Friday, February 29, 2008

Study finds minorities paid more for loans

February 28, 2008By Binyamin Appelbaum
An annual report on mortgage lending in Massachusetts finds that black and Latino borrowers were disproportionately the recipients of loans with high interest rates in 2006. Perhaps the more interesting question is what the 2007 report will show.

The lending industry has changed dramatically since 2006. Lending at high interest rates has all but dried up. The five companies that made the most subprime, or high-rate, loans in Massachusetts in 2006 all have suspended lending, including New Century Financial Corp. and Fremont Investment & Loan.

The question is whether other institutions are now making loans to people formerly served by the subprime industry, or whether some neighborhoods risk a return to the underserved days of redlining.

"We're hoping that some of the responsible lenders step forward and replace them in an aggressive way," said Tom Callahan, a board member of the Massachusetts Community & Banking Council, which issued the report. "All banks - big, medium, and small - should be really licking their chops here."

The report does not just underscore the racial pattern of high-rate mortgage lending. It also underscores just how pervasive subprime lending became.

One in every five home-purchase loans in Massachusetts in 2006 carried a high interest rate. And, the report found at least one high-rate loan was made in every community in Massachusetts.

This is the 14th annual report for the council authored by Jim Campen, a researcher at the University of Massachusetts at Boston. It is titled "Changing Patterns," but it reports very little change: Blacks, and to a lesser extent Latinos, remained largely unable in 2006 to borrow money at the same interest rate as whites.

Just 26 percent of black applicants for a home-purchase loan got an interest rate near the market average. About a quarter were rejected and the rest got loans with high interest rates. By contrast, 64 percent of white applicants got loans with market rates.

The report found that companies specializing in lending at high interest rates continued to concentrate their lending in minority neighborhoods.

And it found fresh evidence of a particularly striking pattern: The study reports that 53 percent of black borrowers in the Boston area making at least $98,000 a year got mortgage loans with high interest rates, compared with 13 percent of white borrowers.

A high interest rate is defined as a rate about two percentage points, or more, above the prevailing market rate.

The study estimates that the average recipient of a high-rate loan actually was four percentage points above the market rate - an average rate of 10.44 percent compared to an average market rate of 6.5 percent. On a $325,000 loan, that's a difference of about $900 a month.
Campen's study is based on data that lenders report to the federal government under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act. The federal government releases raw data for the previous year in late summer. Data for 2007 will be released later this year.

The federal data do not include significant information about a borrower's financial circumstances, such as savings, debts, and credit history. The lending industry argues that makes it impossible to conclude that disparities are the result of discrimination by lenders, rather than economic circumstances. Major industry trade groups oppose reporting that data, calling it an unnecessary burden.

Kathy Schreck, a past chair of the Massachusetts Mortgage Bankers Association and a board member of the council that issued the report, said she supported further inquiry.

"It's very important for lenders and for regulators to look at the trends and see why minorities are getting higher-priced loans," said Schreck, also a regional sales manager for Mortgage Network Inc., one of the largest mortgage lenders based in Massachusetts. "I want to know why."

Thursday, February 28, 2008 announces code of honor and a new service to assist Spanish speaking consumers secure real estate loans

For Immediate Release announces code of honor and a new service to assist Spanish speaking consumers secure real estate loans-
Initial program to focus on California and Florida

Jacksonville, Florida. – (February 25, 2008) –, the nation’s leading real estate educational resource for the Latino community, announced today that it has adopted “Impeccable Ethical Behavior,” as its code of honor, and introduces A..T. Funding, Inc. (ATF), a California based mortgage brokerage company, as its associate to start assisting consumers with their mortgage needs. The initial program will focus in Florida and California but the program will be available for applicants across the country. “In the last 4 years, I have had too many consumers ask REL to refer them to a lender or mortgage broker. After careful considerations and due diligence, REL has decided to start a relationship with ATF to assist those individuals secure a home loan and assistance in all aspects of real estate financing,” said William R. Arce, founder of and President of the Jacksonville Chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals.

“I am honored and delighted to become REL’s first certified affiliate. REL is an online resource that has developed the reputation as a premier and trusted provider of information related to the different components of the purchase of a home, from understanding a credit report to securing the right loan for the consumer,” said Armando Tam, President of A.T. Funding, Inc., based in Concord, California.

According to eMarketer, there were 15.7 million Hispanic internet users in the United States in 2005, rising to 16.7 million in 2006. The number of users is expected to grow by 33 percent over the next five years, reaching 20.9 million in 2010. “As a result of this fast-growing market segment, offers in its portal, direct access to real estate information, homes for sale, a real estate agent directory, and information on foreclosure prevention and predatory lending,” said Arce..

“There is certainly more that goes with the home buying process, what they can afford to pay monthly for housing so that they don’t get themselves into a home they can’t afford to pay in the case of an emergency or any of life’s unplanned events. This gives my clients a sense of security in the United States, just as our agent did for my family 20 years ago. Teaming up with REL is a great venture seeking the path of achieving the mission of increasing homeownership within the Latino community.” says Armando.

About Real Estate Latino, Inc.:

Real Estate Latino, LLC., based in Jacksonville, Fla., is the nation’s leading resource and provider of information via Its mission is to meet the real estate needs and objectives of our customers through the highest ethical and best professional services. Launched in 2004, was founded by William R. Arce to address Latinos real estate concerns about real estate. For more information please visit,

About A.T. Funding:
Armando Tam is the founder of AT Funding Inc. and has been in the real estate business for 6 years. ATF has offices in Concord, San Francisco and Miami. An immigrant himself from Nicaragua, Armando has been through the path of making a life for himself in the United States. A.T. Funding believes that Home ownership is one of the most important foundations for Latino’s coming into the United States.

Media Contact:
Dunia Arce
(904) 647-4420

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Judges would be allowed to rewrite mortgage terms under a Democratic plan. Critics fear rate hikes.

By Jonathan Peterson, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer February 26, 2008
WASHINGTON -- Over the opposition of the nation's lenders, Senate Democrats are seeking a change in the bankruptcy law that they say could keep hundreds of thousands of hard-pressed borrowers in their homes.The proposal, part of the Foreclosure Prevention Act embraced by leading Democratic lawmakers, would allow judges to ease the terms of mortgage loans during bankruptcy proceedings.

Photo Gallery
Foreclosed: Listings From Pasadena to the Hollywood HillsLenders contend that the measure -- which could be debated on the Senate floor as early as today -- could force them to raise mortgage rates to cover the costs of loans that would not be fully repaid.

They are backed by Republicans, who have proposed more modest changes."If this proposal becomes law, it will amount to a new tax on homeowners, costing them hundreds of dollars more per month and thousands of dollars more per year," David Kittle, chairman-elect of the Mortgage Bankers Assn., said in a statement. "The last thing potential homeowners, and those looking to refinance into new loans, need in this market is higher mortgage payments."Supporters counter that the measure is needed, partly because lenders haven't done a good enough job modifying loan terms so that borrowers can stay in their homes.Chapter 13 of the federal bankruptcy code allows bankruptcy court judges to reorganize an individual's debt, but it does not give them authority to fundamentally alter a person's primary home mortgage.

Although congressional proposals to change the code vary, they generally would give judges new, limited authority to reduce the size of a mortgage and freeze or even reduce interest rates.For example, the Senate proposal, first sponsored by Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) and embraced by Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), would empower judges to reduce the mortgage debt to a home's current, fair-market value. The proposal also would grant judges some authority to reduce interest rates that have become unaffordable, potentially saving borrowers hundreds of dollars a month.According to the private industry group Hope Now, 545,000 borrowers got some sort of help from lenders in the second half of 2007.

But foreclosures continue to sweep the nation -- including 31,676 in California in the last three months of 2007, more than double the record set in 1996."[Lenders] put up big statistics about loan modifications, but they're just tacking on some payments at the end, or allowing people not to pay for a certain amount of time," said Hernan Vera, senior attorney at Public Counsel in Los Angeles."They're delaying the problem.

They're not remedying it, long term," Vera said.Advocates maintain that such a remedy can be found by changing the bankruptcy law.Durbin said recently, "We should be giving families every reasonable tool to ensure that they can keep a roof over their heads.""Small changes to an outdated bankruptcy code could help over 600,000 at-risk families keep their homes," he said in a statement, citing a finding of the pro-consumer Center for Responsible Lending.

"That should be our goal."Lenders counter that the ban on altering mortgages serves a valuable purpose, by bolstering lender confidence and keeping capital flowing into the mortgage market.They say the proposed change could backfire by introducing new uncertainties that a borrower would honor the contract, leading to higher rates -- especially for sub-prime borrowers with shaky credit. "It would introduce a major new element of risk into mortgage contracts, and that risk would be elevated for sub-prime borrowers," said Bert Ely, a banking consultant in Alexandria, Va., citing the opposition by lenders.According to the Mortgage Bankers Assn., the measure would force lenders to raise rates by at least 1 1/2 percentage points. In California, that would increase the monthly payment for the average home loan to $2,321, from $1,990, the group said.

Also opposing the measure are the American Bankers Assn. and Financial Services Roundtable. Republicans have generally sided with lenders against the measure, but there are exceptions.

Jack Kemp, the former congressman and secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President George H.W. Bush, recently testified before a House panel that the measure would be an effective antidote to the record surge of foreclosures in the U.S.

"This bill will have more impact . . . than any other option currently on the table," he said.A separate bill sponsored by Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) would give judges the power to freeze or reduce interest rates on adjustable-rate mortgages. But, in a key difference with the Democratic approach, under Specter's plan the new powers granted to bankruptcy judges would expire in seven years, and lenders would have the right to veto proposals by judges to reduce the amount of principal owed.Supporters of the Democratic bill say they hope to have a floor debate and vote this week. Specter believes the Democratic proposal "should be considered in committee first" rather than offered up for a swift vote on the floor, a congressional aide said. At the same time, an aide to Reid said that the majority leader was committed to the Democratic approach.

"He believes that all the provisions are very important and hopes that the Republicans will allow us to pass the bill by the end of the week," Reid spokesman Jim Manley said.The legislation would also add money for counseling efforts to help struggling homeowners, mandate better disclosures by lenders and provide $4 billion to help communities buy and fix up vacant properties that have become blights on their neighborhoods.But it's the proposed change to the bankruptcy law that has sparked controversy. "There's going to be a hell of a fight over this thing," said Ely, the banking

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Housing crisis hits immigrants

By Liz Mineo/Daily News staff
Sun Feb 24, 2008, 12:40 AM EST
Story Tools: Email This Print This

Photo by Ed Hopfmann/Daily News staff
Ramon Gallo stands in front of his home at 93 Nourse St. in Westborough.

When Ramon Gallo bought a $300,000 home in Westborough in late 2006, he thought he had achieved his dream. Sixteen months later, Gallo, who signed for an adjustable-rate mortgage, has fallen behind on his payments and fears he may soon live a foreclosure nightmare.
Gallo, 38, who came from Mexico five years ago, is part of a wave of immigrant homeowners who have been hit hard by the national foreclosure epidemic. Reports say new immigrants, along with minorities and low-income Americans, were the targets of sub-prime loans, which played a key role in the foreclosure epidemic.

Many immigrants bought homes during the boom market five years ago, taking advantage of adjustable-rate mortgages, which made it easy at first glance to buy properties.
Of 10 houses sold to immigrants in Massachusetts, three were purchased by Brazilians, according to a report published last year by the Boston Redevelopment Authority.
Advocates said immigrants were easy prey for unscrupulous brokers and real estate agents who wanted to profit during the housing frenzy when everybody was busy buying and selling. Immigrants not only lacked information about the home-buying process because of language barriers and their unfamiliarity with the American real state market, many were misled or misinformed.

Gallo, who until recently worked as a bartender at a Mexican restaurant in Framingham, said he was surprised when the bank told him he was going to pay much more than he expected.
"Nobody told me I had to pay for insurance, property taxes," said Gallo, who saw his bill go from $2,100 to $2,900. "I feel trapped. I know the bank can take my house." Full Story

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Jacky Teplitzky, New York City's Top Latina Residential Real Estate Broker, is Ranked Number One in 2007 by Real Estate Powerhouse Prudential Douglas

New York, NY--(PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE)--February 21, 2008--Chilean-born Jacky Teplitzky, one of New York City's most successful residential real estate brokers, reached yet another milestone in her illustrious career by achieving the #1 ranking at Prudential Douglas Elliman (PDE), Manhattan's preeminent real estate brokerage firm, for the year 2007.

The announcement was made today at PDE's annual sales meeting held at Cipriani 42nd Street. As a result of her ranking, Jacky is now the leading Latina broker in New York City's real estate landscape, which has more than 33,000 licensed real estate professionals. Along with her eponymous team, Jacky led the more than 3,300 brokers and salespeople who populate PDE's 60 offices, stretching from Manhattan to Montauk, in closed transactions last year.

Jacky was born in Santiago, Chile, where her parents, brother and grandmother continue to reside. Equally fluent in English and Spanish, she came to New York City after working and living in Europe. She entered the real estate field 12 years ago and immediately began making her mark in the profession. But 2007 was particularly exceptional. "I broke the $500,000,000 mark in property sales, was promoted to managing director -- and now this," says Jacky, referring to her #1 ranking. "Success didn't come overnight," she says of her professional triple-play. "It was a combination of hard work and perseverance.

I work with a supremely talented team and am deeply grateful for their tremendous support and loyalty." the Jacky Teplitzky team is comprised of Iman Bacodari, Joyce Bernstein, David Cooper, Max Dobens, Ariel Tirosh and Amelia Tefler. They work with buyers, sellers and investors based in New York and from around the country and the world, notably South America, Russia and Europe.

Their property categories include co-ops, condos and townhouses. They are geographically-neutral: they cover all of Manhattan, not just one specific neighborhood. Jacky specializes in luxury real estate and has sold properties in some of New York's most prestigious addresses, including the Time Warner Center, The Pierre, 285 Central Park West and 620 Park Avenue.

A respected real estate expert, Jacky has appeared in many esteemed English and Spanish-language media outlets, including, CASAS, EFE News, El Mercurio, Las Ultimas Noticias, New York 1 Noticias, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Reuters. The team is often featured on WNBC-TV's "Open House NYC," the luxury real estate program. In addition, Jacky is a sought-after guest speaker and has presented at numerous financial, consumer and trade venues such as The National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals, Smith Barney, HSBC, Citibank Private Banking, New York University, The New York State Association of CPAs and the Penn Club. She is a member of the Real Estate Board of New York and serves on its Education Committee. Jacky was honored in 2006 by The New York Chapter of The National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals with its "Career Excellence Award," an honor given to a prominent industry leader who has significantly contributed to the growth and prestige of the real estate industry.

For more information on Jacky, visit NOTE TO EDITORS: A high-resolution image is available at:

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Tino Diaz Elected NAHREP Vice Chair

Tino Diaz, a member of NAHREP’s National Board and the chair of the Ethics Committee that developed the Code of Trust, has been elected Vice Chairman. He will serve in this role along with incoming Chairman Rebecca Gallardo-Serrano as part of the organization’s Executive Committee.

Diaz is a veteran wholesale mortgage banker who specializes in the Hispanic market. He speaks on issues relating to the financial services industry and serves in an advisory capacity to senior management and/or boards of directors for banking institutions, insurance companies and trade associations.
He will follow Gallardo-Serrano as chairman in 2009.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Oscar De La Hoya Real Estate Investor

Oscar De La Hoya Joins City Leaders to Break Ground for First Golden Boy Partners Community in South Gate
-- Tierra del Rey townhome community with workforce-priced homes by Metro Housing Partners will open in March 2009 --

-- First new planned community in South Gate since 1990 --

SOUTH GATE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Golden Boy Partners, the real estate development company formed by Oscar De La Hoya, boxing superstar and founder of Golden Boy Enterprises, and John Long, CEO of Highridge Partners, broke ground today for its first Southern California urban infill project in South Gate, California, a city of approximately 100,000 residents located 12 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles. De La Hoya and Long were joined by South Gate Mayor Bill De Witt and Larry Scott, President of Metro Housing Partners, the community’s developer, at the groundbreaking ceremony attended by community leaders and government officials.

De La Hoya and Mayor De Witt took the lead in the groundbreaking by operating a giant excavator to initiate the site grading process. Site development started immediately after the ceremony and first homes are expected to be completed by March 2009. This is the first large scale planned community in South Gate since 1990.

Tierra del Rey, as the community is called, will be comprised of 107 for-sale townhomes on five acres located at Firestone Boulevard and Calden Avenue. Designed for working families, the homes will range from 1200 to 1600 square feet, and contain two and three bedrooms and up to three and one-half baths. The gated community will offer extensive landscaping and family amenities including two pocket parks with barbecues and sun shelters. Many of the homes will offer views of the downtown Los Angeles skyline.

Prices are anticipated to start in the mid $300,000 range, well below the average home price in Los Angeles County of $475,000.

“Our goal is to provide new housing for current residents of South Gate and to offer an opportunity for young people to purchase homes near their families and become residents of the community where they grew up,” said Scott.

De La Hoya concurred, noting, “Tierra del Rey realizes our vision for urban redevelopment that supports the dreams and aspirations of the people who live in under served communities like South Gate.”

“This is the first new housing community in South Gate in almost 20 years and we are pleased to have these prominent investors show such a high level of faith in our city,” said Mayor De Witt. “With the expansion of the East Los Angeles College campus next door, this block will be a great source of pride for our citizens and a vibrant addition to this neighborhood.”

Golden Boy Partners teamed with well known Southern California homebuilder, Trimark Partners, and national investment manager, CarVal Investors, an affiliate of Cargill Inc., to found Metro Housing Partners. “We are bucking the trend in today’s housing environment by starting a new diversified residential development company,” observed Long, a veteran developer recognized for his contrarian track record.

“We see many burgeoning urban markets completely overlooked by other housing providers,” said Long. “We are fortunate to have a team of investors and key executives with long term commitment who share Golden Boy Partners’ vision of creating affordable homes and community-serving retail for today’s urban families.”

“Despite the substantial slow down in the suburban housing markets, we strongly believe there is a continued shortage of urban housing alternatives for working families in Los Angeles and Orange Counties, and are focusing our initial efforts on developing housing for that deserving demographic,” pointed out Scott. “By providing housing for working families, at the same time we will be revitalizing many of the Southland’s older, established urban communities.”

Pablo Leon, managing partner of Golden Boy Partners’ affiliate, Golden Pacific Partners, is responsible for identifying, entitling and pre-developing Golden Boy Partners’ properties including Tierra del Rey. Leon currently is directing pre-development of mixed-use projects that include significant for-sale workforce housing in the Los Angeles County cities of Huntington Park, Compton and Montebello.

Golden Boy Partners, formed in April 2005, focuses on underserved Southern California urban neighborhoods, primarily Latino, to address the escalating demand for safe quality housing, retail and entertainment options, and business and job creation as well as to revitalize these communities and their tax base. At the same time, founders De La Hoya and Long plan to foster a number of entrepreneurial businesses under its banner as well as reaching out to entrepreneurs in communities where it participates.

“Golden Boy Partners is not just about real estate development. It is about building communities and changing lives,” concluded De La Hoya.

For more information: or

Monday, February 18, 2008

Don't Just Market To Latino-Be Part Of Your Community

Marketing to Latinos is a little more complicated than just running ads on the local Latino newspaper. Bilingual professionals wanting to be successful on their career must also understand Latinos barrier to homeownerships and find ways to locally help his or her community overcome them.

Step One:

Identify in your market how many Latino cultures are presented. For example; Cubans are first Latino generation, preferring to transact in Spanish. They come to this country as political refugee not planning to go back and that is what makes them potential homeowners. By knowing this fact a realtor then can implement successfully the next step.

Step Two:

Get involve in your community. A realtor needs to be identified from his or her community not only as a real estate agent who can sale houses, but as the real estate professional with answers or as an educator. For example, a realtor could volunteer his or her time on a local non-profit housing organization an teach a real estate class o he or she could write the real estate column for the local hometown Latino newspaper. By doing this a realtor not only are being exposed to his or her community, but it will also show everybody that he or she cares for the community they are are in. Do something like this and then go on to step three.

Step Three:

Marketing; if a realtor already knows his or her community then it makes it easy to create a marketing strategy that works. Going back to Cubans, the realtor knows they preferred Spanish, so it will be best to run adds on local newspaper and radio letting everyone knows that they can go to his or her "bilingual" website for more information, free article or for resources. Also have help line 800 # where potential buyers and seller can call to get answers.

Second generation of Latinos are a different kind of "animal'. They are internet savvy, they are bilingual but preferred English, better educated, and they are US citizen. How a realtor can reach them out? Similar as they are targeting first generation of Latinos, by promoting "education, education, education", but this time online.

Where we can find this pool of buyer? All over the net on social network sites like My Space en Español, HOOD and others. A realtor needs to be able to enter these communities ready to network, create a profile and be an active member in order to let everyone know about this services and the fact that they can access more information freely on the agent's website and/or blog.

This should be in my opinion enough for a bilingual realtors and non-bilinguals too to be successful working with Latinos. I am not selling real estate at the moment and yet I am involve in my community by contributing to my local Latino newspaper, being the NAHREP Chapter President and yes by continuing helping Latinos throughout

Bill Arce

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Stimulus Package Could Open New Door To Homeownership For Many Latinos Americans

February 12, 2008, Jacksonville, FL

The Senate and House of Representatives have come to agreement on an Economic Stimulus Package. It is currently awaiting the President’s signature to be signed into law, that will raise Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and Government Sponsored Entities (GSEs) conforming loan limits to as high as $729,750 in high cost markets until December 31, 2008. That limit is temporary and will not apply equally across the country and although it is being signed into law soon it may take some weeks before the exact details of specific loan limits for your specific area are available through lenders. The stimulus package also provides immediate tax rebates for 2007 income tax filers.

This stimulus package offers a unique opportunity for first-time Latino homebuyers on their quest to purchase a new home. How it can help? On average, a family of two adults and two children could receive up to $1200.00 by May provided they have filed their tax returns for 2007. This rebate can play an excellent role in partially assisting many buyers in overcoming the down payment and/or closing costs barrier.

By utilizing the rebate checks as down payment or as part of the closing costs on affordable mortgage programs like FHA, My Community Mortgage and others that assure sustainable home ownership, Latino borrowers will have an opportunity to not only purchase their first home, but to also begin to create wealth and family stability.

Another possible use could be opening a savings matching account like an Individual Development Account (IDAs). If Latinos are disciplined enough to invest it in homeownership, it could be an investment that can last a lifetime.

By Bill Arce
Home Page!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

10 Best Practices to Reach Hispanic Buyers and Sellers

Bilingual Real Estate Marketing - 10 Best Practices to Reach Hispanic Buyers and Sellers

Posted By Paige On February 12, 2008 @ 4:37 pm In | Comments Disabled

RISMEDIA, Feb. 13, 2008-(Target Marketing)-To grow their customer bases, most industries have tapped into the Hispanic market. "I think most companies realize, or will soon realize, that without marketing to Hispanics, your market is shrinking," says Michael Saray, president of New York-based Michael Saray Hispanic Marketing. Saray is referring to census data recording the general market's death rate as being higher than its birthrate, and projecting the Hispanic population will grow to one quarter of the total U.S. population by 2050.

A bilingual direct mail campaign may provide the best odds of connecting with Hispanic prospects. According to the 2006 American Community Survey, 78% of Hispanics speak a language other than English in the home, and 39% of Hispanics report speaking English "less than very well." Below, Saray details the reasons behind using a bilingual mail piece and best practices for creating a winner.

1. Establish whether a bilingual approach is appropriate.

2. Get the translation right.

3. Say the same thing in both languages.

4. Craft the message in Spanish first.

5. Use a fitting format.

6. Make a right-brained appeal.

7. Test lead languages.

8. Test English language plus Hispanic details.

9. Know where your prospect stands.

10. Allot ample time and resources.

Read Full Article Here!

Bill Arce

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Feds announce plan to delay foreclosures

WASHINGTON - Homeowners threatened with foreclosure would in some instances get a 30-day reprieve under a new initiative the Bush administration announced Tuesday.

Dubbed "Project Lifeline," the new program will be available to people who have taken out all types of mortgages, not just the high-cost subprime loans that have been the focus on previous relief efforts.

The program was put together by six of the nation's largest financial institutions, which service almost 50 percent of the nation's mortgages.

These lenders say they will contact homeowners who are 90 or more days overdue on their monthly mortgage payments. They will be given the opportunity to put the foreclosure process on pause for 30 days while the lenders try to work out a way to make the mortgage more affordable to the homeowner.

"Project Lifeline is a valuable response, literally a lifeline, for people on the brink of the final steps in foreclosure," Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson, said at a joint news conference with Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson.

He said the goal was to provide a temporary pause in the foreclosure process "long enough to find a way out" by allowing homeowners and lenders to negotiate a more affordable mortgage.

Paulson said that the new effort was just one of a number of approaches the administration was pursuing with the mortgage industry to deal with the country's worst housing slump in more than two decades.

In December, President Bush announced a deal brokered with the mortgage industry that will freeze certain subprime loans, those offered to borrowers with weak credit histories, for five years if the borrowers are unable to afford the higher monthly payments as those mortgages reset after being at lower introductory rates.

"As our economy works through this difficult period, we will look for additional opportunities to try to avoid preventable foreclosures," Paulson said. "However, none of these efforts are a silver bullet that will undo the excesses of the past years, nor are they designed to bail out real estate speculators or those who committed fraud during the mortgage process."

Sunday, February 10, 2008

William Arce Joins Casa Latino Real Estate Team

(Jacksonville, FL) February 1, 2008

William Arce Joins Casa Latino Real Estate Team

Casa Latino Franchise Corporation, the nation's leading Latino real estate brand has announced that William Arce has been named Vice President and Manager of New Business Development.

William Arce, a veteran real estate professional with agent and broker experience in New York and Connecticut, who also served as a HOGAR Fellow at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus in Washington, DC will bring his talent to Casa Latino.

An extremely active and sought after Hispanic real estate professional, Arce currently serves as a housing finance specialist in the office of the director of the City of Jacksonville housing department and is also the founder of, a leading Hispanic real estate portal site. He currently serves as the President of the Jacksonville, FL chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP).

Arce will oversee and support the establishment of Casa Latino Real Estate franchise offices throughout Florida and other key markets.

About Casa Latino

Casa Latino was created in 2005 based upon the premise that Hispanic home buyers and sellers have unique needs based upon cultural differences and lifestyles, bolstered by the fact that those needs are not being effectively served by any other national brand. The company offers franchisees unprecedented culturally specific and significant back office support, training, marketing tools, advertising, coaching, and much more to ensure their success. The franchise model encourages a variety of agent compensation programs which dramatically enhance a broker's ability to recruit agents. The low franchise fee and an exceptionally low transaction based royalty structure make Casa Latino an extremely attractive opportunity. Casa Latino has awarded franchises in several states and is executing an aggressive growth plan in the USA and many other countries.

Casa Latino Franchise Corporation (203) 262-4185

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Become An Advocate at the 2008 Legislative Conference!

Become An Advocate for Your Business & Your Clients
By getting involved at the
NAHREP 2008 Legislative Conference!

Get in the know about proposed critical regulatory and legis- lative policies that will affect your business for years to come.

Come to Washington D.C. this spring for the

2008 Legislative Conference March 25-28, 2008

Hilton Washington
1919 Connecticut Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20009

Join other NAHREP members and minority leaders from the Asian Real Estate Association of America and the National Association of Real Estate Brokers for meaningful discussion about our business. Help us influence change!

Presidential Candidates Hillary Clinton, Barak Obama
& John McCain
Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke

Confirmed Guests:
Alphonso Jackson, HUD Secretary
Amy Crews-Cutts, Freddie Mac Chief Economist
Dr. LaVaughn Henry, Director of Economic Analysis, PMI Mortgage Insurance
Bill Matthews, SVP, Mortgage Division, Conference of State Bank Supervisors

Discounted Package Pricing Only Available till February 25!

Book your hotel room NOW before the deadline of March 3. The preferred NAHREP rate is $209/night..

ACT NOW and Register Online at

For more information go to

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

995-HOPE Update

"HOPE hotline is working"
The survey also asked borrowers about their awareness of a national public awareness campaign aimed at encouraging borrowers to call the HOPE hotline at 888-995-HOPE. The Ad Council, NeighborWorks America, the Homeownership Preservation Foundation (HPF), Freddie Mac and a coalition of mortgage investors and lenders originally launched the campaign in June 2007 to drive calls to HPF's HOPE Hotline.

According to the survey, nearly one in four delinquent borrowers (23 percent) report seeing the ads and one in ten (9 percent) who are aware of the HOPE Hotline have made the call. HPF says the toll-free number now receives between 1500 and 3000 calls per day, up from 250 per day one year ago. More than 200,000 homeowners have called the hotline since June 25 of last year, according to HPF.

"The public service campaign is working," said Ken Wade, CEO of NeighborWorks America. "Every day, through our partnership with the Homeownership Preservation Foundation, we're helping thousands of homeowners in financial stress take steps to prevent foreclosure with the 888-995-HOPE hotline. Moreover, those homeowners who call and need additional counseling are being referred to local NeighborWorks organizations for one-on-one, face-to-face foreclosure prevention counseling."

"We're pleased that so many more people know about the HOPE Hotline and the assistance we offer," said Colleen Hernandez, President and Executive Director of Homeownership Preservation Foundation. "Homeowners need to know that they're not facing this issue alone. Contacting their mortgage company or a trusted resource like the HOPE Hotline is the first step to avoiding foreclosure. Help is available."

The 2007 Freddie Mac/Roper survey results are based on responses from 2411 adult homeowners, including 1,004 delinquent borrowers more than one month late. Roper conducted the survey by telephone from October 23 through November 14. The survey has a three percent margin of error.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

FHASecure Fact Sheet - Refinance Options

The Federal Housing Administration has helped millions of Americans secure their dream of homeownership since 1934. Now we want to keep those dreams alive.
We provide mortgage insurance on loans made by FHA approved lenders throughout the United States and its territories. FHA insures mortgages on single family, multifamily, manufactured homes and healthcare facilities. It is the largest government backed mortgage insurer.


FHASecure is a refinancing option that gives credit-worthy homeowners, who were making timely mortgage payments before their loans reset but are now in default, a second chance with a FHA insured loan product.


To qualify for FHASecure, and include the delinquent loan payments, homeowners wishing to refinance must meet the following requirements:
1.Have a non-FHA insured ARM that has reset;
2.Sufficient income to make the mortgage payment; and
3.A history of on-time mortgage payments before the loan reset.

Homeowners who are current on their conventional mortgages must have sufficient income to make the mortgage payment.

By refinancing into a FHA insured mortgage, you can expect to pay lower monthly mortgage payments. FHASecure can improve the quality of life for many communities by helping to reduce the number of mortgage defaults and bringing greater stability to local housing markets.

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