Tuesday, June 24, 2008

California Latino Homeownership Initiative

The California Latino Home ownership Initiative is a coordinated effort by the California Association of REALTORS® (CAR), Freddie Mac, the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP), the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), and other organizations, designed to help educate real estate professionals on how to serve the Latino home buyer and significantly expand home ownership opportunities for Latino Families.

Apartment Guide Launches Spanish Apartment Listing Web Site

Apartment Guide Launches Spanish Apartment Listing Web Site
RentRentar.com to Cater to Spanish-Speaking Apartment Seeker

ATLANTA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Apartment Guide, a leading apartment resource for searching apartment communities nationwide, today announced the launch of its Spanish-language Web site – RentRentar.com. The new site provides Spanish-speaking apartment seekers with a variety of apartments to select from nationwide.

“The Spanish language is the second most spoken language in the world. Dedicated to providing apartment property listings in fully-translated Spanish, RentRentar.com meets a growing need for the Hispanic population,” said Arlene Mayfield, president of Apartment Guide. “Further, it provides an invaluable service to our advertisers and property managers.”

RentRentar.com may be accessed at http://www.rentrentar.com/?partner=14501&WT.mc_id=14501 or through the “En Espanol” link on ApartmentGuide.com.

Contact Tamela Coval at tcoval@consumersource.com or 678.421.3320 for advertising information.

About Apartment Guide
Thirty-three years old, Apartment Guide is the flagship product for and division of Consumer Source Inc, a wholly-owned subsidiary of PRIMEDIA Inc. (NYSE: PRM). Apartment Guide delivers rental information to consumers via print, Internet and mobile devices. Apartments for rent are displayed and distributed in 77 publications in 74 markets and through ApartmentGuide.com, which is available nationwide. The Printernet (print and online) blended media product provided by Apartment Guide is the consumer’s primary apartment search resource, offering renters content-rich apartment listings.

For more information visit: http://www.apartmentguide.com./

PRIMEDIA Inc., through its Consumer Source Inc. operation, is an integrated media business that provides advertising supported print and online consumer guides for the apartment and new home industries. Consumer Source publishes and distributes more than 38 million guides – such as Apartment Guide and New Home Guide – to approximately 60,000 U.S. locations each year through its proprietary distribution network, DistribuTech. The company also distributes category-specific content on its leading Web sites, including ApartmentGuide.com, NewHomeGuide.com and Rentals.com, a comprehensive single-unit real estate rental site. For more information, visit http://www.primedia.com/.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Repercussions of Latinos Losing Their Home to Foreclosure

By Bill Arce, RealEstateLatino.com
6/14/08 Jacksonville, FL.

The staggering impact of all of the foreclosures on families, neighborhood stability, and the economy as a whole, continues to reveal itself as the tsunami of foreclosures continues to mount despite efforts by the federal government, non-profits organizations and industry players to alleviate its impact. Latino families are not exempt; in fact, a new research done by the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) estimates that 8 percent of Latino families will face foreclosure because of high-cost subprime mortgages and predatory lending.

Studies have shown that a big percentage of Latino’s wealth is sitting on their home equity. This represents the biggest asset (their home), for these families. It also represents the only way to access capitol to invest in small business, pay for college or simply to support other family members. Home prices are likely to drop even more in communities with high concentration of foreclosure, making equity vanish on many Latino homes and subsequently their opportunity to create wealth.

For most Latinos, the process of losing their home to foreclosure does not begin when they stop paying their monthly mortgage payments. Unfortunately, sometimes, it’s a result of wrong advice or they fell victims of predatory practices by an unethical real estate agent or loan officer. In RealEstateLatino.com (REL), we are doing our share by incorporating bilingual resources and information in our online real estate community, so our clients can learn to avoid foreclosure and common foreclosure rescue scams.

Trying to purchase the first home is without a doubt one of the most vulnerable times for many homebuyers, especially if English is in fact, his or her second language. It is our goal as ethical professionals, to make sure that all our clients will receive the best service possible in today’s real estate industry, and for that, we train all our affiliated partners before referring them any leads. Our “Impeccable Ethical Behavior” is more that just a business tagline; it is our way to show our commitment in sustaining Latino Homeownership.

In REL’s ethical training course, agents can discover a new approach to better serving our community that is the REL way. We understand that we must establish trust between our online community and its clients. We do this by supporting all their real estate needs without asking anything in return. When they are ready to purchase a home, we have our certified agents’ guide them throughout the entire home-buying process, making sure our client’s rights are always top priority for our agents.

Now is the time to act. As real estate professionals, we must work together to protect our communities from unethical predatory behaviors that consequently can end up in foreclosures. If you are an agent looking for professional support, training, or a Latino organization committed to Latino Homeownership, look no further. The National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professional (NAHREP) it the right place to be. With membership of more than 14,000 members all across the country, our organization is assisting Latinos like no other organization in the housing industry. Go to http://www.nahrep.org/ today, and look for a local chapter in our area and become a member. The benefits are many, but the desire and dedication to give back to our communities are like none other.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Wachovia Foundation Lend a Hand to Latino Group

The Wachovia Foundation has pledge to provide NCLR with $16.25 million to assist economic development in Latino communities across the country.

The foundation is forming a partnership with the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) that will allow NCLR to receive up to 5 million in grants over five years to provide homebuyer counseling and different community development projects.

NCLR also will receive $ 1.25 million over five years sponsor events organized by La Raza and $10 million loan to fund growth to NCLR Development Fund’s lending activities.

La Raza is the largest national Latino civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Mi Casa es Mi Casa: APanameno's Statement

Statement by Aracely Panameño, Director, Latino Affairs
Center for Responsible Lending

June 6, 2008

Over the course of the last several years, subprime lending proliferated and with it so did predatory practices. Affinity marketing and steering worked hand in hand. The slogan of "bad credit, no credit, no problem" led many consumers to fall prey to real estate professionals all along the food chain.

In Prince William County, according to the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data, during the last three years 50% of subprime loans were sold to Latino families. More than half of all foreclosures in the county are concentrated in low and moderate income neighborhoods within two zip codes: 22191 and 22193 (Woodbridge and Dale City). The majority of those affected are Latino families. The problem is now spreading to other areas in the county as Alt-A and payment option ARMs begin to reset.

There are no resources for families facing foreclosure in Woodbridge or Dale City! The county has one Latina housing counselor in the financial education program ran by the Virginia Cooperative Extension; she is overwhelmed with cases. And, there is only one non-profit organization located in Manassas with one staff person, the executive director. Its network of housing counselors work on a volunteer basis and only two of them are bilingual. Another nonprofit organization, Legal Services of Northern Virginia (LSNV) is also overwhelmed with requests for legal aid involving predatory and/or fraudulent loans and rescue scams cases.

Communities like these exist all over the country. They need help NOW! The very many programs and initiatives to address foreclosures thus far continue to leave consumers at the mercy of lending institutions. While many of the financial institutions that originated these loans have sought protection under the bankruptcy code, the same protection is not afforded to consumers. Most recently, Rep. Masui introduced a deferment bill which Center for Responsible Lending and civil rights organizations support.

The conditions I have described are dire. We need policy makers to stop giving homeowners hope and to give them real solutions that will keep families in their homes, preserve communities, and stabilize the housing market.

In the meantime, community leaders, faith communities, and non-profit organizations will be working to provide information and assistance to families.

Prince William County families, especially Latino families in Woodbridge and Dale City can find information, housing counseling, legal aid, and access to lender/servicer institution responsible for serving most of the mortgages in the area at our clinic:

Mi Casa es Mi Casa Foreclosure Avoidance Clinic, which will take place on Saturday, June 14th, from 8:30-4:30 at Saint Margaret's Episcopal Church in Woodbridge.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Casa Latino Real Estate Expands in Phoenix

For Immediate Release May 31, 2008
Contact: William Arce,
VP Casa Latino Franchise Corporation

Casa Latino Real Estate Expands in Phoenix

Bucking the trend of real estate office consolidations and closures, Casa Latino Real Estate has been steadily expanding throughout Phoenix. The company’s first Phoenix based franchise owners have grown from one office at 7th and Southern to three locations with more on the drawing board.

Their newest office has opened at 6030 N. 23rd Avenue, just off the I-17 freeway and Bethany Home Road in North Central Phoenix. Casa Latino franchise owner Ana Delgado, a former Century 21 agent, stated that “our newest office is conveniently located and compliments our locations at 7th and Southern and at the Ranch Market at 6730 W. Camelback Road in Glendale”.

Delgado is the managing broker and partner in a company which owns and operates Casa Latino real estate franchises throughout Greater Phoenix.

Casa Latino entered the Phoenix market late last fall with operations commencing in January of this year. The east coast based real estate franchise model is touted as America’s first and only true Latino real estate brand and is clearly the leader in the servicing the nations diverse Hispanic community. Robb Heering, company founder and CEO stated that “Ana Delgado is partnered up with some very influential and experienced local real estate and business talent. The ownership team in the Phoenix market includes Realtors John Purdon and Guillermo Blanco, a team of local internet business executives including Bob Gibson, and retired Phoenix Sun player Eddie Johnson. We fully expect that this ownership team will continue to expand their operations throughout Arizona and perhaps other key markets. Unlike many typical real estate franchise owners, this team has some very deep and diversified talent at its disposal”.

Casa Latino has been quietly expanding its operations throughout the US and continues to grab market share in many important markets. The company anticipates continued aggressive growth in the Greater Phoenix market.

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.

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