Realtors cope with appraisal rules

Marcie Geffner - California Real Estate

Challenging. Problematic. Wild. Bizarre.

These are but a few of the choice words REALTORS® have used to describe the new Home Valuation Code of Conduct (HVCC), which dictates certain practices lenders must follow with respect to appraisals related to loans they intend to sell to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

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Will new rules delay home loan closings?

Marcie Geffner - Bankrate

The federal government's latest loan disclosure rules should give borrowers some welcome relief from upfront loan fees that lock them into a specific lender and costs that unexpectedly escalate at closing. But these same rules also could cause some loan closings to be delayed.

The improved disclosures should benefit borrowers who are offered a subprime or other nonstandard loan or are worried about being hit with costs that suddenly escalate at closing, according to Marx Sterbcow, managing attorney at Sterbcow Law Group, a real estate law practice in New Orleans.

"It's a good law for loans that were Alt-A or subprime or had prepayment penalties and also for prime loans where some knucklehead would (estimate) a 1 percent origination fee only (for the borrower) to find out at the last minute that the loan origination fee is 3 percent. It will cut down on some of that," he says.

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Help for mortgage scam victims

By Marcie Geffner -

Government agencies have issued repeated loud warnings about a nationwide epidemic of loan modification and foreclosure-rescue scams. But some homeowners haven't heard these warnings and others have fallen victim to especially clever scams despite their best efforts to avoid them.

The sad fact is that homeowners who have become caught up in a scam generally have little recourse to recoup any money they may have paid and may find themselves worse off than they were prior to their unhappy encounter with a loan modification or foreclosure-rescue company. Yet homeowners who have been victimized can still file formal complaints with government agencies and contact a housing counselor to obtain further assistance with their personal financial situation.

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Managing multiple offers

By Marcie Geffner - California Real Estate

It’s no secret that a strong purchase offer−a high price, all-cash, no contingencies−can help to win the day when buyers get into a multiple-offer situation. But what many REALTORS® may not realize is that their own behavior also can make a huge difference in the outcome even if their buyer’s offer isn’t the best of the bunch. Agents who are well prepared, professional, and positive can do a great service for both the buyers they represent and themselves.

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