News Alerts. Oct. 28, 2013. Morning Edition. #RealEstate

Linking ≠ endorsement. Enjoy and share:

  1. North Dakota failed to inform the public of 100s of oil spills over last two years – report — RT USA

    For one, this is a property-rights issue.

    …with the potentially devastating consequences a spill could have in a state that relies on farming and water resources, citizens have begun lobbying for greater access to information.

    In 2013 alone there have already been 291 so-called "incidents." Of the roughly 2,209 barrels that were lost, all but 490 were contained and cleaned up at the well site. Most of the spills that companies reported to the state totaled less than 10 barrels.

    Nearly 500 barrels of oil spilled in 2012, the result of 153 pipeline leaks.

    "That's news to us," said Don Morrison, director of the environmentally-minded Dakota Resource Council. "The public really should know about these. If there is a spill, sometimes a landowner may not even know about it. And if they do, people think it's an isolated incident that's only happening to them."

    Source … oil-spills-757/

  2. Home buyers in no hurry, expect real estate prices to fall by up to 10% – Economic Times


    NEW DELHI: Home buyers across the country expect real estate prices to fall by up to 10% over the next six months and they are willing to wait for over a year to buy property, a study by IIMBangalore and MagicBricks has found, signalling that festive season offers by developers have failed to attract buyers.

    Source … http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes .com/2013-10-24/news/43366279_1_real-est ate-prices-home-buyers-residex

  3. JPMorgan Settlement Might Hamper Housing Market Recovery

    During the financial crisis, the government urged JPMorgan to take over Bear Stearns, a highly troubled bank. According to The Washington Post, Bear Stearns was one of the biggest players in the business of peddling subprime mortgage backed securities, which were toxic assets that played a major role in the financial crisis.

    Granted, JPMorgan did not have to acquire Bear Stearns, but The Post says the government wanted the deal to happen badly enough that the Federal Reserve put up money to facilitate the transaction. JPMorgan also acquired Washington Mutual, another distressed financial firm.

    By some estimates 70 to 80 percent of the wrongdoing at the heart of the Justice Department settlement was by the acquired companies before they were acquired by JPMorgan, according to The Post.

    It's a valid point, but JPMorgan should have gotten it in writing that it wouldn't be targeted for the wrongdoings of the entities it purchased at the Fed's and Treasury's request. If JPMorgan's leadership didn't run the acquisitions by their in-house attorneys, then that leadership was incompetent. If the attorneys didn't pullout the boilerplate to protect JPMorgan, then those attorneys were incompetent. Shareholders, not taxpayers, should have taken the hit. Agree?

    Source … e/JPMorgan-settlement-housing-mortgage/2 013/10/24/id/532810

  4. JPMorgan to pay Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac $5.1 billion over mortgage securities – The Washington Post

    The Federal Housing Finance Agency, which regulates Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, said Friday that it struck a separate $5.1 billion deal with JPMorgan Chase over faulty mortgage practices, rather than wait for the Justice Department to finalize its share of a tentative $13 billion deal with the bank.

    Until now, the FHFA had agreed to bundle its lawsuit against the bank into a global settlement that federal prosecutors have been working on for months. The back and forth proved too much for the housing regulator, which decided to take matters into its own hands, said a person familiar with the deal who was not authorized to speak publicly.

    The FHFA agreement puts to rest part of a long-standing dispute between JPMorgan Chase and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. The banking regulator and JPMorgan have for the past five years been fighting over who is responsible for losses on failed mortgages issued by Washington Mutual, the failed bank that JPMorgan bought out of receivership for $1.9 billion.

    Some of those securities were at the heart of the FHFA's lawsuit against JPMorgan. Friday's agreement prevents the bank from pushing those liabilities onto the FDIC, which otherwise could have been forced to absorb billions of dollars in losses.

    JPMorgan has urgently been attempting to settle investigations involving its actions during the financial crisis and since then. But the bank's reluctance to admit wrongdoing has been a sticking point in finalizing the deal, a law enforcement official familiar with the negotiations has said.

    The Justice Department, which refused to grant JPMorgan a waiver from criminal prosecution as part of a deal, plans to use its settlement with the bank as a blueprint for reaching similar deals with others in probes related to bad mortgages an d the 2008 financial crisis, the person said.

    Source … conomy/jpmorgan-to-pay-fannie-mae-freddi e-mac-51-billion-over-mortgage-securitie s/2013/10/25/daa57ba0-3d8c-11e3-b6a9-da6 2c264f40e_story.html

  5. Sen. Paul threatens to hold Yellen nomination: Source

    Sen. Rand Paul is threatening to put a hold on the nomination of Janet Yellen to chair the Federal Reserve, a source close to the Kentucky Republican said Friday.

    Paul is insisting on a vote on his Fed transparency bill, and has informed Senate leadership of his intentions, the source said.

    The story here isn't Yellen but auditing the Federal Reserve. Of course, it goes even deeper than that, as Rand Paul, as a relatively laissez-faire (economic-anarchist) capitalist, is an opponent of monetarism and quantitative easing, which are backbones of the Fed.

    Source …

If you are an investor in 1-4 unit properties in Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, or Washington, please do the financially responsible thing and make sure you have proper Landlord Insurance with PropertyPak™. We love focusing on real estate and the economy in general, but we are also here to serve your insurance needs.

Hill & Usher (PropertyPak™ is a division) has many insurance offerings. See our menu above for more info and links.

Did this post help you? Let us know by leaving your comment below.

Note: This blog does not provide legal, financial, or accounting advice. Seek professional counsel.

Furthermore, we, as insurance producers, are prohibited by law from disparaging the insurance industry, carriers, other producers, etc. With that in mind, we provide links without staking out positions that violate the law. We provide them solely from a public-policy standpoint wherein we encourage our industry to be sure our profits, etc., are fair and balanced.

We do not necessarily fact checked the contents of every linked article or page, etc.

If we were to conclude any part or parts of our industry are in violation of fundamental fairness and the legal standards of a state or states, we'd address the issue through proper, legal channels. We trust you understand.

The laws that tie our tongues, so to speak, are designed to keep the public from losing confidence in the industry and the regulatory system overseeing it. Insurance commissioners around the country work very hard to analyze rates and to not allow the industry to be damaged by bad rate-settings and changes in coverages. The proper way for people in the industry to deal with such matters is by adhering to the laws, rules, and regulations of the applicable states and within industry associations where such matters may be discussed in private without giving the industry unnecessary black eyes. Ethics is very high on the list in the insurance industry, and we don't want to lose the people's trust. That said, the industry is not perfect; but what industry is?

For our part, we believe in strong regulations and strong regulators.

We welcome your comments and ask you to keep in mind that we cannot and will not reply in any way or ways where any insurance commissioner could rightly say we've violated the law of the given state.

We are allowed to share rating-bureau data/reports and industry-consultant opinions but make clear here that those opinions are theirs and do not necessarily reflect our position.