Novotel Cairns Oasis Resort has reached Hall of Fame status after again being named as North Queensland’s most deluxe accommodation operator.This is Novotel Cairns Oasis Resort’s third consecutive win in this category at the Tourism Tropical North Queensland Tourism Awards, which recognize excellence in the hospitality industry. Each year more than 500 operators from Cairns and the surrounding regions vie for honours in various categories at the event, which was established 13 years ago.Novotel Cairns Oasis Resort General Manager, James Murphy said he was honoured to accept the award on behalf of the resort which recognises both the continued hard work of its staff and consistency of the property’s service and product standards. ‘We’ve worked hard to ensure that our guests not only enjoy a luxury break when staying with us but receive optimum service delivered in a style and manner synonymous with the laid back tropical charm of Cairns,’ said Murphy. Set amongst two hectares of lush, tropical gardens and featuring a large, free form swimming lagoon complete with sand beach and swim-up bar, Novotel Cairns Resort is situated just 100m from the Cairns city centre. Novotel Cairns Oasis Resort, External Left to Right: James Murphy – General Manager, Grace Lassig – Director of Sales & Marketing, Malcom Tapp – Chief Engineer, Tracy Norman – Revenue Manager, Craig Kilmar – Rooms Division Manager, Lisa Clarke – HR Manager. Source = Novotel Cairns Oasis Resort
A recent survey has revealed that Australians would prefer to travel in the company of a person with bad body odour than with parents and the sounds of their screaming children.The survey conducted by online travel agent Zuji Australia found that more than 40 percent of respondents ranked neglectful parents with crying children the number one flight nightmare, NZ Herald reported.Interviewing over 2,000 Australians, the survey also revealed that travelling alongside chatterbox neighbors and arm rest hoggers where among the top travelling nightmares.However, the prospect of having to sit next to a fellow traveller with terrible personal hygiene or even having to endure the constant sound of wailing children is still not enough to prevent Australian’s from travelling this holiday season.The results also found that over 75 percent of Australians will be spending time with family this season and some 40 percent of Australians are planning to travel interstate or internationally to be close to friends and family.Zuji Australia Managing Director James Gaskell said that interestingly a similar number would rather book a hotel room than stay with relatives during their visit, adding that the holiday season can bring out “our inner Grinch”.Whatever the preference in travelling companion, at least 70 per cent of Australia’s prefer a sunny holiday season over a white one. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: S.P Aussies opt for bad personal hygeine over crying babiesIMAGE SOURCE: MOSTPHOTOS.COM
SeaLink Travel Group have announced today the expansion of its Sydney Harbour fleet, after the acquisition of two 300 passenger, high speed vessels this week.The ferries will be used by SeaLink’s Captain Cook Cruises to supply new routes and to create a flexible response to meet growing market demand for services on Sydney Harbour.The new ferries were acquired for AUD$6 million and will be funded from existing debt facilities.SeaLink managing director Jeff Ellison, said the ferries were ideal for Sydney Harbour and have already been proven on the Circular Quay to Manly service.“Both ferries can carry up to 300 passengers and are very adept at moving large crowds efficiently between destinations, we are confident of our ability to win new contracts on Sydney Harbour and are keen to support the future development of the Barangaroo waterfront precinct, a key part of the Transport Master Plan for Barangaroo to be a major new ferry hub,” Mr Ellison said.SeaLink already has contracts with Harbour City Ferries, the Biennale Festival and the temporary Convention Centre.The purchase of the two vessels follows the recent delivery of 4 new 200 passenger ferries built by the company.This takes the total number of high speed passenger and commuter ferries to 9 vessels on Sydney Harbour, and the total number of the fleet is now 28 vessels.Source = ETB Travel News: Lewis Wiseman
Source = ETB Travel News: Lewis Wiseman TCEB announces new partners at Thailand CONNECT The World Famil TripThe Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) hosted Thailand CONNECT The World 2015: Bangkok – Khao Yai Media Familiarisation Trip last week.The trip strongly highlighted Thailand strength as a gateway to ASEAN business success through MICE facilities around the country.The program included a diverse program in business events destinations such as Bangkok and Khao Yai, which truly is an emerging business events paradise.TCEB announced a new group of partner organisations during the conference, with the aim of putting business events in Thailand on the global map.The four key partner organisations include the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), Thai Airways International, the Ratchaprasong Square Trade Association (RSTA) and Bangkok River Partners (BRP).Another big announcement was that the business events traveller-focused packages under the Thailand CONNECT Welcome Package will be introduced to provide completed quintessential Bangkok metropolitan downtown and majestic riverside MICE experiences.Mr Nopparat Maythaveekulchai, TCEB’s President, stated the importance of building international confidence in Thai MICE sector.“TCEB is proud to build on the strong and long-standing relationship the between Thai and global MICE sectors, and showcase Thailand as a gateway to ASEAN success for global businesses. While offering the strengths of Thailand’s business events industry, under the Thailand CONNECT The World brand communications, Thailand can also maximise business potentials though vast market opportunities right at the heart of AEC,” Mr Nopparat Maythaveekulchai said.Mr Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya, Executive Director Advertising and Public Relation Department, Tourism Authority of Thailand, said TAT is excited to be working with TCEB.“We are delighted to be a partner agency and cooperate with TCEB to attract more MICE delegates to Thailand. Our ‘2015 Discover Thainess’ campaign, designed to highlight everything that makes Thailand unique as a country,” Mr Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya said.Bangkok has been rated the top destination in Asia Pacific for three consecutive years (2013-2015) according to the MasterCard Global Destinations Cities Index.For some facts to put that in perspective, during the 2014 fiscal year, from October 2013 to September 2014, Thailand attracted a total of 919,164 business events visitors, generating revenue of US$2.69 billion.That same momentum for business events, continued to grow in the first half of the 2015 fiscal year – October 2014 to March 2015 – when Thailand welcomed 476,079 business events visitors, generating revenue of US$1.24 billion.
Royal Jordanianbook your RJ flights hereSource = Royal Jordanian Royal Jordanian DreamlinerRJ losses decline by JD1 million compared to 2015Royal Jordanian losses dropped by JD1 million in the first quarter of 2016, from JD8.3 million in the first quarter of 2015 to JD 7.3 million for the same period this year. The results improved by 13% despite the unfair competition the company faces.The decrease in losses happened even though revenues during the first quarter of the current year also went down 5% in the first three months of this year, to JD140.4 million from JD148.4 million in the first three months of 2015. The lower revenues are attributed to the reduced tickets prices resulting from lower oil prices.As RJ stressed on different occasions, air traffic is seasonal in nature. Normally airlines, RJ included, see a remarkable regression in the number of travellers in the first and last quarters of the year (the winter season), whereas they witness active traffic in the second quarter and reaching the peak season in the third quarter, during the summer and holidays, which means improved seat factor. Improved seat factor enables airlines to achieve better financial results at the end of the year, as was the case with RJ last year.RJ registered JD21 million net profits at the end of 2015, while the net profits for the first nine months of the same year were JD27 million. The lower traffic in the last three months of 2015 brought down the final financial figure.RJ looks forward to achieving net profits by improving its services and continuing the implementation of the five-year business plan it started in 2015.The plan is based on a number of pillars that involve controlling costs, increasing revenues, reassessing the route network by studying the profitability of the routes and considering new markets.The airline opened new destinations last year and this year; they are Tabuk, Najaf, Ankara, Jakarta and Guangzhou. It also shut down some routes for commercial reasons, including Delhi, Mumbai, Colombo, Lagos, Accra, Milano, Alexandria, Al Ain and Kiev.
Exciting new eco-experience in the Whitsundays revealed!Exciting new eco-experience in the Whitsundays revealed!An exciting new experience could be on the cards for the Whitsunday National Park after it was revealed that tenders have opened for a feasibility study into new eco-accommodation.Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef Leeanne Enoch has announced that the tender process is now open for a feasibility study into building a premium ecotourism experience on Whitsunday Island, the largest in the 74-island group.Ms Enoch said the feasibility study would look at low-impact eco-accommodation, walking tracks throughout the island – to expand on the many existing tracks – and showcase iconic destinations such as Whitehaven Beach and Hill Inlet.“Our Government is committed to delivering ecotourism experiences that are ecologically and environmentally sustainable, and that create employment for locals, and opportunities for traditional owners,” Ms Enoch said.Tourism Whitsundays General Manager Tash Wheeler said it was a very exciting time in the Whitsundays, with so much happening and a lot of projects unfolding or coming to fruition.“The announcement that the Queensland Government is putting an ecotourism experience out to tender for a feasibility study is very exciting news for the region and also for us as an organisation,” she said.“Whitsunday Island is one of our most iconic islands, being home to world famous Whitehaven Beach and Hill Inlet, and to be able to share this with visitors in an eco-friendly and sustainable way is truly fantastic.“Add to this the new Langford Island walk that opened in January, and the two new walking tracks planned for Border and Haslewood Islands, and it is a very exciting time indeed for our island experiences.“We are also expecting construction on the upgrade and expansion of the Hill Inlet Lookout to start any day now, and we can also look forward to a new walking track opening quite soon on the southern end of Whitehaven Beach.“As well, Daydream Island Resort is due to reopen later this year following a $100 million redevelopment – which we cannot wait for! – and the much-loved Airlie Beach Hotel on the mainland is also due to reopen, in June, following an extensive refurbishment.“All in all, it’s a fantastic time to think about booking a holiday in the Whitsundays this winter!”For more information about the Whitsundays visit www.tourismwhitsundays.com.auSource = Tourism Whitsundays
British Airways’ sale is set to soarBritish Airways’ sale is set to soarBritish Airways’ sale is set to soar as it launches with huge discounts on flights and holidays from Heathrow, Gatwick and London City.Over 120 destinations are on offer in the sale, which runs until 11.59pm on May 21 2019, including offers to stateside hotspots Los Angeles, Miami and New York, as well as holidays to Caribbean favourites Barbados and Tobago.New York, the most searched for destination on ba.com last year, is on sale with return flights from £278. Club Europe flights start from £135 for those who would who would like to travel in luxury for less.With European city stays starting from just £109 for flights and hotel, beach breaks from £259 and Caribbean holidays from just £549, customers are spoilt for choice with holiday and flight only offers.Members of the Executive Club will benefit from four additional offers during the sale, including:Save with Avios part payment20% off hotel or car hirePurchase Avios and get a 50% BonusCollect double Avios by shopping through the eStoreAndrew Brem, British Airways Chief Commercial Officer, said “We know that our customers like variety when they are looking to travel so we are delighted to offer over 120 destinations in our sale. We’ve got fantastic offers to suit all budgets and tastes, from city breaks to wilderness adventures to beachside lounging”“British Airways operates to more than 200 global destinations and we are delighted to offer great deals to connect our customers to the world.”The sale comes as British Airways is investing £6.5 billion to improve its customer experience over the next five years, including new aircraft, new cabins, new catering, new lounges, WiFi, and new routes.Source = British Airways
“”BB&T””:http://www.bbt.com/default.html looked southward to acquire Florida-based “”BankAtlantic””:https://www.bankatlantic.com/default.html Tuesday, assuming $3.3 billion in low-cost deposits and 78 branches from the retail lender in the process, according to statements released by the companies.[IMAGE]The move ranks BB&T ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô one of the largest U.S. banks by assets ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô the sixth largest franchise in the Miami market. The North Carolina-based acquirer will pay $301 million above the premium price for the deposits and branches, plus $2.1 billion in performing loans.In buying BankAtlantic, BB&T will refrain from bringing on any other obligations, including nonperforming loans and bank-owned properties, which will stay with the holding company.””This acquisition of BankAtlantic is a compelling strategic expansion into important long-term markets in Southeast Florida,”” “”Kelly King””:http://www.bbt.com/about/corporategovernance/profile/kking.html, BB&T’s chairman and CEO, said in a statement.[COLUMN_BREAK]A spokesperson for BankAtlantic could not be immediately reached for comment.Speaking with _MReport_, “”Daryl Bible””:http://people.forbes.com/profile/daryl-n-bible/122421, BB&T’s CFO, echoed King by calling the BankAtlantic acquisition “”strategic in that it increases our share in Southeast Florida at a very low-risk and attractive franchise. It’s a win-win-win for us.””He says that BankAtlantic “”seems very pleased with the transaction as well.””Jefferson Harralson, a bank analyst with “”Keefe, Bruyette & Woods Inc.””:http://kbw.com/, calls the acquisition by BB&T “”a smaller deal”” than one that could have secured more assets and deposits.Harralson describes BankAtlantic as a financial institution that has struggled for a long time.””It’s a deal where BB&T is basically assuming assets and liabilities without writing a check,”” he says. “”They’re cherry-picking the assets from BankAtlantic.””He says that the acquisition helps BankAtlantic by shrinking the size of a company that continued to suffer losses, allowing executives there to “”manage and wind down”” assets to make a profit over time.Bible demurs when asked whether BB&T, described by “”_Reuters_””:http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/11/01/us-bankatlantic-bbt-idUSTRE7A03ED20111101 as one of the stronger firms to emerge unscathed from the financial crisis, intends to assume the deposits and branches of any other ventures in the near future.The acquisition is a move up for the bank, which received rescue funds from the Troubled Asset Relief Program in 2008 and recently reported a 48-percent increase in net income over the second quarter. November 1, 2011 426 Views BB&T Scoops Up BankAtlantic, Scrimps on Bad Assets Share Acquisitions Agents & Brokers Investment Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Profits Quarterly Earnings Service Providers TARP Treasury Department 2011-11-01 Ryan Schuette in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing
Share Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Fannie Mae FHFA Freddie Mac Investors Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Insurance Processing Service Providers 2011-11-23 Ryan Schuette in Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing Embattled mortgage insurer “”The PMI Group, Inc.””:http://www.pmi-us.com/, caved in to state-imposed roadblocks by voluntarily filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Wednesday.[IMAGE]The move comes a day before a major U.S. holiday and on the heels of a seizure of subsidiaries PMI Mortgage Insurance Co. and PMI Insurance Co. by state regulators with the “”Arizona Department of Insurance””:http://www.id.state.az.us/.State regulators corralled the company by prohibiting new insurance policies when PMI failed to meet minimum capital requirements.Much of the statement released by PMI laid blame for the decision on state regulators, and in particular the department’s director.””The Company has concluded that the Interim Order and the prospect of the appointment of a receiver in respect of MIC make it impractical for the Company to pursue the [COLUMN_BREAK]PMAC Transaction at this time without bankruptcy protection,”” PMI wrote in a statement it issued earlier.””As a consequence, the Company’s Board of Directors has concluded that filing for chapter 11 protection is in the best interest of the Company’s stakeholders and is the most effective means of preserving the Company’s remaining assets for the benefit of its stakeholders,”” it added.””Bill Horning””:http://www.linkedin.com/pub/bill-horning/6/770/797, the spokesperson for PMI, did not immediately return request for comment.Erin Klug, a spokesperson for the Arizona Department of Insurance, declined to comment for the story.””_The Washington Post_””:http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/industries/pmi-group-files-for-chapter-11-bankruptcy-protection-cites-subsidiaries-seizure-by-arizona/2011/11/23/gIQAP6eFpN_story.html reported that a judge denied a last-minute motion by PMI to reverse the Arizona Department of Insurance’s October decision.PMI said that $685 million in senior unsecured notes and about $51.5 million in junior unsecured notes became immediately due and payable as a result of the bankruptcy filing.The company claimed in the statement that it had been in discussions to maximize the return for stakeholders by way of alternative solutions until state regulators intervened and ordered the company to cease writing new insurance policies.PMI said that it had explored opportunities to raise capital from new investors to facilitate a national platform for mortgage insurance, and that these discussions had involved “”Fannie Mae””:http://fanniemae.com/portal/index.html, “”Freddie Mac””:http://www.freddiemac.com/, and the “”Federal Housing Finance Agency””:http://www.fhfa.gov/. PMI Files for Chapter 11, Unable to Write New Policies November 23, 2011 432 Views
Consumer spending fell $20.2 billion in October as personal income remained relatively flat, the “”Bureau of Economic Analysis””:http://bea.gov/newsreleases/national/pi/2012/pdf/pi1012.pdf (BEA) reported Friday. The report was weaker than the 0.3 percent growth in income and 0.1 percent growth in spending economists had expected.[IMAGE]While the report reflects a weak beginning to the fourth quarter, the disappointing growth largely comes from work interruptions brought by superstorm Sandy, which impacted 24 states, by BEA├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós estimation. BEA also suggested the income report may be revised since some data had to be estimated.””BEA cannot quantify the total impact of the storm on personal income and outlays because most of the source data used to estimate these components reflect the effects of the storm and cannot be separately identified,”” the agency said in its report. “”However, BEA did make adjustments where source data were not yet available or did not reflect the effects of Sandy. The largest of these adjustments was for work interruptions, which reduced [COLUMN_BREAK]wages and salaries by about $18 billion (at an annual rate).””The October report marked the first time since June in which income growth–however modest–exceeded spending.Still, income growth was the weakest it has been since last November, when it fell $31.1 billion in one month–a decline that was completely reversed one month later.The storm affected spending as well. Personal spending was down $20.2 billion after growing $84.0 billion one month earlier.Personal savings improved, increasing $18.8 billion in the month to $410.1 billion, or 3.4 percent of disposable (after tax) income, up from 3.3 percent in September.Beyond the drop in wages, government transfer payments fell a net $6.7 billion, led by Social Security payments, which dropped $10.3 billion. Unemployment insurance payments fell $1.8 billion in October, the 12th straight monthly decline.Consumer spending on durable goods–often a sign of confidence since they are big-ticket items paid for through borrowed funds–fell $23.2 billion, while spending on non-durable goods dropped $4.9 billion. Spending on services increased $7.9 billion.Personal interest payments (excluding mortgage interest) increased $2 billion.Inflation, as measured by personal consumption expenditures (considered the Federal Reserve’s favored gauge) was 1.7 percent, up from 1.6 percent in September. Core inflation was 1.6 percent, unchanged from September. Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Bureau of Economic Analysis Confidence Consumer spending Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers Unemployment 2012-11-30 Mark Lieberman November 30, 2012 458 Views in Data, Government, Origination, Servicing Sandy Rains on October Income, Spending Share
in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing New Jersey’s “”RedVision””:http://www.redvision.com/default.aspx#.UOsUmHfiGSo, a national provider of title reports and real property research solutions, announced the hiring of Andrew Nadal as regional sales director for the Southeast region.Nadal has a wealth of industry experience, having spent time at both Stewart Title and Statewide Lien Company. In his position at RedVision, he will focus on account development and management for title agents, title underwriters, real estate investors, and local lenders throughout Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, the Carolinas, and Tennessee.””We are delighted to have Andrew join the RedVision team,”” said Dennis Rees, VP of sales for the Eastern region. “”Andrew has a track record of building strong and lasting customer relationships. His dedication to customer satisfaction will be integral to our success here at RedVision.”” January 7, 2013 408 Views Share New,RedVision Hires Southeast Regional Sales Director Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Investors Lenders & Servicers Movers & Shakers Processing Service Providers 2013-01-07 Tory Barringer
“”360 Mortgage Group””:https://www.360mtg.com/default.aspx, a privately owned mortgage banker headquartered in Austin, Texas, announced the hiring of Scott Brackett as regional manager for the western region of the United States.[IMAGE][COLUMN_BREAK]In his position at 360 Mortgage, Brackett will focus on expanding the company’s wholesale lending platform throughout Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.Brackett has 23 years of mortgage and banking experience, joining 360 Mortgage from Wells Fargo’s Private Mortgage Group, where he directed, managed, and coached a specialized team of private mortgage bankers. Prior to that, he was a VP/regional sales manager at Carrington Holding Company as well as a VP/regional production manager at Morgan Stanley/Saxon Mortgage.””Scott is an excellent addition to our management team and his skills and experience will be a critical asset as 360 Mortgage expands its wholesale platform throughout the Western Region,”” said Mark Greco, president and founder of 360 Mortgage. “”Scott has an impressive history of successfully leading and managing teams of brokers, bankers, and sales professionals that generated positive business results through new business growth and unparalleled service.”” 360 Mortgage Group Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Investors Lenders & Servicers Movers & Shakers Processing Service Providers 2013-09-19 Tory Barringer New,360 Mortgage Announces New Regional Manager September 19, 2013 461 Views in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing Share
in Data, Origination January 8, 2014 454 Views application,Mortgage Applications Fall as Rates Rise Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Capital Economics Investors Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Applications Mortgage Bankers Association Mortgage Rates Purchase Loans Refinance Service Providers 2014-01-08 Krista Franks Brock Mortgage applications declined at the end of the year as interest rates climbed, but “”Capital Economics””:https://www.capitaleconomics.com/ expects applications to rise this year as both the housing market and broader economy continue to improve. [IMAGE]””[C]redit conditions have been gradually loosening, rising house prices are reducing levels of negative equity and the improvement in the wider economy will help repair credit scores and put household balance sheets on a sturdier footing,”” Capital Economics stated Wednesday. December applications are 10 percent lower than one year ago, according to Capital Economics. Purchase applications declined 5.4 percent over the month of December, reaching a two-year low, according to Capital Economics, while refinance applications plummeted 23.7 percent to their lowest level since 2008. The “”Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA)””:http://mba.org/default.htm also reported a decline in applications in its most recent “”Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey.””:http://mba.org/NewsandMedia/PressCenter/86736.htm Applications declined 2.6 percent over the week ending January 3. Refinance applications declined 5 percent from the previous week. Refinances made up 63 percent of mortgage applications for the week, unchanged from the previous week, according to the MBA. Purchase applications decreased 2 percent from the previous week and 1 percent from the same week last year on a seasonally adjusted basis. “”[T]he level of home purchase applications is in line with that from the mid-1990s,”” according to Capital Economics. [COLUMN_BREAK]The analytics firm attributes the weak purchase market to tight credit conditions exacerbated by poor credit among potential buyers and negative equity. Rising mortgage rates are also contributing to the decline in overall mortgage applications of late. The average 30-year mortgage rate increased from 4.4 percent to 4.6 percent in December, according to Capital Economics. This rise took place even before the Fed’s announcement that it will begin tapering asset purchases. However, Capital Economics suggests the rise in rates “”reflects market expectations for tapering to begin in the weeks before the actual decision.”” The MBA reported little change in mortgage rates over the most recent week. The average rate for a conforming, 30-year, fixed-rate loan held steady at 4.72 percent, 0.28 point, while the rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate jumbo loan remained unchanged at 4.66 percent with points falling from 0.27 to 0.12. FHA-backed, 30-year, fixed-rate loans averaged 4.36 percent over the week, up slightly from 4.35 percent and with points remaining the same at 0.15. Interest rates for 15-year, fixed-rate loans averaged 3.77 percent, up from 3.73 percent the previous week, with points down from 0.4 to 0.34. Interest rates for 5/1 ARMS rose from 3.31 percent to 3.33 percent over the week, while points fell from 0.46 to 0.44. Capital Economics reminds us that “”mortgage interest rates are still at a low level on a historical comparison.”” The historical average rate for 30-year loans over the past two decades is 6.3 percent, well above today’s 4.6 percent. “”That means that even after the recent rise in rates, housing remains affordable,”” Capital Economics said. As credit conditions continue to relax, while potential home buyers improve their credit scores with the help of a recovering economy, “”we expect mortgage activity to pick up this year,”” Capital Economics said. Share
Share in Daily Dose, Headlines, News, Servicing February 5, 2015 628 Views Weeks ahead of the anticipated release of Ocwen’s fourth-quarter earnings report, CEO Ron Faris has issued a notice that the company expects to see a loss on mounting regulatory pressures and expenses.In a note to stakeholders released Thursday, Faris reviewed a handful of the regulatory hurdles Ocwen has had to deal with in the past year, including a long-running investigation from New York’s top financial regulator that eventually resulted in a $150 million settlement. The company plans to take an additional $50 million charge to its Q4 expenses as a result of that agreement after already setting aside $100 million in Q3.Aside from that (and the firm’s recent agreement that allowed it to continue operating in California), he said Ocwen closed 25 exams from state regulators in the past year, leaving 21 pending investigations still open. Based on current dealings with regulators, the company doesn’t expect any major fines, penalties, or settlements ahead, though management does anticipate resolving two legacy matters for a total of less than $1 million, he added.Also expected to take a toll on Q4 earnings is an expected increase in servicing expenses and uncollectable receivables and a $13 million expense for third-party monitoring costs.”As a result of the items just discussed and other fourth quarter events, we expect to record a loss in the fourth quarter of 2014 and for the total year,” Faris wrote.Looking ahead, Faris anticipates “the level of these types of expenses will decrease significantly” this year as Ocwen clears out some of its remaining legacy issues. As of February 3, he said the company had $249 million in cash, and its cash forecast indicates it should have sufficient liquidity going forward.Faris’ letter came one day after Fitch Ratings announced a downgrade to Ocwen’s primary, master, and special servicer ratings, citing “weaknesses in Ocwen’s corporate governance and operational control framework” and pointing specifically to some of the last year’s regulatory issues.Including that announcement, Ocwen says its servicer ratings have fallen below the minimum criteria established in 482 private-label securities agreements. However, the company is currently not aware of plans from any securities trustee to move their servicing as a result of those changes.Responding to the Fitch announcement, Faris said recent actions have been based largely on public information and “have not pointed to actual servicing performance deficiencies.””Objective data on PLS performance continues to show that Ocwen excels in managing loss mitigation timelines, bringing borrowers current on their payments and keeping them current,” he said. “For these reasons, we believe it is in the best interests of all stakeholders to continue to keep Ocwen on the job.” Ocwen Anticipates Losses Ahead of Earnings Report Fitch Ratings Ocwen Profits Quarterly Earnings 2015-02-05 Tory Barringer
Census Bureau HUD New Home Sales Single-Family Home Sales 2015-04-23 Seth Welborn According to a joint residential sales report released today, the U.S. Census Bureau, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) estimate that 481,000 new, single-family homes were sold in the United States in March.This is 11.4 percent below the revised February sales numbers of 543,000. However, when compared to March of one year ago, they’re up significantly—jumping 19.4 percent from 403,000.The report also reveals that the median sales price of homes sold in March was $277,000, while the average price was $343,000. Additionally, by the end of March, the number of new homes on the market was 213,000. At the current sales rate, this supply should last approximately 5.3 months.Results of the report are gathered through sample surveys, and the majority of houses are chosen randomly from selected building permits. Census field representatives collect the data, visit permit offices, and track when single-family units are started, completed and sold.The estimates are often revised, as data is updated and collected on an ongoing basis. Typically, these revised numbers are released a few weeks after the original reports, and they do not represent a major shift or change in trends.HUD and the Census Bureau release residential sales reports on a monthly basis. April’s report will now include estimates of houses sold and for sale by construction stage, both on a seasonally adjusted and a non-seasonally adjusted basis. Historical data on these numbers will be available through the Census, dating back to January 1999. The next report will be released on May 26, 2015. To see this month’s full report, visit Census.gov.In addition to improving new home sales, Auction.com announced yesterday that existing home sales are on the rise, too. In its April 2015 Real Estate Nowcast, Auction.com revealed that targeted sales rates of existing homes would be 5.31 million for April, up 2.3 percent from March and more than 11 percent from April 2014. in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, News Single-Family New Home Sales Jump Nearly 20 Percent Year-Over-Year April 23, 2015 552 Views Share
Building Permits Housing Completions Housing Starts HUD U.S. Census Bureau 2015-12-16 Staff Writer Housing Starts Skyrocket from Last Month’s Slump December 16, 2015 521 Views Despite yesterday’s report that home builders’ confidence was down, they have certainly been busy with new construction in November 2015.Confidence among home builders dipped down slightly in December, but builders remain optimistic about the housing market.For the second consecutive month, builder confidence in the market for newly constructed single-family homes decreased, this time one point to 61 in December, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reported in their Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI).“For the past seven months, builder confidence levels have averaged in the low 60s, which is in line with a gradual, consistent recovery,” said David Crowe, NAHB Chief Economist. “With job creation, economic growth and growing household formations, we anticipate the housing market to continue to pick up traction as we head into 2016.”The U.S. Census Bureau and HUD reported Wednesday that new residential construction statistics for November 2015 showed that privately-owned housing starts shot upward, reaching a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,173,000. This number is up 10.5 percent month-over-month from the revised October estimate of 1,062,000 and up 16.5 percent year-over-year from 1,007,000 in November 2014.Meanwhile, single-family housing starts experienced a 7.6 percent increase to a rate of 768,000 in November.Capital Economics’ Property Economist Matthew Pointon said in response to the numbers that builders confidence is up without a question, despite the NAHB’s report yesterday and home building will be strong to end 2015.”Starts therefore look set to end the year on a strong note. And with earnings growth due to finally pick-up in 2016, and credit conditions set to continue easing at a gradual pace, homebuilding is well placed to withstand the first rise in interest rates in nine years,” he explained.”With housing demand gradually rising on the back of a strong labor market and a slow loosening of credit conditions, but the inventory of existing homes on the market very low, builders have had no trouble in selling the homes they complete,” Pointon said.Pointon noted that the confidence among builders is shown through the amount of building permits.The Census Bureau and HUD reported that building permits for privately-owned housing units were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,289,000, up 11.0 percent from the revised October rate of 1,161,000. Year-over-year, this number has increased 19.5 percent from 1,079,000.Single-family authorizations in November were at a rate of 723,000, an increase of 1.1 percent from the revised October figure of 715,000, the data showed.In terms of housing completions, the November rate was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 947,000 for privately-owned housing, down 3.2 percent month-over-month, but still up 9.2 percent year-over-year, according to the report.Single-family housing completions were at a rate of 632,000, up 0.3 percent from the revised October rate of 630,000.David Crowe Ph.D., NAHB’s Chief Economist and SVP the Census Bureau and HUD data “reflect builders’ steady expectations for continued modest growth in housing demand for both apartment rentals and single-family owned homes.”He continued, “Younger, newly-formed households are headed for apartment rentals in record numbers as the millennial generation begins to move out of their parents’ homes and into their own living arrangement. Current home owners who have delayed moving because of economic reasons are finally taking advantage of low mortgage rates and affordable home prices to make the move they postponed. Neither movement is expected to be dramatic but rather a small speed up in the trends that have been developing over the past two years as the economy cures, employment grows and consumer confidence returns.”Click here to view the full report. in Daily Dose, Data, Government, Headlines, News, Uncategorized Share
Share in Daily Dose, Data, Government, Headlines, News Fannie Mae’s Mortgage Portfolio Kicks Off 2016 With Rare Expansion Fannie Mae Gross Mortgage Portfolio Monthly Volume Summary 2016-03-02 Seth Welborn The first monthly volume summary of 2016, Fannie Mae’s gross mortgage portfolio experienced a rare month of expansion, increasing at a compound annualized rate of 5 percent for January.The increase amounted to about $1.4 billion, raising the amount of unpaid principal balance (UPB) of loans in the portfolio up to approximately $346.5 billion. January’s increase ended nine consecutive months of contraction for the portfolio and followed a full year in which the portfolio contracted at a rate of 16.5 percent.January marked only the fourth month out of the last 66 since June 2010 for Fannie Mae’s gross mortgage portfolio (March 2015, January 2015, and December 2012 were the other three months). At the beginning of that stretch in June 2010, the amount of UPB of the loans in the portfolio was $818 billion. Despite having contracted in only four months in the last five and a half years, it has expanded for two consecutive Januarys.With January’s expansion, the value of UPB of the loans in the portfolio remained slightly higher than the 2016 cap, which is $339.4 billion.Fannie Mae’s total book of business, which includes the gross mortgage portfolio plus total Fannie Mae mortgage-backed securities and other guarantees minus Fannie Mae MBS in the portfolio, declined at a compound annualized rate of 0.9 percent in January down to a value of about $3.097 trillion. The book of business contracted in eight of 12 month in 2015 at a rate of 0.8 percent for the year, according to Fannie Mae.The serious delinquency rate on single-family loans backed by Fannie Mae held steady from December to January at 1.55 percent, which is consistent with the level reported in September 2008, the month during which Fannie Mae was taken into conservatorship by the FHFA.The number of loan modifications completed by Fannie Mae was nearly unchanged from December to January at 6,451 (compared to 6,599). The monthly average of loan modifications completed by Fannie Mae has been on the steady decline; for 2014, the monthly average was 10,235. For 2015, the monthly average declined to 7,851.Click here to view Fannie Mae’s entire January 2016 Monthly Volume Summary. March 2, 2016 578 Views
in Daily Dose, Government, Headlines CFPB Corrects, Clarifies Final Rule Amendments The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has taken two big steps in clarifying its amendments to the 2013 mortgage servicing rules, which were issued in August 2016. On Tuesday, the Bureau released direct-to-final technical corrections to the amendments, as well as policy guidance on the three-day early compliance period spelled out in the 2016 final rule.Regarding the corrections, the Bureau called them “non-substantive” and will publish the final rule with the Federal Register.“The corrections address two typographical errors, the authority citation for Regulation Z, and several amendatory instructions relating to certain official commentary to apply the correct effective date,” the CFPB reported.The issued final rule, with completed corrections, can be found at ConsumerFinance.gov.The second release today was what the CFPB dubbed “Policy Guidance on Supervisory and Enforcement Priorities Regarding Early Compliance with the 2016 Amendments to the 2013 Mortgage Rules Under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (Regulation X) and the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z).” The issue is non-binding and relates to a three-day period of early compliance on the final 2016 rule.“Some provisions in the 2016 final rule will take effect on Oct. 19, 2017; the remainder will take effect on April 19, 2018,” the CFPB reported. “This non-binding policy guidance addresses early compliance for up to three days preceding each effective date.”The guidance stems from what the CFPB calls “concerns” about the effective dates—which fall in the middle of the work week—of each provision.“The Bureau has heard concerns that these midweek effective dates for the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule could create operational challenges for servicers,” the guidance reads. “The Bureau understands that, for many servicers, the Thursday effective dates could afford less than a full day—from the close of business overnight on each of the preceding Wednesdays—to update and test systems in order to be compliant with the 2016 amendments. If servicers do not have sufficient time to complete these tasks, their systems may be more likely to produce errors, which could expose servicers and consumers to risk. Industry participants have notified the Bureau that implementing the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Final Rule during the weekend, with early compliance beginning on the Monday before each of the respective Thursday effective dates, would address these concerns.”The guidance will also be published with the Federal Register, according to the CFPB. Read the full guidance here. Share amendments CFPB mortgage rules Mortgage Servicing Rules 2017-06-27 Aly J. Yale June 27, 2017 662 Views
in Daily Dose, News, Servicing FHA LL100 2018-09-17 Seth Welborn September 17, 2018 912 Views The Hon. Brian D. Montgomery, FHA Commissioner and Assistant Secretary for Housing, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, headlined a powerful lineup of industry professionals who gathered Monday as part of the Legal League 100 Servicer Summit. A long-running industry tradition, this latest Summit unfolded as part of the annual Five Star Conference and Expo at the Hyatt Regency in Dallas, Texas.Montgomery spoke about his return to HUD during a Q&A with Five Star Institute President and CEO Ed Delgado. Having served as FHA Commissioner from 2005 to January 2009, Montgomery stepped back into the role in May 2018, following his nomination by President Donald J. Trump and confirmation by the Senate. Montgomery also previously served as Vice Chairman of The Collingwood Group and, before initially joining HUD, he worked in the Executive Offices of President George H.W. Bush and President George W. Bush.Montgomery’s Q&A came amidst a day filled with networking and education opportunities at the Summit, a biannual event that brings together the League’s lineup of financial services attorneys, servicing professionals, and government representatives.In addition to Montgomery’s Q&A, the day’s lineup included a morning keynote address by Marion McDougall, EVP & Chief Loan Administration Officer, Caliber Home Loans. The bulk of the event was divided between a half-dozen 45-minute sessions focused on a variety of topics and featuring the insights of subject-matter experts and industry professionals.First up was “Working Smarter: Developing Effective Loss Mitigation Procedure,” which explored recent regulatory and litigation developments, as well as what procedures financial services law firms should develop to ensure full compliance. The “Pulling in the Same Direction: Collaborating to Improve Title Processes” session ran concurrently, focused on how servicers and law firms can partner to reduce title errors that can mean the difference between the transfer of an unencumbered property and lengthy litigation.After the 10 a.m. Networking Break, the Summit picked back up with a pair of simultaneous roundtable sessions: “Keeping up With the Code: Adaptive Bankruptcy Practices” and “Litigation Developments: The Rulings That Make the Rules.” Before the lunch break at noon, attendees were able to take in both the “Creative Management: Maintaining Viability in a Low-Volume Environment” and “Inside the Lines: Navigating Emerging Regulatory Concerns” sessions.Montgomery’s Q&A followed the lunch break, then led into the Servicer Super Session, in which Legal League 100 Chair Roy Diaz discussed trends and collaboration with a panel that included Allen Myers, Assistant General Counsel, VP, Mortgage Banking, JPMorgan Chase; Stephen Staid, SVP, PHH Mortgage; Ruth Price, First VP, Compliance & Oversight, Bayview Loan Servicing; and Ramie Word, SVP, Performing Servicing, Mr. Cooper.This week’s Legal League 100 Summit was sponsored by a360, Auction.com, BDF Law Group, McCalla Raymer Leibert Pierce, McCarthy Holthus, ProVest, Robertson Anschutz & Schneid, and Stern & Eisenberg.To learn more about the Legal League 100, visit the official website. Share Commissioner Brian Montgomery Discusses HUD
Share Poised for Growth? December 12, 2018 2,982 Views Home Prices Joe Mellman mortgage Origination TransUnion 2018-12-12 Donna Joseph in Daily Dose, Featured, Market Studies, News, Origination, Servicing TransUnion’s 2019 Consumer Credit Report forecasts an increase in originations and consumer balances for most credit products, while serious delinquency rates are likely to decline or remain steady. This will lead to lenders expanding their base of subprime and near-prime borrowers—a positive sign for both lenders and borrowers, according to the report. The report also predicts lenders will be less risk-averse with the steady pace of delinquency rates. This will also help borrowers to showcase their ability to better manage their finances, it said. Subprime borrowers will continue to have access to loans, it noted. Interestingly, the percentage of subprime borrowers originating loans remains far below what was recorded at the onset of the last recession, according to the forecast- wherein 9 percent of borrowers in this group originated mortgage loans in 2007. Pointing to home prices, the forecast indicated that though homes are becoming more expensive, the increase in home equity will benefit buyers. The downward trend in mortgage originations which has been steady over several quarters in the past will continue into 2019 as a result of rising interest rates, surging home prices and supply constraints, the report noted. A surge in average balances is expected in 2019, growing from an anticipated $208,831 at the end of Q4 of this year to $218,490 by the end of Q4 2019, a 4.6 percent increase. Delinquencies will also continue to drop from 1.62 percent by the end of this year to 1.45 percent by the end of 2019—a consistent downward trend since 2010 on a year-over-year basis, the report stated. “While overall originations will be down in 2019, increases in home prices are resulting in record levels of home equity, which provide homeowners more opportunities to tap into low APR home equity products. This will particularly benefit consumers deciding to pay off other higher interest rate products, as well as consumers finding it difficult to afford a new ‘move up’ house, who instead opt to invest in improving their existing home,” said Joe Mellman, SVP, Mortgage Line at TransUnion. TransUnion expects non-prime originations to decrease by 2.4 percent “as the composition of new accounts changes.” The prime segment will see a resurgence in origination growth in the coming year, indicating lender’s desire for credit quality for their portfolios as delinquency continues to increase.