Webjet disconnects Delta in Australia New Zealand

first_imgIn an unprecedented move today, Webjet have disconnected and deleted Delta from its Australian and New Zealand website. Delta have prohibited Webjet’s North American operation and other OTA’s from promoting, displaying or ticketing the airline. “We indicated to Delta that if they pursued what we consider to be an unlawful process which may well be subject to court proceedings by us in North America, we would have no alternative but to discontinue the sale of Delta products from the Australian and New Zealand markets where we contribute substantial and growing revenue and where of course there is an intense hunger from Delta’s competitors for our traffic,” said David Clarke, managing director Webjet. Delta has acknowledged the full compliance of Webjet in relation to their North American ticketing display and other regulatory processes however, Mr Clarke feels that they have “reached a view it can cherry pick our revenue production in markets where it suits or doesn’t suit.”All legal options available to Webjet’s North American operation are currently being taken into account with the objective being to reverse the decision by Delta. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Alast_img read more

RCL announces Cruising for Excellence Winners

first_imgRCL Cruises has announced the winners of its Cruising for Excellence online training programme. Annemarie  Hundhammer from Phil Hoffmann Travel – Glenelg, Anna Shannon from Flight Centre North Ryde and Maree Watson from House of Travel Tauranga have won themselves one of the three amazing cruise prizes on Azamara Club Cruises, Celebrity Cruises and Royal Caribbean International.“Congratulations Annemarie, Anna and Maree and well done to all who have made it to “Admiral” status in the programme.  We are pleased with how well Cruising for Excellence has been received here, with several thousand local travel agents who have registered since the launch of the programme late last year,” said Adam Armstrong, commercial manager, RCL Cruises Australia & New Zealand.   “We know it is not practical for travel agents to visit all 40 ships that are part of RCL’s cruise lines – Royal Caribbean International alone sails to 270 destinations in 72 countries across six continents. So we designed the programme so agents get to know each ship as if they were onboard themselves, arming them with the knowledge and confidence to give their clients the best advice about their cruising needs. We strongly encourage agents to make use of this revolutionary online training programme. ” says Adam. Cruising for Excellence is an online 3D e-learning tool which allows agents to explore and learn about the key selling points of the ships in the three Royal Caribbean Cruise brands. Upon completing each module, the participant earns a ‘Captain’ title for that cruise brand. Once the Captain status is achieved for all three cruise brands, the participant becomes an ‘Admiral’. Highlights of the Cruising for Excellence program include 35 training modules which covers ship guides, dining, onboard amenities & activities, family cruising, destinations, accommodation and shore excursions, as well as fact sheets for restaurant and bar menus, onboard activities, revitalization charts, kids planners, and other useful information. Cruising for Excellence is open to all travel agents in Australia & New Zealand who can take part by heading to www.cruisingforexcellence.com.au or www.cruisingforexcellence.co.nz    Azamara Club Cruises Prize Winner Name: Annemarie Hundhammer, Phil Hoffmann Travel – Glenelg Prize:   An Oceanview cabin for two people on Azamara Club Cruises, on a cruise of up to 14 nights duration. Celebrity Cruises Prize Winner   Name: Anna Shannon, Flight Centre North RydePrize:  An Oceanview cabin for two people on Celebrity Cruises, on a cruise of up to 12 nights duration. Royal Caribbean International Prize Winner  Name:  Maree Watson – House of Travel TaurangaPrize:   An eight- night South Pacific cruise for two people in an Oceanview cabin on Rhapsody of the Seas departing on 29 November 2012. Source = RCL Cruiseslast_img read more

Formula 1 boosts Melbourne Tourism

first_img2012 Formula 1 Qantas Australian Grand Prix provides a boost to the city’s tourismImage source: foxsports.com Melbourne’s accommodation industry enjoyed close to capacity occupancy in their hotels this weekend as visitor arrivals to the 2012 Formula 1 Qantas Grand Prix soared.Tourism Accommodation Australia (TAA) President, Victoria, Peter Crinis said the increased visitation to the Grand Prix not only benefited the hotels but also assisted suppliers including linen companies, bakers, butchers, fruiters, florists, as well as restaurants, airlines taxis and retailers.“The additional visitors from both overseas and interstate and intrastate, of whom many chose to stay at Melbourne hotels, gave an extra boost to hotels, tourism and the Victorian economy, which has been significant,” Mr Crinis said.Mr Crinis explained the event also encourages investment in new hotels for the city while providing economic justification for existing hotels to renovate and upgrade their properties.“It enables Melbourne to keep up to world standards,” Mr Crinis added.According to the TAA the 2012 Grand Prix is a vital event and great marketing tool for Victoria, which doesn’t have some of the major tourist attractions like the Harbour Bridge or the reef to capture the attention of international visitors. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: S.Plast_img read more

Tourism Western Australia launches global campaign

first_imgSource = Tourism Western Australia Tourism Western Australia launches global campaignTourism Western Australia launches global campaignTourism Western Australia unveils its latest tourism marketing campaign, “Just Another Day in Western Australia,” providing a platform designed to bring to life the unique, personal experiences visitors can expect on any given day in Perth and throughout Western Australia. The groundbreaking initiative marks a fundamental shift in the way Tourism Western Australia promotes the State as a vacation destination: in addition to developing many of the creative assets, the organization also calls on visitors and local residents to contribute to the campaign by sharing their extraordinary moments using the hashtag #justanotherdayinWA.“Western Australia has so many extraordinary experiences that cannot be found elsewhere in Australia, or in some cases the world, but those of us who are lucky enough to live in the State tend to be blasé about its uniqueness and beauty,” Acting CEO Gwyn Dolphin says. “The premise behind the campaign is to highlight all these experiences that West Australians take for granted but visitors find memorable and extraordinary.”The campaign gives Tourism Western Australia a platform to promote all the exciting changes that have happened in and around Perth over the past couple of years, including:Opening up the Swan River through the development of the new Elizabeth Quay waterfront2,300 new hotels rooms to open by 2018 in the Perth CBD, including Crown Towers (December 2016) and Ritz-Carlton (2018), with another 1,000 new rooms set to open around the greater Perth region$1 billion redevelopment of Perth AirportConstruction of a 60,000-seat international sporting and events stadiumRedevelopment of Fremantle, the fishing village 30 minutes south of PerthUpgrades at Scarborough Beach with $78 million for a beachside swimming pool, cafes, restaurants, kiosks and public artUpgrades to Perth’s very own island getaway, Rottnest Island, including a luxury refurbishment of Hotel Rottnest as well as an upmarket “glamping” experience, which will open in 2017 and require a short ferry or helicopter ride“The wider Perth region will continue to transform over the next few years and the ever-changing nature of the campaign will allow us to share this evolution around the world,” says Dolphin. Just Another Day in WAAbout Western AustraliaWestern Australia is a large and diverse State, with extraordinary experiences found in every corner – many of which cannot be found elsewhere in Australia, or in some cases the world. From visiting the Kimberley in the North West, one of the true last wilderness areas on earth; to swimming with the biggest fish in the sea, the whale shark at Ningaloo Reef in the Coral Coast; or sampling world-class Chardonnay in the Margaret River wine region – local residents have a lot to boast about. But to West Australians, it’s just another day in Western Australia. The State’s capital city, Perth, and its surrounding regions is a microcosm of Western Australia, boasting the State’s vineyards, fantastic restaurants, a lively and original music and arts scene, and stylish accommodations. Perth is also home to Kings Park and Botanic Garden, one of the world’s largest inner city parks. Featuring beautiful beaches, tall tree forests, and award-winning wineries, the South West is home to the Margaret River region, which produces more than 25% of Australia’s premium wine. With more than 220 wine producers in the region, travelers can explore more than 100 cellar doors that are open to the public.last_img read more

Global Ecotourism takes off as 35 percent

first_imgGlobal Eco-tourism takes off as 35 percentGlobal Eco-tourism takes off as 35 percentAccording to GlobalData, a recognized leader in business information and analytics, the climate change imperative and the rise of responsible travellers is creating a compelling business case for sustainable tourism.The company’s latest report: ‘Top Trends in Sustainable Tourism: An analysis of the key trends in sustainable tourism and the business opportunities they create for the travel and tourism industry‘ reveals that increased awareness of social, economic and environmental sustainability has spread rapidly through the digital world and social media. This has given rise to a new type of tourist, characterized by environmental and cultural sensitivity. Such travellers are more likely to see eco-tourism holidays as a serious option when choosing their next destination and more likely to support businesses and brands that are committed to social values and respect the environment.According to GlobalData’s Q4-2016 consumer survey, 35 percent globally are likely to book eco-tourism holidays. The countries that present the biggest interest in eco-tourism are Malaysia (76 percent), followed by China (67 percent) and Turkey (65 percent). Besides climate change and the rise of eco-conscious consumers, trends such as overtourism, the desire for transformative travel experiences and the growing sharing economy are also driving the shift towards sustainable tourism. This is driving the appeal of eco-holidays among previously untapped consumers.The higher the household income of respondents, the greater the likelihood to book an eco-tourism holiday. Whereas 16 percent of Americans with a household income between $20,000 and $34,000 per annum were likely to book an eco-tourism trip, 57 percent of those whose income exceeds $150,000 said the same.As Konstantina Boutsioukou, Associate Travel & Tourism Analyst at GlobalData comments: “Our findings suggest that changing consumer perceptions across all income segments create opportunities to combine different types of travel. For instance, luxury and eco holidays traditionally belonged at the opposite ends of the tourism industry. However, the renewed interest from the most affluent on eco-holidays has given rise to the new type of travel, known as luxury ecotourism.”Millennials are also leading the way in sustainable tourism, with 41 percent arguing that they are interested in booking an eco-tourism holiday.Boutsioukou continues; “Our results go in hand with general trends that show that millennials are the most eco-conscious consumers, hence driving the need for support of sustainable practices from an array of industries.”With an ever-growing interest in sustainable tourism from the most affluent and arguably the most influential audiences, the industry would be foolish not to capitalise on the sustainability trend, which beyond improved consumer sentiment, offers cost benefits and greater product longevity.Boutsioukou explains; “Such trends present opportunities for airlines, hotels, tour operators and tourism boards to differentiate the products and services they offer on the basis of sustainability and hence attract more customers. In that way, sustainable tourism is seen as a win-win situation as it can be both financially profitable, as well as socially responsible.”Information based on GlobalData’s report: ‘Top Trends in Sustainable Tourism: An analysis of the key trends in sustainable tourism and the business opportunities they create for the travel and tourism industry‘Source = GlobalDatalast_img read more

FHA Slaps 240 Lenders With Penalties

first_img Share Agents & Brokers FHA HUD Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers 2011-08-01 Ryan Schuette August 1, 2011 464 Views Fraud,FHA Slaps 240 Lenders With Penaltiescenter_img in Government, Origination, Servicing Some 240 lenders across the country got in trouble with the “”Federal Housing Administration””:http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/housing/fhahistory (FHA) this year, with the federal agency announcing sanctions on Friday that included revocations of approval, suspensions, reprimands, and civil monetary fines.[IMAGE]The FHA’s Mortgagee Review Board (MRB) slapped lenders with administrative penalties for scrimping on loan criteria required by the federal agency, which it said in some cases resulted in over-insured loans, excessive and duplicative fees for borrowers, and failing to separate business operations. “”It’s never been more important that lenders doing business with FHA apply our standards to each and every loan they originate and underwrite,”” Carol Galante, acting FHA commissioner, said in a “”statement””:http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/press/press_releases_media_advisories/2011/HUDNo.11-161. “”FHA requirements ensure homeowners are put on a path of sustainable homeownership and that ultimately helps stabilize entire neighborhoods and communities,”” she added.[COLUMN_BREAK]Among the institutions whose approval the FHA will withdraw: Ft. Lauderdale-based First Continental Mortgage, Inc.; Cranston-based Action Mortgage Corp.; Great Neck-based Cambridge Home Capital; Gold Neck-based Golden First Mortgage; and Melville-based Somerset Investors Corp. Reasons for withdrawal included, among other things, the failure by lenders to abide by “”HUD””:http://portal.hud.gov/portal/page/portal/HUD program rules, implement quality control guidelines, properly document borrower income and eligibility information, and make loans under established rules and procedures, according to a MRB notice in the “”Federal Register””:http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2011-07-29/pdf/2011-19293.pdf.For other offenses, FHA ordered lenders to pay civil penalty fines. For falsifying loan certification information and failing to separate companies, Greenwood-based Catalyst Lending, Inc., will now need to pay $50,000 in fines without admitting fault in court. In another instance, the federal agency ordered Southlake-based Alacrity Lending Company to pay $237,500 in civil money fines for failing to implement quality control procedures, omitting serious violations in reviews, and allowing discrepancies between disbursements and sales prices.These administrative sanctions and penalties join some 1,600 others taken against lenders by the FHA last year, and over 2,300 since 2009. According to the statement, these penalties come on the heels of new rules implemented by the FHA in order to bolster risk management policies and underscore the role of the lender in broker oversight.The MRB is responsible for issuing sanctions against FHA-approved lenders for statutory violations, with the most severe penalties including the revocation of approval.last_img read more

US Economy Adds Only 69K Jobs Fewest in a Year

first_imgU.S. Economy Adds Only 69K Jobs, Fewest in a Year in Data, Government, Origination, Servicing Share June 1, 2012 426 Views center_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Bureau of Labor Statistics Investors Jobs Labor Department Lenders & Servicers Service Providers Unemployment 2012-06-01 Mark Lieberman The economy added just 69,000 jobs in May compared with a revised 77,000 in April down from the originally reported 115,000, the “”Labor Department””:http://www.dol.gov/ reported Friday. [IMAGE]The closely watched unemployment rate inched up to 8.2 percent ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô a function of an increase in the nation├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós labor force to the highest level ever.Economists surveyed by Bloomberg had expected the number of jobs to increase by 150,000 and the unemployment rate to remain at 8.1 percent.But while the jobs total was certainly disappointing for a president seeking re-election, the White House found a glimmer in the employment data ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô the result of a survey of 60,000 households ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô which put the number of people employed in May at 142,287,000 ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô the highest level since January 2009 when President Obama took office.That said, the balance of the report was dismal.Not only did payroll jobs drop to the lowest level since May 2011, but average weekly hours dropped to 34.4 hours (from 34.5 hours), the lowest level since November and average hourly earnings fell to $19.70 from $19.71 which computes to an overall decline in weekly earnings affecting consumer purchasing power.Payroll gains for March and April were revised, subtracting 11,000 from the last published numbers for March and 38,000 from the preliminary report for April. At 34.4 hours, the average workweek remained below the level when the recession began in December 2007 (34.6) but above the 34.2 hours when President Obama took office.While the number of people employed rose, so did the number of people counted as unemployed (meeting the definitional test of out-of-work, available-for-work and looking-for-work). There were according to the BLS, 12,720,000 people unemployed in May, up from 12,500,000 in April, the first increases since February. The average duration of unemployment rose to 39.7 weeks, from 39.1, the first increase since November.Part of the reason for the increase in both unemployment and the unemployment rate was the number “”re-entrants”” to the labor force, 3,439,000, the highest since November, suggesting improving confidence in the ability to find a job or perhaps a consequence of Congressional action cutting off unemployment insurance benefits.A sharp drop in construction jobs ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô 28,000 ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô led payrolls down. The decline in construction payrolls was itself led by a reduction in “”heavy and civil engineering construction”” ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô essentially infrastructure work and specialty trade contractors, primarily residential workers. Government shed 13,000 jobs ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ôevenly split among federal, state and local governments.Even with the disappointing numbers, the report continued a string of increases in payroll jobs ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô the twentieth straight month of job gains but fell woefully short of population growth. In the 20 months, the over-16 population has grown 4.6 million while the number of payroll jobs is up 3.1 million. To keep up with population growth though the economy has to add between 140,000 and 150,000 jobs per month.The payroll report followed Thursday’s government report on first quarter corporate profits which showed profits were down 53.8 percent from the fourth quarter.While the unemployment rate increased, the employment-population ratio, unconstrained by technical definitions of unemployment climbed to 58.6 percent. The inverse of the ratio ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô 41.4 percent ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô can be considered the “”unemployment rate”” for all persons over 16 regardless of whether they are available or looking for work. The ratio was 62.7 percent when the recession began and 60.6 percent when President Obama took office in January 2009.The formula for the unemployment rate is to divide the number of people officially counted as unemployed (out of work, available for work and looking for work) by the total labor force (employed plus unemployed). If the labor force change is driven by a drop in unemployment, the unemployment rate will decline. In May, the drop was due to a decline in both employment and unemployment.Within the financial sector, which itself added a net 3,000 jobs in May, the number of credit “”intermediation”” positions ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô underwriters ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô fell by 3,500 after falling 3,900 in April. The number of real estate jobs was up 2,700 in May, after increasing 1,400 in April.The number of temporary jobs increased 9,200 in May increasing 12,600 in April. While temporary hiring is considered by some an entry ramp to permanent employment it also suggests a lack of confidence by employers who are reluctant to make a commitment and swallow associated costs of having an employee.The closely watched alternate measure of unemployment ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô which includes individuals working part time for economic reasons and those “”marginally attached”” to the labor force ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô rose to 14.8 percent in May. It was 14.5 percent in April, unchanged from March.The numbers of job-leavers, often an encouraging sign suggesting workers have confidence in their ability to find a new job, dropped in May for the second straight month.The unemployment rate for the prime home-buying age cohort ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô 25 to 34 ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô rose to 8.2 percent in May ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô from 8.1 percent in April while the unemployment rate for those over 55, generally the prime home-selling age cohort, increased to 6.5 percent in May from 6.3 percent in April.last_img read more

Down Payment Biggest Barrier to Homeownership Study

first_img Agents & Brokers Housing Affordability Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers 2012-06-11 Tory Barringer Down Payment Biggest Barrier to Homeownership: Study Feelings about homeownership remain positive in the face of a diminished market, but an uncertain economy and increasing down payments are keeping Americans from making purchases, a report from “”Integra Realty Resources””:http://www.irr.com/Index.asp?x=010|010 (IRR) said.[IMAGE]Wednesday’s report detailed results from an IRR-commissioned survey of non-homeowners ages 22-50 in 11 major markets. While 85 percent of potential buyers indicated that market conditions are favorable for purchasing a home, unemployment and job instability make many respondents reluctant or unable to buy a home.According to the study, 21 percent of respondents are not planning to buy a home due to an uncertain economic outlook, while 24 percent are afraid of making a bad investment. [COLUMN_BREAK]Thirty-one percent are not planning to buy a home because of a lack of a down payment. As banks and lenders have become more stringent, down payments have escalated to a point where many Americans can’t afford to make the investment.””Some respondents feel that purchasing a home may be too risky in the near future,”” said “”Benjamin Loughry””:http://www.irr.com/About-18/Index.htm, MAI, MRICS, managing partner at IRR-Dallas/Fort Worth. “”The down payment conundrum continues to suppress demand with no easy resolution in sight. For this reason and the continuing foreclosures is why the homeownership rate is decreasing. This segment of the population will be turning to rental housing instead, which will further boost the rebounding multifamily sector.”” Responses tended to vary according to different areas. Respondents in Detroit are least likely to purchase a home in the next 12 months (69 percent abstaining from purchases). Respondents in Miami were the most unsure about their home buying future, with 36 percent saying they were uncertain.More than three-quarters (76 percent) of those planning to buy a home who are age 30 or older cited “”I have always dreamed of owning my own home”” as their reason to buy. While that enthusiasm may be shared by some non-buyers, the ability to act on it remains out of reach.””Clearly, the American dream of homeownership lives on,”” said “”Jeffrey Rogers””:http://www.irr.com/About-3/Index.htm, FRICS, JD, MBA, president and COO of IRR. “”But if you go deeper into the research, this may be only in a fantasy not to be realized in the current economy.”” in Data, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicingcenter_img June 11, 2012 453 Views Sharelast_img read more

2013 in Review The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

first_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Compliance Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Investors Lenders & Servicers Politics Qualified Mortgage Regulation Richard Cordray Service Providers 2013-12-20 Tory Barringer December 20, 2013 432 Views in Government, Origination, Servicing Sharecenter_img Mortgage industry commentators may argue (and they certainly have) about the “”Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s””:http://www.consumerfinance.gov/ (CFPB) performance over the last year, but one thing is certain: The bureau knows how to command headlines.[IMAGE]Early this year, CFPB finally issued its long awaited Qualified Mortgage (QM) guidelines along with a slew of other finance regulations. With the future of housing finance on the line, it’s no wonder readers of theMReport.com couldn’t tear themselves away from the news.The story started “”January 10″”:https://themreport.com/articles/cfpb-releases-qualified-mortgage-criteria-establishes-legal-protections-2013-01-10, when CFPB finally released its criteria for legally and financially sound loans. Including in the provisions was the Ability to Repay rule, which established criteria for lenders to judge a borrower’s financial qualifications and their ability to meet all of their debt obligations. The QM guidelines also gave the boot to riskier loan features and limited points and fees.CFPB’s release also set an implementation date for the changes: January 10, 2014–one year after the announcement was first made.That wasn’t the agency’s only January announcement. In the days that followed, a number of releases came down, establishing regulations on issues ranging from “”high-cost mortgage practices””:https://themreport.com/articles/cfpb-issues-rules-on-high-cost-mortgage-loans-2013-01-11, “”servicing requirements””:https://themreport.com/articles/cfpb-releases-mortgage-servicing-guidelines-2013-01-17, “”appraisal rules””:https://themreport.com/articles/regulators-unveil-appraisal-rules-for-lenders-2013-01-18, and “”originator””:https://themreport.com/articles/cfpb-announces-rules-to-reform-originator-compensation-2013-01-18 compensation–each one adding another layer of complexity.In response to industry concerns, the bureau “”revisited””:https://themreport.com/articles/cfpb-proposes-amendments-to-clarify-mortgage-guidelines-2013-04-22 its QM rules in April, changing some of the language and expanding the definition a bit to include a wider field of loans.As lenders, servicers, and other mortgage segments wrestled with compliance, CFPB was fighting battles of its own in Washington. In late April, Director Richard Cordray–whose future as the head of the agency was still up for debate following his re-nomination–sat before the “”Senate Banking Committee””:https://themreport.com/articles/cordray-senate-committee-clash-over-cfpb-data-collection-2013-04-24 to defend the National Mortgage Database, a joint effort between CFPB and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) to compile a comprehensive repository of borrower profiles and other loan information. Addressing complaints of possible privacy violations, Cordray maintained that personal identities would not be disclosed and insisted on the need for such a database.””You have to have information about consumers if you’re going to understand what is going on in the consumer marketplace. There’s no two ways about this,”” he testified at the time. “”If we don’t have data and information … we can’t do that and we can’t do our job, and you would be upset with us and rightly so.””Months later, Cordray got some good news: After months of debate, the Senate finally struck a deal to end legislative gridlock and move forward with executive nominations–confirming Cordray as “”CFPB director””:https://themreport.com/articles/senate-to-proceed-with-cordray-confirmation-vote-2013-07-16 for the first time since his much-disputed recess appointment in 2012.After rocking the world of housing finance in the first half of 2013, CFPB saw a fairly quiet second half, with most mortgage-related announcements dealing with “”disclosure requirements””:https://themreport.com/articles/cfpb-finalizes-rule-on-new-mortgage-disclosures-2013-11-20 or “”regulatory””:https://themreport.com/articles/cfpb-penalizes-two-institutions-for-hmda-violations-2013-10-11 “”enforcement””:https://themreport.com/articles/cfpb-targets-private-insurer-over-alleged-kickbacks-2013-11-18 actions. It’s unlikely things will stay that way, though–with the January 10 deadline only weeks away and an industry waiting anxiously (or apprehensively) to see what comes next, 2014 looks to be another big year. CFPB,2013 in Review: The Consumer Financial Protection Bureaulast_img read more

Mortgage Banking Suffers at Wells JPMorgan

first_img in Origination Mortgage Banking Suffers at Wells, JPMorgan January 14, 2014 409 Views This season’s bank releases kicked off Tuesday with dual quarterly earnings reports from “”JPMorgan Chase””:http://www.jpmorganchase.com/corporate/Home/home.htm and Wells Fargo–and as “”projected””:https://themreport.com/articles/will-bank-earnings-meet-fourth-quarter-expectations-2014-01-10, weakened origination figures took their toll.[IMAGE]JPMorgan’s fourth-quarter income came to nearly $5.3 billion, a recovery from the third quarter’s losses but a weak showing compared to the prior year’s $5.7 billion. Net income for the full year was $17.9 billion compared to $21.3 billion in 2012.The report caps off a tumultuous year for the megabank, which spent the last few months working toward “”settlements””:https://themreport.com/articles/jpmorgan-working-on-45b-deal-with-rmbs-investors-2013-11-18 on “”legal actions””:https://themreport.com/articles/jpmorgan-fhfa-settle-on-51b-deal-over-soured-loans-2013-10-28 related to soured mortgage-backed securities (MBS)–including a landmark “”$13 billion deal””:https://themreport.com/articles/jpmorgan-us-government-reach-record-13b-dollar-deal-on-rmbs-claims-2013-11-19 with government. The fourth quarter’s results included a non-MBS settlement related to the bank’s failure to intervene in Bernard Madoff’s infamous Ponzi scheme that cost investors billions of dollars.””We are pleased to have made progress on our control, regulatory and litigation agendas and to have put some significant issues behind us this quarter,”” said Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan’s chairman and CEO. “”It was in the best interests of our company and shareholders for us to accept responsibility, resolve these issues and move forward.””[COLUMN_BREAK]Mortgage banking net income was $562 million, an increase of 34 percent over the prior year, “”driven by lower noninterest expense and provision for credit losses, predominantly offset by lower net revenue,”” the bank reported.Originations totaled $23.3 billion, down 54 percent from the year-ago quarter and 42 percent from Q3. Purchase originations made up $13.0 billion of that, reflecting the ongoing dwindling in refinances. Application volumes were $31.3 billion, down 52 percent from the prior year and 23 percent from the prior quarter.A lower provision for credit losses provided a benefit of $782 million, reflecting a $950 million reduction in loan loss allowances as a result of the improving housing market.Meanwhile, “”Wells Fargo””:https://www.wellsfargo.com/ reported fourth-quarter profits of $5.6 billion, a 10 percent improvement over the same quarter last year. For all of 2013, the bank pulled in $21.9 billion, up 16 percent year-over-year.””The fourth quarter of 2013 was very strong for Wells Fargo, with record earnings, solid growth in loans, deposits and capital, and strong credit quality,”” commented CFO Tim Sloan, who noted growth in net interest and noninterest income, “”despite a challenging rate environment and the expected decline in mortgage originations.””Mortgage banking income at the nation’s biggest home lender was $1.6 billion, down $38 million quarter-over-quarter. The quarterly loss was driven in large part by a decline in mortgage originations, which totaled $50 billion compared to Q3’s $80 billion.Mortgage applications at Wells Fargo came to $65 billion in the fourth quarter, down from $87 billion in the previous report–once again reflecting consumers’ waning interest as interest rates climb ever upward.center_img Share Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Investors JPMorgan Chase Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Applications Profits Quarterly Earnings Service Providers Wells Fargo 2014-01-14 Tory Barringerlast_img read more

Asking Prices Up 78 as South Takes Lead

first_imgAsking Prices Up 7.8% as South Takes Lead in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, News Home prices leveled up nationwide in August, boosting long-dawdling markets in the South and accelerating the recovery in other states as foreclosure gluts begin to clear, according to Trulia.The real-estate website monitored prices and rents in August, adjusting compositions for listed homes and third-party data from RealtyTrac.According to Trulia, asking home prices only nudged along by 1 percent nationally last month, just a little above the marginal climb in July. Asking prices, meanwhile, leapt ahead by 7.8 percent year over year.The South helped carry much of the growth, boasting seven of the 10 U.S. metro cities with the biggest gains.Residential home markets in Florida posted some of the largest increases in asking prices, according to the website. Asking prices went up year-over-year in towns and cities like Miami, Lakeland-Winter Haven, and West Palm Beach by 15.6 percent, 14.8 percent, and 14.5 percent, respectively.Birmingham, Alabama, also posted a 15.6 percent increase from August last year, but it wasn’t much of a change from the same asking prices reported year-over-year in 2013.Trulia found home price trends slowing outside the region, especially in California. Asking prices reflected some of the same double-digit changes in Riverside-San Bernardino and Oakland, but that represents a more glacial pace after the two cities topped out last year at 26 percent and 30.9 percent, respectively.Other markets around the United States offered more modest price gains in light of a post-recession boon.Jed Kolko, Trulia’s chief economist, tied regional price differences to a foreclosure bottleneck that continues to unstop as courts in states with judicial processes finally begin to clear their dockets.Excluding foreclosures, asking prices for homes on sale climbed ahead by 6.9 percent year-over-year in those states with judicial processes, not far from the 7.8-percent increase observed in cities in states without the same court-required reviews.”Despite the pain that a longer foreclosure process can cause, markets in judicial states have had a more sober and sustainable price recovery,” Kolko said.Up from 5.1 percent last year, that August increase comes closer to the 14.1-percent gain in non-judicial states.The real-estate website noted that asking prices in harder-hit states with judicial processes in fact eclipsed those in states without the same processes by 10.6 percent to a weaker 8.3 percent.Kolko added that states in the Northeast continue to see smaller bumps in their home prices as a result of a quieter housing market and still-stagnant job growth.Trulia also found rents increasing by 6.3 percent since August last year, with five of the 25 biggest rental markets showing price gains of more than 10 percent year-over-year. September 9, 2014 611 Views center_img Asking Prices Home Prices Trulia 2014-09-09 Ryan Schuette Sharelast_img read more

Mortgage Settlement Talks Stall Between US Wells Fargo

first_img in Daily Dose, Government, Headlines, News Settlement talks between Wells Fargo and the U.S. government over alleged mortgage insurance fraud have stalled, according to a media report.According to a report from Bloomberg, lawyers for both sides told a judge on Tuesday they’re doubtful about the chances of reaching an agreement on a suit alleging the bank fraudulently submitted loans for insurance through the Federal Housing Administration (FHA).The suit, brought against Wells Fargo in 2012, claims the megabank took advantage of its participation in an FHA insurance program to certify ineligible loans without needing approval from the agency. When those mortgages went under, the resulting defaults cost the program hundreds of millions of dollars, the government says.Citing an unnamed source, Bloomberg reports attorneys for both the United States and Wells Fargo said a settlement seems out of reach at this point, even after months of settlement talks.In a statement to Bloomberg, Wells Fargo spokesperson Tom Goyda said, “Our good-faith efforts to work with the federal government on a possible resolution of the complaint have not yet resulted in a settlement. We will move forward with presenting our case in support of our prudent and responsible FHA lending practices.”A spokesperson for U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, whose office is pursuing the case, declined to comment. FHA Settlements Wells Fargo 2014-11-19 Tory Barringer November 19, 2014 470 Views center_img Mortgage Settlement Talks Stall Between U.S., Wells Fargo Sharelast_img read more

Mortgage Applications Reverse Course as Interest Rates Tick Up

first_imgMortgage Applications Reverse Course as Interest Rates Tick Up February 11, 2015 450 Views Share A slight rise in interest rates headed off mortgage refinancing demand in early February, putting a drag on total mortgage application volumes after a strong January.Mortgage applications, including both purchase and refinance volumes, fell a seasonally adjusted 9.0 percent week-over-week for the week ending February 6, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) said Wednesday.MBA’s refinance application index dropped 10 percent week-on-week, accompanying a small increase in the average 30-year fixed rate to 3.84 percent. The decline saw the refinance share of mortgage activity slip back down to 69 percent of total applications compared to 71 percent at the end of January.Helped by rock-bottom rates and lower annual Federal Housing Administration (FHA) insurance premiums, refinance applications finished out January up about 54 percent from the month prior, signaling the start of what some analysts anticipate will be a new “mini-boom” for remortgaging.Paul Diggle, property economist for Capital Economics, said the firm expects to see refinance volumes jump by about 200 percent in the first half of 2015, though that prediction may fall short if consumers have a bad reaction to interest rates ticking upward again. Most projections call for rates to push up to nearly 5 percent by the end of this year.Meanwhile, MBA’s seasonally adjusted measure of purchase loan applications fell 7 percent week-over-week. Unadjusted, the index was down 1 percent on a weekly basis, floating just above where it was at this time last year.center_img in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News Mortgage Applications Mortgage Bankers Association Mortgage Rates Purchase Loans Refinances 2015-02-11 Tory Barringerlast_img read more

Fed Mortgage Lending Survey Deemed Flawed

first_img Share Fed Mortgage Lending Survey Deemed Flawed American Enterprise Institute Federal Reserve International Center on Housing Risk Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey on Bank Lending Practices 2015-11-05 Staff Writer November 5, 2015 530 Views center_img Earlier this week, the Federal Reserve  released their Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey on Bank Lending Practices (SLOOS), which found that banks lowered mortgage lending standards in the third quarter of 2015. However, new housing risk research shows that the survey is “flawed.”The survey, which includes responses from 69 domestic banks and 23 U.S. branches and agencies of foreign banks, found that household lending from banks have loosened their credit standards over the past three months on loans eligible for purchase by the GSEs and on qualified mortgage (QM) loans.”The SLOOS shows that mortgage lending standards have loosened on net over the past year. This is the right signal, but the SLOOS arrives there by accident, rather than by design,” said Tobias Peter, housing risk researcher at the American Enterprise Institute’s (AEI) International Center on Housing Risk.The survey is monitored closely by the mortgage industry as a key indicator for lending trends and changes reported directly from banks. But despite its huge following, Peter believes the survey is flawed and has identified a few discrepancies within it.”Unfortunately, the information provided by the survey has always been limited at best, and useless at worst,” Peter explained. “Limited because it only reports results based on about 60 loan officers. But even if these were representative for the fifty percent of mortgage lending originated by banks, it ignores the other half, consisting largely of much riskier originations by nonbanks. And useless because it showed no systematic loosening in mortgage lending standards in the run-up to the 2007/2008 financial crisis, which runs contrary to everything we now know.”In his research he points out that the Fed survey is not based on hard data (i.e. loan records), instead, it is based on the opinion of the 60 participating loan officers from commercial banks.In addition, Peter mentioned that the Fed survey weighs all responses equally, rather than by their share of actual originations.The survey also does not distinguish between loans with a government guarantee originated by all lenders, loans used to buy primary owner-occupied homes, second home purchases, or investor purchases.”While the SLOOS can shed some light on mortgages without a government guarantee, which are not currently covered by the NMRI, the same flaws apply,” Peter concluded. “Instead of basing evaluation of lending standards on a small survey of bankers that will send the correct signal only by accident or even worse, the wrong signal, policymakers and the public should direct their attention to an index grounded in facts, not opinions.”Click here to read the complete report. in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Government, Market Studies, News, Originationlast_img read more

Examining the Mortgage Market

first_img in Daily Dose, Featured, News, Origination January 9, 2019 1,243 Views Black Knight Credit Scores Home Prices mortgage Purchase Loans Refinance 2019-01-09 Radhika Ojha Last year saw the most purchase dominant market with 64 percent of the close to 4.8 million mortgages originated through the first three quarters of 2018 being made up of purchase loan transactions according to Black Knight’s latest Mortgage Monitor report.The report said that of the total originations tracked by Black Knight only 8.5 percent were rate or term refis—the lowest level originated since Black Knight began tracking the metric in 2005. Cash-outs made up 27 percent of all originations this year, inching up slightly from 2017 and the highest share for any year since 2008.Despite this decrease in originations, as mortgage interest rates dropped from multi-year highs in recent weeks, the number of homeowners with mortgages who could likely qualify for and see at least a 0.75 percent interest rate reduction by refinancing increased by approximately 550,000. The report revealed that while this represented a 29 percent increase over a decade low, the total refinanceable population was still down almost 50 percent from last year.”As refinances decline, the purchase share of the market rises correspondingly,” said Ben Graboske, EVP of Black Knight’s Data and Analytics Division. “So now, in the most purchase-dominant market we’ve seen this century, we need to ask whether the shift in originations will have any impact on mortgage performance. The short answer, based on historical trends, is that it certainly bears close watching.”The report also analyzed mortgage prepayments and revealed that they were at a 10-year low in November, with prepayment activity among higher credit score borrowers (720-plus) down 58 percent from two years ago. It indicated that prepays among borrowers with credit scores of less than 620 were down only 14 percent over the same period. Higher credit score borrowers were also pulling out cash less frequently despite holding the bulk of the nation’s home equity, suggesting that though equity was more likely to be held by high credit score borrowers, those with lower scores were more likely to make use of it.Looking at home prices, the report indicated that annual gains in prices decelerated by 1.3 percent over the past eight months from a four-year high of 6.7 percent in February to 5.4 percent in October. It revealed that home price growth had slowed in 33 states and 71 of the nation’s largest markets, with California seeing the most evident changes.Click here to read the full report.center_img Share Examining the Mortgage Marketlast_img read more

Trott Law PC Merges With Academy Law Group

first_img January 13, 2019 815 Views Trott Law P.C. Merges With Academy Law Group Share in Featured, Headlines, Newscenter_img Michigan-based Trott Law P.C. has announced its expansion through a merger with Academy Law Group in Minnesota. Academy Law Group will now operate as Trott Law in Minnesota.Academy Law Group is a full service default law firm, handling both private investor and GSE/FHA/VA files. After successfully representing banks and servicers for many years, they are dedicated to earning and maintaining a strong reputation for meeting the highest level of quality and customer service. The merger signifies a step into the future for both firms as they bolster its service offerings for clients through a new multi-state presence.Marcy Ford, Jeff Raff and Jeff Weisserman will remain managing partners of Trott Law. P.C. N. Kibongni (Kibong) Fondungallah, the current managing partner of Academy Law Group, will serve as the managing partner of Trott Law in Minnesota. Fondungallah will be joined by current partner Sam Coleman. Trott Law partners Jeanne Kivi, Bill Meagher, Ken Kurel, John Kapitan, Heide Myzak and Michelle Clark will continue with their roles in managing the Michigan operation.Trott Law P.C. specializes in real estate finance legal work, including default servicing, bankruptcy, eviction and litigation. The firm represents mortgage servicers, banks, credit unions, investor groups, commercial and multi-family property owners, and individual entrepreneurs. Academy Law Group Bill Meagher Heide Myzak Jeanne Kivi Jeff Raff Jeff Weisserman John Kapitan Ken Kurel Marcy Ford Michelle Clark N. Kibongni (Kibong) Fondungallah Sam Coleman Trott Law P.C. 2019-01-13 Donna Josephlast_img read more

The Future of Online Closings

first_img Borrowers eClosing Home Homebuyers HOUSING Lenders loans mortgage Online Closings 2019-02-11 Radhika Ojha Share The current movement and excitement surrounding moving real estate closings online is not a new trend. In fact, capturing digital signatures had started gaining traction before the big housing crisis of 2007-2008. But as housing came crashing down and foreclosures reached record highs, lenders shifted from one extreme to another. The last housing crisis undoubtedly crippled innovation in real estate transactions and the title/settlement process. So now, 10 years after the crisis–and amid speculation about when the next housing bubble will burst–what has happened to innovation in the archaic and fragmented world of real estate closings? I would say not enough innovation, disruption, or meaningful movement into a digital platform has occurred over this period. The real estate industry constantly lives in a state of perpetual fear that we are buying at an all-time high, that the next crisis is just around the corner, that if we push innovation and our fears come true, people will challenge mortgage and contract obligations to protect their home and investments. Ultimately, this is the very heart of the problem–housing is intimate. It isn’t some position in a stock. Most people don’t think of real estate as an asset. In their mind, it is their home. Our instinct is always to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our homes. If you spend time talking to consumers about what they really want and expect, they will tell you “a better closing experience.” That doesn’t always mean a fully digital remote eClosing. Sometimes they want to sit next to a trusted professional who explains documents to them–after all, this is often the largest investment of their life. Buying or selling a home can be emotional–and engineers, entrepreneurs, bankers, and the title industry sometimes lose sight of that. Despite these concerns, I am a firm believer that the future of online platforms to manage and conduct real estate closings is promising. But I also think that the industry, despite the exciting momentum, needs to really stop and take the time to understand what consumers and users want. We need to work together to collaborate towards getting the involvement of all the necessary stakeholders. The uncertainty we face today is perpetuated by the fragmentation and silos that we operate in. For instance, banks look at ways to improve mortgage processing but don’t invite their title and settlement vendors into the room. Federal, state, and local government involved in financing and recording real estate transactions consider and implement changes without always leveraging the vast experience of the private sector. I meet with entrepreneurs in the technology space all the time that want to ask me a question or two, because they are building the next great real estate, mortgage or title solution. But all too often, when I ask them what their prospective customers say, they look at me blankly. Government, start-ups, venture capital, title insurance, real estate professionals, and lenders need to work together to identify their respective risks and concerns. We need to look at the opportunities that exist (based on what our customers and clients want) and work to create solutions that take an archaic and fragmented industry into the twenty-first century. February 11, 2019 2,069 Views center_img The Future of Online Closings in Commentary, Daily Dose, Featured, News, Originationlast_img read more

Peru is forecasting a 510 drop in avocado produc

first_img Peru is forecasting a 5-10% drop in avocado production from last year’s record 338,000 metric tons (MT) as well as a longer season due to new and early growing areas coming online.In addition, Daniel Bustamante of ProHass Peru told FreshFruitPortal.com that this season would likely not see the peaks that have often been experienced in June and July.”Lots of orchards have either returned to their normal production or have suffered from the stress on the trees last year, but that big drop from the mature orchards will be offset by the newer plantings,” he said. February 15 , 2019 Australia expects bumper avocado crop, plans expor … You might also be interested in Avocados In Charts: Why falling prices could settl … center_img Most of the new plantings are in the north of the country, and Bustamante said that while volumes from these orchards will be very limited, they will effectively extend the season by around a month at the front end.”The total export volume will be similar to or 10% lower than last year, but it will be distributed throughout many more weeks,” he said.He added that Peru’s slight drop in volumes combined with lower production expected from California and South Africa will likely lead to stronger market conditions than last year.”We are seeing opportunities in the U.S., as California is producing almost 40% of what it achieved last year,” he said, adding that South Africa’s anticipated production decline of 30% will likely lead to opportunities in Europe.The industry continues to grow at a rapid pace. This year along another 2,000 hectares of avocados are expected to be planted, which will enter into production in the next two or three years. U.S.: California’s avocado supply remains tight bu … Colombian avocados are the business … last_img read more

So where are Aussie travellers off to in 2017 Boo

first_imgSo where are Aussie travellers off to in 2017? Booking.com data experts looked at the 300 most searched destinations by market and ranked them based on the increase in searches this year relative to last year. To qualify as trending, they had to have moved up in rank by at least ten places, and to ensure that they weren’t only trending in search and were seeing an increased volume of travel, they had to have a higher than average growth in bookings.10 of the best domestic destinationsHayman IslandHahndorfBrunswick HeadsFraser IslandMansfieldColes BayCoomaNambucca HeadsMount HothamYarra Glen10 of the best global destinationsSeattle, USALisboa, PortugalReykjavik, IcelandSaint Petersburg, RussiaColombo, Sri LankaTakayama, JapanPortland, USAScarborough, UKVancouver, CanadaBanff, Canadalast_img read more

The majestic jewel of India the Taj Mahal the le

first_imgThe majestic jewel of India, the Taj Mahal, the legendary Bengal tiger and the remote and sacred river of  Brahmaputra combine as highlights of a new river cruise tour to India in 2019.Released by Cruise Traveller in partnership with Indian river cruise company, Adventure Resorts and Cruises (ARC), the 12-night ‘Taj Mahal and Tigers’ package in April 2019,  links a five-night tour of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur with a seven-night cruise on the mysterious Brahmaputra River in Assam, a culturally intact region in far-north-east India that sees few tourists but boasts so much wildlife it is known as the ‘Serengeti of India’.Cruise Traveller and ARC are offering an earlybird discount of up to A$1620 per couple on the Taj Mahal and Tigers tour, if booked by April 30, 2018. Including international return flights with Singapore Airlines from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide or Perth plus domestic flights in India, the 12-night land and river cruise package is available from A$6385 per person, twin-share, in a riverview stateroom – a saving of A$610 if booked by April 30, 2018. The fare in a suite is from A$7510 per person, twin-share – a saving of A$810 including the earlybird discount. The discounts are subject to availability.Beginning April 15, 2019, the tour package offers two nights in Delhi, a night in Agra and two nights in the ‘pink city’ of Jaipur, which, together, form India’s popular ‘Golden Triangle’. The on-land itinerary takes travellers on daily excursions that include the iconic Taj Mahal at sunset, the Palace of the Winds – the Hawa Mahal, the formidable forts of Rajasthan and an authentic Indian dinner with a local family in Jaipur.Travellers then board ARC’s boutique, 46-guest river ship, MV Mahabaahu, for a seven-night journey on one of India’s great rivers, the Brahmaputra, from Neamati Ghat to Guwahati in the mystical, culturally intact state of Assam, a rich, green land of valleys located in the foothills of the Himalayas.To book the Taj Mahal and Tigers fly/cruise/tour package, visit www.cruisetraveller.com.au/mahabaah or call Cruise Traveller on 1800 507 777.last_img read more