We are at the halfway mark for the year and I am not sure if I should freak out or breathe a sigh of relief. It’s like looking at a bottle of wine – is it half full or half empty??
Should I just relax and enjoy what is left or should I rush out to the store right now?
Things are popping out there and of course, much of it has to do with excitement generated by the new administration.
No matter if you like or do not like this administration, you can’t argue that they keep us on our toes. No matter how much journalists decry how they are treated, there is never a dull moment, and yes, those journalists are earning their keep!
With his tendency to govern through his Tweets, President Trump keeps the journalists gainfully employed!
The month of May buried me in an avalanche of work but here are some interesting stories that have come as I raised my periscope to peek out at the world:
The very basis of a being a Notary Public is that we acknowledge that a person executed a document IN FRONT OF US and darn it, we can prove it because they signed our notary book in front of us.
With the CFPB pushing E-Closings (another name for “paperless” closings) there is also a push for Electronic Notarizations.
This means the signatures of both the signer and the notary public will be done electronically, with no paper, but it still calls for the signer to appear in front of the notary. Now, one BIG step forward is the concept of “Remote Notarizations”.
This is what they call notarizing without the signer physically appearing in front of the notary. So here is the new virtual reality that looms on the horizon: appearance via web cam.
A few years ago one state – Virginia – passed a law allowing this and now anyone all over the world can have a notarization done in Virginia even though they are in another location or country.
Another state – Montana – has passed a law, too, but only for residents of Montana. There are certain additional requirements that the notary public has to abide by or obtain, but I have been a notary for the almost 40 years that I have been an Escrow Officer and I shudder to think of how easy it would it be to commit fraud.
Here is the accompanying article for your thoughts and comments.
CREDIT REPORTING CHANGES COMING UP
Effective July 1, the three big credit reporting agencies – Equifax, TransUnion, Experian – are going to stop reporting a consumer’s judgments and tax liens on their credit reports.
This could be a good thing for that consumer who wants a higher credit score and a loan but has that lien or judgement that he doesn’t want to disclose.
The Lender or creditor will not be getting the full credit history.
A scant 10 years ago our global economy went through a major free fall, as years of low credit scoring and inflated appraisal values led to a lending frenzy in the years prior.
Do we really want to go down this route again?
WHEN AN ELECTRONIC SIGNING SERVICE GETS HACKED…
Those of you who are real estate agents know that the largest electronic signing platform used by the Real Estate community is DocuSign.
It is rare that I go through any transaction without having any documents signed electronically with this company.
Unfortunately this company got hacked last month and millions of e-mail addresses (2 page article) of users and their clients were stolen. No sooner did this piece of news get flashed through the industry when we started to get spam e-mails from hacked real estate agents asking us to open a fake DocuSign document.
With the cyber wire fraud issues that we are all facing, the real estate agent’s e-mail is the weakest link in the chain. Hackers are known to monitor e-mails from the agents to their clients and then substitute the real e-mail addresses with their own fake ones at a critical point in the transaction to divert wire funds.
All of a sudden the hackers get a treasure trove of these e-mails addresses. Guess who won the Lotto.
REMEMBER ZERO DOWN MORTGAGES?
Zero down. Downpayment assistance programs. I get chills knowing that we are going back to pre-crash mortgage scenarios.
I know this is a boon for the first time homebuyer because, hey, no money down, no out of pocket funds needed to own!
What is there not to like?
But there is no free lunch and there are various considerations which are never pointed out until the loan becomes a done deal: What type of high interest are you getting? At this high rate, how much will your monthly payment be?
Have you considered that you have to pay private mortgage insurance on top of that?
What about the fact that you have to include your monthly property taxes and insurance amounts in your payment?
More importantly, are all the taxes, insurance and private mortgage insurance costs that need to be paid at closing part of the zero down and downpayment assistance?
That will be a large chunk of change!
There is no doubt that the program, if properly thought out, will be a good thing for many who don’t have the ready cash for downpayment, but this zero down means the property owner will have no skin in the game and walking away would be so easy. Do we see where that garden path is leading to?
GRADS, JOBS, AND HOUSING
Look what I found! An interactive study from Trulia to show the best areas of the country for grads to get jobs, the most prevalent jobs, the median monthly income with those jobs, and the areas with the most affordable housing for them.
Quite a comprehensive study which may interest those nervous grads and their worried parents. Been there, done that.
And for those who are interested in the quality of neighborhoods, I was introduced to this site www.homefacts.com for “comprehensive, accurate and reliable neighborhood information.” Sharing!
REMEMBER MR. COOPER?
Way back in my March 2016 issue I commented on a re-branding project of a national mortgage lender. Nationstar Mortgage was going to re-brand themselves as “Mr. Cooper”.
At that time, I thought, “you have got to be kidding me!” (I still think that) and wondered if this was a marketing ploy and/or a dumb move some head honcho thought up, someone who had too much time and money on their hands.
Well, the jury is still out but it seems that come August of this year Nationstar will really make the change. Wow. They are really going to do it.
So, one more time, with feeling….
“Who’s your Lender?” “Mr. Cooper.”
“Today the CFPB is going to call on “Mr. Cooper” for a compliance audit.”
I need a payoff demand from “Mr. Cooper.”
I work for “Mr. Cooper.”
“Mr. Cooper denied my loan”….. etc, etc.
Heh. The one liners that come to mind just won’t stop….
WORKING FROM HOME
And this final piece is my public service announcement for the month. For those of you who work from home, and boy do I envy you, this is a hilarious piece from the New Yorker Magazine.
If you can relate, then I might just need to talk to you a little and maybe give you the phone number to my psychiatrist.
Found this on someone else’s blog and couldn’t resist. Pass it on!
Question: What are the strongest days on a calendar?
Answer: Saturday and Sunday. The rest are weak days.
Hahahahaha! Love it! I knew there was a reason I loved Saturdays and Sundays!