SEATTLE — Holland America Line is making it easier for travel professionals to become experts with the launch of its redesigned PartnerSHIPS web portal.Exclusively for travel professionals, the new GoHAL.com is more user-friendly, allowing agents to book, plan, promote and learn how to successfully sell Holland America Line cruises and Land+Sea Journeys.In addition to a navigation toolbar at the top with drop-down menus for each tab, users can scroll to the bottom of the homepage and find quick links to some of the more popular topics. There’s a larger toolbar featuring three primary areas on the site: POLAR Online, Promo Toolkit and Holland America Line Academy. Agents also can see upcoming events, read the latest e-Newsletter and meet their business development manager on the homepage.Under the navigation toolbar at the top, the ‘Learn’ section features Holland America Line Academy and the Specialist Training Courses that were launched earlier this year, as well as POLAR Online booking tips, FAQs and upcoming events such as seminars, conferences and familiarization trips.In the ‘Plan’ tab, agents can find all of the collateral they need to plan cruises for their clients including eBrochures, product announcements, a deck plan reference guide, cruise finder, sailing schedule, AFAR Destination Guides and information about life on board, Land+Sea Journeys, Journeys Ashore, family cruising and cruising with children.The ‘Promote’ tab features a message from Eva Jenner, vice president of sales, and the latest promotions, as well as templates to create customized advertising and marketing materials such as flyers, banner ads and emails. Site visitors also have access to the company’s extensive image library so they can use vivid imagery to promote the cruises.Travel professionals will find additional access to the POLAR Online booking engine in the ‘Book’ tab. Important information about visas and passports, cancellation policies, groups, gift orders, the air program, check-in and Travel Professional Appreciation Fares also are located in this area.Additional features at GoHAL.com include a ‘Chat with Us’ button that enables travel professionals to communicate online in real time with Holland America Line’s reservations team.“We sent out a survey to our travel partners earlier this year asking how we can help them grow their business, and one of the top answers was to develop an easy-to-navigate travel professional portal that puts everything at their fingertips,” said Jenner. “We listened to our travel partners, and I am thrilled to announce that the new portal — GoHAL.com — is finally here.” Holland America Line redesigns agent portal on GoHAL.com Monday, January 9, 2017 Travelweek Group Share Posted by Tags: Holland America Line << Previous PostNext Post >>
Posted by Thursday, August 31, 2017 Win two tickets to Hong Kong with new Cathay Pacific contest Share Tags: Cathay Pacific, Contests, Hong Kong << Previous PostNext Post >> Travelweek Group VANCOUVER — Cathay Pacific is inviting travel agency partners to enter its ‘Travel Like a Local’ contest for a chance to win two tickets to Hong Kong.The contest runs until Sept. 4. Agents are invited to answer a few questions to determine their traveller type. “Whether you’re a Foodie, a Wellness Warrior, a Five Star Traveller or a Culture Sponge, Cathay Pacific has curated a travel guide to make a Hong Kong stay perfectly suited to your interests,” says the airline. All contest entries have a chance to win two Premium Economy Class tickets roundtrip from Toronto or Vancouver to Hong Kong.As part of the contest Cathay Pacific is offering in-depth insider destination guides, tailored to traveller type. Recommendations include: tiny, locals’ favourite Tsim Chai Keen noodle house, with their legendary king prawn wonton noodles (Foodie); Carrot Walnut French Toast at Grassroots Pantry, aInstagram-perfect plant-based restaurant (Wellness Warrior); staying at J Plus by YOO – Hong Kong’s first boutique hotel (Culture Sponge); or sailing Victoria Harbour in a hand-build wooden junk boat with a cocktail in hand (Five Star Traveller).More news: Direct Travel names Smith as Senior VP, Leisure Marketing, North AmericaFor more details see cathaypacific.jebbit.com.
Monday, September 11, 2017 Parq Vancouver ready to open at month’s end Tags: Vancouver Travelweek Group VANCOUVER — Downtown Vancouver’s newest entertainment destination, Parq Vancouver, is set to open its doors on Sept. 29 with “a celebratory roll of the dice” on the casino floor at 11 p.m. PST.Parq Vancouver is the largest private development in B.C., with two luxury hotels, more than half a dozen culinary venues and casino.Guests enter Parq Vancouver from its second-floor entrance at Gate G of BC Place. On the sixth floor is The Park, a 30,000-square-foot outdoor space with more than 200 native pines. Parq Vancouver features JW Marriott Parq Vancouver and the DOUGLAS, an Autograph Collection Hotel. The lobby of the DOUGLAS has 178 rooms and 10 suites located between the seventh and 17th floors, and are designed for the experiential traveller, say developers.The JW Marriott meanwhile has 281 rooms and 48 suites located between the sixth and 25th floors, as well as Canada’s first Spa by JW.For dining Parq Vancouver will have eight distinctive restaurants and lounges, with a food and beverage portfolio that draws inspiration from the cuisines of the Pacific Northwest.More news: A new low for no-frills flying: easyJet assigns backless seat to passengerThere are also more than 60,000 square feet of fully accessible and flexible space, with 13 ballrooms, boardrooms, and meeting rooms including the 15,604-square-foot Parq Grand Ballroom, the largest hotel ballroom in the city.The second and third floor gaming levels – bathed in natural light by floor-to-ceiling windows – feature 600 slot machines, 75 table games, a poker room, and 11 exclusive salons for a private gaming experience. Share Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >>
The deaths of two people in less than two weeks in Playa Esterillos, on the Central Pacific, has local residents concerned, as it is the same number of deaths that occurred from drowning during all of last year.Rose Mary Chamberlain told the daily La Nación that Esterillos is one of the most visited beaches in the region, but there are few lifeguards monitoring the area. She also said neighbors agreed that the lack of support from both local businesses and the government makes it hard to hire lifeguards.The first person who drowned this year at the beach was Esterillos resident Rodrigo Rodríguez Jiménez, 60, on Jan. 13.Colorado native Michael McKinsckly, 65, died on Jan. 21 when a large wave knocked him down, likely breaking his neck, Red Cross officials said. The incident occurred while McKinsckly was on a boogie board in the water.Red Cross paramedic Francisco Pérez said that rescue operations are difficult because Esterillos is 47 kilometers (30 miles) away from Parrita, the nearest Red Cross facility.“It takes us 15 to 20 minutes to arrive. That is the difference between life and death,” Pérez told La Nación.Police officer Carlos Salas said Esterillos has always been a dangerous beach, and “although there are many signs both in English and Spanish to warn visitors, tourists frequently disregard the warnings.” Facebook Comments No related posts.
No related posts. At least six lawmakers aspire to become the next president of Costa Rica’s Legislative Assembly during the annual May 1 election. All parties must present their candidates at around 2 p.m. that day.Current Assembly President Víctor Emilio Granados from the Accessibility Without Exclusion Party will be seeking re-election.Libertarian Movement Party lawmakers are divided, as one group has supported Liberation candidates in past elections and voted in favor of bills presented by the ruling party, while others clearly oppose all PLN efforts.The Libertarians have two possible candidates: Marielos Alfaro and Patricia Pérez.Lawmaker María Venegas will be a candidate for the Citizen Action Party.The PLN has not decided on a candidate. Luis Gerardo Villanueva and Sianny Villalobos are leading candidates who have divided the party’s support.On Monday night, 21 of 24 Liberation lawmakers gathered for more than three hours with President Laura Chinchilla at Casa Presidencial, but no agreement was reached, according to top PLN lawmaker Fabio Molina.Molina said the “meeting was very fruitful,” although they were not able to define who will be the candidate of their party. He also refused to confirm or rule out support for the re-election of Víctor Emilio Granados.Talks between PLN lawmakers and President Chinchilla will continue on Tuesday. Facebook Comments
Facebook Comments Related posts:Long-awaited Jairo Mora murder trial begins in Costa Rica with prosecutors’ opening statements Costa Rican preliminary court misplaces key evidence in Jairo Mora murder trial Prosecutors ask for maximum sentences for defendants in Jairo Mora murder trial Court hears testimony from key witnesses in the Jairo Mora murder trial A judge on Tuesday night ordered three more months of preventive detention for seven defendants accused of participating in the murder of Costa Rican sea turtle conservationist Jairo Mora last year, according to the Limón prosecutor’s office.The suspects – with the last names Aráuz, Cash, Centeno, Delgado and Quesada, and two brothers with he last name Salmón – were arrested on July 31, 2013 in a raid by the Judicial Investigation Police.The prosecutor’s office also said defense attorneys requested a medical examination for Aráuz, who has a bone disorder and is now using a wheelchair. Following the examination, a judge will decide if Aráuz should continue in preventative detention or be released.The arrests happened two months after Mora, a sea turtle monitor on Moín Beach on the Caribbean Coast, was stripped, beaten and left to suffocate in the sand. The suspects were allegedly part of a band of well-known poachers.Read all of our stories on the Jairo Mora case by clicking on the hashtag #Jairo Mora.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) The students say Mexico’s largest television channel, Televisa, was particularly biased in its coverage of the rally and the campaign in general. Many finished the march at Televisa’s studios, where Pena Nieto was appearing on a live interview show.Local media reported smaller, simultaneous marches in at least a half-dozen other cities around Mexico.A Televisa spokesman declined immediate comment, as did Pena Nieto’s campaign.“We want to be told the truth in this country,” said Esteban Pacheco, an industrial design student at Iberoamerican. “I look at this as a wake-up call.”Pena Nieto’s backers have labeled the students as supporters of leftist candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, but many at the rally said they supported none of three main presidential candidates.A march through central Mexico City on Saturday drew tens of thousands of protesters against Pena Nieto, a much larger crowd than the one on Tuesday night.___Follow Adriana Gomez on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/agomezlicon Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Comments Share Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Top Stories New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Associated PressMEXICO CITY (AP) – Thousands of university students marched through central Mexico City on Wednesday to protest media coverage that they say favors the candidate of the former ruling party in upcoming presidential elections.The students say newspapers and television stations are tilting their coverage toward Enrique Pena Nieto, who is leading polls by double digits ahead of the July 1 vote.Many of the students were from the elite Iberoamerican University, where a May 11 appearance by Pena Nieto set off a rare wave of protests by young people against a return to the presidency of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, which ruled Mexico for 70 years before it was voted out in 2000. More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Sponsored Stories 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean
Men’s health affects baby’s health too The 10-story high radar installation built with U.S. technology is expected to go online later this year. It’s near the Hsinchu Air Base in northern Taiwan.The satellite picture that can be viewed with iPhones is believed to have been taken a year ago.Local media say the radar installation can monitor targets, determine their speeds and fire missiles to intercept them.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) – Taiwan is asking Apple Inc. to blur a map image of its new $1.4 billion early warning radar station that can detect aircraft and missiles coming from as far as western China.Defense Ministry spokesman David Lo said Tuesday that Apple should follow its rival Google in using only low-resolution satellite pictures to show sensitive facilities. He acknowledged the military should also try to camouflage them. Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Comments Share Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Top Stories Sponsored Stories Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix How men can have a healthy 2019
Four benefits of having a wireless security system Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility The agency asked local officials to keep people away from a 4-kilometer (2.5-mile) hazardous zone around the crater, he said. He said aircraft should not fly close to the mountain to avoid any sudden explosions and ash clouds.Solidum said the explosion was due to ground water coming into contact with hot rocks and not rising magma. He says such “phreatic” explosions are typical of Bulusan. The ash explosion lasted about 3-1/2 minutes, shorter than the 5-minute explosion recorded May 1.A large explosion in February 2011 that shot an ash plume about 2 kilometers (more than a mile) into the sky prompted about 1,200 villagers to flee to shelters.Bulusan is one 23 volcanoes considered active by the volcanology agency, but it has not had a violent eruption since in 1918.The country is in the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” where volcanic activity and earthquakes are common. In June 1991, Mount Pinatubo in the northern Philippines exploded in one of the biggest eruptions in the 20th century.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Comments Share 3 international destinations to visit in 2019 Top Stories Sponsored Stories MANILA, Philippines (AP) — A Philippine volcano has spewed ash for the second time in less than a week but there were no signs of any imminent violent eruption, the country’s chief volcano expert said Thursday.Mount Bulusan in Sorsogon province southeast of Manila ejected ash 250 meters (825 feet) above the 1,565-meter (5,165-foot) volcano late Wednesday, said Renato Solidum, director of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies 5 treatments for adult scoliosis
LIMA, Peru (AP) — A commission that supervises Peru’s judicial system ordered the dismissal of the country’s attorney general Wednesday after an investigation into his alleged ties with organized crime.Attorney General Carlos Ramos Heredia had been suspended from his post since December pending the investigation involving allegations of corruption in Ancash province, which is Peru’s richest mining region. Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Top Stories Sponsored Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Comments Share Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober The National Judiciary Council said in a statement Wednesday that it ordered the formal dismissal of Ramos Heredia on a 5-1 vote. The alleged corruption happened before Ramos Heredia became attorney general in May 2014.There was no immediate comment from Ramos Heredia, but earlier in the day he said that if he was removed he could turn to Peru’s Constitutional Court or even the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.“Everyone here has realized there is a plot and conspiracy against me,” he said in a radio interview.Respected lawyer Pablo Sanchez has been interim attorney general since January.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Check your body, save your life Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility A woman mourns next to a coffin containing the remains of her relative at the Potocari memorial complex, in Potocari close to Srebrenica, 150 kilometers northeast of Sarajevo, Thursday, July 9, 2015. The remains of 136 persons perished in the Srebrenica massacre will be buried at the Potocari memorial complex on Saturday, July 11, 2015, marking the 20th anniversary of what is considered to be the worst atrocity on European soil since WWII. (AP Photo/Marko Drobnjakovic) Bosnian Serbs deny the killings were “genocide” and their leader, Milorad Dodik, called last weekend the number of victims a “lie.”But Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic will be representing Serbia at the commemoration. He said he wanted to bow his head before the victims of the “horrible crime”.This week, a proposed U.N. Security Council over a resolution that called the crime “an act of genocide” — as two international courts already have labeled it — was vetoed by Russia.Leaders of the Bosnian Serbs and Serbia, who have close religious and cultural ties to Russia, have lobbied President Vladimir Putin to vote “no.” U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Samantha Power said the veto was “a further stain on this council’s record.”In Serbia, police have banned gatherings honoring the victims of the massacre as well as those by ultranationalists. Liberal Serbian groups had planned to have some 7,000 people lie down in front of the country’s parliament on Saturday. Several Serb ultranationalist groups, who deny that it the killings were genocide and claim that that fewer than 8,000 people died, had pledged to disrupt the event. Top holiday drink recipes SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) — Foreign dignitaries were starting to arrive in Bosnia on Friday to mark the 20th anniversary of Europe’s worst massacre since World War II and attend the funeral of 136 newly found victims.Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and Jordan’s Queen Noor were among early arrivals, and former U.S. President Bill Clinton was expected later in the day. Foreign Affairs chief Federica Mogherini is planned to represent the European Union at Saturday’s commemorations. Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall 0 Comments Share New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies 3 international destinations to visit in 2019 Some 50,000 people are expected to attend ceremonies mourning the 8,000 Muslim men and boys killed in the eastern Bosnian town of Srebrenica, which had been declared a safe haven for civilians by the United Nations. The event includes a funeral for 136 recently found victims identified through DNA analysisOn July 11, 1995, Serb troops overran the Muslim enclave. Some 15,000 men tried to flee through the woods toward government-held territory while others joined the town’s women and children in seeking refuge at the base of the Dutch U.N. troops who were deployed to protect the town.But the United Nations did nothing to stop the fall of Srebrenica and the outnumbered and outgunned Dutch troops could only watch as Serb soldiers separated about 2,000 men from women for killing and later hunted down and killed another 6,000 men in the woods.The remains of Srebrenica victims are still being found in mass graves. So far, remains of some 7,000 victims have been excavated from 93 graves or collected from 314 surface locations and identified through DNA technology. Remains of more than 6,000 were buried again at the Potocari Memorial Center where Saturday’s events will unfold, just across the road from the former U.N. base. Sponsored Stories Top Stories The 1992-95 war in Bosnia, pitting Christian Orthodox Serbs against Bosnian Muslims and Croatian Catholics, left more than 100,000 people dead and millions homeless. The Serbs, who wanted to remain in the Serb-led Yugoslavia, fought against the secession of Bosnia and Croatia from the former federation.Bosnia’s war ended with a U.S.-brokered peace agreement that divided the once ethnically mixed country in two ministates — one run by the Serbs, the other shared by the Bosniaks and Croats. They are linked by a common government, parliament and three-member presidency where each group holds a veto.U.S. President Barack Obama issued a statement Friday mourning the loss of the thousands of victims.“We can offer no solace that fully addresses the pain borne by the victims’ families. But we must look back at Srebrenica with clear eyes, commemorate the tragedy, and learn from it,” he said.___Dusan Stojanovic contributed from Belgrade, Serbia.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Heathrow is becoming a “secondary hub” according to Mr Bisignani Source = e-Travel Blackboard: M.H The British Government has been told that it needs to take a more global approach to aviation, including action on climate change, in order to improve its international competitiveness in air transport. In a speech given to London’s Aviation Club, International Air Transport Association (IATA) director general and chief executive Giovanni Bisignani said the UK could not afford to live off the reputation it has as an historic leader in aviation. “The UK has a great tradition of leadership in aviation,” Mr Bisignani said. “But any industry can only take so many knocks before the damage is permanent.” Mr Bisignani took particular aim at the UK government’s archaic policy agenda on aviation which “seems intent on destroying its competitiveness”. “The government’s policy pillars of excessive taxes, inefficient airport regulation and limiting growth will destroy the UK’s proud aviation legacy,” Mr Bisignani said. According to the World Economic Forum’s Travel and Tourism Competitiveness report, the UK ranks last out of 133 countries for cost competitiveness, 129th on fuel prices and 121st on ticket taxes and airport fees. “The economic regulatory model for airports is broken and must be urgently fixed,” Mr Bisignani said. The Montreal-based IATA chief also called for the scrapping of the UK government’s new Air Passenger Duty (APD), which at GBP2.7 billion was “enough to offset all of the UK’s aviation emissions … four times”. “Environment policy should not be designed around paying the bills for the government’s failure to effectively regulate the financial sector,” Mr Bisignani said.Additionally, the IATA boss called on UK airports to be better prepared for the effects of severe weather saying that the “inconvenience to passengers and the paralysis of the UK economy for days” due to last December’s snowstorms was “not acceptable from any perspective”.
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has revealed global air traffic results for the month of July, citing a reduction in growth for both air travel and freight business. Although worldwide passenger demand increased 3.4 percent compared to the same month last year, this figure represents a downturn following June’s 6.3 percent increase. Air cargo demand witnessed significant reductions, down 3.2 percent in July compared with the same period in 2011. In order to stabilise load factors and develop profitability, airlines have reduced capacity. “The uncertain economic outlook is having a negative impact on demand for air transport… the growth trend is clearly slowing,” IATA director general and chief executive Tony Tyler said. “This, along with rising fuel prices is likely to make it a tough second half of the year.”IATA has been reporting reduced air transport demand since the beginning of the year. International passenger market growth for June 2012 was up 7.5 percent on last year, while July results only garnered a 3.5 percent rise compared to July 2011. Domestic markets also experienced slow growth, continuing the trend that began early in 2012; traffic rose 3.1 percent year-on year, down from 4.2 percent in June. Despite the turbulent global economic climate China and Brazil recorded strong domestic growth. “The huge success of the London Olympics was also an important reminder of the vital role that international aviation plays in bringing the world together and facilitating global mega-events,” Mr Tyler said. “Now all eyes are on Brazil which will host the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics and aviation will play a key role there as well.”
Air Asia has launched the first ever daily direct flight from Kochi to Bangkok Don Mueang starting from May 17, 2016.Soraya Homchuen TAT Director of Mumbai said, “We are very excited to add a new connection for Indian visitors to Thailand. Now those residing in South India can fly to Bangkok from Kochi in addition to Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad.”She went on to elaborate, “In 2015 arrivals to Thailand from India reached 1,069,149 travellers, making India the 6th largest group of travellers to our country. Apart from delicious Thai cuisine, we are keen to showcase Thai hospitality and various attractions nationwide. Beyond Bangkok’s temples, shopping malls and nightlife, there is still much to explore. We invite you to visit our famous beaches in southern Thailand and relax among the natural landscape and green mountains of northern Thailand.”From Bangkok, AirAsia passengers can conveniently connect to Phuket, Krabi, Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai.Additionally, AirAsia X has started a new direct route between Kuala Lumpur and Delhi, which would now operate four times a week, with flights departing KLIA every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday at 1900 and arriving in Delhi at 2200. The return services would depart the Indian capital at 2315, arriving back into KL at 0730 the next morning. The airline would be flying its 377-seat, two-class Airbus A330-300 aircraft along the route.
Agents & Brokers Existing-Home Sales Fannie Mae Freddie Mac Home Sales Housing Affordability Investors Lenders & Servicers National Association of Realtors Processing Service Providers Valuation 2011-09-01 Ryan Schuette Appraisers Get New Standards in Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing, Technology September 1, 2011 456 Views Share As of Thursday, appraisers and realtors must now use a new universal grading rubric when it comes to their assessments for properties with government-backed mortgages. “”Fannie Mae””:http://www.fanniemae.com/kb/index?page=home and “”Freddie Mac””:http://www.freddiemac.com/ recently revised their appraisal guidelines to streamline a sometimes unclear process, but some warn of the potential for fallout among appraisers, realtors, and homeowners unfamiliar with the new standards.[IMAGE]Coordinating new standards with the “”Federal Housing Finance Agency””:http://www.fhfa.gov/ (FHFA), the GSEs created the Uniform Appraisal Dataset (UAD) form, which appraisers viewing properties with government-backed loans will need to submit to a national portal for evaluation. Appraisers will need to weigh property values against a string of new alpha-numeric codes and abbreviations, which Fannie and Freddie personnel will approve or send back by notifying the number of national appraisal management organizations responsible for transmitting the information.Some say that the industry lacks the know-how needed to assess property values under the new standards.””The world is ill-prepared”” for the UAD form, says Stephen Sousa, EVP of the “”Massachusetts Board of Real Estate Appraisers””:http://www.mbrea.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=1 (MBREA).Sousa worries that too few appraisers, lenders, and realtors know about the new standards. With abbreviations set to replace widely accepted descriptors, he says, unaware lenders may send back appraisals to ill-informed realtors and homeowners, creating delays and opportunities for miscommunication.He says the MBREA petitioned the FHFA to delay the new standards, underscoring the need for more preparation and a host of other potential problems, including a loss of communication and isolated towns in the wake of Hurricane Irene. He says the FHFA never responded to the request.””The people who don’t know anything about the form are the realtors and consumers,”” Sousa adds. He says he is also concerned that “”appraisal management companies are more focused on the profits that they make than they are on the quality of the appraisal,”” hiring appraisers with less local expertise.[COLUMN_BREAK]Property appraisals play an important role in the home-sales process. Walter Molony, a spokesperson with the “”National Association of Realtors””:http://www.realtor.org/, credited lower-than-expected appraisals for a plunge in existing-home sales for a past story with _MReport_.He concurs with Sousa in saying that appraisers continue to feel the pinch from appraisal management companies, which more recently have been signing off on appraisers from out-of-state and with less knowledge than others about local property values.Molony attributes lost sales to suddenly low appraisals, which force buyers, sellers, and lenders to renegotiate prices for properties. He adds that these reports commonly also crimp homebuilders.””How can a builder sell a home and make a profit if the property comes back with less value on an appraisal report?”” he asks.Jennifer Creech, president and CEO of “”InHouse Inc.””:http://www.inhouseusa.com/, one of 23 appraisal management technology companies tasked to handle the UAD forms, acknowledges the need for more appraisers and lenders to equip themselves with information about the new standards.””I think it’s going to be a learning curve”” for the industry, she says, adding that appraisers may be “”a little bit uncomfortable with the changes.””Creech highlights confusion over when appraisers need to submit their UAD forms to the Uniform Collateral Data Portal (UCPD), the platform that Fannie and Freddie will use to pool standard appraisals from management companies like InHouse. She says appraisers need only worry about submitting their UAD forms to the management companies starting Thursday, not the UCPD.Notably, the UAD form will only affect appraisers with properties sold with loans backed by Fannie and Freddie, not those guaranteed by private lenders.Nonetheless, Creech says the industry should sign on to the new changes.””Appraisers should engage in or embrace the change and get up to speed as quickly as possible, because what we see from our appraisers is they are mandating the forms,”” she says. “”The longer it takes for an appraiser to accept this, the better off the whole real estate community will be. “”I don’t see this going away,”” she adds.Sousa has his hopes for the new standards. “”The more information realtors can put into their MLS systems, the better opportunity there will be for an appraiser to come out with a report that is accurate and based on good information,”” he says.
After months of wrangling, the House and Senate passed a permanent payroll tax cut extension Friday without imposing controversial guarantee fees for lenders with government-backed mortgages.[IMAGE]The House passed the “”bill””:http://docs.house.gov/billsthisweek/20120213/CRPT-112hrpt-HR3630.pdf, reportedly worth $100 billion, by a margin of 293 to 132 before the Senate cleared it by a vote of 60 to 36.Partisanship on Capitol Hill stalled the extension last fall, prompting both chambers of Congress to field a temporary [COLUMN_BREAK]two-month extension for taxpayers in December.Lawmakers paid for the extension in part by hiking fees on loans backed by “”Fannie Mae””:http://www.fanniemae.com/portal/index.html and “”Freddie Mac””:http://www.freddiemac.com/ by 10 basis points.The move netted criticism from various trade groups claiming that homeowners and the economy at large would shoulder any increase in guarantee fees for lenders.In letter addressing lawmakers from either party, “”David Stevens””:http://www.mbaa.org/DavidStevens.htm, president and CEO of the “”Mortgage Bankers Association””:http://www.mbaa.org/default.htm, said that the payroll tax reduction “”would provide the average American $160 in tax relief over the next 60 days,”” adding that any increase in guarantee fees would “”cost that same borrower more than $4,000 over the life of their 30-year loan, clearly a net negative for most consumers.””””Just as we are beginning to see modest signs of improvement in scattered housing markets across the nation where employment is gaining and consumer confidence is rising, Congress is tampering with g-fees and needlessly raising the cost of buying a home,”” Bob Nielsen, chairman of the “”National Association of Home Builders””:http://www.nahb.org/, said in a separate statement. February 17, 2012 420 Views in Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing Payroll Tax Cut Extension Forgoes G-Fee Hike Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Fannie Mae Freddie Mac Housing Affordability Investment Investors Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Bankers Association National Association of Home Builders Payrolls Processing Service Providers 2012-02-17 Ryan Schuette Share
Both JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo posted strong financial results in the second quarter, with Chase experiencing a 5 percent jump in net income, according to earnings statements released by both banks on Tuesday.Chase’s Q2 net income of $6.29 billion represented an increase of 5 percent from the same quarter a year ago, while the New York-based bank’s period-end balance sheet was down $123 billion in the second quarter. The firm’s core loans were up 12 percent year-over-year in Q2, while the loan-to-deposit ratio of 61 percent in Q2 was a jump of 5 percent from the previous quarter. Consumer and business banking average deposits were up by 9 percent.The net revenue for Chase in Q2, $24.5 billion, was down by 3 percent year-over-year, largely due to a drop in mortgage banking revenue and lower CIB Markets revenue related to business simplification. Chase’s mortgage banking net income declined by 20 percent in Q2, down to $584 million. The substantial decline in mortgage banking was partially offset by asset management growth, according to Chase.”Our company had strong results this quarter, and each of our businesses performed well, with broad and consistent underlying growth,” said Jaime Dimon, Chairman and CEO of Chase. “This quarter was another example of the power of our platform and risk discipline, and of being there for our clients – as we always are – in good time sand in volatile markets.”Wells Fargo’s net income of $5.7 billion for Q2 was virtually unchanged from the same quarter a year ago, while net revenue ticked upward by 1 percent up to $21.3 billion. The San Francisco-based bank saw average loans increase by 5 percent year-over-year in Q2, up to $870.4 billion. Average deposits climbed by 8 percent year-over-year, up to $1.2 trillion. Credit quality also improved as net charge-offs declined by $67 million year-over-year in Q2 down to $650 million, according to the bank’s statement.”Wells Fargo’s second quarter results reflected continued strength in the fundamental drivers of long term growth,” said John Stumpf, Chairman and CEO of Wells Fargo. “Compared with a year ago, we grew loans, deposits and capital, and our balance sheet remained strong. Credit results also improved and we continued to adhere to our disciplined approach to risk management. As the economic and interest rate environments evolved, our diversified business model continued to generate strong results for shareholders, and we were pleased to increase our common stock dividend 7 percent in the second quarter, to $0.375 per share. Wells Fargo is well positioned for the future and I remain confident in the ability of our 266,000 team members to help our customers succeed financially and to serve our communities.” July 14, 2015 459 Views in Daily Dose, Featured, News Chase Earning Statement Net Income Second Quarter Wells Fargo 2015-07-14 Seth Welborn Chase and Wells Fargo Earnings Statements Indicate Strong Q2 Results Share
March 8, 2016 694 Views in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News, Origination Top 10 States With Most Untapped Refinance Potential Black Knight Financial Services NerdWallet Refinance 2016-03-08 Staff Writer Share For years, interest rates have been settled at historic lows, which have opened up opportunities for homeowners to refinance their home. The problem is homeowners are not taking advantage of these untouched savings.There are approximately 6.68 million homeowners across America that could save a total of $20 billion annually.A state-by-state analysis by NerdWallet using Black Knight Financial Services data found that California offers the most eligible candidates that have an incentive to refinance their home. These borrowers have a mean credit score <=720, a LTV <=80 percent, and a high enough current mortgage rate to be worth refinancing (75 basis points or higher than 3.65 percent), according to Kamran Rosen, a data analyst at NerdWallet.Refinances could soon be on the rise, if data from the Black Knight Financial Services Mortgage Monitor for January 2016 is correct.According to the report, the number of borrowers who could both qualify and benefit from a refinance increased by a whopping 1.5 million—all since Jan. 1 of this year. This significant jump can mostly be attributed to the recent drop in interest rates, said Ben Graboske, data & analytics senior vice president at Black Knight.“When Black Knight last looked at the refinanceable population just two months ago, there were 5.2 million potential candidates, and that number was on the decline,” Graboske said. “That analysis was shortly after the Federal Reserve raised its target rate by 25 basis points, at which time the prevailing wisdom was that mortgage interest rates would rise in response.”Rates didn’t rise, however.“Global economic shocks then sent investors looking for the safety of U.S. Treasuries, driving down yields on benchmark 10-year bonds,” Graboske said. “Mortgage interest rates began to fall in defiance of prevailing wisdom, and the refinanceable popular great by 30 percent in the first six weeks of 2016.”In total, the report shows there are now 6.7 million borrowers who could qualify for a refinance and save an average of $3,000 per year. Broken down, 3.3 million of those borrowers could expect to save $200 or more per month, and another million could save as much as $400 or more per month.NerdWallet identified the top 10 states with the most refinance targets: California (912,500 Refinance Targets)Texas (513,200 Refinance Targets)Florida (476,100 Refinance Targets)New York (396,300 Refinance Targets)Illinois (231,800 Refinance Targets)Pennsylvania (225,900 Refinance Targets)Georgia (220,700 Refinance Targets)Washington (219,300 Refinance Targets)Virginia (213,000 Refinance Targets)North Carolina (204,400 Refinance Targets)
Bank of America Places FHLBank Settlement in the Rearview in Daily Dose, Government, Headlines, News Share Bank of America announced this week that it has settled four mortgage-related complaints with a Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLBank), the bank stated in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).The company disclosed in the SEC filing that on April 25, 2016, Bank of America and The FHLBank of Seattle (which merged with FHLBank of Des Moines last year) settled these claims for $190 million, “substantially all of which was previously accrued.”A spokesperson for Bank of America and the FHLBank of Des Moines did not immediately respond to a comment request at the time of publication for this article.Click here to view the SEC Filing.In June 2015, The FHLBank of Des Moines announced in a press release that it will merge with the FHLBank of Seattle. More details concerning this new combination will be included in a related Form 8-K that FHLBank of Des Moines will file with the SEC.”The paperwork has been formally approved and signed and the merger of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines with the Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle is now official,” said Melvin L. Watt, FHFA director. “As the regulator of the Federal Home Loan Bank System, FHFA views this voluntary merger as consistent with safety and soundness and with the mission of the System to support home mortgage lending and community investment.”This voluntary merger will constitute the first in the 80-year history of the FHLBank system, the cooperative said. The merger closed on May 31, 2015, the two Banks now operate as one.It was a tough first quarter for Bank of America, as the bank experienced a year-over-year decline of 13 percent in net income down to $2.7 billion, or earnings per diluted share of $0.21, according to the bank’s Q1 earnings statement released Thursday.The bank’s net income was also down by $0.6 billion over-the-quarter from Q4’s net income of $3.3 billion, according to Bank of America.Consumer performed well for Bank of American in Q1, with consumer banking’s net income jumping by 22 percent up to $1.8 billion as positive operating leverage was created by higher revenue from increased customer activity combined with lower expenses. The bank’s sales and trading revenue were down by 16 percent in Q1, however.Bank of America’s Legacy Assets and Servicing revenue was down by $235 million, from $914 million down to $669 million due to a decline in net interest income on lower loan balances and a drop in non-interest income. The bank’s mortgage banking income declined due to lower servicing fees and mortgage servicing rights net of hedge results. The factors causing the decline were partially offset by gains on certain loan sales, according to the earnings statement. The number of residential loans serviced by Bank of America that were 60-plus days delinquent declined over-the-year by 42 percent, down to 88,000, during Q1.”This quarter, we benefited from good consumer and commercial banking activity,” said Brian Moynihan, CEO. “Our business segments earned $4.5 billion, up 16 percent from the year-ago quarter. This was partially offset by valuation adjustments from lower long-term interest rates and annual compensation expenses. Despite volatile markets, our Global Markets business produced solid earnings. As always, we are focused on loan and deposit growth and managing expenses. By doing that, we continue to improve on what we do best: helping consumers live their financial lives and helping businesses grow and employ more people.”Click here to view Bank of America’s complete Q1 earnings statement. May 3, 2016 545 Views Bank of America Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle Settlement 2016-05-03 Staff Writer
in Headlines, News ReverseVision Hires Director of Learning and Development August 5, 2016 501 Views Dan HultquistSan Diego-based ReverseVision, a provider of software and technology for the reverse mortgage industry, has announced that industry educator Dan Hultquist has been hired as director of learning and development.In his new role with ReverseVision, Hultquist will use his experience in loan origination to work with retirement advisors to help ReverseVision provide the industry with a range of products, financial tools, and educational techniques, thus ultimately driving volume growth.“Dan comes armed with unparalleled product knowledge and extensive field experience,” said John Button, CEO of ReverseVision. “This unique combination makes Dan the perfect resource to spearhead several upcoming ReverseVision initiatives that will provide assistance to reverse mortgage lenders and brokers nationwide.”Hultquist is a certified reverse mortgage professional (CRMP). His experience in the industry includes serving as co-chair for the education committee for the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association (NRMLA) and authoring a book, “Understanding Reverse,” which answers the top questions he received as a reverse mortgage trainer with a focus on the point of sale.His most recent position was with Austin, Texas-based lender Open Mortgage as a reverse mortgage training manager, where he developed reverse mortgage training materials and conducted monthly compliance training using a custom learning management platform. Hultquist also originated loans as a branch manager for Open Mortgage.“I’ve been blessed to work for outstanding reverse mortgage lenders, like Open Mortgage, who understood the value of reverse mortgage training and supported my commitment to industry-wide education,” said Hultquist. “Returning to loan origination gave me a renewed appreciation for the work done by field professionals every day. But after wearing two hats for the past couple of years, I’m ready to focus my energies on what I love best: education. This opportunity with ReverseVision gives me the perfect platform for pursuing this passion and positively impacting our industry.” Share Reverse Mortgages ReverseVision 2016-08-05 Seth Welborn