Friday, April 22, 2011

Interesting article on how to retire a Millionaire!

This article from Clark Howard is a pretty clear example expressing the time value of money. Pretty sobering to know that $14K invested at an early age can = $1M over time and how long (and how much money!) you'd need to effectively "catch up" later in life. So get motivated and get those kids out there saving money! (Note-I am unsure how they take into account inflation, but it's still a great idea to start early and contribute often!) Cheers, Bo

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Witness-only closings are a threat to you and your home...!

I answer general questions from an attorney referral website from time to time. The scenario at the bottom (look for the link) REALLY struck a chord with me as this is a huge problem for citizens in Georgia. I must be honest that yes, my answers are self-serving as I would like only attorneys to close loans in Georgia. However, it's not just protecting myself and my business--it truly protects the consumer as well. These attorneys who show up at your house to be a witness for these out of state companies are not helping you out. Yes, it's convenient (and I do mobile closings from time to time--I happened to close a refi at a coffee shop with a good friend/loan officer this morning) but is it truly helping you? Let's look at the differences.

So we closed at a coffee shop. As a GA attorney, we ran title here in GA (using an attorney-certified title abstractor). We processed the file in our office; a licensed attorney (ME : ) with E&O coverage closed this file along with a witness (and I am a GA notary). I processed this file and we will fund it using a GA IOLTA account (Interest On Lawyers Trust Account--required by the State Bar, and it funds indigent defense among other things). I wrote title on a GA licensed Title Agency, which will in turn cut a check to the proper oversight agency here in GA. If the customer has an issue with their closing, who will they call? ME. Who will pick up their phone (or call back within 24 hours)? ME. Who is liable for any mistakes on that file? ME. Period.

Let's contrast that with a witness-only attorney who closed with their 'customer'-they received a file from an out of state company, showed up at the mutually agreed upon time and location and pulled out their notary stamp and pointed to where the customer needed to sign. When they were finished, they sealed up the FEDEX and sent it back to the out of state company/lender. NO taxes were collected in GA, no fees were generated in GA, no liability (so they think!) for the GA "attorney". So who does the customer call? GOOD LUCK PAL! And do you think that customer saved any money? From most HUD-1 Settlement Statements I have seen, the fees are more costly than a GA attorney's fees! Even if not, they are only slightly cheaper.

Is losing your house worth saving $50? Read this article and see if you think it is....