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AirAsia Japan begins to unwind

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first_imgAs AirAsia withdraws its participation in AirAsia Japan, the low-cost airline will cancel hundreds of flights over two months before ceasing operations under the current brand.In late June, the Malaysian no frills airline announced it would no longer share the management of AirAsia Japan with partner All Nippon Airways (ANA) and had decided to sell its 49 percent stake in the budget carrier.Ceasing operations under the AirAsia brand from 31 October 2013, the airline is required to return its leased aircraft back to AirAsia by 1 November 2013, leaving AirAsia Japan in short supply of planes.In a company statement, the airline said as a result of the shortage it would suspend 14 daily flights from 1 September to 26 October on routes linking Seoul to Nagoya and Tokyo to Sapporo, the Bangkok Post reported.According to AirAsia, a “difference of opinion” on how the business should be managed was the cause of the separation, however, ANA said it was because the low-cost carrier was not known in Japan and was failing to register profits.ANA is expected to launch a new budget airline in November this year.Source = ETB News: NJ Flights cancelled before the airline ceasesoperations under the AirAsia brand.last_img read more

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UAE shaping up for ships

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first_imgWith cruising more accessible now than ever before, the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) recently reported over 400 ships sailed worldwide with 21.3 million passengers in 2013 and it predicts these numbers may increase to as much as 22 million this year. Cruise line giant Royal Caribbean International’s announcement it will return to the Arabian Gulf for next year’s winter season, cements the region’s reputation as a top winter cruise destination, thanks to its mild winter climate and is expected to bring in around 45,000 passengers, an 18 per cent increase on the previous season. Source = ETB News: Lana Bogunovich Dubai’s Port Rashid is currently undergoing a second terminal development which will allow the Dubai Cruise Terminal to manage more than 14,000 passengers and in true Dubai style will have world class facilities including a VIP business centre. As visitor numbers continue to grow at a rapid rate for the Middle East, the UAE is taking the opportunity to improve its ports as it strives to establish itself as a leading cruise destination and increase cruise market tourism. Meanwhile, during a panel discussion on global cruise trends at Arabian Travel Mart in Dubai, six leading cruise representatives called on the UAE travel trade to invest in personnel development in order to grow the outbound cruising market. The UAE has already begun developments and expansions through the country’s ports, as well as offering a number of attractions to cruise passengers, while direct flights between the UAE and Europe, the largest cruise passenger market, are also doing their part in boosting cruise tourism numbers. Port Rashid, Dubai Other developments which will boost cruise tourism to the region include a look into visa process regulations, port expansions in Dubai, Khor Fakkan and Abu Dhabi, with its previous commercial port, Mina Zayed, becoming a permanent cruise terminal for the 2014 to 2015 season as the city expects to see around 100 ships and 190,000 cruise passengers.last_img read more

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A Bale a Booking throughout September

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first_imgRita MardirossianSales ManagerNew South Wales+61 438 358 275rita@entiretravel.com.auKelly McDonaldSales ManagerQueensland+61 455 455 980kelly@entiretravel.com.auCraig HuntSales ManagerVIC & Tasmania+61 419 108 660craig@entiretravel.com.auSandrine Le GaillardSales ManagerNSW & Canberra+61 418 542 792sandrine@entiretravel.com.au Source = Entire Travel Group A Bale a Booking throughout SeptemberA Bale a Booking throughout SeptemberFarmers across Australia are facing one of the worst droughts in history. The price of grain has risen whilst the price of stock has fallen and rural communities are suffering.As a travel community, we believe that we can make a difference. So we’re following the lead of other travel companies and joining forces on their ‘bale a booking’ initiative.For the month of September for every booking made across any of our 10 destinations, Entire Travel will be donating a bale of hay through Rural Aid to support Australia’s communities.Get in touch with our Sales Managerslast_img read more

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Oceania Cruises unveils 2021 around the world cruise

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first_imgOceania Cruises unveils 2021 around the world cruiseOceania Cruises, the world’s leading culinary- and destination-focused cruise line revealed their latest epic world journey for savvy travellers who aspire to visit all four corners of the globe, the 2021 Around the World In 180 Days aboard the better-than-new Insignia.The Around the World In 180 Days voyage offers the trip of a lifetime, journeying more than 72,000 nautical kilometres across three oceans and 44 seas, while visiting 100 ports of call in 44 countries. Departing Miami on the 9th January, 2021 and culminating in New York City on the 9th July, 2021, this remarkable six-continent voyage offers an unparalleled opportunity to travel the world in impeccable style and comfort while enjoying the finest cuisine at sea.“This is a landmark itinerary for Oceania Cruises. Guests sail the world with us to experience extensive and all-encompassing itineraries.  This world cruise is particularly exciting; six continents, three oceans and 44 countries; it’s an itinerary designed to appeal to the Kipling in all of us, matching our famous on-board luxury with personal and profound visits to the world’s most compelling destinations,” stated Bob Binder, President and CEO of Oceania Cruises.From iconic cities and faraway villages to soaring mountains and island paradises, guests can explore all of the world’s greatest treasures during this classic westbound circumnavigation. Not to mention, Insignia offers pleasures to suit every palate – from 342 all-new suites and staterooms, to the heavenly massages and signature treatments at the Canyon Ranch Spa, to the creative workshops at the Artist Loft enrichment center.A Dream ItineraryCommencing a timeless route, Insignia’s journey around the world is a study in diversity and presents a virtual kaleidoscope of destinations and experiences. From sultry Havana and the dreamlike South Pacific, to the convergence of cultures in Asia and India and crossroads of history in Istanbul, these intriguing destinations are juxtaposed against the starling modernity of the Arabian Peninsula and the rugged glacial landscapes of Iceland and Greenland. This is a voyage for the ages.HighlightsSix Continents100 Ports125 UNESCO World Heritage SitesThree days in Yangon, MyanmarThree days in Istanbul, TurkeyAdditional overnight stays include Bora Bora, Cairns, Hong Kong, Saigon, Bangkok, Singapore, Mumbai, Dubai, Luxor, Jerusalem, Venice, Lisbon, Seville, and BordeauxExclusive Shoreside EventsThe 2021 Around the World in 180 Days includes five exclusive and distinctive shoreside events for Around the World guests.Istanbul’s mysteries and centuries of history come to life during an evening in the ancient and ornate Binbirdirek Cristen. Guests will step back in time to the era of the Ottoman sultans while enjoying a traditional bazaar, local delicacies including Turkish coffee and of course, mesmerising entertainment.Just outside of Livorno, on the Ligurian coast, lies the famed Alpemare Beach Resort, which is owned by Andrea Bocelli and family. At this fabulous seaside resort, guests will enjoy a wine tasting and lunch amidst the glorious scenery. After lunch, the guests will retire to the family villa for a concert and performance by Andrea’s son, Matteo.No visit to Dublin would be complete without a private performance by the exquisitely talented Riverdance troupe. The performance is held at the historic 18th-century Mansion House which is not only the official residence of the Lord Mayor of Dublin, but has played host to countless luminaries including Pope John Paul II, Queen Victoria, Prince Rainier and Princess Grace of Monaco.In Hilo, guests will be feted at the Makahimi Games at the Umauma Falls Nature Center. Here, Hawaii’s rich heritage will be on display as athletes compete in spirited spear hurling competitions such as ̀o’ ihe or an amusing match of strength and dexterity during a haka moa fight.In Brisbane, guests will delve into Indigenous Australian’s traditional way of life, courtesy of the Spirits of the Red Sand cultural experience. In addition to the extensive cultural immersion, guests will feast on an elaborate traditional barbeque and be treated to a traditional Indigenous Australian performance.This historic voyage also offers a distinct array of optional Overland Tours ranging from one to three nights:Magical Uluru. 3 NightsMagnificent Macau. 1 NightHue, Da Nang, and Hoi An. 2 NightsAngkor Wat. 2 Nights.Ancient Temples of Bagan. 1 NightTaj Mahal – The Eternal Masterpiece. 3 NightsHimalayan Kingdom of Nepal. 3 NightsLuxor & The Pyramids. 1 NightTraditional and Ancient Spain. 1 Night.A World of InclusionsExceptional value has always been a hallmark of Oceania Cruises and the Around the World in 180 Days voyage offers an extraordinary array of value-rich inclusions.All guests sailing 180 days from Miami or 164 days from Los Angeles will receive:Choice of 70 Free shore excursions, Free beverage package, or Free US$7,000 shipboard creditFree gratuities – a value of up to US$8,200Free pre-cruise luxury hotel stayFree luggage deliveryFree roundtrip transfersFree onboard laundry servicesFree internetFree medical careThis is, of course, on top of Oceania Cruises’ standard included amenities:Free dining at all specialty restaurantsFree and unlimited soft drinks, still and sparkling waters, cappuccinos, espressos, teas, and juicesFree shuttle service from ship to many city centersFree Artist Loft WorkshopsFor more information click to visit Oceania Cruises online, view a brochure, contact your travel agent or call Oceania Cruises on 1300 355 200 (AU), 0800 625 691 (NZ).To view the Around The World 2021 brochure, click hereAbout Oceania CruisesOceania Cruises is the world’s leading culinary- and destination-focused cruise line. The line’s six intimate and luxurious ships which carry only 684 or 1,250 guests offer an unrivaled holiday experience featuring the finest cuisine at sea and destination-rich itineraries that span the globe. Expertly crafted voyages aboard designer-inspired, intimate ships call on more than 450 ports across Europe, Alaska, Asia, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, New England-Canada, Bermuda, the Caribbean, Panama Canal, Tahiti and the South Pacific and epic 180-day Around the World Voyages.Source = Oceania Cruiseslast_img read more

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AccorHotels visions to drive change towards positive more responsible and inventive hospitality

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first_imgAccorHotels recently announced the results of Planet 21, its sustainable development program and renewed its commitments looking to 2020. As part of its 2020 plan, AccorHotels plans to plant 1,000 vegetable gardens at its hotels, reduce food waste by 30%, in particular by sourcing food locally and improve the energy efficiency in its buildings with the ultimate target of making them carbon neutral.Sébastien Bazin, the Group’s Chairman & CEO, stated, “The commitment and energy demonstrated by our teams in deploying Planet 21 worldwide are both valuable levers for our sustainable performance. After five years, the results of the first phase of the plan are very encouraging. Today, we want to scale up our ambitions by banking on innovation and accountability. Planet 21 Season 2 must enable us to create wealth sustainably and curb our negative impacts through the mobilization of our employees, guests, partners and local communities. Our vision is to drive the change towards positive, more responsible and inventive hospitality, wherever we are.”The program for 2020 reinforces some of the Group’s fundamental commitments, such as curbing its environmental footprint, and identifies new objectives which dovetail with both the changes to the business model and its strategic priorities, such as Food & Beverage and the sustainable management of its property portfolio through HotelInvest.last_img read more

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Fairmont Hotels Resorts announces new property in Saint Lucia

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first_imgLuxury hotel operator Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, now part of AccorHotels and GP GROUP JSC has announced the development of Fairmont Saint Lucia at Sunset Bay. The property is expected to open in late 2019.The 120-room luxury hotel with 40 private residential villas will be situated on 25 acres and 1,870 feet of exquisite beach front on the southwest coast of Saint Lucia, a leading upscale destination in the Lesser Antilles.“We are thrilled to be announcing this exciting new resort development on Saint Lucia, a premium destination of choice in the Caribbean. Fairmont’s unique blend of exceptional design, location, luxury and hospitality will ensure that Fairmont Saint Lucia at Sunset Bay is a private and exclusive oasis for this stunning island, whose natural landscapes, breathtaking views, friendly locals and authentic culture will impress the most travelled individuals,” said Kevin Frid, Chief Operating Officer- North & Central America, AccorHotels.“Together with Fairmont and our renowned design and construction teams, we will work diligently to ensure the highest quality product and guest experience. We are confident that we have assembled an extremely professional and motivated team that will create a remarkable luxury resort that is unique for the island. We are also focused on creating additional value for the local community, not only by providing employment opportunities, but also by investing in the development of infrastructure in the region,” said Georgi Vassilev, Chairman of the Board of Directors, GP GROUP JSC.last_img read more

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Oman Tourism and Oman Air conducts luxury familiarisation trip for travel agents

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first_imgThe Ministry of Tourism Oman along with Oman Air recently conducted a familiarisation trip for select agents from leading travel companies across India to showcase various luxury offerings in Oman and give a flavour of exceptional Omani hospitality. The group included top management delegates from travel companies like Chrysalis Holidays, Travel World, Fountain Head Events, Sterling Holidays and Incredible Vacations, experiencing a luxurious journey through the capital city Muscat, majestic mountains, sandy desert and indigenous wadis.Lubaina Sheerazi, India Representative, Ministry of Tourism, Oman who accompanied the group on this trip said, “There is a great demand and aspiration value for travelling to destinations that offer authentic, luxurious and unique experiences. Having seen an increase in the number of HNIs travelling for such experiences, we decided to conduct a special familiarisation trip just to showcase the premium aspects of Oman amidst the desert and the sea; combined with authentic Arabian experience, rich history and culture, natural landscape, lip-smacking cuisine, adventure activities and many hotel inspections. With a history dating back to antiquity, Oman spells opulence which is evidently noticeable at prominent locations and attractions across the country.”Oman has some of the world class hotels and resorts that offer an ultimate local experience in the lap of luxury. For example, in Muscat city, Shangri La Barr Al Jissah redefines Omani lifestyle and elegance with Asian hospitality and its Al Husn Resort and Spa has recently been relaunched as a private getaway. Al Bustan Palace, a Ritz-Carlton Hotel has reopened after a majestic makeover and the brand new upscale beachfront Kempinski Hotel offers an unparalleled experience. For some of the best cliff views of Jabal Akhdar mountain, stay at Alila or Anantara luxury resorts or experience glamping in the Omani desert at Dunes By Al Nahda along with some adventure activities.last_img read more

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AFR Appoints New National Sales Director

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first_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies FHA Ginnie Mae HUD Investors Lenders & Servicers Movers & Shakers Processing Service Providers 2012-01-11 Abby Gregory Mortgage lender “”American Financial Resources””:www.afrmortgage.com/, Inc., has added a new national sales director. AFR recently announced the appointment of Paul Impagliazzo to the position, and he will now be responsible for the company’s wholesale and correspondent lending divisions.[IMAGE]Impagliazzo has previously acted as the vice president of “”Continental Home Loans””:www.chlmortgagebankers.com/, and additionally, he as served in similar roles for “”Mortgage Lenders USA””:www.mortgage-lenders-usa.com/ and “”Fremont Investment & Loan Corp.””:www.fremontgroup.com/ AFR hopes to capitalize on [COLUMN_BREAK]Impagliazzo’s 20 years of experience to promote growth within its wholesale and correspondent segments.Commenting on Impagliazzo’s hiring, AFR’s CEO, Rich Dubnoff, noted, “”His track record and knowledge of the mortgage industry is a perfect fit for us as we position ourselves for further growth.””Elaborating on the company’s decision to add Impagliazzo as a national sales director, Dubnoff added, “”We are fortunate to have someone of Paul’s caliber as our national sales director.””New Jersey-based AFR is considered a privately owned mortgage bank, and the company is a nationwide lender for the “”U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s””:www.hud.gov/ Direct Endorsement program via the “”Federal Housing Administration””:www.fha.gov/. AFR is also recognized as a Fannie Mae approved seller and servicer, an issuer for “”Ginne Mae””:www.ginniemae.gov/, a “”U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs””:www.va.gov/ approved lender, and a “”U.S. Department of Agriculture””:www.usda.gov/ Rural Development Guaranteed Loan Program approved lender. The company is among the nation’s top 25 largest lenders, and AFR operates three divisions including correspondent, wholesale, and retail residential mortgage lending. in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing, Technology January 11, 2012 437 Views center_img Share AFR Appoints New National Sales Directorlast_img read more

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MGIC INTEGRA Partner to Offer Insurance Through LOS Platforms

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first_img “”Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corporation””:http://www.mgic.com/ (MGIC), the nation’s largest private mortgage insurer based on insurance in force, announced the availability of mortgage insurance through “”INTEGRA Software Systems'””:http://www.integra-online.com/ loan origination software (LOS) systems, Destiny and DestinyXpress.[IMAGE][COLUMN_BREAK]Through the integration, Destiny and DestinyXpress users can order MGIC rate quotes, check eligibility, and order mortgage insurance without ever having to leave the platform. The automation of data exchange saves customers data entry time and improves accuracy.””In an effort to constantly add value for our clients nationwide, we are pleased to add MGIC to our list of mortgage insurance partners,”” said INTEGRA president Jerry Pratt. “”INTEGRA’s seamless integration with MGIC provides for the electronic ordering and delivery of mortgage insurance rates and certificates without the user ever having to leave the system. This intuitive and easy to use approach ensures efficient and accurate delivery of information to better meet the demands of timely disclosures.””””Automated access to MGIC mortgage insurance, rates and eligibility allows customers to further streamline their loan origination processes,”” said Sal Miosi, VP of marketing at MGIC. “”We’re pleased to partner with INTEGRA. It demonstrates our continued dedication to automating access to our mortgage insurance programs and services.”” Share in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing, Technology Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Company News Investors Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corp. Mortgage Insurance Processing Service Providers 2013-04-10 Tory Barringercenter_img MGIC, INTEGRA Partner to Offer Insurance Through LOS Platforms April 10, 2013 449 Views last_img read more

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HARP Activity Continues to Slip in Q1

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first_img May 28, 2014 519 Views Fannie Mae FHFA Freddie Mac HARP Refinance 2014-05-28 Colin Robins HARP Activity Continues to Slip in Q1 The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) released its latest Refinance Report, looking at data from the first quarter of 2014. The government agency reported that in Q1 2014, approximately 77,000 refinances were completed through the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP), bringing the total refinances through HARP to 3.1 million since the program’s inception.Total refi volume decreased in March, dropping to levels last seen in 2008.The first quarter of 2014 marks the fourth straight quarter that total refinances and HARP refinances have declined. The report attributed the decline in refis to March’s rising interest rates.The total volume of HARP refinances was 21 percent of all refinances for the quarter, with 12 percent of loans refinanced through HARP with a loan-to-value ratio greater than 125 percent.In the first quarter of 2014, 23 percent of HARP refinances for underwater borrowers were for shorter-term, 15- and 20- year mortgages. The remaining 77 percent of loans were for the longer, more traditional 30-year note.According to FHFA, borrowers who refinanced through HARP had a lower delinquency rate compared to borrowers eligible for HARP who did not use the program.”Year-to-date through March 2014, HARP refinances represented 41 percent of total refinances in Georgia and 38 percent of the total refinances in Florida, nearly double the 21 percent of total refinances nationwide over the same period,” the agency said.Other notable states with a large percentage of HARP refinances as a percentage of total refinances include Nevada (33 percent), Michigan (33 percent), and Illinois (31 percent).HARP was initially set to expire on December 31, 2013, but was extended to expire on December 31, 2015, in order to continue helping homeowners underwater on their mortgage.center_img in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Government, Headlines, News Sharelast_img read more

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The Dichotomy of Prudent Lending and Credit Availability

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first_img Share July 8, 2014 700 Views The following is a print article featured in MReport’s July issue, out now.In the post-crisis era, lenders face the challenge of striking a delicate balance between judicious lending practices and access to financing for creditworthy consumers.The deluge of mortgage defaults and foreclosures that has plagued the industry over the past half decade was set into motion by a subprime mortgage crisis characterized by lax lending standards, easy credit, and higher-risk mortgage products.Regulatory changes surrounding mortgage underwriting were explicitly outlined in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and seek to limit risky mortgage characteristics linked to higher rates of default. For example, the Ability-to-Repay rule instituted by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) requires lenders to make a “reasonable and good-faith determination” that a loan applicant has a “reasonable ability to repay the loan.” Before approving a mortgage, lenders must evaluate and verify a number of measures, such as the applicant’s income or assets, employment, and other debt obligations.These new underwriting standards are designed to protect consumers from certain risky loan features—such as negative amortization or interest-only—that allow borrowers to take out mortgages they cannot afford. While safeguards such as the Ability-to-Repay rule codify what many consider to be commonsense lending principles, a 2012 study published by the University of North Carolina’s Center for Community Capital and the Center for Responsible Lending concluded “underwriting thresholds such as minimum credit scores and loan-to-value (LTV) ratios are a blunt policy instrument to sort credit risk that may disproportionately disadvantage” groups of prospective borrowers, particularly first-time homebuyers and low- and moderate-income households.Industry data show average down payments for mortgages, which correlate to LTV ratios, are already on the decline—the result of a five-year recession that left many Americans financially strapped and unable to build up their savings. According to a report released in late April by LendingTree, down payments for 30-year fixed-rate loans fell to an average of 15.78 percent in the first quarter of this year, down from 16.01 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013. At the same time, the company found average credit scores for borrowers matched with lenders on its network dropped 6 percent year-over-year, opening up the credit pool to a wider population of borrowers. “As the housing market improves and refinance activity declines, lenders are adapting their guidelines to improve credit accessibility for borrowers,” said LendingTree founder and CEO Doug Lebda. “Relaxed lending guidelines translates to a larger pool of qualified homebuyers that could boost the housing recovery. While lenders still need proof that a borrower has the financial ability to repay the loan, lenders have started to accept lower down payments and credit scores from potential borrowers.”Freddie Mac’s Home Possible MortgageFreddie Mac offers first-time homebuyers and low- to moderate-income borrowers a purchase or refinance (no cashout) loan option that requires only 5 percent down through its Home Possible Mortgage program. The GSE promotes its Home Possible Mortgages to lenders as a way to “increase your origination volume, lower your costs, and increase your Community Reinvestment Act-eligible volume.”Home Possible Mortgage loans are available only to owner-occupants who, as of the note date, do not have an individual or joint ownership interest in any other residential properties. The borrower’s annual income must be equal to or less than the area median income; however, exceptions to the income requirement come into play when the property is located in an “Underserved Area,” as designated by the CFPB.The GSE’s Home Possible Mortgages provide for more stable monthly payments with their fixed rates, although 5/1 (2/2/5 caps), 7/1, and 10/1 adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) are also options. Whether carrying a fixed or adjustable rate, the loan’s original maturity cannot be greater than 30 years. The program also offers lower coverage levels for mortgage insurance, various funding options for closing costs, and flexible debt-to-income ratio conditions.Homeownership education is required before the note date for at least one qualifying borrower if all borrowers are first-time homebuyers. And additional flexibilities are built into the program for teachers, firefighters, law enforcement officers, healthcare workers, and members of the U.S. Armed Forces.Fannie Mae’s MyCommunityMortgageFannie Mae offers MyCommunityMortgages with low or no down payment to help low- and middle-income families achieve homeownership. Options are also available for consumers whose income or credit history prevents them from qualifying for a traditional mortgage.With a MyCommunityMortgage, no loan-level-price adjustments (LLPAs) are made to compensate for risk because of the borrower’s credit score, the down payment size, property type, or because of subordinate loans. The same interest-rate pricing is applied across the board.Like Freddie’s, Fannie’s program includes fixed-rate as well as 5/1 (2/2/5 caps), 7/1, and 10/1 ARM loans with a term of up to 30 years. It also mimics the occupancy and ownership interest requirements of Freddie Mac’s offering. Fannie Mae’s program offers reduced mortgage insurance coverage levels, down payment/closing cost assistance, and exceptions to the minimum credit score requirement of 660. Special mortgage options are also available for public employees and borrowers with disabilities.If all borrowers are first-time homebuyers or if all borrowers are relying solely on nontraditional credit to qualify for the mortgage loan, at least one borrower must complete prepurchase homebuyer education and counseling.State-Led Homeownership ProgramsA number of state programs have been put in place to ensure credit availability for certain borrowers. Unveiled in June 2013, Massachusetts’ Homeownership Compact is a prime example. It creates a shared goal between the state and its participating financial institutions—including Citizens Bank, Sovereign Bank, Eastern Bank, Rockland Bank and Trust, Enterprise Bank, and Blue Hills Bank—of providing 10,000 mortgage loans over the next five years to first-time homebuyers with household incomes below the area median income.”As Massachusetts emerges from the Great Recession, the availability of mortgage financing on reasonable terms serving families at a range of household incomes is critical to the future of the Commonwealth and to the strength of our local communities,” according to MassHousing and the Massachusetts Housing Partnership (MHP).In conjunction, MHP transitioned its two-loan structure to one mortgage, simplifying the program for firsttime homebuyers and making it easier for participating lenders to underwrite and administer the loans. The one-loan structure also makes it possible for the loans to be sold on the secondary market, something that couldn’t be done previously.Clark Ziegler, executive director of the MHP, said the state was “trying to do something that was much more reflective of the current state of bank regulation,” while maintaining the original twoloan program’s identity in terms of interest rates and payments for borrowers. The CFPB singled out MHP by name in explaining that certain mortgage products with outstanding loan histories would be exempt from the Ability-to-Repay rule. Because of MHP’s track record of success and tight underwriting, banks that issue ONE Mortgage loans aren’t saddled with additional liability from the regulator.”Part of what [CFPB] is saying is that the programs like ours, there’s built-in discipline and quality control,” Ziegler said. “This is a public mission, to help borrowers and make sure that they’re successful. So to put banks through the wringer when that’s already hardwired into what we do, doesn’t make sense.” Officials for the state-run initiative stated, “While irresponsible mortgage lending by largely unregulated financial institutions was a primary cause of the national financial crisis, responsible mortgage lending by banks and credit unions doing business in Massachusetts kept our local foreclosure crisis from being far worse and is already supporting a strong economic recovery.”FHA’s Mortgage OfferingsSince it was established in 1934, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has enabled homeownership for more than 34 million low- and moderate-income families. The agency has updated the combination of FICO scores and down payments allowable for new borrowers, increasing the pool of eligible consumers who may qualify for a government insured loan under the new, lower FHA mortgage limits.New borrowers must have a minimum credit score of 580 to qualify for FHA’s 3.5 percent down payment program. New borrowers with less than a 580 credit score are required to put down at least 10 percent.FHA’s formerly proposed credit score thresholds would have lumped borrowers with nontraditional or insufficient credit with all borrowers who possessed a credit score up to 619. The agency described this method as “overly broad.” The use of the 580 threshold is consistent with HUD’s current guidance for manually underwritten loans.Three lines of credit are necessary to apply for an FHA loan. However, in the event a borrower does not have sufficient credit history, FHA will allow substitute forms. In analyzing a borrower’s credit, the overall pattern of credit behavior is reviewed rather than isolated cases of slow payments.Additionally, FHA believes that by providing more flexible front-end and back-end ratios, it can better define compensating factors. The agency reserves the right to establish additional compensating factors in response to changes in the housing market landscape or the population of borrowers served.High-Cost Mortgage LoansHigh-cost mortgages are defined by the CFPB as loans with high points and other fees, a high annual percentage rate (APR), or certain prepayment penalties. (Points are a type of fee paid at closing by the borrower to the mortgage lender. Each point equals 1 percent of the loan amount.) The bureau does mandate that high-cost mortgages cannot contain certain loan features that are considered abusive, such as prepayment penalties.These loans are typically offered to consumers with relatively low credit scores, and as such, the CFPB says lenders tend to view these applicants as riskier borrowers. The bureau’s high-cost mortgage rule requires the lender to disclose cost information to consumers before they agree to this type of loan. A borrower must also participate in homeownership counseling before receiving a high-cost mortgage.Homeownership CounselingIn addition to high-cost mortgage recipients, the CFPB requires homeownership counseling for all first-time homebuyers who are considering a loan that allows for negative amortization. In fact, the agency’s new mortgage regulations stipulate that every applicant for a mortgage receive a list of homeownership counseling organizations within three days of applying for a mortgage loan.”This new disclosure is one of the important consumer protections in the Dodd-Frank Act,” according to Cassandra Duhaney, a senior policy analyst at the FDIC, and provides borrowers with “an opportunity to learn about the homebuying process from an informed, objective source.”Untapped Market ShareLenders must marry sensible credit standards with the needs of creditworthy homebuyers who on the surface may not fit the mold of a prime borrower. The turbulence and instability that accompanied the Great Recession severely diminished household incomes, eroded families’ savings, and took a toll on credit scores. At the same time, lenders are dealing with rising interest rates, stagnant income growth, and weak household formation.First-time homebuyers accounted for 27 percent of national home sales at the end of last year, according to the National Association of Realtors. That’s the lowest market share reading for first-time buyers since the trade group began tracking them in 2008 and far below the 40 percent typically claimed by first-timers.Data from FICO indicates about 4 percent of new mortgage originations between August and October of 2012 involved borrowers whose credit scores fell below 620. In 2006, an estimated 18 percent of new mortgages went to these higher-risk homebuyers.According to a research paper released by the Urban Institute’s Housing Finance Policy Center in March, “As measured by average purchase loan credit scores, which have risen from 680 to 734 over the past 13 years, access to credit has tightened and will likely remain tight without intervention.”The Institute’s researchers analyzed the link between declining credit access and the drop in purchase mortgages, and by their calculations, with 2001 credit standards in effect, an additional 1.2 million loans would have been originated annually in recent years. The Dichotomy of Prudent Lending and Credit Availabilitycenter_img 2014-07-08 Carrie Bay in Daily Dose, Featured, News, Origination, Print Features, Uncategorizedlast_img read more

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Study Underwater GenXers Holding Down Housing

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first_img August 26, 2014 479 Views First-Time Homebuyers Millennials Negative Equity Underwater Zillow 2014-08-26 Scott_Morgan Study: Underwater Gen-Xers Holding Down Housing Much has been said, and even more theorized, about why millennials are not buying homes at the same rate their generational predecessors bought when they were new-generation homebuyers themselves. Zillow, however, may have found a real answer in the fact that generation X and baby boomers are largely underwater.According to Zillow’s latest Negative Equity Report, high negative equity among Gen-X homeowners is causing gridlock in the U.S. housing market.Nearly 43 percent of homeowners between 35 and 49 are underwater on their mortgages. In contrast, only 15 percent of millennial homeowners (those between 20 and 34 years old) and 31 percent of baby boomers (50 to 64 years old) are underwater.This storehouse of negative equity among the two older generations limits millennials from homeownership mainly because of the ripple effect created when underwater homeowners have trouble listing their properties for sale: baby boomers may not be able to find move-up buyers for their homes because Gen-Xers are stuck with troubled mortgages, Zillow reported. In turn, millennials can’t move into the more affordable starter homes currently occupied by Gen Xers. In other words, the very types of houses young first-time buyers would be most able to afford are not hitting the market, and millennials are increasingly getting priced out.Zillow found that among all homes with a mortgage nationwide, 28 percent that are valued within the bottom third of home values were underwater in the second quarter. This compares to about 16 percent of homes in the middle tier and 9 percent in the top tier.All ages combined, more than a third of homeowners with a mortgage are effectively underwater and unable to sell their homes for enough profit to comfortably, meet expenses related to selling, and afford a down payment on a new home, the report stated.Zillow’s chief economist, Stan Humphries, said the recession is largely to blame, having most crippled the homes the majority of Gen-X bought.”On the surface, the housing recession did not overtly impact millennials’ housing wealth to the degree it did Generation X and the Baby Boomers,” Humphries said. “Most millennials were likely too young to have purchased a home during the bubble years. But as this huge generation begins to consider buying homes, they’re entering a market still very much in recovery and far from anyone’s definition of normal.”Because so many homes are stuck in negative equity or are effectively underwater, the inventory of homes for sale is severely constrained, Humphries said. This leads to increased competition for homes and the frank reality that many millennials are simply too young and too new to the workforce to have saved up significant money to compete with more established older buyers.”The reality is, negative equity is part of the new normal,” Humphries said. “Finding creative solutions to keep homes affordable, available, and accessible to [millennials] will be critical going forward.”center_img in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, News Sharelast_img read more

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Global DMS Launches Enhanced Mobile App for Appraisers

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first_imgGlobal DMS Launches Enhanced Mobile App for Appraisers October 16, 2014 492 Views Global DMS, a provider of Web-based compliant valuation management software, announced the launch of Appraisal Tracking On Mobile (ATOM), a new app designed to improve appraisers’ field productivity by enhancing their ability to communicate and access information.Available on iOS and Android devices, ATOM gives users easy access to Global DMS’ eTrac valuation management platform, allowing them to view their pipelines, manage orders, contact borrowers to schedule inspection dates, and obtain directions to the property, all from their mobile device.ATOM also features an integrated help system to address on-the-fly questions appraisers might have and automatically synchronizing calendar tools, making calendar appointment management seamless.”We want to do everything we can to make our clients and their customers’ jobs as easy as possible,” said Vladimir Bien-Aime, president and CEO of Global DMS. “ATOM is a very effective communication, workflow and task management tool that helps users who are on the go quickly and efficiently complete appraisals in full compliance using comprehensive mobile technology automation.” Sharecenter_img in Headlines, News, Technology Appraisals Company News Global DMS 2014-10-16 Tory Barringerlast_img read more

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Mortgage Apps See Minor November Gain

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first_imgMortgage Apps See Minor November Gain in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News Capital Economics Mortgage Applications Mortgage Bankers Association Purchase Loans Refinances 2014-12-03 Tory Barringer A setback in refinancing volumes weighed down on overall mortgage application volumes for November, even as interest rates continued to tick down.Based on weekly application data released by the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), macroeconomics firm Capital Economics calculated a 0.3 percent increase in mortgage applications last month. The meager uptick compares to a 10.1 percent surge in October.According to MBA, applications were down week-to-week throughout most of November, with the exception of a 4.9 percent seasonally adjusted increase for the week ending November 14. That was offset by a 4.3 percent decline the following week and a holiday-adjusted 7.3 percent drop during the Thanksgiving week.The slowdown in application activity came despite a decline in the average 30-year mortgage interest rate—which hit an 18-month low of 4.17 percent—and improved labor indicators.”The low level of mortgage interest rates, signs of an easing in credit conditions and steady gains in employment have yet to be reflected in the data for mortgage applications,” said Ed Stansfield, chief property economic at Capital Economics.According to the firm, November’s results included a 0.2 percent decline in refinance applications, which had jumped 18.5 percent only a month prior.That was offset by a modest 1.7 percent increase in applications for home purchases.Even with the increase, purchase applications still came up 10 percent short of where they were a year ago, implying “that the market remains unduly dependent on investors and cash buyers” as mortgage-dependent shoppers remain on the sidelines, Stansfield said.Despite November’s stumble in applications, Stansfield maintains that the market is headed in the right direction as credit standards slowly ease, mortgage rates remain historically low, and the economy continues to make strides.”[W]ith the economy likely to deliver steady gains in jobs and a recovery in incomes next year, we are still optimistic that mortgage demand will pick up,” he said. “However, it will take several more months before we can be sure that the market has finally turned the corner.”center_img December 3, 2014 463 Views Sharelast_img read more

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Parkside Lendings CEO is ReElected as President of the CMBA

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first_imgParkside Lending’s CEO is Re-Elected as President of the CMBA California Mortgage Bankers Association Parkside Lending Wholesale and Correspondent Lenders 2015-07-22 Staff Writer in Headlines, News Sharecenter_img July 22, 2015 530 Views Matthew OstranderParkside Lending, LLC, a national wholesale and correspondent lender, recently announced that their very own Matthew Ostrander, co-founder, majority owner, chairman, and CEO of Parkside Lending was re-elected as president of Residential Real Estate at the California Mortgage Bankers Association (CMBA) for the 2015-2016 term.Ostrander and the rest of the CMBA Board were sworn in on Wednesday, July 8, during the Board’s July meeting in San Francisco, according to Parkside Lending. Ostrander will be serving his second term president of Residential Real Estate for the CMBA. Prior to this, Ostrander served as director for the CMBA Board since 2010 and has been an active member since 2005.In addition, Ostrander is also a board member of the Freddie Mac Advisory Board and president and chairman of the board for Parkside Mortgage Trust REIT, the company says. He also serves as president of the Mill Valley Soccer Club, a nonprofit youth sports organization serving 2,500 families in Marin County.According to Parkside Lending, Ostrander is originally from Long Island, New York and graduated from Cornell University in 1993 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications.“It is a real privilege to serve as President for the CMBA and I’m fortunate that I am able to contribute my time and experience to this important cause,” Ostrander said. “Our work directly impacts the health and welfare of California’s real estate market and I look forward to furthering the CMBA’s mission to promote sound business practices through our educational and networking opportunities.”last_img read more

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Is the Brexit Effect Wearing Off for the Mortgage Industry

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first_img August 22, 2016 597 Views Mortgage Rates Mortgage Refinances 2016-08-22 Seth Welborn Share Is the ‘Brexit’ Effect Wearing Off for the Mortgage Industry?center_img in Daily Dose, News, Origination With mortgage interest rates spending the last eight months below 4 percent and hovering just above historic lows for the last few weeks, one would think the environment is great to refinance a mortgage.Following an initial spike in mortgage refinances after June’s Brexit vote, however, the data seems to indicate that fewer borrowers are taking advantage of the low interest rates. Black Knight Financial Services’ First Look at Mortgage Data for July 2016, released on Monday, indicated that the “Brexit” effect may have worn off. Or many borrowers may not want to refinance—or may not be aware of the current near-record low mortgage rates.Black Knight reported in the July 2016 First Look that the population of borrowers eligible to refinance their mortgage has swelled to 8.7 million and the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is below 3.5 percent, but the monthly prepayment rate—historically a good indicator of refinance activity—declined by 12 percent from June to July down to 1.26 percent (and fell by 1 percent over-the-year).“We’ve not only seen this scenario post-Brexit, but throughout much of 2016,” said Ben Graboske, Executive Vice President of Black Knight Data & Analytics. “Since February, interest rates have remained below 2015 levels—and there have been more borrowers who could both qualify for and benefit from refinancing—yet refinance origination volumes have trailed 2015 levels in every month so far this year. While there are undoubtedly a large number of borrowers who are taking advantage of today’s historically low interest rates, there also appears to be a growing population who are either uninterested, or simply unaware of the refinance opportunities in the market.”The First Look also reported an uptick in mortgage delinquencies in July of nearly 5 percent, up to 4.5 percent, likely due to the fact that July ended on a Sunday and payments made on the last two days of the month cannot be financed until the following month. Hence, Black Knight expects a decline in mortgage delinquencies in August.Click here to view Black Knight’s entire First Look at Mortgage Data for July 2016.last_img read more

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The Losses After the Wildfire

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first_img in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Market Studies, News, Servicing November 27, 2018 1,215 Views The Losses After the Wildfire The deadly blaze that tore into many parts of California has finally been contained, officials announced on Sunday. However, it has left behind a trail of losses between $15 billion and $19 billion, according to an analysis by CoreLogic.The report contains the updated residential and commercial loss estimates from the wildfires based on the latest post-containment perimeter of both the Camp and Woolsey Fires. The analysis recorded a total loss in the range of $11 billion and $13 billion from the Camp Fire,  the most destructive wildfire in the state’s history. Additionally, estimated losses from Woolsey Fire in Southern California are estimated to be between $4 billion to $6 billion. Residential and commercial properties account for building, content, and additional living expenses. The estimated losses include damage caused by fire, smoke, demand surge and debris removal. The residential loss from Campfire alone is between $8 billion to $9 billion. Woolsey fires ravaged infrastructure worth $3.5 to $5.5 billion in the residential space and $0.5 billion in commercial losses. Since fire is covered under a standard homeowners’ policy, the majority of homeowners are likely to have some protection from the financial challenges surrounding recovery, the analysis indicated. As part of FEMA’s federal aid program to help those affected by the fire, a loan of up to $2 million was made available for business property losses not fully compensated by insurance. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have authorized servicers to suspend or reduce homeowner’s mortgage payments immediately for up to 90 days if they have been affected by a disaster. Payment forbearance of up to 12 months is available in many circumstances. Foreclosures and other legal proceedings are also to be suspended.“These wildfires have been a personal and financial tragedy for many families,” Tom Larsen, principal, Industry Solutions at CoreLogic said.“The proper estimation of the value of a home is critical because often in situations of wildfire, the home is completely lost. A deficient valuation can lead to a situation where homeowners have inadequate funding to replace their home.” center_img California Wildfires Camp Fires CoreLogic Fannie Mae FEMA Freddie Mac Tom Larsen Woolsey Fires 2018-11-27 Donna Joseph Sharelast_img read more

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Clear Labs announces seamless solution for Liste

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first_img Clear Labs announces “seamless” solution for Liste … October 25 , 2018 Colombia sends first blueberry export of the year … C.H. Robinson expands with US$48M purchase of Spai … World’s leading lemon exporter gains access to Ind … The National Police and the Spanish Civil Guard have discovered more than six metric tons (MT) of cocaine hidden in bananas in an industrial estate on the outskirts of Malaga.The drugs were hidden inside fruit said to have originated in Ecuador.The National Police said it has detained 16 people so far, as well as €300,000 (US$342,600) in cash, firearms, high-end vehicles, and documentation.Local news media reported that the number of people arrested was expected to double shortly.It has become common to find fruit shipments hiding cocaine or other types of drugs around the globe.At the beginning of the week, U.S. customs found cocaine in a berry shipment going into Canada, while banana and pineapple shipments have also been found concealing drugs in numerous locations.A few weeks ago, Ecuadorian authorities seized at the time a 296-kilogram load of cocaine discovered in banana boxes bound for New Zealand.? Intervenidas más de 6 toneladas de cocaína ocultas en un cargamento de bananas? en un polígono industrial de #Málaga.Detenidas 16 personas e intervenidos 300.000€, armas de fuego, vehículos de alta gama y abundante documentación.#Estamosporti pic.twitter.com/njyW6kYYo0— Policía Nacional (@policia) October 25, 2018Photo: El País You might also be interested inlast_img read more

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Argentinas Dirección Nacional de Migraciones has

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first_imgArgentina’s Dirección Nacional de Migraciones has suspended the Reciprocity Fee for Australian citizens entering Argentina, effective 1 July 2017. The Reciprocity Fee of USD$100 per person was previously applied to holders of valid Australian passports entering Argentina for tourism or business purposes.Chad Carey, co-founder Chimu Adventures says the suspension brings Argentina one step closer to becoming Latin America’s favourite travel hot spot for Australians.“Demand for Argentina has been booming for us and the fee suspension will only reinforce this trend. “With air capacity being at record heights and airfares as competitive as never before, we are expecting Argentina to fly high for years to come. With its amazing culture, food & wine, architecture and spirit, Argentina truly combines everything Australians love in a destination.”Chimu offers a 4-day Buenos Aires Stopover package, priced from AU$ 679*, that takes in the city’s colourful neighbourhoods, its art galleries, antique stores and its historic landmarks as well as a tango show and a day spent in an exclusive Argentinian estancia.*T & Cs applyIMAGE: Colourful Buenos Aires ArgentinaChimu AdventuresSouth Americalast_img read more

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New sevenday cruises expertly planned VenturesB

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first_imgNew seven-day cruises, expertly planned #VenturesBySeabourn adventurous activities, pre- & post-sailing extensions in majestic destinations, and more are included in Seabourn’s Alaska and British Columbia itineraries for 2020.Itineraries for the 2020 season are open for booking now, with the first voyage set to set sail from Vancouver on 12 June, 2020.“We’re excited to be heading back north in 2020, and as in years past we’ll have new ways for guests to be awed by the majesty of Alaska and British Columbia,” noted Richard Meadows, president of Seabourn. “Our range of itineraries from seven to 14-day cruises are a great option for a busy generation, and through our Ventures by Seabourn, local shore excursion experiences, and Seabourn Journeys guided excursions, guests are put right in front of the vast wilderness landscape. From escorted kayaking tours around icebergs and remote islands to Zodiac tours to glaciers and waterfalls, Seabourn guests can see the destination’s raw, intimate beauty up close.”IMAGE:Kayaking – Holgate Glacier, Alaska AlaskaSeabournlast_img read more

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