Author Archive

What did you say?

Written by Lynn Nunez on . Posted in Mortgage Economy and Market

NatSec
The National Security Agency is currently collecting the telephone records of millions of US customers of Verizon, one of America’s largest telecoms providers, under a top secret court order issued in April.

The order, a copy of which has been obtained by the Guardian, requires Verizon on an “ongoing, daily basis” to give the NSA information on all telephone calls in its systems, both within the US and between the US and other countries.

Ok, ok I didn’t hear you anyways. Apparently, only the contents of the conversation are still private, but for how long? Everything else though is to be handed over. Under the terms of the blanket order, the numbers of both parties on a call are handed over, as is location data, call duration, unique identifiers, and the time and duration of all calls. So pretty much if you’re an agent of a terrorist group or foreign state, or even a finite set of individually named targets get off your cell!! As if you didn’t already suspect this possibility and already speaking in code and finding other means of communication that cannot be interrupted or interloped.

Banking gone Green

Written by Lynn Nunez on . Posted in Mortgage Economy and Market, Mortgage Services and Providers

green-worldThe survey, of U.S. Consumers which explored mobile trends and banking behaviors among adults across the country, found the need for constant connectivity also extends to banking.

The survey, which explored mobile trends and banking behaviors among adults across the country, found the need for constant connectivity also extends to banking. Of those respondents who said they use their phones for mobile banking, almost one-third (31 percent) say they log on at least once a day, and more than four out of five (82 percent) access their accounts at least once a week or more. Talk about staying abreast of your expenditures.

The report revealed further interesting insights into consumer mobile banking behaviors and preferences, including: • Mobile banking is on the rise. More than half (62 percent) of respondents have at least tried mobile banking, while an overwhelming majority (90 percent) are using online banking. When using their bank’s mobile app, U.S. consumers most commonly check their balance, transfer funds between accounts and pay bills.

• Consumers are using their mobile devices for more advanced transactions including check deposits. Nearly six in 10 (58 percent) respondents have used mobile check deposit, and 38 percent use it frequently.

• Consumers prefer a mix of banking options. The survey found that 84 percent of respondents have visited a bank branch within the past six months. Most commonly, Americans make a trip to the bank to make a deposit, withdraw funds and speak with a banking associate.

• Consumers are comfortable with added security measures.
Courtesy of Brandpoint.com

This says a lot of how the economy is moving and how much it affected us, People are paying closer attention to their finances and incorporating the monitoring into their routines. This will help keep spending in control and staying within budget, because you know we all have one not to mention the faster you will notice any fraud activity.

Got books?

Written by Lynn Nunez on . Posted in Field Services, Mortgage Closing Services, Mortgage Economy and Market

Are your accounting records up to date? Are they balanced? Are they understandable by anyone other than yourself? All of these are good questions to consider, especially when your record keeping is in question. Otherwise how will you know where you stand financially, economically? Accounting, which has been called the “language of business”, measures the results of an organization’s economic activities and conveys this information to a variety of users including investors, creditors, management, and regulators. Did you know, both the words accounting and accountancy were in use in Great Britain by the mid-1800s, and are derived from the words accompting and accountantship used in the 18th century. Yes even back thenuntitled they had accounts to balance. If this all seems like a foreign language to you, you could outsource this area of your business and then use it as a business write-off instead. Accountants and auditors prepare and examine financial records. They ensure that financial records are accurate and that taxes are paid properly and on time. Here is more to ponder and maybe need translation on. For the past two decades, fair value accounting—the practice of measuring assets and liabilities at estimates of their current value—has been on the ascent. This marks a major departure from the centuries-old tradition of keeping books at historical cost. It also has implications across the world of business, because the accounting basis—whether fair value or historical cost—affects investment choices and management decisions, with consequences for aggregate economic activity. SOMETIMES it seems as if our lives are dominated by financial crises and failed reforms. But how much do Americans even understand about finance? Few of us can do basic accounting and fewer still know what a balance sheet is. If we are going to get to the point where we can have a serious debate about financial accountability, we first need to learn some essentials.

Business slowing down?

Written by Lynn Nunez on . Posted in Field Services, Mortgage Closing Services, Mortgage Services and Providers

Now that business is slowing down, what do you do? How do you keep moving forward? Do you sit at home and just wait for the business to come to you?

Something you can tackle now with the business slowing is office politics. How things are running in the office, you know the place where your desk is located. No, not the one at home covered with stacks of papers but the one located off site and probably covered in dust. Well if this scenario describes your office, I would suggest beginning there, or maybe having the cleaning staff stop by a day before to get you started.

Now that the desk is cleared up, how are things in the office? Employee reviews up to date? Now would be a good time to catch up and touch base. Are all the departments running smoothly? Now may be a good time to hire new staff and complete training. Have them prepared for when things pick back up. How about a strategizing meeting with the staff to get things started. Marketing ideas, new product ideas or increasing coverage areas. Is the holiday season approaching? How about vacation times? Plan on some training and review of current policies. Look for areas that need improvement and then you should take small, common sense steps daily toward achieving those goals. Don’t try to tackle everything all at once, think small steps.

Woman looks up

Now would also be a good time to review stock. Such as paper stock, pens, ink, coffee and all other items that keep the office running smoothly. Recently a friend of mine told me her office incorporated a lunch service for all staff, maybe this is something to consider or even a potluck once a week would be fun and team building.

What ever you do, do something. That is why you’re here.  

Mortgages to reduce closing costs

Written by Lynn Nunez on . Posted in Home Buyers and Mortgagors, Mortgage Economy and Market

As reported by the mortgage professor, he proposed that mortgage lenders simply remove all of the third party settlement costs and instead bundle all of those fees required by the lender. When acquiring a mortgage have you noticed all of those fees and services not disclosed but required to be paid by you listed on your settlement sheet? These fees are required by the lender as a condition for granting you the home mortgage, why not they pay for it?

You’re wondering what difference bundling the fees will make. They will only charge you the total fee anyways.

Yes, you’re right but as these services, such as the title insurance that protects the lender, the mortgage insurance that again protects the lender, appraisal that assesses the value of the home, and all the other services needed and which you are referred to or have no control over where it gets done. In turn the lender is not only making you pay for it but profiting from it as well by receiving free or underpriced services.

They can purchase these services in bulk and get a much lower rate that can then be passed on to us in one flat rate. By having the lender charge the mortgagee a flat fee it will substantially lower the inflated prices they now pay the third party providers. Lenders will be competing for our business by offering a good flat rate on closing costs and quality, rather than itemizing the fees, some that are not even used or needed. In 2002, HUD tried to implement the package approach with a single price, but as it was voluntary the mortgage bankers were not on board. Notary Public tools

Now with the debut of a 15-year mortgage gear towards low to moderate income households with no down payment the flat fee closing costs sounds more appealing.

Working from Home, Is it for you?

Written by Lynn Nunez on . Posted in Field Services, Mortgage Closing Services, Notary signings

how-working-from-home-worksWorking from home seems like the ideal scenario, but is it for you? There is more to evaluate when considering making the switch. The change in working environment not only affects you but those who are at home during the day as well. What you think you are saving in gas and commute time can cost you in other areas. Let’s look at some pros and cons.


Pros:
Extra sleep.
No traffic issues.
No need to pack a lunch.
Dress code casual.
Less time away from home.

Now if you’re a parent, the likelihood that you can sleep in is slim, I still would need to make sure the kids eat, dress and get to school on time. That leads to the traffic issues, you still have to forge through it. Packing a lunch, I would still have to plan ahead to make sure it is easy to put together. The dress code is definitely a plus, unless of course your employer is requesting a live video while working. Let’s look at the cons.
telecommuting1
Cons:
Loss of social interaction.
Too many distractions.
Loss of regimen.
Too much time at home.

Social interaction can go both ways, at first you will find it to be more productive and then after a while you will notice you are more verbal on the phone with customers or after hours when talking to friends you just can’t seem to stay quiet. A quick follow up phone call turned out to be an hour on the line. Or the coffee break with a colleague turns into dinner. Now the distractions, I’m one of those people that can’t sit still when things around me are not tidy, I would continue to lose focus until I get up and straighten up what I didn’t want to do on my off time. I don’t know about you but I get off of work the commute to pick up my kids gives me a chance to change roles. To let go of my work day and turn on mommy mode. Same with the morning ride in, it gives me a chance to transition into work mode.

Too much time at home can go both ways. Your family sees you more, they feel you are involved. Then again you are seeing the same walls and faces for longer periods of time. Any chance you get to get out you will jump on it! Remember why you didn’t want to work in the office anymore?

These are just some things to consider when making the choice to transition.

How to choose an Appraiser

Written by Lynn Nunez on . Posted in Home Buyers and Mortgagors, Mortgage Economy and Market, Mortgage Services and Providers

houses_and_dollar_signThis all-important step in getting the financing you need is the home appraisal — an oftentimes-confusing part of the mortgage process in which both buyer and seller must depend on the expert opinion of a stranger. A common misunderstanding is that the appraisal amount is only for the house itself. In fact, the figure appraises the total value of the home and any other permanent structures, along with the land that the house is built on. This appraisal figure also determines the loan amount you can get to buy the property.

A qualified appraiser has formal education in appraisal theory, principles, procedures, ethics and law. The appraiser should be up to date on the latest appraisal standards. Continuing education and testing are the only ways to ensure this competence. The appraiser you hire should be familiar with the type of property you want appraised and know how to value it correctly. There are many self-acclaimed personal property appraisers who have not completed any professional education. It is important to ask the prospective appraiser what type of formal appraisal education training he or she has received.

Do not hire an appraiser who charges a percentage of the appraised value, or charges a “contingency” fee. These practices are clearly conflicts of interests, and may result in biased values. Hourly fees, flat rates or per item charges are acceptable. It is a good business practice to have a contract stating in writing the expectations of both parties.

A home appraisal is not the same thing as an inspection. If you’re buying a home, you’ll want to hire an experienced home inspector to point out any potential problems that could turn into costly nightmares in the future. Property appraisers will likely make note of any obvious issues, but they won’t test your heat and air, check the chimney, or determine if your plumbing is up to code. That’s the job of the inspector.

Need to know…

Written by Lynn Nunez on . Posted in Field Services, Mortgage Closing Services, Notary signings

handcuffed man Some simple mistakes can be misconstrued into big business issues, such as using the correct verbiage or keeping your stamp secure. Some notaries had to learn the hard way. When in doubt always do your research and then do more research. Other times you just have to stand up for the truth to be heard. When advertising your business, whatever the type do your research before committing to a template or specific verbiage. A notary in Arkansas (AR) had to learn the hard way. In the state of AR the Consumer Protection Act requires notaries to advertise in Spanish and English that they are not licensed attorneys. Apparently in many Latin American countries “notario publico” (notary public) is a specially trained lawyer, the misconception is taken as a scheme here in the states. “The suit in Washington County Circuit Court seeks an injunction to make Nimroozi follow the disclosure law. It may seek restitution if it is learned that Nimroozi charged fees for legal advice.” Posted the ARKANSAS DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE. In 2008, Sacramento, CA the State Senate Appropriations Committee passed AB 886, a bill that will strengthen notary law and fight real estate fraud. Essentially this bill will has made it easier to investigate unethical and criminal notary practices. In these types of cases, notaries aid and abet fraud by loaning their journal to a non-notary, by notarizing documents without all of the parties present or by failing to properly secure their journal and stamp. Legislators approved a constitutional amendment in 1964 designating notaries public as officers of the state. According to the “Handbook of Maryland Notaries Public,” notaries are “held to the same high standards of public trust as other appointed and elected state officials,” and unlike other state officers, may hold another public office. Since then, notaries have administered oaths and affirmations, both of which are solemn statements of truth made under penalty of perjury.

Set the Date for the Wedding!

Written by Lynn Nunez on . Posted in Mortgage Closing Services, Mortgage Economy and Market, Mortgage Services and Providers, Notary signings

WeddingPlanning Currently, only Florida, South Carolina, Maine and Nevada authorize Notaries to perform weddings as part of their official duties. However, entrepreneurial Notaries in other states are finding innovative ways to add “wedding officiant” to their growing list of client services.

“I sit down with my couples to ask questions, such as how they met and what is most important to them,” says Barrett, who then uses this information to write the couple’s vows and to personalize the ceremony. She then inquires whether they need a certified copy of their wedding license (which California requires if the couple wishes to receive a confidential marriage license), if they’ll be doing a legal name change, or if they’ll require any other documents or notarizations — all of which she can provide.

“These are the last things most couples are thinking about,” says Barrett. Combining her Notary and officiant services allows her to offer clients a customized approach.

“I complete all the paperwork, get their signatures and pop it all in the mail,” says Barrett. “It’s my job to make sure it is done correctly. They trust me to do the job right.”

Notaries interested in becoming wedding officiants should begin by checking state wedding laws. For example, licensing requirements vary greatly from state to state. Contact the county clerk in the counties in which you want to perform weddings for more information. A simple Google search on “How to become ordained” yields numerous links and organizations, but be sure to vet each carefully to find out if they are reputable, what the fees and requirements are, and where, exactly, the ordination is recognized. Some ministries will ordain you for life; others require annual license renewals.

By following Barret’s approach you can be sure the happy couple will contact you when the time comes to buy or refinance their home. So let’s help them set the date!

Putting yourself out there

Written by Lynn Nunez on . Posted in General

expand-your-business-with-us_1You have a new business venture or an existing business where you want to advertise or make yourself more known. The biggest thing to keep in mind when registering on new sites is consistency!! I can’t stress the importance of this step enough. I also understand it’s hard to remember what you put on that other site last month or last week, and never mind last night. Don’t let that stop you, put your best self everywhere.
Let’s begin by organizing your thoughts. I would suggest to open up your document processor such as Word and type up a little about yourself and your business and let’s not forget about your background. Coverage areas and maybe a photo as well to personalize your profile, keep it simple, keep it clean. Maintaining your fee structure streamlined is also good, it will be easier for you to remember when called away from your office.
Then open up your spreadsheet and input the website address, log in credentials and passwords for future reference, This spreadsheet will help maintain updates, be more efficient and will be less time consuming as you will spend less time trying to remember your credentials and where you need to go to update your information as well. This sheet can be used for marketing purposes not online as well, if using old fashioned printed resources. If using paid accounts this sheet could help you as well by keeping track of the dates your account is active and renewal deadlines. On the back end you can also use this to track where you’re getting the most traffic. You can notate where your new customer/ client found you to see which site is most beneficial for your business.



Now that you’re ready, let’s find those resources and begin working!!