Today's Date is: Sunday, February 18th 2018.
Read Archives   |    HVBJ Podcasts   |    Regional Resources   |    The Bookworm

Search our Archives:

By Department:

By Keyword:


Real Estate

HGAR Presents Make-A-Wish Hudson Valley with $17,100 Check

The Hudson Gateway Association of REALTORS
 (HGAR) recently presented a check for $17,100 to Make-A-Wish Hudson Valley.   HGAR raised the funds at its "Wish Upon a Star" cocktail party, held in September at the Clubhouse at Patriot Hills in Stony Point, NY.  Make-A-Wish Hudson Valley, a non-profit group, grants the wishes of Hudson Valley children who are suffering with life-threatening medical conditions.


Pictured left to right are HGAR committee members:  John Chewens of Newburgh; Michelle Gilliard of Florida, NY: Debi Singho of New City ; Maryann Tercasio of Chester; Tom Conklin of Somers, CEO of Make-A- Wish Hudson Valley; Eydie Lopez of Highland Mills; and Mary Prenon of Cortlandt Manor.

The Hudson Gateway Association of REALTORS  is a not-for-profit trade association covering over 9,000 real estate professionals doing business in Westchester, Putnam, Rockland, and Orange counties.   HGAR is comprised of the former Westchester Putnam Association of REALTORS  (WPAR), Rockland County Board of REALTORS (RCBR) and Orange County Association of REALTORS (OCAR). 


Nearly Half of All Second Lien HELOCs Could Begin Amortizing Over Next Three Years; U.S. Negative Equity Population Down to 11.6 Percent

Lender Processing Services' (NYSE: LPS) October Mortgage Monitor reported that 48 percent of outstanding second lien home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) were originated between 2004 and 2006. Given that the vast majority of HELOCs originated during this time have draw periods of 10 years, they are set to begin amortizing over the next several years. As the payments on these HELOCs become fully amortizing, many borrowers may see monthly payments increase. According to LPS Senior Vice President Herb Blecher, recent increases in new problem loans among the HELOCs originated prior to 2004 (that have already begun amortizing) indicate increased risk of more delinquencies ahead.

"In the aggregate, the home equity market is experiencing lower delinquencies," said Blecher. "However, among the HELOC population that has already begun amortizing, we are actually seeing an increase in new seriously delinquent loans. As of today, only 14 percent of second  lien HELOCs have passed this 10-year mark, leaving a very large segment of the market at risk of payment increases over the coming years. Nearly half of all of these lines of credit were originated between 2004 and 2006, with the oldest set to begin amortizing next year. If this trend toward post-amortizing delinquencies carries over, we could be looking at significant risk to the home equity market over the coming years.

"Turning to the first mortgage market, LPS found that the share of borrowers in negative equity positions has continued to decline as home prices have risen. As of September, that number was just 11.6 percent of active mortgages, down from almost 19 percent in January. As reports of estimated U.S. negative equity tend to vary widely, and to clarify our approach, we are applying a highly refined methodology to our calculations, accounting for not only the current combined loan amount of first and second liens using comprehensive loan and property data, but also the impact of distressed sale discounts on loans in serious delinquency or foreclosure. While distressed sales are making up an ever-shrinking portion of real estate transactions - just 14.2 percent in September, the lowest share since 2007 - these sales have prices about 25 percent lower than traditional transactions. Improperly weighing the influence of second liens or distressed sale discounts can skew measures of Americans' equity, or lack thereof, in their homes."

In addition, the October data revealed the ongoing impact of the disparities between judicial and non-judicial foreclosure states. Judicial states are lagging in home price recovery since the national market's trough  in January 2012, and are likewise seeing higher rates of new problem loans and foreclosure starts than their non-judicial counterparts. However, increasing levels of foreclosure sale activity have helped improve pipeline ratios (the ratio of loans that are seriously delinquent and in foreclosure to the six-month average of foreclosure sales) in judicial states. The judicial state pipeline ratio had declined from a high of 118 months of inventory, down to 47 months as of October, much closer to the non-judicial states' 39 months of inventory.

As reported in LPS' First Look release, other key results from LPS' latest Mortgage Monitor report include:

Total U.S. loan delinquency rate:       6.28%

Month-over-month change in delinquency rate:    -2.8%

Total U.S. foreclosure presale inventory rate:  2.54%

Month-over-month change in foreclosure presale inventory rate:   -3.2%

States with highest percentage of non-current* loans:           MS, FL, NJ, NY, LA

States with the lowest percentage of non-current* loans:        CO, MT, SD, AK, ND

*Non-current totals combine foreclosures and delinquencies as a percent of active loans in that state.

Totals are extrapolated based on LPS Data & Analytics' loan-level database of mortgage assets.

To view the Mortgage Monitor Snapshot series, LPS' video version of the Mortgage Monitor, go to


Women's Council of REALTORS, Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors Raise More Than $22,000 for Westchester Homeless Group


The Women's Council of REALTORS, Empire Westchester Chapter (WCR) and the Hudson Gateway Association of REALTORS (HGAR) raised $22,522 for the Westchester Coalition for the Hungry and Homeless at its "Brown Bag for Hunger" Spring Fashion Show  at the May 6 Glen Island Harbour Club in New Rochelle.   

This represents a $4,200 increase over last year's donation.  The population of people in need of help in Westchester County has risen more than 24% in the past year.

Bloomingdale's once again provided the fashions for the event and HGAR Realtors and Affiliate Members served as models.

The Hudson Gateway Association of REALTORS(HGAR) is a not-for-profit trade association covering over 9,000 real estate professionals doing business in Westchester, Putnam, Rockland, and Orange counties.   HGAR is comprised of the former Westchester Putnam Association of REALTORS (WPAR), Rockland County Board of REALTORS(RCBR) and Orange County Association of REALTORS (OCAR). 

The Westchester Coalition for the Hungry and Homeless, Inc. is a not for profit composed of autonomous food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, service organizations and individuals interested in alleviating hunger and homelessness in our region.

Lender Processing Services Integrates Loan Quality Gateway with eTrac  Platform

Lender Processing Services, Inc, a provider of innovative technology, services, data and analytics to the mortgage and real estate industries, has integrated its Loan Quality Gateway, Powered by RealEC with the Global DMS eTrac Enterprise platform. LPS and Global DMS clients that utilize the Loan Quality Gateway's Exchange network are now able to seamlessly access the eTrac Enterprise platform for efficient, compliant appraisal transaction processing.

RealEC Technologies is the leading provider of collaborative network solutions for the mortgage industry and is a wholly owned subsidiary of LPS. Global DMS is a leading provider of Web-based, compliant valuation management software.

A part of LPS' comprehensive origination technology offering, Loan Quality Gateway's Exchange is an electronic partner network that enables thousands of service providers to connect securely and electronically to their lending clients through a standards-based data exchange. eTrac Enterprise is Global DMS' Web-based, all-in-one collateral process management solution that streamlines workflows, eliminates errors and speeds up the valuation process.

Global DMS' valuation management solution allows lenders to effortlessly manage the entire appraisal management process from vendor management to appraisal ordering, assignment, tracking, appraisal reviews, delivery and reporting. The eTrac Enterprise system also has options designed to handle all aspects of managing appraisal management companies (AMCs) and independent real estate appraisers.

"This integration offers lenders another efficient solution to managing the appraisal process," said Dan Sogorka, president, RealEC Technologies. "Expanding the Exchange's provider network is one more way we can help lenders and service providers work together toward a more transparent, data-centric loan origination process."

"The extensive network of partners that RealEC has connected to the Exchange has attracted some of the largest lenders in the country that want to complete various settlement services transactions from a centralized location, which the Exchange  has proven to efficiently handle," said Vladimir Bien-Aime, president and CEO of Global DMS. "Now any mutual customer that utilizes the Exchange can easily access our services to complete fully compliant appraisals in the same way they could directly using our platform. It's simply another effective option to utilize our valuation management solution."

RealEC's integration with Global DMS expands  the LPS Loan Quality Gateway provider network and product offerings, which include appraisals; automated valuation models (AVMs); title insurance; closing services; flood insurance; fee services; verifications of income, employment and identity; fraud prevention tools; loan quality analytics; and Valuation Insight, an appraisal evaluation tool that quickly identifies the overall quality of an appraisal.


Should I Use All My Savings Account Money to Buy a House?

In an ongoing personal finance Q&A series on, managing editor and resident expert Casey Bond reviews and answers questions sent in by readers. In the most recent Q&A, Ms. Bond advises a reader considering a home purchase by answering her question: "Should I use all my savings account money to buy a house?"

In a new GoBankingRates Q&A series, readers ask the site's managing editor their most pressing personal finance questions. Casey Bond shares her expertise on a number of pertinent topics, such as saving money, credit, debt, mortgages, and more.

The most recent question comes from Clare H. from Wisconsin, who is considering buying a home. She asks, "I'm feeling antsy about buying a house since mortgage rates and home prices are beginning to go up again. I have just barely enough for a down payment, but I'd use up all of my emergency savings if I were to go ahead and buy. Should I do it?"

Ms. Bond explains that while the urge to hurry and buy before costs increase is valid, sacrificing emergency savings is not worth it.

She explains, "If all your money is tied up in a house, you certainly can't use it for a financial emergency, The very house you used your savings to buy could be in jeopardy if you suddenly can't afford the mortgage payments."

Ms. Bond goes on to advise how a home purchase should be prioritized along with savings goals, recommending homebuyers resist the urge to commit to a mortgage until more important items like an emergency fund have been addressed.

"You will thank yourself someday when the inevitable happens -- a financial emergency -- and you're well prepared to cover it."

Read the full answer here:

For questions about this Q&A or to schedule an interview with Casey Bond, please use the contact information below.

About Casey Bond

Casey Bond has been a professional within the finance industry for close to a decade. Today, Ms. Bond regularly appears on a number of major national publications in addition to GoBankingRates, including Business Insider, US News & World Report, and The Huffington Post. She can also be found on Yahoo Finance!, Fox Business, and LearnVest, as well as in Redbook and Style. Her highly-anticipated newsletter "Cents in the City" is set to launch in the second quarter of 2013.

About GoBankingRates is a national website dedicated to connecting readers with the best interest rates on financial services nationwide, as well as informative personal finance content, news and tools. GoBankingRates collects interest rate information from more than 4,000 U.S. banks and credit unions, making it the only online rates aggregator with the ability to provide the most comprehensive and authentic local interest rate information.


ICBA Supports Concessions in Mortgage Loan Originator Rule

New Rule Allows Community Banks to Retain Qualified Personnel, Safeguard Customers


The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) is supporting provisions of a new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau rule that will allow community banks to hire and retain qualified mortgage loan originators while providing consumer safeguards against steering and other inappropriate behaviors. The CFPB rule, which bans certain incentives that some loan originators had used to sell unsafe mortgage loans, clarifies that acceptable mortgage loan originator compensation structures include qualified and non-qualified bonus and profit-sharing plans.

"ICBA has worked closely with the CFPB on this rulemaking to ensure that new regulations do not paint common-sense community bank mortgage loan originators with the same brush as the less-responsible lenders that contributed to the housing crisis," ICBA President and CEO Camden R. Fine said. "The clarifications included in the rule will help ensure that community banks can continue hiring and retaining qualified mortgage loan originators, which will help their customers and communities continue to access credit and recover from the economic downturn."

The CFPB rule includes participation in both qualified and non-qualified bonus and profit-sharing plans in acceptable mortgage loan originator compensation structures. As a result, mortgage loan originators will be able to participate in both kinds of plans, subject to certain restrictions. The final rule also waived a provision of section 1403 of the Dodd-Frank Act, which would have prohibited consumers from paying upfront discount points and fees to lower their interest rate. The bureau said it was concerned that implementing this section would have caused "consumer confusion and other negative outcomes" and instead issued an exemption to the prohibition on the payment of upfront points and fees while it studies the matter further. 

Additionally, all mortgage loan originators will have to meet certain character and fitness requirements, pass criminal background checks and receive training that is appropriate with their origination activities. Community bank mortgage loan originators must be registered with the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry and have an NMLS number, though they do not have to be licensed. Community banks already performed background checks on mortgage loan originators, who receive training that was in many ways superior to what is provided through the NMLS.    

About ICBA

The Independent Community Bankers of America, the nation's voice for nearly 7,000 community banks of all sizes and charter types, is dedicated exclusively to representing the interests of the community banking industry and its membership through effective advocacy, best-in-class education and high-quality products and services. For more information, visit




BBG&G Advertising and Public Relation