Archive for December, 2013

It’s a great time to write a new script. -By Kate Wilson

December 27th, 2013
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My granddaughter Maia has been a part of the cast for the Guthrie’s 2013 production of A Christmas Carol. The finale for the show is Sunday. Over Christmas dinner her mom remarked, “on Monday, it’ll be back to being an ordinary 4th grader.” Maia retorted, “I don’t want to be an ordinary 4th grader!” Her mom asked her then if she’d like to be an extraordinary 4th grader and Maia emphatically replied “No”. “Then what do you want to be?” her mom asked. “I don’t want to be a 4th grader at all. I want to be an Actress!” To the dismay of some in the room, I replied, “Bravo!”

There’s something magical about staying up for the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve. The slate is clean again and we are starting out fresh. Anything is possible….Or is it? Why do some succeed where others fail? I have puzzled over this for years. As I watched my family’s reaction to Maia’s pronouncement, a few things came to me….

The fear of failing at something is a powerful motivator to take the safe route. It avoids high places. Maia has been taking classes through Cirque de Soleil sponsored Circus Juventas since she was 4 and thinks nothing of hanging from a trapeze two stories up, with a small band attached to her wrist for safety. She has been taught not to fear.   Read the rest of this entry »

New FHA Maximum Loan Limits going into effect on January 1, 2014 -By Barb Crea

December 23rd, 2013
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As visions of sugar plums dance in our heads, we are well on our way to winter – December Solstice – which begins at 12:11 PM on Saturday, December 21st, followed by Christmas just a few days later. I love this time of year – the glistening of the snow so clean and white with that peaceful sort of silence when you walk through the woods and the twinkle in the one’s eye as we take a moment to enjoy this special time.

While we count down to the shortest day of the year and Christmas, we are also counting down to new FHA Maximum Loan Limits going into effect on January 1, 2014. Due to the expiration of the authority granted in the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2012, the calculation of FHA’s single family loan limits is altered, resulting in a decrease in the calculation of high cost area limits and the loan limit “ceiling”. The FHA Maximum Loan Limits for the Twin Cities Metro Area will be reduced from $365,000 down to $318,550 for one-family units. The counties outside the metro area will remain the same – $271,050. For more information see Mortgagee Letter 2013-43 http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/huddoc?id=FHAMaxLoanLim2014.pdf. Read the rest of this entry »

Christmas is almost here and there is so much to do before the year ends!

December 13th, 2013
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It seems like all the licensing renewals and trainings that need to be completed hit at the same time. Planning for the New Year is on the list, and don’t forget the shopping and holiday parties!   I had to set time in my calendar so I didn’t miss deadlines for all the important stuff that needed to be done. I started planning and scheduling early in the last quarter so I was not running up against deadlines I couldn’t meet.

Licensing for mortgage originators requires eight hours of continuing education and a test. Taking the online course, with all the timed study sessions, required games and quizzes that had to be passed before you can move to the next section and final exam, was more like a 14 hour event for me. I’m not sure who arrived at eight hours! And who writes those questions? Then we move on to compliance training – all the new rules and regulations require training and compliance. Just when I thought I had it all under control, an update was added for training on the Anti-Money Laundering Law; and guess what, there is a test on that too!  I thought you just checked your pockets before you washed your clothes to make sure your green backs and loose change didn’t end up in the washing machine. Read the rest of this entry »

Will the Qualified Mortgage Rule changes set to take place on January 10, 2014 Impact Me?

December 6th, 2013
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There have been any number of stories out on the Internet that have been forwarded to me over the past week or two, as the deadline for implementation of guidelines related to QM approaches. I have had a number of clients ask me directly whether or not it will affect their ability to qualify for a loan. For the most part, the answer is No.

First of all, what is it? It’s not new news. It’s part of the Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The final rule was published about a year ago with an implementation deadline of January 10, 2014. The purpose of the new rule, which is often called ‘the ability to repay’ rule, is to insure that consumers don’t take out a loan they can’t repay.

For a consumer friendly handout about how the rule will affect your clients, go to: http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201301_cfpb_ability-to-repay-rule_what-it-means-for-consumers.pdf

Key provisions that could impact business on a day to day basis are: Read the rest of this entry »