule was “very welcome.”
Brokers who match consumers with lenders argue the rule undercuts the value they offer consumers. “It unfairly makes these brokers less competitive” against the big banks, said Mark Yecies, an owner of SunQuest Funding, a mortgage broker and lender in Cranford, N.J. “I will now get paid the same amount to process a plain-vanilla loan as I will a complex loan of equal size that requires more work.”
He added that “bigger banks will capture a bigger percentage of the origination market, and they will raise rates.”
Mike Anderson, a director at the National Association of Mortgage Brokers, said that the rule would “likely put a lot of independent brokers out of business.”

But the Mortgage Bankers Association says brokers would still be competitive with banks because many consumers like to work with brokers, and banks cannot handle all of the business.
by Lynnley Browning
For more: http://nyti.ms/gS6OHz

New Fed Rule for Mortgage Brokers
STARTING April 1, under a new compensation rule from the Federal Reserve, borrowers who get their mortgages through brokers will most likely pay less for their services and must be offered the lowest possible interest rate and fees for which they qualify.
The new rule also affects those dealing with small banks and credit unions, which typically do not fund loans from their own resources. But most banks and other direct lenders, including the few mortgage companies that function like banks, are exempt.
The new rule is known as the Loan Originator Compensation amendment to Regulation Z, part of a strengthened Truth in Lending Act passed by Congress in 2008. Designed to prevent consumers from being steered into high-cost, risky loans, it covers how a loan originator — or any person or company that arranges, obtains and/or negotiates a mortgage for a client — is paid.
Under the new rule, a lender can no longer pay a loan originator a lucrative rebate known as a yield-spread premium, which is tied to the rate or terms of the mortgage. Banks and other lenders can continue to pay commissions to brokers, but these payments must now be based solely on the loan amount.
In the past, the higher the interest rate and points, the more money a broker stood to earn.
Brokerage firms typically earn a yield-spread premium of 1.5 to 2.5 percent of the loan amount, with higher-rate loans paying closer to 2.5 percent. The brokerage and its broker, or loan officer, typically split the rebate. On a $400,000 loan at 5.25 percent, that might total $8,000, based on two points paid, with a point being 1 percent of the loan amount.
In the new system, the brokerage can earn a fixed commission from the lender, but the amount is not tied to the loan terms. Also, the brokerage cannot pass on a part of the commission to the broker, who must now be paid an hourly wage or salary. The exception is for loans where the lender pays the borrower’s points to the brokerage, typically for higher-rate loans. (The commission range is expected to be 1.5 to 2.5 points.)
It is also forbidden for a loan originator to collect payments from both the consumer and the lender in a single transaction. If a broker is paid a commission by a lender (based on the loan amount), he or she cannot also charge the consumer points, or fees for application or processing. The consumer will still, however, need to pay the broker for third-party services like appraisals.
An exception to the new rule involves lenders who finance mortgages in their own names from their own resources, a practice known as warehouse-lending, and then sell the loans to investors like Fannie Mae. The exception also applies to other companies that fund mortgages from their own resources.
Some mortgage companies originate and close mortgages in their own names through funds from third parties, typically other banks — a practice known in the industry as table funding. The new rule applies to them as well.
Thomas Martin, the president of America’s Watchdog, called the rebates “a rip-off” and said the Fed rule was “very welcome.”
Brokers who match consumers with lenders argue the rule undercuts the value they offer consumers. “It unfairly makes these brokers less competitive” against the big banks, said Mark Yecies, an owner of SunQuest Funding, a mortgage broker and lender in Cranford, N.J. “I will now get paid the same amount to process a plain-vanilla loan as I will a complex loan of equal size that requires more work.”
He added that “bigger banks will capture a bigger percentage of the origination market, and they will raise rates.”
Mike Anderson, a director at the National Association of Mortgage Brokers, said that the rule would “likely put a lot of independent brokers out of business.”
But the Mortgage Bankers Association says brokers would still be competitive with banks because many consumers like to work with brokers, and banks cannot handle all of the business.

by Lynnley BrowningFor more: http://nyti.ms/gS6OHz

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Now You can take debit cards and credit cards using this new free gadget for your cell phone. It’s called “SquareUp.” There’s no hidden gimmick or charges to get the gadget and use it on your phone; however, they do charge 2.75% of your transaction (just like a merchant account) and 15 cents for the transaction when you physically swipe the card on your gadget. If you manually punch in the info (taking the info over the phone) and the card is not physically swiped in your gadget, they will charge you 3.5% + 15cents. Still a great and awesome tool for free!

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Wells Fargo, one of the nation’s biggest banks and the largest consumer lender, said Wednesday that its fourth-quarter earnings rose 21 percent, helped by an improving loan portfolio and withdrawals from its capital reserves.

The bank, which is based in San Francisco, earned $3.4 billion, or 61 cents a share, in the fourth quarter, up from $2.8 billion, or 8 cents a share, in the year-earlier period, matching analysts’ forecasts. For the year, Wells Fargo reported net income of $12.36 billion in 2010, compared with $12.28 billion in 2009.
The bank’s full-year revenue fell to $85 billion, however, from $88.7 billion in 2009, as new federal regulations limited the overdraft fees that banks can charge on checking accounts.
Still, compared with the third quarter, the bank generated revenue growth in roughly two-thirds of its businesses.
“As the U.S. economy showed continued signs of improvement, our diversified model continued to perform for our stakeholders, as demonstrated by growth in loans and deposits, solid capital levels and improving credit quality,” John G. Stumpf, the bank’s chairman and chief executive, said in a statement.
Despite its heavy hand in the lending industry, which has been hit by losses for three years,

Wells Fargo has quietly emerged from the financial crisis as one of the nation’s strongest banks.
The report from Wells is an important step for the bank as it looks to increase its dividend, which has been stuck at 5 cents for nearly two years.
Wells Fargo Press Release
When the financial crisis struck, Wells, JPMorgan Chase and other industry giants cut dividends as they moved to bolster their capital. Now, two years later, banks are eager to give money back to shareholders — if the government will let them. The Federal Reserve must first complete a second round of bank stress tests, whose results are expected in March.
JPMorgan, which last week reported a $17 billion profit for 2010, has said it hopes to raise its dividend as much as a dollar in the coming months.
Wells Fargo has been more coy about its plans. Mr. Stumpf, in a conference call with investors, said he was eager to raise the dividend.
But Brian Foran, a senior bank analyst with Nomura Securities International, noted, “They historically have been cagey about saying anything before they know it.”
The bank’s dividend outlook has improved on the back of its lending operation.
Wells Fargo picked up new borrowers in the fourth quarter, particularly businesses, and it released $850 million from its reserves, thanks to the improving loan portfolio.
The bank’s provision for credit losses was cut nearly in half, to $2.99 billion in the fourth quarter from $5.91 billion a year earlier.
Shares of Wells Fargo fell 68 cents, or 2.1 percent, on Wednesday, closing at $31.81.
Although the bank’s mortgage shop reported a 19 percent drop in income from 2009, it originated $128 billion in home mortgages in the fourth quarter, up from $94 billion in the fourth quarter of 2009.
“You can see the momentum building as economic activity is returning,” said Marty Mosby, a managing director at Guggenheim Partners.
Yet Wells Fargo still faces problems surrounding its mortgage portfolio.
On Jan. 7, the highest state court in Massachusetts ruled that Wells Fargo and US Bancorp had wrongly foreclosed on two homes, because they could not prove they owned the mortgages.
Regulators in all 50 states have begun investigations into whether hundreds of thousands of foreclosures made in recent years were invalid.
Some banks temporarily suspended foreclosures last year during the controversy.
Wells Fargo officials say they have largely avoided the documentation problems and have decided not to halt foreclosures.
“At the end of the day, the litigation will be less of an impact on Wells Fargo than people fear,” said Lawrence Remmel, a partner at the law firm Pryor Cashman, where he leads the firm’s banking and financial institutions group.
Wells Fargo has also moved to distance itself from litigation over soured loans that banks securitized and sold to investors.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-controlled mortgage finance companies, are demanding that Wells Fargo and other big banks buy back loans sold at the height of the mortgage bubble.
In the fourth quarter, the bank recorded a $464 million provision for future mortgage repurchases, up from $370 million in third quarter.
But the bank’s chief financial officer, Howard I. Atkins, said Wednesday that Wells Fargo did not plan to settle its dispute with Fannie and Freddie. Mr. Atkins said the bank’s mortgage securities were of higher quality than those generated by its competitors.
“This is a diminishing issue, not an increasing issue,” Mr. Atkins said in an interview.
Eric Dash contributed reporting.
By Ben Protess
For more: http://nyti.ms/eP7Rd8

How You Can Access Your Computers From Anywhere For FREE!

This is NOT New for those who attended the Great Investor Cruise or attend our POWER LUNCH Series.
My CPA, Mike Grinnan shared this troublesome news several months ago.  (another reason to stay tuned to AskMikeButler.com) The most disappointing aspect of this new tax law is the “targeting” of landlords and real estate investors.
The rest of the world has an effective date of Jan 1, 2012; however, real estate investors and rental property owners effective date is Jan 1, 2011. NOW!
Every “anything or anybody” that gets paid more than $600 by you in the calendar or tax year, you must now send them a 1099.
But hold on, this includes utility companies, Home Depot,… Click Here for Full Video/Article (Members Only)

Landlords are beginning to act more like airlines—using supply and demand to make quick adjustments to rent prices.

Long an old-fashioned bunch known for thick bundles of leasing agreements, some landlords are now using sophisticated computerized models to monitor competition, upcoming vacancies and seasonal patterns to determine optimal rent. While it’s not quite the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it tactics of airlines, rents can change quickly, sometimes day to day.

For landlords, it is about “being able to react quicker, changing your Click Here for Full Video/Article (Members Only)

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A federal judge declared the Obama administration’s health care law unconstitutional Monday, siding with Virginia’s attorney general in a dispute that both sides agree will ultimately be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.
 
 
WASHINGTON — A U.S. judge in Virginia on Monday declared unconstitutional a key part of President Barack Obama’s landmark healthcare law in the first major setback on an issue that will likely end up at the Supreme Court.
 
 
 
U.S. District Judge Henry Hudson, appointed to the bench by President George W. Bush in 2002, backed arguments by the state of Virginia that Congress exceeded its authority by requiring that individuals buy health insurance by 2014 or face a fine.
 
"The Minimum Essential Coverage Provision is neither within the letter nor the spirit of the Constitution," Hudson wrote in a 42-page decision. However, he declined to invalidate the entire healthcare law, a small victory for Obama.
 
The Obama administration will likely appeal.
 
The U.S. Justice Department is confident it will ultimately prevail in defending a key part of President Barack Obama’s landmark healthcare law, a department spokeswoman said Monday.
 
Spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler expressed disappointment that a federal judge in Virginia declared a key part of the law unconstitutional but said the department continued to believe, as other judges in Virginia and Michigan have found, that the law is constitutional.
 
"There is clear and well-established legal precedent that Congress acted within its constitutional authority in passing this law and we are confident that we will ultimately prevail," she said in a statement.
 
 
First decision against the law 
 
Virginia’s lawyers argued that the federal government could not regulate someone for not buying a good or service under the U.S. Constitution’s Commerce Clause and could not penalize them for failing to buy health insurance.
 
Hudson said that neither the Supreme Court nor the various appeals courts had ever extended the "Commerce Clause powers to compel an individual to involuntarily enter the stream of commerce by purchasing a commodity in the private market."
 
"This dispute is not simply about regulating the business of insurance — or crafting a scheme of universal health insurance coverage — it’s about an individual’s right to choose to participate," Hudson wrote.
 
The decision is the first finding against the law that was passed in March and aimed at overhauling the $2.5 trillion U.S. healthcare system.
 
Two judges rejected other challenges to the law, including one in Virginia last month.
 
The law has become a cornerstone of Obama’s presidency, aiming to expand health insurance for millions more Americans while curbing costs, and his Justice Department lawyers have been sent around the country to defend it in federal courts.
 
Republican leaders in the U.S. Congress have said one of their top priorities next year when they control the House of Representatives is to repeal the law. But chances of that are slim because Obama’s Democrats still control the Senate.
 
The Obama administration has vigorously defended the law and said that the state of Virginia did not have the legal standing to challenge it on behalf of its citizens, particularly for something that has yet to take effect.
 
The individual coverage mandate is a major component of the overhaul law, a bid by the Obama administration to expand coverage to the tens of millions of Americans who are without insurance and to thereby help lower exploding healthcare costs.
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