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Populist messaging, auditing the Fed, payday loans – Daily Kos

By Rachel Goldfarb, originally published on Next New Deal

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How Democratic Progressives Survived a Landslide (TAP)

Bob Moser says that populist, localized campaign messages, not the party’s own turnout strategy, saved a few key Democratic races in the 2014 midterm elections.

After every election, the losing side naturally tends to brood over where and how things went wrong. For Democrats this year, there’s no shortage of theories about the party’s avalanche of key losses in Senate, House, and statehouse contests. Perhaps it was wrong to sideline President Obama so thoroughly. Perhaps they shouldn’t have run away from the Affordable Care Act. Perhaps they still haven’t found the formula for turning out young and minority voters in midterms. Maybe it was just a bad map that couldn’t be overcome. Or maybe there had been, as the pundits chorused, no “coherent national message” for Democrats to run on.

You can find shards of truth in these tidbits of conventional wisdom, but it’s a gauzy, overgeneralized kind of truth. It’s more instructive to take a long look at what did work in 2014—at the candidates and campaigns that overcame the Republican drift. How did Democrats beat their odds in Arizona, Minnesota, New Hampshire, and Michigan even as they fell short in Iowa, Wisconsin, Florida, and Colorado? The closer you look, the clearer the picture becomes: They did it the way Kirkpatrick did. They ran with their populist boots on.

Roosevelt Take: Moser references Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow Richard Kirsch’s post-election analysis on winning populist messaging.

Follow below the fold for more.

What ‘Audit the Fed’ Really Means – and Threatens (WSJ)

Robert Litan explains that Senator Paul’s proposal calls on Government Accountability Office economists to go outside their expertise to report on the Fed’s activity and minimize its independence.

Payday Loans Are Bleeding American Workers Dry. Finally, the Obama Administration Is Cracking Down. (TNR)

Danny Vinik breaks down how payday loans harm consumers: the initial loan might not be so bad, but the repeated roll-overs have a high cost. Limiting those roll-overs is one potential regulation.

The “War on Women” is a Fiscal Nightmare: Taxpayers on the Hook for Millions as Republicans Gut Family Planning (Salon)

Katie McDonough looks at Kansas as an example of where legal fees to fight for potentially unconstitutional abortion restrictions and cuts to family planning services create massive costs.

Is Republican Concern About Middle-Class Wage Stagnation Just a Big Con? (MoJo)

Kevin Drum doesn’t think this is a sign of Republican reformers succeeding in shifting the party in a populist direction, and says that the more likely explanation is an attempt to defuse Democrats.

New on Next New Deal

The Politics of Responsibility – Not Envy

Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow Richard Kirsch argues that voters are responding not to envy, but to the knowledge that everyone needs to take a fair share of responsibility for shared prosperity.

[…]

Subprime boom ties loans to car titles

The title lenders are seizing upon a broad retrenchment among banks, which have become wary of making loans to borrowers on the fringe of the financial system. Regulations passed after the financial crisis have made it much more expensive for banks to make loans to all but the safest borrowers.

Read MoreRegulators press banks for more on auto loan exposure

The title lenders are also benefiting as state authorities restrict payday loans, effectively pushing payday lenders out of many states. While title loans share many of the same features — in some cases carrying rates that eclipse those on payday loans — they have so far escaped a similar crackdown.

In 21 states, car title lending is expressly permitted, with title lenders charging interest of up to 300 percent a year. In most other states, lenders can make loans with cars as collateral, but at lower interest rates.

Seeing the regulatory landscape shift, some of the country’s largest payday lenders are switching gears. When Arizona effectively outlawed payday loans, ACE Cash Express registered its payday loan storefronts in the state as car title lenders, state records show.

Lenders made similar changes in Virginia, where lawmakers outlawed payday lending in 2010. But title lenders were untouched by that law and have expanded throughout the state, drawing business from Maryland.

The number of stores offering title loans in Virginia increased by 24 percent from 2012 to 2013, according to state records. Last year, the lenders made 177,775 loans, up roughly 612 percent from 2010, when the state banned payday lending.

In Tennessee, the number of title lending stores increased by about 22 percent from 2011 to 2013, reaching 1,017.

That is a small fraction of the industry’s overall size, state regulators say, because only a handful of states keep statistics. Legal aid offices in Arizona, California, Georgia, Missouri, Texas and Virginia report that they have experienced an influx of clients who have run into trouble with the loans.

“The demand is there for people who are desperate for money,” said Jay Speer, the executive director of the Virginia Poverty Law Center.

Loopholes and Adversity

When Tiffany Capone suggested that her fiancé, Michael, take out a $10,000 TitleMax loan with a 119 percent interest rate, she figured it would be a temporary fix to pay the bills. But this summer, after Michael fell behind on the loan payments, the couple’s three-year-old Hyundai was repossessed.

“It had my child’s car seat in the back,” said Ms. Capone, of Olney, Md.

With their car gone, the couple had to sell most of their furniture and other belongings to a pawnshop so they could afford to pay for taxis to ferry Michael, a diabetic with a heart condition, to his frequent doctors’ appointments. The hardships caused by title loans are being cited as one of the big challenges facing poor and minority communities.

“It is a form of indenture,” said Robert Swearingen, a lawyer with Legal Services of Eastern Missouri, adding that “because of the threat of repossession, they can string you along for the rest of your life.”

Johanna Pimentel said she and both of her brothers had taken out multiple title loans.

“They are everywhere, like liquor stores,” she said.

Ms. Pimentel, 32, had moved her family out of Ferguson, Mo., to a higher-priced suburb of St. Louis that promised better schools. But after a divorce, her former husband moved out, and she had trouble paying her rent.

Ms. Pimentel took out a $3,461 title loan using her 2002 Suburban as collateral.

After falling behind, she woke up one morning last March to find that the car had been repossessed. Without it, she could not continue to run her day care business.

Pointing to such experiences, lawmakers in some states — regulating the industry largely falls to states — have called for stricter limits on title loans or outright bans.

In Virginia, lawmakers passed a bill in 2010 that institutes some restrictions on the practice, including preventing lenders from trying to collect money from customers once a car has been repossessed. That same year, Montana voters overwhelmingly backed a ballot initiative that capped rates on title loans at 36 percent.

But for every state where there has been a crackdown, there are more where the industry has mobilized to beat back regulations.

In Wisconsin, it took the title loan industry only one year to reverse a ban on the loans that had been put in place in 2010. In New Hampshire in 2008, state legislators enacted a law that put a 36 percent ceiling on the rates that title lenders could charge. Four years later, though, lobbyists for the industry won a repeal of the law.

“This is nothing but government-authorized loan sharking,” said Scott A. Surovell, a Virginia lawmaker who has proposed bills that would further rein in title lenders.

Even when there are restrictions, some lenders find creative ways to continue business as usual. In California, where the interest rates and fees that lenders can charge on loans for $2,500 or less are restricted, some lenders extend loans for just over that amount.

Sometimes the workarounds are more blatant.

The City of Austin allows title lenders to extend loans only for three months. But that did not stop Mr. Chicosky, the veteran who borrowed $4,000 for car repairs, from getting a loan for 24 months.

Last year, after applying for a loan at a Cash America store in Austin, Mr. Chicosky said, a store employee told him that he would have to fill out the paperwork and pick up his check in a nearby town. Mr. Chicosky’s lawyer, Amy Clark Kleinpeter, said the location switch appeared to be a way to get around the rules in Austin.

The lender offered a different explanation to Mr. Chicosky. “They told me that they didn’t have a printer at the Austin location that was big enough to print my check,” he said.

[…]

Can You Use Your Car to Get a Loan?

Dozens of options exist for consumers looking to borrow money, but some loans are much harder to access than others. The best and least expensive ways of borrowing money generally require the borrower to have a good credit history, and many people aren’t in that situation.

That’s where things like payday loans and auto title loans come in, some people say — that’s a controversial viewpoint, which I’ll explain later.

First, it’s important to go over the details of what auto title loans are.

What Is an Auto Title Loan?

In 21 states, if you own a car, you can probably get an auto title loan. (There are some auto title lenders who allow consumers to borrow against a vehicle if they have a certain percentage of equity, but those are uncommon.) You take your vehicle to an auto title lender — generally a storefront business — where the lender determines the value of the vehicle and offers you a loan for a certain percentage of that car’s value.

You give the lender the title as collateral for the loan, giving the lender the ability to repossess your car if you do not repay the loan. The average loan is $951 and is due in full, plus fees and interest, in 30 days, according to a report from the Center for Responsible Lending. Fees generally run $25 per $100 borrowed, so that’s $237.75 for the average $951 loan (plus interest).

Interest rates average 25% per month, or 300% APR. Eighteen of the 21 states with auto title lenders allow triple-digit APRs (Arizona, New Hampshire and Georgia do not). Those 21 states are Alabama, Arizona, California, Delaware, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Idaho, Illinois, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin.

Borrowers may refinance (for a fee) their loans at the end of their 30-day loan period if they cannot afford the balance.

That’s the gist of it. Theoretically, it’s a simple process: Bring your car to the store with your driver’s license, vehicle title, spare key and possibly a recent paycheck stub. The lender determines the car’s wholesale value, lends you a portion of that value in cash, and you make an appointment to return in 30 days to repay the loan.

In reality, the process gets much more complicated from there.

Why Auto Title Loans Are Controversial

Some people think auto title loans are a useful tool, while others condemn the practice as predatory lending.

Tony Petkovich, head of global trading at PCM Capital Management, invests in auto title lenders and thinks the products serve a purpose for people who can’t get other types of loans and don’t have credit cards. He sees it as a valuable option for business owners or consumers who find themselves in a pinch and have no other ways of getting cash they need as soon as possible.

“The bottom line is this if you’re short on money, … and somebody tells you, ‘Look we’re going to let you make the deal happen, but we’re going to charge you a 35% interest rate,’ the bottom line you’re going to look at the benefit to you — you’re not going to care how much it costs,” Petkovich said. He’s referring to a 35% monthly interest rate, by the way.

That’s the thing: If you’re taking out an auto title loan in an emergency, you will pay for it. Even if you make the balloon payment at the end of 30 days, you’re looking at paying hundreds of dollars in fees and interest, in addition to the principal balance.

This is where things get pretty ugly in auto title lending: Most people don’t repay the loan within 30 days, and the cost of that initial loan skyrockets. The average car title loan borrower renews the loan eight times, so for the $951 average loan, that’s an extra $1,904 in total renewal fees and $2,142 in interest. This average person pays $3,093 to borrow $951, according to the Center for Responsible Lending’s 2013 report on the industry. The report is based on state-level data and bankruptcy court proceedings involving auto title loans.

“The normal customer who gets a car title loan ends up trapped in that loan,” said Chris Kukla, senior vice president of the Center for Responsible Lending. He said the typical outcome from these loans negates arguments for their existence.

“That’s always the comment they make is, ‘Where else are they going to go?'” Kukla said, referencing business owners and industry advocates. “It doesn’t justify a problem that traps people in debt. Is the credit they’re getting doing them any favors? Is it really helping them, or is it just creating another financial emergency? And what’s clear is car title loans create a financial emergency.”

If these sound a lot like the problems people highlight with payday lending, that’s because they are. Using the car as collateral sets these products apart (payday loans are also available in all 50 states). If you’re taking out an auto title loan, chances are your credit is already in bad shape, and defaulting on one of these loans will trash it further. (You can get your credit scores for free every month on Credit.com to see where you stand.) On top of that, you will lose your car and the lender will sell it. Should the proceeds of that sale not cover the amount you owe in principal, interest and fees, the lender could send a debt collector after you — that’s another hit to your battered credit. Add that to the fact that you’ve lost your car and quite possibly your only way of getting to work, the worst-case scenario of taking out an auto title loan is pretty horrifying.

Auto Title Loan Alternatives

There are many more reasons why you should not get an auto title loan than why you should. Still, that doesn’t necessarily help someone who desperately needs money and sees an auto title loan as the only viable option.

“Don’t. Just don’t,” Kukla said he would say to anyone considering an auto title loan. “There are going to be other options available, and some of them may not be as easy to do, but these lenders are going to try and promise that this is going to be a short-term loan, but everything we know is people walk in the door and end up trapped in worse situations. … Try every other option you have. Even if it (an auto title loan) is an option, it’s an option that’s going to destroy you. It’s not going to be a help.”

If you own your car, Kukla said you can try your local credit union for a product that is similar to an auto title loan in name only: Based on the value of your car, the credit union may lend you a percentage of that car’s value, but it’s more like taking out a new auto loan on your car, with installment payments and a lower interest rate.

More from Credit.com
What to Do If You Can’t Make Your Car PaymentsCan You Get a Car Loan With Bad Credit?The Lifetime Cost of Debt CalculatorLoansFinance […]

TomaGold to Put Gold Reef Mine Into Production

MONTREAL, QUEBEC–(Marketwired – Sep 30, 2014) –

TomaGold invests US$750,000 as secured loan to put the Gold Reef Mine into production Receipt of 25% of the cash flow generated from the Gold Reef Mmine Agreement also includes an option to acquire a 50% interest in the Gold Reef Mine for US$2 million in capital expenditures The partner Gold Reef has a 3,000 t/month purchase contract with Freeport-McMoRan Miami Inc. US$4 million financing commitment from a Hong Kong-based group of investors for this transaction and future acquisitions

TomaGold Corporation (TSX VENTURE:LOT) (“TomaGold” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce the signing of an agreement with Gold Reef Mining LLC, Arizona, whereby TomaGold will provide at the closing a secured loan (the “Loan”) for the exploitation of the Gold Reef mine (the “Mine”). Having a term of one year and bearing interest at 10% per year, this transaction will allow having a carried interest of 25% of the cash flow generated by the Mine. The carried interest will remain after the Loan has been reimbursed, namely for the full duration of the Mine.

Following the Closing of the proposed transaction, TomaGold will hold an irrevocable and absolute option to acquire 50% of the ownership property of the Mine for US $2 million in capital expenditures on the project. TomaGold may exercise its option in the interest within 48 months following the full reimbursement of the Loan.

Gold Reef Mine

The Gold Reef Mine consists of two major patented mineral claims and six BLM (Bureau of Land Management) lode claims covering approximately 160 acres. This Mine is located 36 miles northeast of Phoenix, Maricopa County, Arizona. The property consists of a 200-foot-wide gold-bearing quartz vein system that extends 3,000 feet laterally and is up to 300 feet deep. The gold flux mineralization ranges in grade from 0.15 to 0.69 ounces of gold per ton. A 20-ton bulk sample returned an average grade of 0.19 ounces of gold per ton.

The operator expect that production will take place from the surface on the patented ground in the first two years of production and along strike onto the BLM ground as the project advances. An underground operation is planned to minimize surface disruption and BLM bond/permitting issues. Expedited permitting is expected, as no ore processing will take place on site.

The operator of the Mine, Gold Reef Mining LLC, Arizona currently has a 3,000-ton/month purchase contract with Freeport-McMoRan Miami Inc.

US$4 Million Financing Commitment

Concurrently with the Gold Reef transaction, TomaGold has received a financing offer of US$4 million from a group of investors based in Hong Kong (the “Investors”), whereby the Company intends to issue up to a maximum 13.7 million units. Each unit (the “Units”) will comprise one preferred share and one common share purchase warrant (the “Warrants”).

The Preferred Shares, redeemable after five years, will have no voting right and will be entitled to a dividend equal to 50% of the cash flow generated by the projects that the Company intends to finance with the private placement of Units. The Preferred Shares will not be listed on the TSX Venture Exchange.

The Warrant included in the Unit will allow the Investors to purchase one Common Share of TomaGold at an exercise price $0.12 at any time for a period of five years from the closing date. The Warrants issued will be subject to a holding period of four (4) months and one (1) day.

“This is a major step forward for TomaGold, both bringing us closer to achieving our goal of becoming a gold producer and bringing strong financial partners into the fold,” said David Grondin, President and Chief Executive Officer of TomaGold. “The Gold Reef project will enable us to generate cash flow in the coming year, and the US$4 million financing will allow us to finance this first transaction along with other similar transactions that the management of the Company has been working on over the last year, with minimal dilution for our shareholders. With gold assets at their lowest valuation, we believe this is a great time to acquire high quality gold assets.”

The technical content of this press release has been reviewed and approved by André Jean, Eng., a qualified person under National Instrument 43-101.

The transaction with Gold Reef Mining LLC and the private financing are subject to due diligence of the Gold Reef mine and are expected to close within the next 45 days.

Those transactions are subject to regulatory approvals.

Cautionary and forward-looking statements

The Company is not basing its production decision on a feasibility study of mineral reserves demonstrating economic and technical viability and, as a result, there may be an increased uncertainty of achieving any particular level of recovery of minerals or the cost of such recovery, including increased risks associated with developing a commercially mineable deposit. Historically, such projects have a much higher risk of economic and technical failure. There is no guarantee that production will begin as anticipated or at all or that anticipated production costs will be achieved. Failure to commence production would have a material adverse impact on the Company’s ability to generate revenue and cash flow to fund operations. Failure to achieve the anticipated production costs would have a material adverse impact on the Company’s cash flow and future profitability.

Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its regulation services provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this news release. The statements made in this news release that are not historical facts are “forward-looking statements”. Readers are cautioned that any such statements are not guarantees of future performance, and that actual developments or results may vary materially from those described in these “forward-looking” statements.

About TomaGold Corporation

TomaGold Corporation is a Canadian-based mining exploration company whose primary mission is the acquisition, exploration and development of gold projects in Canada and abroad.

[…]

John Oliver, Sarah Silverman Have Some Words For Payday …

Image oliver-motherfskr.jpg

John Oliver took on the obviously hilarious topic of payday lending on Sunday’s Last Week Tonight, and once again proved that it’s possible to do some really smart advocacy journalism in a comedy format and make it work — almost as if he thinks that comedy can do more than just give us a cheap laugh or something. And with payday loan outlets more plentiful than either Starbucks or McDonalds, it’s probably worth looking at — especially since payday loans are the financial equivalent of fast food, except you only pay for your McAnusBurger once or twice.

So watch this thing, and prepare to be amazed at the incredibly adaptive and creative ways the payday-loan biz has evolved to outsmart attempts to regulate it. For instance, in Arizona, the companies just started doing “title loans” — so they could rip people off AND take their cars — and in Ohio, they morphed into “mortgage lenders,” offering home mortgages for $400 or so. And of course in Texas, the industry has it figured out — the people who “regulate” payday lenders all work in the payday loan industry. Talk about filling an evolutionary niche!

Also, Sarah Silverman stars in a counter-ad for the best possible alternative to taking out a payday loan: Literally Anything Else.

Related […]

Editorial: Payday loan study shows Idaho needs new laws – The …

Predatory payday lenders rely on a certain number of customers being unable to quickly pay their bills. It’s a vicious business model that leverages desperation, and nowhere is it working more efficiently than in Idaho.

The average annual interest costs in the Gem State are 582 percent, and that leads the nation, according to a study by Pew Charitable Trusts. Loan costs balloon with high interest rates, origination fees and penalties for failing to repay on time, which is usually the next paycheck. Colorado has the lowest loan costs among states with storefront lenders (15 states ban them), but …

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Predatory payday lenders rely on a certain number of customers being unable to quickly pay their bills. It’s a vicious business model that leverages desperation, and nowhere is it working more efficiently than in Idaho.

The average annual interest costs in the Gem State are 582 percent, and that leads the nation, according to a study by Pew Charitable Trusts. Loan costs balloon with high interest rates, origination fees and penalties for failing to repay on time, which is usually the next paycheck. Colorado has the lowest loan costs among states with storefront lenders (15 states ban them), but the rate is still 129 percent. It’s 192 percent in Washington.

Idaho was among seven states that had no limits on such loans when the survey was conducted. The Legislature did pass an industry-supported bill in the last session that adds some weak restrictions. It takes effect July 1, but it’s still too permissive.

For example, the bill would limit borrowers to a loan that cannot exceed 25 percent of their gross monthly income. But Pew reports that the average borrower can only afford to repay a loan that’s 5 percent of their monthly income.

So even under this reform, many borrowers will still have to take out new loans, at an average cost of $55 apiece, to pay off old ones. Pew notes that the typical payday borrower “has to repeatedly ‘re-borrow’ the money every two weeks, spends five months of the year in debt, and ultimately pays $520 in fees for the original loan of $375.”

Idaho lawmakers chose not to impose an interest-rate cap on payday loans. In Washington, the rate is 15 percent on the first $500 and 10 percent thereafter. Many states have chosen the 36 percent interest-rate cap that Congress adopted to protect members of the military from exorbitant loan costs. In 2010, Montana voters tossed the state’s permissive loan law and adopted the 36 percent interest rate cap. Voters in Ohio and Arizona also adopted caps.

Five years ago, the Washington Legislature passed reforms that have driven a lot of lenders out of the state. In 2009, there were 494 payday loan branches, but only 151 by 2012. Payday lending went from a $1.3 billion business in 2009 to $343 million in 2012, according to a Washington Department of Financial Institutions report.

The losers in that reform were the lenders, not the consumers.

The payday loan industry says such restrictions merely push customers onto the Internet for loans that cost even more. Pew studied that contention and found that in restrictive states, there wasn’t a big shift to online lenders. Instead, people cut their expenses or sought help from employers, family and friends. Those are all better choices than getting caught in a destructive cycle of short-term loans. People in these predicaments need credit counseling, not another loan.

Idaho ought to be embarrassed about leading such a list. Lawmakers should make amends by passing reform next time.

To respond to this editorial online, go to www.spokesman.com and click on Opinion under the Topics menu.

[…]

Park Electrochemical Corp. Announces Special Cash Dividend

MELVILLE, N.Y.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–

Park Electrochemical Corp. (PKE) announced that its Board of Directors has declared a special cash dividend of $2.50 per share payable February 25, 2014 to shareholders of record at the close of business on February 11, 2014. The Company intends to finance this special cash dividend in the total amount of approximately $52 million with bank financing or with its available cash.

Although the Company has not made any decision at this time to repatriate any funds owned by its foreign subsidiaries, the Company plans to record a charge at the end of its current fiscal year ending March 2, 2014 related to the U.S. income tax which would be payable to repatriate foreign owned funds in an after-tax amount necessary to repay its existing $52 million principal amount bank loan from PNC Bank and to pay for the special dividend announced in this news release or to repay any additional loan financing put in place by the Company to pay for such special dividend. At December 1, 2013, the end of the Company’s 2013 fiscal year third quarter, the Company had approximately $291 million of cash and marketable securities, approximately $235 million of which was owned by certain of the Company’s wholly owned foreign subsidiaries.

The Company has retained BofA Merrill Lynch to provide financial advisory services to the Company regarding the special dividend and related matters.

Certain portions of this news release may be deemed to constitute forward looking statements that are subject to various factors which could cause actual results to differ materially from Park’s expectations. Such factors include, but are not limited to, general conditions in the electronics and aerospace industries, Park’s competitive position, the status of Park’s relationships with its customers, economic conditions in international markets, the cost and availability of raw materials, transportation and utilities, and the various factors set forth in Item 1A “Risk Factors” and under the caption “Factors That May Affect Future Results” after Item 7 of Park’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended March 3, 2013.

Park Electrochemical Corp. is a global advanced materials company which develops and manufactures high-technology digital and RF/microwave printed circuit materials principally for the telecommunications and internet infrastructure and high-end computing markets and advanced composite materials, parts and assemblies for the aerospace markets. Park’s core capabilities are in the areas of polymer chemistry formulation and coating technology. The Company’s manufacturing facilities are located in Singapore, France, Kansas, Arizona and California. The Company also maintains R & D facilities in Arizona, Kansas and Singapore.

Additional corporate information is available on the Company’s web site at www.parkelectro.com.

FinanceInvestment & Company Information Contact:

Park Electrochemical Corp.
Martina Bar Kochva, 631-465-3600

[…]

With International Home Buyers Flocking to the U.S., Mortgage Brokers Use Mortgage Elements to Locate Wholesale …

Thumbnail

Foreign National Loan Programs

Finding Foreign National Mortgage Programs is easy at Mortgage Elements

Chicago, IL (PRWEB) October 30, 2013

Businessweek recently reported that international buyers have become a significant and growing segment in today’s Real Estate market accounting for as much as 19% of all transactions in Florida in June 2012. The majority of international buyers are concentrated in 5 states: Florida, California, Texas, Arizona, and New York. Origination News reported that most of these transactions – 83% – are also cash deals requiring no mortgage. This may be beneficial to the property seller since they don’t have to wait for their buyer to be approved for a mortgage. This is not good news to Mortgage Brokers that make a living by providing mortgages. However, if 83% of the deals are cash, this leaves 17% of Foreign National buyers that need a mortgage, but finding Wholesale Lenders that offer a Foreign National Mortgage Program can be difficult – until now.

Mortgage Elements Inc. maintains a database that tracks Wholesale Lenders who offer Foreign National Loan programs in different states. Mortgage Brokers can access the database without charge at http://www.MortgageElements.com and find Wholesale Foreign National Lenders. The loan terms, underwriting guidelines, and allowable LTV (Loan to Value) ratios vary between lenders. Researching the best program for each borrower can be time consuming, but this task can be greatly reduced with the Mortgage Elements interface. With just a few mouse clicks, Mortgage Brokers can view and compare the different lenders, loan terms, and guidelines.

Why don’t more lenders have Foreign National mortgage programs? There are several reasons that contribute to the scarcity. One reason is that most mortgages are sold to one of the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSE) – Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, FHA, or VA. All these GSE’s have underwriting guidelines which incorporate residency requirements that Foreign National buyers can’t meet. Many of these buyers pay cash because they want to, but others use cash because they can’t qualify for Conventional or FHA financing.

Although many international buyers would be excellent borrowers and a good credit risk, Foreign National lending does carry a higher risk than lending to US residents. Most of these properties will be vacation homes or investment properties. Investment and vacation homes have a higher default risk than a primary residence. The rationale being that if a borrower runs into financial distress, they will pay the mortgage on their primary residence and let the investment or vacation home go into default. Other reasons include tightened credit standards imposed by regulators since the Financial Crisis and simply a lack of lenders who are experienced with Foreign National borrowers.

Using http://www.MortgageElements.com can help quickly locate and research the few Wholesale Lenders that are active in Foreign National mortgage lending. The website is also optimized for use with Touch Screen technology. Brokers can easily find and research lenders from an iPad or tablet computer with just a few taps on the screen, just as easily as from their desktop computer.

About Mortgage Elements Inc.
Mortgage Elements Inc. is an internet marketing company that provides marketing, database, search, and consulting solutions for the mortgage industry through its website http://www.MortgageElements.com. The company uses a unique website design optimized for touch screen technology and use on mobile devices, desktop, and laptop computers. Mortgage Elements is a B2B company for the mortgage industry and not a lender.


[…]

40% of All Home Sales Are Now Cash Deals

Home sales were up in July, and a large chunk of them were cash purchases, according to RealtyTrac’s July 2013 U.S. Residential & Foreclosure Sales Report.

Sales volume increased 11% from July 2012 to 5.5 million, a 4% increase from June. All-cash purchases, in which no loan is recorded at the time of sale, accounted for 40% of sales volume, up from 35% in June and 31% in July 2012.

But eight states saw annual decreases in total sales, and four of those states reported the largest annual increases in median home prices for July: California, Nevada, Arizona and Georgia.

In a news release, RealtyTrac Vice President Daren Blomquist highlighted some factors behind those numbers:

“Home prices are accelerating rapidly in these markets thanks to the combination of low supply and strong demand,” he said. “However, counter to the national trend, sales volume in these markets is down even as the percentage of cash sales rises, indicating there is still strong demand but that buyers who need financing to purchase are increasingly left out in the cold.”

He added that rising interest rates may also explain the higher percentage of cash purchases, because some potential homeowners can no longer afford the mortgages they would need to buy.

To that point, Los Angeles, Phoenix and Riverside-San Bernardino (California), topped the nation’s largest metro areas for month-over-month jumps in cash sales share, annual decreases in sales volume and year-over-year increases in median home prices.

Dallas posted the largest increase in cash sales from June with an 82% increase. St. Louis was next (up 66%), followed by Los Angeles (up 32%), Riverside-San Bernardino (up 26%), Seattle (up 21%) and Phoenix (21%).

Chicago, Minneapolis, Baltimore, Boston and Philadelphia saw the largest year-over-year increases in sales volume among the nation’s most-populated metropolitan areas tracked in the report. The largest sales-volume decreases were posted by San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside-San Bernardino, Phoenix and Atlanta.

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