Business, foreclosure crisis, Title Insurance New York

Marketing, Foreclosures and Public Speaking!

Hallmark Abstract Service New York Title Insurance

What do these three topics have in common? Not that much really but if you are in business and/or involved in the real estate market they all can have an impact on you in one way or another!

Attorney’s and Website Marketing

The first article is focused on law firms and the fact that while many have websites, many more still do not.

When searching for an attorney or anything else on the internet, what is the first thing that many of us do?

If you’re like me it’s to look for a website in order to learn more about an attorney or a business who may have been recommended.

Without a website many consumers may pass you by and, for those who do have a website is it effectively presenting your firm in the most complimentary and productive way?

‘Pump Up Your Law Firm Website’

‘Your law firm website is the core of your marketing efforts. Yet it’s easy to take it for granted. We know how it goes — you spend time and trouble getting it to work like you want, and then you move on to more urgent things. But, really, constant attention is needed to keep your website working for you…’

Read the entire article at Attorney at Work here.

What’s your biggest fear? Is it public speaking?

For many it is even coming in on the list as more frightening than death!

Here are a couple of tips to help get over that fear.

‘Speaking in public: two errors that lead to fear’

‘1. You believe that you are being actively judged

2. You believe that the subject of the talk is you

When you stand up to give a speech, there’s a temptation to believe that the audience is actually interested in you.

This just isn’t true. (Or if it is, it doesn’t benefit you to think that it is).

You are not being judged, the value of what you are bringing to the audience is being judged. The topic of the talk isn’t you, the topic of the talk is the audience, and specifically, how they can use your experience and knowledge to achieve their objectives…’ Read the rest of the article at Seth’s Blog here.

Foreclosures to take even more time……….?

If you live, work or practice real estate law in New York State you wouldn’t believe that this could be possible with the current time to foreclose measured in years and not days!

But it may be!

‘QM Rule Could Extend Foreclosure Timelines’

‘Investors and servicers should expect longer liquidation timelines on qualified mortgages that go into default, according to Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services…’ Read the rest of the article at National Mortgage News here.

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foreclosure crisis, housing market, mortgage delinquency, mortgage payments, positive thinking, real estate market

There is a silver lining in every cloud if you look for it!

When life hands you lemons, make lemonade!

There are usually two ways to look at any situation. One way is on the positive side that offers hope and potential. The other is from the negative side where there is neither. The following statistics from the housing market are a perfect example.

The bad news?

Nearly one on four people (22%) with mortgages are having trouble making the payments!

Now for the good news!

The 22% number is down from a level of 29% last year. Furthermore, the percentage of people having a “great deal of difficulty” making the payments has declined from 11% to 7% (source: Harris Polls).

While this is not where any of us wants to be, there is definite improvement that hopefully bodes well for a better business environment the rest of 2011 and beyond.

From Harris:

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“These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 3,171 adults surveyed online between March 7 and 14, 2011 by Harris Interactive.

Some of the main findings include:

Two thirds (66%) of all adults have mortgages on their homes, slightly lower than last year’s 69%.

While most homeowners with mortgages (73%) are having little or no difficulty making their mortgage payments, the 22% who are having difficulty represent about 32 million people. And the 7% having a great deal of difficulty represent more than 11 million people…”

Keys to business success: There are many but remember that it is critical to be focused on your business, committed to your business and present every day in working to grow your business. To do any less would be cheating yourself and those around you!

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60 Minutes, chain of title, foreclosure crisis, foreclosures, home prices, housing market, MERS, real estate market, shadow inventory, standing to foreclose, US economy, video

Last nights 60 Minutes expose’ on the foreclosure crisis! (Video)

In case you missed the 60 Minutes story on the foreclosure crisis, here it is!

Introduction to the foreclosure crisis

From an article here last week, Hallmark Abstract Sentinel readers knew the following:

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“… Readers of The Hallmark Abstract Sentinel are well aware of the crisis that is currently consuming the housing market in the form of foreclosures that can’t get done or that may have gotten done and face reversal.

Why? It all comes down to paperwork done incorrectly and a small company in size, but huge in impact by the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration System or MERS. As we have discussed here in the past, questions have arisen concerning the rights of the party’s trying to foreclose on a property to actually do so. This is a question of legal standing.

As a result of the legal issues surrounding foreclosures the process has been slowed to a crawl and in some cases halted all together. This has had the effect of maintaining a huge shadow inventory of property’s that at some point in the future will be taken back by the lender and have to be sold…”

The 60 Minutes report

http://cnettv.cnet.com/av/video/cbsnews/atlantis2/cbsnews_player_embed.swf

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child psychology, emotions, family, financial impact, foreclosure, foreclosure crisis, legal impact, losing a home, MORTGAGE FORECLOSURE, psychological effects, real estate, title insurance, title insurers

Foreclosure takes an emotional toll as well as a legal and financial one

Foreclosure and ALL its potential ramifications beyond simply losing a home

Whenever I receive a new article from Mandelman Matters I know that it will at the very least be informative and sometimes, as it was this morning, an important read for a variety of other reasons.

Having recently taught a CLE class on the impact that the foreclosure crisis could have on title insurers, my research was not only extensive but instructive as well. Foreclosure has its legal and financial impact without question, but potentially other, far reaching impacts as well.

The following article was originally posted in 2009, but as the author says it is important to read it again. I agree!

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The Psychology and Politics of Foreclosure

“… Losing a home to foreclosure is something most people never forget. It’s an event likely to stay with you for the rest of your life. It’s certainly not something most people think will happen to them… until it does. And it can happen to anyone at any stage of life, young, old, rich, poor… all can find themselves at risk. As the off-color colloquialism says about life… stuff happens. Although many people might not readily agree, foreclosures are statistically a “there-but-for-the-grace-of-God-go-I” type of situation.

Of course, there are times when more stuff happens to more people, and today is obviously an example of such times. The economic conditions that we’re experiencing today are causing more foreclosures than at any time since the 1930s. When housing prices began to collapse a couple of years back, no one could have seen just how far things would go, and how difficult it would be to bring our economy back to life, as we’ve known it.

One of the causalities of our accelerating economic downturn has been a shared understanding of its cause. Some blame our politicians, some blame Wall Street’s bankers, some blame the Federal Reserve, and we’ve all heard that it was the sub-prime borrowers themselves that are the root cause of our recession.

Belief in a Just World

As human beings, we need to understand the causes behind events that negatively impact our world in order to feel safe. When we don’t understand how or why something happened, when something appears

to have been a truly random occurrence, it frightens us terribly because we can’t plan to protect ourselves from such an event.

Melvin Lerner is a prominent social psychologist. In his 1980 book, “The Belief in a Just World: A Fundamental Delusion,” he argued that people want to believe in the inherent justice of the economic system in which they live, and want to believe that people who are suffering are responsible for their own situations. He conducted a series of experiments and provided empirical evidence showing that after an initial feeling of sympathy, people tend to develop negative views toward others who are suffering. And that’s the type of negative tendency that seems to be in play today.

So, perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising that instead of having sympathy for homeowners that are losing their homes to foreclosure, many people are blaming the homeowners themselves for their predicaments. It’s just an example of the general tendency that was documented by Melvin Lerner and other social psychologists many years ago…”

Read the full article at Mandelman Matters here.

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CLE, continuing legal education, Dale Robyn Siegel, foreclosure crisis, Kathleen Daly, Maria Matos, practice of law, Puerto Rican Bar, real estate, Ruth Colon, title insurance, Westchester Women's Bar

NY CLE presentation on the foreclosure crisis and the practice of law (Video)

Continuing Legal Education (CLE): “The effects of the foreclosure crisis on the practice of law: How to avoid the pitfalls”


On March 10, 2011, Hallmark Abstract Service was honored to participate in a CLE program that was produced jointly by the Westchester Women’s Bar Association and the Puerto Rican Bar Association.

Attended by approximately 50 attorney’s, the event included an introduction by Acting New York Secretary of State Ruth Colon and a discussion of attorney ethics by Maria Matos, @font-face { font-family: “Cambria”; }p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin: 0in 0in 10pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: “Times New Roman”; }div.Section1 { page: Section1; Executive Secretary to the Office of Character & Fitness, New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department, and Andral Brotman, @font-face { font-family: “Cambria”; }p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin: 0in 0in 10pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: “Times New Roman”; }div.Section1 { page: Section1former Deputy Chief Counsel to the New York State Appellate Division, First Department’s Departmental Disciplinary Committee.

I was joined in discussing the foreclosure crisis by Kathleen Daly of Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz Edelman and Dicker LLP, and Dale Robyn Siegel of the Circle Mortgage Group.

The event was organized through the hard work of Stephanie Melowskey of NorthEast Community Bank and Jacqueline Hattar of Wilson, Elser.

In the coming days I am going to provide an overview of the topics that I covered including MERS, securitizations and potential ramifications on the title industry.

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assignments of mortgages, country records, foreclosure crisis, foreclosures, MERS, MERSCorp, Mortgage Electronic Registration System, mortgage recording fees, real estate attorney, taxes

MERS 101 (Video)

If you have heard anything about the foreclosure crisis, you’ve heard about MERS!

This video discusses some of the background of MERS, the Mortgage Electronic Registration System. With over one half of the nations mortgages “held” in its database, MERS is at the center of the controversy surrounding foreclosures.

http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designvideo/embeddedPlayer.swf

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Buyers are not afraid of buying bank REO’s! (chart)

Despite the questions swirling around foreclosures, the survey says that the majority of Americans are still willing to buy

Over the last few months The Hallmark Abstract Sentinel as well as the partners of Hallmark Abstract Service have tried to outline all of the issues that exist in the world of foreclosures that can potentially make the purchase a somewhat risky bet.

We have spoken about topics that include MERS, Standing to foreclose, failure to have clear chain of title, failure to have adequately documented mortgage assignments and more.

We have discussed cases that have reversed completed foreclosure actions such as the Ibanez decision in Massachusetts and the fact that in New York attorney’s are now required to sign an affirmation which basically states that they know of all of the paperwork in the action and are comfortable with its validity and accuracy.

In cases where questions exist that cannot be answered satisfactorily title insurers may decline to issue a policy or require that the lender involved in the foreclosure sign an indemnification that says that if any issues over the foreclosure and title to the property arise in the future that they, and not the title insurer, are on the hook.

Michael Haltman, partner in Hallmark Abstract Service has appeared on the radio and will be teaching a CLE class in New York on these many risks.

That said, a survey conducted by the Home Buying Institute indicates that buyers are just not afraid. The graph is below, and as always, caveat emptor!

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