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Cheat Sheet Q & A:
Foreclosure Review Checks:
My question is about the card that some of us received concerning the (foreclosure review) and by the way if I had not listened to you that morning I would have thrown the card in the trash. Ok, here is the question, last week you had mentioned that some people are going to receive about $800 and some $125000, who determines the amount and what is the criteria for the amounts? The other question is, you had said that if a person receives a little check and if the check is not cashed you could receive more?
Bottom Line: First – I’m really glad to hear that my effort to notify those who were victims of the foreclosure crisis, of whom there are many in our area, has been helpful. We’ve rightly learned to be skeptical of seemingly random mail saying that we’re entitled to compensation. So I understand why many are inclined to throw out the mailers which could be worth as much as $125,000. Now for the questions… A quick review of the details:
The determining body were independent consultants hired by the Federal Government (regulators of the housing industry). The specific criteria used in determining the size of the check hasn’t been clearly disseminated. We’re to believe that it’s based upon the amount of loss associated with illegal or improper practices and the severity of the illegal or improper practice in handling your loan.
With regard to the potential to receive additional compensation (beyond the first check)… It’s my understanding that all money must be paid out of the settlement account. Therefore, if there are victims that don’t cash their checks, the potential for a second smaller check could be paid out some time after 90 days, for those who did cash their original checks.
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The biggest winners of the foreclosure review process – the consultants:
Bottom Line: Now for the not so pretty part of the “Independent Foreclosure Review” process…
So I’d calculated that the average check paid out to victims of the robo signing and mortgage fraud era would be $787. So are you ready for the windfall for the auditors hired to review you case to issue your payout? Certainly the auditors would receive a much smaller amount than you to review your case and issue your payout. That would only be appropriate right? Like so many times when the Federal Government is involved – what’s right by you didn’t occur here.
The average payout per case reviewed by auditors is $20,000. No that’s not a typo. Victims receive an average of $787 while those reviewing their case receive $20,000!
Some politicians have chimed in suggesting that it’s wrong and even scandalous, which I agree with, but do you think anything will change and you’ll get the $20,000 while they get $787?
Soon you’ll be able to more safety text while walking with an app:
Bottom Line: So we’ve pretty well exhausted the texting while driving debate at this point. Many states have passed additional laws specifically citing texting while driving as an illegal practice (isn’t that distracted driving and thus already illegal?). So advancing the conversation to a slower form of transportation… Studies have shown that texting while walking is increasingly an issue.
A handful of cities have actually passed ordinances banning texting while walking because of issues involving people walking into the street while texting, creating dangerous situations for drivers and themselves. A group of Canadians is here to help – to a point.
A new app called CrashAlert is in beta and purports to be part of a solution to texting while walking confrontations. The app will use the camera on your smartphone to survey 2 meters around you as you walk. CrashAlert will then alert you if you’re about to walk into something. It sounds a little silly but distracted walkers can and have injured themselves walking into mailboxes, light posts, and people. What I don’t think this will be able to address is wandering into a street with traffic. The app may notify you that you’re too close to a car if you do wander into the street but I have a suspicion that it’ll be a bit too late at that point.
Most small businesses feel that social media isn’t effective for their business:
Bottom Line: A small business servicer, Manta, studied small businesses that use social media for business purposes. What they found was truly revealing and provided take-aways for most small businesses:
Here’s where it gets interesting… Manta followed up with these businesses and found that only 36% of them actually have a plan they are acting on. So…
If 39% of small businesses are benefiting by using social media for business purposes and only 36% actually have an intentional plan for social media, there could be really good news for 61% who aren’t currently successful with their effort. It would appear that with an actual plan that you act on, you have an excellent chance of success.
If you have a business and haven’t had success with social, do you have an actual business plan for your online effort? Most commonly I find that the answer is no. Most successful businesses started out with a carefully crafted business plan that they’ve executed on. As digital media has evolved most have not created a separate and intentional plan for successfully using digital properties to their advantage. We wouldn’t just plow money into a business concept, open up our doors and hope it just all works out. Commonly though that’s what small businesses do when using social media and digital properties. We’ll put up a website, maybe create a Facebook page and sit back to see what happens. If this is you – take time to craft an actual strategy and plan that you execute on digitally. By the numbers there is a very good chance it’ll be effective for you.
Credit Karma’s latest insight – How do you compare?:
Bottom Line: Credit monitoring company Credit Karma’s study of just over 1.2 million adults found the following for the average adult:
Manufactured Diamonds are here – so are they real diamonds?:
Bottom Line: Here’s a slippery slope… While only central banks can legally create more money, scientists in
Diamonds, like other natural minerals, to date have only been available as naturally harvested material. There are no shortage of fakes and knockoff diamond products that don’t retain the market value of high quality diamonds. What if there is a synthetically created product that retains all of the properties of natural diamonds?
We’re now at the moment in time. Scientists have created lab invented diamonds that retain all mineral properties of the original stones. So the question is if they should be treated as “real” diamonds in the marketplace. The creators certainly believe so and are moving forward to sell them as real diamonds of the highest quality. Industry experts like DeBeers, are crying foul saying that anything synthetically created isn’t real and shouldn’t be treated as such by the industry.
What do you think? Perhaps the more complicated question is… once these have worked into the marketplace how would we know the difference?...
Not so basic cable coming to Comcast:
Bottom Line: So to date basic cable has been just that. Basic, easy & straightforward. Well that’s changing with Comcast. Comcast has been the nation-wide rollout of encrypting basic cable channels. What does that mean?
By encrypting the basic cable channels that used to just be available by just connecting the cable to your TV, you now need something that can decipher the encryption. That requires one of two things. A cable box or a card that can be inserted into a DVR or TV that’s capable of reading a CableCard (a card that Comcast will provide for free provided that you have something that can read it).
For many people this will require buying a new TV, DVR or cable box.