Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Manipulating The LIBOR - Is This Slipping Under The Radar?

The Justice Departments for the U.S., U.K., Japan, and Canada are currently investigating whether the world's largest banks conspired to manipulate the LIBOR index.  The LIBOR (London Interbank Offered Rate) is the index used by many lenders to determine the interest rate of their adjustable rate mortgages.  Maybe this isn't big news yet because it's just in an inquiry stage, but this has the potential to be a powder keg.  Controlling the LIBOR rate would be the ultimate in insider trading.  Banks and traders could potential make millions (billions?) by knowing the direction of the LIBOR in advance.  Stay tuned, this could get ugly. 

Friday, March 2, 2012

You Know What Isn't Short About A Short Sale? The Process.

If you've ever closed a loan for a short sale, you've probably heard the stories from the parties involved.  A process that took from six months to a year, endless delays, re-verification, etc...  In an attempt to speed up the process, three Senators have proposed a bill aimed at shortening the short sale timeline.  The bill, called the Prompt Notification of Short Sale Act, requires a written response from a lender within 75 days after the buyer's request.  The lender’s response must "specify acceptance, rejection, a counter offer, need for extension, and an estimation for when a decision will be reached."  the bill also proposes a $1000 penalty if the Act is violated.