Thursday, September 23, 2010

Quote For The Day

The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential... these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.

Eddie Robinson

Market UpDate

Thursday's bond market has opened in positive territory again despite some stronger than expected economic data. The stock markets mixed but calm with the Dow down 13 points and the Nasdaq up 9 points. The bond market is currently up 9/32, but we will likely still see a slight increase in this morning's mortgage rates due to some selling during late afternoon trading yesterday.

Two of today's three releases gave us stronger than expected results. The one that was favorable for bonds was last week's unemployment figures from the Labor Department. They reported that 465,000 new claims for unemployment benefits were filed last week. This was a noticeable increase when analysts were expecting a small decline in claims, indicating that the employment sector was weaker than thought last week. That is good news for the bond market and mortgage rates because unemployment has been a key issue regarding the economy. If it remains weak, a broader economic recovery is not likely.

The Conference Board posted their Leading Economic Indicators (LEI) for August late this morning. They announced a 0.3% increase in the index, meaning it is predicting a modest increase in economic activity over the next several months. Analysts had forecasted a 0.1% increase, so the stronger reading is considered negative for bonds. However, this is not a government agency report, so it is only moderately important to the markets. The size of the variance was not enough to cause much alarm in the bond market, preventing a negative reaction to the report.

August's Existing Home Sales report was the third report of the day. The National Association of Realtors reported that home resales rose 7.6% last month, exceeding forecasts. The markets were expecting to see a smaller increase in sales, which means that the housing sector was a little stronger than thought last month. That is also considered bad news for bonds and mortgage rates , however, this report is not considered to be highly important so its impact on bond trading and rates has been minimal...

Sunday, September 19, 2010

This Weeks Market UpDate

This week brings us the release of five relevant economic reports in addition to another FOMC meeting. Only one of the factual reports is considered to be of high importance. In fact, most of the economic news is considered to be low or moderately important. This should help limit the possibility of significant changes to mortgage rates most days this week.

August's Housing Starts will kick-off the week's data early Tuesday morning. This report will probably not have much of an impact on the bond market or mortgage rates. It gives us a measurement of housing sector strength and mortgage credit demand by tracking construction starts of new homes, but is usually considered to be of low importance to the financial and mortgage markets. It is expected to show a slight increase in new home starts between July and August. I believe we need to see a significant surprise in this data for it to have an impact on mortgage rates.

The FOMC meeting is Tuesday and is a one-day meeting. Mr. Bernanke and friends will adjourn at 2:15 PM ET. There is little possibility of seeing any type of change to key short-term interest rates. However, the post-meeting statement could very well lead to volatility during afternoon trading as investors dissect it in an effort to find when the Fed's next move may come. The wild card is how the markets react to the statement because the lack of a change to key short-term interest rates shouldn't affect afternoon trading. If we see significant weakness in stocks, the bond market may benefit as a safe-haven from the volatility. This could lead to lower mortgage rates Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

How To Determine If Your Grandma or Grandpa should be in an Old Folk Home

During a visit to my doctor, I asked him, "How do you determine whether or not an older person should be put in an old age home?"
"Well," he said, "we fill up a bathtub, then we offer a teaspoon, a teacup and a bucket to the person to empty the bathtub."

"Oh, I understand," I said. "A normal person would use the bucket because it is bigger than the spoon or the teacup."

"No" he said. "A normal person would pull the plug.  Do you want
a bed near the window?"

I couldn't resist posting these fun pics, hope you are smiling....

Friday, September 17, 2010

Quote For The Day

May your troubles be less...May you blessings be more and may nothing but happiness come thru your door.

Source is unknown

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Hawaii Shark Encounters

A must do and see on your Hawaiian vacation is Hawaii Shark Encounters located on the North Shore of Oahu at Haleiwa Harbor. This excursion leaves the Harbor every morning 6:30AM, 8:30AM, 10:30AM and 12:30PM and heads out 3 miles to sea. The tour is 1.5 hours with about 15 to 20 minutes of time in the cage. The cost is Adults $105, Children under twelve $75 and they offer Kama’aina and Military rates of $90 Adults, $70 Children.

They anchor a large cage in about 600ft deep ocean, the cage holds 6 adults very comfortably, this steel cage is penalty big enough and open on the top, you will feel secure as you fearlessly look at these massive beautiful creatures up close. The cage sits on the surface so all you need is a snorkel to enjoy this adventure.

Galapagos sharks up to 10ft and 400lbs and Sandbar sharks 4 – 6ft are the most common sharks seen. These species are rarely implicated in attacks on humans.

This tour and ones similar have come under much scrutiny by local residence and Politian’s. There is concern that attracting sharks will lead them closer to shore and endanger swimmers, surfer and water goers close to shore. Studies have been completed however showing this is not happening.

You can find more information about the study and the tour at

This is an amazing tour and adventure, don’t miss it!

Quote For The Day

There isn't any symbolism. The sea is the sea. The old man is an old man. The boy is a boy and the fish is a fish. The shark are all sharks no better and no worse. All the symbolism that people say is shit. What goes beyond is what you see beyond when you know.

Ernest Hemingway

1898-1961, American Writer

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Quote For The Day

All endeavor calls for the ability to tramp the last mile, shape the last plan, endure the last hours toil. The fight to the finish spirit is the one...characteristic we must posses if we are to face the future as finishers.

Source Unknown

Market Update

Wednesday's bond market has opened fairly flat with stocks showing little movement and the day's only economic data failed to reveal a significant surprise. The stock markets are showing minor gains with the Dow up 14 points and the Nasdaq up a single point. The bond market is currently up only 2/32, but we will likely see a slight improvement in this morning's mortgage rates due to strength late yesterday.

Today's only relevant data was August's Industrial Production. It showed a 0.2% increase in output at U.S. factories, mines and utilities. This was slightly below the 0.3% that was expected, indicating manufacturing activity was weaker than thought. However, since this data is considered to be of only moderate importance to the markets, its impact on trading and mortgage rates has been minimal. It usually takes a wide variance from forecasts for this report to have a noticeable influence on rates.

Tomorrow morning brings us the release of an important inflation reading that is likely to affect the markets and mortgage pricing. The Labor Department will give us August's Producer Price Index (PPI) early tomorrow morning. It measures inflationary pressures at the producer level of the economy. The overall reading is expected to show a 0.3% increase, while the more important core data reading is expected to rise only 0.1%. The core data is the more important of the two since it excludes more volatile food and energy prices, giving us a more stable snapshot of inflation at the producer level. Larger than expected readings would be bad news for bonds and mortgage rates because inflation is the number one nemesis of the bond market. It erodes the value of a bond's future fixed interest payments, causing bonds to be sold at a discount to offset that loss. As bond prices fall, their yields move higher and mortgage rates follow bond yield trends.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Quote For The Day

We tend to forget that happiness doesn't come as a result of getting something we don't have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.

Frederick Koenig

Monday Morning Market UpDate

Monday's bond market has opened in positive territory despite a fairly strong open in stocks. The stock markets are kicking the week off with the Dow up 94 points and the Nasdaq up 33 points. The bond market is currently up 8/32, which should improve this morning's mortgage rates by approximately .250 of a discount point over Friday's morning pricing.

There is no relevant economic data scheduled for release, but the rest of the week is fairly busy. Look for the stock markets to be the likely force behind any changes to mortgage rates later today. If the major stock indexes move higher from this morning's levels, mortgage rates will likely follow suit.

Tomorrow's sole report is one of the more important ones of the week. August's Retail Sales report will be posted at 8:30 AM ET tomorrow morning. It will give us a very important measurement of consumer spending, which is extremely relevant to the markets because it makes up two-thirds of the U. S. economy. Current forecasts are calling for a 0.3% increase in sales. Analysts are also calling for a 0.3% rise in sales if more volatile auto sales are excluded. Larger than expected increases would be considered bad news for bonds and likely lead to an increase in mortgage pricing since it would indicate economic growth.

Overall, look for the most single day movement in rates tomorrow
or Friday. Thursday will also be an active day for the mortgage market, so we should be prepared to see changes to mortgage rates several days this week. I would strongly recommend maintaining contact with your mortgage professional if still floating an interest rate.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Making Home Affordable Video See my post below Video for more info

Foreclosure Alternatives – Do YOU Qualify for a Loan Modification?

If you are facing foreclosure or are having a difficult time making your mortgage payments or will be in the foreseeable future then this information will help you with several alternatives. First it’s very important to be PRO-ACTIVE with your mortgage solution. Don’t bury your head in the sand, ignoring your situation will only help you lose your home. So let’s get busy and save your home!
There are several programs to help you and all you need to do is apply and provide the needed documents to get started. First and foremost these programs are FREE, don’t pay anyone a Fee to get what is rightly yours at NO Cost. YOU can do this!
Home Affordable Refinancing – This is for homeowners who are making their mortgage payments on time but are not able to take advantage of our current low rates due to the decrease in value of their home. If your loan is held by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac you should be able to refinance with this program.
Home Affordable Modification – This is for struggling homeowners who have had rate adjustments or have suffered a loss of income. A Modification can lower their mortgage payments. This will change the overall terms on your loan and add any missed payment to the end of your loan increasing your term but lowering your payment sometimes on a graduate payment plan to help you get back on your feet.
Second Lien Modification Program (2MP) - If you have a 2nd lien and are applying for a modification on your 1st lien this program will also help lower the payments on your second lien.
Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives – This program offers homeowners $3000 to help transition to a more affordable home if they cannot afford their mortgage. They can avoid the negative effects of foreclosure if they cooperate with a short sale or deed –in-lieu of foreclosure.

There are other program available that are not listed a new one for people who are unemployed, stay tuned as I will be posting information about more programs.

You can get all the information about these programs and more at;
Making Home Affordable

HUD Avoid Foreclosure

Quote For The Day (Hope)

Though you are disappointed is hope; never let hope fail you! Though one door is shut, there are thousands still open to you.


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Monkey Kisses - I just couldn't resist - This is hilarious!

Quote For The Day

May the sun always shine on your windowpane; May a rainbow be certain to follow each rain; May the hand of a friend always be near you; May God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.

Irish Blessing

What The Credit Bureaus Don't Want YOU to Know Part II

I’d like to talk about ID theft and how it happens. Over time the credit reporting system accumulates personal information on an individual like your name, address, employers and social security number. When a SS number is associated with more than one name a sub file is created. This happens because credit reporting agencies allow for partial matching of personal information. With this inability to distinguish between fraudulent and normal variations and the consumer’s lack of expertise to identify and eliminate these variations allows the groundwork for loopholes that perpetuate a clear path for identity theft.

The ID thieves creates a combination of true and false personal information. This is referred to as Synthetic Identity Fraud. This sub file is not associated with the consumer’s main file and is not detected. A couple of commonly overlooked variations is the misspelling of a name. This would be considered a low priority as it has no real bearing on the consumers credit score so they only concentrate on those items which affect their scores. Only when credit is denied will the consumer be aware of the sub file. Most consumers lack the knowledge on how to read their report so errors will appear to be within acceptable limits.

The credit reporting agencies bear no cost of this crime. Again it is the consumer who comes out on the short end of this deal. The creditor also pay the price as the ID thieves do not pay the bills on credit obtained by fraud. The credit reporting agencies say there are safeguards in place and claim to offer remedies but they are nothing but smoke and mirrors.

Fixing these errors and mistakes are left up to the consumer. This is no small challenge as the consumer is the last consideration in the credit reporting process. Even with FCRA numerous watchdog groups and attorneys ready to take on the BIG 3 credit reporting agencies. They are not going to change the way our data is stored so as consumers we have to protect ourselves from ID theft and that is easier said than done. I help consumer keep a watchful eye on their credit report companies that monitor your credit for activity is recommended. Most charge a low monthly fee between $10 and $20 dollars per month and allow you to see your full report a few times a year.

If you go to Top 5 Credit Monitoring Companies and Reviews for Each
you will be able to determine which best fits your needs and budget.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Chicken Cheese Enchilada Chowder

Today I'd like to share another recipe with you. I am making this in my CrockPot today and thought I'd share it with you.

1 can of chicken breast meat OR
½ Roasted or Boiled chicken boned.
1 15-ounce can of black beans
1 can of corn or ½ of frozen corn
1 cup of chicken broth
¼ cup of chopped yellow, green or red sweet pepper
1 small fresh jalapeno Chile pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 can of condensed cream of chicken soup
1 10 ounce can enchilada sauce RED
¾ cup of milk
1 cup of shredded Mexican blend cheeses
1 medium tomato, chopped

Sour cream, guacamole and tortilla round out this meal but are optional.

1. In a large slow cooker combine chicken, beans, corn, onion, sweet pepper, and jalapeno pepper. In a separate bowl mix together the soup and enchilada sauce. Stir in milk until smooth. Then pour mixture in cooker.
2. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 6 to 8 hours or on high for 3 to 4 hours.
3. When done add in cheese a tomato. Top if you want with the sour cream, avocado or guacamole and tortilla chips.

Makes about 4 servings – Enjoy!

Quote of the Day (Labor)

I believe in the dignity of labor, whether with head or hand; that the world owes no man a living but that it owes every man an opportunity to make a living.

John D. Rockefeller
1839-1937, American Industrialist, Philanthropist, Founder Exxon

Market Update

This week brings us the release of only two pieces of economic data, but neither of them are considered to be highly important. In addition to the economic releases, we also have two Treasury auctions that may play a role in this week's mortgage pricing. The financial and mortgage markets will closed Monday in observance of the Labor Day holiday, meaning we will not see new mortgage rates until Tuesday morning.

The first release of the week comes Wednesday afternoon. The Federal Reserve will release its Beige Book report at 2:00 PM ET Wednesday. This report details current economic conditions in the U.S. by Federal Reserve regions. It is believed to be a key source of data when the Fed meets for their FOMC meetings and is usually released approximately two weeks prior to each meeting. If it reveals any significant surprises, we may see movement in the markets and mortgage pricing as analysts adjust their theories on the Fed's next move. Most likely thou gh, it will be a non-event and will not lead to a noticeable change in mortgage rates.

Also Wednesday is a 10-year Treasury Note auction, which will be followed by a 30-year Bond auction Thursday. It is fairly common to see some weakness in bonds before these sales as investors prepare for them. If the sales are met with a decent demand from investors, indicating interest in longer-term securities such as mortgage-related bonds still exists, the earlier losses are usually recovered after the results are announced. The results of the sales will be posted at 1:00 PM ET each day. If demand was strong, particularly from international investors, we should see mortgage rates improve during afternoon trading Wednesday and Thursday.

Friday, September 3, 2010

What The Credit Bureaus Don't Want YOU to Know

First I’d like to give you some history on the credit bureaus and how they got their start. In the beginning the credit bureaus operated in secrecy, they were local not national and of course the information gathered was in a paper file. Department stores and finance companies shared information initially forming small local credit bureaus. The local credit bureaus developed a file. They developed these files by using the good old Welcome Wagon.
Anyone remember a couple nice ladies coming to your door after moving into a new home and bringing baked goods and asking a lot of questions. They were on a mission to find any information they could on you to put in your credit file. They noted your income by your car, furniture and home. Your race, age and dependants and well anything else of interest. And here you thought they were just welcoming you to the neighborhood with a smile and baked goods. Most of these women were employees of the local credit bureaus.
In 1906 the Associated Credit Bureaus (ACB) was formed. The sharing of information create synergies at all agencies across the country and laid the foundation for the 3 bureaus of today. As you can imagine complaints of discrimination on many levels but housing and home loans were at the top of the list. With the federal government regulating the banking industry they enacted “Fair Credit Report Act” in 1971.
There are two scoring platform used today, FICO and Vantage. The 3 bureaus are Experian, Transunion and Equifax and I’d like to tell you how the credit bureaus make money. First and foremost they SELL data, yes YOUR data. This data comes from all kinds of furnishers like credit card companies, collection agencies, banks, student loan providers, utility companies, public record and the country, state, and federal courts and IRS. Staying within the principles of the “Fair Credit Report Act” (FCRA) they are allow to report for periods of 7, 10 to 15 years.
They have to report 100% accurate information and 100% verifiable information. This is Key to any credit REPAIR. And YES credit repair is legal. Thankfully it is your right! It's reported that over 80% of Americans have errors on their credit report.
You also contribute to your credit report every time you apply for credit, the manner in which you pay your debts, your habits like moving, buying and your employment is all tracked with information you provide. So you can see how valuable your information could be to certain groups. All this information is now collected electronically through automation, lenders report to the bureaus electronically and no human ever touches or has contact with your file. The data is then SOLD as consumer credit report data and direct marketing data. The “lower” your Fico the more money they make, YES so you see, they have no incentive to help you clear up your credit. BUT they also make money when you are disputing your report. Which is why disputes, if you are not familiar with the process can take several tries before they are resolved. Unfortunately most people give up, which is their motive. So you see they profit 10 fold from credit reporting errors.
I will continue my report on your credit report in my next blog, stay tuned for more gripping details………the saga continues

Friday's Market UpDate

Friday's bond market as opened well in negative territory following the release of stronger than expected employment news. The stock markets are reacting favorably to the data with the Dow up 61 points and the Nasdaq up 21 points. The bond market is currently down 26/32, which will likely push this morning's mortgage rates higher by approximately .250 of a discount point.

This morning's key economic data came from the Labor Department who gave us August's Employment report. It showed that the U.S. unemployment report rose to 9.6% as expected. The bad news came in the other two primary readings that the markets follow. The data showed that only 54,000 jobs were lost last month when analysts were expecting to see a loss of 120,000. Also, the average hourly earnings reading rose 0.3% when forecasts called for a 0.1% increase.

The fewer job loss number indicates a stronger employment sector than many had thought. The stronger earnings also raises concern for the bond market because it gives consumers more money to spend. Therefore, this report was not good for bonds and mortgage rates and is the cause of this morning's selling.

Quote For The Day

Fate, is an excuse for why we end up where we do! Our 'Actions' predetermine our Destiny, our 'Reactions' seal that fate!

Carl Stoynoff

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Market UpDate

Thursday's bond market has opened in negative territory again as yesterday's sell-off extends into this morning's trading. The stock markets are showing relatively minor gains with the Dow up 18 points and the Nasdaq up 15 points. The bond market is currently down 11/32, which should push this morning's mortgage rates higher by approximately .125 - .250 of a discount point.

None of today's three reports showed a surprise significant enough to affect mortgage rates. The revised 2nd Quarter Productivity reading revealed a 1.8% decline. This was slightly weaker than the 1.7% decline that was forecasted, but was not enough of a variance to affect bond trading or mortgage rates. The Labor Department reported that 472,000 new claims for unemployment benefits were filed last week when 475,000 were expected. As with the productivity reading, this was not enough of a difference to influence this morning's mortgage pricing.

July's Factory Orders report w as released late this morning, showing a 0.1% increase in new orders for durable and non-durable goods. Analysts were expecting to see a 0.3% increase, so at first look this data can be considered good news for bonds and mortgage rates because it indicates weaker than expected manufacturing activity. However, a significant upward revision to June's orders offset July's news, creating a neutral impact on this morning's trading.

Quote For The Day

What really distinguishes this generation in all countries from earlier generations... is its determination to act, its joy in action, the assurance of being able to change things by one's own efforts.

Hannah Arendt
1906-1975, German-born American Political Philosopher