Thursday, February 26, 2009

FHFA Director Lockhart to Address GSE Plans at the AREAA/NAHREP Real Estate and Policy Conference

Government action addressing homeownership preservation and affordability issues will shape the future of housing in America for generations to come. Much of the responsibility to reestablish the American Dream of homeownership rests on the shoulders of the Federal Housing Finance Agency and its Director, James Lockhart.

Don’t miss your opportunity to hear from the FHFA director, who stands to make arguably the most influential housing-related decisions in American history. Director Lockhart will be discussing the future of the GSEs and plans to curb foreclosure at the AREAA/NAHREP Real Estate and Policy Conference on the afternoon of Friday, March 13th prior to a town hall discussion on loss mitigation.

James B. Lockhart III, is the Director (CEO) and Chairman of the Oversight Board of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, regulator of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the 12 Federal Home Loan Banks. He assumed that position with the signing of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act on July 30, 2008. He was the Director of OFHEO, which is now part of FHFA.
He was nominated by President Bush to that position and confirmed by the Senate in June 2006.From 2002 to 2006, Mr. Lockhart served as Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer of the Social Security Administration and as Secretary to the Social Security Board of Trustees. He was a member of President Bush’s Management Council and its Executive Committee. Lockhart served in the previous Bush Administration as Executive Director (CEO) of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) from 1989 until 1993.

To read more, visit
To Register For the Conference go

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Guide to Avoid Foreclosure in Jacksonville, FL

If you are behind on your mortgage, the following agencies may be able to help if you live in or around Jacksonville, FL. Most experts advised that it’s better to call the lender first and then seek help as soon as you are behind on payments or know you will soon be behind.

JACKSONVILLE AREA LEGAL AIDVisit or call (904) 356-8371. Walk-in application hours at the main office at 126 W. Adams St. on Mondays and Thursdays are from 8:30 to 11 a.m. Only the first 55 applicants are seen. Legal Aid has a new foreclosure-oriented office at 3701 Winton Drive in the Ribault Family Resource Center. This center focuses on ZIP codes hardest hit by foreclosures in 2007: 32209, 32208, 32206 and 32218 on the Northside and 32244 on the Westside. Clients are seen by appointment only, except in the case of an emergency. Call (904) 390-4019 for an appointment.

THE FLORIDA BARPre-foreclosure help may be available by calling (866) 607-2187 or visit for an online form. To find a private attorney, call the Jacksonville Bar Association for a referral at (904) 399-5780 or visit

JACKSONVILLE Call (904) 630-2489 (630-CITY) and ask for the housing program. The city may be able to help with one-time cash assistance and financial counseling.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENTCall (800) 569-4287 or visit to find resources and a list of certified housing counselors. Contact the federal government’s foreclosure hot line at (888) 995-4673 (995-HOPE) or

FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF FINANCIAL SERVICESThe DFS asks that you call the Consumer Helpline at (800) 342-2762 before you pay anyone who offers to help you get out of foreclosure.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Q&A about Government's plan to avert foreclosures

Who will receive help?
Those who may be at risk of foreclosure as well as some homeowners who are "underwater" on their loans.

What are the outlines of the plan?
A refinancing option for those who are making payments but are paying high interest rates and would otherwise not be able to refinance, either because they do not have enough equity or because their houses are worth less than they borrowed.

$75 billion in assistance for people at risk of foreclosure through incentives to lenders to alter the terms of loans.

Assurance that there is credit available for mortgages through $200 billion in backing to mortgage finance companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

How much will this cost to the American taxpayers?
A total of $275 billion.

How many homeowners will be assisted?
The government estimates between 7 million to 9 million homeowners.

Is congressional approval a must?
Some parts, including a provision to allow changes to mortgages through bankruptcy proceedings, will require legislation.

When is the starting day?
March 4.

If I need help, what should I do?
Collect all necessary documents such as pay stubs, tax returns and loan and credit card statements to call your lender first. After calling your lender, research for any local assistance offered by non-profits or local government.
Remember doing nothing is worth that facing foreclosure.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Casa Latino Real Estate Enters Prince William County

Woodbridge, VA - A new real estate agency might be an imprudent risk in much of the country, let alone here in Prince William County. But that’s not the way they see things at Casa Latino Real Estate.

While other real estate brands are closing their doors and posting millions of dollars in losses, Casa Latino is growing its network here in the Greater Metro DC area with the grand opening of its Woodbridge office – the first of many planned offices to open throughout the area.

According to Mercy Lugo-Struthers, President and Area Developer for Casa Latino in Northern Virginia, DC and Maryland, “Casa Latino’s success is based upon the core philosophy of placing people before profits, of having a passionate servant mentality, combined with the experience, knowledge, tools and resources needed to effectively help the community reach their dreams of sustainable home ownership”.

Mrs. Lugo-Struthers added, “our community has traditionally been either preyed upon or ignored. We’re now left to pick up the pieces that resulted from the behavior and mindset of many players in the industry. Foreclosed homes, devastated finances, and shattered families didn’t simply occur.

These issues were caused by those who preceded us, it’s that simple. We can make one promise to the community – Casa Latino is different and we prove that with our actions every day. I invite the community to allow us the privilege of serving their real estate needs”.

Robb Heering, Casa Latino’s founder and CEO added, “we understand the issues, the struggles, the needs, and the reality of each community we serve. Casa Latino brings a fresh and much needed approach to serving local real estate markets. The Metro DC and specifically, Prince William County is a very deserving market. We need to be here….both to raise the bar of service and to help level the playing field for consumers”.

Casa Latino’s newest location is strategically located at 3985 Prince William Parkway, Suite 204, Woodbridge, VA 22193, and its phone number is 703-348-3911.

About Casa Latino
Casa Latino Real Estate is the only Hispanic and multicultural real estate franchise with a national footprint and the largest Hispanic real estate brand in the world. Beginning in 2005 in Connecticut, the company grew to 20 locations in ten states. By the end of 2008, more than 50 Casa Latino offices had sprung up coast to coast.

Casa Latino was created 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. While the company serves everyone, regardless of heritage, the company’s model is designed to provide superior service to a multicultural market.

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Friday, February 13, 2009

Citi and Chase To Halt Some Types of Foreclosures

Citi and Chase announced that they have committed to a temporary halt of some residential foreclosures. To what it seams, it is in response to a suggestion made by Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) on Wednesday before Various CEOs from 8 of the most important financial institution..

The chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, who said to have a moratorium, in order to give the Treasury Department more time to implement its own foreclosure-reduction plan. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on Tuesday released outlines of an economic-revival effort that are slated to include about $50 billion in assistance to “prevent avoidable foreclosures” of some owner-occupied homes, and this moratorium would serve as a lead-in to the federal plan.

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon sent a letter on Thursday to Rep. Frank in which he said his Chase would have a foreclosure moratorium through March 6 for any owner-occupied residential loans that are owned and serviced by JPMorgan Chase.

In the other hand, Citigroup said on Friday that it’s expanding a foreclosure moratorium already in place that’s effective through March 12 or until the government’s new loan modification program is finalized, “whichever is earlier.” The moratorium will apply to Citi’s Owned first mortgages who are also the homeowner primarily residence. In audition, loans serviced Citi where there is an agreement with the investor, will also fall into the moratorium.

More financial institutions should follow the lead of Citi and Chase and allowed distressed homeowner currently facing foreclosure more time to see if they could benefit from a rescue plan organized by the federal government.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute SeeksApplicants for 2009-2010 Fellowship Programs

Deadline February 13, 2009Applications Available Online at

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI), the nation’s premier Hispanic educational and youth leadership development organization, is seeking applicants for its nationally recognized fellowship programs.Online applications for CHCI’s Graduate & Young Professional Fellowship Program and Public Policy Fellowship Program are available at

Individuals that meet the qualifications for the Graduate & Young Professional Fellowship Program are especially in high demand.The Graduate & Young Professional Fellowship Program offers exceptional Latino graduates and young professionals unparalleled exposure to experience in the underserved public policy areas of health, housing, law, international affairs, and science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

The fellowship is open to applicants with a graduate degree from an accredited educational institution or equivalent three years professional experience in chosen policy field. This competitive program is comprised of a nine-month fellowship including a substantive work placement at a legislative subcommittee office, federal agency, national non-profit advocacy organization, or corporate office.

The International Affairs Fellowship includes three months abroad in Mexico. Travel, health insurance and a $2,700 monthly stipend is provided. The Graduate & Young Professional Fellowship Program application deadline is February 13, 2009.CHCI’s Public Policy Fellowship Program, conducted from September to May, provides college graduates with national hands-on public policy experience in a congressional office, federal agency, nonprofit sector, or corporate setting. Fellowship participants are provided with health insurance, roundtrip transportation to and from Washington, D.C., and a monthly stipend of $2,200.

The Public Policy Fellowship Program application deadline is February 13, 2009.To be eligible, all program applicants must be U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents, have remarkable leadership potential, and have a demonstrated history and commitment to community and public service.About Congressional Hispanic Caucus InstituteCongressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI), a nonprofit and nonpartisan 501(c) (3) organization, provides leadership development programs and educational services to students and young emerging leaders.

The CHCI Board of Directors is comprised of Hispanic Members of Congress, nonprofit, union and corporate leaders. For more information call CHCI at (202) 543-1771 or visit<>.

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