Friday, March 22, 2013

Three Easy Steps to Getting a Mortgage

Three Easy Steps to Getting a Mortgage 

Shopping for a mortgage is the first step toward owning a home and perhaps the most daunting, especially if you are not prepared.

Once a simple task that meant comparing fixed rates from among perhaps a dozen or fewer savings and loan companies, the mortgage hunt today is like finding your way through a maze.

There are dozens of loan types and hundreds of loan programs available through thousands of mortgage brokers, bankers, lenders, finance companies, credit unions and even stock brokerage firms.

Contrary to popular belief, finding a mortgage doesn't begin with an application.

Education is a better first choice. Mortgage information sources are as vast as the number of mortgages available. Web sites, topical newspaper articles, mortgage books, consumer seminars and workshops, financial planners, real estate agents, mortgage brokers and lenders are all available to assist you along the way.

First and foremost, you must determine how your mortgage payment will fit your current budget and, to some extent, your future obligations 15 to 30 years down the road.

if you discover too late that you can't afford your mortgage, you'll face the possibility of losing the roof over your head, but you could also damage your ability to purchase a home later.

Step One: Examine Your Finances 
If you can afford to buy a home, you must then determine how much mortgage you can afford. Lenders are apt to put your loan application in the best light and qualify you for as much as they are willing to lend, which can be more than you can afford. 

It's up to you to take stock of your income and expenses, both current and projected to determine what you can comfortable manage each month. Along with your mortgage payment, don't forget related insurance, taxes, homeowner association dues and any other costs rolled into the mortgage payment.

Step Two: Shopping For a Loan 
When you are ready to shop for a loan you have two basic types of mortgage stores to shop: direct lenders and mortgage brokers.

Direct lenders have money to lend. They make the final decision on your application. Brokers are intermediaries who, like you, have many lenders from which to choose. Lenders have a limited number of in-house loans available. Brokers can shop many lenders for each lenders' store of loans.

If you have special financing needs and can't find a lender to suit them, an experienced broker may be able to ferret out the loan you need.

Mortgage brokers, however, are paid with a slice of the amount you borrow, some more than others some less. Internet brokers today perhaps receive the smallest cut, sometimes none at all, and can prove to be a real bargain.

Along with shopping the source, you'll also have to shop loan costs, including the interest rate, broker fees, points (each point is one percent of the amount you borrow), prepayment penalties, the loan term, application fees, credit report fee, appraisal and a host of others.

Step Three: Apply For a Loan 
The application process is the easy part, provided you've gathered documents necessary to prove claims you make on the application.

The application will ask for information about your job tenure, employment stability, income, your assets (property, cars, bank accounts and investments) and your liabilities (auto loans, installment loans, mortgages, credit-card debt, household expenses and others).

The lender will run a credit check on you to take a look at your credit status, but you'll have to supply additional documentation including paycheck stubs, bank account statements, tax returns, investment earning reports, rental agreements, divorce decrees, proof of insurance and other documentation. If the lender deems you creditworthy, it will likely hire a professional appraisal to make sure the value of the home you are about to buy is truly worth your loan amount.

Make sure to keep these three simple, but important steps in mind when getting a mortgage and getting your very own  home.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Spring Cleaning: No Mops Required

Spring Cleaning: No Mops Required

Seeing as today is the first day of spring, I thought today would be the perfect day to post something about spring cleaning. We all know it needs to happen after the long winter months of hibernating, hoarding and what not. Here are a few suggestions that will vastly improve the comfort of your home in one afternoon's worth of work. 

Organize and clean the refrigerator:
Do you have three almost empty bottles of mustard and some long-expired eggs in your fridge? How about those Mexican leftovers from a month ago? Go through your fridge and toss what's no longer edible. Then, if you want to the extra mile (or if the fridge literally stinks) actually clean it. And don't forget that freezer section while you're at. I know I don' t even know what is my freezer anymore- yikes!

Edit your clothes:
Even if it seems like you have the right amount of clothes, you may have much more than you think. In fact, it's not uncommon for someone to give away 20 pounds of clothing after going through their closets (guilty!). Get out all of your clothes and consider how long it's been since you've worn each article. Often, items at the very bottom of your dresser or back of your closet haven't been used in several seasons, If you haven't missed these pieces yet, you likely never will. Give them away, or throw them out, as the case may be. By doing so, you'll finally have room for the clothes you actually wear.

Get rid of 'the pile':
Have a box or two that you never bothered unpacking after your last move, or a stack of 'important papers' that is making a mess of your desk? How about a stash of old CDs or video games shoved under the bed? Go through them. Toss what you don't need, save and organize what you do, and be glad to be done with it. Who knows, you might find something you'd been vaguely searching for but had given up as lost. As for those old video games: You might be able to convert them into a little bit of cash online.

Don't be a product hoarder:
Now, go through all the products and cosmetics in your medicine cabinet and bathroom shelves. Throw out everything that you are not currently using- even if it was expensive- or that is clearly past its 'use by' date. And while you're in the bathroom, look at the shower curtain liner. Is it greenish? YUCK! Then it's time to get a new one.

Sprucing up your apartment doesn't have to be painful. If you cannot do the entire cleanup in one day, tackle one or two things at time. You'll feel better about your place ad ready for the new season. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Congrats IDS Client Churchill Mortgage

Churchill Mortgage Opens First Washington Branch

Churchill Mortgage, a mortgage lender providing conventional and government-backed mortgage across 26 states, announced its arrival in the state of Washington with the opening of its first retail branch there. 

The branch, based in Gig Harbor, will be led by local industry vet Tane Cabe, who has more than 20 years of mortgage expertise. In addition, Cabe will promote and educate senior borrowers on the Federal Housing Administration's (FHA) reverse mortgage program, the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) for Purchase Program.

"The opening of our first branch in Washington is exteremly significant in our efforts to provide our financial services to borrowers from coast to coast," said Mike Harwick, president of Churchill Mortgage. "Tane's strong banking experience and industry knowledge will be pivotal in growing Churchill's presence as a leader in the Gig Harbor community, and we look forward to his success."

As a loyal customer of IDS we are so glad to share the success of our clients and help them carry on their business practices no matter what state they may be in.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Make it Monday: DIY Tinted Mason Jars

Do it Yourself Tinted Mason Jars

Mason jars are a great way to decorate and add some spice to anything, plus they are easy and cheap to come by. Today for Make it Monday I will be showing you how you can tinted your mason jars making for a fun project with an even more fun result.

  • Mason Jars (as many as you want)
  • Mod Podge in Gloss (this can be found in just about any drugstore, Target or Walmart)
  • Food Coloring
  • Ramekins to mix colors or any type of small bowls
  • Newspaper or paper bag
  • Wax paper

First mix food coloring with a tablespoon or so of water into individual ramekins/bowls. You can do any color combination you like.

Second add a couple tablespoons of Mod Podge into your mason jar.

Add one ramekin of color into the jar and stir to incorporate it all together.

With a bowl underneath, carefully twist the jar around coating the whole inside with the mod podge/food coloring mixture. Pour the excess out into a bowl.

Let the jars dry upside down on your newspaper or paper bag.

Do the same thing with the other colors, until you are all finished. Let them dry for about 30 minutes upside down.

Place jars face down on top of wax paper on a cookie sheet. Set your oven on warm and place the jars inside. Let them dry upside down for about 10 minutes, then flip them over and let them dry another 20-30 minutes.

When they're ready, they'll look clear and the mixture should lose most of its streaks. If there are streaks left, continue to let it dry out in the oven. The pink one show below, I ended up putting back in the oven after seeing the streaks a long the top.

When all your mason jars are complete you will have a fun set of decorative mason jars for flowers or plants or illuminated with batter operated tea lights for an outdoor party.

Note: These jars are not longer safe to drink from!

Friday, March 15, 2013

VirPack, IDS Partner to Streamline Initial Disclosure Process

VirPack, IDS Partner to Streamline Initial Disclosure Process

VirPack, a mortgage industry leader in document management and eDelivery solutions based in Vienna, Virginia, and IDS, Inc., a Salt Lake City-based leading provider of mortgage documents and compliance, are teaming up to streamline initial disclosures.

The expanded relationship involves eDisclosure integration with IDS' flagship document prep solution idsDoc. The new integration offers several benefits, including the automation of the document indexing process and the secure transmission of the package to VirPack's document management platform, Enterprise Center.

"The expansion of our relationship with IDS from closing docs to now include eDisclosures provides lenders even greater efficiencies. The eSigned initial disclosure package will be securely and automatically imported into the designated loan in Enterprise Center, automating the indexing process and ensuring compliance," said Wayland T. Pond IV, VirPack's VP of sales and marketing.

The collaboration ensures compliance by offering eSign and eConsent to the borrower, tracking the date and receipt, eliminating manual processes, and providing paper disclosures if the borrower opts out of eConsent. 

"When it comes to initial disclosures, 100 percent compliance is the first priority at IDS. It is essential to feel confident that disclosures are prepared and delivered in accordance with RESPA guidelines," said Mark Mackey, EVP at IDS. "Our aim is to make fully compliant initial disclosures simple and quick enough to allow lenders to spend more time originating more business, and this expanded relationship with VirPack allows just that."

Thursday, March 14, 2013

FHFA says HARP Refinances Surpass 2012 Estimates

The Federal Housing Finance Agency Released it's December Refinance Report just yesterday. The report showed the number of mortgages refinanced through the Home Affordable Refinance Program in the fourth quarter surpassed previous program estimates.

FHFA said servicers completed nearly 1.1 million HARP refinances in 2012, with nearly 2.2 million completed since HARP's implementation in 2009. Top five states for HARP refinances since 2009 were California (301,327), Florida (175,686), Illinois (147,252), Michigan (144,709) and Arizona (106,387).

The report also stated that most HARP refinances occurred on primary residences (1.895 million), followed by second homes (69,522) and investment properties (199,672). For the fourth quarter, HARP volume reached 297,461 refinances, representing 22 percent of the total refinance volume. 

The report can be accessed at

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Nine Ways Student Loans Impact Your Credit Score

Nine Ways Student Loans Impact Your Credit Score

We have featured information about student loans on the IDS blog several times in the past, but today we are focusing on how they effect your credit score, which ultimately could effect how much you can qualify for when purchasing a home. 

Many people are curious, and often worried, about the effect that student loans will have on their credit score. They often wonder if taking out a student loan will help their credit, or hurt it, and to what degree will it influence their overall creditworthiness. 

The way federal student loans impact your credit is very similar to the way any loan does. Just like any loan or line of credit., they can help your credit score when you make your payments on time- and they can hurt it, if you don't.

The financial results of taking out a student loan can vary immensely, based on each individual's situation. Plus, the exact equation that determines how your score is calculated is a closely guarded secret. 

However, since these loans are subject to rules set forth by the federal government, which are exclusively applicable to them, there are a few unique ways your student loans can impact your credit. 

Here are nine little-known facts about how student loans impact your credit score.
  1. Putting your loan in deferment/forbearance doesn't hurt your credit. In fact, some banks will lend more easily to you if you can demonstrate that you qualify for these repayment assistance options. Most bank loans don't offer extended measures of assistance, such as forbearance or deferments, which can last up to a year at a time. Because of this, some borrowers worry that using repayment assistance, such as forbearance, could hurt your credit score during the time they are not making payments. This is not the case since payments are not requires. In fact, there are circumstances where forbearance and deferment can positively impact your chances of getting a loan. For example, if you can show your bank that you will be in forbearance, they may take that into consideration when determining whether you have enough discretionary income to pay back the loan.So if you need to take advantage of forbearance, rest easy- it will not negatively affect your credit. 
  2. Student loans report as installment loans, which usually have less impact on your credit score than revolving credit. Student loans are usually treated as installment loans by the credit bureaus. Installment loans are not as heavily weighted in your credit score as revolving credit is, such as credit cards. According to Experian, a global credit information group. properly managing your credit card balances is a strong indicator that you are disciplined and responsible with your debt. Proper debt management is great evidence that shows how you're in control of how much money you borrow, within credit limit.
  3. Student loans are a great way to establish credit history. Many students in college do not have the luxury of a long, outstanding credit history, to help them get credit when they finish school. It can be difficult to qualify for credit cards and loans without significant credit history to rely upon, especially if you have not yet secured a job. Student loans serve a wonderful purpose in this regard. You don't need to have credit to qualify for federal student loans.
  4. Student loans can boost your credit by adding an installment loan to your credit resume. One of the factors that go into the way your credit score is calculated is the diversity in the types of credit that you carry. As Experian's website explains, the more types of credit that you have, the higher your credit score will be, provided you pay on time.
  5. Student loans are considered "good credit." In other words, the money you are borrowing is going to be used for educational expenses, as an investment in your future- not for extravagant, luxury items that can potentially be purchased on a credit card. This may not have a large impact on your credit score, but it may play a role in a bank's discretion when determining whether or not to give you a loan.
  6. Paying your student loan off early may hurt your credit more than it helps. Making extra payments on your student loans can save you interest costs over the life of your loans, but paying the loan off early could potentially lower your credit score. With revolving credit, the lower you keep your balance, the better it looks to creditors. This factors into your credit score, as well. However, with installment loans, there is no additional risk of potential debt, or available credit, and your monthly payment will always be the same. Additionally, if you pay off your debt early, the lender may see this as a missed opportunity to cash in on interest charges. As a result, your credit score doesn't usually improve when you pay extra on any of your installment loans. Additionally, your score can actually decrease once the loan is paid off, provided it is the only installment loan you have. This happens because you were benefiting from having more than one type of credit. 
  7. Federal student loan lenders usually correct delinquency reporting automatically when any deferment is backdated. According to, a financial aid services guide, if your credit has suffered because your account went delinquent during a time period when you would have qualified for deferment, most lenders of federal student loans will automatically correct the derogatory credit reporting, once the deferment is approved and backdated. 
  8. Many federal loan lenders will not report your account past due to the credit bureaus until your account is 60 days past due at the end of the month.  If your account goes a few days or weeks past due, don't panic: it is unlikely that this will lower your credit score. Though the lender's credit-reporting policy is up to them, you will likely be able to avoid any blemishes on your report, even if you miss one payment. Do make sure you get your payment in as fast as you can- it is easier to get dinged for your credit than it is to have bad credit removed. 
  9. Resolving your student loan delinquency can immediately raise your credit score. Even though legitimate deliquency will remain on your credit score, bringing your past-due student loan account current will reflect positively on your credit history and raise your score. Sometimes you can see your credit score increase as soon as a few weeks after you bring the account current. And, in many instances, student loans have repayment assistance that will allow you to bring your current without even having to make a payment., an online source for obtaining credit, data, said there are usually friendly options for delinquent federal student loan borrowers. 
Understanding your credit history has never been more important. Not only does your credit score affect your ability to benefit from financing, but it also plays a large role in your ability to get a job, since it's common practice for employers to check the credit history of their applicants before hiring. 

If your credit score and history has suffered as a result from  your student loans, rest assured that there are tangible steps you can take to improve it, within a reasonable time period. Information is available through student loan finance experts, websites and community forums.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Ten Best Business Innovations of the Last 50 Years

Ten Best Business Innovations of the Last 50 Years

Innovation is everywhere. So much so that it is difficult to keep track of all the new tools that are making our lives easier. Based on a less than scientific poll, the following are what newsmakers are claiming to be those innovations that have truly changed the workplace and out business lives.

  1. The Mute Button- Silence from both ends when you need it. Or, when you don't want others to hear you clicking away on Facebook.
  2. Texting- Don't feel like talking? No problem. Also helped create a new shorthand language. The ultimate efficiency tool.
  3. Yellow Stickies- To the office, what duct tape is to the rest of the applied world.
  4. Wheelies- The back saving device that turned all luggage rectangular and too big to fit under the sit in front of you. Why did it take so long?
  5. Virtuality- Allows one to be any where and work- or not. 
  6. Conference Calls- What other tool allows us to attend meetings without being there?
  7. LinkedIn- Allows one to look for a job but "not really". Also good for spying on former colleagues.
  8. Bose Headphones- Allows on to concentrate while listening to your favorite rapper. Or, Just shut out annoying co-workers.
  9. Tablet Devices- Tetris, solitaire, Sudoku and a million other games and time wasters that can be accessed whilst on delayed flights.
  10. Email- Provides hopes that something good can happen while at work. Any time an email could come in about that raise or promotion.
Do you have any innovations to add that have helped you in your daily business world? Let us know!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Hurdles Remain in Obtaining a Home Loan

Hurdles Remain in Obtaining a Home Loan

Five to 10 years ago, lenders passed out mortgages as eagerly as parents hiding Easter eggs for the first time. 

As for mortgage applications you could write one from the grave and pretty much get it approved. It was a different time, that's for sure.

Now, several years after the housing bubble burst, the pendulum has made a full swing. Lenders say their customers are often caught off guard by a mortgage application process made more rigorous by federal regulations.

Here are some of the hoops you have to jump through before you get the mortgage you want.

Down Payment (Hoop #1):
Five to 10 years ago it was far easier to qualify for a loan without contributing a down payment, said several lenders. It's still possible today, but it's not as common.

There are a few programs that allow for a little or no down payment when purchasing a house.

Loans backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs and a couple of other programs don't require a down payment, but borrowers have to meet guidelines to qualify.

Mortgages through the Federal Housing Administration used to allow down payments of 3 percent or less, instead of the staggering 20 percent down. But now the minimum is 3.5 percent.

And conventional loans which made up the lion's share of mortgages during the housing boom- typically require 5 to 20 percent down.

Jack Lane, president of Monarch Mortgage, said gifts from parents or others can be used toward down payments- as long as the applicant provides documentation detailing the relationship with the gift-giver and exactly where the money came from.

Debt-To-Income Ratio (Hoope #2):
Imagine your income as a pie.

The bigger the slice that's earmarked for debt, the less money that's available for savings.

And with less money in the bank account, families found themselves struggling to pay off their loans once the housing bubble burst.

No one counted on losing their jobs and struggling to put food on the table. 

During the days of lax standards, families commonly qualified for mortgages when 60 percent of their income would be used for paying off various debts. There were even some cases when 70 percent debt-to-income ratios were approved.

Now the standard for debt to income is around 43 percent, and lenders are expecting the ratio to stay at that level for a long while.

Loan officers will dig to find out whether applicants rely on overtime pay to boost their incomes. They'll also study how long applicants have been employed.

And if an applicant receives child support or alimony, lenders will take notice if the extra income will disappear within a few years as teenagers leave the home.

Documentation (Hoop #3):
Lenders have to ask a lot of questions borrowers aren't eager to answer, but the game has changed, and everything has to be documented.

At IDS we have seen this documentation change full force. Every client, every borrower now wants a paper trail for everything. This is changing the way IDS customer service interacts with clients on a daily basis. No more phone calls to ask for changes, but emails, emails, emails. This creates an automatic paper trail for everyone involved. With the evolution of the industry everyone is taking all precautions to get it right this time around.

Lenders conduct thorough analysis of borrowers' tax returns, bank statements, names, Social Security numbers and addresses. Plus they get copies of returns directly from the IRS to verify the accuracy of the documents submitted by their customers.

If customers' deposits seem to be excessive compared to their income, mortgage lenders have to have documentation to explain where the extra money is coming from- a challenge in the days of paperless transactions and frequent shredding.

Older customer are more defensive throughout the process, while younger clients are more compliant with requests for documentation.

Getting a mortgage requires a tremendous amount of patience today and that isn't going anywhere for right now. 

The documentation that you need to provide pretty much needs to be a blueprint of your life. Because of everything that is required what use to take two weeks to get an application completed could take up to 30 days or more.

It doesn't matter how wealthy you are, how much money you have in the bank, how high your credit score is- you have to provide the documentation.

Credit Scores (Hoop #4):
If consumers have any control over the mortgage process, it lies within their credit scores. The first step borrowers should take is to look at their credit scores and then visit a loan officer. 

You will want to get prequalified so that you aren't surprised after you make an offer on a house. You most definitely don't want to find out that you are in a credit repair situation.

In the past, borrowers with scores as low as 580 were qualified for loans. The low end now hovers around 620 to 640, and the average has increased from 720 during the boom to about 765 now. 

Consumers need to know and understand how that credit score affects the cost of their financing. If you have a good credit score, you can pay a quarter to a half a percentage less in an interest rate. That definitely adds up over 15 to 30 years.

Mortgage experts urge consumers to pay their bills on time, not to mac out their credit cards and avoid situations in which a creditor would turn to a collection agency- even on medical bills.

One recommendation is to apply an even amount of debt across multiple credit cards rather than maxing out a single card. It is also good to have a mixture of debt- a mortgage, car loans, credit card debt, student loans, this helps boost credit scores. 

Also credit card holders should not close their accounts because that shortens their credit history with the bureaus that calculate scores. Even if a card has no balance, keep it open.

The bureaus- Experian, TransUnion and Equifax- give credit to borrowers who pay off their debts early. 

As a side note credit scores get checked again right before the closing papers are signed, so consumers should avoid opening new lines of credit during the application process. 

Back to the Future for the Mortgage Industry
The business has come full circle.

Lenders stuck by a set of strict guidelines a couple of decades ago, but it became easier to qualify for a home loan, and a lax set of standards became the industry norm.

When buyers realized how easy it was to get a loan, demand for houses shot up, and so did their prices. When the bubble burst and prices fell, borrowers realized they couldn't afford to pay for houses that were worth less than what they owed on their mortgages, and many went through foreclosure or short sales.

To prevent another boom and collapse, the government cracked down. 

If lenders make a mistake in the loan application process now, the federal government, which guarantees mortgages, forces the lending institution to buy back the loan. New rules that dictate who qualifies for a mortgage will take effect next January, but the standards have already tightened from the years of the bubble. 

Lenders are playing on concrete now instead of grass. If they make a mistake and fall it is really going to hurt. It is up to the lender and the borrower to make the mortgage application process go as smoothly as possible by understanding that times have changed.

Make It Monday: Pickle Jar Project

All this warm weather means spring is just around the corner, as well as a couple of holidays this month: St. Patrick's Day and Easter! Today for Make it Monday I decided to feature the Pickle Jar Project because it can be used to decorate for literally any holiday and it comes in handy this month with two holidays.

What you will need:
Any type of glass jar with lid in any size (pickle jar, mason jar, jam jar etc.)
White spray paint and grey primer to cover any words on the lids (apply first)
E6000 glue to glue the jars to the candlesticks

What to do:
This is very simple just spray paint the candlesticks and the lids of the jars with grey primer and then the white spray paint. Then use the E6000 glue and glue the jars on top of the candlesticks. To add some color and holiday festivity fill them up with whatever you like. This is the finished product

This is a very fun project and it is simple enough to do with your kids and you can use them year round for each holiday or time of year. Enjoy!

Friday, March 8, 2013

RealtyTrac: Top 15 Markets to Buy Short Sales, REOs

Top 15 Markets to Buy Short Sales, REOs

After assessing over 900 markets across the country, RealtyTrac put together a list of the top 15 markets for short sale and REO purchases for the year. 

RealtyTrac only considered markets with at least 200 short sales or REO transactions in the fourth quarter of 2012.

For the list of short sales, RealtyTrac took into account four factors: fourth quarter annual percent change in short sales, average sales price, average amount short (difference between the sales price and the loan amount owed to the bank), and the time it took to sell from the foreclosure start date. 

Out of the 15 markets selected, nine were located in California. Three California metros led with the biggest year-over-year surge in short sales. Santa Barbra experienced a 107 percent annual increase in the fourth quarter and was followed by Visalia (106 percent) and Fresno (97 percent). Other California metros on the list were Vallejo, Bakersfield, Sacramento, Stockton, Modesto and Riverside. The time to sell for the metros averaged 235 days.

Two Michigan metros, Grand Rapids and Detroit, had the lowest average sales prices, $91,145 and $97,233, respectively. On the other hand, in Santa Barbra, short sales sold for an average price of $283,825.

Phoenix stood out among the pack for averaging the shortest time to close, 188 days.

Other metros that made the list were Las Vegas, Virginia Beach and Des Moines.

RealtyTrac also noted the average remaining deficiency after a short sales exceeded $100,000 in seven of the 15 markets, which suggests banks are willing to take a huge loss with a short sale to avoid foreclosure.

"Short sales are on the rise as a better alternative to foreclosure in many areas-- good news for buyers and investors in markets where short sales are closing more quickly at solid discounts," said Daren Blomquist, VP at RealtyTrac.

"But buying from a bank may still be a better option in other markets because of increasing REO inventory, deeper discounts and shorter times to close," he added. 

For the list of the top REO markets, RealtyTrac took into account annual percent change in REO sales, average sales price, average days to sell, and percent discount compared to non-distressed sales.

Overall, the markets on the list averaged discounts ranging from 33 to 57 percent and the time to sell ranged from 139 to 175 days, compared to 188 to 358 days for short sales.

Out of the 15 metros on the list, two Ohio markets stood out. Cleveland and Dayton both averaged lower prices, the shortest days to sell, the most significant increases in sales and the greatest discounts.

in Cleveland, REO sales increased 141 percent, the average REO sales price was $57,782, and discounts averaged 56 percent. Dayton has seen REO sales increase 123 percent over a one-year period, its average sales price was $50,579, and discounts stood at 57 percent. Both metros averaged 139 days before going to sale.

Meanwhile, Sarasota, Florida has seen REO sales increase jst 19 percent and the average REO sales price was $1127,181, the highest out of the other metros.

Other metros on the list included Columbus and Canton, Ohio; Chicago and Rockford, Illinois; Chattanooga and Memphis, Illinois; Daytona, Palm Ba and Pensacola Florida; and Charlotte, Greensboro and Winston, North Carolina.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

IDS Interface: idsDTPush

IDS Interface: idsDTPush
This is a versatile Data Transfer tool that is used to integrate with a number of LOS partners, including Datatrac, E3, ProLender and more.

The idsDTPush interface allows you to transfer 100% of your Loan Origination System (LOS) data including custom fields. It takes you from an LOS loan file to complete document package in seconds. The idsDTPush can be used for generating your initial disclosures, closing documents, redraws or partial package orders.

The technology behind idsDTPush allows you to generate your documents without ever opening the idsDoc system. Users can create and edit loan files in the originating platform where they feel comfortable and still run all of the functions that exist in the idsDoc system, including audits, document package modifying features and document delivery options. You may also view and edit the file in idsDoc. That is why the idsDTPush has received such favorable reviews over the years.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

MReport Magazine Feature: Policies & Progress

MReport Magazine Feature: Policies & Progress

Speaking out on the leading regulatory issues for lenders, Mackey elaborated on the challenges presented by balancing consumer protection efforts with compliance initiatives. 

Mackey>> The main concerns for IDS and our clients is compliance, and whether we're addressing the new RESPA/TILA disclosures or the electronic signature platform requirements promulgated by the IRS with respect to the 4506-T, our compliance team never loses sight of the privacy required when handling sensitive customer information. Our clients rely on us to be familiar with and compliant with the applicable consumer protection laws and regulations, such as the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. The initiative that IDS has implemented is a quality control program. The program, among other things, makes sure that IDS security measures are audited annually, that our document service software is secure, dependable, accurate, and supportive. Also, IDS employees are instructed and agree not to use nonpublic information outside the scope of the administration and implementation of IDS-sanctioned work assignments.

IDS understands the concerns that our lenders, and lenders at large, are dealing with; and our key objective is making the burden of compliance less cumbersome. In addition to helping our clients prepare for regulatory adaptions, we utilize our compliance team to ensure that we're abreast of not only what's happening now in terms of policy changes, but also what's ahead near and long-term.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Make It Monday: Martha Stewart How-To Glittered Eggs

Make It Monday: Martha Stewart How-To Glittered Eggs

Since Easter is early this year, March 31st to be exact, I decided today would be a great day to feature an Easter themed Make it Monday- Glittered Eggs from Martha Stewart. 

Coating Easter eggs with glitter provides a sparkling alternative to coloring them with dyes. Powdered glitter comes in an array of colors, which can be mixed to create different shades. For added shimmer, combine colored glitter with either gold or silver glitter.

Tools and Materials
  • Eggs (for varying sizes try chicken, quail and goose eggs). 
  • Powdered glitter in assorted colors, including gold for sparkle, available at Michaels or the Martha Stewart Shop.
  • Egg blower (available at craft stores) or runner ear syringe
  • Craft glue
  • Paint brush
  • Pin
  • Wax paper
  • Bowls and spoons (for glitter)
Glittered Eggs How-To
  1. First blow out eggs. Working over a bowl, pierce one end of a raw egg with a pin. Pierce other end, and use pin to enlarge hole slightly and break yolk. With your mouth or an egg blower, blow into smaller hole, forcing contents of eff through larger hole into bowl. Rinse inside of eggs thoroughly; let dry. 
  2. Brush craft glue onto egg. Gently set in bowl of glitter. Spoon glitter over eff, covering entire surface. Remove from bowl; set on wax paper to dry for 1 hour.
  3. For an elegant statement, you can display glittered eggs in a glass hurricane or clear glass vase.

Getting contents of eggs out of the egg

Rolling the eggs in glitter to make sure well coated

Fun way to display your creation

Friday, March 1, 2013

Keep Calm It's Friday!

Wishing Everyone a Happy Weekend!

Mortgage Rates Slip After Weeks of Flatness

Mortgage Rates Slip After Weeks of Flatness

Mortgage rates finally broke their holding pattern this week, pulling back as reports demonstrated the housing market's ongoing strength and the global economy's precariousness.

According to Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.51 percent (0.8 point) for the week ending February 28, dropping from 3.56 percent previously. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.90 percent.

The 15-year fixed average also dropped, though more modestly- the average rate fell to 2.76 percent 
(0.8 point) from 2.77 percent last week. 

Mortgage rates eased somewhat as the consumer price index in February held steady for the second month in a row. House price indicators, however, showed gains in 2012. The S&P/Case-Shiller national home price index rose 7.3 percent last year, reflecting the largest four-quarter growth since the third quarter of 2006. This, in part, was a driving force that pushed up the number of existing and new home sales in February to the highest levels since July 2007 and July 2008, respectively.

In a release, Freddie Mac noted that low rates should continue to help drive the housing recovery as the market heads into the spring home buying season.

Hopefully we will continue to see the growth in the housing industry and keep the consumer confidence up as we continue through 2013 and what it has in store for us.