Steering PPP into the right hands

Dear Readers, According to the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis on the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), there’s a possibility that billions of dollars might have been diverted to fraud, waste and abuse. Surprise. Surprise. The committee’s analysis identified 10,856 loans in which the borrower received multiple PPP loans, for a total of more than $1 billion in outstanding loans. The analysis was based on detailed data provided by the Treasury Department and the Small Business Administration (SBA). In addition to double dippers, the committee found 613 PPP loans, amounting to $96.3 million, provided to borrowers who are ineligible to [...]

Steering PPP into the right hands2020-09-30T07:12:02-04:00

TV star, real estate lawyer inspire the NS3 crowd

Dear Readers, At first glance, Tarek El Moussa and Jaime Kosofsky may not appear to have much in common. One is the star of the HGTV hit TV series “Flip or Flop;” the other is the cofounder/partner of Brady & Kosofsky real estate law firm in North Carolina. But the two men share a knack for overcoming adversity and for encouraging others to follow their dreams. October Research was lucky enough to have each of them share their stories recently at the 16th annual (and first virtual) National Settlement Services Summit (NS3). NS3 attendees who attended the Networking Reception, sponsored [...]

TV star, real estate lawyer inspire the NS3 crowd2020-09-30T07:07:34-04:00

Appraisal organization leaders address industry bias

Dear Readers, The recent tragedies plaguing the country calls to mind the need for eliminating bias judgements. And such a notion has drawn the attention of the presidents from the Appraisal Institute (AI) and The Appraisal Foundation (TAF). TAF President Dave Bunton spelled out specific new initiatives to increase diversity and combat bias in the appraisal profession in an article he wrote titled “Combating Discrimination in the Appraisal Profession.” “There is no place for discrimination in the appraisal profession,” Bunton wrote. “This has been the goal since The Appraisal Foundation began writing national standards for real estate appraisers more than [...]

Appraisal organization leaders address industry bias2020-09-30T06:57:06-04:00

Sometimes ‘done deals’ are far from that

Dear Readers, There is an old expression I am sure everyone is familiar with. It has to do with one not being able to take no for an answer. Such appears to be the case and could easily be applied to the apparent transaction that saw Cannae Holdings Inc. and Senator Investment Group LP making a proposal to acquire CoreLogic for $65 per share, which tantamounted to $7 billion dollars. The proposal was initiated June 26. The companies said that the all-cash offer is compelling because they offered a premium and transaction multiple well above those customarily seen in this [...]

Sometimes ‘done deals’ are far from that2020-09-18T10:55:26-04:00

Cheers to 20 years of The Legal Description

Dear Readers, Happy birthday! We are celebrating 20 years in publication and I am excited to mark this milestone. The last 20 years have seen changes in every facet of how the industry operates. From the first sparks of eClosings to RESPA reform, the housing market crash to the launch of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, TRID to RON, the industry doesn’t look like it did when The Legal Description launched. Through all of these changes, the industry has risen to the challenge. This year in particular has seen the industry need to pivot to meet the needs of its [...]

Cheers to 20 years of The Legal Description2020-09-18T10:47:20-04:00

Stressing the importance of title insurance

Washington, D.C.-area Federal Title & Escrow Co. recently noticed a trend that should alarm folks in our industry: An increasing number of homebuyers foregoing title insurance. To combat the issue, Federal Title launched a campaign to educate the public about the importance of title insurance and the inherent risks of waiving coverage. The company’s “Protect What’s Most Precious” campaign appears on Federal Title’s social media channels and targets real estate agents and consumers. The campaign highlights true claims stories, provides statistics, addresses common questions and offers additional insights from other real estate professionals. “It’s a disconcerting trend because these buyers [...]

Stressing the importance of title insurance2020-09-11T15:22:31-04:00

New GSE adverse market fee causes concern

Dear Readers, One of the things that has helped the industry in these crazy times was low interest rates, leading many to refinance their mortgages. Needless to say, when the Federal Housing Finance Agency directed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to implement an adverse market refinance fee, the entire industry was concerned. A coalition of real estate trade groups, including the American Land Title Association, Mortgage Bankers Association, National Association of Realtors and Real Estate Services Providers Council issued a statement against the action. The associations noted that the mortgage market has been able to withstand many of the severe [...]

New GSE adverse market fee causes concern2020-09-03T10:01:40-04:00

Industry leaders impressed with appraisers answering the call

Dear Readers, Over the past several months, we have brought to the attention of our appraisal audience the many, many ways those working in the valuation profession have stepped up their game in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. It wouldn’t come as a shock to most appraisers to hear that as an industry, the appraisal profession wasn’t always on the same page or acting in unison when it came to creating an environment for the good of all. But as time has gone by, under extremely difficult times one wouldn’t have thought possible professionals would ever have to endure, [...]

Industry leaders impressed with appraisers answering the call2020-09-03T10:13:04-04:00

We will be there, come what may

With a long and challenging summer finally in our rear-view mirror, it’s time to look ahead to the fall. And given that this is 2020, who knows what this fall might have in store for us. What we do know is what we have known since the pandemic took hold — the housing and mortgage industries have remained strong and profitable, and they have provided help and access to capital for millions of families dealing with the economic difficulties which have grown out of the pandemic. Forecasters, including Fannie Mae Chief Economist Doug Duncan in our cover story this month, [...]

We will be there, come what may2020-08-31T15:34:15-04:00

Health insurance costs cause ‘constant’ pain point

What’s the biggest problem small-business owners face? Right now, surviving the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic is probably the only thing most small-business owners are focused on, but a survey conducted by the NFIB prior to COVID-19 pointed to the cost of health insurance as their top concern. While the pandemic one day will end, as vaccines and successful treatments are developed, there seems no end to spiraling health insurance costs. “Although the government shutdowns and coronavirus pandemic have fundamentally shaken the small-business economy, we know that even during historic small-business expansions, owners consistently face many of the [...]

Health insurance costs cause ‘constant’ pain point2020-08-31T08:41:23-04:00