Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Small Business Help

Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses initiative comes to Detroit:

Supporting Small Businesses

More Mortgage Defaults Ahead?

Are we about it get hit with a new wave of mortgage defaults?  More and more people are falling behind on their Home Equity Line payments.  And as many Home Equity Lines prepare to hit their 10 year mark over the next four years, the mark where the principal payments typically kick in, missed payments can double:

A New Wave of Mortgage Trouble?

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Small Business Saturday - November 30th The Saturday After Thanksgiving

 Shop small, shop local...

Huntington Bank Program To Help Small Businesses

Huntington Bank is committing at least $5 million in a partnership with the Michigan Economic Development Corp. towards Detroit small businesses.  The micro loans will especially target small businesses owned by women and minorities with fewer than 5 employees:

Huntington & MEDC Small Business Partnership

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Forgivable Loans For Southeast Michigan Homeowners

Step Forward Michigan will host two forums in Redford Township on a program that offers forgivable loans to help homeowners avoid foreclosure:

Tuesday, March 12th, 6 p.m. - Vandenberg Elementary  24901 Cathedral
Tuesday, March 19th, 6 p.m. - Addams Elementary  14025 Berwyn

For more information, email Linda Miller: lindamiller@nationalfaith.org   

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

2012 Hall Of Shame

As usual, MSN Money's yearly customer service Hall of Shame includes several mortgage lenders.  But the big winner is .......... Bank of America at numero uno.  More than 50% of those surveyed ranked B of A's banking service fair or poor.  

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Dan Gilbert & Quicken Loans Continue Growing Detroit

With the announcement that Title Source will be moving their operations to the First National Building in Detroit (owned by Dan Gilbert), you can add another 1500 employees to Downtown Detroit.
Yes Mr. President, I actually DID build this.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Back in March, I wrote about a scandal that seemed to be flying under the radar: allegations that lenders had been conspiring to manipulate the LIBOR rate.  Many adjustable rate mortgages are based on the LIBOR, and an artificial manipulation of the rate could potentially mean billions of additional dollars in lenders' pockets.  I wondered why this wasn't bigger news.  Well, get ready.  MSNBC says the LIBOR scandal is about to hit the U.S., and it has the potential to become "the largest financial fraud in history."  Oh that's nice.  Because we haven't had one of those in a while.

Update 07/15/12: The U.S. Justice Department prepares criminal cases against several lenders.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

It's True Because The National Notary Association Says It's True

I recently read a thread on Notary 123 regarding the infamous "less but not more" rule.  The supposed rule goes something like this:  If a signer's I.D. says John Paul Smith, you can notarize their signature as John Paul Smith, John P. Smith, or John Smith.  But if a signer's I.D. says John Smith, you can only notarize their signature as John Smith, not John Paul Smith or John P. Smith.  The zeal with which supposedly experienced notaries stand by this idea is quite impressive.  But when asked to provide where in their state statute or notary handbook this rule exists, the soft shoe dance begins.  No one can provide any law or statute that supports this rule.  They do, however, insist that it's true because the National Notary Association SAYS it's true.  Say what?  The NNA is NOT some sort of notary governing body.  They don't make the rules and they don't enforce the rules.  They are a FOR PROFIT organization.  They are a marketing machine.  They speak in generalities with little regard to the rules of each individual state statute.  And they are wrong.  A lot.  Just because they're the loudest voice in the crowd doesn't mean they're right.  And just because you've always done it that way or that's how you were taught doesn't make it right either.   

Your state handbook and state statutes are the only sources that ultimately matter.  Know your handbook and take what you hear elsewhere (including here) with a healthy dose of caution.  Most states allow you to identify someone based on "satisfactory evidence".  If you are satisfied that they are who they say they are based on the acceptable I.D. provided, you're free to notarize away.      

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

170 pages of documents to lower your interest with the lender that you're already with.  This industry has lost its mind. 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

JP Morgan's Two Billion Dollar Loss

Chase CEO Jamie Dixon admits to a "flawed, complex, poorly reviewed, poorly executed and poorly monitored" trading strategy that lost 2 billion dollars.  What's truly frightening is that the losses were a result of derivatives trading.  If that sounds familiar, it should.  Derivatives trading is what triggered massive financial losses and wiped banks off the planet during this financial crisis.  Are we doomed to repeat past failures?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Huntington Bank Joining With Meijer To Add 100 Branches

Huntington Bank is continuing its aggressive growth in Michigan.  Last month, Huntington acquired 15 Fidelity Bank branches in Michigan.  And today, Huntington announced plans to open branches in all 100 Meijer stores, more than doubling their current offices.  The full service branches will be open 7 days a week, with the first 20 slated to open this year.  Huntington implemented a similar plan in its home state of Ohio, opening more than 100 branches in Giant Eagle supermarkets.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Does Notary Direct Value Your Servcies?

Some of you may have received the following email today from Notary Direct:

I want to thank you for your continued support in assuring the success of Notary Direct. We value your services...blah blah blah. Unfortunately, with the economic turmoil faced by all (wait, I thought the economy was recovering?), we have been forced to cut our costs (again?) to our clients in order to remain competitive (cheap).  Although the majority of us felt the crunch back in 2007-08 ( they likely cut fees back then too), we continued to pay our notaries premium amounts to conduct each of our closings (actually, already on the low scale in the industry). Unfortunately, we are no longer able to do so (our model of hiring cheap notaries isn't working) and have been forced (choose) to implement a pay cap (so we can hire even cheaper notaries) for services rendered for all local closings within your area. 

Effective April 15th, 2012- Fee Table:

Single Set of Loan Documents (Over Night): $50.00
Single Set of Loan Documents (Email): $70.00
Now I have to ask, why would any signing agent work for these kind of fees?  Do you understand the value of your time?  Do you understand the overhead for things like your computer, printers, copy machine, fax, phone line, cell phone, car payment, car maintenance, gas, paper, toner, pens, advertisement and marketing, certifications, listing fees, utilities, etc., etc., etc.?  

Let me remind you of something.  You are not a commodity.  The lowest fee does not win.  You are a service.  And if you're good at what you do, you are a valuable service.  Only you can decide what your fee should be.  But please...remember your worth.     

Friday, April 6, 2012

Electronic Loan Documents To Borrowers

I've seen more than one notary signing agent boast that instead of printing copies of the loan documents for the borrowers, they provide the borrowers with an electronic copy (disk or zip drive) instead.  They do this WITHOUT permission from the lender or title company.  Well, at least one title company is saying "no way."

 When receiving closing documents electronically from ServiceLink, you must print and provide a paper copy to the borrower at settlement, no exceptions.  Providing electronic copies of documents is not permitted under any circumstances.