Friday, December 30, 2011
Monday, September 26, 2011
Saturday, September 24, 2011
If this passes, the banks will be able to foreclose in less than 1/2 the time, short sales will be a thing of the past, Families will be displaced, the inventory of REOs will be great, shall I go on? Read On . . . .
Opponents say it puts property owners at the mercy of banks. Gov. Rick Scott, House Speaker Dean Cannon and Senate President Mike Haridopolos all say they are interested in considering legislation to change Florida laws so judges won’t have to referee foreclosures. And the House Civil Justice Subcommittee on Tuesday heard a presentation on foreclosures detailing states that include courts in the process versus those that don’t. Bottom line: Foreclosures take longer and are more expensive in states that involve courts, said state economist Amy Baker. “I don’t want to leave you with the impression that the data suggests the judicial process is a terrible process,” Baker told lawmakers. “It’s actually ultimately a policy decision on where you want the burden to be, where you want the rights protection to be.”
Florida has the nation’s second highest foreclosure rate, and is one of 20 states that require all foreclosures to go through the court system. Court action isn’t needed in Michigan, Arizona, California and Nevada – other states with high foreclosure rates. On average, foreclosure proceedings in those states take from 392 days in Arizona to 511 in California, according to Jacksonville-based Lender Processing Services. In Florida it takes 638 days. That’s too long, Scott said in a recent interview with the Times/Herald.
“It’s not good for anybody in the process,” he said. “It costs money. Either the homeowners lose money or the lenders lose money, and the longer it takes, it slows down what actually happens in the real market.” Scott said he is eager to learn more about how making the switch might impact Florida’s housing market. “If we do go down that path does it really change anything?” he said. “ And we’ve got to make sure that citizens are treated fairly. We can’t create an environment where the homeowners aren’t treated fairly.”
In 2010, the Florida Bankers Association pushed unsuccessfully to change the state’s law so judges didn’t need to sign off on foreclosures, a process called nonjudicial foreclosure.
Much of the state’s housing crisis is caused by a glut of homes awaiting foreclosure, said Anthony DiMarco, executive vice president of government relations for the association.
“If you can move more quickly, properties can get back on the market, and it will stimulate the economy,” he said. “You won’t have blight. Property taxes will get paid. Condo fees and homeowners association fees will be paid. People will buy paint and furniture.”
But state Rep. Darren Soto, D-Orlando, who fought the 2010 legislation, said he will fight it again if it returns in 2012. “I don’t think we need to be replacing people’s rights with expediency, particularly when we’re talking about property rights,” said Soto, a lawyer who represents homeowners facing foreclosure. “This is a homesteader’s right to access the courts. I can’t think of any property right more important.” Even in state where judges aren’t forced to preside over foreclosure cases, property owners can take the proceedings to court. But the filing fee alone costs almost $2,000 in Florida, Soto said. “That’s cost prohibitive for most people, and that’s not including the legal fees you’d have to incur to fight it,” he said.At the least, Soto said legislation should include an exemption for homesteaded property owners who could be fighting to save their home.
Prudential Results Realty
Sunday, July 3, 2011
The correct way to qualify the seller, do they qualify to short sale? Are they just made that their home is not worth what they paid but can still afford it? If so, NEXT!
What do you need to get from the sellers? Have an attorney construct a Hold Harmless for you, what extra addendums do you need, not only to protect your seller but to protect yourself?
How do you deal with the servicers? Is the mortgage held in house or are they just the servicer? How can you negotiate with the Investor? How do you find out who the investor is?
How do you know when your negotiator is lying to you? Simple, you can hear them talking. No joke, to them it is all business.
What do you do when the negotiator puts up a brick wall? What do you do when the negotiator has no new update for the last 3 weeks?
How do you and when should you escalate a file? When do you Faux-escalate with your negotiator?
How do you keep a buyer in the game when you’re busting your hump to get the file Approved?
How do you get your sellers a Full Waiver of Deficiency from the lender? And why do you need this?
Of course this is not everything but just some simple points that anyone doing short sales will tell you that you need to know. However usually after completing about 10-20 short sales will know most of this.
Saturday, March 26, 2011
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Saturday, March 19, 2011
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Match that paint colorIf you see a color at a friend’s house that would look great in your home, use Benjamin Moore’s Ben Color Capture or Sherwin-Williams’ ColorSnap, free mobile apps for iPhone, to conjure up a matching paint color and code in a jiffy. Take a photo with your phone, and the app matches the paint as closely as possible, and will display secondary and complementary colors. (ColorSnap is also available for BlackBerry.)
Get rid of stainsGood Housekeeping magazine has placed all their best stain-removal and cleaning advice into their free @Home app. It also includes decorating ideas and a searchable list of the 5,000-plus products that have earned a Good Housekeeping seal.
Look for recycled stuffIf you’re searching for a cheap replacement part, or looking for a deal on slightly-used appliances and materials, eBay’s free Mobile app lets you search the auction site’s entire marketplace from iPhone, Android, Windows Phone 7, and BlackBerry devices. You can also put any of your disused-but-functional household items up for sale and recoup some cash.
For listings close to home, search the popular Craigslist site through the free Craigsnotifica for Android or Craigspro for iPhone.
Price comparisonFinding lower prices on electronics and appliances used to mean driving from store to store or scanning Sunday circulars. With the free Price Check by Amazon, you can scan a product’s barcode at a store and compare the price against Amazon and other merchants. (Android and BlackBerry versions are also available.) PriceGrabber has a similar app for iPhone and Android.
Carpenter’s tools in oneFor $1.99, the iHandy Carpenter app puts a ruler, protractor, bubble level, surface level, and plumb bob into your iPhone, allowing you to make measurements without lugging out the tool box. It’s perfect for simple jobs like hanging frames and mirrors.
Need just a level? There’s a free app for iPhone from iHandy and for Android from Johnson.
Calculate materials you’ll needBefore you approach a home improvement project, use the $1.99 Handy Man DIY to record dimensions of flooring, windows, walls, and more. It calculates how much material you’ll need and gives you a cost estimate.
Order suppliesIf you’re in the middle of a home improvement job and need supplies, use the $4.99 Work Shop app to order them from your iPhone. It’s also a great tool for keep track of expenses or plan your budget for a future project.
Light the wayWith the iPhone’s bright display and the super-bright LED flash, you can use it in place of a traditional flashlight to illuminate crawl spaces, attics, cabinet recesses, and other dark spots. There are many apps for this purpose, but two favorites are the 99-cent Flashlight (and 99-cent Flashlight+.
Know what and when to plantWonder why certain vegetation isn’t growing in your yard? Landscaper’s Companion provides a reference guide to more than 2,000 plants. You can search for a plant based on your garden’s sun exposure and garden zone, helping to ensure you won’t get any dead leaves after planting. The app costs $9.99.
Find a studUsing your iPhone’s magnetometer, StudFinderPRO can help you locate studs by locating the magnetic fields emitted by metal objects like screws and nails. The app costs $2.99. A free Magnetic Stud Finder is available for Android devices.
Hire a virtual designerNeed decorating ideas for inspiration? Check out Home Interior Layout Designer--Mark On Call for $2.99. Created by an interior designer, the app can help you plan a space and determine if furnishings will fit. Also consider the $4.99 Living Room app for iPad and the 99-cent Dream Home app for iPhone.
Monday, February 21, 2011
Thursday, February 10, 2011
By: G. M. Filisko Published: January 25, 2011
Don't rouse the IRS or pay more taxes than necessary-know the score on each home tax deduction and credit.
Sin #1: Deducting the wrong year for property taxes
You take a tax deduction for property taxes in the year you (or the holder of your escrow account) actually paid them. Some taxing authorities work a year behind-that is, you're not billed for 2010 property taxes until 2011. But that's irrelevant to the feds.
Enter on your federal forms whatever amount you actually paid in 2010, no matter what the date is on your tax bill. Dave Hampton, CPA, tax manager at the Cincinnati accounting firm of Burke & Schindler, has seen home owners confuse payments for different years and claim the incorrect amount.
Sin #2: Confusing escrow amount for actual taxes paid
If your lender escrows funds to pay your property taxes, don't just deduct the amount escrowed, says Bob Meighan, CPA and vice president at TurboTax in San Diego. The regular amount you pay into your escrow account each month to cover property taxes is probably a little more or a little less than your property tax bill. Your lender will adjust the amount every year or so to realign the two.
For example, your tax bill might be $1,200, but your lender may have collected $1,100 or $1,300 in escrow over the year. Deduct only $1,200. Your lender will send you an official statement listing the actual taxes paid. Use that. Don't just add up 12 months of escrow property tax payments.
Sin #3: Deducting points paid to refinance
Deduct points you paid your lender to secure your mortgage in full for the year you bought your home. However, when you refinance, says Meighan, you must deduct points over the life of your new loan. If you paid $2,000 in points to refinance into a 15-year mortgage, your tax deduction is $133 per year.
Sin #4: Failing to deduct private mortgage insurance
Lenders require home buyers with a downpayment of less than 20% to purchase private mortgage insurance (PMI). Avoid the common mistake of forgetting to deduct your PMI payments. However, note the deduction begins to phase out once your adjusted gross income reaches $100,000 and disappears entirely when your AGI surpasses $109,000.
Sin #5: Misjudging the home office tax deduction
This deduction may not be as good as it seems. It often doesn't amount to much of a deduction, has to be recaptured if you turn a profit when you sell your home, and can pique the IRS's interest in your return. Hampton's advice: Claim it only if it's worth those drawbacks.
Sin #6: Missing the first-time home buyer tax credit
If you met the midyear 2010 deadlines, don't forget to take this tax credit into account when filing.
Even if you missed the 2010 deadlines, you still might be in luck: Congress extended the first-time home buyer credit for military families and other government workers on assignment outside the United States. If you meet the criteria, you have until June 30, 2011, to close on your first home and qualify for the tax credit of up to $8,000.
Sin #7: Failing to track home-related expenses
If the IRS comes a-knockin', don't be scrambling to compile your records. Many people forget to track home office and home maintenance and repair expenses, says Meighan. File away documents as you go. For example, save each manufacturer's certification statement for energy tax credits, insurance company statements for PMI, and lender or government statements to confirm property taxes paid.
Sin #8: Forgetting to keep track of capital gains
If you sold your main home last year, don't forget to pay capital gains taxes on any profit. However, you can exclude $250,000 (or $500,000 if you're a married couple) of any profits from taxes. So if you bought a home for $100,000 and sold it for $400,000, your capital gains are $300,000. If you're single, you owe taxes on $50,000 of gains. However, there are minimum time limits for holding property to take advantage of the exclusions, and other details. Consult IRS Publication 523.
Sin #9: Filing incorrectly for energy tax credits
If you made any eligible improvement, fill out Form 5695. Part I, which covers the 30%/$1,500 credit for such items as insulation and windows, is fairly straightforward. But Part II, which covers the 30%/no-limit items such as geothermal heat pumps, can be incredibly complex and involves crosschecking with half a dozen other IRS forms. Read the instructions carefully.
Sin #10: Claiming too much for the mortgage interest tax deduction
You can deduct mortgage interest only up to $1 million of mortgage debt, says Meighan. If you have $1.2 million in mortgage debt, for example, deduct only the mortgage interest attributable to the first $1 million.
This article provides general information about tax laws and consequences, but is not intended to be relied upon by readers as tax or legal advice applicable to particular transactions or circumstances. Readers should consult a tax professional for such advice, and are reminded that tax laws may vary by jurisdiction.
G.M. Filisko is an attorney and award-winning writer who was once mortified to receive a letter from the IRS-but relieved to learn the IRS had simply found a math error in her favor. A frequent contributor to many national publications including AARP.org, Bankrate.com, and the American Bar Association Journal, she specializes in real estate, business, personal finance, and legal topics
Monday, February 7, 2011
I like what Attorney Richard Zaretsky, says in his post on AR;
Although the MARS Rule does not prevent real estate agents from performing MARS services, if they choose to perform MARS, it does make them comply with all of the requirements of the Rule. This will definitely change the way real estate agents work with short sales. To stay outside the Rule, a real estate agent should not contract with an entity that does the work of a seller's short sale negotiator nor have any contact the lender's short sale negotiator. The client must contract with a short sale negotiator or attorney independent of the real estate agent for the negotiations to be undertaken and to keep the real estate agent out of that transaction and outside of the MARS scope of application. Since lenders deal with real estate agents all the time in short sale negotiations, because a great number of real estate agents will now not want to be subject to the MARS Rule, I foresee a significant restructuring of the way short sales are accomplished.
My response was;
Good stuff as always. I have been in touch with our local Realtors boards and the Florida Association of Realtors and the National Association of Realtors all last month. This went into play late in December and they have still not informed all the Realtor members.
We really need to educate these associations or we are going to see a lot of Realtors getting sued this year. I saw this start to happen when we had to become compliant with the SAFE Act and now the FTC gets involved. I already have almost 10 addendums and disclosures for myself, my attorney and my firm and now we are putting together the three new ones from MARS.
The only saving grace I can see in the entire plot is that lately many of the banks, or at least the big 4, are now doing more and more Pre-Approved short sales. In other words, all the negotiating is gone. The bank tells us where to price and we submit the offer. Just like an REO, except they don't own the property yet. This may become the loop hole. What do you think?
The FTC Website has this;
Homeowners will be protected by a new Federal Trade Commission rule that bans providers of mortgage foreclosure rescue and loan modification services from collecting fees until homeowners have a written offer from their lender or servicer that they decide is acceptable.
"At a time when many Americans are struggling to pay their mortgages, peddlers of so-called mortgage relief services have taken hundreds of millions of dollars from hundreds of thousands of homeowners without ever delivering results," FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz said. "By banning providers of these services from collecting fees until the customer is satisfied with the results, this rule will protect consumers from being victimized by these scams."
The FTC is issuing the Mortgage Assistance Relief Services (MARS) Rule to protect distressed homeowners from mortgage relief scams that have sprung up during the mortgage crisis. Bogus operations falsely claim that, for a fee, they will negotiate with the consumer's mortgage lender or servicer to obtain a loan modification, a short sale, or other relief from foreclosure. Many of these operations pretend to be affiliated with the government and government housing assistance programs. The FTC has brought more than 30 cases against operations like these, and state and federal law enforcement partners have brought hundreds more.
There are 3 key elements to this new rule.
FIRST ELEMENT - DISCLOSURE
"The Rule requires mortgage relief companies to disclose key information to consumers to protect them from being misled and to help them make better informed purchasing decisions. In their advertising and in communications directed at individual consumers (such as telemarketing calls), the companies must disclose that:
·they are not associated with the government, and their services have not been approved by the government or the consumer's lender;
·the lender may not agree to change the consumer's loan; and
•if companies tell consumers to stop paying their mortgage, they must also tell them that they could lose their home and damage their credit rating.
Companies also must explain in their communications to consumers that they can stop doing business with the company at any time, can accept or reject any offer the company obtains from the lender or servicer, and, if they reject the offer, they don't have to pay the company's fee. The companies also must disclose the amount of the fee."
SECOND ELEMENT - ADVANCED FEE BAN
"The most significant consumer protection under the FTC's new rule is the advance fee ban. Under this provision, mortgage relief companies may not collect any fees until they have provided consumers with a written offer from their lender or servicer that the consumer decides is acceptable and a written document from the lender or servicer describing the key changes to the mortgage that would result if the consumer accepts the offer. The companies also must remind consumers of their right to reject the offer without any charge."
THIRD ELEMENT - PERFORMANCE REPRESENTATIONS
"The MARS Rule prohibits mortgage relief companies from making any false or misleading claims about their services, including claims about:
•the likelihood of consumers getting the results they seek;
•the company's affiliation with government or private entities;
•the consumer's payment and other mortgage obligations;
•the company's refund and cancellation policies;
•whether the company has performed the services it promised;
•whether the company will provide legal representation to consumers;
•the availability or cost of any alternative to for-profit mortgage assistance relief services;
•the amount of money a consumer will save by using their services; or
•the cost of the services.
In addition, the rule bars mortgage relief companies from telling consumers to stop communicating with their lenders or servicers. Companies also must have reliable evidence to back up any claims they make about the benefits, performance, or effectiveness of the services they provide."
The rule applies to all types of mortgage and relief assistance services, including anything having to do with or about mortgage loan modifications AND/OR short sales or Deed-in-Lieu settlements. Penalties for non-compliance with the Federal Trade Commission's MARS rule are $11,000 PER DAY.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Under the new Health Care Bill if you sell your house after 2012 you will pay a 3.8% sales tax on it. This is approximately $3,800 on a $100,000 home, or $3,800 per every Hundred Thousand dollars.
You say you weren't aware this was in the Obama Care bill? Well, you aren't alone. Till just recently there were more than a few members of Congress that weren't aware of it either.
"I can make a firm pledge. Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase. Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes,"
President Obama, September 12, 2008
Notice he doesn't say Property Tax in that speech. Because maybe he had a plan already. Or, most likely plans change and a trusted advisor thought this was a good way to raise money, from everyone. Who knows whose bright idea this was, a trusted advisor, an epiphany, a passing thought or maybe a random blog post seen while surfing the net.
It states Obama Care will impose a 3.8% Medicare tax on unearned income, on the sale of single family homes, townhouses, co-ops, condominiums, and even rental income. Ok so it's not a Sales Tax but a Medicare Tax having the money go to the Medicare Trust Fund part of the Social Security system. Plus if your annual gross income is under $200,000 you "should" still be ok. However, what happened to Commercial Property, why are they excluded? Looks to me like they could get more money that way and leave the family dwellers alone, even if they do make over $200K a year. The National Association of Realtors called this new Medicare tax on unearned income "Destructive" and "ill-advised" and warned it would hurt job creation and growth.
Usually I do not talk politics at all, but when I announced this on my show (Central Florida Real Estate Show ) a few months ago many people did not hear about this new bill. There are many people out there these days that just don't realize what they voted for.
Fear not, just because you did not hear about it, it may still not affect you. Once you look into the Bill you'll see that the tax is only on some real estate transactions and not all. It will be more likely to affect those that read Forbes but not those that read the Gazette.
Sunday, January 23, 2011
Clarifire automation will help servicers improve the prospect and cycle times associated with assisting borrowers by offering mediation and related workout options early in the loan‘s delinquency as required by the state. The Florida Supreme Court mandates that servicers offer mediation to homestead residential borrowers before a summary judgment can be filed and a foreclosure sale held.
-We are extremely proud to provide our advanced technology to this important Florida Mediation initiative to assist borrowers in need,‖ said Jane Mason, president and CEO of eMASON, Inc. -Clarifire automation delivers an innovative and standardized approach to managing workflow, centralizes communication and documents, and allows all parties in the Mediation process the ability to work together on one platform for complete auditability, gain in efficiencies, and reduction in costs.‖
The technology will also expedite the process for Fannie Mae loans where mediation is either not accepted by the borrower or does not result in an agreement or a workout as outlined by the initiative. Florida is the first state to receive the benefit of Clarifire automation for processes related to pre-filing mediation.
Currently, more than 25,000 users rely on the Clarifire application to automate their workflow. eMASON‘s Clarifire application bridges gaps between built technologies and provides many advantages to the Florida Pre-filing Mediation process, including:
Automated Workflow: Clarifire automates workflow between all parties seamlessly, and presents tasks in priority order, streamlining the each step of the process from the referral of mediation to recording the workout and post-mediation session results to the case in the application.
Increased Visibility: The application provides all parties secure and increased visibility and auditability of the status and progress of loans in mediation, and increases servicers‘ ability to meet compliance requirements of the mandated program.
Work Presented on Role-based Dashboards: All work is managed on role-based dashboards to manage tasks, monitor deadlines, manage and respond to overdue deadlines and exceptions, and gain visibility into their loan pipeline - all in real-time.
Streamlined Communication: The application centralizes and improves communication between all participants (reducing/eliminating the need for external faxes, emails and phone calls).
Documents Centralized and Automatically Routed: Clarifire provides automated generation, transmission, access, and storage of documents at the case level.
Automated Notifications: All parties are alerted of key milestones via automated notifications, such as when case documents are available for review within the application, as well as scheduling and tracking of mediation and counseling sessions.
Enhanced Tracking and Reporting: The technology automates tracking and reporting capabilities, captures key compliance metrics, and allows generation of customized reports.
From the eMason Press Release 12/28/10
Places like Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, South Dakota, North Dakota, and Iowa, and few others in the Midwest, you will probably have happy days ahead in terms of appreciation. However, places like Florida and Nevada will still continue to see the greatest depreciation. As I tell people all the time; "Florida lead the nation in increases between 04 & 06. That is why we are now having the biggest decreases". It's a leveling off. In 04 - 06 people were paying Artificially Inflated prices for property In Florida; we are now down to 1999 prices.
No one has a crystal ball of what will really happen in real estate in 2011. However, I'm seeing a lot more reports and predictions that there will be flat growth in real estate values. A few have even boldly said depreciation could continue by as much as 5 percent before bottoming out. And some say we are to expect as much as 15% here in Florida.
Don't freak out by this potentially bad news. You could ask this question to 5 different encomiasts and get 3 different answers. Add in the point that our market is changing every day and you really need to do your homework and watch the trends and really see what is happening at any given point in the year.
Yesterday morning (1/15/11) an announcement came in from our mortgage rep. Colleen Mitchell that Wells Fargo has revamped their Mortgage Policy. When all other banks are raising their mortgage approval guidelines, Wells went the other way. Stupid move, hell no! Even if only half of the people that could not get a mortgage before applied again and got approved, Wells wins. Not only will Wells win but everyone wins. Think about it, we can sell more homes and get the economy moving again.
We know this has had an effect on business already, because the announcement came mid-morning and by 1pm showing requests on at least a dozen of my listings had multiple requests. And half of the teams' listings had the same.
Finally we have something with a positive effect on business in general. Personally I'm jazzed that this will help all around business and especially those people that have under a 600 credit score that can really buy a home. Yes you read that right, under a 600 credit score. Hey, stuff happens we know it does. I had someone that was approved for a mortgage and was ready to close. The bank ran the credit the week before closing and because she paid a credit card bill one day late she could not qualify anymore. With the Wells new guidelines she would be in that house, if it happened now. There are still some caveats that you will have to talk with your Wells rep about. If you don't have a Wells rep, call Colleen Mitchell. Not only will you be happy you did but so will your clients.
Host of www.CentralFloridaRealEstateShow.com