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January 2010

Bank of America Signs on for HAMP Second Lien Program

I was pleasantly surprised last Friday when I was reviewing the Making Home Affordable website for our Certified Short Sale Professional designation training.  I noticed that Bank of America and Countrywide are now on the list of servicers who have have formalized their commitment to the program through a signed contract.  

Recommended steps for homeowner to see if HAMP is a viable alternative to foreclosure:

  1. Complete the quick online form on the eligibility page of Making Home Affordable
  2. Determine if your lender is participating in HAMP by either looking them up on this page: AND calling your lender to verify and discuss your options.
  3. HAMP has a Request a Modification process -  Recommend contacting your Mortgage Servicer first.

More news today regarding the Second Lien Modification Program.  Bank of America is first servicer to sign up for the HAMP Second Lien Mod Program.... read more:

BofA Signs on as First Servicer of HAMP's Second Lien Program

Home Affordable Modification Program Admin Site explains:

The Second Lien Modification Program is a complementary program to the Home Affordable Modification Program designed for first lien mortgages. This Program is expected to reach approximately 1 - 1.5 million responsible homeowners who are struggling to afford their mortgage payments. The Second Lien Modification Program coordinates with HAMP's first mortgage modification program to lower payments on second mortgages and offer comprehensive affordability solutions for homeowners.

The guidelines of the Second Lien Modification Program are detailed further in: Download Sd0905Second LienMP

Making Home Affordable Program Deadline Extended to October 3, 2010
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner recently informed Congress that the Obama Administration is extending the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) until October 3, 2010. As a result, the deadline for servicers to register to participate in the Making Home Affordable Program is extended from December 31, 2009, to October 3, 2010.

Related posts:

Our CSP designaton course covers all the latest information you need to know about short sales and other alternatives to foreclosure.  Check out the current Training Schedule for dates, times and locations.

If you are a homeowner considering your alternatives to foreclosure and would like more information, I recommend visiting the Residential Short Sale blog.


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Negative Equity and Strategic Defaults - Will We Ever See Principal Reduction Loan Mods?

Have you noticed a lot of recent press criticizing the HAMP program as short-sighted and delaying the inevitable onslaught of more foreclosures?  The underlying theme is pointing to "negative equity" as a primary factor for homeowners "strategically defaulting" - ultimately deciding to let their home go to foreclosure or short sale.

In case you missed some of those recent articles and resources:

Amherst Securities testified before the House Financial Services Committee (12-8-09) - Download Amherst Securities Group - HAMP Testimony

Two main points from this report:
1. Single largest problem with housing market is negative equity.
2. Current modification program does not address negative equity and is destined to fail.

WSJ Development Blog (1-4-10) NY Fed: Most Successful Mortgage Modifications Reduce Borrowers’ Principal

Borrowers who receive loan modifications that reduce loan balances and not simply interest rates are far less likely to re-default on their loans, according to a new study from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.    Modifications that write down loan balances “can double the reduction in re-default rates achieved by payment reductions alone,” the study says.

Negative Equity Report for Q3 (Calculated Risk Blog 11-24-09)


Data Highlights

  • Nearly 10.7 million, or 23 percent, of all residential properties with mortgages were in negative equity as of September, 2009. An additional 2.3 million mortgages were approaching negative equity, meaning they had less than five percent equity. Together negative equity and near negative equity mortgages account for nearly 28 percent of all residential properties with a mortgage nationwide.
  • The distribution of negative equity is heavily concentrated in five states: Nevada (65 percent), which had the highest percentage negative equity, followed by Arizona (48 percent), Florida (45 percent), Michigan (37 percent) and California (35 percent).

Other articles/reports/studies:


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2009 Las Vegas Real Estate Market Report - Foreclosure and Short Sale Stats

The Las Vegas real estate market may be showing signs of recovery.  

The Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors (GLVAR) released its local housing statistics  for December 2009 with some interesting findings for the year. 

According to GLVAR, sales of existing homes in Las Vegas were up 64% in 2009.  GLVAR reported 46,879 local housing sales in 2009. That represents a huge spike from 28,618 total sales in 2008 and trails only the 71,963 homes sold during the record year of 2004. The increasing sales continue to be driven by low prices.   GLVAR reports that the average single family home sold in the area in December 2008 was $204,000 in December 2008. By December of 2009, that number had fallen to $165,000.

To read the full report: PDF file Download 2009_12_Dec (released 1-8-10)


Single Family Residential closings for 2009 totaled 38,127 which is a 53% increase over 2008.  Additionally, townhomes and condos saw another 8752 closings which represent a 137% increase over 2008.

Las Vegas Foreclosure Report for 2009

From RealtyTrac's Year-End 2009 Foreclosure Market Report :

... a total of 3,957,643 foreclosure filings — default notices, scheduled foreclosure auctions and bank repossessions — were reported on 2,824,674 U.S. properties in 2009, a 21 percent increase in total properties from 2008 and a 120 percent increase in total properties from 2007

More than 10 percent of Nevada housing units received at least one foreclosure filing in 2009, giving it the nation’s highest state foreclosure rate for the third consecutive year. Nevada foreclosure activity in December increased 27 percent from the previous month but was still down 22 percent from December 2008. Fourth quarter foreclosure activity in Nevada was down 37 percent from the previous quarter thanks to substantial decreases in October and November.


2009 foreclosure stats would have been worse but for initiatives to slowdown foreclosures from the Lenders as well as the by the Obama Administration - including HAMP (Home Affordable Modification Program) and alternatives to foreclosures like short sales.

GLVAR reported a total of 33,974 bank-owned residential properties for 2009.


Las Vegas Short Sales for 2009

According to the National Association of Realtors, almost 500,000 transactions in 2009 were short sales, representing almost 10 percent of all home sales. 

In Las Vegas, a total of 5,422 residential properties sold and closed in 2009. 


2009 Residential Closings Recap

The GLVAR 2009 report quotes a total of 46,879 local housing sales.  However, the 3 individual graphs of residential closing for 2009 totals 47,084 (a 205 discrepancy - I am not certain why).

REO/Bank-Owned sales = 33,974 (72.2%)

Traditional residential sales = 7,688 (16.3%)

Short Sale Closings = 5,422 (11.5%)



Recommended Las Vegas Foreclosure sources:

Search Las Vegas Foreclosures available for sale

Las Vegas Foreclosure Connection


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Best Content Ideas for Real Estate Bloggers

Are you considering starting a blog in 2010 for your Real Estate Business?  Or maybe you have a blog and need a little inspiration, some new ideas to spark your writing. 

Researched and served up from me to you - Your Real Estate Coach - some of the best posts I've found on blog content ideas for real estate bloggers:

  • Chris Brogan - If I were a Realtor  Read this right-to-the-point post as well as the comments. Its about connecting with the community, being a local source about your area.  It's not about you and selling.

Print this post out for great ideas and keep it with you. Use this list and the next one from the Real Estate Tomato to start your Blog Post Idea Notebook.  Carry this notebook around with you.  When you get ideas, ad them to the list.  If you pay attention, you will become aware of things to blog about daily. 

I absolutely agree with and recommend NikNik's technique - I keep a blog notebook, sorted by my different blogs/topics and schedule time in my calendar to blog.

I’ve found the best way to maintain regular blog posts and fight “blogger’s block” is by creating a content posting plan. This is really nothing more than making an on-going list of content or story ideas from which you can pick and choose to create posts from. If you want to take it a step further, you could schedule time to write, as well as “read & research”.

...the trick is to take every day experiences, based on these topics and weave them into a post.

Teresa is an excellent blogger who has mastered the art of blending photos, real estate and community in her St Paul Real Estate Blog

And two more good posts fom the RE Tomato:

Recommended  marketing, tech, social media blogs for the Real Estate Industry to bookmark, subscribe to and READ...


Blog & Social Media Training Class

Real Estate Blog CE Training Class in Las Vegas

Kathryn Bovard and I are teaching our 3 Hour Nevada CE class "Blogging & Social Networking for Business" on Friday, February 12, 2010.

Approved by the Nevada Real Estate Commission

3 Hours Continuing Education (PD) CE.3706000-RE

Next Class Date: Friday, February 12, 2010, 1:00 to 4:00 pm
Download the class flyer:  Blog Class Flyer Feb 12, 2010

Location: Robb & Stucky Community Room, (Town Square Las Vegas • At I-15 and the 215 Beltway )

Address: 6521 Las Vegas Boulevard South, Las Vegas, NV 89119
View Mapquest

$45 in advance; $55 at the door
Register online at:


Join the WBNL Coaching Wanderers Club - The online, virtual coaching and training platform for Real Estate and Business Professionals.

Your basic, FREE membership includes:

WBNL Coaching Real Estate Business Plan Online Course and Downloads

Best Lifehacks of 2009: The Year in Review - Personal Productivity and Creativity Excerpt

Dustin Wax of Stepcase Lifehack posted this Best of 2009 - I am highlighting the Productivity and GTD links in this post.  Read the comprehensive blog post with 90 Best Links at

Personal Productivity and Creativity

Advice about getting productive makes up the core of Lifehack’s content, so naturally our most popular and most talked about posts this year were just that. From developing the right mindset to promoting creativity to finding inspiration and motivation, we offered tons of advice on getting things done.

  1. 12 Lists That Help You Get Things Done (Dustin M. Wax)
  2. Procrastination – NOT a Problem! (Francis Wade)
  3. 10 Best Productivity Books of 2009 (Dustin M. Wax)
  4. 11 Ways to Think Outside the Box (Dustin M. Wax)
  5. 8 Ways to Kill Clutter in 5 Minutes (David Pierce)
  6. Reaching Your Goals – Dutch Style (Christine Buske)
  7. New Year’s Resolutions Don’t Work – Here’s Why (Steve Errey)
  8. How to Make Decisions Under Pressure (Joel Falconer)
  9. Limits and Creativity (Dustin M. Wax)
  10. The Daily Grind: A Matter of Momentum (Joel Falconer)
  11. 4 Pocket-Sized Tools to Help You Generate Killer Ideas Any Time, Anywhere (Chuck Frey)
  12. How to Think What Nobody Else Thinks (Paul Sloane)
  13. 9 Lists To Keep Updated, and Keep Handy (David Pierce)
  14. 10 Reasons Paper is The Most Flexible Productivity Platform (Joel Falconer)
  15. 3 Tips to Improve Memory Quickly (Steve Martile)
  16. How to Wake Up and Instantly Achieve Something Everyday (Paul Dickinson)
  17. Stripped GTD: 3 Habits That Make You More Productive (David Pierce)
  18. Ten Great Ways to Crush Creativity (Paul Sloane)
  19. Scoring 100% in Time Management (Francis Wade)
  20. 7 Steps For Making a New Year’s Resolution and Keeping It (Annabel Candy)

My incomplete series on getting back on track with a productivity system, “GTD Refresh”, was quite popular but was never completed. The next step for me was supposed to be eliminating my email backlog and adopting an “Inbox Zero” approach, but frankly, email won. This year – I’m going to try again in 2010 and so you may well see more “GTD Refresh posts in the not-too-distant future.

2009 was bookended by two publications with something to offer the would-be personal productivity expert. David Allen’s Making It All Work revisited the core concepts of GTD and expanded on elements that had been weakly developed in his earlier work. You can read my lengthy review here: (Part 1) (Part 2) (Part 3)

And our most popular series, my “Back to Basics” posts from 2008, were collected, revised, and expanded (with 2 new chapters) in the release of Back to Basics Productivity which will be joined in 2010 by several more ebook releases.

Posted via web from jan obrien's posterous


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FREE Virtual RE BarCamp is 1-4-10; Social Media & Tech All Day Mega-Webinar

I attended the first amazing REBarcamp in San Francisco, August 2008 - held prior to the Inman Connect.  REBarcamp is now Virtual and still FREE and it's TOMORROW - January 4, 2010.

If you want to seriously get a jump start on how to integrate Social Media into your Real Estate Business --- sign up now!


Do Not Miss VREBC


Educating Real Estate Agents On How To Use Modern Technologies To Better Their Business Will Never Be The Same!

On January 4th, 2010 dozens of the most respected educators in the real estate industry converge to host most exciting event of its kind, the Virtual Real Estate BarCamp.

Virtual Real Estate BarCamp is a 1-Day Learning Extravaganza.
From 9am until 4pm PST, three concurrent webinar "rooms" will each host 7 different sessions, for a total of 28 different presentations.
There is something for everyone and everything for someone, and best of all, IT IS FREE and attendance is unlimited!

Click below to:
Learn more.
See who is coming.
Check out the Session Calendar.
Get sponsorship info.

Attendance is projected to be at least 1000 agents, nationwide.
Do not miss out on being part of this ground-breaking event.

Potential Session Topics Include:

Facebook for Real Estate
Twitter 101
Driving Quality Traffic to Your Website
Beginning Search Engine Optimization
Advanced SEO
Getting Started with WordPress
Advanced WordPress Techniques
Using Flickr for Real Estate
Using YouTube for Real Estate
LinkedIn Business & Referral Strategies
Selecting an IDX Company
Single Property Websites
Getting the Most Out Of Your Mobile Devices
The iPhone and Real Estate
Photoshop for Real Estate
Video Blogging
Video Listings
Advanced Twitter Tips
Preparing to Start a Real Estate Blog
Google Analytics and Traffic Statistics

...and much more, with new sessions being added every day.

And if that wasn't cool enough, individuals from around the country are volunteering to host In-Real-Life MeetUps for after the event.
Learn all day, and then meet to have a beer with local participants. This is going to be a blast!

We hope to see you there!

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