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The last several months have been huge for real estate investors and homeowners who are fighting back against the banks. Court case after court case has been decided in the homeowners’ favor, and things are only looking better going forward. JPMorgan Chase has just been ordered to pay an additional $48 million in fines for using fabricated documents and now we find out that since 2014 the banks have been buying rescission insurance. But what does all of this mean for real estate investors?
In November of 2012, the president of DOCX, a subsidiary of LPS, pled guilty to producing over one million fraudulent mortgage assignments to be used in foreclosures. In many of these cases, the assignment was created to “prove” that a trust had acquired the mortgage on which it was trying to foreclose. This wasn’t some mistake; signatures were forged, job titles were made up, and notarizations were added after the fact to make things look above board. These fraudulent assignments were used in trusts controlled by Wells Fargo, US Bank, HSBC, Deutsche Bank, Citibank, Bank of New York, and JP Morgan Chase among others. Read More >>
It’s a LOT more common than you might think. Many doctors label it as a ‘disease,’ and often prescribe medication as a way to make their patients feel “normal” (whatever that is).
It can drive teachers crazy, and make many seemingly normal people feel like there’s something wrong with them.
Of course I’m talking about ADHD: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Did you know that it’s a very common trait among entrepreneurs??
So if you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you feel affected by it - or might know someone close to you who is. Read on…
The typical ways that this can affect you include: Having trouble focusing on one thing at a time; Constantly getting distracted by things or people; Having challenges getting back to what you were working on before you got distracted, and so on... Read More >>
4 years ago I was a mentor at a large real estate convention in Orlando. Part of the draw at the convention was that we would actually work student’s deals on the spot in real time, leads that they had brought with them from their own hometown. We would call and negotiate the deals, and any profits made were kept by the student 100%.
At the time I was running a real estate operation for a nationally known real estate guru and we had recently implemented a new post-2008 strategy, and it really had taken off. There were literally hundreds of leads brought specifically for this strategy, and I had more requests than I could count to call and negotiate the deals on behalf of the student.
Knowing the power of social-proof, I was asked to work hard on these leads and try and put some contracts together so the crowd of 500+ would be wowed. It was important that they could see it worked in any market across the country. Feeling a bit of pressure, I decided that to really hone in and focus on putting deals together, I needed to go to my hotel room and call absent all the distractions of the convention. Read More >>
Homeowners across the country owe a debt of gratitude to the states of Hawaii and Illinois. No, not for deep dish pizza and black sand beaches, but because their Appellate courts just handed down two of the strongest, pro-homeowner rulings on the issue of rescission that I have ever seen. Despite the fact that the Supreme Court of the United States was explicit in its Jesinoski decision, many lower courts across the country have been acting on their own and interpreting the law as they see it. As you can imagine, this tends to benefit the banks, with their high-priced legal teams, and not the homeowners who are fighting to keep their houses. Fortunately, this is not the way our government works. Our friends in Hawaii and Illinois are the latest and strongest courts to clear things up and ensure that TILA rescission continues to be a strong tool for homeowners to use to fight back against the banks.
One of the most important things that the Illinois court clarified is that ALL notices of rescission are effective upon mailing. It does not matter if the rescission is right or wrong. If the bank does not respond and contest the rescission in court within 20 days from the date they receive it, the rescission is done. Sending a letter at 19 days saying they aren’t going to approve the rescission is not a valid response by the bank. If the bank believes a rescission was mailed too long after consummation of the loan, they have to be able to prove their standing, prove that the rescission is wrongful WITHOUT using the note and mortgage as proof, then hope that the court sides with them and reinstates the note and mortgage. If they don’t file within 20 days of receiving the rescission, they are out of luck. Read More >>
I know that many of you believe that short sales can’t be short; however, on this deal, the time frame from beginning to end was approximately 35 days. The Seller had lived in the property for years and the foreclosure action had been going on for approximately 4 years. During the 4 year period, the seller attempted to do a loan modification and had never attempted a short sale. There was a Foreclosure Auction Sale date scheduled for December 15, 2015. We had to act quickly as there were two loans on the home.
We pulled title work and found out that the $80,000 second mortgage was discharged as so many second mortgages were, due to the Banks being fined for all the fraudulent things they had done to the Sellers. This was a great break for the Seller, as now we only had to deal with one Lender with having a court date so soon.
The property was built in 1950 and was wood framed. The house had 2 Bedrooms, 1 Bath, 1 car garage, and 792 square feet in Madeira Beach, Florida. The home just needed some cosmetic repairs in the eyes of the Short Sale Lender. However, to the Buyer, there was approximately $20,000 needed to update the home to a “2015” buyer’s expectations. The property was listed in late October, 2015, and an offer of $100,000 was submitted to Ocwen for review. After we submitted a complete short sale package to the Lender, which consists of a Purchase Agreement, Proof of Funds Letter, HUD Settlement Statement, Authorization to Release Information, Listing Agreement, MLS Detailed Sheet, Financial Statement from the Seller, 3 months of Bank Statements, Letter of Employment, and Tax Returns, we found out that Ocwen had sold the Loan to Caliber Home Loans. Normally it takes the new Lender at least 2 weeks to 30 days to get the loan into their system so we could submit a package. We contacted the new lender and submitted a complete short sale package to them on October 27, 2015. Read More >>
We live in a digital world. We log onto the Internet all the time, and check our stocks. In the information age, it can sometimes seem strange that you would ever want an IRA that included something of real value like real estate or gold and precious metals. In fact, some people aren’t even aware that they can include these investments in their retirement portfolio. Instead, they simply follow the traditional advice – which usually nets them a complete reliability on the strength of the stock market.
Why would anyone consider an alternative, like a Real Estate IRA? As it turns out, there are a lot of reasons. In fact, there are so many reasons that we can only list a few of them here. But as you’ll see, it’s not very difficult to understand the power of a Real Estate IRA; what’s difficult is seeing the signs out there that your retirement portfolio needs more than a few mutual funds. Read More >>
Oh No! All this time you’ve been telling me I could make a killing buying & selling (flipping) houses and now you’re telling me it’s illegal, Ron?
Well, sort of! But before you get all upset, I’d better explain. Don’t worry; you’re not going to jail. Here’s the deal. Illegal flipping is indeed illegal. But first, let’s define flipping because it is a misunderstood term, sort of like the term "nothing down." When I say you can buy houses with nothing down, I mean you’re not using your own money. That doesn’t mean the seller doesn’t get money. Sometimes they don’t and sometimes they get cashed out. But, it is NOT your money; it’s a "nothing down" deal.
When you take over a loan "subject to" the mortgage, and the seller doesn’t want any money, it’s a nothing down deal. When you pay all cash but borrow the money from a private lender, it’s still considered a nothing down deal. Thousands of people don’t believe in the nothing down philosophy and aren’t doing real estate because they simply don’t understand the term, and therefore they’re convinced they can't buy houses without their own money. Their loss. A closed mind and an open mouth will keep you broke and working for those who are willing to learn. Read More >>
You can also control the types of sellers who are contacting you and the types of properties you want to purchase. In a changing market, this ability to be flexible is especially important and using direct mail is the only marketing tool available that gives you the opportunity to pick and choose the types of sellers you want to deal with.
The more direct mail campaigns you do, the higher the response rate gets. So the more you do it, the less direct mail costs per lead and per deal. Direct mail is the only marketing technique out there that allows you to have these controls. I provide my students with a number of different types of direct mail campaigns to make sure they have the best opportunity to create more deals in their real estate investing business on an ongoing basis.
In addition, you are using your available marketing dollars to target specific types of sellers as opposed to other types of marketing like signage or an ad where you are hitting a much broader market area and hoping someone in that group has a property for sale. You should always have between three and five marketing techniques working for you at any given time and one of those needs to be direct mail marketing. I have lots of great information about other types of marketing tools on my website. Read More >>
A Quick Guide to Setting Up Your First Squeeze Page - Part 3
Welcome Back...Again! We’ve been talking about Squeeze Pages - what they are, why you should care, and why they work so well. In the last issue, we covered why Squeeze Pages work so well, the required elements of one, and what it should look like. I even gave you an example of one of my kick-butt headlines that worked like gangbusters! So this month, we’ll close things out nicely, but start it off here:
What You Need To Make Your Squeeze Page
There's a few basic, required things you'll need in order to make your Squeeze Page work. These items include: Read More >>
People from all over the world have a common trait. No matter what the product, the word SALE always draws our attention.
When it comes to real estate, that same line of thinking stands. The phrase "you make money when you buy, you realize that money when you sell" continues to ring true. The challenge is being able to spot that awesome deal amongst many poor or inadequate deals. I cannot stress enough proper real estate investing education should be your goal. Using REIA comps to analyze every new deal you do is the avenue that will help you make such a distinction.
There are many people venturing out and searching for additional ways to make additional income. Investing requires knowledge of different techniques which can be used when trying to buy, sell, negotiate or repair a house. Having proper investing education to stand on can mean the difference between success and failure. Read More >>
"Treat your password like your toothbrush. Don't let anybody else use it, and get a new one every six months." ~ Clifford Stoll
I’ve tried everything to keep all my passwords secure but still accessible. I’ve tried using phrases, combining dates, symbols and the like. But still my password combinations never seem to be long enough or ‘strong’ enough. When I think I have a handle on the password situation it never seems to work out.
The Keeper App has solved many of my day-to-day problems with login interfaces. Sometimes there are two part login screens that slow me down, especially if I’m in a hurry. With this app, you can register a device so it is recognized as secure. If you have to give your login details to another person, like an employee, it’s simple to do in a secure way. It’s also great to share sensitive data files like contracts or reports.
The downside is that the password capture isn’t completely automatic. Which is probably a good thing. It gives you the opportunity to change passwords and secure data storage. To log into the app itself, there is no need to make a code that has different symbols or a change in letter case. But again, I don’t see that as a negative. I think as long as your password is a unique phrase or something uncommon, you’re pretty safe. Read More >>
Goals can be a great thing if we set the right goals using the right methods. Setting the wrong goals can be very detrimental to your business. Are you setting the right goals? In this article I am going to take a contrarian point of view to the normal goal setting info that most people teach. Let me go on record as saying I disagree with most of the general goal setting info put out in the information market these days.
When I take on a new real estate student one of the first things I do is to have a discussion about the student’s goals for the future. Usually I receive relatively similar responses such as “I want to quit my job and create $10,000 a month in passive revenue in the next 6 months” or “I want to quit my full time job and close 1000 units in 2016.” These technically may seem like good goals. They have a definite time line and a clear starting and stopping point. It will be easy to know when you have reached these goals. These are all things that make up a good goal but they may not be good at all. If these seem like goals you would set or if you have goals that are similar then I will ask you the same question I ask my students.
“Do you know what it takes to complete these goals?” Read More >>
Recently I did a meeting where we discussed what a wholesaler needs to do to have an awesome 2016. After giving it some thought, it’s really quite simple. Only four steps are needed and doing these four things consistently will make a huge difference in how much success one has. Let’s get right to the four steps to an incredible 2016 wholesaling!
Over the holidays I had a few great learning lessons. I volunteer for several different causes. The one I chose, was a half-way house for recovering addicts. I have learned from that experience that it takes on average 6 times or 6 attempts to become clean. Now this is an average. There are some individuals who will get clean in a much shorter time because they have super “WHY” and have the right relationships which will support them in their life’s journey. So I started to look at my own life and the struggles I have learning and implementing new systems in my own business. Why do I go to the seminars and training which I buy, spending thousands of dollars on my education? The day after the seminar I do nothing. I never implement the great knowledge and systems the gurus has provided. I don’t even open the book ever again. Does this sound familiar? Read More >>
Yet another calendar? Yes. It’s a good idea to use QuickBooks’ calendar to stay on top of your financial transactions.
These days, some of us find ourselves updating multiple calendars. There’s the Outlook calendar or other web-based solution for scheduling and task management. Maybe a smartphone app to track to-do’s on the road, and a paper calendar as backup.
But where do you keep track of your everyday financial tasks? Including these in your scheduling calendars and/or task lists will make for very crowded screens, not to mention how inconvenient it can be to keep switching between applications.
So consider adding one more tracking tool: the QuickBooks calendar. This graphical screen isn’t designed for data entry (except for to-do’s). Rather, it’s designed to give you a quick overview of your financial activity, both historically and in the future. Read More >>
If you are a smart investor you read and stay up to date with the market. But as you read, you find that different people have different opinions as to why the real estate market has shifted, which range from the presidential election, the stock market, the price of a barrel of oil, employment reports, changing interest rates, etc. The fact is, all these are intertwined and they all have a chain reaction effect on real estate. While you cannot make a huge immediate impact on the direction of any of these factors, you can make changes in your game plan for investing in real estate in the New Year.
As we all know, the real estate market is cyclical. The majority of last year the market was at the height of its cycle. At the end of the year to present the market has begun to cool down or at least level off. Investors are no longer purchasing houses expecting one sales price and selling it for a much higher price because it “appreciated” while it was being renovated. Today investors are selling their investment properties for the original after repair value they had projected or a bit less if the renovation was not up to par. This has become the new norm. With that said, there are still a few sub markets in each of our markets that continue to sell fast and for record prices. However, those too will eventually cool down. I have mentioned many times that it is best to purchase investment real estate based on today’s values not anticipated appreciation one cannot control.
Here are a few items I would recommend when investing in real estate in today’s market. Read More >>
Kim and I want to thank you for reading our weekly real estate investing newspaper column for the past 13 years. With this last article, we say: Goodbye, y’all!
In 2003, when we started this feature, we were still fairly new to real estate investing. As we gained knowledge and experience, we shared the creative deal-structuring techniques we learned that allowed the impossible deals to become not only possible, but also probable.
We also shared most every mistake we made along the way. We did this because more great lessons are learned from failure than from success!
And, we wrote a ton of articles about what it takes to succeed. No matter what field you’re in, the attributes it takes to succeed can be boiled down to these ten: love, accomplishment, discipline, persistence, belief, integrity, associations, a yearning to learn, sacrifice and giving back.
The story about how our weekly column first got in the paper demonstrates these attributes at work. Read More >>
It seems that nobody today learning how to be a real estate investor wants to start at the bottom anymore. What I mean is, most beginning real estate investors want to start at the top making money like those who have spent many years learning how to buy real estate and make money every time they buy. Having been a licensed building contractor in a previous life I can tell you that I never built a house starting with the roof and then built downward to the foundation. Investors today must realize it just doesn’t work trying to get rich quick without a solid foundation of basic investor knowledge. Unless you want to build a house of cards that will easily tumble down you must forget trying to start at the top of the learning curve and understand that the only way you will ever be truly successful is if you start learning real estate investing with sound techniques and strategies that will allow you to make the very best buying decisions every time. Read More >>
Happy Prosperous New Year 2016 to You All!
I continually talk to my students about maximizing their profits on every deal they do so this month I am going to explain to you how you can do just that, get more money from the deals you do. This is a simple strategy every investor can easily accomplish once they have an understanding how to make it happen.
I’m Not Talking About Doing Any Extra Work to the Properties You Sell
I’m Talking About a Way to Get More Price for the Houses You Are Selling.
High consumer debt with high interest rates can greatly affect how big of a loan buyers can qualify for to buy a home for their family. A buyer who is trying to buy your properties can be greatly handicapped simply because they have high consumer debts they are paying every month which greatly limits how much of a loan they can qualify for.
What if you could help your buyer eliminate a portion of their consumer debt to change their debt-to-income ratio considerably? You could instruct your buyers to pay off one of their high interest consumer debts such as, (a credit card) that has a current balance of $3,000 as an example that has a monthly payment of $60.00. How would that help them qualify for a bigger loan you ask? First comes the question, how can they pay off that debt all at once with their limited income? What if you bought something from your Buyers? If you were to buy something from your buyers (an old car, a boat, a barbeque grill) for $3,000, it would give them money to pay off that one high interest $3,000.00 debt. Now let me show you how you can get more price for your property and maximize your profits by buying something from your potential buyer. Read More >>
The number one question that new investors and/or wholesalers ask is, “How do you find your real estate deals?” Many times I think they are searching for some sort of magic secret that leads to an unlimited supply of investment deals, but we all know there is no such thing. However, they are surprised to know that there are many ways to find deals that take little to no money but does take time and discipline.
If you have ever been in a sales position the first thing trainers ask you to do is write down everyone you know that can help you. The great thing is that you already have multiple lists in the palm of your hand, literally. Everyone in your phone contact list can be a potential seller or know someone that is selling their home. In addition, you may have social media outlets such as Facebook, twitter, google+, LinkedIn, etc. that each has more and more people that can assist you in finding deals. By only reaching out to these lists you may come across a few real estate investment opportunities that you like. All these leads at your disposal and it did not cost you a dollar. You might think that there will not be a distressed seller in your network, and while that may be true they might know someone who is. Simply telling everyone you know you are looking for investment real estate will lead to finding a deal. Read More >>
The thing that kills most real estate investors – heck, the thing that prevents 95% of folks from reaching anywhere close to their full potential as human beings – is the dreaded Big But Disease!
It goes something like this: I want to start my own business, but... I want to do more for my church, but... I want to own 20 free-and-clear rental properties, but... I want to get in shape, but... I want to improve my marriage, but... I want to spend more quality time with my kids, but...
That stinky Big But Disease will squash your dreams, murder your goals, and destroy the person you were born to be!
Starting today, what if you replaced saying “but...” with saying “I’ll do whatever it takes to get this thing done!”
So instead of saying, “I want to run a marathon, but...” you’d say, “I want to run a marathon, and I’ll do whatever it takes to get this thing done!” With this attitude how much more would you accomplish in your lifetime? Read More >>
As this year comes to an end, I am reflecting on what went right and what areas in my life do I need to focus on, to make some improvements to reach my highest level of success?
Part of having a very successful business, involves 3 basic principles; purpose, attitude and action. Let’s look at these 3 basic principles. The good news is the chances of us getting it right is because the change is within us and we don’t need to depend on anyone else for this success. Did you hear me! The bad news is the change is within us, which means we have to take responsibility and action to get it right.
Number 1 – What is your Purpose?
When we have an outrageous WHY, the opportunity for success goes up dramatically.
SO ask yourselves…. why do you think real estate is the right vehicle for you? What problems can this vehicle help to solve in your life? How is this new wealth vehicle different from the current work you are doing? This is not a get rich quick scheme. Read More >>
Picture this… you buy a house in cash that you plan to renovate and sell. Two years later you have renovated the house and you try to take out a line of credit to purchase another property to renovate and sell. You’re excited to move forward until the bank tells you that you don’t own your house anymore because it has been foreclosed and sold to someone else. This is exactly what happened to a Montana couple. The family sued, and during the trial the bank did everything they could to get out of their responsibility for the error. Fortunately the court and the jury saw through the bank’s lies and ordered them to pay $350,000 in lost profitability, $100,000 for emotional distress and $1.6 million in punitive damages. This is part of a larger national trend that shows courts coming down hard on the side of wronged homeowners, creating opportunities for investors across the country.
Florida’s 4th District Court of Appeals recently made a very subtle change that changes what the banks are allowed to submit as business records to prove a loan was made. The banks have been utilizing the tactic of sending employees with no knowledge of the loan in question to court in order to testify about the general practices of the bank instead of actually addressing the specific loan. The witness uses all the right buzzwords, stating that they are familiar with the books and records used by the bank and that entries were made near the time of the transaction. However, they have no direct knowledge which transactions were done by their employer. Before this ruling, the courts were acting under the presumption that the homeowner did indeed receive a valid loan from someone in the chain that leads to the foreclosing party. Now the presumption is that, though documents might have been executed, a loan was not necessarily made. This now puts a burden on the foreclosing party to prove with actual, valid documentation that a loan was made and that they have the right to enforce the loan. Read More >>
I am often asked whether or not there are still good real estate deals out there with the market constantly changing like it has been. The real estate market will always experience ups and downs and as real estate investors we need to be trained on utilizing the best tools to locate the motivated sellers within those markets. We also need to learn to be flexible in our marketing in order to bring in the highest number of new deals.
I often hear comments like, “you were just lucky” or “you got in on the real estate game when there were still lots of deals out there, it’s just not that way anymore”. Those folks couldn’t be more wrong in their thinking. This is just “stinkin’ thinkin’” as my friend Ron LeGrand would say. There are always deals to be made if you know where to look for them no matter what your local real estate market is doing. This is just a matter of having a marketing mind.
Using direct mail to attract motivated sellers is always one of the best tools in the real estate business for locating highly motivated sellers on a regular basis. I also utilize other tools along with my direct mail, such as lumpy mail pieces to make my direct mail stand out or I will send CDs to my sellers explaining to them why they should work with me. Using a little creativity with your direct mail campaigns will increase the response rate significantly. There are several reasons for this. Read More >>
Welcome Back! If you’re just joining us, we’re talking about what Squeeze Pages are in the wonderful world of Internet Marketing. In the last issue, we covered what the heck a Squeeze Page IS & why you should care. In this issue, we’re picking up where we left off, staring with...
Why Do Businesses Use Squeeze Pages & Why Are They So Powerful?
Let's use that example of the restaurant giving away a free dessert or appetizer. They would usually sell that item for $4-$9, right? But then what? They drop the check, collect their money & say good-bye to the customer... Hoping that they'll come back someday soon.
These days, that's not enough anymore! If a business is not collecting & building a list of their prospects & customers, they're missing out on a HUGE opportunity to follow up and maintain communication with them! During that process, they can provide value and build a better relationship with their list. Read More >>