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Isn't That Loan Fraud?


The definition of loan fraud is simple.  According to the F.B.I. loan fraud is any material misstatement, misrepresentation or omission relied upon by a mortgage underwriter or lender to fund a loan.

The definition does not make any exception for white lies, half truths, fibs or creative facts.  It says any material misstatement, misrepresentation or omission.  In most cases if you are involved in a real estate loan transaction, as a borrower, real estate agent, attorney or some other party, and you have to ask yourself or someone else “Is that loan fraud?”  95% of the time the answer is “yes.”

In most cases when I am asked about whether or not something is loan fraud the conversation usually goes something like this: (more…)

Law Office Named One of Constant Contact’s 2010 All Stars

Our office has received the 2010 All Star Award from Constant Contact®, Inc., the trusted marketing advisor to more than 400,000 small organizations worldwide.  Our office is one of Constant Contact’s 2010 top performers and most prolific user of its tools, whether within Constant Contact’s email marketing, event marketing, social media marketing, or survey products – or a combination of all four.

Constant Contact looked at criteria including the following when selecting this year’s All Stars:

  • Frequency of campaigns, events and surveys
  • Open, bounce and click through rates
  • Usage of social features
  • Mailing list sign up tools
  • Use of reporting tools


“We work hard to listen to our customers, and we use that feedback to create products and services designed to help them better engage with their customers and prospects,” said Gail Goodman, chairman, president and CEO of Constant Contact. “The Constant Contact All Star Awards are our way of recognizing our customers that have successfully used Constant Contact to market their companies. We have some of the most committed, passionate customers out there and we’re proud we can be a part of their continued success.”

About Constant Contact, Inc.
Constant Contact is revolutionizing the success formula for small organizations through affordable, easy-to-use Engagement Marketing™ tools that help create and grow customer relationships.  More than 400,000 small businesses, nonprofit organizations, and member associations worldwide rely on Constant Contact as their engagement hub for starting and driving ongoing customer dialogs through email marketing, social media marketing, event marketing, and online surveys.  All Constant Contact products come with unrivaled know how, education and free coaching with a personal touch, including award-winning customer support. 

Constant Contact and the Constant Contact Logo are registered trademarks of Constant Contact, Inc. All Constant Contact product names and other brand names mentioned herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of Constant Contact, Inc. All other company and product names may be trademarks or service marks of their respective owners.

Tips For First-Time Home Buyers

YOUR FIRST HOME. Purchasing one is a rite of passage that most non-homeowners dream of. Besides the intangible benefits, homeownership lets you build equity, and is the single biggest tax break available to most consumers. Here’s our look at some smart strategies for getting in the door.

First: Pay Off Your Debt

It’s a common mistake for home-buyers-to-be: They focus on saving as much money as possible for a down payment instead of paying off other debts.

How Much Can You Afford?

The answer to that is a function of two things: How much you can borrow and how much of a down payment you can muster. As a rule of thumb, your annual mortgage payment, taxes and homeowner’s insurance shouldn’t exceed 28% of your gross income.

Types of Loans

Now you’re ready to start shopping around for the right loan. A first-time home buyer with a steady job and good credit can buy a home with less than a 20% down payment.

Questionable Credit

Worried you don’t have perfect credit? You may yet qualify for a loan insured by the Federal Housing Administration, or FHA. These government-insured loans are issued with even more lenient credit criteria. You can also put down as little as 3.5% for an FHA loan. A portion of closing costs may be used to meet the 3.5% cash requirement.

Down-Payment Assistance Programs

Still having trouble coming up with that down payment? Each year HUD gives states and municipalities money to distribute to low- and moderate-income families for housing.

Read more: Tips for First-Time Home Buyers – Spending – Deals – SmartMoney.com

Revised Homestead Law Now Provides Automatic $125,000 Homestead Protection.

In MassachusHomestead National Monument of Americaetts an estate of homestead protects a homeowner’s primary residence from the claims of certain creditors. Prior to the change in the law the declaration of homestead protected the equity in the home for up to $500,000 of its equity in the event the home owner is sued. That is, if a homeowner is successfully sued in court, $500,000 of the home’s equity could not be touched by an attachment and or execution of sale by the judgment creditor. To acquire the homestead a homeowner would need to file a written declaration and record it with the county Registry of Deeds.

The Massachusetts Legislature has recently passed long awaited revisions to the Massachusetts Homestead Act. The revised law now provides automatic protection up to $125,000 on a homeowner’s primary residence, and a written homestead can also be filed to increase the protection up to $500.000.  The act also provides homeowners additional protection: (more…)

Oil Prices and Mideast Turmoil Impacts Mortgage Rates

Turmoil in Libya and Middle East countries may send oil prices up and affect mortgage rates.

If investors fear that rising oil prices will derail an emerging recovery, they will remove their money from stocks and put it into safer bonds, especially government Treasuries. That will help lower mortgage rates. More bond purchases will push bond prices up and their yields, or their interest rates paid to bond owners, down.  Mortgage rates would also decline, since they cannot be lower than government bond rates.

That’s exactly what’s been happening this week. Oil prices went over $100 a barrel, its highest price since September 2008.  Mortgage rates have declined for three consecutive weeks, with the average rate for the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage declining from 5 percent to 4.84 percent last week.   Read more of what Michael Kling says here.

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