Wednesday, February 24, 2010

THE BEST WAY TO ROB A BANK IS TO OWN IT! says Author William K. Black

From Bill Moyers Journal Page:
The financial industry brought the economy to it's knees, but how did they get away with it? With the nation wondering how to hold the bankers accountable, Bill Moyers sits down with William K. Black, the former senior regulator who cracked down on banks during the savings and loan crisis of the 1980's. In this 30 minute interview, Black offers his analysis of what went wrong and his critique of the bailout.
I look forward to your comments and any questions.
Your friend,

Thursday, February 18, 2010

How Serious Is The Foreclosure Issue?

Foreclosure on your home is an extremely serious issue. Unfortunately, many people do not realize the extent or the severity of this financial nightmare until it is too late. Foreclosure on your home will result in the loss of your rights as the homeowner and also presents many legal challenges.

The foreclosure process on the home begins when a homeowner has neglected to make their required monthly mortgage payments. A homeowner , in most cases, will be delinquent on their mortgage payment anywhere from 90 to 120 days. In today's economic climate, many homeowners are finding it difficult to make their mortgage payment and as a result are facing foreclosure.

Once the homeowner moves beyond 90 or 120 days without curing the delinquency, the mortgage lender will initiate action to legally foreclose on the home. The homeowner will be served with a foreclosure complaint by the court. Once you have been served with the foreclosure complaint your next steps are vital in trying to save your home from foreclosure.

Service of the complaint is often the point at which many homeowners choose to ignore their mortgage lender and the foreclosure action. In most cases, homeowners are unaware that once served with a foreclosure complaint they must respond in order to preserve their legal rights and to enable them to take steps to try to save their home from foreclosure or take the steps to sell it.

In most states, the homeowner has a specified period of time by law to respond to the foreclosure complaint of the mortgage lender. It is highly recommended that you seek legal counsel to understand your legal rights as the homeowner and to explore your alternatives in resolving the foreclosure action.

Lenders, even during the foreclosure process, can work with the homeowner to help them save their home. Your lender will require you to submit information to possibly help you modify your mortgage loan. A loan modification may help you to cure your delinquent payments and may even lower your payments or rate over the life of your loan. There are also government programs that you may qualify for if you are experiencing financial hardship and facing foreclosure.

If you are unable to modify your mortgage loan or qualify for assistance then you have other options to help you avoid foreclosure. You may be faced with the fact that you will need to sell your home. In this case a short sale may be an option. Check with a real estate professional who has received advanced education and certification, like the Certified Distressed Property Expert designation, for your options.

Again, it is vital that you seek legal counsel and keep the lines of communication open with your mortgage lender. Although the lender has begun the process of foreclosure they can still work with you to try and find an alternative if one exists.

If you ignore the foreclosure of your property or are ignorant of the law and your rights you will lose your home. It is crucial to understand the serious nature of foreclosure and take action to save your home and your legal rights.

Don't hesitate to call our office for more information, and referrals to the many professionals who can help.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Ya know, everything in real estate has changed. But the one thing that hasn't seemed to change is all the myths around Realtors; how they work (or do they?), what motivates them, or even more sinister - just what are their motivations, AND just how much dad gum money do they really make?

Just when you think you've found out everything you need to know about the "dirty, little secrets agents don't want you to know" from a bazillion of misinformed and, in all fairness, probably well meaning Web sites, here's what you really need to know.... starting with my favorite - - -Realtors are always late!

Out of my Marine Corps training came the lesson; "To be early is to be on time, to be on time is to be late, to be late is unacceptable!" So you can see how I roll !

Every person, whether a client or not, deserves respect. So there's no excuse for habitual tardiness among professionals. I've even picked a Doctor who sees me in his office - ON TIME! (His Dad was a you think that changes things?!?)

Respect is providing what is promised. Anytime, we as professionals don't honor that promise, then we've put our own interests above our clients. Not OK.

Agents who don't practice respect, first by honoring your time, are just simply not professionals. Get rid of them. Believe me, there are plenty of us who treat this business as a profession by first giving you the respect you deserve, as evidenced by the honoring of your time.

So, don't make the assumption that all Realtors can't keep time. The Pro's will !

I'll see ya on the other side!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


If you're like me, it doesn't look like we can escape the projects in our house anymore by moving every couple of years! I'm so disappointed. It sure was a great strategy that worked for over a decade!

But now the smart money is on buying a house for the right reasons; shelter, quiet enjoyment, a place to build family and memories....and after a LONG time - maybe some equity. Wow, how things have changed.

So that LONG time we'll all be spending in our houses, means we need to get better at taking care of them, keeping them updated and making sure they're repaired before things get out of hand.

A good strategy starts with a good Home Inspector. You're probably familiar with the home inspection process, if you've bought a house in the last few years. But did you know it's really important to have your home inspected regularly while you live in it? Ideally you'd have it looked over every year, but for sure have your favorite inspector out at least every 3 -5 years. He'll help identify those things that are starting to cause problems; like moss on the roof, leaking gutters and bushy plants that can easily lead to bigger (read "more expensive") projects if left untouched.

With the inspectors report in hand, you now have your "honey do" list. And that list most likely will include those projects that are perfect for the DIY'er and those that are , well, NOT!

Great home projects are things like pulling back barkdust from your siding (6" of foundation is what the inspector wants to see). Just that little job will keep the critters from snacking on your siding. Purchase vent wells from your favorite home improvement store to keep that barkdust away from the vents and out from under the house.

How 'bout those gutters. Have you cleaned them? Are they draining into a drain pipe or right down the foundation? It's that gutter water that's helping water run into your crawl space - creating unwanted moisture. Find some splash blocks to draw the water away from the foundation while you're at the store as well.

How about that slight shade of green on the roof? The dreaded beginnings of moss. QUICK - get it while you can. That little bugger will be working it's way under the shingles of your roof as quick as it can!

Furnace filters are another often forgotten home maintenance item that leads to BIG dollar costs if ignored. HVAC technicians tell us the filters should be changed every month....and those that aren't are costing you efficiency and money, as well as wear and tear on that very expensive piece of equipment that goes out at the least opportune times! So change that filter!

Lastly, the bushes. Keep those lovelies 6 - 12" off your siding. Rose bushes, rhododendrons, azaelas and any other "woody" bush provides a nice little bridge for those darling carpenter ants and wood boring beetles we all know and love in the Northwest.

So there it is. The short list that starts with a Home Inspector. Give us a call if you need a referral, and then strap on the carpenters belt!

See you on the other side!